Hello Fellow Playmobil Collectors !
My name is Karim and some of you may already know about my work through Playmovictorian.
I am 46 years old and a Hotel Manager with a job that took me around the globe starting with France, then New Zealand, Australia, Canada, England and now Luxembourg.
Playmobil knocked for the first time at my door when I was living in the resort of Villefranche sur Mer in South of France, where I grew up, on a Wednesday afternoon when visiting a friend who had the brand new Playmobil Fort with figures and also a few Indians. This was the mid to late seventies and Playmobil was already THE Toy to have back then ! I remember asking my Mum for Playmobil on one Christmas but got Playbig instead and was so disappointed not to have the original !
I was at the time more focused on a large project of a miniature train on a HO scale complete with multiple tracks, scenery including a town, mountain village, stations, and so on which kept me very busy building and developping between the age of 07 and 13, until my parents and I moved to Brittany. This long term project created a lifelong lovestory with miniatures from creating tunnels, hedges and fields to putting together buildings which are, on a HO scale, by all mean tiny, but I loved it
Surprinsingly enough, my Playmobil first crush was back in the mid eighties when the original Pirate Ship was released and I bought it immediately. It still is in my home in France.
And my utter love of the Playmobil Victorian Theme or "Belle Epoque" as us French call it, came on the summer of 1990 when it was released in France. It was a very warm summer and I was walking the streets of the medieval city of Carcassonne listening to Paula Abdul's remixes when I stopped short in front of the window of toyshop...
I had never seen anything like this before but it appealed to me from the second I saw it, a beautiful mansion complete with old fashioned furniture, figures including Masters & Servants, a lovely carriage, and a wonderful car
This was IT, I got hooked on the theme and came back home with the complete set which costed me at the time a small fortune but so worth the joy I got from it, even now 23 years later, as this is still my original house which is featured in my scènes and dioramas.
I purchased sets from the Victorian Theme until it got discontinued and I remember that the last set I purchased was in Windsor UK in an old fashioned Dept Store, now closed, and it was the second edition of the bathroom set.
I started putting together scènes which I photographed and somehow came the desire of adding to the accessories and I then thought of dollshouse accessories which I researched online. After a few trials and fails, I discovered that the dollshouse accessories on a 1/12th scale were perfectly matching my Playmobil Victorian Theme and this is how my créations all started
These créations remained a solitary hobby for years as I had no one to share my passion with. After all, I was a grown up man in a grown up world so I believed that I might well be alone in doing so, was I wrong !
My first encounter with a diorama came in the early 2000s when I came accross a magnificent picture of a Victorian Diorama created by our Friends from Générations Playmo, picture which I saved on my computer as a screensaver, but somehow never managed to find the website again...
Years passed until I was finally invited to the Playmofriends forum where I received an unexpected yet wonderful welcome from fellow adults who shared a passion with a toy, a toy named Playmobil. I just could not believe at first that créations such as mine who are featuring non Playmobil accessories would receive such a welcome, but they did, and so continued the story on Playclicks, Tricornejock, Playmoboys now Uchronys, and more recently Univers Playmo.
Encouraged by such a welcome, my créations evolved from simple scènes to dioramas and then little tales with figures evolving in a decor created by myself using the same techniques as I did when I was 07 years old.
Life is about circles, isn't it and something that you learned years ago may well become very handy now, so is the story of my love affair with the Playmobil Victorian Theme and Miniatures.
With quite an experience with creating large dioramas celebrating Seasons such as Autumn or Winter in little Victorian tales, came the idea in 2010 to create a Summer Tale.
As always, I spent weeks researching the subject as I wanted to create a tale about one extraordinary day from early morning to midnight, set around my original Playmobil mansion, pavillion and specially created gardens, which became the Summer Garden Party on Regent St.
And as I was keeping my fellow Playmo Friends informed about the building of the project through a Making Of thread, I received an offer from my Friend Tonguello who offered to create a specially created custom figure for the coming tale. I was so incredibly touched and proud that a Friend living as far as Argentina would offer to participate in such a wonderful way to my project ! This is when the project suddenly took a brand new dimension when I posted a list of my ideal casting of characters to evolve on Regent St, and I received offers from all Playmo online communities and little people started arriving in my letter box from Argentina, USA, Germany, Belgium, Spain, England, Scotland, France and so on
This is something I will for ever feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have experienced and tells so much about the bonds that one can create in an online community, and the Playmobil online community especially.
This obviously gave me wings for the production of the Summer Garden Party on Regent St and I spent a huge amount of time, effort and energy making it as perfect as I could possibly make it in honour of my Friends.
I was able to produce two entire chapters of the tribulations of my happy little Victorians and Friends until my work took over resulting in a break of nearly two years.
But I am truly delighted to announce that I will produce the third chapter of the tale this winter in a brand new and enlarged decor so please stay tuned !
I thank you for welcoming me to the Playmobil Collectors Club