This month, Baby Brands Direct were lucky enough to speak to Adam Moore, Marketing Communications Manager at Playmobil to find out more about the brand, the products and the inspiration behind decades of bringing fun and excitement to kids worldwide. We recently added new Playmobil products to our extensive range of playsets and figures. Check out the brand page to view all Playmobil items, available to buy wholesale!
Can you tell us a little bit about Playmobil’s history and the inspiration behind the brand?
Playmobil started in the 1970‘s when Horst Brandstätter asked Hans Beck to create a figure that could be articulated in different positions, standing, sitting and movement of the arms for example. This was the birth of the figure with a smile, whose design still continues to this very day. When the brand first launched in 1974, there were only a few sets to choose from. The brand has continued on with many new play sets and scenarios, but always with the same brand ethos that children can create their own stories and play style all from their own imagination. Each figure ( with a few exceptions) stands at 7.5 cm tall, this allows most children to be able to always see the smiley face when holding the figure.
What makes Playmobil unique from similar toy brands?
Playmobil has always adopted the idea that children like to tell their own story and this is at the heart of all Playmobil sets. The Playmobil range gives children the chance to start the story with a simple figure. Once you add in the attention to detail our accessories and larger scene products, it allows children to bring to life their imagination though cognitive and social development. Because the design has remained the same for the last 40 years it also means that sets from years ago are also playable with sets from today, and vice versa. This also means children are not locked into one play world. The Princess can drive the police car, the Zoo Keeper can live in a castle! The possibilities and stories are endless.
What are Playmobil’s main values or goals when creating new products?
Play is the most important part of the experience so the team make sure there is always something available in the sets that encourage imaginative play. This could be a sword for a brave knight or some feed for the animals at zoo. It is all about encouraging children to pick up the toy and start to create their own narrative.
How does the brand come up with fresh ideas for themes for new playsets and figures? Is there any market research involved?
Playmobil looks to incorporate new and exciting ranges that engage with new and existing audiences. We get lots of mail and social messages from fans with pictures of sets they would like and this helps our design team come up with new ideas, and also refresh classic sets to become more modern. The team in Germany look across different countries to see what works well to develop product ranges though research and consumer feedback.
Do you know how many awards Playmobil has won globally? Which award is the most recent?
There are lots of award wins for the brand across the world and each is important in their country, it shows an appreciation and faith in the brand, especially when they are voted for by members of the public. In the UK, we have just picked up awards from Dadsnet and UK Mums TV which is great because it is voted for by parents. We have also seen some great award wins recently for the new Playmobil 1.2.3 Toddler range from the Mother & Baby awards and on a European level winning at the Spielwarenmesse ToyAwards (Nuremberg Toy Fair)
What do you feel are the essential Playmobil products for retailers to stock? What are your most popular lines?
Traditional play themes are really great for engaging children’s interest. Ranges like the Playmobil Zoo, Emergency Services, Playmobil 1.2.3 and fantasy themes like Princess get a great response from both parents and children, and are a great introduction to the brand. Top selling items like the Playmobil 70341 Family Fun Large Zoo, Playmobil 6919 City Action Police Headquarters, Playmobil 9463 City Action Fire Ladder Unit and the Wholesale Playmobil 1.2.3 My Take Along 1.2.3 Noah´s Ark are just some of the classic Playmobil ranges that are must haves for retailers.
Is there anything particularly exciting on the horizon for the brand? New products or initiatives?
There is always something new or exciting coming up with Playmobil. In September the new Playmobil Advent Calendars are back. Consumers look forward to these every year as it is a real highlight for the count down to Christmas. With a mix of both traditional Christmas themes like Santa Claus or the Nativity Story and non traditional themes like Princess and Police. There is something for everyone on the countdown to Christmas!
Do you have any further advice for retailers?
Playmobil has it’s own dedicated display and merchandiser team which that can make an area in store really stand out. If you have a space in store there are lots of ways the team can highlight new and existing products and really make the area look great for consumers. This could include window displays, point of sale and even our world famous large figures.
Tell us a bit about you:
What is your favourite movie?
I am a big fan of the Back to the Future trilogy, so was very excited when we brought the DeLorean back to the market last year.
Where would you go on your dream holiday?
It would have to be Australia, there is a mix of everything in one place.
What superpower would you like to have and why?
I think I would have to say the ability to fly, flying always seems like it would be fun and getting from a to b would be a lot easier!