The Oberammergau, Ogden & Olomana Railroad (a.k.a. the Triple O) operates across eras and continents on a small piece of land on Oahu’s windward coast (see Garden railroading in Hawaii – Trains). We have employed the German toy line Playmobile) to bring it to life in all its incarnations, whether European, Wild West, or Hawaiian sugar cane, and, in fact a few incarnations devised by our kids in their own efforts to bring the Triple O to life. (Learn more in this related Playmobil article.)
I obviously rather like Playmobil, so imagine my joy as the kids discovered it! I now had little 3” allies to help my act on my wife’s mandate that the railroad not be just my hobby. Sometimes, I will lay out a theme, and we will select the appropriate figurines, vehicles, animals, and props to bring the railroad to life.
Normally, and especially when the kids were younger, I only loosely supervised to settle the occasional turf war and to make sure that the youngest was not taste testing the 1:24 residents! I would let them incorporate train movement as they saw fit, again, only interfering when safety of participant, whether flesh or plastic, was at risk. Away from the tracks, we have also employed Playmobil to help scale our scratchbuilding projects, and I jokingly refer to this reference point as “1:24-ish Playmobil scale.” This has helped to keep my older kids involved in the hobby as they have outgrown playing with the figurines in the garden.
The kids will grow up and move on, but their figurines will still be around to ride the rails and to help tell the Triple O’s story. If you have the space to store these figurines and their accessories inside and have kids – and kids at heart – that are unlikely to try and swallow some of the smaller parts, maybe Playmobil could be an affordable way to add a little slice of life and a whole lot of fun to your own railroad!
Site preparation is underway for adding a new dock. Eric Mueller photo
With the addition of Playmobil items, the town of Dog Wallow is coming to life. Eric Mueller photo
Eric’s daughter uses Playmobil to scale a rolling stock project. Eric Mueller photo
The maintenance-of-way train is moving out, with help from one of Eric’s children. Eric Mueller photo
The kids help set up Green Hill. Eric Mueller photo
Eric’s children participate in the dinosaur hunt. Eric Mueller photo
It’s time for a wilderness rescue. Eric Mueller photo
Anything is possible with Playmobil. Here, dragons prepare to face the 7th Cavalry. Eric Mueller photo
Re-creating Neverland in the Triple O. Eric Mueller photo