Does Playmobil Security Checkpoint Toy Teach Children Racial Profiling?

what’s the big deal? Playmobil came out with a toy that caused many people to fly off the deep end, especially parents. The toy is the “Playmobil Security Checkpoint Play-set”.
The playmobil security checkpoint playset is no longer being sold, probably because of all the negative feedback but I did happen to see a used play-set for sale on Amazon.

So What’s The Big Deal? It’s just a toy right?

playmobil security checkpoint playset

The big deal is people are likening the security checkpoint play-set to the actual “TSA Security Checkpoints” at U.S. Airports.

Some people say, just the existence of this toy teaches children to accept racial profiling and improper searches. A topic that has been very controversial as of late. . 

Over at amazon, there were over one hundred comments left by people ranging from pure outrage to disgust over the existence of this toy.

Review after review suggested that this simple toy, teaches and conditions children to accept that it’s ok for innocent citizens to

  • have their privacy violated by unwarranted pat downs,
  • walking through x-ray machines that can produce images of virtually naked bodies
  • or being pulled aside because your name is Habib or your skin is too dark.

In other words, many people think it’s not ok that Americans 4th Amendment rights are violated in the name of security and that this toy is conditioning young children to be accepting of this violation. 

4th Amendment: does TSA seurity violate them?:

What’s The 4th Amendment?

Unfamiliar with the 4th amendment of US citizens?

Simply put, the 4th Amendment states that peoples privacy will not be violated against unreasonable searches and seizures without probably cause.

Pissed Off Reviews Left By People

Here are a few of the reviews left behind at Amazon about this toy.

You can hear the anger and the venomous sarcasm oozing from each review making them somewhat humorous.

1- One person said that this toy put us One Step Closer To an Orwelian World

“Does this include a pocket constitution complete with the 4th. Amendment of the Bill of Rights? What a farce. This is just another step toward the Orwellian States of America. Ban the TSA.”

2- Another person said that they liked the playset but wants to wait for the Mexican drug cartel play set:

“I’m waiting for the Playmobil Mexican drug cartel set! It comes complete with ransom note, bale of marijuana and the victims come with both heads and headless bodies. Wonderful toy for kids. Let’s them see their future. But the Playmobil Security Checkpoint Playset set is good for teaching your kids about how America is not free any-more, ESPECIALLY when there is a toy that proves it!”

playmobil security checkpoint playset

3-Jake is worried about his genitalia being exposed by x-ray machines. He only gave 1 star and left this outraged review.

“Really? Are you kidding me? I cannot believe that Playmobil would release a product like this. There would be more outrage if there was an X-ray machine exposing their genitalia and an interrogation room to get molested in. Congratulations, Playmobil, you’re another pawn in the New World Order who doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of children when they’re being sexually molested by TSA security agents.”

4-R. AshCraft left this snarky remark about the toys inability to teach racial profiling:

“My kids were so excited to get this toy and were waiting for the post each day until it finally arrived.
You could imagine my disappointment when we opened it up and all the figures were white.
How do I teach my children the importance of racial profiling without at least one darker skinned person? Where is the turban? It didn’t even have a Qur’an….
What is the fun in having some boring white woman who doesn’t even need to take her shoes off to get through security?”

There were pages and pages of reviews like this. Each one worse than the previous. 

Stop Your Wining

playmobil security checkpoint playset

On the flip side, there were a few brave commenter who spoke up in defence of this toy going so far as to say that airline security although not perfect is an evil necessary.

Here are some of their comments. There weren’t many. I think they were afraid to be chastised for going against the mass complaints.

1- Bree who apparently went to high school with metal detectors prefers to feel safe rather than fear being stabbed.

“I went to a high school with metal detectors; did I complain about a breach of privacy? No. If they want to look at my tampons, go ahead. I’d rather have a bag check then some social reject stabbing a knife into me. It’s sad when the kids act more adult than the…well, adults.”

2- Virginia thinks people should lighten up. Here is what she said.

“Once again people have taken an innocent toy reflecting our everyday lives and made it into something evil.
Like it or not, airport security is a part of our lives. Does it force us to spend precious minutes in our travel days
showing someone that we are honest people with nothing to hide? Yes. How awful!”

There were one or two more but again not many people spoke up in defence of this security checkpoint playset.


You just have to laugh.

Whether I believe airport security in the US violates a citizens privacy is irrelevant.

The question is: Does this toy condition children to accept that their rights might be violated by the process at US airport security in airports?

The short answer is, I don’t think it does teach kids that it’s OK to have your privacy violated.

Listen, my two sons turn paper clips and hangers into guns. Does that mean that paper clips and hangers teach kids to use guns? Of course not.

The same logic can be applied to this playset. I doubt that there are parents out there buying this and showing their kids how to do a strip search or pat someone down inappropriately or perform a probe! And if you are, than you are a sicko!

It’s a Toy people:

Ultimately, this is just a toy.  It’s what you  the parent make of it. So use it that way.

You can use it to teach your kids what to expect at the airport and maybe even alleviate some of their anxiety associated with going to a noisy and overcrowded place for the first time or

you can choose to believe that by simply having this toy that you are teaching children to lay down their civil rights.

That’s it.

I’ve said my peace.

What Do You Think?

Do you think this toy teaches children to roll-over and accept that it’s ok to have ones civil rights violated or that it’s ok to do racial profiling all in the name of security? Leave your comments below.

If you want to read the hundreds of comments yourself, check out the Playmobil security check point on Amazon

Watch this entertaining stop motion video someone made using the Playmobil security checkpoint play-set  Watch the ending where one of the action figure bends over.

About the Author

Annie André Is a half Thai, half French Canadian/American freelance writer, digital marketer and author of THE LIVE IN FRANCE GUIDE: an expat travel and lifestyle blog featuring destination guides, inspiration, travel tips, personal advice and anecdotes on working, living and playing in France. ( Equal parts weird, wacky and wonderful).

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