It’s been a frustrating weekend of computer crashes and hard drive recovery, which brought my Halloween Horror Month to a standstill, but I’m back up and running and ready to close out this spooky ride with three more reviews leading up to Halloween! Today, we’re going a bit more lighthearted with some Playmobil Scooby Doo! Because nothing says October like curling up on the sofa under a blanket, watching Scooby Doo cartoons, and chomping down all the candy I bought for Trick-Or-Treaters!
Ah, Playmobil! One of the most underrated toy lines of all time. Well, at least in the US it is. It’s crazy popular in Europe and I was introduced to it when I was a kid and our family lived in France for a time. When we moved back home, it began to catch on here and some of the Pirates and PlaymoSpace sets always topped my Christmas and Birthday lists. Nowadays, Playmobil is still going strong, but they have been embracing the release of licensed sets. And while I’d argue it’s sad that it feels like the licensed sets have overshadowed some of their excellent classic themes, the licensed stuff has really garnered them a lot more attention among collectors. I’ve reviewed most of their absolutely amazing Ghostbusters line, and now I’m going to check out what they’ve done with Scooby Doo! And if you’re looking to pick up the bare essentials, these are the two sets to get, as they will net you the whole Scooby Gang, as well as The Mystery Machine, lots of accessories, and a Ghost… or is it??? Let’s start with the smaller set first!
It’s annoying that Playmobil doesn’t name these sets, but rather just goes by numbers, so let’s just call this Ghost Encounter! With 22 pieces, it’s basically a three-figure pack with Shaggy and Scoob and the fake ghost. I think Playmobil did a great job bringing these characters into their rather unique style. Granted, Scooby is all original, but he still conforms to the basics of Playmobil animals, with the same basic articulation and even a hinged jaw. Shaggy, on the other hand, makes use of the standard Playmobil body, and yet there’s no mistaking who he is!
Scoob comes with a clear plastic stand to help him balance on two legs. It’s not necessary all the time, but it’s a nice bonus and it does help. His collar is a little odd in its design, as it has a rather awkward bulge off ot the side of his tag. This is actually to connect the leash that’s included, but I think they could have designed it better.
Extra accessories include a hamburger, which is fun to put together, and includes a clever notch for the figure’s to hold in their classic claw-like hands. You also get a green bag of Scooby Snacks, and a flashlight. Scooby has notches in his front paws, so he can hold pretty much anything the humans can!
Finally, you get the G-G-G-GHOST!!! Naw, not a real ghost, but a two-piece disguise that goes over the imposter figure. The ghost imposter cracks me up with his crazy mustache and his 70’s leisure suit, showing off plenty of chest hair! The whole disguise is well done, and if you’d prefer your ghosts to be real, the costume will stand on its own to make for a spooky display piece! Moving on to the bigger set, and we’ll start with the figures…
Daphne, Velma, and Fred are each instantly recognizable and look great. Fred gets by with just the standard body, a hair piece, and a clip-on blue collar. The ladies add skirts to the mix, which can get in the way of sitting them down, as they tend to pop into their two halves if you don’t push them up first. It’s not ideal, but I guess it would have been hard to avoid. Velma’s orange turtleneck and Daphne’s green scarf are also clip on pieces.
You get a lot of accessories in this set, which are basically broken down into two categories: Ghost hunting equipment and food. The food can all fit on an included tray and includes two drink cups, a hot dog, a donut, two bags of Scooby Snacks, and two slices of pizza. Like the hamburger, all of these are designed to be held by the figures in one way or another.
The equipment consists of Velma’s magnifying glass, a camera, a GPS tracking device, a map, and a file box with slides in it. We’ll come back to those in a bit. You also get an extra flashlight in this set, which is the same as the included in the smaller set. On to the Mystery Machine!
The Mystery Machine is modern looking, and I’m assuming it’s based on one of the more current variations of the show. I’m really only a fan of the original cartoon and even then only up until Scrappy showed up, at which point it became dead to me! So, naturally, I tend to prefer the Classic look of the Mystery Machine more, but this is still a fantastic looking toy and captures the ghost hunting vehicle in all its iconic glory. Despite the stylized look of their figures, Playmobil has always excelled at making rugged and realistic looking vehicles, and that’s exactly what we get here. There’s a fair bit of assembly required, as well as lots of stickers, but it’s well worth it in the end. This thing rolls great on its real rubber tires, and showcases a number of great play features.
The roof over the cab opens up to fit two figures, and even has a couple of drink cups. The windshield and side windows are all translucent plastic.
The back of the van can be reached by opening the rear doors, the side door, and lifting off the roof! There are no windows on the rear doors, which is a bummer, but I really love the way the side door is double hinged and opens off to the side. The interior of The Mystery Machine includes a textured floor, two seats, and a folding bench seat. I put the bench on the side and the two chairs up against the driver compartment, but you can switch them if you like. All together, there’s enough room to hold the entire Scooby Gang fairly comfortably.
The back also contains a computer for solving mysteries, and this is where those clear slides come in. One of these slides is included with each set and you can pop it into the machine to light it up and view what’s on it. Unfortunately, the lights in the computer are so blindingly bright, it just washes out the image you’re trying to view. Cool idea, but it lacks in execution.
And finally, there’s this purple gun-like thing that attaches to the computer. I have no idea what it is. Maybe some kind of proton wand? I’m guessing it might be featured in one of the new cartoons.
Scooby Doo has had a few toy lines recently, but I think this one is the most fun. To be fair, I’m not much into Scooby Doo these days, which is why I passed on the other figures that have been out there, but it was my love for Playmobil that made me grab these. I have picked up a couple more sets since, which mostly give you variations of the Scooby Gang figures, more accessories, and more fake spooks. I don’t know how deep I’ll likely go in this line, but I may still get some of the blind bagged figures if I come across them out in the wild. The haunted house looks great, but sadly, I just don’t have the space for it.