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Playmobil Mars

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Today NASA JPL is landing the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars. Did you know there’s a drone in the rover and they will be the first in history to fly a helicopter device on another planet? Wow. Anyway, as we’re watched the live landing, I set up a Mars photoshoot with some of the recent Playmobil Space playsets. Click below to check it out!

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Here is the updated space rover. The original 1980s Playmospace rover was one of my favorite toys. I never quite got a thrill from later playmobil incarnations of space vehicles, but this one seems to be a direct “descendant” of the 80s verion. The attention to the wheels and axels, the slopped up rear, the overall shape reminds me of my favorite space ship as a kid.
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Now, one tiny nitpick about the newer Mars rover, was that its predecessor, this rover above, had really cool axels that rocked side to side so it could go over uneven terrain. It’s a really simple gimmick, but it was cool. The new Mars rover has really cool looking shocks (or whatever) visible on the outside, but they don’t do anything, and this one is less mobile than the older one. Ah well. The new one has lights and sounds and a bunch of tools that attach to the actuated arm on the back.
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Now the Mars base on the other hand, is a tremendous upgrade from the original, but still retains the original’s charm. The overall shape and a bit of the interior are a lot like the original. But now there’s modular capsules that attach, much like the International Space Station. There’s a sleeping pod and a botany lab. I like how the original base had a rotating command center at the center, and that is replaced with an exercise bike.
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I also love the airlocks and computer stations. The helmets have a platform when they’re not being used, it reminds me of the opening of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Speaking of storage there’s also lots of drawers for all the tools and food packets. I don’t know if the playmobil design team watched The Martian with Matt Damon and thought to themselves “there is no way a child will pretend to use poop to grow potatoes, add more food packets!”
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The original space station however is fantastic though. There are beds, a lab, and tons of little details. One thing is that the landing gear folds up so it can also be a spaceship. The new lab does have rockets on the bottom, that even light up and make noise, but those landing pads do not fold up. So I’m less likely to zoom it around the room and making rocket noises.
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I really like the “return to form” of these Space sets. The Playmospace line from the 80s was absolutely my favorite toy to make up adventures with when I was little. The 90s era Playmobil Space line was alright, but it was too free-form and didn’t really appeal to me. It wasn’t based on anything “accurate” but also not stylish enough to form its own identity. It was modular so you could reconfigure it in many ways, but it was too generic for my taste.
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These contemporary space sets are available now. You can also follow along NASA’s Perseverance rover, Mars’ newest resident.

Playmobil Mars

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