Playmobil is among one of the most well known names in our family, we have one nephew who sleeps, eats and dreams Playmobil. He is going on five now and every birthday, Christmas or other special occasion puts Playmobil at the top of the list.
I have to be totally honest and say that although it is relatively expensive it is so well made and true to life that it is worth the amount of money that you pay for it.
Like any child he loves to sit and browse through the latest Playmobil catalogue and while we endlessly look at the prices he eyes up the latest kit with anticipation and excitement.
Because Playmobil is so interchangeable it makes it worth while to buy. Although the kits come with a theme, many of the figures and accessories can be swapped and changed around to suit the child's imagination.
The detail that goes into Playmobil is second to none, the figures all have moving joints and can be set into many different stances. Many of the figures have removable parts too, foe example the hats and armour, the swords and shields can all be interchanged.
I know from experience that Playmobil offers any child a creative experience that will keep them totally absorbed for hours.
Like most Grandparents we like to confer with base camp before we buy our grandchildren anything, if their parents know what we are going to buy in advance then it makes the process such a lot easier.
Last Christmas this was where the Playmobil catalogue came in handy, our daughter was able to assign an item to each family member, we paid for it and then it was ordered online through the Playmobil website.
Maybe it took away a little bit of the fun for us but at least we knew that he wasn't going to end up with duplicated toys.
The Playmobil animal farm was a birthday and Christmas present combined because it cost £49.99. But when we saw the set we were as thrilled with the set as the child was.
The farm set comes in a brightly coloured cardboard box, the set number is marked on the front of the box as is the makers name and then a good and detailed picture of what the kit contains appears too.
The stables, hayloft and farmyard have to be assembled before play begins, usually Mum sets to work and as she puts it together the parts are secured using glue. This is one of the stages that a young child cant take part in, the glue is better kept away from little fingers and the Playmobil set needs time to dry properly.
The main building comprises of a central double storey building, the upper part is the hayloft and it has an ingenious working winch to lower the hay bales.
To the left of the main building Playmobil have attached an animal pen with double yellow gates and to the right of the set are the stables.
Don't forget that Playmobil have designed this as a working farmyard so it has the equipment that any true farmer would own.
There are three figures, the Farmer, his wife and a farmhand and each of these three figures have heads that turn 360 degrees.
Of course no farmyard would be complete without animals and Playmobil have provided a couple of great pink pigs, a black and white cow with a calf, some tiny yellow chickens, a rooster, a duck and last but not least the Farmyard dog.
Playmobil have taken into account that busy Farmers have to keep on the move and have included some fencing panels, a manure container and food and water troughs that can all be placed anywhere within the farmyard.
A silver wheelbarrow with bright red handles is on hand to help fill the food troughs and for use in general farm work.
A good long ladder is supplied along with a complete set of tiny farmyard tools, including a pitch fork, a scythe, an axe, a watering can and a three legged stool for when milking time comes along.
For added realism Playmobil have also included a set of three tall stemmed sunflowers, a larger stand alone tree and a couple of bits of greenery.
When you look at the set and realise how intricate it is, only then can you realise why the set costs as much as it does.
Every door on the Playmobil farmyard opens, the jointed figures move to many different positions, there is a working winch to help with the heavy tasks and the whole set is far more than just a toy.
The whole wondrous thing about Playmobil is the ability to add to the childs collection in dribs and drabs. Sometimes the pirates are drafted into the Farmyard to work a shift if the Farmer and his wife need a day off!
Lots of other figures find themselves working in the stable and of course we have a pick of many Playmobil vehicles for transportation.
It is hard to find anything negative about Playmobil in general, but if the kits get spread out on the floor to play with then you have to be careful not to tread on the tiny parts and also to make doubly sure that they are all picked up at the end. When my grandson has gone home I am forever finding tiny components and have had to search the Hoover bag when I have sucked one up by accident.
The figures always seem to end up being stored away in biscuit tins or plastic lunch boxes. Usually the major parts (ships, buildings etc) remain in his bedroom standing on large sheets of plywood.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Playmobil to anyone, it allows the child to think for themselves, to be creative and also to work out how things can work in real life. Our grandson cant wait to get to work on any new set he may be bought and he just bubbles over with excitement at the fun of it all.
Model: Animal Farm / With stalls for cows and pigs / Working cable winch for transporting supplies up to the barn / The door way is wide enough for tractors to pass through / 21.2x16.1x12.2 (LxWxH)