08 May 2009

Let's Play!

Every now and then, a toy comes along that is so cool, it seems criminally unfair that it wasn’t around when you were a kid. We discovered just such a toy when the Playmobil Egyptian Pyramid arrived at the office just begging to be played with.

My girls (ages 8 and 4) were in a state of bliss when they saw the pyramid, which isn’t set to hit stores until August. We immediately started putting it together. After about two hours of hard work (no one would ever confuse me with an engineer), it was ready to go, and I can honestly say, it was spectacular. With hidden chambers, trap doors and neat features like collapsible stairs, the lucky little Playmobil figures had tons of space for exploring. The pyramid came with a sarcophagus (with a glow-in-the-dark skeleton inside that 8-year-old Maddie inexplicably named “Eugenie”), a tiny Tut and Anubis and what could be either guards or robbers (either way, they’re fun). There were even little treasures like golden vases, ankhs and stones, which I feverishly — and futilely — tried to prevent from getting lost. My kids very rarely play well together, but this miraculous toy kept both of them entertained for more than two hours on a rainy Saturday, and that alone makes it work the purchase price of around $100.

The Playmobil folks had also sent the Church playset, which we put together the next day. My younger daughter, Finley, is very much the girly-girl, so this toy appealed to her big time. This one was a bit more difficult to put together; I would definitely recommend setting aside a couple hours to dedicate to following the directions exactly. Once assembled, the church was beautiful, with tiny stained-glass windows, flower-strewn wreaths hanging from the ceiling and cute flower pots by the front double doors. The set came with a bride (complete with a lace veil) and groom, a minister and itty-bitty wedding accessories. There were also human kid-sized rings to add a dressy flair to playtime. I had also received the Bridal Couple With Wedding Cake set, and the cake even had a truly minuscule bride and groom on top (I honestly don’t know how they made it so small). Finley couldn’t wait to stage her own mini-weddings, and soon the bridal couple had time-traveled to ancient Egypt to fight off an evil, kidnapping King Tut. The set is available now for around $75.

I should say that both sets had quite a few tiny parts, so parents with children under 3 years old should be cautious. But older kids — both boys and girls — are sure to love dusting off their imaginations and bringing these toys to life. And any mom who’s sick to death of TV, video games and summer boredom can appreciate that. —Claudia

Playmobil toys are available locally, among other locations, at:

Learning Express, Dallas

Designs for Children, Fort Worth

Amazing Toy Creations, Dallas


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