Review: Snap Ships by PlayMonster

One of the things I spotted at Toy Fair this year was a toy called Snap Ships. Released by PlayMonster, Snap Ships are a series of modular space-themed sets. They are launching now, and BrickJournal got a couple of sets to review!

The Setting

The Komplex are aliens that have been destroying systems and the Forge are the humans that are desperately fighting against them. Both use modular ship technology to build and adapt their fighters and spacecraft. A mysterious race, the Uju left behind technology and weapons that advance both faction’s crafts. This set the stage for the humanity’s last stand. This is also the setting for a digital series, Snap Ships: Dawn of Battle, which will be released weekly on the Snap Ships YouTube channel.

The Snap Ships are a wave of eleven spacecraft, with six from the human’s Forge and five from the Komplex K.L.A.W. BrickJournal was sent a Komplex Scarab and a Forge Sabre for review.

Scarab K.L.A.W Interceptor
41 parts, Ages 8+, 17 Accessories, 1 figure
$17.99 USD

The Scarab is the Komplex general interceptor, with wings that can be used as blades to rip into other ships. With this set, you can build the Scarab and two other attack craft. The pilot is named The Truth (I hope that name is explained in the web series). and the first surprise you have with these is when you open it:

You get a lot of stuff. It’s a tight pack, but you get a checklist/miniposter, instruction booklet, and parts. The box top is also a base, with a stand included with the other components. Some of the components are obvious, like the wings, cockpit, and weapons, but the others are detail pieces that can be whatever you want…which is pretty cool to start. But what’s really neat is what is used to build these.

Core Cubes

While it’s hard to see since the Komplex ships are dark, if you look on the packaging on the left, there are four cubes.

These core cubes have sockets on five faces and a knob on the sixth.The inside plastic is a softer plastic than the black cube frame, so cubes can be attached by popping them together. The sockets are also attachment points for all the accessories accessories too, so everything works together.

Different sets have different parts – the Scarab has a half-width cube that can be used to offset other cubes. Turns out that this piece is a nice one to use.

This piece is literally a knob adder. You pop it in a socket and you have another knob to attach. The Scarab also has a cube with 6 sockets. There are 6 core cubes in the set, which are used to define the body.

You also get a cockpit piece, and a tiny figure. The figure is jointed at the waist.

And how small is he?

If you are a toy collector, this is the same scale as the old Zoids sets (1:144).

You can see how the other parts fit on the box back. There’s two shooters but also the UJU tech, which is…

a spring-powered shooter. It shoots two ‘lances’, but they have to be loaded at the same time. If you try to load one at a time, the other will release.

The instructions are four-color. Three models are in the book, which is 40 pages. So let’s go to building…

The Build

The instructions are clear and the build is not hard at all. Pieces are either popped into the cubes or in the case of the wings, clipped on. You can see the loaded shooters at the corner.

The finished model (which is the first one in the book) looks pretty cool and is bigger than expected. The Uju gun can be attached at the bottom like seen below:

But it really gets fun after you take everything apart – it just takes a few minutes, and start building your own ships, like I did –

Variant 1

Variant 2 (which looks like a Klingon Bird of Prey)

and Variant 3. I literally took only a few minutes every time to make these, and they are solid swooshable ships. The Komplex Scarab was a set I was expecting to be limited in possibilities, but the assortment of parts seems almost perfect to make many different ideas! For the price, this is a great set to build and play with.

Now, for the human ship from the Forge, the Sabre…

Sabre XF-23 Interceptor
39 parts, Ages 8+, 18 Accessories, 1 figure
$17.99 USD 

This is the Forge counterpart to the Scarab, and has a distinctly different element and color palette. The pilot is a human named Klik. Like the Scarab, this can make 3 different ships. And like the Scarab, you get a lot of stuff.

The Forge ships look more like planes, so there’s intakes and winglets and the nameless components that are whatever you dream up.

This set has more core cubes than the scarab, but no half cubes. However, since these are easier to photograph than the Scarab, I can show you what makes the cubes so useful.

The Forge cubes are silver with blue cores and all the cores can join flat, like below.

But, thanks to the design of the knob base and the core frame, all of the cubes can attach at a 45 degree angle, like below.

That change in angle creates many more possibilities in building. Another item that is in each set is a separator – a plastic screwdriver that can pry parts apart.

It’s a tool that is really helpful with the smaller detail parts. The larger parts can be removed by hand easily by an adult, with a little effort by a child.

The Uju part here is a triple shooter! Like the Scarab shooter, you have to load at once.

The cockpit is a little nicer looking from the Forge.

and Klik is articulated at the waist like The Truth.

and in the palm of my hand…

So let’s get to building…

Building

Instructions are clear – the only questions are when the model has to be rotated. The arrows are often too close to the model to read as a rotation. There’s enough diagrams to figure things out though pretty quickly. It shouldn’t take long to build any of the models.

Model A.

With Uju enhancement and shooters.

Now for some customs…

Variant A.

Variant B, the exact opposite of A…

and Variant C.

All of these just scratch at the surface of what can be built. Sets can be combined, including mixing the Forge and Komplex sets, so there is really an open sandbox to build in.

For those digitally inclined, there’s also an app for the Snap Ships – there you can use digital instructions to build and use AR to examine the digital models. A simple shooting game opens up more models to build using the sets, and videos on the sets and the upcoming web series can be seen there. And yes, you can order sets there too.

There’s only a couple of small things I noticed about the sets:

1. Where is the landing gear? Skids, wheels, feet…there is nothing for landing.

2. These sets really need a comic book introduction. The sets are packaged like the old GI Joe figures, with stats and information on the box. I want more info on the characters. Thankfully, some of that is showing up on the Youtube channel.

3. Pirates! Who else would combine both factions?

Other than that, Snap Ships are a fun surprise of a toy – for kids, it’s a way to make ships in a storyline that is theirs. The sets are affordable too, with the largest set, the Forge Gladius, costing $39.99. For the adults, there’s a collector/maker appeal to them. I personally don’t need the storyline – I can make my own.

Right after I make a few more Forge and Komplex ships!

Where You Can Find the Snap Ships

You can get the Snap Ships at the PlayMonster website. If you are first-time customer, you can get a 25% discount on your purchase by starting a customer account. You can also go to Amazon.com and order.

Target has an exclusive Snap Ships set, the Forge Trident St-33 Gunship.

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