Since you’re enough of a car person (and cool person) to be hip to our little website here, there’s a solid chance you’re also into some variety of car-collecting. I doff my cap–my new Autopian cap–if you’re bucks-up enough to collect actual cars. That is fantastic! But as for the rest of us pleebs, we’re talking Hot Wheels and Matchbox, Lego (sorry, LEGO®) Technics sets, die-cast models (it’s Bburago for me, cheap but good), maybe slot cars or radio-control cars … all good stuff. But have you looked at Playmobil?
The brand has been on a bit of an adult collector tear these past two years, and like LEGO (eye roll), Playmobil has leaned heavily into licensed properties. You may have already seen the very impressive Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise set, which is built just as solidly for kid-play as any other Playmobil toy but commands a healthy $500 asking price. Like I said, adult collector–not a kid in sight! Thankfully, Playmobil’s license binge includes some terrific car brands as well as TV shows and movies that feature cars in starring roles. Theses vehicles are as wonderfully rendered as James T. Kirk’s interplanetary pickup machine, but available at much lower prices (and more easily displayed sizes) .
The latest small-screen machine to get the Playmobil treatment is the Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole famously driven by one Thomas Magnum, indelibly played by mustachioed hunk Tom Selleck in Magnum, P.I. (You knew this, of course. Come on, it’s Magnum.) As the brand has with previous cars such as the Volkswagens Beetle and T1 Camping Bus, Magnum’s Ferrari is much more faithfully rendered than expected for a toy, but also charmingly toy-like and rugged so you won’t shudder to let your nephew (or niece, we’re cool) give it a spin on the living room rug. Or you can play with it, you’re an adult, you can do whatever you want. Let’s check it out.
You don’t need to squint to see that’s a Ferrari 308. It looks right! The proportions are a slightly cartoony to suit Playmobil’s figures, but that’s very much part of the charm. It appears Playmobil even got the number of slats over the headlights correct! Do some 308s have them in black? Don’t know. Don’t care. The wheels are wonderful too, right down to the prancing-horse center caps.
Whoops, looks like the toy team goofed on the signature school-bus-style taillights, omitting the red lenses and going with a full set of four ambers minus their white reverse lamps. Oh well. But the 308’s quad (dual-dual?) exhausts and louvered lower engine cover are neatly simulated. Nice!
Look closely at the toy 308 and you’ll see Playmobil has also applied the Ferrari prancing horse in it its correct position, as seen here on the real thing.
Sadly, Playmobil has not released photos of the engine bay, but it does open. If Playmobil’s rendition of the SF90 Stradale ‘s engine bay is any indication, the 308 should have a nice-looking replica of an F106 AB V8 in there. And the headlights pop up! Nice!
[Editor’s Note: The headlights are no surprise; Plamobil has proven themselves to be very in tune with the desires of automotive lighting fetishists. – JT]
The Ferrari 308 set not only includes Magnum, resplendent in his signature Hawaiian shirt of course, but also Higgins, T.C., and Rick. Plus walkie-talkie, binoculars, and a camera (essential P.I. stuff), a palm tree because Hawaii, and a parrot. To reenact this scene, I suppose? It’s all wonderful.
The 308 joins Playmobil’s roster of cool-car sets that includes James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 , the A-Team Van, Mini Cooper, Knight Rider’s KITT, a lovely Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Porsches including the Mission E, Carrera RS 2.7 and 911 GT3 Cup, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, Ghosbusters Ecto-1 and Exto-1A, and the Delorean time machine (sadly discontiued, but still in stores). All highly collectible, affordable (if not cheap, but they are fantastically well-constructed toys), and lots of fun.
All Playmobil Ferrari 308 images courtesy Playmobil