When last we checked in with the Snap Ships line from PlayMonster it was the end of 2021 and we had looked at the massive Forge CR-76 Claymore Combat Transport. Coming out hot on its heels were a few other awesome new ships, designs that really push the line forward with fun new features and color schemes. This time we’re back for an in-depth review of one of the newest vessels belonging to the evil Komplex star empire, the K.L.A.W. Spitter Missile Cruiser! A super aggressive-looking medium-size kit, the Spitter packs some very cool alternate builds, incorporated projectile launchers, updated Komplex color scheme, and more. Let’s check it out!
When you have a good thing going you don’t mess with it, and so PlayMonster has retained the same packaging style since the beginning of the Snap Ships line. Each ship, drone, or mech comes in a shallow, tall cardboard box with a hard plastic top that serves as the bottom of the craft’s display base. The Spitter’s box has all of the usual bold graphics and text including the name of the ship and its pilot, and the product line and tagline. On the front panel those are joined by an action shot of the ship as well as wireframe renders of the three different build options.
The back panel breaks down the kit by its component parts, talks about the UJU tech bonus parts, and has a super fun info box with the Spitter’s raw stats (Speed, Weapons, Armor, and Maneuverability) and a description of its battle role.
What’s inside the box? Mainly a big bag of parts! The bulk of the Spitter’s 50+ parts come in one plastic bag, along with an instruction book, poster with art and checklist, and UJU tech package. The latter is in the newer style, a sealed foil bag featuring Komplex faction iconography. Remember to keep the box top as it’s a component in the ship’s display base! As with all Snap Ships, the Spitter is assembled with connecting parts that can be disassembled, customized, and combined with parts from other ships. Snap Ships are built around a stable central core of cubic parts, around which you’ll add more interesting and unique accessories like armor, weapons, engines, and generally high-tech greeblies.
The standard Spitter has a great sci-fi design with a wide central body, “X” shaped wings longer on the bottom than the top, and two forward-facing weapons flanking a protected cockpit. As with all Komplex ships this missile cruiser is absolutely covered in textured parts and tiny details, and everything is super aggressive. The first thing you’ll see with an oncoming Spitter is the pair of bladed weapons, and that’s before we get to the missile-laden wings, dual underslung cannon turrets, and rear-facing top-mounted turret. Looking at the rear of the ship, you’ll find some smaller directional wings as well as multiple engine thrust parts.
The box and instructions describe the Spitter K.L.A.W. Missile Cruiser as focusing almost entirely on its heavy armament, which makes sense for its role. Its stat line is a bit more even that you might expect, though, with above average Speed and Weapons and slightly below average Armor and Maneuverability. Among its unique features are CL-HEP missiles with High Explosive Penetrators (interesting since usually HE and armor piercing are different types), CR-50 auto railgun with drum feed, and piercing fins as we see on many Komplex vessels. I really like the visual of these ships firing these weapons at range before closing in and literally slicing their enemies to pieces with their wings and fins!
Meanwhile, the Spitter’s UJU Tech pack came with four parts: K-34 Energy Coupler, K-55 Grappling Tendrils, K-51 Regeneration Pod, and K-19 Carapace Pod. These rubbery, red plastic additions can be attached to a variety of parts and places on the models, adding both cool visual pops of color as well as unique abilities for your storytelling and play experiences.
Up close, the Snap Ships components are covered in sculpted technological details and textures like circuitry, rivets, and of course the organic bit seen on Komplex ships – bones, vents, membranes, etc. One of the biggest evolutions in recent Snap Ships has been the incorporation of projectile launchers into components of the ships’ hull rather than as separate pieces you can stick onto them. While I can tell you from experience that kids love those more bulky, exposed shooters, I really appreciate this new mode as you can see on the Spitter’s missiles integrated into its wings. This way I can mount the projectiles to complete the missile cruiser look without having unsightly firing components stuck to the exterior. In addition, the current wave of releases adds some new color accents to both the Forge and Komplex models, so the Spitter has some neat pops of orange and purple along with the traditional black and grays.
Even without mixing and matching parts with other Snap Ships kits (and you certainly can as everything is interchangeable), the Spitter has instructions for three very cool and distinct variations. Other than the standard missile cruiser as explained above, you can build a Mini Cruiser with forward-extending bridge and inverted “K” shape main body or a Deep Recon Variant that’s kind of like a stubby cross between a TIE fighter and an X-Wing. I typically gravitate immediately to one build over the other options in Snap Ships kits, but I have to say I really like all three of these! The Mini Cruiser is probably my favorite, and it’s cool how its shape really brings to mind a larger capital vessel versus the smaller scale feel of the others.
Of course, 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!
As you can tell from this review series, I continue to be a huge fan of the Snap Ships line. Not only do I love collecting and building these fun ships, but I’m really happy to see the team continually evolve the series with different kinds of kits, new types of parts, and more and more great designs. I’m usually more of a Forge fan with its classic “heroic” sci-fi style, but the Spitter is gorgeous in all three builds and has a fantastic look. You can pick up one of these missile cruisers (MSRP $19.99) for yourself now!
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.