I’m starting a new job, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece got me a back to work gift for my new desk. Classic Star Trek building set from Vonado? Hell yeah! But… does it work with Lego?
If you search online for Star Trek Lego creations, you will find no shortage of truly ugly interpretations of Starfleet design. There is a good reason for this: the Enterprise, no matter which iteration we’re talking about, isn’t designed to be made with interlocking blocks. It has tiny connection points from which saucers and nacelles hang, challenging even the most well engineered building system to hold together without sagging. Hell, even Hasbro, who had the building block license for the newer Star Trek movies, couldn’t come up with anything better than the abomination you see above. As a long time Trekkie and an even longer time Lego builder, I can tell you that Star Trek and Legos do not easily mix.
Yes, this was an official release. Seriously.
There are really only two options to make a Lego compatible Enterprise work: either make it as small as possible to reduce the weight of the parts, or manufacture specialized pieces to make the build work. Vonado has chosen the first course, and made this Enterprise as small as they could while still being marketable. At 199 pieces and roughly eight inches long, this is one of the better interpretations of the classic starship. And the fact that it’s made with fairly standard pieces is even more impressive.
It does suffer from structural weakness, particularly the saucer section, which will fall off if it is jostled even a little. The two studs that connect the saucer to the dorsal connection are just not enough to hold it. But that is less an indictment of the quality of the brick than the quality of the build. The design could be a bit more tight, but for an unlicensed knock-off Enterprise, this is extremely well made. But we’re not here to discuss how lovely this lovely little ship is. We want to know if Vonado building blocks work with Lego.
Verdict: oh, hell YES. These things are great. Not only are these pieces solidly made of high quality plastic, they work perfectly with real Lego pieces. The clutch is firm without being too tight, and as far as I can tell they are engineered to similar quality standards as Kre-O bricks. If the measure of the compatibility of a building block system is my willingness to mix the pieces in with my actual Legos – which is exactly how I define “Works With Lego” – then I declare that Vonado absolutely Works With Lego!
As for the model itself, it’s not solid enough to be an actual toy. It’ll fall apart if you play with it. But if you’re even a casual Star Trek fan and Lego builder, you’ll enjoy this set as a desk model. I’ll be picking up more Vonado in the future. These are quality bricks.