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Click herespacerPlaymobil Deluxe Knight set (c. 1976)
Schaper Deluxe Set
with Mr. Stinkhead

Ooh! New playmobil! (Well, new to me) Actually this is the oldest playmobil in my collection. Dating to 1976. One year before I was born. The coolest thing about collecting playmobil, to me anyway, is that there is new stuff coming out, there is old stuff to track down, there are exclusives, and there's not a ton of competition. (There's competition, just not a ton).

Click hereAnyway, Lando got me this set for Christmas. Wow... not only is the box in great condition (not mint, but still solid), not only is it complete, but the chrome pieces are all shiny! Yes, yes, I am easily distracted by shiny objects, however it is a proven fact that small children like to lick and bite shiny things, particularly chrome playmobil pieces. So here is a set that not only survived losing pieces under the couch or in the neighbor's yard... it also survived the fickle tongue of time. I am thrilled.

A quick playmo lesson. Playmobil was first introduced in Germany in 1974. Companies such as Schaper and Mattel licensed the sets to manufacture and sell them here in the US. This particular knight set was produced by Schaper in 1976. (Mattel was involved only in 1985). After that, they established Playmobil USA which handles domestic distribution today. Told you that was quick.

Click hereWhat to tell you about the set? Well allow me to point out the small details that distinguish this set from its contemporary counterparts. First off, every "klicky" (playmo-collector-speak for an individual playmobil person) has the same basic body. In 1986 playmobil introduced different molds for the torso, the feet, the hair, even the body type (fat vs. skinny). Secondly, the hand is part of the arm. In 1982, the hands became a separate piece of plastic that could revolve. In recent years they developed short-sleeved playmobil who have a (seemingly) seamless wrist that rotates beautifully. These figures also have the traditional flat feet.

Click hereYou get six figures (with different colored arms and legs), a throne, table, two benches (one dude has to stand!), four horses, a weapons' rack, and a whole host of shiny accessories! You get two scepters (heck yeah) a crown, five helmets, two trumpets, two spears, lances, swords, plates, chalices, and there are red plastic shields and capes of varying length (importance). I love contemporary playmobil, don't get me wrong, but the artsy part of me likes the modular design of a singular body with different accessories. (Back in the day, the native americans were the same as the construction workers, just different accessories).

Click hereMy favorite part of the whole set is the flip-up lid to the box. You can see all of the pieces inside without disturbing them from their plastic tray. On this particular set, the cellophane is missing, but otherwise the box is in good condition.

When you actually handle the figures, you'll notice that the plastic from back then seems lighter, but it's still solid. That's one of the wonderful things about collecting playmobil. They'll be in great condition for your kids one day. (If you let them play with them of course. I know I will have a box that is "Daddy's toys, no touching")

So now I'm looking to get some other old sets like this one, while also hunting down new sets straight from Germany. With the current state of affairs in the action figure collecting world, this is my safe haven.

Check out the rest of our playmobil coverage, and swing by my favorite two playmo places (message board) and (online directory of sets). You can also visit the mother of all playmo sites, the official

There's an indispensible book for collectors, available here, but keep in mind the next edition is coming out this year!

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All images and article ©2006

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