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Playmobil toys are magic! Not only are they exceptionally well designed and made but they also keep kids amused for hours. And they’re also magic because they have loads of very small parts, many of which see, to disappear! What most parents don’t realise, though, is those magical toys could well have been produced right here in Malta!
Take the magical Playmobil castle, for example, which started out its life with four brave full-equipped knights – they had several swords, a helmet, visor, shield, dagger, pikestaff and some had maces, bows and arrows and other weapons. Several years later, we can barely muster enough equipment to send one of them into battle, let alone stage any elaborate reconstructions of the Great Siege of Malta.
And though the magic of the disappearing weapons is most likely explained by the presence of an all-consuming vacuum cleaner monster rather than genuine magic, their rate of disappearance is quite mystifying. That aside though, Playmobil toys are brilliant!
They were introduced to the world, believe it or not, as long ago as the 1950s by a German clever-clogs called Horst Brandstätter. It was he who devised the method of combining air pressure, molten plastic and moulds to produce consistently shaped parts.
His first toy prototype emerged soon after and popularity spread quickly with a massive production plant and warehouse being constructed near Zirndorf in 1969 to meet rocketing demand. The second major production plant opened in 1971 and now incorporates the Playmobil FunPark. It’s right here on Malta and is now a popular tourist attraction.
You’ll find it on an unpromising industrial estate in Hal Far, almost at the southern tip of the island, on the bottom edge of the airport. It may only be the second largest Playmobil factory in the world but it’s the only one where you can see production of the toys taking place.
Watching their favourite toys being splurged into moulds will only keep kids amused for a few minutes, so Playmobil has realised that there needs to be other attractions for visitors. Hence the cafeteria and a small FunPark, where your little ones can play until they tire themselves out.
All the classic Playmobil toys in the many themes like City Life, Rescue, Zoo, Pirates, Police, Knights, and Fairy Tale are available to buy here in the on-site factory shop. This retail outlet could prove to be a highlight of your child’s Malta trip, what with gazing at the vast choice of toys and maybe persuading their parents to snap something up in a moment of holiday weakness.
You can also see if you might spot some of the bits that have long since vanished up your vacuum cleaner coming off the production line as you take the factory tour. These trips around the factory take place from Monday to Thursday, starting at 10.30am and 2.30pm. Friday tours depart at 11.30am.
A tour around the factory takes roughly 45 minutes and will cost you €8.20 per person. Admission includes free refreshments in the café, entry to the FunPark, a small memento of the visit and most importantly, as far as your kid is concerned, a 10% discount voucher for that all-important shop.
Playmobil strongly recommends you to book in advance, as they are limited to 10 people per tour. It is possible just to visit the FunPark, which opens from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 1pm on Sundays. FunPark admission is free for adults, €2.35 for children under 13 and €1.20 for those over 12.
If you want to drive to the Playmobil FunPark then follow the signs for the airport at Luqa. The Playmobil signs should start to appear when you get close but there is a map on the website. If you’re on the bus then it’s still possible as there's one from Valletta that drops you off right outside the park.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Address : Playmobil Funpark HF80, Hal Far BBG 3000
Phone : +356 2224 2445
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