I am a big time playmobil collector, and I love how there is new stuff coming out all the time, and old and rare stuff to save up for and track down. The latest of my "rare and hard to get" acquisitions is the Exclusive playmobil BMW Z4 roadster set. You may be thinking, cool, the two best design minds in Germany finally team up, well you're right, but to make it even cooler, you can only get one of these by taking a test drive at German BMW dealership! Created as a promotional item to get potential buyers to check out the new cars, BMW and playmobil teamed up to make this hot exclusive collectors' item. It's true that there are versions popping up in European stores, but they're either light yellow or robin's egg blue, and still hard to find. I had to get this dark electric blue at any cost.
I was planning a trip to France, so I contacted my German buddy playmoliver and asked if he could get one for me and we could meet up and trade. Essentially this was the equivelant to him asking me for Wave 4 Xevoz (which he did). Yeah, they're out there (kind of) but nigh-impossible to find. Much less one for trading. But the deal was on and we set out to load each other up with toys unavailable in our countries of origin.
I ended up providing Oliver a boat load of MezItz Aliens (they're in perfect scale to playmobil!) and a bunch of Xevoz that I was able to find. He in turn got me this absolutely beautiful BMW, and the new Butcher and Bank sets. Those two playsets should be available in American stores shortly, but I'm an impatient bastard.
The Box Before I can even get to the car, I had to take in the box. I love playmobil boxes. I used to hang them on my wall as art, because frankly... they are. I have since taken them down, but I am working on creating a collage to "wallpaper" my bathroom with. I'll show you that once it's done. So anyway, not only is the toy itself the perfect blend of two immeasurably brilliant camps of designers, the box is absolutely perfect. It's clearly playmobil, clearly BMW, but not like anything I had seen from either side. (I don't buy a lot from BMW, much less something that fits in a box) Playmobil never uses photographic backgrounds for their toys in their packaging, and BMW never sells things for the under-10 set. So it was a cool compromise. I love it. I'm never cutting it or flattening it.
The car is beautiful. Made of high-quality playmo-goodness, the car is exactly like most playmobil cars I have. (well the trunk doesn't open, but that's ok) The figures fit perfectly inside, the steering wheel is just right to accomodate klicky legs and klicky hands, and the hood opens. I kind of wished the doors opened, but then I realized none of my playmo car doors open, so that makes sense. There are little BMW insignias in the right place, and the clear head and tail lights are perfectly included. There is a button on the underside of the car that opens the hood for you, where you can see the BMW engine.
Other Brands For the most part, playmobil doesn't dabble too much in licensing. You'll never see a Batman playmobil (a legal Batman playmobil). Every set comes from their artist's translation of everyday items and places such as airports, butcher shops, guy-with-lawn-mowers... There are also many fanciful, inspired sets such as castles, the Old West, outer space, the Arctic, and Victorian styled pomp and circumstance. However, from time to time they do team up with a brand they like to make promotional versions of existing toys. When the airport set came out, there was a Lufthansa branded pilot and flight attendant that was given out to children on their planes. They even made a Lufthansa branded airplane available in their gift shop. Back in the day there was a Shell branded gas station. Just recently they made a DHL version of their mail delivery truck. No, we'll never see a FedEx playmobil. This BMW is the only set in playmo-history that was created from scratch and based on existing car, not a simple color branding of something already around. There is no roadster that looks anything like this in playmobil's catalog. Collectobil.com has some other promotional sets to check out.
I love this car. I have always been a fan of the BMW Z3, and playmobil even longer, so seeing this marriage, to me, was more perfect than Mr. and Mrs. Pacman.