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Which Playmobil pirate ships are best?

For decades, Playmobil has been producing creative playsets and figurines for clever toddlers. One of its most popular series is the Pirates series, replete with cutlass-wielding swashbucklers and cannon-clad clipper ships. If you’re looking for a toy that can provide hours of entertainment for your child, a Playmobil pirate ship is the perfect gift.

These plastic, floating playsets are popular for their fun details, period-correct accessories and interactive components, letting children build entire worlds to their narrative imagination. To get them started, the Playmobil Pirates Skull Pirate Ship is the best toy for growing a collection of Pirates and Playmobil figures.  

What to know before you buy a Playmobil pirate ship

What Playmobil is

Playmobil is a line of toys started in Germany in 1974. The iconic globe-headed figurines range from historic leaders and contemporary public servants to mythical heroes and villains, futuristic explorers and everyday families. These toys are designed for make-believe play. With accessories and interactive playsets, children have near-infinite opportunities to act out their imaginations and tell new stories.

What Playmobil Pirates are

Playmobil Pirates are part of a series of pirate-themed figures, playsets and accessories. Playmobil has been producing these lovable seafaring scallywags for decades. From floating ships, boats and rafts to spooky desert islands and coastal castles, each toy is designed as part of a larger story. Kids can collect the figures and playsets for maximum playtime potential, pairing their pirate toys with other figures and series.

What ‘Novelmore’ is

“Novelmore” is Playmobil’s latest, proprietary fantasy series under which the company releases a number of unusual play sets. These sets follow the general themes of knights, wizards and castles, but a few pirates are thrown into the mix as well. The “Novelmore” series is likely to be popular with kids as the toys have been released alongside Playmobil’s own animated show on YouTube. 


Like other interactive building toys, Playmobil sets require assembly. They’re not as complex and procedural as brick play sets, but the larger and more intricate toys do require some skill. These present a wonderful occasion for parents to sit down with their children during playtime and bond while teaching new skills. 

What ages are safe to play with Playmobil?

Playmobil toys are rated for ages 4-10 years old. Their small pieces present a choking hazard to little ones, so parents should use their best judgment when purchasing sets. Playmobil Pirates also feature what could be considered violent content. The ships are equipped with projectile-loaded cannons and the figures are armed with cartoonish swords and old-timey guns.

What to look for in a quality Playmobil pirate ship

Number of pieces

Playmobil Pirates sets range from fully decked-out ships to neat accessory sets that enhance the toys’ world-building effect. Larger sets come with more pieces, require a little more assembly and patience, and are suited for older kids or require supervised construction. These are also more expensive than smaller sets. Opt for smaller sets if you’re looking for gifts that a young one can immediately integrate into their collection.


One of the coolest aspects of these toys is their interactivity. Playmobil ships come with spring-loaded cannons and projectiles, working anchors and other moving parts. Kids will love the realism these details add. But parents should check in during playtime, as smaller pieces can be hazardous and also tend to get lost. 

Floating and propulsion

Playmobil pirate ships float, meaning you can bring them to the beach or pool for additional fun. Some ship sets are also compatible with Playmobil’s underwater motors, which propel the ships when attached. These require AA batteries and push the boat along slowly, hands-free. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Playmobil pirate ship

Smaller Playmobil Pirates ships and sets are around $10-$25. Midsize sets range from $30-$60, and large ships can go for $100 or more. 

Playmobil pirate ship FAQ

What’s the difference between Lego and Playmobil?

A. With similar themes, sets and age ranges, both toys foster educational and imaginative play. Playmobil differs from Lego in that the sets come mostly prefabricated, requiring only a little assembly, whereas Lego requires you to build each set brick by brick.

What other sets are included in the Pirates series?

A. The Pirates series has accompanying figurines with cannons and additional sets such as treasure islands. These island sets make fun destinations for the ships to travel among on treasure hunts. Unlike the ships, the islands do not float. 

What’s the best Playmobil pirate ship to buy?

Top Playmobil pirate ship

Playmobil Pirates Skull Pirate Ship

Playmobil Pirates Skull Pirate Ship

What you need to know: Take to the high seas in this fully operational pirate ship with enough figures and accessories for hours of fun. 

What you’ll love: This set offers the most playtime potential of any Playmobil pirate ship. It comes with three figures; two swiveling, shooting cannons; thematic animals and a playable interior. The ship not only floats but can also be paired with the Playmobil underwater motor for self-propelled battles.

What you should consider: Children looking to do battle with the redcoats might be out of luck as Playmobil’s opposing British Caravel set is pretty hard to find online.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Playmobil pirate ship for the money

Playmobil Pirate Raider Carry Case

Playmobil Pirate Raider Carry Case

What you need to know: Supplement your child’s favorite Pirates toys with this little set featuring a treasure-stealing pirate and a Colonial soldier.

What you’ll love: This set comes with a floating rowboat for the pirate to make their getaway from a cannon-wielding soldier, perfect for pretend play. Kids can pit these characters against one another or add them to their favorite ongoing battles with larger ship sets. The little dinghy floats and the cannon shoots a small projectile. 

What you should consider: This set has a lot of small pieces that could get lost, such as silver doubloons and a sneaky plastic rat. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Playmobil Burnham Raiders Fire Ship

Playmobil Burnham Raiders Fire Ship

What you need to know: Make your dastardly foray into the “Novelmore” series at the helm of this dragon-themed pirate ship.

What you’ll love: With two working dragon cannons and two fantastical saber-rattling figures, kids can send this ship right into battle with its prow that doubles as a battering ram. The ship also features a projectile grappling hook. It floats and is compatible with the Playmobil motor. 

What you should consider: This is a smaller ship set, without interior play capacity or numerous accessories. It’s best paired with other “Novelmore” or pirates sets. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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