My kids are huge Playmobil fans. It’s cool, because I was one growing up, and I love watching them play as I did when I was a little girl. Let me tell you, Playmobil has come a long way! There are so many worlds of imagination now, I can’t imagine a child who couldn’t find one they loved! I counted no less than 25 themes from Treasure Hunters and Pirates to Knights and Dragons to a Modern City and of course, my girls’ favorite, the Magic Castle. Filled with Princes and Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids and of of course, unicorns, the girls have no trouble imagining up life in the land of magic.
After a few years of waiting, Playmobil came out with the centerpiece of this land, the Princess Fantasy Castle, in August and we saw it ahead of time at the Playmobil Funpark in Florida. The girls loved it! We have been enjoying the castle for a couple of months and now you have the chance to win one of your own right here! What a fabulous holiday gift!
I want to tell you why we are such fans of Playmobil and then tell you a bit more specifically about this castle.
Why We Love Playmobil
First, as I mentioned, there are so many worlds to choose from! We have that covered.
What I really like is that the figures are right-sized. While the sets are meant for ages 4 and up, even a 4 year old can sometimes struggle to manipulate a smaller figure such as a Lego mini figure because of its size. Playmobil figures (grown-ups) stand about 3 inches tall, the perfect size for holding in your hand! They stand up easily (this is huge with my kids) and it is relatively easy to put things in their hands. Not only do the figures stand up, but they sit and move their arms and all that and let me tell you, these guys and gals know how to stay on a horse!
Let’s get all toy geeky here. It is not just me, the kids love this stuff too. The doors and windows open and close and even lock. The clothing is detailed. The Playmobil sets that make us flip are those with perfect detail. Miles adores all the zoo habitats he has and tells his friends about how animals live. Oh my the zoo even comes with teeny tiny animals for selling in the gift shop! The longer you have a Playmobil toy, the more you will notice and the better your kids will get at manipulating the pieces.
I must admit that I didn’t let my youngest play with all of the small pieces until just recently. Playmobil sets come with so many perfect accessories and it is part of what makes the toys so very wonderful, but it does mean that they are tiny! Imagine how big a fork is for a 3 inch girl.
Whether you choose one of Playmobil’s sets based on real life or you choose a fantasy set, the play is open ended and imaginative! All of our figures play together. The princess spies on the human zoo or the mermaid helps the deep sea diver explore the ocean. Miles has a veterinarian who takes care of the Knight’s dragons when they get sick. I have watched my kids create their own worlds and at ages 2, 4 and 6 it is amazing to see how stories will even continue from one day to the next. Also, because of their size, we let the kids take a few figures with when we go on car trips or to a restaurant and it makes them happy campers!
For something small and plastic, these toys last. If you check on eBay you will see Playmobil sets that are 20 years old and still look great! While the figures come apart and are fun to put back together, they don’t break. It seems to me that if they were larger, they might, but their size is perfect. The larger sets, such as the Princess Fantasy Castle, do have pieces that come off and in my opinion, it is great to watch how perfect a child’s memory is. They can put that piece back exactly where it goes. My kids play rough, and actually, they know that they can play a lot rougher with Playmobil than Lego or most of their other “big-kid” toys. The dragon can throw the princess in the air and she will live to see another day of play. The legs might come off an animal during surgery, but they can be popped right back on. Yes, it is all kinds of awesome.
Assembling the Playmobil Sets
Playmobil is not like Lego. In my opinion, the sets are not made for very young children to put together. The instructions are pictures and the kids understand the basics, but there are some complicated parts to the assembly. The large sets go together using these tiny attacher things in red or yellow and this fluorescent yellow tool that fits in the top and punches them in to the large piece. Even my 6 year old has trouble with it. When we assemble a Playmobil set, it is me doing it with the kids help. They always sit there the entire time and ask to help with whatever they can. I think it helps them to learn and of course, I always let them try before showing them how and / or doing it myself. Most of the large sets take between 45 minutes and 90 minutes to assemble because of the detail. Each flower bud is placed on the plants individually. Every torch is assembled and placed on the castle. I note this because if you are giving one of the sets as a holiday or birthday gift and don’t want to take the time they day of the holiday, you may want to assemble the set the night before and put a bow on it. If I had to estimate, I would say and 8-10 year old could put one of the larger sets together with minimal help from a grown-up.
The Princess Fantasy Castle
This castle is gorgeous and provides numerous areas of play. Please note that we purchased the castle addition so the girls could have one more room for a dressing room. See the rooms on the left? The second story is an add on. We already had so much Playmobil that we had furniture for the room. The castle comes with 5 rooms (6 if you include the throne area in the bottom of the left turret) plus tall turret, where figures can play on the balcony and there is an accessory bin that tucks into the tower. Usually my kids use the tower as a dungeon.
In addition to the rooms on the inside, we love to have balls in the front of the castle where the unicorns have space to pull up and the ladies can dance to their hearts delight. Actually, on the inside of the castle there is a little dance floor (you can see it nest to the treasure chest on the bottom floor) where you can insert two figures and watch them spin! The front of the castle has a garden and a balcony and is really just lovely. The castle comes with the two figures you see in front of the gates. Honestly, I think that this castle should have come with more figures. A family would have been awesome. If you were purchasing this castle on its own, I would say you should go ahead and get the dining room set because it comes with a full family, two grown-ups and two kids. Playmobil figures are not expensive on their own, but there are not a lot of royals available without purchasing some room or set.
You can see some of the detail here with the garden and the pond and the bedroom draperies.
I can’t talk about the castle without mentioning how awesome the royal ladies are. The guys are cool too and dressed to the nines but oh – the gowns on these girls! Basically the skirts snap on and off so the ladies can dance or be more casual. The great thing is, especially for young girls, that with the skirts on the figures can stand up anywhere! What a cute couple!
One of the great things about this castle is that there is play on all sides. Children can play together or play together but on their own without getting all up in each others stuff. Come now, you know that happens. Here you can see the turret that opens to reveal the bin that stores the accessories as well as the hiding place under the stairs (we use this all the time) and the dining room and upstairs rooms. The rooms are quite large and accommodate many figures.
As I said, we love Playmobil and we have a lot of Playmobil sets. My kids save their pennies for this stuff and put it on their list for every holiday. The girls set up the castle for the pictures and loaded on all of their figures and accessories. I took most of the figures off but I wanted to show you the beautiful sets that are available to go with the castle. I also want to make sure you know what comes with the castle. It is plenty to start a wonderful world of magic, but as I said, I do wish there were more figures included. Now you can see the detail though…a tea seat! And a crown that actually fits my girls!
Overall, we love this castle and my kids made a little video review of it. You will get a good view of the whole castle here and have a sense of it’s size. It’s big and awesome!
Win the Playmobil Princess Fantasy Castle
The gorgeous Playmobil Princess Fantasy Castle retails for $149.99 but you can win one right here! What a perfect gift for the holidays and one that will last!
Disclosure: Playmobil provided me with a Princess Fantasy Castle for review. We already loved Playmobil. Clearly all opinions are my own.