Lego® vs Playmobil: Which is better for children?

🗓 Sat, 07 Oct 2023

Both Lego® and Playmobil have been fixtures in children's rooms around the world for generations. Both toy manufacturers have been producing toys for several decades and this with a similar concept. Thus, interactive playing together and creating represents one of the most important features of both play concepts. But there are also many differences, for example, the German Lego alternative Playmobil is known for tending to be suitable for younger children, whereas Lego itself is suitable for builders of all ages.

But which represents the better toy for children? In this article we look at the differences between Lego® and Playmobil and go into who which manufacturer is best for.

Lego® VS. Playmobil: The differences

In the following, we will go into more detail about the differences between Lego® and Playmobil. In addition, we conclude by answering the question of which target group the respective manufacturers and their sets are best suited for.

Stones and figures

For many, the bricks and figures included in the sets of the two toy manufacturers certainly represent a special role. It can be said in advance that Playmobil relies on larger bricks and figures, whereas the Danish manufacturer of small bricks relies on many small parts.

Lego®: Many individual parts for design freedom

As already mentioned, Lego® bricks and figures are significantly smaller. The structure of the Lego brick with the familiar studs as a plug-in system allows the implementation of creative ideas.

Lego® Stein

Lego sets must be built from scratch and are composed of many individual parts and can be disassembled. Likewise, it is possible to rebuild Lego sets to one's own liking. Building sets requires a basic level of fine motor skills. The minifigures included in the sets are also relatively small and have few details. The minifigures can also be taken apart and are accordingly customizable.

Lego® Minifiguren

Lego sets are ideal for those children who enjoy building their own things and are creative.

Playmobil: Larger figures and fewer individual parts

In contrast to Lego® sets, Playmobil play sets are made up of considerably fewer individual parts. Accordingly, fine motor skills also play a secondary role. In contrast to Lego sets, Playmobil also does not have individual bricks, but larger elements such as:

  • Figures
  • Houses
  • Animals
  • Fences, bridges etc.

As a rule, Playmobil sets can not be disassembled and also difficult to rebuild. They are fixed play sets, but they also contain individual parts. The most important parts are the Playmobil figures, which are larger than the Lego minifigures.

Lego® und Playmobil im Vergleich

Playmobil sets provide an excellent basis for children who are only interested in playing and do not want to build or rebuild much themselves.

Age recommendations

Both Lego® and Playmobil have sets for children of different ages in their range. The sets for the different age groups have different characteristics. For example, the individual parts from sets for toddlers aged 1.5 years and older are larger than those from sets for older children. This is the case with both manufacturers.

Sets for toddlers from 1 ½ years

The Danish small building block manufacturer Lego® sells its sets for toddlers under the Lego Duplo brand. The counterpart to this is the 1-2-3 sets of the Lego Duplo alternative Playmobil.

Lego® Duplo sets for toddlers

Unlike the conventional Lego® bricks, the Duplo (dt. double) bricks are twice as big and accordingly suitable for toddlers from 1 ½ years. Due to the size of the included parts, there is no choking hazard for young children.

The sets recreate real-life scenarios from everyday life or with animals and awaken the spirit of discovery and exploration in children. Furthermore, many sets also contain vehicles and figures, for example, with which exciting adventures can be experienced. The sets can be converted as desired and are therefore particularly suitable for toddlers who want to build things themselves.

Playmobil 1-2-3 Sets

Like Lego® Duplo sets, the Playmobil 1-2-3 sets are also adapted to the needs of young children. In contrast to the Lego Duplo sets, the Playmobil sets do not offer any real freedom for your own creations and self-builds. Although the sets contain many individual parts and figures, they can only be combined in other ways to a limited extent.

Playmobil 1.2.3 70129 Family house

  • Features realistic functions: Working doorbell & flushing toilet
  • Includes three play figures
  • View here

You can also find more interesting sets for toddlers in our Lego Vs. Mega Bloks comparison.

Sets for children from 4 years

Both toy manufacturers also have interesting sets in their range for children aged 4 and up. From an age recommendation of 4 years, the parts and figures contained in the sets have the conventional original size.

Lego® sets for children from 4 years

Lego® sets from the age of 4 usually contain a variety of different bricks and figures that can be assembled individually. The selection of sets is large.

