Playmobil Passion? Nein!

Playmobil Jesus.jpgSo get this: An evangelical pastor in Germany does a little “customizing” of some of those popular Playmobil toy figures to make Bible scenes–including a Passion–and the company wants to shut him down. Unfair? Or unfair use? The National Post has the story (in English):

“Reverend Markus Bomhard, 38, an evangelical preacher from Eschborn, Hesse, glued breasts on to his ‘Eve’ character and even recreated the Passion in plastic, depicting the Crucifixion by using a hairdryer to melt and mould the Christ figure’s hands to a cross.


The pastor’s Web site also shows a Playmobil Noah in the ark, a Playmobil Mary on a donkey and a Playmobil Jesus in the manger.

But the montage attracted the wrath of Germany’s favourite toy company, which produces the Klicky figures used by the pastor, after a series of pictures were published on the Internet.

The toy maker claimed the church was violating copyright and instructed lawyers to write to the pastor to dismantle his creation.”

Bomhard even claims to have the imprimatur of Pope Benedict XVI, though that sounds odd. And the pontiff doesn’t need a fight with Playmobil at this point. I can see the upset over the glued-on breasts–sounds like something they’d do on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And he did do Mel Gibson-ish things to get the Crucifixion:


“It’s true that I did use a hair dryer to soften the figure for the crucifixion scene because the fingers wouldn’t spread out properly otherwise,” he said.

Still, his website does have a disclaimer. I can’t locate the site–little help? But did find this close-up of his Jim Cavaziel, er, Jesus Christ. The really weird thing is that my daughter got her first Playmobil set this week–shhhh! It’s just a horse and stable, but pretty pricey (thank heaven for the in-laws) and a lot of work to put together. Thanks to the German engineering.

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posted April 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I still prefer The Brick Testament (

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posted April 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm

On my shelf are three books by “Rev” (not actually ordained, but a nickname given by his friends) Brendan Powell Smith of Bible scenes made from LEGO pieces. He does not mince the mature stuff to make it palatable for kiddies. No one has decried this use of a toy (according to the company, “LEGO” is Danish for “play well”).
Playmobil produces and sells a Nativity set – I have one and used it this year in our sanctuary for Advent / Christmas. So making this step to the Crucifixion seems appropriate. I even have a Roman authority and some Legionaires to complete the scene, as well as lions for the lambs, an asp, and some wolves, eagles, and other creatures from the Isaiah prophesies (and a gorilla named “Darwin”, as a tweak to the Creationists). The Nativity is cute and quaint, but a Nativity with the Crucifixion and resurrection leaves only a cute and quaint theology. Christianity then becomes vapid and destitute.
Perhaps Playmobil objects to his melting and reforming their toys – not much of a complaint – kids do much worse. I would like to see the entire diorama, so if there is a link to a better view, I would appreciate it.

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David Gibson

posted April 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Marcio, the Brick Testament is very good. Those look like Playmboil figures. Is he courting trouble?

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posted April 3, 2009 at 9:52 am

Here is the web site: (I found it by looking at the copyright info on the bottom of the picture 😉

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