On their popular YouTube channel, brothers Vlad and Niki are always going on wacky adventures and playing pretend — one day they are superheroes, and the next day they are racing cars or trying out a silly challenge with their family.
All of that imaginative play and fun definitely influenced the Vlad & Niki Crazy Rocketship Playset from Playmates Toys, which is designed for kids ages 3 and up.
At first glance, this toy seems similar to other YouTuber-inspired, surprise-reveal products. The plastic casing includes six blue and orange bags, which each contain a vehicle or action figure inspired by Vlad & Niki. Kids will discover a total of four 3-inch figures and two vehicles, along with sticker sheets, a fire hose water shooter, and temporary tattoos.
However, the feature that makes this toy stand out is that the surprises all come inside of a rocket ship, which becomes part of the play pattern as a playset for the figures to interact with. The rocket features fins on the exterior, while the interior is split into two levels on each side.
It is worth noting that there is some light assembly for the playset. Both of the vehicles come in two pieces that snap together, which kids should be able to do themselves. The set also comes with a sheet of 17 stickers that add details to the ship. The spot for each sticker is outlined on the playset itself, and a numbered guide in the instructions indicates which sticker should go where. The process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, but an adult will want to help apply the stickers to ensure they are in the correct spot. However, there is also a separate sheet of smaller stickers — with shapes such as stars, lightning bolts, and music notes — that kids can use to customize the rocketship.
Also, the vehicles and figures that come with the set aren’t specifically space-themed. My set included a generic figure of each brother, along with a construction worker Niki and a rescue worker Vlad. The themed figures actually paired with the vehicles: a rescue chopper (which features a very fun propeller that kids can spin by pulling a trigger) and a driller cart. The figures are designed to sit in and interact with both of the vehicles, too. While the lack of an astronaut figure surprised me at first, it seems like all of these pieces are part of a larger Vlad and Niki world that encourages creative, imaginative play by mixing different characters and themes. The stickers help tie this idea together, too — they create backgrounds of a rescue station and a workshop on the lower levels of the rocket playset.
The small interactive elements — like the water squirter and propeller — and extra surprises such as the temporary tattoos really give this toy a lot of play value. And finally, when playtime is over, the figures and vehicles fit inside of the rocketship for easy storage, which is another big plus.
The Vlad and Niki Crazy Rocketship Playset will be available at Target in June!