Playmo-Bible/Playmo-Bibel

The clergyman Markus Bomhard loves Playmobil figures and created a Playmobil Bible. However, in order to crucify one of the figures, he had first to warm the plastic and remould it, and he put some breasts and a penis on Eve and Adam respectively (I used that ‘respectively’ for the benefit of non-native speakers of English to see how it works). The Süddeutsche reports:

Ein Playmobil-Männchen kann man nicht so einfach kreuzigen. Dazu sind die Arme der fingerlangen Plastikfigur zu starr; sie lassen sich nicht seitlich ausbreiten. Der evangelische Pastor Markus Bomhard weiß, wie es trotzdem geht. Man müsse sie nur lange genug über die Flamme einer Kerze oder unter einen heißen Föhn halten, sagt er: “Dann wird das Kunststoffmaterial ganz leicht weich und lässt sich formen.” Anschließend lasse man das Figürchen noch kurz aushärten, ehe man es ans Kreuz nageln könne. Gottesmann Bomhard treibt bei alledem nicht etwa Sadismus um, sondern religiöser Eifer.

But the Franconian company Geobra Brandstätter object to the alteration of the figures, which they say is a breach of copyright. They don’t mind if someone alters the figures on a small scale, but this pastor actually set up a Playmo-Bibel website (though the SZ reports that when Harald Schmidt changed one of the figures into Hitler on TV, the company took no action). Their lawyers require him to stop using the domain name playmo-bibel.de (he has to call it Klicky-Bibel) and stop printing photos of the figures.

Even the Pope was in favour of the procedure:

“Möge Ihr Projekt vielen Kindern wie auch den Eltern und Erwachsenen auf spielerische Weise einen Zugang zur Heiligen Schrift ermöglichen, der die Grundlage für eine fortwährende Vertrautheit mit Gottes Wort im weiteren Leben bildet”, schrieb Benedikt XVI. an Pastor Bomhard.

LATER NOTE: Roger Heyes on Twitter reports that a Lego version has existed for some years.

(Via Wortistik)

3 thoughts on “Playmo-Bible/Playmo-Bibel

  1. The earlier Lego Bible seems to be a project designed to oppose religion, in contrast to the Playmobil Bible.

    And for the copyright situation, Lego bricks might be compared to individual letters of an alphabet, or to word processor software, or to an artist’s canvas. These are the tools of creation; any copyright on them does not extend to the creations of the Lego Bible.

    On the other hand, if you are talking about figures, one might recognize a separate copyright in them, in both the Lego and the Playmobil case.

    • Thanks very much for this. I knew there was something dubious about the Lego version, but I didn’t look at it very closely.
      I wonder what my former landlord, who invented the Playmobil figures and died recently, would think about this!

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