On Monday, I talked a bit about the unboxing and build of the massive USS Playmoprise, and as promised I’m back today to take a look at the fully assembled toy and some of its play features. So, let’s start with a trip around the ship itself.
Measuring about three feet long from the backs of the nacelles to the forward bow, the Playmoprise rivals even the mighty HasLab Razor Crest in size, but you could argue that the Federation Starship wins the day, depending on how you’re measuring. Either way, I had to shoot this thing on my dining room table using a queen bedsheet for a backdrop. The lighting wasn’t optimal, so I apologize if some of the photos came out a little sketchy. Aesthetically, I think Playmobil did a beautiful job on this beast. The simplistic design of the Constitution Class Enterprise definitely lends itself to Playmobil’s simpler and child-friendly toy designs. As a result, they didn’t sacrifice much in turning the mighty Starship into toy form. The hull features some sparse panel lines and a lot of stickers and tampos to convey all the appropriate details. I suppose you could argue that, given the price tag, some of the stickers could have been sculpted pieces, like the fins on the backs of the nacelles, but the stickers work just fine, and I have no complaints.
For such a large and hefty ship, The Playmoprise sports some excellent structural integrity. I have no qualms about picking it up and wooshing it around the room. The worst that could happen is I hurt my back doing it. But, I wouldn’t pick it up from the warp nacelles, as I doubt those are lode bearing. Still, nothing here feels rickety or tenuous, or something that requires a delicate touch. This is a pretty rugged toy, which probably has a better chance of hurting a child than vice-versa, particularly if it falls on them.
In order to accommodate the bridge playset gimmick, Playmobil had to take some liberties with the proportions of the saucer section, but I think they did a great job minimizing the Primary Hull’s chonks. Most of the added girth is in the bottom portion of the saucer, with the result being a pretty normal looking Enterprise when viewed from most downward angles. You need only look back to Playmates’ Innerspace Enterprise-D to see how this could have gone horribly wrong.
External electronics feature a gorgeous animated spinning effect in the bussard globes at the front of the nacelles, as well as a glow to the globe at the bottom of the saucer. When activated, you get a wonderful audio sequence of the Enterprises’ ambient bridge sounds, starting with William Shatner’s familiar voice saying, “This is Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.” After playing for a while, you will eventually hear a turbolift door open and Spock (voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy) will entreat you to “Live Long and Prosper.”
I mentioned last time that you have two display options: A stand or rigging to hang it from the ceiling. I won’t be hanging mine, but here’s a good look at the stand. The base is a massive gold Delta with a transparent ring. There are four supports that cradle the Playmoprise. Two connect with sockets in the bottom of the Secondary Hull, while the larger ones angle forward to meet rectangular slots in the Primary Hull. It holds the ship perfectly, and the transparent beams keep from obscuring the vessel from any angle. You also get a plate with the Enterprise’s name, class, and shipyard from which it launched in 2245. The name plate does not attach to the stand, so you can place it anywhere you want. I was a wee bit disappointed that it’s only a sticker, considering the cost of this set, but it still looks great. Let’s take take a look at the figures and accessories, before moving to the interior of the ship!
You get a full Playmobil-ified bridge crew, consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekhov, and they’re all just so goddamned adorable. The uniform details included the Delta insignias, with one of the three department emblems inside, rank stripes on the sleeves, and even some printed stitching around the shoulders. The uniforms look great, and each figure even sports his own unique hair piece, rather than the generic Playmobil coif. Spock has his pointed ears, although I think it’s odd that they gave him a smile. That’s probably just a Playmobil thing. The only real misstep on the figures is found on Uhura, as she looks like she’s wearing a microphone with her earpiece, making me wonder who at Playmobil researched her look. It’s awesome that we got the whole bridge crew, but I really hope we get some figure packs or blind bags with more figures. I really want a Nurse Chapel and Yeoman Rand to add to the crew. Maybe some redshirts too!
