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The small world of Playmobil celebrates 40 years of plastic people


The small world of Playmobil celebrates 40 years of plastic people


German toymaker Playmobil is marking 40 years of producing little plastic people.

It is a rarity in that it still manufactures in Europe rather than China.

Malta is where the figures are made. It also has plants in Bavaria, Germany as well as the Czech Republic and Spain.

Since its early days Playmobil has become much more politically correct; after animal rights protests there is now no longer a dancing bear figure, and women are much more widely represented doing a variety of jobs.

More than 2.7 billion figures have been produced since 1974.

The people may be little, but the turnover is big – 612 million euros last year.

Two thirds of sales are in Germany and France, but the company is pushing to expand elsewhere in Europe as well as the United States and still hopes to crack the Asian market.

The 40th anniversary is being market by a exhibition at the Nuremberg toy museum.

On show are some of the nearly 4,000 different models, which include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama and his family, the Beatles and Jesus Christ as well as the traditional pirates, cowboys and indians and building workers.

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