Join 3,365 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


lil komsomol playkit
February 27, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Ready, kids! Unsatisfied with your kids slow adoption of very important homeland security adjustments? Buy them the Playmobil Security Check Point! How does this stack up against increased TSA checks of toys?
posted by yonation (48 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Unsurprisingly, nobody has been able to get ahold of the highly sought-after Osama Bin Elmo for years now.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:25 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everybody knows Osama Bin Elmo is in isolation at the Playmobil Guantanamo Bay Fun Castle.
posted by milarepa at 12:27 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally prefer the Fisher-Price Little People Cavity Search Play Set.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:30 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


the comments on the amazon site are also hilarious.
posted by yonation at 12:31 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's no coincidence those toy agents are wearing what look like SS uniforms. One has a metal detector wand, I can't tell if the other one has a taser for a gun.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2008


*or a gun.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:33 PM on February 27, 2008


I guess that being an underpaid security guard or an over-harassed business traveler are good skill sets for children to learn.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2008


It's not realistic enough. It's missing a big wastebasket where the agent with the big wand can carelessly chuck potentially-deadly confiscated items, such as bottles of water and tubes of toothpaste.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2008


I think it's pretty realistic, I mean nowhere does it say "Dignity remains intact".
posted by blue_beetle at 12:37 PM on February 27, 2008


You know, I hate to admit this but my son would have loved this toy a few years ago. Not that he's enamored with ceremonial security checkpoints or cavity searches but because he went through a stage where he loved flaps. Flaps on loading docks, flaps over the supermarket freezer section, and flaps on the x-ray machine. His first flight, we went through the gate security lines 5x* because he couldn't get enough of watching his little spiderman suitcase go through the flaps and it took quite a bit of discussion to convince him that he wasn't allowed through through the xray machine too.

Could be worse, I guess. Friend's kid went through a several month long stage where he walked around with headphones on over a baseball cap and a vacuum cleaner hose sticking out of a backpack pretending to be the Leaf Blower Man.

*fortunately, we were flying out of a small regional with laid-back personnel and minimal lines.
posted by jamaro at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


No matter how many jokes we make, children automatically and unconsciously accept whatever surrounds them when they're born as the way things always have been. As your children will not know a world without TSA checkpoints and public CCTV surveillance, you did not know a world without radios in police cars and aerial surveillance.

I wonder if having toys like this to give kids a comfort level with the screening process at airports will actually make them more resistant to the fear that the TSA tries to induce as a deterrent to shenanigans, or just make them a bit more like sheep.
posted by davejay at 12:40 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I so want that to be real.
posted by slogger at 12:47 PM on February 27, 2008


davejay: a welcome point, but i don't think kids growing up in one world necessarily forecloses their imagination of a world without these things. kids are subject to a million different influences and their identity grows uniquely regardless, not as sheep IMHO.

nevertheless, i think this toy speaks much more about the hysterical parental acceptance of the security state, not the childrens'.
posted by yonation at 12:48 PM on February 27, 2008


The toy's not exactly new -- in fact, it was discussed on this very site almost four years ago. Playmobil's also a German company, so I'm not sure it's fair to imply that this toy is intended to do the TSA's bidding.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:49 PM on February 27, 2008


DAMMIT! i thought i had searched for multiples!
posted by yonation at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2008


the comments on the amazon site are also hilarious.

Like this one:
"This is great learning too for young brownshirts. I am waiting for a few accessories though, kids size jackboots and a toy Taser. Think how much fun that will be for your young Martin Bormann types. I envision a low voltage say 5KV instead of 50kv to give a realistic but non-hazardous jolt. Next we can have a nice Nerf Nightstick and little Heinrich can have great start getting ready for his future job with the TSA, local police force or the new STASI ( Secure Transportation And Safety Inititive) Be the first on your block. I also look forward to the upcoming Halliburton Play detention center real simulated barbed wire."
posted by ericb at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


The toy's not exactly new -- in fact, it was discussed on this very site almost four years ago.

Prolly why it's "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on February 27, 2008


It will probably give them the same comfort level that this toy does or this.

Kids don't relate to toys the way adults relate to toys. We see a replica of an airport security gate and think of all that a security checkpoint implies. A kid sees the opportunity to control some flaps.
posted by jamaro at 12:53 PM on February 27, 2008


Ready, Kids? Learn about the Mountain Lion family! DHS furry propaganda.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:01 PM on February 27, 2008


Daddy Lion is wearing a lot of eyeliner. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by jamaro at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2008


This is not realistic, the security guards are smiling. Everyone knows that TSA guards lack any sense of human emotion.
posted by champthom at 1:05 PM on February 27, 2008


Customers Who Bought Items Like This Also Bought:

Girl with Cats #4493 _ Playmobil
$4.49

Rabbit Pen by Playmobil
$6.62

Chicken Coop #4492 _ Playmobil
$10.55
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:09 PM on February 27, 2008


pardonyou, are you really decrying "unfairness" to the TS-fucking-A?
posted by yonation at 1:22 PM on February 27, 2008


The Economist ran a piece the other week suggesting that Playmobil (or Lego) would make a more successful emblem for the European Union than the daft suggestions the EU commissioners were coming up with.

Their point was about the kind of worlds that Playmobil creates, that reflect modern life, but offer a slightly more calm, peaceful version - even all the emergency services stuff they do, which even includes a toxic waste cleanup team! Apparently this approach has historically meant they've never really made an impact in the US.