As for accessories, Spock comes with a Tricorder, which is just a black box that hangs off his shoulder and McCoy comes with a Hypospray, which looks a lot like a Sonic Screwdriver. Scotty comes with an extra Dilthium Crystal.
Sadly, Sulu DOES NOT come with a rapier, but if you have a lot of Playmobil Pirate sets like I do, that’s easily remedied. But seriously, Playmobil, you couldn’t afford to toss one of these into the box?
The rest of the accessories are rounded out with three phasers and three communicators, and again I’m forced to beg the question… THE MSRP ON THIS SET IS $500 AND YOU COULDN”T GIVE EQUIPMENT TO ALL SEVEN FIGURES? But, with that having been said, these are excellent! The phaser sculpts are spot on, and the communicators actually open and close and have tiny stickers detailing the instruments. Incredible!
And after griping about Playmobil getting stingy with the accessories, I have to applaud them for including a bag of Tribbles. You get seven of these little bastards and they are adorable!!! OK, let’s move inside the ship with a look at Engineering!
There is a removable plate on the Port Side of the Secondary Hull, which reveals Engineering, and this is as cool as it is totally out of scale! There’s room to stand a few figures in there, a couple of computer stations, and the Dilithium Crystal with a second crystal inside it. The backdrop is a lenticular sticker, which gives it a sense of depth when you view it from different perspectives.
Press the button beside the Crystal Chamber and the lights and sound begin to do their thing. One of the consoles light up and the Crystal Chamber lights and begins to pulse. What’s really cool is if you take the Crystal out of the Chamber, the engines will not start! All of the ship’s electronics are powered by three AA batteries housed behind the lit console, but there is also a micro USB charging port on the Starboard side of the ship if you prefer to plug it into a wall socket.
And that brings us to the real show-stopper here. Lift off the top of the Saucer Section and you reveal the bridge! It’s certainly not totally accurate to the bridge seen on the small screen, but it captures all the essentials. You get two seated stations on each side, plus the Helm and Navigation stations in the center, and of course, the Captain’s chair. All of the seats swivel, and the individual chairs can be placed anywhere. I like having the option to move them, but I also would have liked a peg or something to secure them to the deck. The turbolift door is a lenticular sticker, and they will open and close depending on how you view it. Likewise, the viewscreen is also lenticular, showing a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser approaching. There’s also a little compartment in front of the viewscreen where you can stow the accessories. The area is also designed so you can use your phone as a viewscreen. There’s an app you can download for added functionality, but I haven’t tried it yet.
There are three buttons on the central console, which will also activate the light and sound sequence. Pushing the red one will initiate the Red Alert claxon, pressing the blue button will fire torpedoes, and a third press will cause the engines to speed up, making the sound more intense and the bussards will spin faster and faster. The Astrogation console will light up, and there are red lights in the floor that flash for Red Alert, but those aren’t terribly effective.
While the bridge is most certainly scaled down, it still comfortably fits all the figures, and could easily accommodate a few more. There’s some truly great detail in all the console stickers. You can even see the button on Kirk’s chair that he used to jettison the ion pod and kill Lt. Finney in Court Marital.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say, The Playmoprise is easily the greatest TOS toy ever released. It’s gigantic, it looks amazing, and it has plenty of cool play features. And sure, it should have all of these things going for it with an initial MSRP of $499. That price was enough to make even me hesitate. But, this beauty has been going on some deals through Amazon, and I was ultimately able to pick it up for $279 plus a $50 coupon, and the free Prime Shipping helped a lot too. Still, if the price isn’t an issue, finding the place to display it could also be a deal-breaker. With all that having been said, I’m very curious to see what the license extends to, and if we will see any more PlaymoTrek. I think they’d be smart to release a bigger and cheaper bridge playset, plus I’d love to see a Shuttlecraft and the Transporter Room. There are a lot of possibilities, but seeing as how they started with this massive set, I suspect it’s possible that the licensing here was one and done.