It’s that time of the every-two-years again: we watch amazing athletes on TV, promise ourselves a shiny, new Michael Phelps body by this time next year, and return to our far-too-tempting Cheetos. If we’re lucky, we’ll engage in some form of guilt diet for a few days, eschewing soda for apple juice, and eventually return to the fizzy comfort of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the Olympic Games, and it’s here to make us alternately gasp in awe at the accomplishments of the human body, and to make us feel a little worse about ourselves.
I like the Olympics for the same reason I like Batman. These are people who have single-mindedly dedicated themselves to achieving their absolute peak physical performance. I can barely decide what to eat for lunch every day and these people have focused their life on a singular goal. Sure, Batman is also a detective, a billionaire, and an amazing inventor, but as far as this reality is concerned, it’s still pretty impressive to be, say, the Batman of the Olympic pool, or the hammer throw, or even riding a bike. I’d settle for being the Robin of riding a bike. Being the best at anything is admirable.
Because Playmobil is a microcosm of our vast and curious world, they’ve made a set of Olympics-themed figures.
…and they were kind enough to send along a set of fencers to play with!
I’ve tried watching the fencing trials on TV, but I think I’m missing something. If there’s an artistry in the parrying and thrusting, perhaps it’s moving too fast for my slow, naked eyes. All I see is a couple of people tied to infant restrainers kinda limply poking at each other. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the movies, because I love swordfighting. I grew up on a steady diet of Dungeons & Dragons and Robin Hood. Maybe it would be more interesting if there were a damsel at stake.
None of this makes Playmobil’s fencers less charming. This set comes in a dueling pair, each in a slightly different costume and hair color, but otherwise identical. The highlight of the set is their removable fencing masks, which are clear plastic printed with a dot pattern to make them translucent and appear to have grating. It’s this attention to the tiny details that makes me love Playmobil. It’s a very simple set, especially compared to some of the more complex sets which include all manner of gym equipment, but getting fencing swords into my Playmobil collection is always welcome. That target shooter gun is pretty intense also.
These are out now, so choose a favorite sport or two and add these guys to your Playmobil collection before the Winter Olympics come along. Come to think of it, a couple of curling figures could be pretty interesting…