That kiddie classic Playmobil is immensely popular in
Europe, where, ever since the seventies, children have
been turning flat, featureless, little plastic
creatures into various characters with the addition of
different click-on accessories. Now, thanks to Viktor
Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the figures appear to have
become a comment on the genetic militarism of men.
In a collection dominated by toy-bright reds and blues plus military tones, the designers focused on boyhood fantasies of grown-up power. A pair of trousers came with attached cowboy holsters and cartridge holder (the bullet that was thoughtfully included was engraved "Monsieur"). T-shirts were printed with a gun or a grenade (in fetching pink!). A Swiss Army knife appeared as a Pop Art multiple on a shirt. One jacket was woven with black-on-black Jacquard revolvers. Another, in beige cashmere cotton, had monochrome detailing like the braid on a general's jacket.
Playmobil's click-ons were duplicated in surface adornmentsruffles, badges, military decorationswhich Velcro-ed on and off. The company's exaggerated detailing was reflected in jeans with huge stitching. And the figures' two-dimensionality was apparent in lapels stitched flat to create a featureless plane. So, if you fancy evoking a plastic toy with your wardrobe for next fall, your options are obvious.