Saturday, 31 May 2014

Playmobil 4694 Special: Ghost Knight

Company: Playmobil

Year: 2009

RRP: See “Availability” 


I had a little bit of Playmobil as a kid, but my primary experience of it was actually in my Sunday School, around the ages of 5-7. They had what seemed like a HUGE amount of Playmobil characters – apparently known as “Klickies” stashed in the room for kids to play with. They didn’t embed themselves on my youthful consciousness in the same way as say, Lego or TMNT, but I retain a certain fondness for them nonetheless.

At any rate, I found myself visiting a small toyshop on the Central Coast this weekend and they were clearing out Playmobil at 40% off. Recently I’d seen a Wizard figure that I liked the look of, but he wasn’t to be found – but then I saw this Scareglow-looking character and I was instantly intrigued. Intrigue levels rose even further when I realised that he was actually a glow in the dark figure. I’d never seen a GITD Playmobil figure before, so far as I could remember. And should I decide to purchase the Wizard in future, he would make a nice counterpart…
After a quick internal wrestle, I pulled the trigger on the purchase. For $2.40, I couldn’t go wrong.

Playmobil Klickies are built on one base figure (like a Lego minifigure), standing just under 3 inches tall. There seem to be a couple of variations (e.g. to allow for child Klickies), but most of the differentiation between figures appears to come from the accessories and paintwork. So this guy is more or less the same figure that I played with 20+ years ago, at his core. If you’ve ever owned a Playmobil toy, you know what you’re in for.

The face is cast in GITD plastic, the body in black, the arms in grey, the hands in white and his boots in black. Articulation is minimal – cut neck, cut shoulders and cut wrists. Due to the belt, the arms aren't able to hang quite flush the body. The hips are on a hinge, so the legs all move as one piece. Though minimal by modern standards, it fits the simplistic aesthetic of the toy nicely. 


The Ghost Knight comes with quite a few accessories – most of which I suspect have previously seen release in other lines, but I am no expert on Playmobil, past or modern. Those with more knowledge than me should feel free to comment below.
He comes with:

*a chainmail “hairpiece”
*a black hood piece

*a black cape
*black gauntlets

*a red belt, with loop for the his sword.
*a silver sword

*a silver greataxe with a silver skull attached to its top
The skull is removable, so the axe doesn’t have to include it if you would prefer it without. All accessories are unpainted.   



The “paint” on Playmobil figures seems to be largely the work of tampographs. Being a ghost knight, his body is presumably incorporeal, and the black chest and legs have been decorated with GITD paint too. A red strap is slung along his chest, matching the belt piece. Tattered dark grey remnants of his robe are around his neck and waist.
Strangely, his arms are not decorated with bones – as they're cast in grey, I can only assume that his sleeves have lasted longer than the torso covering of his shirt.

Switch the light off and the bones glow nicely. I am a total sucker for GITD, so the purchase price is justified right there for me.

The only real issue was that some of the GITD paint seems to have scraped off the right leg. It was like this when I opened it, and doesn’t appear to have flaked any further as yet. I suspect the tampo may not have been properly applied, or it may have scraped off during shipping. As he’s in a sealed box, you won’t be able to check prior to opening.

This guy doesn’t seem to be too hard to track down on Amazon or eBay. It seems you’ll probably pay about $10 for him (plus postage) which isn’t outrageous, though certainly above retail. In store? I’d never seen him before, but I wasn’t buying toys in 2009. Still, I don’t like your chances.  

It’s probably been close to 20 years since I have played with Playmobil, but it was a really cool experience going back to it. I remember very little about the themes that were available when I was young, but these days it seems Playmobil are cultivating their adult audience by producing a variety of figures and themes that seem to be a little more adult-oriented – age 4-10 label notwithstanding – with this guy being a bit of a case in point. It’s pretty cool move, though judging by the relatively small quantity of Playmobil that seems to be on shelves, I don’t know how successful this has been.

But overall, the Ghost Knight is an excellent little figure, and I’m very glad to have come across him, especially at such a low price. 
As for this guy’s alignment – well, I naturally assumed he was a villain, some kind of evil wizard. But his designation as a “Ghost Knight” leaves it more ambiguous. You’re free to make up your own mind on this one, though I think he’ll primarily be a bad guy for me.

1 comment:

  1. Looks excellent and at that price you could assemble a veritable army of ghost knights -- any chance of a picture that captures some of the glow-in-the-dark feel? Seymour Knutts