Friday, April 1, 2011

The Playmo Testament

Markus Bomhard, a German priest began a project to illustrate biblical scenes with Playmo figures. His endeavor even earned favorable mention from the Pope. However, the fine lawyers at Playmo brought suit, and so the Klicky Bibel has been taken down. It may be back again someday in a different form.

I hesitate to bring it up, in fear of additional lawsuits, but it appears that another similar project is also available, the Playmobible.


  1. I ain't fallin' for this one, neither!

  2. As someone who depicts another holy text with toys, why would Playmo sue the German priest for this? He is not representing Playmo in any way!

  3. I don't know anything about German law, but a few years ago Mattel sued an artist for copyright infringement after he used Barbie dolls in his work. He ultimately won his case, but the legal decision hinged on the fact that he was parodying the image of beauty put forth by the Barbie doll, and parody is protected under 'fair use'. As I understand the decision (and this is just from reading a few things online), if he had been using the Barbie dolls to parody something else, he might have lost the suit.

    In one of the articles I read on this playmobil Bible, a Playmo official was quoted as saying that he was afraid that some non-Christians would be offended by this use of their product to depict Bible scenes. Apparently that company official did not remember that Playmo has actual official sets of Nativity scenes and also Noah's ark. They also have a figure of a nun, so it's not like they have no religious imagery at all.

    Suffice it to say, LEGO officials are much cooler than their Playmo counterparts. I have now idea if they know anything about your Qur'an project, but I do know that they are aware of the Brick Testament. At one fan convention a LEGO rep was asked his opinion of the Brick Testament during a Q&A session, and he basically gave a non-endorsement endorsement, saying that LEGO has happy that their customers were able to come up with creative uses of their product.

  4. Just following up. I found the notes from BricksWest 2003. Brad Justus, then the community rep, said:

    The most important message from LEGO is this: “we trust you with our brand”.
    We trust you to do the right things and not dishonor the brand… Even Brendan! [reference to Brendan Powell Smith, creator of the Brick Testament]

    Then later in the question and answer, Brendan asked:
    Brendan Smith: Why were you singling me out? Do I do something that is
    contrary to values, or that I am doing things that are congruent?

    And the response:
    A; the latter… three are people that have questioned it but they are wrong…
    you are honoring the brand and being very creativewe would not be happy with
    exceedingly violent

    These are from Larry Pieniazek's notes, so are not exact quotes.

  5. Thanks for this information - good to know Lego is more trusting of its fans. Here is some more information from the Lego website that I found useful for Lego enthusiasts to have.