If you’re a spaceship fan like me, you’re probably already familiar with the Snap Ships line of constructible toys from PlayMonster, and we’ve covered them extensively on Figures.com (because they’re so cool). After checking out the drone expansions last time, we’re back for another review of the latest releases, in this case a return to mid-size packs for both factions in the Snap Ships universe, Forge and Komplex. Out just in time for the holidays are the Javelin M-02 Attack Speeder and Tunnelweb K.L.A.W. Spider Mech!
Continuing on with what we’ve seen in previous reviews, all of the Snap Ships come in standardized packaging that various only in size. The majority, like these, are single ship releases and come in thin, tall cardboard boxes with hard plastic tops that serve as the bottom of the display bases. The graphics and info on these packages are fantastic, with big and bright text, cool action shots of the ships on the front panels, and more.
Wireframe renders on the front give you alternate builds, while the sides and back panels give you instructions and show you how the parts fit together. The front panel also tells you the name of the ship with its class, designation, and its pilot/pilots, and the back panel explains UJU tech (unique bonus parts) and even gives you statistical data for Speed, Weapons, Armor, and Maneuverability!
Unlike the early, larger releases there are no plastic trays holding the components for the Javelin or Tunnelweb, but you do get a lot in the boxes. There’s a clear bag holding all of the standard parts along with an instruction book, poster with art and checklist, and of course the UJU tech. In this case, those unique parts come in a separate, sealed foil bag with really cool graphics unique to the two factions. I also want to make special mention of the Snap Ships instructions, as they are chock full of cool in-universe information, instructional graphics, and very clear build diagrams.
These two new ships are still assembled around a stable central core of cubic parts, with all the interesting and unique bits surrounding that section. There are always plenty of multi-point connectors to reinforce that stability, too. And possibly best of all, those connection points can be mounted straight on or at an angle for offset parts (as you can see in the photos). There’s also a very solid connection made on Snap Ships pieces, so much so that disconnecting them require the included Separation Tool. Both ships have opening cockpits in which you can place the included pilots, tiny two-part figures articulated at the waist. Then there are all sorts of cool tech bits from circuitry boards to thrusters, sensor pallets to fins and so much more. Of course, the two different factions have very different styles, with a generally sleek and high-tech look to the heroic Forge and a vicious, bladed overall appearance to the villainous Komplex. Those add on articulated weapon turrets, slashing blades, gatling cannons, missiles, energy cannons, and more. There are even optional projectile-launching parts and the unique UJU tech pieces, and ALL of this is interchangeable so you can make your own designs, even mixing and matching parts from the two factions.
Unlike most of the space-faring vessels in the Snap Ships line, the Javelin M-02 Attack Speeder is a land and water-based craft designed for rapid deployment, attacks, and withdrawal. According to its packaging the Speeder has a massive Speed score followed closely by Maneuverability, with moderate weapons and weak armor. The Javelin has a relatively small, squat main body that’s covered in weapons and maneuvering surfaces, while two large engines hang below and in front of it on extended pylons; these are articulated so they can point in different directions. As a typical Forge ship its parts come in shades of gray and light blue with some black and yellow/orange details. Its special components include MK23 Autocannons and SCAR-2X Pulse Lasers for its sneak attacks, with NF08 Displacement Drives for its high degree of speed.
Also included is the four-armed pilot Atam, and UJU tech in the form of a DE-11 Shield Skin Generator and CC-15 Particle Screen, both in squishy green rubber. The instruction manual gives an alternate build for the stubby but more traditional-looking M-01 Light Attack craft, which I think I might actually prefer.
On the other side of the intergalactic conflict is the Komplex Tunnelweb K.L.A.W. Spider Mech, one of the relatively rare walker type vehicles in the Snap Ships line. Compared to the Javelin this Mech trades some Speed for more Maneuverability, and has modest Weapons and Armor. The build is really interesting with four smaller, bladed legs and two larger over-arching legs resembling a scary space insect. The cockpit, holding the included generic Komplex Pilot is low-slung and forward pointing, while various weapons point forward and up, over the craft. Like all Komplex ships this one is primarily black and gray, with some striking orange details. The legs give it some really fun articulation, even without disassembling any of the parts.
Its stats list its special equipment as CL-ARC Mortars and Kinetic Shielding, while a rear-mounted K.L.A.W. Grapple Launcher features a real string that’s fun to play with. UJU parts in this pack are the K-13 Static Vanes and K-51 Regeneration Pod in gummy red rubber. The alternate build here is the Light Attack Mech with an even lower-slung body on four main legs, two forward-angled antennas, and twin guns mounted on articulated arms.
And remember, the ships are just a part of the fun when it comes to Snap Ships. There’s also the app! The free Snap Ships app is part storyline and introduction to the universe, part counterpart to the toys with tons of designs you can build with your parts, and part Augmented Reality so you can zoom the ships around your house and play games with them. The hangar bay comes stocked with a few ships, with LOTS more you unlock by playing the game. Here you can see products you can purchase as well as models that require multiple kits to create, and the full instructions to build all of them. The Battle Map presents different ships as their own territories; in each of these you’ll learn about the vessels and what they can do, then see them in action in full Augmented Reality.
In the AR segments you bring fully animated Snap Ships into your living room and proceed to investigate all of their weapons and equipment and test out those systems. It was super neat the first time I realized I could shoot missiles at a nearby wall and see them explode on contact! Once you’ve learned about a ship, you’ll get to fly it in a (simple) mission, shooting down enemies. There’s more, too, like unlockable avatars as you do more in the app, a checklist to update so the app will tell you which unique designs you can make, and links to the Snap Ships animated video series. I really like playing with the AR and ship-building, and it’s even more fun doing it with my two young kids (7 and 3). Best of all, PlayMonster updates the app with new ships, and links to the Youtube series of Snap Ships short videos!
The Javelin and Tunnelweb are great new additions to a fantastic toy line, and I highly recommend them for anyone interested in Snap Ships or just cool sci-fi toys. In addition to their cool designs, they’re packed with unique parts that you can integrate with your other sets to build new ships of your own! Marketed as 8+, these constructible kits are truly great fun for kids and adult collectors alike, and of course they make great gifts. The Tunnelweb and Javelin are available now, $14.99 MSRP each.
For more information, download the Snap Ships app or head over to play around on the PlayMonster Snap Ships website!
Review and photos by Scott Rubin.
Review samples courtesy of PlayMonster.