I'm sure I'm not the only one here with fond memories of these little guys. To this day, I'll occasionally take a gander at that third set I was never able to acquire on eBay, invariably going for two or three Benjamins.
One thing I've always wondered is who exactly was in charge of picking which ships they'd make a toy out of?
Paula Block, head of Trek licensing back then would be your best bet for an answer as to 'who' at Galoob chose the ships, or 'who' at Paramount provided them with the designs to model the ships from. Maybe Rick Sternbach or Mike Okuda or Doug Drexler may know on the Paramount side as well. I can't think of anyone else who would have access to the designs of all the ships from that era.