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CLASSIC Review: 6930 Mission Control Centre


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Poll: How do you rate this set? (59 member(s) have cast votes)

6930 Mission Control Centre / Space Supply Station

  1. Poor (1 votes [1.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.69%

  2. Below Average (1 votes [1.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.69%

  3. Average (10 votes [16.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.95%

  4. Above Average (23 votes [38.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.98%

  5. Outstanding (24 votes [40.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.68%

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#1 Rufus

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:22 PM

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'Lima lima niner-two-eight Galaxy Explorer, this is Lunar Mission Control /keekh/. You are cleared to land on Landing Platform number two. /keekh/. Over.'
'Roger, Mission Control.  Which is platform number two? Over.'
'There's only two /keekh/ - it's the empty one. Over.'
'Oh, ok, thanks Mission Control.  And please stop saying /keekh/.  Over.'
'Sorry, force of habit. /keekh/.  Oops!'


Oh, the nostalgia!  I've recently rescued a boxload of my pre-dark age Lego from a dusty attic, and was delighted to find a good number of boxed Classic Space sets in reasonable condition.  And, having promised to review them in my introduction, I thought I'd start with one of my favourite features from my old space base:  the Mission Control Centre.

A note on the name:  In the UK this was always called 'Mission Control Centre', if I remember correctly; however it seems to have been 'Space Supply Station' elsewhere (notably the US).  This variation in nomenclature seems to have been common in the Classic Space era: the grandfather of classic space 497/928 was known as Galaxy Explorer in the US, but by the less grandiose title Space Cruiser in the UK; the latter name being afforded to the lesser 924 elsewhere (Space Transporter to the British).

Personally, I think 'Mission Control Centre' is more appropriate for 6930, as we shall see.


The Stats

Number:   6930
Name:      Mission Control Centre / Space Supply Station / Raumsversorgungsbasis
Theme:     Legoland Space
Available:  1983 - 1986
Pieces:      206
Figures:     4
Price:        In the region of £15 back in the day, as I recall.


Links:   Brickset ... Bricklink ... Peeron


The Box - Front

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Ah, I can still remember the excitement of ripping open the wrapping paper to reveal the yellow flashing and huge 'LEGOLAND' banner.  I still find it interesting that Space fell into the 'Legoland' theme at the time; I wonder whether Lego didn't have confidence that Space would thrive as a separate entity.  They needn't have worried.


Back

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In common with sets of the time, a myriad alternative models deck the rear of the box, although they don't stray far from the space base concept.


Inside

Opening the lid of the box, we see a montage of set features and more alternatives, demonstrated somewhat disinterestedly by a badly dressed kid with the then-fashionable 'Luke Skywalker' hairstyle.

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Looking down from the lid, we have some way to go to get to the bricks themselves...

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... we must open the side of the box and withdraw a cardboard tray first:

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Lego really went to town on their packaging in the early 80s.  The tray contains a clear cellulose insert, crater-shaped, with matching lid; underneath the inset are the baseplate and instruction booklet.


The Instructions

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The booklet is A4 size, and like those of the 6980 Galaxy Commander get straight to business after a small repeat of the box picture.  It's no heavy tome: only 8 pages including front and rear, with no alternative builds, no Space-themed advertising or other marketing.  In 1983, piece callouts were confined to Technic sets.  None are featured here, nor is there a parts inventory - we're two decades too early for those.  

The vehicles, built first, are crammed into the first page and a half, but I found the steps easy to follow, and don't recall suffering difficulties as a nine-year-old.  Colour differentiation is a breeze (I don't think dark grey had been invented then).

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It's interesting how you are asked to put the figures onto the vehicles on page 2, when you don't build them until page 3.  Never noticed that before.


The Parts

A lovely pile of Lego:

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I had to clean it before building.  We'll take a look at the sorted pieces.


First up, there's the familiar crater baseplate.  Mine was filthy when I pulled it out of the box - several years on display in the attic of my parent's house had left all manner of marks.  I've cleaned it as well as I could.

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I always liked how you could combine four of these to create a large crater, although the raised smooth areas could make building bases a little tricky.  That's why large blue stands were very useful...


... and this set comes with eight:

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Otherwise, the blue pieces are unremarkable:  two mailboxes, two short ladder pieces, and the blue aerials which were new in 1983.


The grey pieces include four of the cutaway radar dishes that I've got my eye on for my Hoth display:

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Remember when wheels were red, with a metal axle?  A quarter of a century later, and only a little rusty.


