This page is dedicated to a general review of the sets in Wiltopia Wave 1.
This first wave of Wiltopia sets consists of 27 individual sets featuring animals from around the world.
All of the animals are releases of existing molds but using a new plastic that includes recycled content.
There is a YouTube video from Playmobil about the recycled contents located here.
Essentially, they are using reconstituted plastic pellets from recycled refrigerator components as part of the production plastic. Based on what I have seen from factory tours of their production my guess is that they have replaced part or all of the white translucent ABS base with this new plastic source. The colors added would be the same, but it is clear that the resulting plastic is different in person.
I find the hard plastics to be more pastel and lighter in color than usual in most cases. The softer plastics are also that way and have a different texture to them. To me there is also a slight smell that reminds me very much of an old refrigerator. I don't think this is suggestion at work, but would love to hear some confirmation from others about any scent differences you may notice when first handling the new sets. A few of the smaller animals seem to be regular production and slipped into the sets. The primary animal of each in almost all cases is noticeably different than previous releases however.
Here is what the packaging looks like. There are two types, a larger size that includes cut outs for the animal to poke through, and a smaller size. The packaging is paper based and therefore recyclable.
Some of the sets include plastic bags with smaller components in them, using the recently themed bags that denote a high recycled materials content.
In numerical order based on set numbers, here are all the sets from this series.
The giraffe is a slightly darker and more grey/green color than the previous light yellow giraffe. The mold is identical, just a slight difference in the color of the plastic used.
71049 Baby African Elephant
The Wiltopia version of the baby elephant clearly uses the older African Elephant baby mold but the color is a lighter grey. Most hard plastic in this series is more pastel than the usual plastic would be in regular previous releases.
Note that all of the sets come with a collector card with a photo and information about the actual animal, this card specifically calls it an African Elephant. The name off the card is what is used in all examples below
71050 Alpine Ibex
The ibex is clearly a very different color brown from the red browns previously used. It also is one that seems to have more color variation in the plastic. The horns are also different being more yellow than previous. The rock and plant components are clearly also made with recycled content and make for one of the nicer additional scenery pieces included in this series.
71051 Bottlenose Dolphin
This version is a darker grey than the most similar previous release, and has the most recent painted eye type with a highlight.
The set also contains three starfish, all of whom are visibly different in plastic content from the previously released versions. On the starfish like other soft plastic items the plastic is duller, not as shiny, and has a textural feel that is a bit different. They also have the smell difference when first out of the package.
The moose is a good example of the way the hard plastic looks more pastel in tone than the previously used plastics. It is clearly lighter in color than the original version. The mushroom set parts come in a plastic bag together and is also clearly more pastel than previous versions. Most accessories in the sets are made of the recycled content plastics except for clear, metallic, or special texture plastics as will be seen below.
71053 Polar Bear
The polar bear is the most recent mold type and does have the blue tongue. It comes with a snow or ice piece in light blue and three of the trout type 3 in silver. I believe the fish to be standard issue and not using the recycled content as they seem identical to previous ones in my collection. It's possible they are recycled content but it would take knowing the part number to be sure. No instructions are included in any of these sets so part numbers are all completely unknown at this point. The color of the polar bear is a slightly less bright white. In general it looks a little duller in comparison.
The lion mane is clearly not as dark as the comparable release. You can see from the mismatch if color between the legs and body that there seems to be more variation in the way the plastic coloring looks as well. The skeleton is a light grey tan color different from previous ones and the food piece is also clearly a lighter color than usual.
Clearly a lighter brighter color of orange than has been previously used. No sub-species is mentioned on the card and the range map is hard to tell but seems to include all tigers.
No direct comparison photo on the wolf yet, its closest variant is in the new Western Indian Children add-on set. Shown below it is 5th from the left and has a slightly different light grey color compared to other releases.
The color here is again much lighter. This seems to be the case particularly on darker toned hard plastics.
71058 Galapagos Giant Tortoise
The shell on this tortoise is painted, which is new for this mold type. It is clearly listed as a Galapagos Giant Tortoise on the card. This mold was first released as an island tortoise and has been seen as a sea turtle until the recent newer sea turtle mold arrived. Colors again are lighter than the regular plastics version. The eggs and seashells seem to be the same as previous releases. the shells in particular match up to existing ones and have that shininess to them that might not work with the recycled content.
