From the giant people in my previous post, to teeny tiny people in this!
Not many people know that Playmobil is Bavarian, its creator Hans Beck came up with the idea 40 years ago, after an oil shortage made smaller toys more economic. The little plastic figures that featured so highly in many of our childhoods, continues to do so in our own children’s too, and is still produced today in its original birthplace of Zirndorf (a little over an hour and a half from Munich) where you will also find Playmobil Funpark (by no coincidence I should imagine!).
I must apologise in advance for the quality of the photographs in this post, I don’t feel they meet with my slightly OCD standards, but having spent three days (and taken over 900 photographs in Rothenburg Ob der Tauber – more on that soon!) my appetite for photography was somewhat depleted on this particular day. On top of that it was bitterly cold, and I was worried about frostbite! Anyway despite the pics, you should be able to tell that Playmobil Funpark is worth a visit?!
It might be a theme park of sorts, but there are no rides here, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing considering what else is on offer. It’s completely dedicated to imaginative play, and you will find huge scale models of favourite sets (and animals and people) scattered all over the place instead. And everywhere but everywhere you can find piles of usual sized figures that you can pitch up and play with – there’s enough to go round, I didn’t see any arguing – not even between my two!
The one big thing I wasn’t that happy about though? The fact that I must have spent a vast percentage of the last few years of my life tidying and sorting Playmobil, so someone might have told me that you can actually get paid for this? There are staff here whose entire working life is dedicated to making sure the right bits go with the right sets, and doubtless re-attaching countless heads and finding the correct hair for rightful owners!
It’s not expensive here either, just about everything’s reasonable (including the entrance fee: – 10 Euros, free for under 3’s!) From food and drink (if you don’t want to bring your own) to the few experiences that you do pay for. Build your own Playmobil person cost 1 Euro for example (we constructed ours limb by limb before giving them a satisfying full body “compression” to make sure they didn’t lose their heads – quite literally)!
Panning for gold in “The Wild West” was a massive hit (as were the paddle boats which we didn’t have to queue for hours to use given the temperatures!) – whilst you wait your turn, you can also search for “precious stones” in the surrounding sandpit – something I was a little sceptical about, but as we stood and watched people around us really were uncovering tiny colourful stones left, right and centre (no diamonds though sadly!)…
“The Farm” proved popular too, and many a horse was washed and groomed. Cows were also milked, before we moved onto the giant Knight’s Castle – yet another great playground area. The Pirate Ship was also worth a clamber over and surrounding this are rafts to punt about on. But, sadly dear reader, after a few hours in Arctic conditions, the older members of our party were beginning to lose the feeling in their hands. Thankfully the welcome warmth of a hot chocolate (free cake – nice touch!), and another smiling face or two soon sorted that (I did find one of these faces quite scary however, but nobody else seemed to!)!..
And back at home it has rekindled an interest in the Playmobil residents in our house too, which is nice to see. A large (slightly Heironymous Bosch-esque) city consisting mostly of a vets practice (run by Saint Nicholas, a Snowman and an Alpine farm boy) is central to what can only be described as a massive adventure playground/free range zoo neighbourhood that has sprung up in our sitting room. And guess what? If it gets left out, I know that people are paid to sort it and put it away now… I take most forms of payment, even pocket-money!
Address: PlayMobil FunPark, Brandstätterstraße 2-10, 90513 Zirndorf, Germany
Phone:+49 911 96661455
*disclaimer – we were not asked to mention Playmobil Funpark in anyway, or recompensed for doing so…