LEGO sent The Brothers Brick a copy of the new LEGO Ideas 21109 Exo Suit, which we’re going to give away to one of you out there reading this. Read the full review to find out how!
There have been a lot of great LEGO CUUSOO / LEGO Ideas sets that have come out, but before the Exo Suit they all had one thing in common: they were all based on someone else’s design (intellectual property or IP in licensing jargon). So it was a great to see Pete Reid‘s Exo Suit become the first original idea to be turned into a LEGO Ideas set.
The set comes in a typical small form LEGO Ideas box. I thought the designers did a great job on graphics and background art, which is very reminiscent of the classic space box art.
When you open up the set you’re presented with a fantastic instruction manual and 4 small bags of pieces, which include a total of 321 pieces. While it might not seem like a lot of pieces, the final build is surprisingly large.
The instruction booklet starts off with some info on Pete and Senior Set Designer Mark Stafford on how they collaborated on the set. It’s followed by a great background story that sets up the Exo Suit. I also liked how scattered throughout the instructions are little tid-bits of information about the Exo-Suit or the turtle, which just adds a bit of fun to the whole building.
Originally I had planned to go over the actual build process and point out interesting bits and details on the Exo Suit, but as I was actually building it, I decided not to ruin everyone’s fun — I would rather everyone experience it on their own. I will say that there are definitely some uncommon techniques that you would not find in your typical LEGO set. An example of which is placing a 1×1 round stud in the center of a 2×2 round plate (see picture).
The piece selection in this set is also a bit odd for a typical LEGO offering. There are a lot of ball-joint pieces that makes up the bulk of the frame, and a lot of tiny detailing elements that are attached to it, which makes up the rest of the set. But for a lot of builders this gives a great value: it is a small set with an incredible selection of specialized sci-fi “greeble” pieces.
But really, the stars of the set are the two Classic Space minifigures (with extra air tank) available in green for the first time:
The inclusion of these two figures, plus the low price point, and limited run will likely result in a very high demand set. Which is unfortunate as I would love to be able to buy a massive stockpile of these to get an army of Green Classic Space men, with enough left over pieces to build something really cool.
As I mentioned earlier, the build itself was a lot of fun, it reminded me of building the City Modular sets where there are just some really great techniques that are used and a joy to see it all come together. The finished model has a lot of play-ability and can be posed in a lot of different positions.
But I will warn you that all the cool detail pieces do come off easily with moderate play.
So with the set built, I wanted to give a real-world evaluation of just how good this set is for builders to create their own creations. While it did pain me to take apart Pete and Mark’s great creation I had to for the sake of science!
This actually turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be — there weren’t a lot of plates or bricks to build on, with mainly the aforementioned ball-joints and detail pieces. After several attempts to build ships and tanks, it was almost too obvious what I should have built from the beginning: a giant Exo-Turtle!
Using some of the same techniques I was able to build an Exo-Turtle from the set, with enough left over pieces to build a spacey-motorcycle:
Going into this review I was a bit biased towards this set — it’s the first set that I have ever begged to review, but I was very happily surprised that it was a really great set. I also realize that this set is not for everyone, but for those Space fans or those that are nostalgic for that classic space — this is a rare treat.
- Great value
- Great parts selection
- Fun build
- Classic Space minifigure in green
- High appeal to Space fans
- Limited run
- Detail pieces fall off easily
- Low appeal for kids and non-Space fans
If you’ve made it all the way through this review, and for your continued support on The Brothers Brick, I’m proud to offer this reviewed set (your choice of my Exo-Turtle model or the set in pieces) as a giveaway to our fans.
Simply leave a comment below and we will randomly choose a winner! Good luck everyone.
This set is expected to be in quite high demand, so pick up your own set now before I buy them all out. 21109 Exo Suit is available for $34.99 (US) / $ 44.99 (CAD) starting August 1st, 2014 from the LEGO Shop online.
UPDATE (Aug 15): We’re closing down the raffle after two weeks, and we’ll contact the winner shortly!