When The LEGO Movie came out, I cracked a joke on Twitter saying that The Asylum—the company you can count on for mockbusters—should handle a Playmobil movie. It turns out there actually will be an animated Playmobil movie, but it will be coming from ON Entertainment and Wild Bunch. For those who don’t know, Playmobil are like LEGO minus the fun of building and adorable minifigures. To put it another way, it’s what a child gets for their birthday when their grandparents can’t tell the difference between LEGO and Playmobil at the toy store.
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According to Variety, Bob Persichetti, who worked as head of story on Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek 2, and Puss in Boots, is spearheading the development. And to be fair to Playmobil (and as a LEGO fan, it’s so very difficult even though they’re not competing brands except in my mind and my childhood grudges), There’s been a large variety of sets over the course of the company’s forty-year history. To also pull from Variety’s fact sheet: “Playmobil has sold over 2.7 billion figurines. Designed by Hans Beck, the toys have become a favorite for children in more than 100 countries worldwide.” Also a favorite for children worldwide: shiny objects. Variety reports that the film will have a budget of $80 million and will be released by the end of 2017.
It’s important to remember that The LEGO Movie wasn’t an obvious slam dunk. People were rightly wary of a movie based off a toy, and just because one toy movie succeeds, that doesn’t mean others will, no matter how closely they resemble the original hit. People can sense an off-brand rip-off, and I’m not just talking about Playmobil even though I’m sure Playmobil fans will ardently take to the comments section and say how their toys are just as good despite limited customization and the figures’ cold, dead, muted smiles.