So it's right to say this has little to do with the TSA, and more to do with a nice day going through Tegel Airport in Berlin.

Me? I grew up playing with their cowboys.
posted by dowcrag at 1:24 PM on February 27, 2008


So it's right to say this has little to do with the TSA, and more to do with a nice day going through Tegel Airport in Berlin.

Perhaps this is a way to actually show reasonable security. Metal detector makes sense*. Not throwing out water bottles or taking off shoes (like in Playmobil land or, apparently, Germany) makes sense.

Every time I've flown with my three year old daughter, I make a point to telling her how ridiculous some of these measures are. Hopefully, my disapproval will work against any desensitization going on.

*Of course, I grew up with metal detectors...
posted by MrGuilt at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2008


which even includes a toxic waste cleanup team!

You beat me to it. The Hazmat team is a great little set.

Playmobil makes these little sets based on just about any kind of public safety/service job they can think of. Fire, police? Sure, obviously. Hazmat? Airport "security"? Less obvious, but they've got 'em. I don't know why anyone's surprised by this.

When municipalities are forced to hire contractors out to have neighbourhoods saturation-burned to prevent the spread of grey goo, Paymobil will have a set for that, too, complete with miniature flamethrowers and nanoweave cloaks.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Guess I shoulda: Playmobil Hazmat Crew.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2008


If only my child had this when he was 4 to 7 years old. Maybe that would have prevented him from wearing his LED artwork to Logan.
posted by not_on_display at 1:40 PM on February 27, 2008


The Hazmat Crew is quite a curious toy.

But this helicopter is something I waited my entire childhood for, and in vain.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:50 PM on February 27, 2008


I'm waiting for the Playmobil Warentless Surveillance playset and the Playmobil Enhanced Interrogation Techniques playset to complete the set. Children need to learn the realities of living in the world's largest banana republic at an early age.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:00 PM on February 27, 2008


MrGuilt: to be fair, it's not like Playmobil people can take their shoes off to put them through the machine. The real test of sensible measures is whether or not they make the pirate remove his shirt cuffs and place them on the belt.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 2:01 PM on February 27, 2008


It is pretty Orwellian. Maybe there's a little note at the end of the instruction manual that says, “…and kids, don't forget to turn in your parents if you see them doing anything suspicious!”

On the other hand I can see how the X-ray machine would be intriguing to little kids. I always wanted to ride on the baggage claim conveyors.
posted by XMLicious at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2008


Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock. Hmm...curious. The children have learned too much.
posted by Hugonaut at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2008


I'm waiting for the Playmobil Warentless Surveillance playset and the Playmobil Enhanced Interrogation Techniques playset to complete the set. Children need to learn the realities of living in the world's largest banana republic at an early age.

Again, dude, it's a European company. Not everything is about the USA.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:23 PM on February 27, 2008


To be fair, America had security checkpoints in airports starting in 1973. Ain't nothin new. I remember always thinking the security x-ray stuff was fun when I was younger.

Now, when one of the characters has a beard, a turban, and a suitcase bomb, that's when you worry.
posted by dosterm at 2:25 PM on February 27, 2008


People who bought Playmobile Hazmat Crew also bought Playmobile Safe Crackers.

A review:

'This is the perfect gift for the aspiring young felon in your life. I can't wait for other products from the Playmobile Perpetrator Series like "Police Brutality Set" or "Shiv your Cellmate."'
posted by brundlefly at 2:41 PM on February 27, 2008


pardonyou, are you really decrying "unfairness" to the TS-fucking-A?

No, I'm decrying unfairness to MetaFilter. Although "fair" probably wasn't the best word choice; "accurate" might have been better.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:41 PM on February 27, 2008


"I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital."

I so have to read this guy's other reviews!
posted by misha at 2:46 PM on February 27, 2008


Truly, we are the Playmomen.
posted by Pinback at 2:51 PM on February 27, 2008


Again, dude, it's a European company. Not everything is about the USA.

I know that, but they look like TSA uniforms, thus the joke.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:15 PM on February 27, 2008


Wait a minute! The MeFi admins dress like that! What does it all mean?!?!?!?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:21 PM on February 27, 2008


I now have this tremendous urge to sculpt a tiny little Playmobil sized suicide bomber complete with working vest.

Mainly because it would look great sitting on my monitor. Constantly reminding me that death is ever present. And made of molded plastic.
posted by quin at 3:49 PM on February 27, 2008


Wait, it is real!
posted by slogger at 4:51 PM on February 27, 2008


I've always liked the Playmobil Roman Colloseum.
posted by jefbla at 6:46 PM on February 27, 2008


Going along with the Safe Crackers is the Getaway Car and the Police Station with Jail Cell (with removable jail cell window bars).
posted by plokent at 8:57 PM on February 27, 2008


I dunno... The new (2007?) Playmobil Roman set gives me the creeps. I guess you could combine it with the Playmobil Nativity set and have Herod looking to kill every male child in Israel. Or perhaps stage a reenactment of the Crucifixion. Or get some galley slaves and feed them to the lions. Meh.

But I do love the helicopter.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:57 PM on February 27, 2008


KokuRyu, have you seen this rescue copter?

the rotors spin when you push a button on the tail, even!
posted by jamaro at 10:11 PM on February 27, 2008


U.S. Terror Watch List Surpasses 900,000 Names, ACLU Estimates
posted by homunculus at 12:14 PM on February 28, 2008


« Older The ultimate in nerdy tattoos? "Jim Mielke's wirel...  |  "While we are generally horrif... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments