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Old 29th June 2011, 02:59 PM
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Tiermann Tiermann is offline
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Default Tiermann in Germany

My Playmobil Visit with the Pilot Group Board in Germany

This is a general synopsis of what I did while interacting with Geobra - Playmobil while in Germany at the end of May. There is an official synopsis of the main meeting that will be published by Playmobil. The board has commented on the draft version of that in reply to Geobra so that wont really be covered here, but in comments after itís publication. This is more about what we did while there, and my own general impressions. This reflects only my own experience and views, Iím not writing it in cooperation with any of the others. Originally this was going to be a quick synopsis but it looks like thatís not going to happen so it will be posted in segments as I get time to write them. Itís also turned out to be illustrated with a little video so please forgive the post length.

Sunday Ė I left home Saturday morning and arrived Sunday afternoon. From my location in the USA it was 14 hours travel time and a +9 hour time change. I also had the fun of 3 trips through airport security in 3 different airports, 3 different planes but only 2 airplane meals. I was on an Airbus 380 for the main part of the trip and had a Boeing 777 on the way back. The Airbus was much much more comfortable even though I was in row 91, and the Lufthansa food was better as well.

Plane 1 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

After arrival in Nuremberg I had a cab ride to the Funpark Hotel in Zirndorf. The climate and geography of this part of Bavaria was very much like what I am used to at home in Oregon. Except that it was summer in Germany but spring was still hanging on at home. The weather while there was comfortable to slightly hot and only sprinkled rain one day of the week I was there. Except when I actually arrived at the hotel Ė just at that moment there was a big thunderstorm move through with a downpour and heavy wind. Exciting and rather fun to me really.

Storm video:

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no34 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no36 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no33 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

The rooms at the Funpark Hotel are very nice. They have a small refrigerator, a microwave, table and two chairs, TV, bed, a small couch, and then in a side room area a bunkbed for kids. The bathroom was very nice with a heated towel rack (very pleasant after a shower). The hotel rooms tend to be a little expensive, but for a family it would be well worth it. I could see 2 or 3 collectors sharing one of these rooms with no trouble.

Playmobil-Hotel May 24 2011 no1 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Playmobil-Hotel May 24 2011 no2 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Playmobil-Hotel May 24 2011 no3 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Playmobil-Hotel May 24 2011 no5 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Playmobil-Hotel May 24 2011 no4 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Outside the hotel after the storm

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no40 by TimSpfd, on Flickr
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Old 29th June 2011, 03:00 PM
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Tiermann Tiermann is offline
"keep cool - has a chocolate Heart"
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Oregon, USA
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I was the first to arrive and had time to go over to the Funpark and the Funpark shop. I looked around the Funpark briefly and then wandered through the shop for a while planning out what I wanted to buy and wondering how I was going to fit it into my suitcase. I will describe the Funpark and shop in more detail later.

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no7 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no2 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no3 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no1 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no6 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

When I got back to the hotel I met Magayver. We chatted in his room for a bit and he showed me some project plans he is working on for the next big show. It’s a great project and I’m sure you will all be very impressed. There was a scheduled time to meet at the entry to go to a restaurant for a meal. When we went down we met with Gis and Rosebud. Gis was one of the closest for travel but he was the only one to have lost luggage. At this same time we met Judith Weingart from Geobra PR department, Judith was the primary contact on the company side during the Pilot Project and had helped with all of the travel arrangements for us. She is a very nice and very busy woman. She took a lot of her own time to spend with us during our visit and her help was much appreciated by all.

We all got together in Judith’s car and she took us off to the restaurant in Nuremberg. We went to Zum Gulden Stern. For someone coming from a country that’s only been around 235 years I couldn’t really get my head around the fact I was eating in a restaurant that had been selling bratwurst for almost 600 years, since 1419. The food was very good and I think the bratwurst was the best I had the whole trip (I ate a lot of bratwurst in Germany). It was great socializing with the others and talking about various collector issues with Judith. In our social discussions with Judith and others later the themes that repeatedly came up were: the desire for DS availability worldwide, especially for those in countries not served by Playmobil at all right now; the use of Playmobil as a construction toy and how it’s various systems interact; and the desire for availability of items released in Germany to collectors worldwide at the same time.

Nuremberg May 22 2011 no1 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

After the meal in Nuremberg we were able to determine that Socarates had arrived and arranged to meet him at the Playmobil Funpark Biergarten. When we got back it was dark and still some threat of storminess, so the biergarten was empty except for our group. We continued our socializing and talk about Playmo and I had my first Apfelschorle – apple juice mixed with carbonated mineral water. It’s a very German sort of drink and I found if you weren’t going to drink beer or wine you fit in fine at a biergarten with it. I think maybe it makes you look a little less like a tourist. We finished at the biergarten late, but then went back to the hotel and had a strategy meeting. Since my internal clock was off 9 hours form there it wasn’t bad, it was the morning that was harder.

Funpark front at night

Zirndorf May 22 2011 no42 by TimSpfd, on Flickr

To be continued…
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Old 29th June 2011, 08:58 PM
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Nick Nick is offline
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Thanks for the ongoing report Tim and the great photos: they brought back lots of good memories.

We had one stay in the Playmobil Hotel with the three children and were very comfortable there, making use of the fridge and microwave. Unfortunately we didn't bring a can opener with us.

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Old 30th June 2011, 04:17 PM
BlueWizard BlueWizard is offline
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Thanks for the story and pics, Tim! Very interesting... I'm looking forward to seeing more of your trip.

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Old 30th June 2011, 05:48 PM
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irnm2001 irnm2001 is offline
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Thanks for sharing.

Mad Nick
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