I first heard about this Roman theme shortly before the
German Toy Fair earlier this year. I was blown away by the
pictures of the gladiators and chariots and the extra large
Colosseum. To be honest, I had recently been pretty despondent with the new toys
coming out this year, there wasn't a whole lot I was looking forward
to. And this is the very first playmobil theme where
I wanted at least one of everything. I usually pick and
choose sets from the Pirates or Castle lines, but I frankly
wanted it all when it came to these Romans. Then we found
out it wasn't coming out until September. If you think February
to September is too long to wait, it gets worse. Americans
get everything playmobil makes one year after they
are released in Germany. So it would be September
2007 before these sets hit American shores. It
was almost too tortuous to look at a calendar. Sorry
honey, I forgot our anniversary because I cannot bear to
see how many more months I have before the Romans arriveno,
I didn't buy you an anniversary gift because I'm saving
up to buy the playmobil Romans sets. Do you not listen to
me at all?! That's when I'd run out of the room sobbing,
and call my mother.
So, Mr. Stinkhead, what makes you so special?! Yes, how did I circumvent that whole pesky, wait-another-year to get these? I have family currently stationed in Germany, and they were able to drive into town and buy me these sets and mail them to me pretty cheap. Unfortunately, I cannot give you the hook-up. I can tell you however, that very soon, these sets should be available at the Playmobil Fun Park in Orlando FL. To my knowledge, they don't ship, but perhaps it's worth the plane ticket? Maybe my review will convince you. Maybe there's a generous reader out there who lives near Orlando?
The box is huge. It's the size of the Pirate Ship (3940)'s
box. As I'm sorting the pieces, I'm realizing this thing
is bigger than I had planned. I had gone out a week earlier
and purchased a folding card table from Target so I could
display this thing, but once it's all set up, it actually
kisses the edge of the 3 foot wide table. Can you believe
this? Now, it took me about one full hour to set up the
entire Colosseum, chariots and characters. There were quite
a few stickers, quite a bit of System X assembly (requires
placing little yellow joiners into holes) and matching pieces.
It's not difficult, and I was on such a German plastic high,
that I didn't notice how much time it took until I looked
at my watch. The main circle consists of two types of walls,
there are two sections of tiered seating (on either side
of the gate piece) and the the rest of the circle is a skinnier
wall. Once these come to America, I should be able to contact
the Parts dept and purchase more sections with seating,
and swap them out one by one. But right now, this thing
is so big, it doesn't fit in the space I have for it, so
I'll need to invest in new shelves first.
When you first look at it, it's just an amazing piece by itself,
but believe it or not, there's some cool play features worked
in. I like how there are separate holding areas for the
lions and tigers, you can load them from outside of the
arena and then release them into the interior. The coolest
little surprise is that there is a trap door
right above one of the cages. So if the emperor takes a
disliking to one of his entourage, he can drop you straight
into the cage with the lions by pulling a lever. Nice!
I love the marble statues. They feature typical playmobil
articulation, however they cannot bend over as far if they're
wearing the tunic piece. (One gets a tunic, the other a
cape) You can put any playmobil accessory in their hands,
and they can turn their heads and arms, so you can pose
them anyway you wish. I will definitely be ordering more
of these from Parts Dept next year.
You get four gladiators with this set, my pictures also include
the Gladiator Special which is available now in America by himself, usually for $3 or less. You can switch around
their weapons and armor, and if you, like me, buy a bunch
of extras, you can make each one individual. They come with
swords, shields, different helmets, snap-on armor, a trident,
and a net. You can have them fight each other, or the included
lion and tiger. You can also easily purchase more of these
right now. However, at the rate my figures are going, I'll
definitely need more gladiators than tigers. When it comes
to fighting wild animals, you don't really get a chance
to learn from your mistakes and try harder next time. There
is no I in team, but to these lions and tigers, "team" is
"meat" spelled backwards. [Ed note: Where are
you getting this crap?]
The Chariots Oh man, I love looking at these chariots. The black and red chariot with two horses is included with this set. My photos also include the blue and gold, four horse chariot, sold separately. Both feature little plugs on the base for the figure's feet to cling onto. That's a nice little touch. They also have spinning wheels with spikey blades attached. I could see myself buying and customizing more chariots in the future. The horses all attach to the harness, and then there's a soft rubber "reins" that the driver can hold onto.
Overall I was so, so, so excited to get this set, that I honestly started losing sleep when I learned my cousin had actually located a set and dropped it in the mail. With this type of build-up, it's tough, because you know the actual experience may pail next to what you were anticipating. Not true with this set. It is better than I had imagined. I've only had it four days, but I find myself sneaking into the basement to gaze at it lovingly like you would a Christmas tree and a mug of eggnog, and Jingle Cats playing in the background. Ok, I gotta put that album away, though Christmas came early for the Stinkhead House, it is only September, and it's about as appropriate as telling pudenda jokes to a 14 year old.
I am in love with this set. I do not wish it were smaller, I wish my shelving was bigger. I wish I could force myself to pack up some of the crap in my basement so I could showcase this amazing set better. Any fan of the movie Gladiator, or ancient Romans in general would also love this set. Being playmobil, it's durable, fun to look at, and in my mind, as perfect as you can get. Right now I'm going to go lay on my stomach on the floor making horse noises as my chariots race. Then I have a full afternoon putting together my wish list for the Parts Dept.
lot of people have been dying to know how much these all
cost, well if you add up the Tent, Mounted Soldier, Catapult,
Emperor, 3 Specials, and this Colosseum, it was around €150,
or $200 USD. I still want to get more soldiers and that
fantastic looking boat. I'll report on what the prices are
like at the Playmobil Fun Park next month. In the meantime,
you absolutely must check out the official Playmobil
Roman web site. Ok, it's in German, but there are
some cool flash games, and a break down of all the items
offered in this line. Sweet.
If you haven't yet, check out the other Roman themed playmobil that came out with this set. This concludes this playmobil week on MillionairePlayboy.com, but we're never done, we will be reviewing more playmobil from the Roman line later next month. Check out and bookmark our archive of playmobil articles, including the free backdrops you can print out to hang behind your toy shelves, and the rest of the playmobil Roman line!
A note about the images. All of the images in the yellow box (immediately below) feature only pieces that came with this particular set. After that, I incorporated other playmobil pieces.
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