Welcome to the Playmobil Playroom, where we take a monthly peek inside those impressive blue boxes and see what treasures await within. Sometimes we’ll have step-by-step photos walking you through assembly, maybe we’ll discuss and review a particular set or theme, or maybe we’ll have an unboxing video.
Today, we’re looking at three different small sets that are part of Playmobil’s carry case line. There are a lot of different carry cases (almost every theme has at least one), but today we’re focusing on the Space Exploration, Pirate Raider, and Family Picnic sets.
These small sets don’t have a lot of pieces (by Playmobil standards) and are meant to be small sets that kids can take with them (in the car, out and about, to playdates, and whatnot). Each comes packaged in a plastic carry case that can snap and lock shut. Admittedly, this is great for portability, even if it’s just around the house. Because, let’s face it, Playmobil sets are notorious for incredibly tiny pieces. In many cases, they put LEGO to shame.
The carry case sets are great additions to an existing collection, and if you have any of the other sets in these themes, they incorporate into them very easily. But with a little imagination, they also play with one another. Maybe that’s why my kids quickly had the pirate and astronaut in cahoots and the British officer showing the kid how to fire a cannon.
Again, though, I’m forced to comment on the gender breakdown in these sets. I suppose I can understand why the pirate and British officer are male, but did the astronaut need to be male? I get that these sets are small and don’t come with a lot of pieces, but the Space Exploration set could’ve easily come with a second (female) astronaut. After all, who goes to the moon by themselves? And the “family picnic” set sure does seem like a single or stay-at-home mom taking the kids out for a stroll. Why no dad here? For such small sets, this normally wouldn’t merit a complaint, but this seems to be a more pervasive issue in many Playmobil sets.
- Product Numbers: 9101, 9102, 9103
- Number of Pieces: 54, 62, 62 pieces
- Number of figures: 1 adult (male); 2 adults (2 male); 1 adult (female), 1 toddler (female), 1 baby
Ease of Build:
On a scale of 1-5, these are toward the lower end of the spectrum and are probably about a 2. There aren’t that many pieces, and most of them are accessories. There’s not a lot to actually build in any of the sets.
- The carry cases are one of the biggest selling points here. You can keep the sets inside for storage, or just cram them full of your favorite Playmobil toys for road trips or playdates.
- Space Exploration: Clearly, it’s the moon buggy, though the astronaut is also pretty outstanding.
- Pirate Raider: The pirate and British officer figures are cool, but the best part of this set is probably all of the booty! You get a treasure chest, a bunch of gold coins, and a couple golden statues. Oh, there’s also a working cannon.
- Family Picnic: The accessories are the clear winner here. The set comes with a tricycle, stroller, teddy bear, doll, balloon, squirrels, and birds. It’s a treasure trove of little bits!
Surprisingly, for such small sets, they do pack in a lot of playability. Even though the carry cases are intended to be portable (and they are), they obviously combine with one another and every other Playmobil set out there. On their own, kids might grow tired of them after a while (especially the Pirate Raider set, which probably has the least playability), but that’s kind of to be expected. These are designed to be small, inexpensive sets that can be carried with you. Obviously, you’re not going to get huge, elaborate sets that will occupy kids for hours on end.
Two thumbs up! The moon buggy, unique figures, and family/picnic accessories were standout highlights. They also love the carry cases themselves and use them to cart around all types of stuff. Gender issues among the figures aside, these are really great sets that help fill out your collection and add fun features to an existing world. They’re also perfect gift ideas (for all those last-minute birthday parties the kids get invited to).
(Disclosure: These Playmobil sets were provided free of charge for review purposes. All opinions remain our own.)