PORSCHE’S much-anticipated Taycan pure-electric car is still a little way from landing in showrooms, but that doesn’t mean the latest sporty model from Stuttgart isn’t ready to appear on the silver screen.
Ahead of the finished car’s official unveiling at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the concept version of the zero-emission four-door sports car will feature prominently in Playmobil: The Movie, a new animated film featuring the voice talent of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.
Even though we’ve seen near-production versions of the Taycan — most recently in a video from Fully Charged, in which Jonny Smith is tasked with repeated 0-200kph tests — because work on the film will have started several years ago and the final Taycan won’t be revealed in full for another month, the Playmobil movie features the Mission E concept car that was revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
As probably expected, given the film’s premise involves the two protagonists being transported to a wacky world made entirely out of Playmobil pieces, the Porsche’s presence isn’t your standard piece of product placement, either. In the movie, the Mission E is the car of choice of secret agent Rex Dasher (voiced by Radcliffe), who helps the lead characters on their journey though the movie’s myriad animated environments.
While Porsche and Playmobil haven’t worked together on a film project before, the two companies have collaborated on toys since 2014, with the first product born from the partnership being a plastic version of the 911 Carrera S sports car. It was the first licensed product made by Playmobil, according to the toy maker.
Since then, other Porsche models have been reincarnated in Playmobil form, ranging from production vehicles like the Macan GTS SUV and the 911 GT3 Cup racing car.
Porsche and Playmobil are also coinciding the launch of the movie with the unveiling of a new model: not a road car but a new playset featuring the Mission E, though Porsche says it has a distinct USP over previous releases — it’s the first ever remote-controlled Playmobil toy car.
Car enthusiasts may be tempted to watch the movie to see the Porsche Mission E in action, but the initial reaction suggests parents may not enjoy the film as much as their kids. In its review of Playmobil: The Movie, The Times says: “Much like the Playmobil toys, with their poky feet and weird, lobster-like hands, Playmobil: The Movie is similar but inferior to the Lego equivalent. There’s the same bewildering mixture of animated environments — here it’s western, Roman, sci-fi and fairytale — but little of the storytelling chutzpah to tie them together.”
While Porsche is the first car maker to star in a Playmobil-based feature film, other firms have worked with toy companies on movie projects before, including American car maker Chevrolet, which had its Silverado pick-up truck featured in mini-brick form for 2017’s The Lego Movie 2.