Playmobil Bank Robbery Toy Captures Annual Holiday Outrage

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The holidays are a time for traditions, but a new one is more the stuff of business nightmares than dreams of profitable sugar plums.

The Daily Mail reported that the German toy company Playmobil was criticized for "glorifying crime" with its armed bank holdup set, called "Bank with Safe." A picture of the toy shows a female figure with dark glasses, a bag, and a gun while a grinning bank worker holds out a stack of bills. Call it cops and robbers, only without the police.

However, with all the concern from parents and child advocates that the Mail reported, there's something a bit odd. The toy they show is one that made the rounds last year, as the Mirror reported in February 2013.

Look at the pictures in both stories and you see the same figures, the same sunglasses, and the same gun. That might show Playmobil to be unconcerned with the criticism, except the company did make at least one major change: it took the gun out of the woman's hand, as the image below, from the Playmobil U.S. site, shows.


Credit: Playmobil

And yet, you can't fairly say that the Mail was simply resuscitating an old story, even though the gun was clearly from an old picture.

AOL Jobs looked at a number of online sites that carried the toy, including Amazon's Marketplace (actually sold by a company called Really Great Toys), Diapers.com, and Yoyo.com. All show the toy or packaging image without the gun. However, the Amazon display has other images as well, including this one:


Credit: Amazon.com

So, has Playmobil completely removed gun, or just taken it out of the packaging image? AOL Jobs has asked for clarification but did not receive an answer before publication.

Also, lest you think that the toy has been transformed into a scene of normal deposits and withdrawals, here is another image, this one directly from Playmobil:


Credit: Playmobil

Perhaps the figure with sunglasses is simply repairing the ATM. Then again, it would more likely seem to be someone breaking into the machine to remove the cash.

At least the set acknowledged gender equality by having the female figure as the perpetrator, not the victim.
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