Today we’re checking out the one set that convinced me to start buying Playmobil again. When I spotted this big box in the aisle at TRU I almost couldn’t put it down. It was only through sheer willpower that I was able to leave the store without buying it. Of course, that willpower faultered a few days later and I wound up ordering it and the rest of the sets we’ve been looking at online. The Skull and Bones Pirate Ship is a great way to see a lot of what makes Playmobil so much fun.
The box is classic Playmobil. There’s hardly any writing on the box, and it lets the pictures sell the set. The front panel shows the toys in action and the back panel shows a photo catalog of exactly what you get in the box. As one of the larger sets, the box is pretty heavy duty and is designed to be opened and closed so you can store your set in it if you so choose. Keep in mind though that a lot of disassembly is required to get everything back into the box. Once opened, you’re treated to the ship’s big hull, an instruction sheet, and baggies containing the sails and rigging, the figures, and the other accessories. There’s a fair amount of room inside the box, so if you plan on expanding this set with other sets, you can fit a lot more stuff into the box for storage.
Putting together the ship, or more accurately the sails and rigging, takes a little bit of time. There are quite a few clips to put in place and you want to take your time and do it carefully so as not to tear anything. The sails in this set are a bit more cloth and less like the papery sails in the Soldiers Boat set we looked at earlier this month, but they can still be fragile around the edges.
You get three pirate figures, and they’re all fantastic. Two of them look enough like Captains that its hard to tell which one is intended as the master of the ship. I’m going with the guy in the red coat, eye patch and peg leg, just because he’s wearing more gold. The figure in black garb with the skull belt buckle looks like he should be pretty high up the chain of command too. The third figure looks more like a swabby. He doesn’t have shoes or a proper hat, but he does have a bandalier that can hold both a dagger and a sword. The set also comes with weapons to outfit the pirates. You get one flintlock pistol, three unique swords, and one dagger. The best thing I can say about these figures is that I would have been more than happy to buy them in single packs, that’s how good they are.
In addition to the weapons, you get some gear and treasure to load into the ship. There are two red barrels, one of which can be used to store swords or muskets. You get a lantern that can clip onto the mast. There’s the same water bucket we saw with the Soldiers Boat set. And lastly, you get a blue treasure chest, which is different from the last two blue chests we saw. This one actually has a spring loaded lock. You also get a baggie of coins to put inside. Unfortunately, these aren’t vac-metalized like the ones that came with the last set we looked at. They’re more drab and coppery.
And then there’s the ship itself, and it is huge. Unlike the Soldiers Boat, the stickers are all pre-applied on this one and I’m cool with that because they look great and add a lot of character to the ship. It features a total of four sails, each of which are in some way articulated and you can change which side the front and rear sails are tethered to. Each side of the mast features red plastic rigging that the figures can clip on to and the top mast includes a crows nest with the plastic pirate flag. As always, the ship floats in water and there’s a place on the bottom where you can attach a battery powered motor, which can be purchased separately.
The aft section of the ship has a rotating wheel for navigating and a square intent in the deck to place the treasure chest so it won’t slide back and forth in rough seas. The fore section of the ship has two firing cannon, which can be aimed through the cannon holes.
The Skull and Bones Pirate Ship retails at just under thirty-five bucks, and I think that’s a pretty good deal. This set comes with everything you need to start having fun, but as we’ll see next time, there’s plenty of room to expand on it with another set to add more crew, weapons and gear, and I’ve got the perfect set in mind. What’s crazy is that this isn’t even the largest pirate ship in the Playmobil fleet as they offer. In fact, they have at least two pirate ships that dwarf this one.