Mention toy vehicles and faithful replicas, and most folks will immediately think of Danish toy company, LEGO, but if you’re into collecting toy vehicles that can be played with and won’t fall apart immediately upon impact, you should look at German toy maker, Playmobil.
While its collection of toys are not as extensive or well known as other brands, its range of plastic accessories, buildings, vehicles and iconic 7.5cm figurines are easily recognisable, and in recent years, the company has released a small but considerably highly sought after line of licensed vehicles and figurines based on popular entertainment properties, including Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, The A-Team, Back to the Future and James Bond.
And unlike LEGO that has also done the same, these vehicles are all scaled to match the signature figurine, so you can line these vehicles up and play with them, and without fear of breaking them into little pieces. The latest is a fan-favourite for the 80s kids who remember the American TV series Knight Rider, which featured an autonomous super car with its iconic pulsating red light strip – K.I.T.T..
Driven by the mysterious Michael Knight, the crime-fighting duo filled prime time television over 30 years ago, and as the talking car, known as Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.), supported its human partner, audiences everywhere wished they owned the modified 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.
And the Playmobil version is easily the best, and most affordable version for fans everywhere. Measuring 28cm across and 7.5cm tall, the 462g battery-operated replica comes with three Playmobil figures for Knight, justice organisation leader Devon Miles, and K.I.T.T.’s chief engineer, Dr. Bonnie Barstow.
But what will enthrall fans of the series are the lights and sounds that can be triggered by a touch panel on the car’s bonnet, including the car’s signature red scanner light in the front, between both pop-up headlights, as well as dialogue from K.I.T.T. from the series, as voiced by William Daniels.
Featuring a detachable roof, which allows owners to easily slot in the figures into the seats of the vehicle, the set-up is similar to other Playmobil play sets, such as the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek, which features a removable lid for easy access to the ship’s bridge.
Not to worry, and Miles and Barstow aren’t just accessories for K.I.T.T., as they have their own toys to play with – Miles with his own chair, desk and futuristic computer that looks like a CRT monitor, and Barstow with her computer lab and toolbox for repairing the supercar when Knight pushes things beyond the limit.
Like with most small figurines, the ones here don’t always capture the likeness of the actors who played them, but in this case, the familiar red shirt and black jacket, as well as the hair curls of the Hoff are more than enough to rekindle the awesome sense of nostalgia the package brings. If you look close enough, his figure even comes with a wrist watch, which fans of the show will remember, as the very tool used by Knight to communicate with his awesome car.
Over the various seasons of the show, K.I.T.T. has been shown to do a variety of amazing things, and not everything can fit into this toy, but the basics are here – a flashing red light that emits when the car speaks, as well as a printer within the car, for Knight to receive updated information (this was after all, pre-smartphones and tablets). The steering wheel doesn’t rotate, but the rear license plate does, for when the car needs to evade detection, and there’s even a cable and grappling hook, for you to reel in other cars and drivers who think they can take on this formidable law enforcement machine.
Hopefully, this design will sell well because there is a rich library of classic shows that are in desperate need of toy vehicles and figurines, and if Playmobil can do justice to this amazing car, there’s hope for other licensed replicas including Airwolf, The Dukes of Hazzard, Magnum PI, and more.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Imagine a toy vehicle replica with lights, sounds and accessories, as well as figurines for hours of fun. Playmobil has outdone itself with a licensed toy that looks, feels and sounds like the real thing.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Value - 9/10
Geek Satisfaction - 9/10