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Playmobil’s Interactive DVD



We heard about Playmobil’s plan to release an interactive DVD at last year’s Toy Fair and couldn’t wait to check it out. Now that we have it in our hands and have watched it a few times (even with kids, to boot) we’re ready to tell you what we think. Check out review below.

The toy ship featured in the movie

Overall
The movie itself is pretty enjoyable to a playmobil collector. Everything in the movie is legitimate playmobil stock. Everything from the city car, to the house to the trees. The animators took a few liberties with things like mountains, but they were sure to make them segmented, or add System X holes to make it look like it belonged in the playmobil universe. I loved seeing my beloved playmobil come to life. Yes, it is essentially a commercial for all things playmobil, but its pretty enjoyable.
Will the kids like it?
Yes! Both our 2 and a half year old and 4 year old viewer got a kick out of seeing their toys moving and singing and getting into pirate adventures. And yes, it is a pirate adventure. Two kids go off exploring in their grandparents’ attic, their imagination gets the better of them, and they end up on a pirate ship with a dastardly crew. There’s giant octopi, skeleton zombies, a voo doo king, treasure, a mummy, and even a rock band tossed in. The adventure is light and fun, and most importantly, it’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” style, where several times through out the film, the kids stop and ask the audience, “Which should we do?” Each choice does shape the outcome a little bit, but some choices play a short scene, and then let you make the other choice. (The last choice changes the whole ending though, so be sure to watch both sometime!) There’s also Captain Gruff’s Favorite Movie, which will play through with pre-chosen scenarios, and that one takes about 50 minutes.

There are songs with music-video style montages. They were fun, and not too annoying. The kids were pretty funny, and the pirates were entertaining. Young kids that like playmobil, or pirate movies will enjoy this DVD.

The thing I liked about it the most was that, though there were characters and story lines, I didn’t think that repeat viewings would negatively influence play. One of playmobil’s long running doctrines is that they don’t do licensed characters, as to not inhibit the child’s imagination and allow them to come up with their own story lines and characters. The format of the story follows two kids who use their imagination and get into various adventures with some well meaning pirates. Sure, your kids could re-enact the DVD with available playsets, but its still so open-ended, I don’t see it ever becoming hindering.

Will Parents Like It?
As far as an enjoyable 50 minutes or so of time watching a movie with your young kids? Yes, it is enjoyable. Parents know that kids love watching the same thing over and over, so the Choose Your Adventure capability helps this DVD stand out above and beyond other kiddie DVDs. The one con is that your kids may start begging you for the large pirate ship (it is an awesome playset) the Skull Island playset, or other various playmobil toys. The songs aren’t bad, and I actually find myself wishing playmobil made figures of the rock band.

Is it a commercial?
Are you paying $12 for a glorified commercial? That’s the iffy area. In all honesty, I would share this DVD with my son even if it just featured CGI pirates that didn’t have a toy line associated with it. Would I watch it a second time by myself? No, but because it’s playmobil, I don’t mind the repeat viewings.

There is a story, there is an interactive element, and it is safe entertainment. It plays up morals and shows that compassion can trump violence. The interactive component and the light and easy story line should keep your kids’ imaginations soaring. And if you’re a playmobil fan, I can’t emphasize how entertaining it was to watch.

You can buy this DVD at many toy stores and online at Amazon.com. Check out our earlier review of the Playmobil pirate ship featured in this DVD.
Watch the trailer for the DVD.


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