Build Your Own Space Squadron With Snap Ships

Reviews Toys

At an outpost deep in space, enemy spaceships of the Komplex have begun their attack. Quickly decide which type of craft you need, get the plans, and then assemble the pieces together to create the perfect Snap Ship to take on the enemy. 

What are Snap Ships

Snap Ships are a new building system by PlayMonster. Set during a fictional space conflict between the forces of the Forge and those of the Komplex, the building sets are complimented with weekly YouTube episodes telling a story of the war between the two sides as well as a free downloadable app. Snap Ships are designed for children 8 years and up. There are currently nine sets available which range in price from $12 to $45. Snap Ships can be purchased from Amazon as well as other retailers and even from PlayMonster directly. An additional Forge ship set is available exclusively from Target

The Sabre XF-23 Interceptor with green projectiles that really shoot. Image by Michael Knight.

What do you get?

Each building set of Snap Ships includes an instruction manual with blocks and decorative pieces which allow you to build up to three different models individually. Snap ships feature a unique building system which is based on cubical blocks, each with with stud which can connect with ports on the other fives sides of a different block. The blocks serve as the base for assembling a ship. These blocks can even connect with a 45 degree rotation from one another allowing for even more creativity and unique structures. Once the base has been built, then decorative pieces snap into the blocks. These can include wings, fins, engine intakes and exhausts, thrusts, and a variety of weapon systems. Each Snap Ship also includes a secret Uju tech system unique to that set. In fact, it is sealed separately in the packaging to add to the mystic. Sets includes a cockpit piece with an opening canopy into which the pilot can be placed. The box lid can  be used as a stand for displaying your Snap Ship. Finally, each set comes with a tool for helping to separate parts during disassembly. 

These blocks are the core of Snap Ships construction. Image by Michael Knight.

The downloadable app really helps bring Snap Ships to life. Users can create a profile and keep track of which sets they own. The Hangar includes instructions for building new ship designs that combine the pieces from 2 or more sets. This listing is updated with new ships periodically. The Battle Map lets you pick one of the building sets for further exploration. It describes the purpose of that ship and provides digital building instructions for all the different models for that set. The augmented reality or AR feature lets you see the constructed ship in your own room or even on your table or desktop. Explore the various technology and weapons of that model. Finally, in the Auto-Flight, you can play a mini game where you control that model and use its weapons and tech to defeat enemy ships. As you complete missions in Auto-Flight, you actually unlock new avatars as well as new builds you can make. 

Check out the various sets and builds on the downloadable app. Image by Michael Knight.

Snap Ships also has their own YouTube channel. As mentioned earlier, they are releasing a series of animated videos telling a story from the Snap Ships universe. There will be a total of eight videos in this series. In addition, the channel also offers videos about each of the sets. If that were not enough, the designers have recorded videos of them creating new ships by combining parts from multiple sets. All of these videos not only help further the story behind the product line, but also provide you with new ideas on what you can do with the Snap Ships you already own. 

The XB-04 Light Bomber is a second model you can build with the Sabre set. Image by Michael Knight.

Why you should get Snap Ships

The third model from the Sabre set is the XR-01 Fast Recon ship. Image by Michael Knight.

My family loves building with construction sets. My kids have several storage containers full of name brand building blocks that start with the letter ‘L’ and I have had an affinity for that brand since I was a child. While I have built with several other types of building toys, I am usually not very impressed. However, Snap Ships is something different. It stays true to its purpose of allowing users to create space ships and vehicles. They have simplified the process into two main phases: base structure and finishing.

These blocks are assembled to form the basic structure of the Sabre Interceptor. Now to add the fun parts. Image by Michael Knight.

When you first look at the blocks which form the base structure of the ships, they do not look all that impressive. However, they snap together easily and stay together. The included tool is often necessary for removing parts in order to save your fingernails. Snap Ships aren’t just built to look at, they are meant for kids to play with them. The blocks do not rotate once they are snapped together. However, you can rotate them before you snap them together so they connect with 45 degree rotational offset which allows for some unique designs. Once you have all the blocks forming the general shape of the ship you are building, it is time to add the decorations.

Don’t forget the pilot. Image by Michael Knight.

The finishing phase actually takes more time than building the base structure. There are so many different parts you can use. Each has a stud or port which allows it to be connected to the blocks of the base structure. This is where you add a cockpit, engine vents and exhausts, fuel tanks, wings, stabilizers, and more. Since these ships are designed for combat, each set also comes with a variety of weapons which can include laser guns, rotary cannons, missiles, rocket launchers, and of course the Uju tech unique to each set. Snap ships include more than enough parts. In fact, even after completing one of the models, there are parts left over which are needed for one of the other models or to customize the currently constructed model. For example, the Sabre set, which lets you build the XF-23 Interceptor, the mainstay of the Forge fleet, has three variations of weapons configurations listed in the manual. Of course, builders can move those weapon systems around to wherever they choose. 

The Scarab K.L.A.W. Interceptor shows the different designs and parts of the Komplex ships. Image by Michael Knight.

For this review, I had the opportunity to try out the Forge’s Sabre X-23 Interceptor as well as the Komplex’s Scarab K.L.A.W. Interceptor. While the Forge ships have a familiar look to aviation style space ships with lots of grays, the Komplex have a much more alien look to them along with sharp wings and fins as well as a black and maroon color scheme. Along those lines, the Forge and Komplex sets have pieces unique to their faction. I really like the simplicity of the construction. Builders do not have to spend as much time constructing the base structure so they can get right to the customization and decoration. The app is an integral part of the product line. After I constructed my ships, I went into the app and in the AR, it described all the weapons systems on the ship and even let me fire off the missiles, the laser cannons, and the Uju tech. While on the topic of firing weapons, many of the sets come with weapons that fire projectiles. For both sets I received, the Uju tech fired projectiles and both also had rocket launchers that fired small projectiles. 

Try out your ship’s weapon systems in the comfort of your living room with the AR feature in the app. Image by Michael Knight.

I am very impressed by the Snap Ships line of building sets. Even with only one set, there is a lot of potential for creativity to construct even more than the three models for which instructions are provided. However, as you add more set, the possibilities increase even further. Watching the videos with the designers of Snap Ships not only gave me some great ideas of what to build, they also had great explanations of how to use parts for different functions. An engine exhaust could become an engine intake. The possibilities are endless. While you can showcase your builds on their display stands, Snap Ships are also meant for play. They do not fall apart during high-G maneuvers and firing the rockets or other projectiles can be fun as you try to hit the enemy ships. My children and I enjoyed building the ships as well as playing with them. Now we want to collect them all so we can build even more ships and vehicles and get all the unique parts. I wish I could have had Snap Ships when I was a child. 

Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of this item for review purposes.

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