The origins of the German toymaker we know today as Playmobil can be traced to 1876, when a locksmith named Andreas Brandstätter opened a metal shop. By 1908, his son, Georg, took over the company from his father and renamed it after himself. Throughout the 1930s, the younger Brandstätter’s firm, renamed again as Geobra, made mostly telephones and cash registers, but it also produced some sheet-metal items for toy stores.

Plastic toys were added to the company’s line in the late 1950s, and in 1958 a molded race car was created as the first Playmobil prototype. But it would take more than a dozen years for the Playmobil look to coalesce, and the man credited with creating what would become a serious competitor to LEGO was Hans Beck, Geobra’s director of development.

One of the motivators behind Beck’s designs for Playmobil was the rising price of oil in the 1970s, which was pushing up the cost of plastic. In Playmobil, Beck created a world of toys for children that would be fun to play with despite their small size. In fact, their handheld size would be a key to their success.

Unlike LEGO, for whom figures were an afterthought to the building bricks themselves, Playmobil figures were an integral part of the toy from the start. Beck spent a lot of time on the figures, designing them after the look of children’s drawings, which are marked by exaggerated features and a liberal attitude when it comes to physical proportions. Thus the heads of Playmobil figures, which some fans called Klickies for the sound they would make when played with, lacked noses and were proportionally larger than the bodies they were attached to.

The first Playmobil system debuted at the Nurnberg Toy Fair in 1974. By all accounts, the reception was not overly enthusiastic, but an order from a Dutch wholesaler kept production going for a year. The initial systems featured medieval knights and horses in green boxes, construction workers with a pickup truck on a job site in blue boxes, and “Indians,” complete with feather caps for the braves, a canoe, and a teepee, in red boxes.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Playmobil 5300 Victorian MansionPlaymobil Retired Large Castle Set And AccessoriesPlaymobil Country Large Horse FarmPlaymobil 4450 Nisb Bunnies Easter Spring Workshop Retired Mint Rare Htf 2003Large Lot Playmobil Victorian Figures (26) & Accessories, Horse CarriageHuge Playmobil Lot Victorian Furniture Castle Animals Indians 70s 80s 90s Huge Playmobil Toy Mixed Lot People Pirate Circus Farm Animals People Mixed SetsPlaymobil Colorado Boxcar Train # 4122 Train Vintage Toy 1985 In BoxPlaymobil Medieval Castle And House 3666 Playmobil Victorian Lot, 20+ Figures, Furniture, Etc. - Some Vintage!!!Playmobil SafariPlaymobil Toy Lot Circus Farm Animals People Over 2 Lbs Mixed Sets Girls BoysNew Playmobil Medieval House With Barn 7145 In PackagingPlaymobil Western The Us Mail Service VintagePlaymobil Citylife Country Yard SalePlaymobil * Western * Wild West * Drug Store * 3462 *Playmobil 4 British Royal Knight New Sealed 6229 Figures King Leader Redcoats BiHuge Lot Playmobil Pirates,knights, Soccer Field,police Swat 150 Pcs+ 5804 4842Playmobil Western Us Medical Wagon VintagePlaymobil Western The SettlersPlaymobile 4101 Cattle Car G Scale - With Box - Excellent Used Condition RetiredPlaymobil Childrens Bedroom Set 5312 For Victorian Mansion 5300 Euc Complete BoxPlaymobil ~ 3981 Operating Room Rescue Surgeon's Medical Tools Lamps Bed Playmobil #3770 Vintage Colorado Spring Station - Cowboys Western TrainPlaymobile, G-gauge, 9518, P.r.r., Locomotive, Tender, (2) Freight CarsPlaymobil 10 Falcon Knight Figure Axes Castle New Rare Accessories CrusadersHuge Lot Of Playmobil Toys 7172 4431 Many Figures And AccessoriesPlaymobil Special Astronaut Chimp Space Moon Rocket Toys Figures Shuttle Rare 3Playmobil 5177 Bank With SafePlaymobil 4310 Airplane Pacific Airlines Complete Set With Extra PilotPlaymobile #3397 Trapper And Indian Complete With BoxPlaymobil 5548 Summer Fun Chain Carousel With Colourful Lighting Brand NewPlaymobil 6846 Knights Figures Castle Falcon Accessories Guerreiros Lot No2 2016Playmobil 4190 Horses,stable, Barn Parts,car, Trailer MorePlaymobil Falcon Knights Figures Axes Castle Lot New Rare Accessories Lot LeaderPlaymobil Egyptian Camels, Characters, Bandits, Lots Of Accessories, PeoplePlaymobil #4240 Egyptian Pyramid With Figures Horses Camel Mummy 2008 RetiredPlaymobil Yellow Victorian Antique CarToy Lot Playmobil Shell Gas Station #3014 1998 Service Motorcycle People*retired* Original Geobra Playmobil 20+pc Indian Reservation Series Toy Lot199 Vintage Playmobil Christmas Nativity Scene Sets #3996 & 3997 Sealed Playmobil Valvoline Hella Rallye Set 3524Playmobil Super 4 Take Along Black Baron's CastleCollectable Playmobil ©2012 Saichania Armored Dinosaur - 8.5"Playmobil Fairy Girl With The Flower Cart 2Playmobil Western Hunters´ LogdePlaymobil Arab History Knight Western The Oasis VintagePlaymobil Country Citylife Farm Training GroundsPlaymobil Sportsman's Cabin (3826) Complete With Original Box!Playmobil Set #3674 Complete - Castle Prison Wagon Incl Knights, Pirate, HorsePlaymobil Western The Camp Vintage IndiansPlaymobil Miscellaneous Lot - Plates Cups Canisters Utensils Fruit Veggies EtcPlaymobil Knight Dollhouse Fairy The Queen´s GardenVintage Playmobil 4100 Passenger Train W/passengers, All GeobraPlaymobil 3632 Merry Men Forest Traveller With Bear 1993 New Sealed BoxVintage 1980 Playmobil Geobra Lgb G-scale 99 501 Locomotive 4051/4052Playmobil 3837 Royal Tournament Tent Magic Rare Vintage 1995 New SealedPlaymobil * Western * Wild West * Saloon * 3461 * Replacement Parts * Lot 1X9 Playmobil Roman Rome Knights Crusaders Figures Shields Swords Castle LotPlaymobil Romans Viking Skeleton Knight 2017 Lot Custom Royal Accessories L@@k 6