A few years ago I went on a press trip to the Playmobil headquarters in Germany.
It was a great experience and afterwards all attendees were treated to one of those giant-sized Playmobil figures that you see in shop displays but can’t actually buy.
Needless to say, this made me feel very important, so imagine my mixed feelings when, on walking around Chester town centre recently, I saw an even bigger Playmobil figure outside the independent toy shop, Toycraft. This figure is enormous and makes my previously esteemed ‘giant’ figure suddenly seem inadequate.
I will be expecting a call from Playmobil very soon, but in the meantime, this got me thinking about which toys could be improved by a little upscaling.
LEGO is an obvious candidate. Blowing those bricks up to the size of, well, bricks, would open up all sorts of possibilities. You could build dens in the garden that you could actually fit all your mates into, you could build a castle in the playroom that you could take refuge in whenever it was time for homework (holding out for weeks if necessary), and just think how incredible it would be to have life-size Star Wars sets.
Airfix soldiers would look amazing peppered around the garden in various defensive positions – poking a rife out from the back of the shed, lobbing grenades over the hedge or manning a machine gun in the flower bed.
Remote-control helicopters would be insanely exciting if you could actually fly around the park in them (they would be heavy on the batteries, though).
These all seem like no-brainers to me, but it is also obvious that not all toys would benefit from being scaled up.
Life-sized plastic dinosaurs would pose far too may logistical problems, although they would open up a brand new way of measuring your social status – only the richest families would have gardens big enough for a Diplodocus.
But on the whole, I think bigger would nearly always be better, and would, in many cases, rekindle interest in adults.
Imagine being able to have a sleek Ferrari in your driveway, complete with opening doors and gleaming engine.
You would have to keep the driveway gates closed, so nobody could get close enough to see that it was a life-sized Hot Wheels die-cast, but that is just a minor detail.