back to article Father of Playmobil dies at 79

Hans Beck, the man who invented Playmobil, died last Friday at the age of 79 following a "serious illness", Deutsche Welle reports. Trained furnituremaker Beck worked for manufacturer Geobra Brandstaetter from 1958 to 1998, and in the 1970s responded to his employers' request to design a "collectible toy" by creating the …


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  1. Mark Lockwood

    When and where?

    I would like to request a full reconstruction of the funeral.

    That is all

  2. Steven Foster

    A sad day...

    RIP :(

  3. Nigel Thomas

    We need a suitable pictorial memorial ...

    ... no doubt you can oblige from your extensive collection of Playmobil figures?

  4. Paul Murphy

    Sad day,

    I hope that El Reg can come up with a suitable diorama to celebrate his life and legacy.

    At least his toys will be bringing smiles to peoples faces for years to come (maybe forever?), even the smiles of the 'airport security post' type.


    wot no playmobil icon?

  5. Gareth Williams
    IT Angle

    RIP Herr Playmobil

    Never heard of the bloke, although of course I played with Playmobil as a kid. RIP anyway.

    Shame I don't have this guy listed on my Dead Pool. Could've earned a few sneaky points on this one.

    Oh, and what's the IT Angle, exactly?

  6. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: RIP Herr Playmobil

    >Oh, and what's the IT Angle, exactly?

    Oh do fuck off.

  7. alan
    Dead Vulture


    we need a playmobile reconstruction of this guys funeral :)

    Rest In Peace Dude :)

  8. ahahaha you won't catch me that easy again
    IT Angle


    were playmobil figures "playpeople" or "busybodies" ?

  9. Geeks and Lies

    Sarah Bee, you owe me a new keyboard!

    Mine is now in the bin full of Red Bull!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'No horror, no superficial violence'

    Does that mean Playmobil offer a 'traumatising violence' range?

    I second Mark's request for a sensitive reconstruction of the funeral for those of us, (unlike Optimus Prime), who won't be able to make it.

  11. Jasper
    Paris Hilton

    Re IT angle - Gareth Williams

    Well said Sarah I approve of your suitably Anglo Saxon response. Truth be told I mainly come to El Reg for the Odds and Sods section (I can't help being shallow I am both in Marketing and Management). If he needs an angle try the following:

    1. Regularly used by El Reg for reconstructions, so can be argued it is hardware of a sort

    2. I am sure Hans Beck owned a computer or used one once

    3. Finally if he needs an angle, I suggest he prints the article off, folds it until it consists of the maximum number of angular corners and then inserts it into a suitable orifice upon his person.

    Paris because I am sure she would enjoy particpating in option 3....

  12. Gordon Grant
    Thumb Up

    Re: Re RIP Herr Playmobil

    Sarah well said couldn't have said it better myself!

    Never had it myself as a kid, I had the other stuff you know "lego", I know deprived childhood..

    I do love it that he was asked to design a collectable toy, and look what it spawned. I look forward to the "recontruction"

    @Garath go crawl back under your rock.

  13. Squits


    Thank you.

    A pure toy, something that your imagination ran with, creating your own little villages, and then suddenly a towering dinosaur, nom nom.

    It's a shame that creators of such toys aren't lauded over, he is deserving of all our respect(s)

  14. Yorkshirepudding

    we demand

    a memorial post haste!

    rip hans thanks for the happy memories of my jumbo jet

  15. Ian Brown
    IT Angle

    Re Sarah Bee

    Can we have a ODFO icon please?

  16. peter Silver badge

    "No horror, no superficial violence, not short-lived trends"

    A clean sweep, methinks.

    Mines the one that solid polypropylene, articulated only at the shoulders...

    (But before I go: well said moderatrix.)

  17. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Thumb Up



  18. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    From the tag line, I was expecting to see a picture of the playmobil people saluting... would've been a fitting tribute.

    Where's the IT angle? Have you not read the reg lately? Everything IT has a playmobil connection - particularly us admins!

    (although I think Sarah phrased it better than me)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Have a look through a decent number of El Reg articles to see how it may be of interest to El Reg readers.

    Also, it's under bootnotes so doesn't have to be IT related.

    Also, listen to Sarah.


    I second/third/whatever-th calls for a playmobil funeral.

  20. Scott
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah...

    You are why I read the comments.

    Please keep up the good work.

  21. Rob
    Dead Vulture

    Damn shame

    Best wishes to his family and friends, long live Playmobil.

    (Re: RIP Herr Playmobil, Well said Sarah)

    Using RIP icon for obvious reasons.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Well it's not horror or superficial violence..

    ..but I can't help feeling that the following item has subverted playmobil from it's original aims:

  23. Lottie


    If we get a playmobil reconstruction of his life, what happens when he invents playmobil? It'll be weird and recursive and make the universe collapse..... or not.

    It's actually a shame that his name wasn't really that well known but he affected so many kids lives for the better.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't care

    He didn't owe me any money.

    Playmobil sucks. Lego, now that's worth playing with.

  25. Paul
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah

    Short, sweet and straight to the point - well done.

  26. Anonymous John


    Is this in the most commented section?

  27. jai

    re: Re: RIP Herr Playmobil

    hear hear!

    tis a sad day indeed and there's no need for Mr Williams' flippancy.

    while i was always a fan of Lego as a child, i like to think that El Reg's diorama's have given me a new found respect and even fondness for the Playmobil toys

  28. IR

    The company motto

    A bit like Lego, but without being able to build anything new.

