October 13, 2005

What's Up With This Playmobil Security Check-In?


First things first: Playmobil is not intended for children under 3; you know how full of terrorists those nursing lounges and subway strollers are, and you it'd be downright un-American to help them plan out their little security-evading scenarios.

But when the Playmobil Airport Security Check-in [#3172, if you're keeping score at home] first turned up on some blogs a few weeks back, I was skeptical, so I fact-shopped it on Amazon. Sure enough, there it was. Keyword in that sentence: was. It's gone now without a trace. Call me a Constitution-hugging child of the Enlightenment if you want, but it seems like this politically tone deaf toy was spirited away to Amazon's own private Gitmo somewhere. Am I wrong?

Fortunately, Playmobil is still offering it for sale on their site. Still, I'm gonna pass on it. Although the wanding cattle prod thing is authentic-looking enough, someone pointed out that the shoes don't come off, the grandma's blouse doesn't open for inappropriate strip searches, and there are no brown-skinned figurines to be spirited away for "interrogation."

Playmobil Security Check-in (#3172), $14.99 [playmobilusa.com]


Playmobil must have done some in the field research: the TSA mall cop is sitting at the xray with his feet up, chatting to his buddy while the bag goes through unscreened.

But if that Caucasian-looking person turns out to be carrying a Dirty Shoe Bomb, there's always the 3180 HAZMAT Crew

Yeesh. Which former administration hawk defected to Playmobil to design toys?

Playmobil does have some disturbingly-true-to-life little tableaux available, doesn't it? The first time I saw the hazmat cleanup team a few weeks ago, my jaw just dropped, and stayed open, for a little while. I mean, a child might observe and experience an airport screening as a trauma-free or even enjoyably novel experience, but what kind of child likes to play out toxic contamination scenarios?

Of course, both of those are preferable to the raggedy blackface figure, playing servant to the great white hunters, available in the Playmobil gaucho safari set...

Sorry about the bad link, here the right one at PlaymobilUSA.com

[eh, forget it. the Playmobile site's e-commerce software creates a different session (and different URL's) each time you go. If Playmobil has an IT Department playset, I'm sure it's a bunch of s/w salesmen dangling little hockey tickets in front of boneheaded chumps. Just search for Hazmat #3180. -ed.]

This is odd. Doesn't this seem slightly negative? I don't really understand this toy. Maybe next they will put out a scene of fireman opening a smashed car with the jaws-of-life. Of course, the driver would have to be inside the wreckage with car wrapped around him for authenticity's sake...

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