Price: $500 / £449.99
Model number: 70548
Number of pieces: 150
Dimensions: 39.4 x 18.9 x 13.4 in (100 x 48 x 34 cm)
Recommended age: 10+
These are the voyages of Space.com’s toy coverage. Our continuing mission, to seek out new toys and model kits, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Today our mission takes us to one of the most striking and visually imposing toy sets we’ve ever built – the Playmobil USS Enterprise.
This enormous replica of Captain James T Kirk’s original Enterprise is a combination of child’s playset and Trekkies dream display piece thanks to the amazing attention to detail along with a wealth of lights, sounds and removable parts. We’re not kidding about the size either, this is hefty model measuring in at a full meter in length.
If you’re looking for the best Star Trek gifts, either for yourself or for the Trekkie in your life, then the Playmobil USS Enterprise is certainly the premium choice, both in terms of quality and price.
Playmobil were kind enough to send us one of these behemoths out for review, so we’ve gone through the whole build process, the ship design, extra features, and more to show you exactly what you’re getting for your money. Trekkies, you’re in for a treat with this one.
Playmobil USS Enterprise: Build
- 150 pieces
- Easy to build
- Lots of stickers
Despite being an absolutely mammoth kit, the Playmobil USS Enterprise only has 155 pieces. This isn’t a Lego kit where you have to painstakingly build a big grey cylinder out of 600 identical looking pieces. The main saucer section is primarily made up of one piece, with a detachable roof section to give you access to the bridge. The rest of the body is another large piece, and then the twin nacelles are two more large pieces. All the pieces clip together nicely with no issues. Some need the connecting pegs to be attached first, and there is a special tool to help push the pegs in.
The majority of the building comes in adding details to the interior of the ship, including the banks of computers on the bridge and the engineering section in the main body. There are also a lot of stickers to attach to this kit. Like nearly 100 of the damn things. We’ve had disagreements with stickers before, because they’re always a massive pain to align properly and you often only get one chance to do it right, as peeling them off to try again inevitably flicks up the corner a bit and ruins the perfect look.
We can understand why the stickers are present of course, it’d be a lot more expensive to have custom printed parts for all the details, but much of the exterior of the ship already has printed details on it, so we’re not sure why it also needed stickers.
Our vendetta against stickers aside, the Playmobil USS Enterprise is a surprisingly fast and enjoyable build. We put it together in a couple of hours and had no real issues with difficult sections. The instructions are clearly laid out and explain which piece goes where. The pieces themselves are just randomly thrown into different bags though – this isn’t as well put together as a Lego set where each section of the build gets its own numbered bag. We often had to bounce between bags looking for the pieces we needed, which was a bit of a pain.
As the Playmobil USS Enterprise has lights and sounds (oh yes, we’ll get to that) you also need to connect a few wires as you’re building. This is very simple though, there is no soldering or electrical engineering degree required. You’re just connecting plugs into sockets really.
Along with the ship itself, you also get a funky display stand that’s shaped like the Starfleet logo, along with a few alternative build pieces that allow you to hang the ship from your ceiling. This is a welcome addition for a model kit that’s nearly three feet long – most people will struggle to find space to store and display it, so giving you a way to put it where it belongs – in the sky – is a nice touch.
You also get little Playmobil versions of the crew. Kirk, Spock, Uhuru, Scotty, Bones, Sulu, and Chekov are all here, armed with phasers and tricorders, along with six adorable little tribbles.
Playmobil USS Enterprise: Design
- It’s huge
- Lights and sounds are great
- App is cool, but probably something you’ll barely use
There is no denying that the Playmobil USS Enterprise has presence – just look at the size of this thing. An absolute unit, as the kids would say. Measuring in at 39.4 x 18.9 x 13.4 in (100 x 48 x 34 cm), you’re going to need somewhere pretty spacious to display this thing. The pictures we took are on our work desk, and it takes up almost the entire thing so you’re not just going to be able to slot in onto a bookshelf.
It’s an incredibly faithful recreation of the original Enterprise too – the NCC 1701. No bloody A – B – C – or D, as Scotty would say. The ship’s registration is emblazoned proudly on the top of the saucer section, and all the other little markings and details that you’d expect are present on the hull, either as printed details or stickers.
All that wiring you have to do is worth the trouble too, because the Enterprise has loads of lights and sound effects for you to enjoy. The warp nacelles light up and the collection of multicoloured LEDs that sits behind the orange translucent front does a great job of replicating the look of the original series’ Enterprise engines. The top and bottom of the saucer section also light up with white LEDs (the top gets its illumination from the lights in the bridge).
Alongside the light show, you also get some sound files which play when you press certain buttons. Pressing the start-up button in the engineering section will play a voice line from Kirk, before looping a bunch of ambient sounds from the bridge of the ship. You can also press three different buttons on Kirk’s command console to play sounds for going to warp, red alert, or firing torpedos. If you leave the model alone for long enough, it will play Spock’s iconic “live long and prosper” voice line before shutting down.
As an added treat, you can remove the warp core from the ship, which will automatically cause a special version of the red alert warning to play. Plugging the core back in immediately cancels the alert. We absolutely loved this little easter egg.
Inside the ship, you can see a pretty faithful recreation of the Enterprise bridge too, complete with loads of monitors and screens, and even a holographic view screen displaying an oncoming Klingon Bird of Prey.
Playmobil USS Enterprise: Price
No matter how wonderfully designed the Playmobil USS Enterprise is, there’s no avoiding the elephant in the room – the price. The Playmobil USS Enterprise costs a staggering $500. You certainly get a lot for your money in terms of functionality – there are Lego sets that cost more than this and they don’t come with lights, sounds and a Bluetooth app, but even so, it’s a lot of money to spend on a kids toy.
And it is a toy, at the end of the day. It’s got little Playmobil dudes, it has an AR game designed for kids attached to it and it’s got an age rating of 10+. It’s a toy. Which leads to the question, who is spending $500 on a kids toy? And while we’re at it, how many ten year olds fans of Star Trek: The Original Series are out there?
Ultimately, it’s not for kids at all. The people who will buy the Playmobil USS Enterprise are parents who are also Star Trek fans, and want to share that joy with their young ones, and Trekkies who like collectable models and figures, but there are a few too many kid-centric design decisions for it to be a true collectable for adults either. The AR app is definitely a kids game, and there is also no denying that Playmobil figures just look like toys – far more so than Lego minifigures do.
And yet… despite all that, we love it. We absolutely love the Playmobil USS Enterprise and we’d absolutely recommend it to any Star Trek fan that can afford it.
Should you buy the Playmobil USS Enterprise?
If you have $500 to spend on collectables and you’re a massive Star Trek fan, then you should absolutely buy the Playmobil USS Enterprise. Despite our few niggling issues with it, this is such a unique and impressive model that we just have to recommend it. If you’re a Star Trek fan then there are loads of neat touches and details to spark your nostalgia for the original show here. The look, the lights, the sounds – it’s all how you remember it.
At $500, the asking price is high, but there are Lego kits out there that cost way more than that, and they don’t come with lights, sounds, and ceiling mounts included in the cost, so we think the value is there.