There's no doubt as to what Pocket-lint's favourite April Fools' Day prank was this year, the ThinkGeek Playmobil Apple Store. Indeed, as it was trending on Twitter at one point, it's pretty much everybody else's too.
Much like with the company's iPad iCade Arcade Cabinet last year (which is actually going to be released by the US retailer in the summer), the effort the TG team went to in order to make sure that it was as convincing as possible is staggering.
The attention to detail is mind-numbing, and we don't mind admitting that we'd love our own Playmobil Apple Store at home.
That's why we tracked down the ThinkGeekers who made it happen, for an exclusive interview with Pocket-lint to, among other things, find out if there's any chance it may ever become a real product...
Pocket-lint: Who thought it up?
ThinkGeek: The initial idea came from Ty Liotta, the head of our Geek Labs custom products team. He had the original idea and concept, and a team of several people here worked on making the prototype.
PL: How closely did ThinkGeek work with Playmobil?
TG: We actually didn't work with Playmobil at all. We have a history of just sort of going for these things, and most people have a good enough sense of humor to appreciate the joke. We've had a couple of instances where people weren't too happy, but thankfully the fine people at Playmobil were super happy about it when they found out.
PL: Like with last year’s iPad arcade cabinet, do you think that this prank could come true?
TG: There are a LOT of things that would have to line up in order to make this product real. While we'd be thrilled to make it a reality, we'd obviously need to get approval, and cooperation on some level, from both Playmobil and Apple. It's a pretty difficult scenario to imagine coming to fruition, but we never say never.
PL: Was there a real Playmobil Apple Store made for the video? And if so, who owns it now?
TG: There was actually a real, and rather large, prototype made for the videos and photos. It's living happily here at ThinkGeek HQ, and I'm sure we'll find a nice spot in our office to display it. I don't think it will ever necessarily be "owned" by anyone in particular, too many people worked tirelessly on it for it to be claimed by just one of them.
PL: How much would it really cost if ThinkGeek was to sell the one off (it was listed on ThinkGeek as costing between $49.99 - $179.99)?
TG: There really are no plans at all to ever sell the prototype, though if we were to affix a monetary value to it, it would be significantly higher than the price affixed to it now, primarily due to all of the time and effort that went into it. Vast portions of it, including people and store fixtures, are actually hand painted, so there's a lot invested in it. If we ever decided to sell it, or any of our other April Fools prototype products, we'd likely do it as a charity auction of some sort, rather than setting a solid price for it.
By then, Pocket-lint reckons that it'll be worth a fortune. After all, we can't really see Mr Jobs agreeing to a licensing deal, no matter whether Playmobil was "super happy" or not, and the best April Fools' joke of 2011 may end up being a true one of a kind.
Then again, like TG says, "never say never".
Do you think it should be made a reality? Or do you think that Apple (or Playmobil) would never agree to such a thing? Let us know in the comments below...
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