Welcome to the wonderful world of whimsy! The Treasure Tour is the place to go if you want to connect with your childhood, regardless of whether you're five, fifteen or fifty, nine, nineteen or ninety. Some of the pieces on display are one-of-a-kind antiques that are sure to wow anyone with a sense of the refined and immaculate, while others seem somewhat silly and frivolous. But we do hope everyone who comes here has a sense of fun and a willingness to enjoy themselves, because we love your smiles.
Speaking of smiles, today's blog is about the creation of a man named Hans Beck. This German cabinetmaker loved creating model airplanes and, hoping to make money off of his passion, approached Horst Brandstatter, the owner of a toy company. Brandstatter wasn't interested in Beck's airplanes, but he saw Beck's talent, and encouraged him to produce small figures for children. Between 1971 and 1974, Beck perfected his toy. Not too small, but not too big. Flexible but not too flexible. Designed to nurture imagination, the figures he made had big heads, sweet smiles, and no noses. They would lay the foundation for what would be called Playmobil. Playmobil was introduced at the perfect time - during the Energy Crisis of the early-70's. They didn't require too much plastic, making them affordable for Brandstatter to produce. The first designs they created were knights, Native Americans, and construction workers. Adults didn't immediately see their appeal, but kids did. Once they were displayed in department stores, they sold and sold and sold. Their target audience - kids between the ages of four and twelve - continue to embrace these delightful sets to this day, but so do many adults who regard them as highly collectible, and the greatest threat to Lego's dominance in the toy industry. So, come to the American Treasure Tour and see our giant Playmobil figures, smiling down from our giant Rubik's cubes. Because, well, obviously.