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Click herespacerPlaymobil's Set 3170 Dinosaur Discovery
with Mr. Stinkhead

Long time playmobil aficionados have longed for a dinosaur-themed playmobil set for years. The contention from Playmobil being that all of their sets are in scale and relate directly to the playmobil people. (Also referred to as klickies) Being that humans and dinosaurs never co-existed, there would never be a dinosaur done in the playmobil treatment. That is until now. Currently available in Germany (and in America early next year) comes set 3170, Dinosaur Discovery. Now there is a whole series of arctic-based sets with either frozen dinos or dino bones, and plenty of explorers with tools to dig them out.

Click hereThis set features a big chunk of ice with two heavily prepared explorers. They have the necessary tools such as a chainsaw, ice hammers, and crowbars to free the beast—a playmobil Tyrannosaurus Rex. There's even a video camera to document all of the action. This is one of the few sets where the base or environment is a big part of the intended play.

Click hereI've never had a playmobil chainsaw before. One of my favorite things about Playmobil is that all of their sets are in scale to each other. Every set they've made since 1974 is compatible. The knights can interact with the astronauts, who can drink the beer from the cowboy's saloon. Ah yes, beer, the biggest reason I love playmobil is their deviant, anti-PC humor that is perfectly acceptable in Germany, but not on our fine shores. Check out my primer for some other great sets that would not pass muster from the folks at Hasbro or Mattel.

The ice glacier base is fully compatible with existing rock forms from previous sets, so I could go crazy connecting other "rocks" I have with this one. But I am a purist, so I keep my sets relatively intact. You can also purchase a variety of additional rock forms from their parts dept, to build up as large as you'd like.

Click hereThe ice has a cool frosting effect; some areas are completely clear, others are quite cloudy. Little creative touches like this, make this playset one of my favorites. The ice also holds several handles so that the playmoexplorers can climb all over the thing. I like how the set gives plenty of options for display, but also plenty of play ideas before and after you crack out the dinosaur. The explorers also have a rope ladder to hook onto the handles.

Click hereThe dino is easily freed by lifting off the cover. A lot of (non-playmobil) playsets have either difficult-to-operate play functions, or are extremely hard to get right. A nice benefit of this set is that it's intended for five year old hands. Yes, there is not as much fine detail, but this set will last you a lifetime. Warning to parents: though this set is great for young children, there are tiny pieces that could be easily swallowed, so this set is not good for homes with infants.

Click hereThe dinosaur himself has that great Playmobil look and feel. His jaws, little bitty arms, and legs are poseable, and his tail provides balance for most positions. Some of the more vocal playmobil fans have expressed dissatisfaction with the newly redesigned horses (me included), fearing that these toys will lose their graphic designy edge. This dinosaur clearly cements the fact that the designers know what they're doing, and are keeping the tradition alive, even with a brand new subject matter.

Click hereI love this set and am looking at tracking down some of the other dino-themed sets. There's an iced over pond (review) where you can pick out the bones (and then assemble the bones into a full skeleton), a dinosaur egg (review), and Anklyosaur and plenty of arctic explorers to add to your mix. The figures are a slight throw-back to the elusive Eskimo set we may never see again.

If you are even slightly intrigued by the mystery that is playmobil, you will definitely be impressed with this set. Be sure to check out the Dino Egg and Skeleton Excavation set, as well in addition to the rest of our Playmobil coverage for more material and some great links.

I have made a full-page PDF of the backdrop used in these images. You can print this out and line them up to tape to the wall behind your display. There is a little notice at the bottom in gray text, and that may be cut off before you use the backdrop. The mountains and northern lights are lined up to tile, so you can put as many as you'd like next to each other. (trim the border of course). This file requires Adobe Acrobat reader, and is about 118K. Click the image to download. Print out this Backdrop
click here to download

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All images and article © 2004

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