Category Archives: Playmobil

Mammoth Skeleton Tent with Cavemen (Playmobil)

As storm clouds gather overhead, a trio of human hunters work quickly to finish erecting their shelter. Fortunately, the mammoth that they recently killed and butchered has provided far more than just food. Its large, sturdy bones form an effective structure while its thick fur hide acts as a waterproof covering. As the hunters settle down inside their new dwelling, they are joined by the fourth member of their party: a faithful tracking wolf that they have raised from a pup.

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a Playmobil review. Today I’ll be presenting a very interesting set from the 2011 Stone Age series: the Mammoth Skeleton Tent with Cavemen. We’ll begin with the bare bones, if you’ll pardon the pun. The aforementioned skeleton consists of nine pieces, all them coloured pale grey save for the white tusks. Most of the pieces are made of hard plastic, but the tusks and tail are made from softer, flexible material to ensure safety and prevent breakage. Once assembled, the skeleton holds together very firmly. And I mean very firmly. Granted, the limbs can be removed with relative ease (they’re supposed to, as you’ll see in due course), but the skull and tail are practically sealed in place.


From the tip of the tusks to the rump, this skeleton measures 20 cm long and stands about 13.5 cm tall. The head, shoulders, hips, and tail all rotate, making it reasonably poseable. And while this skeleton is admittedly lacking a mandible and some vertebrae, it’s still unmistakeable as a specimen of Mammuthus primigenius. Pretty impressive for a children’s toy. Interestingly, while the “living” Playmobil mammoth has a larger head and tusks, the skeleton has a higher back and is wider at the shoulders.


Here are the three cavemen who come with the set. I call them Charles, John, and Mauricio. As you can see, they have the same dark hair, tanned skin, and fashion style as the two that came with the sabretooth set, indicating that they’re all part of the same tribe. Charles is decked out in an impressive bison headdress and cloak, suggesting that he’s the leader of this merry band. Their accessories consist of a jagged-tip spear, an axe, and a broken femur bone. Perhaps that last one is for their canid companion.

And here he/she is, a light brown wolf measuring slightly under 8 cm long. It’s generic-looking enough that it could pass for either an extinct Canis dirus or an extant Canis lupus. Its detailing is simple, in keeping with the Playmobil aesthetic, but it does have sculpted fur on its head, limbs, and tail. It is also jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips, making it a fun little figure to play with. It’s just a shame that the eyes and nose aren’t painted.


Here we have a large, dark brown mammoth pelt moulded in the shape of a tent and made out of rubbery, flexible plastic.

And here’s the main section of the set, a large base plate sculpted to look like rocks and sand, complete with a dead shrub, a live fern, and a blazing campfire.

To assemble the tent, you first need to remove the limbs from the skeleton. Attach the main section to the underside of the pelt, attach the hind limbs to the entrance way, then peg the whole thing into the base plate. The resulting structure is big enough for all three cavemen and their wolf to shelter under. Of course, real mammoth dwellings were considerably more complex, but again, this works very well indeed for a children’s toy.

Overall, the Playmobil Mammoth Skeleton Tent is a really fun and educational set that any young prehistoric fan should enjoy. Not to mention a lot of older ones. As I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews, the Stone Age series was discontinued back at the end of 2011, but you may still be able to find it online.

Sabre-Tooth Cats (Playmobil)

For ages, the sabre-tooth cats have been the top predators in their ecosystem. But now humans have appeared on the scene, and what they lack in brute strength, they make up for in cunning and intelligence!

image

Rounding out Playmobil’s prehistoric megafauna is this the menacing pair of sabre-tooths, clearly belonging to the Smilodon genus. Each measures just under 10 cm long and is coloured orange with black eyes and nose and white teeth. Their bodies are built sleek and stocky and their physical features and proportions appear to be accurate.

image

The kitties are articulated at the neck, shoulders, and hips. Like the previous Playmobil beasts I reviewed, their bodies are mostly smooth, but they do feature bits of sculpted fur on the heads, shoulders, limbs, and tails. Their mouths are wide open and their eyes are narrowed. These toys may be aimed primarily at young children, but they do not look cute and friendly!

image

And here are the brave human hunters, whom I have named Raul and Julius. As you can see, they appear to be of different ethnicity from from the humans that came with the cave bear set. Perhaps that one takes place in Europe while this one is occurring somewhere in the Americas. Their clothing consists of animal skins in different shades of brown and Raul proudly sports a headdress fashioned from an ungulate skull. Their spear and axe have business ends made of bone instead of stone. Julius is wielding an even scarier and deadlier weapon: a flaming branch.

image

The sabre-tooths’ lair consists of a rocky alcove with a live fern and a dead tree sprouting from the top and an assortment of bones for decoration. The broken femur bone can be inserted into a sabre-tooth’s mouth as if it were gnawing on the morsel, but given how fragile those big teeth were, it’s unlikely that the real animal would risk such an activity.

image

Though small, this is my favourite out of the three Playmobil Stone Age sets that I own. Two very good sabre-tooth cats and two very good early human figures for them to battle. A great introductory set.

image

And that really does wrap up my Playmobil reviews, at least for now. As with Dinosaurs, I hope this theme gets revisited eventually. A woolly rhino or a giant ground sloth would be sweet. In the mean time, you can still find a few prehistoric sets for sale at Playmobil.ca., and Amazon.com here.

image

Cave Bear (Playmobil)

Two brave hunters are stalking one of the mightiest of beasts: the cave bear. They are armed with their best stone weapons, but will those be enough against the bear’s great strength, teeth, and claws?

image

The Playmobil cave bear(Ursus spelaeus) measures about 10.5 cm long and is medium brown in colour with black eyes, a red tongue, and white teeth. Although its body is mostly smooth, it does have some shaggy parts on its head and limbs. Its mouth opens wide, its head raises and lowers, and its shoulders and hips rotate. Sadly, it cannot stand up on its hind legs. But that’s just as well, given that the toy has a large hole in its abdomen.

image

Despite its simplicity, this bear manages to look fairly ferocious for a Playmobil toy thanks to its large head, teeth, and claws. As far as accuracy goes, however, its forehead needs to be steeper and its body should be chunkier in order to be a proper Ursus spelaeus. Indeed, this figure is something of a cheat given that it’s been used to represent modern bears in other Playmobil sets. Nevertheless, it is billed as a cave bear here and so I shall treat it as one.

image

And here are two very hairy, very pale-skinned cave men, one with red hair, the other with brown hair. I call them Gregory and Luis. They are decked out in elaborate grey animal skin clothing and painted on bone and shell jewelry. Gregory has a hide pouch on his belt for holding tools and Luis wears a wolf skin headdress. They are equipped with stone hand axes, a spear, and an axe. They will certainly need them if they hope to take down that cave bear!

image

The remains of a carcass have been provided for the cave bear to gnaw on. Its den consists of a small, rocky cave. A deciduous tree similar to the one that came with the Pteranodon is growing on the roof and there is a large outcropping that appears to have been carved in the shape of a bear’s head. It has long been a popular notion that early humans worshipped bears, although there is no conclusive evidence for it. Bear fossils have been found in caves, but most of them may have simply died there naturally. However, there are a few instances of bear bones being arranged in unnatural patterns, as though they were part of some ritual. As with so many other paleontological mysteries, we may never know for certain.

image

What is for certain is that this is a pretty nice set. The cave bear by itself admittedly isn’t spectacular, but combined with the hunters and the cave, it makes for a fun purchase. Recommended.

image

Available from Amazon.com here and Amazon.co.uk here.