PlaymoDB

PlaymoDB Frequently Asked Questions

... and some that no-one's asked, but I think are interesting

Updated 2009 November 17, by Heather Patey.

How do I order parts or sets from your site?

There is nothing for sale here - this site is for information only. Sorry!

How can I get spare parts?

Try the Playmobil Company first (go to http://www.playmobil.com - select your country - click "Contact Us" in the upper right). They do sell replacement parts for current and recent sets, subject to availability; even though a part might be old, it might have been used recently and so still be available. You don't absolutely need the part number to order a part, but it simplifies the matter enormously. For out-of-stock parts, your only hope is other collectors, either via buy-and-sell venues such as Craigslist and eBay, or via personal contact through fan forums or groups.

I can't read the instructions, they're too small. Please send me the instructions.

The Playmobil Company is very strict about the distribution of their instructions because of copyright: in short, I cannot publicly offer to send them to anyone or publish them. The thumbnail-size instructions you see are all I will offer; they're just to indicate the presence of instructions in the set, and to show whether they are in colour, multi-page, etc. If by chance you can squint and see approximately how a set goes together, you're in luck. Paper copies of instructions for current sets can be ordered just like any other part; see above. When you're making an order at Playmobil, you might kindly request that they post archival instructions on their website - many other toy companies do, and it makes life easier for their customers.

Not subject to the company's copyright are fan-submitted photos, and I'd be happy to host or link to photos or video clarifying assembly of sets, or showing close-ups of parts to improve on identification. See "I'd like to help" for more information.

Why haven't you inventoried the set I'm looking for?

Could be any of several reasons. First, I may not have the instructions - if you don't see the thumbnail of the instructions in the inventory, then I don't have them. There are very few instructions for sets before 1985, so most sets before that are inventoried only on speculation. If the thumbnail is there but no other parts are listed, then I haven't gotten around to it yet - I will eventually. Or, if you have the plans yourself, you can type up the inventory and send it to me, to move the process along. See "I'd like to help".

Also note: almost all instructions before about 1993 do not show klickies (people) or small accessories, so even if a set is inventoried, it may not have these types of parts included, or they might not be complete or correct.

Can you identify this strange part for me?

Well, I can try (although without a photo I doubt I'll have much luck), but why not post a nice clear photo in a fan-forum and let a whole bunch of people have a go at it?

What's a klicky?

One of the three-inch people (or slightly shorter, for children) that come with almost all sets. "Klicky" is Playmobil's name from them dating from the early years, and it's distinctive enough that it's widely used among fans.

I have a klicky with "1974" (or other date) on his feet; does that mean he's from that year?

Not necessarily - that's the date of the mould. The basic legs-and-feet unit was created in 1974 and was still used through 2004, so all klickies with those legs and feet are labelled "1974". Other parts may have dates as well, and similarly that's the year they were first created.

I found a tiny number on a part, but can't find that number in the database.

The numbers on the parts themselves are mould numbers, and are the same on all parts made with that mould regardless of colour or printing. Those numbers don't appear on the instructions, so I know about very few of them. Any I do know about are listed on the part page and are searchable with the text search.

What does "unknown part #" mean, or those part numbers starting with "p" or "k"?

There are parts that I'd really like to include in an inventory but I have little chance of finding out the part numbers, most often due to age and rarity (the Victorian klickies are a good example). I create a "fake" part number to anchor the part, and supply a photo if I can. These unofficial numbers cannot be used to make Playmobil part orders, and will only confuse the poor customer service rep.

Where do the part names and categories come from?

I make them up, or people who write my inventories do. Seriously. I try to set them so parts from the same mould have the same name, but haven't succeeded everywhere.

What can you tell about a part from its number?

A few things! Parts with eighth digit "0" are the same part as those with the same first nine digits and no eighth digit, i.e. "30 11 111" = "30 11 1110". Parts with eighth digit "2" are rollovers when there are more than 1000 parts with the same third- and fourth-digits, e.g. 30 00 0002 comes after 30 00 9990.

Parts starting with "30 00", "30 01", "30 10", "30 11", "30 12", "30 13", "30 14" and "30 19" are klickies, with each prefix a different subcategory. Parts starting with "30 5" or "30 6" are either multi-section parts (e.g. bucket and handle), or ones with painted surfaces. "30 8" often indicates an unusual part made of paper, metal, rubber, or cloth.

I've discovered that parts seem to have been created in generally numerical order - makes sense, right? This has allowed me to make good guesses about assigning parts to sets as follows: if I know for sure that a set of continuously-numbered parts with seventh digits 1-5 and 7-10 first appear in 1995 but the missing part ending in 6 doesn't show up on instructions until 2008, then I'll look through the rest of the sets in 1995 to see if part 6 is there but undocumented. See "30 08 9060" for a good example of same.

How much is this set or collection of parts worth?

No clue. Do some research on eBay. If you're selling, the more information you can provide, the better off you'll be. You're welcome to link back into PlaymoDB to show potential buyers the inventory and pictures I have, but don't copy the pictures or the whole page of text, please. Hotlinking won't work, don't even try. I'm also not responsible for my errors causing a transaction to be not what you expected - make sure both parties understand each other.

Do you have any information on specialty items like life-size figures, clothing, or books?

No. I've decided to focus on the relationship between parts and sets, and specialty items don't fit in well with that. Again, take it to the fan forums, where there are people who love this stuff.

I've found an error or omission.

Fabulous! I'd love to hear about it; if you have scans or photos to corroborate your correction, pass them along, since they would help matters even more. I don't own every set in the database - not even close! - so I have to rely on instructions and photos for the bulk of my information. I am also human and occasionally miss things. Just drop me a line.

I have a really old set with a three-digit or five-digit set number, or from another company that looks just like Playmobil.

I'm concentrating on the sets available in Germany from 1974 to the present, and the more recent sets available in North America. There are many early local variations from Schaper, Playpeople, etc. but I've chosen not to include them since they don't fit well with the main line of products and rarely have instructions. I don't inventory the five-digit part numbers from Spain, either.

I'd like to discuss a set or part in the database with you.

Sure - but it might be more beneficial to do so in public and get lots of knowledgeable people in on the discussion. Just please use the number and/or link to the database, instead of a description, so I (or the forum) can tell what you're talking about.

Are you associated with Collectobil?

I'm not officially associated with Collectobil, but they were my first large source of data. I link back to them for any sets that exist there. They haven't been updated in quite a few years now, but the quality of information presented there is very good.

Are you associated with Fantasia-Verlag, who prints the "Playmobil Collector"?

No. It's a fantastic resource, though, especially if you are interested in the chronology of the toys, or those oddball sets from different countries. I use it occasionally to verify information, but haven't copied anything outright.

I'd like to help out with your site.

That's wonderful, and I really appreciate it - the site would be much smaller without the contributions of fans. Here are some things I need. All contributions should come in via playmodb@gmail.com.

My general question isn't listed above.

Just e-mail me - I answer all e-mails as I get time, which is often limited by full-time work and full-time parenting. If I think more people would like such an answer, I'll add it here too.

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