Over the years I have mentioned in this column that us Newfie addicts don’t always stop with collecting the live version of our best buddies; we often collect prints, stamps, statuettes and antique artifacts such as nutcrackers and banks. Another area is “toys”. Of the toys, the most sought after seem to be stuffed toys and playmobil figurines.
I began collecting playmobils in the early nineties starting with #5550 Organ Grinder. It consists of a musical calliope pulled by a black Newfoundland dog along with the organ grinder and a parrot. The calliope actually plays music and is still my favourite perhaps because it combines my favourite breed with my favourite activity, draft dog work.
Next I got #3736 which is a shipwrecked pirate on a raft with a black Newf who I assume was the ship’s dog and in my imagination, saved his human companion when the ship went down.
Completing my collection is #5500 which consists of two elderly Victorian ladies who appear to be going shopping accompanied by a brown Newf. Apparently this item goes with the Victorian dollhouse and reflects the breed’s popularity in the Victorian era.
Recently I learned that there are at least three more playmobil sets with Newfs. One of them, #3627 does not excite me as it depicts Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest and this would be out of context for a Newfoundland dog as they were unknown in that time and place. However I will have to get #3843 which depicts a Newf pulling a sled with an injured skier and #7133 entitled Family Pets. This latter consists of a black Newf, a dog house, a dachshund, two cats in baskets and a parrot on a stand.
Only the last one is currently available and you can see it at Playmobil. The others would have to ordered on the after-market, which means antique shops, flea markets, yard sales or e-bay.
Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979. In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada. When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.
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