I rather like Playmobil. I don't buy it at nearly the level at which I buy LEGO, but I get some stuff from them. I mostly just get stuff from their Specials line, some animals, and smaller sets. I saw these at a local toy store (and later at TRU), and thought it was neat. They're selling the customization and interchangeability of their figures, which is something they haven't done before. I like that there are some new figures out, and they look good. Even though these are at a lower price point, it seems somewhat redundant with the Specials line, though. Of course, I hate the blind bags, but like with minifigures, you can feel for what you want.
Though I think calling Playmobil "off-brand" is silly. Playmobil makes quality products, and is LEGO's biggest competition in Europe. To be frank, when LEGO started doing minifigures, it was just like Playmobil's Specials line, but blind bagged. The Specials line is a line of figures without a theme and having greater detail and more accessories than a standard figure. That's essentially what the polybag minifigures are. I don't doubt that Playmobil's blind bags are inspired by the minifigs, but I think the minifigs were initially inspired by Playmobil Specials.
I do think it's smart to split them up by target demographic. I know LEGO likes to talk about how party their line is, but sometimes you have to give folks what they want.