Particularly popular with children are the Lego Creator 3 in 1 sets, which can be individually converted. The set always comes with three sets of instructions, so, for example, a family home can be converted into a cafe.

Playmobil sets for children from 4 years

The German toy manufacturer Playmobil also offers play sets for children aged 4 and up. Unlike the sets from Lego®, the sets from Playmobil are primarily intended for playing. Conversion or own creations are not possible due to the larger parts.

Playmobil City Life 70281 adventure playground with climbing wall

  • Contains 4 figures
  • Functional tire swing
  • View here

Sets for older children and teenagers

The two toy manufacturers also have a selection of suitable sets in their range for older children and teenagers. However, it should be noted that the range at Lego® is significantly better and also larger. Especially when it comes to children over 10 years.

Lego® sets for teen movie fans

Lego® sets depicting well-known movie scenes from Harry Potter or Star Wars, for example, are particularly popular with young people over the age of 10. For almost two decades, the Danish manufacturer of small bricks has been offering corresponding sets.

Playmobil sets for teen movie fans

Playmobil also has similar sets in its range, but they are not comparable with those from Lego®. Among other things, the sets have fewer details and cannot be converted. Playmobil, for example, has released sets in cooperation with the movie "Back to the Future".

Playmobil Zurück in die Zukunft 70317 Delorean

  • Contains the movie characters as play figures
  • With light effects
  • View here

Themes and licenses

Even though Playmobil sets are not a direct alternative to Lego® in a direct comparison due to their construction and also do not contain any terminal bricks, they might be interesting for some due to other themes.

Accordingly, Lego, the Danish clamp brick manufacturer, does not offer sets to match every movie or theme. Classic sets that pick up on knights, for example, are available from both manufacturers.

Lego® Themes

Lego® offers by far the largest selection of themed worlds among the terminal block manufacturers. Highlights that are popular with children include:

  • Harry Potter
  • Star Wars
  • Marvel
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Disney
  • Minecraft
  • Ninjago

There are also other themes, but these are only intended for children to a limited extent. You can also find interesting themed worlds in our comparison of Lego Vs. Mega Construx.

Playmobil themes

Playmobil sets depicting movie scenes are rarer. Two well-known theme worlds include:

  • Ghostbusters
  • Back to the Future

Lego® VS. Playmobil: Our conclusion

Both Lego® and Playmobil are well-known brands that have shaped children's rooms around the world for decades. They serve as valuable tools that stimulate children's creativity and imagination, but in different ways.

Lego is known for its rich detail and individuality. Lego sets are made up of many small pieces and offer children a great deal of creative freedom. Children have the opportunity to build their own creations, disassemble existing sets and design them according to their own ideas. The brand appeals to all age groups: From special Lego Duplo sets for toddlers that are safe and double in size, to complex sets for older children and teens that depict familiar movie scenes and themed worlds. It is particularly suitable for children who enjoy building and individual design.

In contrast, Playmobil focuses on role play. With larger figures and fewer individual parts, the brand is geared more towards playing than building. Playmobil also offers a wide range of products for all ages, with an emphasis on play. The special 1-2-3 sets are designed for young children and are safe and easy to use. Playmobil is ideal for children who want to play first and foremost and build or rebuild less.

FAQ: Lego® Duplo and Playmobil in comparison

Both Lego® and Playmobil are popular toy brands among children and parents. Both offer versatile opportunities for creative play and promote different skills. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions to better understand the differences and benefits of both brands:

What is the difference between Lego® Duplo and Playmobil?

Lego® Duplo is a Lego line with large building blocks for younger children that focuses on building. Playmobil offers detailed sets for role play without the building aspect.

Which is better: Playmobil or Lego® Duplo?

It depends on the child. Lego ®Duplo for building enthusiasts; Playmobil for role-playing fans.

Which brand has more themed worlds and licenses?

Lego® has a wider range of themed worlds and licenses, including sets based on films, while Playmobil offers less choice in this respect.

Is Lego® better suited for older children and teenagers?

Lego® offers a wider selection of sets for older kids and teens, especially movie fans.

For whom is Playmobil suitable?

Playmobil is ideal for children who like to play role-playing games and are less interested in building and remodeling.

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