The future will be green

As a child, there was a special excitement connected to the release of a new colour of Classic Space astronaut; so when Peter Reid persuaded LEGO to include green spacemen in his LEGO Ideas Exo-Suit set, my heart skipped a beat. These same minifigures have inspired Kloou to build an epic retro sci-fi styled control tower. Arguing that the green spacemen have been denied a full range of sets he thought it only fair to build this amazing base in suitable green livery.
UFO Green Tower
He’s done them proud, with the UFO tower sporting the traditional space symbol in 3D, some seriously cool radar arrays and multiple landing pads for a whole host of space scooters. What more could a spaceman ask for?

UFO Green Tower

4 comments on “The future will be green

  1. Purple Dave

    My take on it was that they convinced Peter to go with a green Spaceman, not the other way around. His proposal was for a white Spaceman, but it turned out it would have required more Q elements than they could afford to devote to a minifig. Black, blue, and green were the options offered, as Darth Vader, Benny, and Leonardo/Raphael were providing a free source of the leg and torso assemblies. Benny would have also given them the airtanks. But if they’d had a bit more freedom with bringing new elements into production, I fully believe the spacesuit would have been white as originally proposed.

    Of course, I think we can all agree that the true tragedy is that they couldn’t figure out a way to pull a dark-purple Classic Spaceman out of the production schedule…

  2. Håkan

    I have a hard time grasping this. A white minifig being more expensive than a green one? Wouldn’t unprinted white torsos be plentiful?

    Another point, the argument that the green spacemen lacked a base in their own color doesn’t make sense, since – except for 6930 and 6972 – all of the bases had a blue base(!), anyway…

  3. Purple Dave

    @Håkan:
    Sounds weird until you really think of it like The LEGO Company. We see a white torso assembly and see a white torso, white left and right arms, and white hands. If all four of those bits are currently in production, it makes perfect sense that they should be able to slap them all together and you’re good to go.

    But that’s not how they do it. To them, the assembly is a unified element. Darth Vader, minus the print, is solid black below the neck. Same for Benny in blue, and Leo/Raph in green. But there were no minifigs at the time the Exo-Suit was being developed that came with a solid white torso, printed or unprinted. Therefore, if they wanted to make a white Spaceman, it would have counted as a new element and the Ideas team would have had one less free slot to use elsewhere. Probably more specifically, the guy doing the Exo-Suit design with Peter would have come up one short if they actually put a hard limit on how many he got for that set.

    And when you consider what other sets they had out at the same time, Q Elements were probably stretched pretty tight. Ecto-1 was a glutton for Q Elements. There were four printed torsos, four printed heads, a printed boat stud, the license plate, and the Ghostbusters logo curved slope for a whopping 11 exclusive printed elements. Besides that, there were drum-lacquered 1×1 round bricks, cheese slopes, grilled cheeses, and minifig dumbbell weights that I believe were all new, and it was also the first set to include the dark-red 1×1 round plate w/ hollow stud. Some of the printed parts may have also counted against them twice, if there wasn’t another set that used the same unprinted base. And then at the same time they were designing the Exo-Suit, they also had Research Institute in the works, so whatever element budget they had left after blowing it all on Ecto-1 they had to split between the two sets. Exo-Suit got the printed torso assembly, the airtanks, possibly the helmet, and maybe a couple more parts for the model itself, while Research Institute only got one printed torso, the printed blackboard, and I think there was at least one molded part. Basically, if they’d gone with a white Spaceman, probably the only way they would have been able to swing it was if they did the Classic Space logo on the torso as a sticker so the print wouldn’t have counted against their new element total. Or at least that’s what I’ve been able to piece together based on a couple interviews I’ve read.

  4. Håkan

    @Purple Dave

    Hmmm, considering that there constantly seems to be a shuckload of stormtroopers in production, it’s unexpected, although I get the explanation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.