LEGO has just announced the final design of the fan-voted 21321 IDEAS International Space Station. Catered for adult LEGO fans as a display piece with authentic ISS details including rotating joints and adjustable solar panels, the main build is accompanied by a buildable mini NASA space shuttle and cargo spacecraft. The 864-piece set will be available in LEGO stores and online on February 1st, 2020 retailing at US $69.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £64.99. We’ve already got our hands on an early copy, so be sure to check out our review: 21321 LEGO Ideas International Space Station Review.
Many of us here at The Brothers Brick are space fans in one way or another, so we were pretty excited to see that the next LEGO Ideas set would be 21321 International Space Station when it was proclaimed the winner of the 10th-anniversary fan vote last summer. Now less than a year later, LEGO is revealing the final version of the set today, and we’ve got our hands on a copy to bring you a full review. Retailing for US $69.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £64.99, the newest model from the LEGO Ideas crowdsourcing platform has 864 pieces and will be available starting Feb. 1.
Because I grew up during the time of M:Tron and Blacktron, I tend to think of fantastical fictional ships when I think of LEGO space creations. Of course, this totally neglects all the models built of real world spacecraft. Luckily, LEGO fans like Cyndi Bourne produce amazing space creations like her NASA Mars InSight Lander to remind me that space is a real place. This detailed model was originally commissioned by an employee at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, but it was Cyndi’s idea to add the landscaped base. Her landscaping always impresses me and clearly she can build the surface of any planet! While it might seem simple, as the whole landscape is built from various sizes of dark orange plate, achieving this look requires both patience and creativity. You have to know just where to put each plate, and Cyndi clearly knows.
Continuing on my fad of building “hard sci-fi” spaceships that look like they might have been designed by NASA or SpaceX, after completing the Vanguard, I found myself with a handful of leftover modules. So I set about building another ship and employing some of the techniques I’d learned and adding others. Last time my ship had topped out at 89 studs in length, but the I.E.A. Discovery rings in at 120 studs.
One of the main things I wanted change was the color scheme. Although the solid black-and-white motif is very classic NASA, I was trying to build a spaceship of the future, so perhaps a little color was in order. My two chosen highlight colors were sand green and flame yellowish orange (or bright light orange, if you prefer Bricklink’s nomenclature). Both are vibrant and bold, while still capturing the vintage space-race color palette I wanted. Continue reading
As a longtime LEGO space builder, I found I was ready for a bit of a change. After years of building Star Wars and video-game inspired spaceships, I wanted to try my hand at building a spaceship that is, paradoxically, a little more down to earth. Rather than ships bristling with big guns or outfitted with wings, I decided to take my visual cues from movies like Interstellar, The Martian, and of course, NASA’s own designs. Several years ago I built the space shuttle launch system for the theme, and since then I’ve been working on a couple of spacecraft. I’ve displayed them at a number of conventions, but over the holidays this year, I finally polished them up and photographed them. The first ship I built was the Vanguard, part of the fictional Interplanetary Expedition Alliance, mankind’s first attempt at visiting nearby planets and their orbiting bodies.
I built it as a series of discrete modules, and then strung the modules together to create the larger spacecraft. I like this technique because it lets me play with small structures of a few dozen elements at a time, which also results in a look similar to the real International Space Station’s modular design. Continue reading
What better way to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing than with some LEGO Classic Space? The celebrated theme’s iconic colour scheme meets the most famous craft in humanity’s (admittedly short) space-going history in Dallen Powell‘s fun digital LEGO model. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing but admiration for the recent 10266 Lunar Lander set, but I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if LEGO released this version alongside it. Eagle looks the business in this livery, and Dallen has made some great choices — the landing pads in red are simply perfect. And check out Benny, how pleased does he look with his new ride?!
Among LEGO universes, space exploration is the new Pirates. And the new Castle, too. Space is trending like never before. Quite uniquely, LEGO isn’t only revisiting historic moments, but also gives us a glimpse into the future of space traveling; this is what LEGO City summer 2019 sets are all about. The lineup consists of familiar concepts for ships and vehicle, but there’s one set that stands out from the rest, 60230 People Pack – Space Research And Development. The set brings a stunning assembly of 14 minifigures along with a bunch of accessories and equipment. It consists of 209 pieces and retails at US $39.99 | CAN $49.99 | UK £34.99.
Along with Town, Castle, and Pirates, the theme of space exploration has always been one of the pillars of LEGO philosophy. It all started with 801 Space Rocket set released just three years after the first human spaceflight in 1961. Throughout the decades of play bizarre space sub-themes like Insectoids, Ice Planet 2002 and Spyrius have appeared. But it turns out kids (and adults, too!) are fascinated with the real spacecrafts just as much as sci-fi ones. The memorable LEGO Discovery line-up brought us models of the most amazing human-made space ships and commemorated the landmarks of space exploration, and LEGO’s first Lunar Lander was way back in 1976. Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, LEGO is taking us back to the moon with a very special LEGO Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander set. The set consists of 1,087 pieces, includes two minifigures of astronauts and retails at US $99.99 | CAN 139.99 | UK £84.99, and is currently available with a special promotion of a commemorative LEGO Apollo 11 patch.
A new month means new LEGO sets on sale, with June seeing the launch of the recently announced 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander and general availability of 75810 Stranger Things The Upside Down. The Lunar Lander comes with 1,087 pieces and two minifigures for US $99.99 | CAN 139.99 | UK £84.99, and the Stranger Things set comes with 2,287 pieces and eight minifigures for US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99.
LEGO is also offering this awesome Space Patch reminiscent of those from NASA with purchases of the Lunar Lander from June 1-9 while supplies last. If the previous reaction to the LEGO Mustang Keychain promotion gives us any idea, this patch will be quite popular as well.
For our international readers, many of the newly announced summer wave of sets including Architecture, Friends, Harry Potter and City Space sets are available now as well. (U.S. availability for summer LEGO waves will begin in late June/early August.) Also the LEGO Ideas 40335 Space Rocket Ride promotion we reviewed earlier this week will begin in a few days on June 5th, so if you want to double up on promos you will have to wait a few days.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, LEGO today unveiled the Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. The set features a highly detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module along with a brick-built lunar surface and crater, minifigure footprints and a U.S. flag.
It’s still the largest single-storey building ever constructed, so what better tribute could there be to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building than a teeny-tiny microscale LEGO version? The level of detail packed into Ryan Olsen‘s small model is impressive — the grille bricks providing texture on the sides, the machinery on the roof, and the massive shutter doors. Don’t miss the Saturn V rocket on its way to the launch-pad atop the crawler-transporter, or the perfect shaping of the Launch Control Centre with its sloped windows, jutting at an angle away from the main structure. The only thing I’d challenge on this model is using 1×1 plates for cars — unfortunately they don’t quite fit the scale. The rest of it is bang-on though, making me want to head back to Florida and get a refresher boost to my space-geekery.
By the time the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars with its splashy “Sky Crane” in 2012, the unassuming Opportunity rover had already been trundling across our neighboring planet’s surface for 8 years. But on February 13, NASA declared its 15-year mission over, having received the last transmission from the rover ahead of a major dust storm on June 10, 2018. To commemorate the end of the mission for what is arguably one of humankind’s greatest achievements, here’s my LEGO Opportunity that I built back in 2012.