Playmobil tries to win adults (back)


After a successful pilot last year, Playmobil is significantly expanding its range for adults - including the James Bond car. After all, children are quitting at an increasingly younger age.



Last year, Playmobil already tested the market for adults, launching the DeLorean time machine from the film trilogy Back to the Future. The concept caught on, after which the toy manufacturer decided to launch a whole series of new boxes aimed at adults. "These are licences from series that create nostalgic feelings, such as James Bond, The A-Team or Star Trek", account manager Olivier Goris told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. "But also iconic cars such as the Volkswagen Beetle. With these products, we are aiming at the adult collectors' market. Which does not mean that children are not allowed play with them."


With the line aimed at adults, Playmobil follows in the footsteps of another toy giant, Lego, which has successfully introduced large construction sets of items from the Star Wars world. "It has even created an important community of collectors who only buy the sets to have and keep, not to play with", Jan Foblets, general manager of Belgian toy chain Fun, explains.


Shrinking market

Playmobil itself indicates that the traditional sales market is shrinking because children choose to do other things at an increasingly younger age. "Children used to still reach for Playmobil at the age of fifteen. Now we feel that the age limit is already ten to eleven. So, you have to think about how to keep people interested even after that. This brings us to the adult market", Goris elaborates.


Foblets points out that the adult market can be very lucrative for toy manufacturers because consumers have their own budgets, while children are dependent on their parents. Still, only the biggest brands can take that step, Foblets thinks: besides Lego and Playmobil, he sees potential for brands such as Barbie. "When it comes to toys, I do not see it going much further", he says.