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Sunday, June 17 2018 15:13

A Journey Into the Island of Roca with Playmobil: The Explorers Hidden Temple with T-Rex!

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They say that history repeats itself, and likewise so do trends. One trend in play that's back with some serious bite this year is everything jurassic.  Yes, the dinosaurs are back, and at the forefront of popular culture that's being driven by the release of Universal Pictures' Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  While they might own the rights to certain stories, names and places, Universal can't lay claim to dinosaurs, and that keeps the gates wide-open for other toymakers to ride the wave of renewed excitement for the long-extinct (or are they?) giants that have been captivating imaginations for millions of years. For Playmobil, The Explorers are their new line of archaeological adventurers who are making their way into stores and playrooms with tales of a mysterious island called Roca, where dinosaurs continue to live peacefully thanks to a magical fruit. At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York, I had a chance to see the new collection first-hand, and the folks at Playmobil recently sent us the new Hidden Temple with T-Rex Playset for a hands-on review.

Kind of an evolution of the Playmobil Dinos line from some years back, The Explorers posits a a trio of heroes - Nick, Will and Emma - against not only the mystery of the island, but also the villainous Quinn, whose curiosity for the inhabitants of the island is less than noble. At the center of the collection (currently six sets) is the Hidden Temple & T-Rex. 

Playmobil Hidden Temple Review

This set includes all three Explorers, plus their dog, the T-Rex and a ton of fun accessories that are customary to Playmobil's noted history of detailed imaginative play. There's exploratory tools like binoculars, computers and backpacks, but also weapons (the jungle can be a dangerous place) and supplies. A UV flashlight is included that activates some cool blacklight features such as glowing dinosaur eyes and magic fruit, and there's also plenty of things like a working freight elevator and dropping gate to keep things moving in interesting directions.  Personally, I like that the playset has a side that's reversible, allowing the multi-level platforms to be either inside or outside the Temple base.

Playmobil The Explorers Hidden Temple Review Playmobil The Explorers Hidden Temple Review

Now that summer is finally here, it's a lot of fun to take these outside to experience the "jungle" in our own backyard. Granted, we need to watch out for losing the small pieces (always a hazard), but seeing the adventure unfold through the power of pure imagination is what it's all about. Fun fact: Peonies make pretty awesome "trees" for playtime, and decorative grasses can be pretty exotic heavy brush. 

Hidden Temple... of DOOM? Playmobil - The Explorers 

As I've said many times over the years, Playmobil is hands-down one of the finest toymakers of all-time, and every kid should experience these. Having lost Toys "R" Us as a major retailer of Playmobil products here in the United States, your best bets for finding these online are Amazon and the official Playmobil store, or look for a local independent toy retailer for the best selection in-house. You can check out ASTRA.org to find a local toy store near you.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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