January 22, 2009

The glories of Playmobil

A week or two ago, this image showed up on Neatorama and was mocked as an example of showing the darker side of our current times to our kids. The rest of the text, however, mentioned that the link finder found the rest of the customer reviews hilarious, so I went checking.

Here's what I found over at Amazon...
I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush). ~loosenut
Thank you Playmobil for allowing me to teach my 5-year old the importance of recognizing what a failing bureaucracy in a ever growing fascist state looks like. Sometimes it's a hard lesson for kids to learn because not all pigs carry billy clubs and wear body armor. I applaud the people who created this toy for finally being hip to our changing times. Little children need to be aware that not all smiling faces and uniforms are friendly. I noticed that my child is now more interested in current events. Just the other day he asked me why we had to forfeit so much of our liberties and personal freedoms and I had to answer "well, it's because the terrorists have already won". Yes, they have won.

I also highly recommend the Playmobil "farm fencing" so you can take your escorted airline passenger away and fence him behind bars as if he were in Guantanamo Bay. ~ Zampano
I like the basic idea. I applaud Playmobile for attempting to provide us with the tools we need to teach our children to unquestioningly obey the commands of the State Security Apparatus, but unfortunately, this product falls short of doing that. There's no brown figure for little Josh to profile, taser, and detain? Where are all the frightened plastic Heartlanders pointing at the brown figure as they whisper "terrorist?" Where are the hippy couple figures being denied boarding passes? And shouldn't someone be forcing a mother figure to drink her own breast milk? ~ Gen. JC Christian, patriot
It seems like some of the Amazonians are a little bothered by Playmobil's newest playsets. Me, I'm more bothered by the fact that the cost of the TSA checkpoint is over $50 - for three figures and a small playset.

I checked out a few of the other Playmobil sets to see if the prices held true, and I was amazed to find that the Playmobil Police Checkpoint with two figures and minimal accessories was $49.99. Plus it appears that the same group of reviewers has been at work:
This playset is one of the best purchases I have made for my three-year-old. In the past, when we have been stopped at roadblocks, or when during one of Daddy's arrests, he would start crying uncontrollably. Now, after playing with this for the past several months, he is perfectly docile.

As an adjunct to this product, I would also recommend that you purchase the Playmobil Armed Standoff Playset, Fisher-Price Little People Battering Ram, and the Nerf Tear-Gas Canister Deployment Gun.

Bill of Rights sold separately. ~ Christopher Barber "gooseman"
I was pretty pumped to get this model. After my Leviathan teddy-bear burst at the seams and my Guantanamo slip and slide tore into several pieces, I was looking for a petty distraction as durable as state tyranny itself.

Finally, I found the Playmobil Police Checkpoint. It's everything a colorful plastic method of indoctrination should be: mobile, plastic, and filled with red warning signs. I love setting it up outside my house. That way I feel like I have to show papers to get in. I know I own it, but it's cooler if the state lets me in. They know best.

Still, I have a complaint about this darling set. I mean, I'm no curmudgeon, and I hate to nit-pick, especially over such a usefully didactic toy. But I must-

No taser? ~ JohnnyOrlowskawitz "Johnny O."
Seriously, folks, I think you might be taking things a bit too far. Playmobil is just trying to give the kids a glimpse into the world around them. Take, for example, the Playmobil Safe Crackers set which is more reasonably priced at under $20.

Here's what one reviewer had to say about this set:
These guys are absolutely fabulous. They got right to work when we took them out of the box and quickly showed their stuff. They have gotten bored with the supplied safe and I've been having to keep them occupied by buying other kinds of locks and safes to keep them occupied, which has been hard because I seem to be misplacing money. I've even lost a credit card or two, now!

The wife seems to like them, too. She especially likes the little blond one and keeps talking about how he really has a heart of gold. She also points to the rather fancy Playmobil yacht that I'd only recently noticed (odd that, I don't remember buying that one for the kids) and keeps saying she bets he really knows how to "treat a woman like the princess she deserves to be treated as". I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but overall she seems happy, so I'm not complaining. Overall a great toy! ~ RunDown
See, that's much happier.

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