  29. spiny norman
    Thumb Up

    Re: RIP Herr Playmobil

    >>Oh, and what's the IT Angle, exactly?

    >Oh do fuck off.

    If that had been in capitals it could have been FotW.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Clearly his death was....

    ....not by natural causes.

    I suspect the CIA was involved using a natural causes drug to murder him, as playmobil was clearly used by many terrorists (admittedly, as young childred in kindergarden) to plot many horrors and atrocitites..

    However, to many, it was used as a freedom-of-speech tool by the ordinary person and El Reg.

  31. Stevie

    Attention Register Multimedia Productions Inc!

    This sad event cries out for, nay, demands a widescreen, technicolor, no-holds-barred, umpteen-panel tribute to the man and his innovative product line.

    Stop dawdling and get into the studio!

  32. James Condron

    @ Sarah Bee

    Damn straight.

    Cheers Gareth; ruined a period of mourning- black armbands all round, though yeah, a reconstruction of the funeral, or some sort of moment would be great

  33. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: ODFO

    No, but that is a badass new acronym right there.

  34. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @ Scott

    How sweet of you. There will be no murder today, gentlemen.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Oh my god...

    ...the teacher said "fuck"!!!

  36. Law
    Paris Hilton

    Get on with the ODFO icon sarah, chop chop!!

    "Can we have a ODFO icon please?"

    Seconded!! And since we will have a 3rd row of icons to choose from we will have to have a competition for the new 11 new icons to join the odfo one.

    I'm hoping for good/bad JesusPhone (the big J himself talkin on his phone, ).... a Playmobil one... obviously.... and what else..... oooo, a happy looking Bee, and an angry looking Bee impaling a commentard through the head with it's sting (it's a big bee!), it can be used to predict how you will react to peoples comments.... fun times...

    Paris... because she's been impaled in the head at least twice...

  37. Justabloke
    Thumb Up

    Sarah Bee...

    I love you... you never fail to make me smile :)

  38. Anonymous Coward

    No funeral, thank you

    I would much prefer to see a nice celebratory wake for our fine friend.

    @Sarah - does your mother know your hands talk like that?

  39. Paul Segrue
    Thumb Up


    Some El Reg items kick off the usual banter and bikering, we all have come to expect that and sometimes things may go a bit far but I do think Sarah has now given everyone a new way of shutting up pedants and for that deserves much praise...

    RIP Hans Beck, The King of Playmobile is Dead... I am sure Reg will keep the Playmobile dream alive...

  40. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: ODFO....

    Credit to Ian Brown, though, who is clearly a bit bored when he's not in the studio, etc.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too bad...

    Never had playmobil stuff (count another for legos) but anything still hanging on amidst the acid rain of things that make sounds when you squeeze them and "bratz" dolls can't be bad.

    In other news - he died after a serious illness? Would you die from another kind?

  42. alan

    Re David Wiernicki

    last time i checked buses arent serious illnesses, plus you get what doctors call complications on routine stuff which I asume is them fucking up.

    I must be lucky we had both lego and playmobile, lego ruled though :)

  43. Elmer Phud

    re: Why? - Anonymous John

    "Is this in the most commented section?"

    'Cos it's got things called 'comments' in it and yours (and this one) adds to the numbers.


  44. J


    Had never heard of the guy, but I'm a little sad anyway. Lots of fun playing with his creations, during the 80s, good times...

    This heart looks like a Playmobil face.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad indeed

    RIP Hans you brought a great deal of joy to many people around the world. Not to mention the smiles and laughs through their use here on El Reg, great work all around sir. You will be missed.

    @Sara Re: RIP Herr Playmobil.

    Loved that response Sara, classic absolutely classic. Ten points for that one as I suspect ODFO will take it's place in the Register lexicon along with Twatdangle.

    Thumb Up

    Well said

    Short, sweet, to the point.

    Well Said Sarah

  47. wayne

    Sarah's becoming the BMFH!

    Imagine a job where one can tell a member of the public ODFO.

  48. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Simple reconstruction

    Just a single Playmobil guy/gal, in black, standing with his/her head bowed.

    PS: Yay Sarah!

  49. Andrew Macdonald

    Flags to half mast,

    Break out the black bombazine and beat the drum slow.

    Sarah, we worship the ground you walk upon, but please let us have an ODFO icon.

  50. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Anonymous John

    I'll explain. Have you got a mirror handy?

  51. Dr Patrick J R Harkin


    "we need a playmobile reconstruction of this guys funeral :)"

    NO NO NO! The death of the creator of PlayMobil demands a reconstruction using real El Reg people!

  52. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Flags to half mast,

    It's not up to me what icons we have. I am not the icon boss. Besides, the icons you see are pretty much the icons you get for the time being. I fear you will just have to type it out if it is a sentiment you wish to express.

    But y'know, I'll bring it up at the next er, comments meeting?

  53. pctechxp

    Always an education

    Reading El Reg in conjunction with Jimmy Wales' creation is always an education, I'd never heard of a dead pool before.

    @Sarah Bee I thought you El Reg journos were above expletives but if it helps let the anger out just say it.

    Skull and crosbones because I think someones gonna die before this moderation session is over and I'd be welling to bet they read and commented on this story.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    ODFO, best pronounced in a posh accent (PIAPA)

    Paris, ODFO

  55. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Well it's not horror or superficial violence..

    Is this the toy that Wacky Jacqui had as a child?

    I thought so at first but then I realised that it can't be - the people haven't got RFID chips implanted in their heads.

  56. Richard

    And just two weeks after...


    Think he had to go to his grave so he could roll over in it?

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