When I first saw this set, I knew I must have it! If you've seen The LEGO Movie, you'll recognise it as the spaceship that Benny (the 1980-something spaceman) finally got to build towards the end of the movie. How does it compare with my fond memories of the Classic Space sets I grew up with?
The box contains:
- 7 x Numbered (#1-#7) bags of parts
- Cardboard-backed instructions (2 books) + sticker sheet
There are 939 parts in this set, as shown in the full inventory.
The old Classic Space color theme is back - plenty of blue, transparent yellow, and grey parts in this set. Just from looking at the set images we can see plenty of old parts making a come back. There are lots of wings (the new types, not the old ones), bombs, guns and tailfins.
It's great to see a new print of the Classic Space logo, it's a pity the other parts got stickers. There are even "LL 929" stickers as a tribute to the original LL 928 printed part from the Galaxy Explorer.
Similarly to some of the other LEGO Movie sets, this one comes with a laser engraved 1x4 tile with a special code used to unlock content from The LEGO Movie Videogame. Mine had MA-7K9P8FY4 and unlocked Robo Pilot and Astro Pants. I have no idea what that means as I can't stand playing the game past the area where you type in special codes :)
There are four minifigs and a Unikitty: Robo Emmet, Benny, Space Wyldstyle, Robo Pilot and Astro Kitty. Emmet gets a robo makeover on his head, hands and piece of resistance. His hardhat and hair are combined into a single new part. Wyldstyle gets a new blue jumpsuit with some Classic Space logo work on it. The Robo Pilot (the bad guy in case you couldn't guess) is straightforward except has a really annoying visor that falls off every time you think about touching it.
Benny also appears in Metalbeard's Sea Cow, but I think he will be a fairly sought after minifig. He has two face prints - a classic smiley face, and his easily recognised big grinning face. His torso has a faded Classic Space logo on it which is a nice touch. His helmet is a new mold and has a fake broken chin strap. The chin strap is actually quite thick in line with modern helmets, but looks great. All that is missing are the teeth marks :)
Astro Kitty is the fourth Unikitty variant, of which I have three in the photo below. She is pretty fragile, and frequently loses her head... which just adds to the playability of the Spaceship if you ask me. Especially given her R2-D2 style placement ;)
The build starts off with the three smaller ships. Firstly, the two detachable space pods are built. They are identical and eventually clip onto the rear wings of the Spaceship. The pods themselves have canopies which are new in trans-yellow. Unfortunately, a sticker gets placed on them. The stickers are transparent too, but for me that just means I get big finger prints on the sticky side which never comes off. When you place a minifig inside the space pods, the canopy lifts up and is used for targeting the bad guys. It doesn't look as cool in this mode, but makes it nice and playable.
The black Octan ship is a bit more streamlined and evil looking. The nice black and trans-red color theme helps too. The robo pilot can fit in the cockpit, although fitting his gun in there at the same time is a bit difficult.
The main Spaceship build starts off with a very solid base of studded Technic bricks and frames, and uses the blue/yellow color scheme right from the start.
It didn't take long before the ship got too big for me to take full frame photos of it in my home-made light tent - this is a BIG ship! The front of the ship and smaller front wings are built next. They have the stupid flick missiles mounted underneath, but they look cool.
The rear wings sit on a sliding base with tiles and slotted bricks to guide them. The center engine at the back connects to the wings via a couple of technic beams so that when it is pushed in, the wings spread out and vice-versa.
In the middle of the ship, just behind the cockpit, is a round control-pit area with a hatch to cover it. There are computer stations for two people in there. The secret code is printed on a tile that is covered by the hatch when it closes, which helps keep it secret I guess. There is a slot in the top where Astro Kitty can sit without falling out. The hatch closes nicely, loosely gripping with the edge of the wing parts.
There are two guns mounted on top of the hatch, of the new type seen in some 2014 Star Wars sets. There are three ammo parts included, I guess they anticipate one of them getting lost, or broken given how long and thin they are.
Next, there's a section behind the hatch between the rear wings. This houses a couple of small droids which don't do much other than cover the mechanism for extending the wings.
Next, the cannons are mounted, and the tail fins, engines and other various flair bits are added. Here it becomes apparent that the cannons cannot fire when the wings are retracted. So the extended wings put it into "attack" mode, I guess the other mode is "fast" mode as there's not much else to call it :) You may notice in the photos that this is where I realised my wings were put on backwards. Fortunately, they were very easy to detach and swap around.
While I was waiting for this set to be delivered, I built my old 928 Galaxy Explorer, or at least what was left of it. Some of the parts are long gone, but most of them survived or had replacements. There are obvious differences due to the evolution of building methods, as well as the by-design similarities.
The older building methods were very much "bottom-up" with little sideways stuff. They were also much simpler with less greebling and other details. Perhaps this encouraged more creative and imaginative play, or perhaps not. There are almost 3x more parts in this set than the old one.
Without a doubt, this set is Awesome! Any AFOL with a Classic Space background will love it, and judging from the way my kids have been playing with it, it's a hit for all ages.
There is plenty of play with this set, given its four guns and lots of open/close bits. It's also quite sturdy and you can hold its weight from anywhere along its body - making it very swooshable :)
The following video can be found on the LEGO product page for this set:
Check out the rest of the photos taken during this review at my Bricksafe page.
What do you think of this set, is it a must buy for you? The guys at LEGO ask me for feedback from these reviews, so let them know what you think by using the comments section below!