A TSA simulator courtesy of Playmobil

I was so excited when I came across this Playmobil Security Check Point on Amazon. As an airline pilot, this is the perfect way to show my two girls, ages 8 and 4, where it is that I work.

My daughters have a ton of Playmobil people already, left over from the airplane and helicopter sets, as well as an airport terminal I’ve bought in an effort to show them that the only real career they’ll ever enjoy must revolve around aviation.

So what better way to indoctrinate my little girls than with this security check-point.

We set up each of the 74 Playmobil figures and their baggage, and then positioned the pilots to cut right up at the front of the line. The girls loved that. And then I explained that crew members get special privileges and don’t have to take their shoes off, which is fortunate, since the shoes on a Playmobil can’t be removed.

We even made this video with a message that just wouldn’t have been possible without the security check point. I think my girls finally get the idea. They’re now begging me for flying lessons, and I suspect these kind of special privileges are the reason.

Now you might balk at the $73.00 price of the set, but let me remind you, security doesn’t come cheap.

UPDATE: apparently the $73.00 collectors price wasn’t too high, since Amazon sold out of the now discontinued set.

According to the reviews, others on Amazon were not quite as excited as I was after purchasing the security checkpoint. Here are just a few examples:
Valuable life lessons packaged in bright plastics

I purchased this product (along with the Playmobil ambulance/mass casualty incident set and the Playmobil road construction set) for my five year old son. After a few hours my son asked me why our society was so keen on infringing on the civil liberties of its citizens in the name of safety and security. Like all the other five year olds whose parents purchased this product, he is precocious and wise beyond his years.

I answered that everyone still has the right to walk anywhere in this country, and that everything else is a privilege and not a right. People who voluntarily surrender their freedoms on the altar of personal convenience have no right to complain about it afterwards. My son is now well on his way to becoming an anarchist.

I wish this toy had been around when I was a child so that we might have learned important life lessons rather than the fluffy sugar-coated false utopia of Rainbow Bright and Friends.

A must-have addition

I hear Playmobil is coming out with a waterboarding torture set. I think I’ll wait for that and buy them together to save on shipping.

Serious Security Breach

My family was planning a vacation to Europe, so I purchased this item to teach my twins about what to expect at the airport and hopefully, alleviate some of their anxiety. We also downloaded the actual TSA security checklist from the American Airlines website and then proceeded with our demonstration. Well, first we had to round up a Barbie and a few Bratz dolls to play the other family members, so that cost us a few extra bucks at the Dollar General and it is aggravating that the manufacturer did not make this product “family-friendly.”

Of course, since the playmobil Dad could not remove his shoes or other clothing items, unlike the Barbie, the playmobil security agent became suspicious and after waving her wand wildly a few dozen times, called her supervisor to wisk the Dad into a special body-cavity search room, (which incidentally led to quite an embarrassing and interesting discussion with my twin daughters about personal hygiene and a slight adjustment to the rules we had them memorize about touching by strangers). But worst of all, since the suitcase did not actually open, the baggage inspector made a call to the FBI and ATF bomb squads which then segregated the family’s suitcase (which btw was the only suitcase they provided for our educational family experience) and according to the advanced TSA regulations, had to blow it up, (since they could not otherwise mutilate the luggage, break off the locks and put one of those nice little advisory stickers on it), which we had to simulate out in the backyard with a few M-80s and other fireworks.

The girls started crying. They became so hysterical by the whole experience that we could not even get them in the car when the time came to actually take our trip, and so we had to cancel the whole thing at the last minute, losing over $7,000 in airfare and hotel charges that we could not recoup do to the last minute cancellations. We’ve now spent an additional $3,000 to pay for the girls therapy and medication over the past year since this incident occurred, and the psychologists have told us that this will affect them for life, so much for their college fund and our retirement. Then, to top it all off, when we tried to use to playmobil phone to call the company to ask for reimbursement, as you might expect, of course the damn thing didn’t even work; neither did our efforts to e-mail them using the computer screen on the baggage checkpoint; and our real-life efforts to contact them to obtain reimbursement have also likewise been ignored.

Worse yet, we had the product tested and found out that it was positive for both lead paint and toxic chemicals, having been manufactured in China by workers holding formerly American jobs, so now we all have cancer and have been given only another year or so to live. My advice – educating your kids about airport security with this toy may actually be more harmful to them than just packing them in the damn luggage with some bottled water & hoping they survive.

So if you’re looking for something for your kids this Christmas, why not try to track down this sure to be collector’s item. It clearly kept me entertained!