Playmobil vs LEGO: 3 unknown differences to help you choose

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  April 25, 2021

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LEGO and Playmobil are two WORLD FAMOUS toy brands, both from Europe. They are so often compared, which is actually quite strange when you look at the range that they bring to the market.

In some aspects they might NOT differ MORE than they do.

Yet there are few children (and parents because the brands have been around for that long!) Who have never played with both.

STRONGER EVEN: For many children, playing with LEGO or Playmobil is an important part of their childhood and development.

In fact, MY childhood is full of playing with LEGO and Playmobil, and yours might be too.

I still remember exactly why and when I liked one thing more than the other, and to reinforce my research into the differences I bought a lot of toys and had a lot of fun making videos for our Youtube channel if this:

Briefly the main differences:

LEGO is perfect for building while Playmobil is mainly about role play. LEGO also focuses on all ages with real collector's items, and it has turned out that at a later age boys mainly prefer LEGO, and girls for Playmobil. It is the same for the youngest age groups.

But that is VERY VERY in short, and if I leave it at that, I probably get both brands on my roof that I have not emphasized all the differences clearly enough.

If you find it interesting I will now cover ALL the main differences so that you know EXACTLY when to choose which brand for your child!

What are the differences between LEGO and Playmobil?

LEGO is mainly known for the building blocks, while Playmobil is mainly known for the small, smiling dolls.

In addition, you have many more options with LEGO than with Playmobil, which you probably noticed.

The biggest differences at a glance:

If your child is not necessarily fond of building, then Playmobil might offer a better solution than LEGO (Duplo).

But of course Playmobil also has a wide range of building and construction toys. The toys are in most cases quick and easy to assemble.

Because Playmobil focuses on role play and not necessarily building, there is a limitation when we talk about the possibilities.

For example, if you want to build a house with LEGO, you always have the chance to deviate a little from the instructions so that there is a lot of freedom of movement.

There is even a whole movement around so-called “LEGO MOCs”, which stands for My Own Creation:

This is in contrast to a Playmobil house; it is as it is, you cannot just build a floor on top of it. This means that the Playmobil range is not nearly as diverse as that of LEGO.

The philosophy of both brands is also completely different: LEGO focuses with its products on children and people of all ages, while Playmobil really focuses on kids.

LEGO gives the user the necessary to build themselves, while Playmobil provides the elements to create a story themselves.

LEGO is doing everything it can to expand the range, including collaborations with famous external parties such as Disney and Warner Bros, where Playmobil is more based on its own creativity. There even is a special LEGO Life Magazine!

Incidentally, it has turned out that especially at a later age boys prefer LEGO, and the girls for Playmobil. It is the same for the youngest age groups.

What are the similarities between LEGO and Playmobil?

Besides the fact that we are talking about two super successful toy brands that want to offer children as much fun as possible, there are a number of other things in which LEGO and Playmobil are similar:

The great thing about themes is that there is always something interesting for every child. In addition, it is also convenient that the brands are classified by theme, so that it becomes easier to purchase the right set for your child.

As also mentioned earlier, another similarity between the brands is that both have a toy series aimed at children between 1 and 3 years old.

What is LEGO known for?

LEGO is a hugely popular toy brand that we all know and that is loved by young and old. At a fairly young age, children can get started with a beautiful LEGO building set.

Because the indestructible building blocks always have cheerful colors, they are incredibly attractive. LEGO focuses on various age groups with its building kits.

LEGO has the LEGO Duplo series for the little ones, suitable for children between 1,5 and 4 years old. The older, the smaller the LEGO blocks are and the higher the difficulty for building.

The difference between Duplo and 'regular' LEGO toys is that the Duplo toys consist of larger pieces, making it safer for smaller kids because they cannot just put these toys in their mouths.

In addition, these blocks are easy to grasp by small children's hands.

Thanks to LEGO toys, children will be able to shape their own creative world. They will learn that some blocks are compatible and fit on or together, while others are not.

With LEGO toys, children will not only learn to build, they will also learn to count and recognize colors, for example.

Read also: Best toys to learn colors [+ complete practice guide]

What is Playmobil known for?

In general, Playmobil has been developed for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Just like LEGO (Duplo), Playmobil also has a toy series that focuses on children between 1 and 3 years old.

Thanks to Playmobil, a world opens up for children. The toys stimulate imagination and creativity.

The many figures make it possible to play different role-playing games and thus act out situations from real life.

This is of course also great fun for stop motion videos (which you can also make with your child!)!

The great thing is that the cheerful Playmobil minifigures are all talents that each take on their own challenges.

Think pirates, construction workers, police officers, veterinarians and road workers! Which Playmobil character can your child identify with?

Playmobil has a creative team that constantly comes up with new ideas behind the scenes to offer children all over the world a lot of fun!

I have, by the way compared the two toy giants Bruder & Playmobil

The LEGO range

LEGO grows with your child. A child usually starts with LEGO Duplo, and as your child gets older, different LEGO packs or series present new challenges.

Roughly speaking, the following five LEGO categories can be distinguished, sorted by age / difficulty:

So for the little ones there is the LEGO Duplo, as I mentioned before. In essence, the dolls of this series come close to those of Playmobil dolls.

When a child becomes too old for Duplo, the switch is often made to LEGO Juniors. Here children are challenged to build more realistic and complex things.

However, before you transfer your child to LEGO Juniors; make sure he or she is clearly ready.

LEGO Juniors contains the standard size LEGO bricks, but the smallest LEGO bricks are not yet used and therefore not the complex constructions.

A logical next step is the LEGO Creator series; a box full of possibilities where different constructions can be built, and the LEGO City; which is actually comparable to the LEGO Juniors but this time without limitation on small bricks and more complex constructions.

We could call this the basic packages, and from here the themed LEGO sets come into play. Take the LEGO Chima series for example; a fantasy world with its own style and figures.

There are also LEGO Elves, LEGO Castle, LEGO Friends and various other themes.

Besides the self-invented worlds, LEGO also has building kits with pre-existing themes, such as Star Wars, the Hobbit and more.

LEGO Technic goes a bit further than these packages. With this theme you can build constructions that really work.

Consider, for example, vehicles that you normally see on construction sites, such as a truck or a shovel. Often there is a remote control with which you can move elements.

The last is the LEGO Architecture series, which allows you to recreate in detail the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the White House, the Trevi Fountain and other famous buildings.

This series is suitable for anyone over the age of 12 and is generally also very interesting by adults.

Where do you buy LEGO? Read: Shops from LEGO | our 5 favorites for hours of shopping fun

The Playmobil range

The Playmobil range consists of a toy line for the little ones (comparable to LEGO Duplo) and one for the older children.

For children between the ages of 1 and 4, themes are common the farm or playground.

This is followed by various themed packs intended for children from 4 years old, divided into the categories boys (knights, dragons, pirates, the wild west, the construction site), girls (princesses, dollhouses, fairies) and general (zoo, circus, water amusement park, farm).

For the little ones, the emphasis is on the use of the available accessories, whereby the child determines how the setting is arranged.

For the older kids it is nice that they can choose a theme that suits their interests.

Of course, girls can just as well play with the toys that are supposed to be for boys, and vice versa.

Looking for even more beautiful construction toy brands? read Best Bruder construction toys: 10 trucks, excavators, forklifts & more

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.