Playmobil's New Dinosaurs 4176 - 4 Wheeler 4173 - Pteranadon 4175- Amphibian Vehicle with Deinonychus 4174 - Spinosaurus, Babies and Explorers 4171 - T-Rex and Raptors
with Mr. Stinkhead
Ahhhhhhh! More dinosaurs! I loved the dinosaurs in ice theme that came out a few years ago, check out my review of T-Rex in Glacier, the baby dino egg, and the Dino skeleton in ice sets I picked up. Playmobil took a short break from the dinosaur theme, but now is back, in force, with 7 all new sets. That's right, these aren't the dinos repackaged, these are all new toys. There were so many that I split my review in half. I cover the first five sets here, and the larger two, in a few days. Also stay tuned for an upcoming video podcast
41764 Wheeler The smallest set of this run features a 4X4 and rider, and tons of gear. One of the reoccuring themes from reviewing this, um, theme, is that no matter how cool you think the toy is from first appearance, you'll be surprised with another level of cool shortly after you get your hands on it. With this set, I found the pull-back-and-zoom feature on the 4 Wheeler to be a nice surprise. Using a familiar friction engine, pull back on the buggy and let go, and it'll zoom ahead a few feet. This set is around $10, but it's fully packed with accessories. You get binoculars, a rifle, the map with compass, axe, GPS, flashlight and camcorder. There is a rack with leathery straps on the back of the quad that can hold all these (all though loosely, you may lose pieces with the slightest crash). I think I would have included one miniature dinosaur, just so that every set comes with one, but this is a nice set. You can pick this up at your local toy shop or playmobil.com
4173 Pteranadon At first I wasn't going to get this set, because on the box, you can see that the arms are not poseable, and that seemed so very important at the time, but here is suprise #2, this is one of my favorites now that it's in my hands. I'm not bothered by the arms not moving, the fins are a very flexible rubber. The big surpise here is that his mouth is spring loaded to clamp shut, so he can hold the included snake or fish in his beak. The tree he can pirch on has the newer type of branches, with fine rubber leaves. His hips and neck (at the shoulders) are hinged, so you can get more poses than I anticipated. I love how you can pose him on the tree, and he looks like he belongs in the Smithsonian. You can pick this up at your local toy shop or playmobil.com
4175 Amphibian Vehicle with Deinonychus
I think the dinosaur in this set has my favorite dino of this current batch, he's not the biggest, but he's perfectly pocket sized. Playmobil calls him a Deinonychus, but to me it shares characteristics with the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park. Anyway, he's got a great paint job, his legs, arms neck and jaw are articulated, he's just taller than a playmobil person, and he's got a great look. I like the Amphibian vehicle too. There are latches on the side in which you can clip on the shovel, axe and spear. There's an interesting steering wheel for the little guy to grip onto, and there's a large flashlight that can come off and be held by the playmobil guy. And it's a truly amphibious vehicle, the underbelly has a high arch that you can connect the speed boat motor (sold separately) to the underside so it will move around in the water yet it holds the motor high enough that the car can still roll on the ground... good touch.
The Deinonychus rides around in a special cage strapped onto the trailer. I like how the trailer has a kick stand, so it can remain level when disconnected from the vehicle, and the hitch is adjustable, as to connect to a variety of earlier vehicles. The trailer has a working wench and a loading ramp that slides out from under the bed. The cage is strapped down and can be removed from the trailer. At first it seemed confusing, but the strapping setup isn't really bad at all (just wait until you put all the rigging on the playmobil Pirate ship). I love how the padlock really works at keeping the cage door shut. Once you unlock it, you can raise the front of the cage and let the dino out. But for added play value (here's another surprise) the roof of the cage has break away bars so the dino can escape! The bars pop right back into place, and at a casual glance, the seams are well hidden. Nice!
You also get a cool looking prehistoric tree. Some of these designs may have been from earlier sets, but I am used to the backyard style trees, so these all seem new to me. I like having a bit of playmo-landscaping, and it's nice that most of the sets come with something to kick start the imagination as to the world you're playing in. (It's a Kodak World-- thanks Gene Simmons)
I also have to mention the meat, ever since the butcher set came out for the City theme a few years back, the raw meat pieces have been popping up in wonderful places. Amoung all the cool gear included in this set, you get a good slab of meat to feed to the dino through the bars. Sweeeet. You can pick this up at your local toy shop or playmobil.com
4174 - Spinosaurus, Babies and Explorers This Spinosaurus is my first massive playmobil dinosaur. He towers over the original T-Rex from 3170. He's got a beautiful paintjob, nice pointy teeth, and an opening jaw. You can tell that play was the top concept when designing all these dinosaurs. All of their jaws open and close, so they can do what dinos do best... chomp. (Well actually the two Spinobabies' jaws do not open, but alas). I like how you get a nice bit of prehistoric landscaping, the nest (which was also used as the hay in the manger for Baby Jesus in the Nativity set), two poseable baby dinos, three eggs, two explorers and loads of gear.
The surprise in this set is that the pointy teeth are a sturdy rubber, so they're not dangerours at all, but they can still hold people in their mouth. Good to know. The explorers come with vetinary equipment (such as a scalpel, and tweezers) and a stethescope. The tools fit (kinda tightly) in the SAURUS case. The magnifying glass actually magnifies. One could speculate on the possible story lines here. Playmobil very purposely does not promote story lines or strong characters. Given a blank slate, the child's imagination instantly provides the stories and characters, without any type of template for them to limit themselves against. Are these explorers that stumbled upon a Land of the Lost style dinohaven? Or are they employees at a Jurassic Park style dinoreserve? Jeez, look at me, I'm instantly bound to strong pop culture references instead of coming up with my own stories. Hopefully its nottoo late for my son. Tooooooo laaaate...
You can pick this up at your local toy shop or playmobil.com for about $25. There's plenty of stuff, and play value here, it's completely worth it.
4171 T-Rex and Velociraptors RAWWWWR! This T-rex is huge! At first I had assumed that this newly released T-Rex was just a new color of the old mold, but I was wrong, this set's surprise is that when playmobil pulls out the stops, you get some sweet dino carnage. Standing at about 8" tall, this Tyrannosaur has an opening jaw, moveable neck, moveable "tiny arms" and hips. No matter what pose you put him in, he looks ready to chomp something quick. Can something be just born looking hungry? Guess so.
They call these little orange guys Velociraptors... but they're not as tall, and don't have the pointy claws as the Deinonychus. Well I'll be a monkey in church (wrong) according to the internet, these dino names and sizes are much more accurate than the movies. Kudos playmobil. These two raptors have movable neck, arms and legs, but due to their size, their jaws do not open and close. They can chase the little orange lizard that comes with this set.
I like how the smaller creatures can hide in, under, and on top of the bayou-style tree stump. Again, this stuff looks perfectly fitted for the prehistoric era.
So you get the T-Rex, two raptors, a hard rubber Triceratops skull, a snake, and some sweet bog like landscapting. This is one of my favorite sets, based on how sweet the T-Rex is. But for $25, this set is a great value. You can pick this up at your local toy shop or playmobil.com
Stay tuned for part two of this review, where I look at the Triceratops with real exploding volcano, and Brachiasaurus with explorers, those sets are huge! In the mean time, check out the rest of our playmobil coverage.