71059 Golden Eagle
Similar to the tortoise, the Golden Eagle is a lighter tone and has new paint embellishment compared to the previous version. The darker golden eagle was in a Heidi themed set that did not receive world wide release, so this set will likely be extra popular compared to other animals that have been around a while.
Similar to the polar bear, the panda has a different tone to the white, not as bright and a little duller than usual. The black is also not as intense in color. The molding is the same two part color recently used. The little bamboo grove included as an accessory is really nice with three greens, all in recycled content plastics.
71061 Emperor Penguin
Penguin plastics are the same as the panda with the same differences. The clear ice pieces in two colors and the fish trout type 4 look to be regular production items with no recycled content as far as can be told visually and texture/scent.
The alpaca looks light grey compared to the previous version, not the same slightly off white of the polar bear but a different brownish light grey tone.
Not as yellow in plastic color as previous versions, this makes for a unique color. No deer species is listed on the card, just Fawn.
Here it is compared to other fawns of the same mold
71064 Young Alpaca
Clearly a new color in tan, a great addition to the alpaca family. Accessories are pretty minimal considering the small size of the animal.
The Wiltopia orange squirrels are a lighter orange than the previous version that is quite dark in comparison.
Of all the animals I have in hand this is the most uncertain regarding recycled content. It is darker than previous versions, similar to the way the adult dolphin is darker, but otherwise looks very much the same. This is the small sitting baby, so quite small. Most other components in this set are clearly using recycled content. I will be counting it as a new variant for Animobil but this is in my eyes the most easily skipped of the entire series.
71067 Young Tiger
Similar to the adult tiger, the baby is a brighter orange due to the recycled content. The plant accessory is a nice one for the smaller size sets.
71068 Young Dolphin
Again lighter in color than the previous releases. It's interesting that the adult dolphin is darker than previous ones while the baby is lighter. The shells seem to be identical to older known examples, again likely due to the special gloss of the smaller shell set in green.
The meerkats are a slightly darker and more yellow color of tan than the usual version.
71070 Baby Seal
Includes the same ice or snow piece and fish type as the polar bear. Color is the same as well, slightly less bright and glossy white. No species specified on the card, the territory is all of the arctic ocean.
71071 Red Panda
Lighter color of red on this one clearly
71072 Young Panda
Thesame as the adult in plastics and colors, more a grey color than the dark black of the normal version.
71073 Young Polar Bear
Uses the most recent polar bear cub mold, with the color being the slightly grey white like the adult. Interesting that the snowball comes as two parts and unassembled.
71074 Young Orangutan
In this instance the main color is darker than previous versions, while the face is lighter. I suspect the body does not include recycled content while the face does. An unusually different color compared to the adult. All other components are clearly recycled content.
That is all 27 animals in the first wave of Wiltopia. An interesting variety of animals in the most recent mold versions. Which you may want to purchase will vary depending on your own interests. My personal recommendations are the Golden Eagle, Alpine Ibex, Moose, Bottlenose Dolphin, Alpaca and young, and Tortoise. These are all significantly different from previous versions in a nice way. The tigers may also interest many since they are a brighter orange than previously seen.
The second wave of the Wiltopia branding is focused on an Amazon River theme with many South American animals making a debut. Brand new molds include Tapir and baby, Giant Anteater and baby, Manatee and baby, Howling Monkeys, and Hummingbird. There are many reused molds as well including ocelot and kittens, a new color toucan, butterflies, other birds, caiman, lizards and snakes. It remains to be seen if even entirely reused animals like the red parrot will be made of the new recycled content plastics, but likely they will.
At the same time as the second wave releases there will be a Wiltopia themed Advent Calendar with animals from around the world. No new molds in that, but likely many more new variants based on the plastics used and paint detailing.
Generally speaking this is an interesting new theme, and it's great to see animals being released as a way to showcase more sustainable production processes. I am uncertain how well the first wave will go over due to the relatively high pricing. I do think animals as a theme was a good choice as they are always popular with kids. The Amazon themed sets will do well I think, since it is an interesting theme with lots of play value and many animals entirely new to Playmobil. Hopefully that will sell really well and lead to the Wiltopia brand continuing with other biomes. It would be great to see future series based on areas like the Himalayan mountains (snow leopard, yak, takin, monal) or Australia (emu, wallaby, wombat, Tasmanian devil).
Thanks for reading this long post.
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