Willy werkel

Willy werkel is a character invented by swedish children’s author george johansson, who is the main character in several of johansson’s children’s book series. the books are illustrated by jens ahlbom, angelika kutsch translated some books into german. these books have been published by carlsen verlag since 1994. [1]

the main character willy werkel is called in the original swedish edition of the books mulle meck. Translations also appeared in various other countries, for example in finland (masa mainio), estonia (mostri-maries) norway (martin mekk), denmark (mik mekanik), the netherlands (miel fitter), england (freddy fixer) and the united states (gary gadget). [2] the books are also accompanied by several films and a computer game series, the first installment of which was published in 1997. [3] [4]


The character willy werkel was created by johansson in 1993 with the book mulle meck bygger en bil introduced. Since then over 30 books with willy werkel have been published.


Based on the books mulle meck bygger en bil, mulle meck bygger en båt, mulle meck bygger ett flygplan and mulle meck bygger ett hus four animated films were produced, which were released in sweden in 2003 as a DVD with the title film om hur mulle meck bygger and 2004 under the english title freddy fixer builds were published. [5] in 2008 another DVD was released, titled fulle fart med mulle meck wears.

computer games

willy werkel
original title mulle meck
developer ELD interactive production
gravity e-learning
publisher levande bocker
terzio publishing house
first title building cars with willy werkel (1998)
LAST TITLE building spaceships with willy werkel (2005)
platform(s) windows, mac OS
genre(s) educational game

the five willy werkel computer games were developed in collaboration with george johansson and jens ahlbom and were published by the swedish software company levande bocker starting in 1997. lennart jahkel acted as the main character’s narrator. In the german version of build cars with willy werkel willy werkel is spoken by peter lustig. [6]

In german language the games were published from 1998 by terzio verlag. Besides, the games were partially translated into english, russian and dutch. [7]


no. german title year swedish title year book title year
1 building cars with willy werkel 1998 bygg bilar med mulle meck 1997 willy werkel builds a car (mulle meck bygger en bil) 1993
2 build ships with willy werkel 1999 bygg båtar med mulle meck 1998 willy werkel builds a ship (mulle meck bygger en båt) 1994
3 building airplanes with willy werkel 2001 bygg flygplan med mulle meck 2000 willy werkel builds an airplane (mulle meck bygger ett flygplan) 1995
4 building houses with willy werkel 2003 bygg hus med mulle meck 2002 mulle meck bygger ett hus 1997
5 building spaceships with willy werkel 2005 upptack rymden med mulle meck 2004 no book template

There was no book for the fifth part. To the game but with willy werkel’s big book on space: planets, comets, spaceships, galaxies, black holes (ut i rymden med mulle meck) published a thematically matching book, which is also marketed as a book for the game. [8]


All five parts are for windows and – with the exception of the game willy werkel – building airplanes – also published for mac OS.

The first two games, cars and building ships with willy werkel, were re-released in 2007 in a windows XP compatible version.


the games are about a man named mulle meck who is well known from george johannson’s children’s books willy werkel, who builds cars, ships, planes, houses or spaceships depending on the game.

building cars with willy werkel

In the first game, building cars with willy werkel; the player builds a car out of parts from the junkyard and then drives it through the city. when exploring the game world, care must be taken not to run out of gasoline.

The car, in order to achieve certain goals, must be rebuilt regularly. For example, the car must not exceed a certain maximum weight when passing a wooden bridge. Or the car must have a particularly powerful engine to climb a steep slope. On the other hand, to win at a car show, many optional parts and trims must be installed.

when building the car, the player is assisted by the character willy werkel, who gives advice and explains the respective components if necessary. other figures give the player tasks to complete. For example, he has to kill the dog of the junk dealer fiete ferrum bring back. In return, the player receives an extra can of gasoline as a reward. he can find parts on the side of the road or at willy werkel’s junkyard, or "fiete ferrum" brings a cargo by.

The game does not have a fixed goal.

Building ships with willy werkel

In the second game building ships with willy werkel willy produces ships. At the beginning of the game, the player learns that willy was driving to the end of the road and wanted to know what to do next. Therefore he built himself a rowboat and set off. Willy arrives at a shipyard. There, the owner asks him to watch over the shipyard while she sails around the world. In this game, willy again receives tasks that the player has to master. He obtains the ship parts from doris digital.

Building airplanes with willy werkel

In the third game building airplanes with willy werkel you learn that willy found the abandoned hangar of two female airplane builders during an excursion and wants to try his hand there. Also in this game he gets the parts of doris digital. willy flies to his friends and, as in the previous games, gets orders that the player tries to carry out by airplane. The game goal is to complete the map.

building houses with willy werkel

In the fourth game building houses with willy werkel willy werkel builds a dream house after a tree fell on his house during a storm. willy werkel has to gather and procure the necessary parts in his garage and from his friends.

Building spaceships with willy werkel

In the fifth game build spaceships with willy werkel you tell the player that willy is on the terrace of the house he built in the previous game building houses with willy werkel built, sat and looked at the sky while doing so. This made him want to go into space. in this game you do not only fly in space, but also fulfill missions on earth. He drives to his friends in a car. of course, he builds the spaceships himself from parts that are already in stock in willy werkel’s shed or have to be procured first. [9]


The c’t reviewed the game building cars with willy werkel as follows: "building cars with willi werkel is nicely done, but cannot replace own tinkering experiences."10] networld.De designated building cars with willy werkel as an "entertaining learning program for children aged six and up that teaches basic technical knowledge about cars and mechanics in a playful way". [11] in thomas feibels children’s software guide 1999 the game was praised as a great game that promotes creativity and good humor, and received 6 bucks, the highest possible rating. [12]

net world.De testete building airplanes with willy werkel at 7. February 2010 and rated it as follows: "it is particularly commendable that creative solutions are called for here.". [13] c’t tested the computer games building airplanes with willy werkel in issue 17/2001, building houses with willy werkel in issue 23/2003 and building spaceships with willy werkel in issue 24/2005. [14] [15] [16] the "institute for children media research" stated to building spaceships with willy werkel firmly: "long-term fun is guaranteed!"[17] also the central for educational media on the internet recommended the games. They are entertaining and educational, the game idea is timeless. [18]

The internet site beaver net.De of the association schulen ans netz rated the game building spaceships with willy werkel from the point of view of gender studies, and found that the game is aimed predominantly at young people, but does without role stereotypes. However, according to the author of the article, a second, female main character would have done the game good. [19]

Use in school lessons

In the magazine lessons – work + technology the game was recommended for elementary school lessons. It can be used in a technically oriented subject lesson, [20] but it was also suggested as a cross-curricular lesson in connection with the children’s book. The use of new media such as computer games promotes learning motivation. But in order to act not only on auditory-visual-cognitive level, a practical supplement z. B. Recommended by construction kits. [21] three school hours should be planned for the game itself. [6] it is also mentioned that there is no violence in the game and no accidents can happen. [20]

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