PLAYMOBIL Around the World
A Toy Adventurer Discovers the USA
In celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary this year, PLAYMOBIL has dispatched a PLAYMOBIL figure to embark on international sightseeing adventures as part of the “PLAYMOBIL Around the World” campaign. This special anniversary program engages fans and collectors worldwide as they host the Tim the Traveler figure, showing him around and photographing him as he discovers exciting sights in their home town or country.
The participants of this campaign are mainly members of the PLAYMOBIL Collectors Club (PCC) – an international online community for adult PLAYMOBIL enthusiasts. Approximately 150 PCC members volunteered to host the little backpacker during the brand’s anniversary year. Both the toy figure and a digital camera provided by PLAYMOBIL are used by fans for a short period of time before they are passed along to the next fan volunteer, allowing Tim to visit as many places as possible.
PLAYMOBIL will host all fan-submitted pictures of Tim on a public map found on the brand’s Anniversary microsite, as well as on the PLAYMOBIL Collectors Club site, which allows fans of all ages to follow the little plastic figure on his exciting trip around the world.
The first to welcome the Tim the Traveler figure in the United States was Floridian Richard Silvano, a PLAYMOBIL collector for over 35 years and an initiator of the PCC.
His two young daughters discovered their first PLAYMOBIL toys in the 1970s. “They loved making up stories about princesses and knights,” Richard remembers. It did not take long for Richard himself to become a personal fan and a collector. By the 1990s, his collection included almost every PLAYMOBIL set ever made.
“My wife Susan and I really wanted to participate in this fun PCC project,” Richard said. Unsurprisingly, he was thrilled when “little Timmy” – as he affectionately calls him – arrived safe and sound in Fort Lauderdale. Richard and Susan couldn’t wait to take the little figure on a sightseeing tour through their home town. “It’s a wonderful story; A 3 inch (75mm) ambassador traveling around the world bringing goodwill to children and adults!”
Thus, equipped with only a guidebook, his red backpack, and a little camera, Tim recently visited some beautiful places in Richard’s home city, such as the famous Port Everglades, the historic Stranahan House, the many canals, and of course Fort Lauderdale beach.
Tim’s next stop will be Decatur, Georgia, followed destinations in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and more. After traveling the USA, the PLAYMOBIL backpacker will continue his North American tour in Canada, always willing to share his iconic smile with everyone he meets.
The PLAYMOBIL Collectors Club
The PLAYMOBIL Collectors Club is an international community for PLAYMOBIL enthusiasts from all over the world. The club offers an opportunity for collectors and fans to present their works and projects, to get in contact with like-minded people, and to receive the latest news about PLAYMOBIL first hand. All PLAYMOBIL fans ages 13 years and up are welcome to join the community.
Since the launch of the club in October 2012, more than 3,000 collectors have joined the community. Almost 30,000 photos, 370 videos, and more than 500 blog posts have been published on the site by members so far.
Fans who like to benefit from all club advantages can register for the club at www.pcc.pm and pay a nominal fee of €10 for 12 months. Some of the exclusive benefits that PCC members enjoy include a welcome gift with a special PLAYMOBIL key chain and member card, one exclusive PCC article per year, access to exclusive PLAYMOBIL and collector-specific news and content, and the participation in community specials such as prize draws and competitions.
“Collectors who preserved their enthusiasm for PLAYMOBIL into adulthood are very important brand ambassadors for us,” the company’s CEO Andrea Schauer explains. “With the Collectors Club we created a service, which is perfectly tailored to the specific needs of this target group.”
As an autonomous online community, the PCC enriches the brand’s other presences in social media. Other official communities of the toy manufacturer can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:
About PLAYMOBIL and geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co.KG
Geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co.KG – headquartered in Zirndorf, Germany – is the producer of PLAYMOBIL and Germany´s largest toy manufacturer. The 2 ¾-inch-tall PLAYMOBIL figure is the cornerstone of this creative toy system, and is an internationally awarding-winning product. The imaginative role play opportunities integrated with a variety of historical and modern play themes is fascinating to children and highly valued by parents and educational practitioners alike. In 2014 PLAYMOBIL is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Since its launch in 1974, 2.7 billion PLAYMOBIL figures have been produced. The company distributes its toy system, consisting of around 30 different play themes, in more than 100 countries and employs more than 4,000 people. Worldwide turnover for the Brandstätter Group rose to a record level of 612 million Euros in 2013. PLAYMOBIL’s certified high quality is guaranteed by using company-owned European production sites in Germany, Malta, the Czech Republic and Spain. For more information, please visit www.playmobil.com.
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