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Click herespacerPlaymobil Television Studio (c. 1982)
manufactured by Lyra
with Mr. Stinkhead

I am foaming at the mouth waiting for the new Roman Gladiator playmobil set due to come out in late 2007 (in America). In the mean time, I am stocking up on classic playmobil sets from yesteryear. I really don't like that word. Some old guy from yesteryear made it up while trying to make the stuff from his childhood more profitable today.

I most recently reviewed the Vintage Knights from 1976. Back in the day (now that's more my style) playmobil Germany would license out the designs for other countries to make their own sets. That particular set was manufactured for America by Schaper. Today's television studio equipment came from a company called Lyra and was made in Greece. It is a reasonable copy of the playmobil set 3531 Studio Crew from 1980. Note, this is not a bootleg, rather an officially licensed playmobil product. But since die-hard collectors prefer the 100% playmobil sets, Lyra and Schaper sets are sometimes easier to get a hold of at more reasonable prices.

Click hereI have an odd infatuation with television studios. I could sit and watch scenes from movies (or TV movies) that takes place in a television studio from the 70s or 80s. I love films like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Scrooged and even crap like that behind-the-scenes of Three's Company that was on a few years ago, solely for that purpose. Death to Smootchie doesn't do it for me. [Ed note: But why haven't you watched Network yet?!] I don't know what it is about making television from the 70s and 80s. It was more innocent, people believed they were making magic. Not just ratings. Of course I was born in the 70s, and television was magic. So that blows my whole justification.

So here is what I have found to be the best action figure playset of a television studio in ages. There was Krusty's Studio playset from the World of Springfield line, but this is infinitely better.

Click hereJust a quick note about this particular set. The box had been opened, and as you can see, has some minor shelf wear, but the bags inside were unopened and complete! The one thing missing from the box, sad to say, was the directions and catalog packet. I'm pretty well versed in playmobil assembly to not really need the directions. It would have been nice to have the part numbers, and the old catalog to gaze through, but getting the set mint for $20 was a steal. When I opened each baggie, the plastic pieces felt a little greasy. They had been sealed in those plastic baggies for roughly 24 years, and the natural process of plastic over time will produce this result, but it wasn't bad, and I kept on trucking. I don't recommend buying vintage sets for kids, but if you were to go this route, be sure to check it out and maybe clean it up a bit before giving it to the little ones.

Click hereWhat do you get? Lemme tell ya! I love the television camera. It's big and bulky and just screams classic TV of yesteryear —dagnabbit! I just can't stop. There's the camera, two large, adjustable spot lights, and a boom mic stand. Actually the cool part is that you can detach the mic from the boom and use it as a second hand-held. Each of these items sits nicely in a blue circular base, like you see in footage of classic television. Each of these bases has a small peg in which you can attach a length of playhose, which you can then attach to the "power supplies." I love how they have all these additional details to add more realism to the set.

You get two technicians, one female (who I guess could be a technician too, but in my 1982 era un-PC thinking, she was an on-the-scene reporter!), a director (regie!) and a clown. This clown is actually classier than other playmobil clowns I have seen. I don't know what he's going to do with the trumpet and the fan, but if it's worth broadcasting, I'll watch.

Click hereOh the Things You Can Do
One of the things I love about playmobil is how they are grouped in different themes. Themes like Old West, space, jungle exploration, zoo, knights, city life, etc. With this TV set, you can incorporate it with any of the existing playsets you have. So if [you] your kids stopped playing with the playmospace set, for example, you could buy the TV studio set and use the cameras and gear to recreate the 1969 staging of the "moon" landing. Haha... the possibilities are limitless, and it helped revitalize interest in toys you already own.

Why was the television studio discontinued? All great playmobil gets discontinued at some point. According to Collectobil.com, it was retired in 1985. Maybe five years was long enough, maybe the whole "too much TV is bad for kids" was taken to heart. I'll never be a parent between the years of 1980 and 1985, that's impossible. Like putting people on the moon. So I'll never know.

I would love to see playmobil revisit this theme and perhaps bring it back like they did with the zoo and old west sets. They could even incorporate that System X studio I designed completely from existing parts. Heh heh.

0Oh, speaking of revitalizing old sets, you can download and print out these tiling backdrops I made. Each one matches a different theme, and can be tiled horizontally to match the width of your shelf or display! And be sure to check out the rest of my playmobil articles.

You can also visit Playmobil.com

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All images and article ©2006 MillionairePlayboy.com.






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