If you follow me on Twitter, than you probably know that I have been on a crazy Playmobil kick lately. I’ve reviewed a number of their sets here in the past, but if you want to read about my origins with the toyline, you can check out this post from about 11 years ago! Anyway…. recently I started rebuilding my vintage PlaymoSpace collection and it’s been quite the nostalgic journey that has lead me down a number of different paths. And, yes, I do hope to be checking out some of those vintage sets here in the near future. You may also have seen that I spent my Easter building the massive Playmobil Enterprise, and since it ate up most of my time, I decided to push this week’s Mythoss Monday Review to the end of the week and spend a couple of days checking this beast out. Today I’m going to talk about the packaging and the build process, and on Wednesday I’ll be back to talk some more about the toy itself. You’ll have to excuse the photography here, because these are all just pictures of progress made during the build on my kitchen table. And boy did this operation take up every inch of that table!
This box is huge! It’s probably a tad bit bigger than the box for Hasbro’s HasLab Razor Crest, and that’s saying something! It has a nice, colorful deco, using the classic TOS logo and featuring a picture of Mr. Spock in the upper right hand corner. Lift the front flap and you get more pictures, and a portrait of Kirk. The set is designated #70548 and boasts 148 pieces! The packaging also showcases that the toy features lights and sounds with the help of three AA batteries or a USB power cable. Normally, the box would seem like pretty standard stuff for Playmobil packaging, albeit a lot larger than even their bigger sets, but…
The box has a front flap, and when it is lifted, you are also treated to four windows showing four of the figures, with the remaining three illustrated on the box. At first glance, I thought they were all illustrations, so when I opened this thing up and found a bag with only three figures, I thought I was missing a bag with the rest. I dug through everything several times, until deciding to go ahead with the build and contact Playmobil afterwards. It wasn’t until I finished the entire build that I discovered the little box of four figures attached to the inside of the larger box. Yeah, I felt like a dummy! It’s worth noting here, that the Enterprise isn’t really designed to be taken apart again to go back in the box. You could probably do it with a little care and patience, but I’m still saving the box because it’s so epic.
Inside the box the Enterprise comes in six basic pieces. You get the primary and secondary hulls, a V-shaped piece comprising the nacelle struts, two nacelles, and a top cover for the saucer. Yes, there are tons of more pieces in baggies, as well as a few boxes, but those are the main components of the ship. You also get some bigger pieces that make up the stand, and some wiring and electrical boxes. The instructions rely entirely on pictures, and all in all they are pretty good, but with sets this complex, I think Playmobil should take a page from LEGO’s book and number the bags to correspond with stages of assembly.
Holy shit, look at the scope of this production! Little did I know I would be turning my kitchen into The Utopia Planitia Shipyard for an afternoon! Securing most of the pieces together is done with little red or yellow plastic connection pieces, and there’s a tool provided for those, all of which should be familiar to any Playmobil veterans. But there are a few screws that go into the neck, and you will need a Philips head screwdriver for those. With the exception of threading the wiring, nothing here is any more difficult than any other Playmobil set I’ve assembled, there’s just a lot more of it to do, and some enormous pieces to wrestle with.
There are also lots and lots of stickers. With the exception of the registry number on the saucer and the markings on the sides of the secondary hull, virtually everything here is a sticker! Each half of the bridge’s consoles took sixteen stickers each! You also get some pretty cool lenticular stickers to make up things like the viewscreen, turbolift doors, and the Engineering backdrop. I do have one complaint when it comes to the way the toy is packed, and that’s not having the large pieces wrapped in plastic. There were quite a few scuffs on my ship’s Secondary Hull, which caused me a bit of worry upon first inspecting them. And while I was able to clean them all off with a damp cloth and a little rubbing, you really shouldn’t have to do that with a toy this damned expensive!
The electronics consist of a control box that makes up the middle of the bridge’s deckplate and another that goes into the Engineering section in the Secondary Hull. There are three sets of coiled cables, each with the old style telephone connectors. One of these runs from the bridge box down through the neck into the Engineering box, and the other two run from the Engineering box, up through the nacelle struts, into the nacelles, and ultimately plugging into the bussards on the fronts. I found it helpful to have a pair of tweezers handy in order to reach in and pull the cables through.
You have two options for displaying this beast: One is with the provided stand, and the other is by hanging it from the ceiling. As scary as the ceiling hanging option sounds, Playmobil included a series of clear wires and a Delta-shaped connection piece to facilitate you flying your Starship. They really thought the whole thing out well, with the wires going through lode-bearing parts of the toy, and the instructions include detailed steps on how to make it work. Now with all that having been said, I have no intention of hanging this thing, so it’s the stand for me, and I’ll talk more about that next time.
It took me well over an hour to put this whole thing together, but I was really taking my time and enjoying myself. And I really did enjoy myself! For someone who grew up playing with MEGO’s lamenate cardboard bridge playset, something like this is a dream come true. On Wednesday, I’ll try to get some more polished pictures of this beauty, provided I can find a big enough stage and backdrop to do it with, and we’ll run through the figures and all this amazing toy has to offer!