Review > Playmobil Santa Claus & Elf Set (5846)


While shopping at Target the other day, I came across this little Playmobil set as part of what seemed to be a general stocking-stuffer section. There were a few other toys too, ranging from Transformers figurines to the usual Hot Wheels cars and so forth. Since I remember back when pretty much any toy you found in such a section was cheap crap, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection. This set cost $3.

I love Christmas-themed toys because, since they double as decorations, I can buy toys from lines I don’t collect. I’m not in the Playmobil loop, but much like Lego, this ostensibly child-oriented franchise has been building a strong collector following for years. Originally developed in Germany in the 1970s, Playmobil now has an incredibly wide range of products–everything from pyramids to the much-discussed airport security checkpoint.

Packaging: Exactly how many countries are Playmobil toys sold in? Judging from the number of languages the child safety warning is written in on the back, about a kajillion! Or maybe thirty.

Anyway, it’s a fairly standard blister card, though I do like the color scheme.

Design & Sculpt: Playmobil is a German company, and this is clearly not your traditional American Santa Claus. The beard and the red clothes with the white trim are familiar, but the cape and the stick/staff are not accoutrement I normally associate with Old Saint Nick. The overall look of the figure reinforces his possible origins in Germanic paganism (for instance, Odin was known to fly across the night sky in a sleigh pulled by an eight-legged horse).

It’s an interesting take on Santa for an American like myself, which makes him a welcome addition to my Christmas figure collection. And the elf is a nice bonus too. When did green and yellow become the traditional Christmas elf colors, though?

Plastic & Paint: You don’t get a lot of intricate paint work on toys like these, but what there is has been reliably executed.

Articulation: Both figures have swivels at the arms, wrists, and neck, and hinges at the waist.

Accessories: Your figures get a nice pile of loot: Santa has his stick, while the elf has some sort of candle-in-a-star thing (anyone know what it is?). There’s also a car and a football–both probably reused from previous sets–and a cardboard Christmas present.

Quality Control: No problems.

Overall: Not a bad set at all for $3! A nice addition to my Christmas toy collection, and it’s perfect for my desk at work, where it’s already set up. There’s also a second set with a more “casual Santa” and a Snowman, which I kind of want too…



Comments now closed (7)

  • That's pretty cute – I'll be on the lookout for it. I'm going to snag the Playmobil nativity set next time I see it, as well.

  • Aww… too cute! For $3 it ain't bad either! I read something somewhere saying that a lot of retailers are concentrating on smaller, less expensive toys for stocking stuffers and such this year due to the economy. Target is always good for their cheap holiday sections, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. for random cool finds like this.

  • I used to ignore Playmobil for the longest time. I think it used to only be sold in specialty toy stores too, with words like "Education" or "Learning" in their name. Now that they're sold at TRU they seem more mainstream. Even still, they don't really interest me. That said, some of their sets are really cool looking. I saw the Egyptian pyramid display and I was impressed. They even have little slaves! 😉