Our local theater is offering throw back movies catered to kids for one dollar. As an alternative, you can spend five dollars for a bundle that includes admission, a drink and popcorn. When the list of movies for each week came out, we saw How to Train to Train Your Dragon. We immediately added it to our calendar because we knew the kids would want to watch it….again. It’s a movie that you don’t get bored watching multiple times, even when you’re an adult.
Of course re-watching the movie, eating popcorn, and unlimited drinks was a hit with the kids. The theme didn’t stop there, not this summer! Playmobil also knows of the magic and fun that lies in this IP (intellectual property). We received some Playmobil kits of Dragons: The Nine Realms. This animated series in the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise is one we’ve actually been watching on Peacock (it’s also on Hulu). The kids recognized the people and of course had seen the dragons on the tv show.
There are currently six seasons with other spin offs, but Dragons: The Nine Realms is set in more modern times, about 1,300 years after The Hidden World sequel. The series is about some misfits kids who are brought to a huge fissure by their parents. As they explore around the fissure, they discover the truth about dragons and where they have been hiding this whole time.
My kids have really enjoyed watching the series, but since we limit their TV time, it will take us a bit to get through all six seasons. Watching episodes is a reward for good behavior. These playsets give us an opportunity to maintain the reward but keep it offline. When the kids saw the boxes (and Ev saw the huge dragon) they knew it was from the show, and couldn’t be more excited! The pieces in these Playmobil Dreamworks Dragons playsets match the characters on the show which is different from their other sets. The dragons also are designed to spit darts to mimic the fire or electric balls they spit from their mouths in the show.
Assembly was quicker than many of their other sets. The dragons in these Playmobil sets are comprised of larger pieces. Since our kids wanted to play with the dragons and have them fly, having the bigger pieces without small pieces that can fall off is a good thing in my book. The sets really focus on the show, as they played with Tom riding Thunder, and Jun Wong and Eugene riding Wu and Wei. There is a separate set that focuses on the Icarus Lab with Dr. Olivia Kullersen and a Terrible Terror dragon.
Similar to a lot of their other sets, the Icarus Lab set has several accessories for added detail when playing. Like computer and monitors, and research equipment. The show includes a lot of drones, so of course there is one with movable rotors and kid-friendly dart functions. With the multiple sets, darts were flying around everywhere, sometimes a good 20 or so feet.
One of Ev’s favorite detail was the option to use the hose in the Icarus Lab set to fuel up the drone and, well, whatever else. The kids even bring accessories or other Playmobil characters to live in their How to Train a Dragon world. I really like how something from one set is still going to be used when playing in a different world. The kids are creative, but don’t need to pretend a block is a radio. Instead, they have a radio or computer, or some gems already, and they can feel more complete when playing in the world they have chosen.
All the dragons and characters move, and have some details special to each. For example, Thunder has a light that you can turn on, and his back glows. Wu and Wei’s heads can move, so one is up and the other is down. The drone that comes with the lab has rotating parts and all of these mentioned can shoot darts. The wings on the dragons can move and detach if you need room to store them. The mouths move on the dragons, even the Terrible Terror small dragon.
These sets have inspired my kids to train their dragons like Tom and Jun have done in the series. There are epic scenes coming about, alternate scenes that my kids have decided to create, and brave escapes. They said the next time we watch the show, they are ready to reenact the scenes with their new toys. We know there will be some energetic and fantastic new scenes that will happen. They are now more ready than ever.
Do you encourage imaginative play that’s based on digital franchises?