Aside from being the bane of my life to photograph, the white pieces aren't interesting (except for the printed ones, which deserve their own picture):

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Trans-blue was flavour of the year for 1983, replacing the trans-yellow of the blue and grey days.  This set comes with two cockpit pieces.  Note also the 'balloon' tyres, which fit over the red wheels but also have slots to accept a Technic axle.

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Finally, a few printed pieces (no stickers):  two classic computers, two 'grille' bricks, from the days before these Posted Image, and the little 'down' arrows that made me wonder whether Luna Base was some form of prison colony.

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And we mustn't forget the Classic Space logo brick! :wub:


The Figures

1983 saw the introduction of 'Yellow' spacemen to expand Lego's repertoire by 50%.  It was a welcome change!  This set comes with two of them, plus two familiar reddies.  Introducing, from left to right:  Lieutenant Gules, Lt Commander Jaune, Sergeant Blush and Commander Daff.

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Blush:  Why am I an army sergeant, when you've all got naval ranks?
Daff:  Shut up and face the front, smartass!

Well, they all look happy, despite being on a prison colony.  There was no such thing as alternative facial expressions (it was only about 5 years after facial features were introduced, after all); but having a whole sci-fi army of identical people seems a little strange.  I hope it never catches on :grin:.


The Vehicles

The first vehicle is a simple 7-stud long car with a mailbox on the back.  Two 1x1 plates with 'eye' sidepieces (horizontal clips had yet to be invented) hold a gun and a camera; as such the vehicle might be used for exploration or reconnaissance.

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Alternatively, perhaps it is a space mail-truck? The world of 1983 had yet to imagine e-mails; letters from loved ones back on Earth seems quite romantic.


The second vehicle is articulated, though only able to bend around the z axis; it can therefore be a little unwieldy over craters.  It has two rear-mounted hoppers, and comes equipped with a metal detector - the staple tool of Classic Space - and an axe.  It is clearly designed for collecting mineral samples.

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As you can see from the high angle, a number of jumper plates are used to secure the hoppers whilst avoiding the 'balls'.  A simple yet clever solution; necessary as these hopper pieces are designed to fit into the end of an articulated limb, like in this set.


Finally, we have two identical hover-ships, which when not in use sit on the elevated section of the station.

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They are very simply built, but attractive, and the design of the station to include the two landing pads for these craft is a wonderful play feature.  Clips at the rear of each hold a gun and a walkie-talkie; I imagined these scooters to be used in marshalling the larger spaceships around the base.  One of my favourite 'foibles' of Classic Space is that every ship from the smallest scooter to the largest cruiser has a steering wheel!


The Base

The build is very straightforward - stands, platforms, and two walls.  The trickiest part is measuring where to put the round blue bricks that form the feet of the stands; after that it's plain sailing.  

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The platforms each consist of two blue 1x8 plates that the dishes of the scooters mesh into quite nicely.   As a kid I worried a little about the gaps between the plates on the platform, thinking my poor little yellow guys would fall through.  Never fear, little Rufus, gravity is a less potent adversary on the Moon.

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There is space in front of the chairs to allow the men to sit without removing their aqualungs, fortunately.  Notice the 1x1 blue cylinders attached to upright grey guns on each side of the station - these will hold the smaller radar dishes.  It's a slightly clumsy technique, but does allow a degree of rotation for the radar, if only in the horizontal plane.


The Completed Base:

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Simple, yet sturdy and quite pretty; the blue and white colour scheme give it a clean and modern look, especially when compared to the older blue and grey sets.  Its colours match the 6980 Galaxy Commander perfectly; the two were released in the same year, and I'm sure were meant to partner each other.


The back is a little plain:

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It's definitely a building designed to sit on the edge of the base, looking in.


The Complete Set


Let's have a good look around the station.  From the front:

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The eagle-eyed among you might notice a very slight addition to the above picture - there's an extra 1x1 trans-red round plate atop the articulated vehicle.  This, I think, is the only leftover piece from the original set (remember when the round trans plates came two at a time, attached via a little sprue?)


The two trans-blue cockpit pieces give the men a clear view of the base, and open for easy access.  There is sufficient headroom for the wheeled vehicles to park underneath.  Nevertheless, the height of the station and the panoramic views it affords suggests 'mission control' rather than 'supply centre' to me.

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Notice how the men can sit comfortably in their chairs with breathing apparatus still on.


Here's Commander Daff receiving his mail (2x1 tile not supplied!) - those mailboxes have to have some use - and a close-up of the side radar dish showing how it turns.

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Finally, a view from the side.  The baseplate looks a little warped here but I think it's the effect of the camera lens.  From this angle, the station has a purposeful look, enhanced by the angle of the stands and the rear-pointing aerial pieces.

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Looks like those spacemen have been up to some shenanigans while we've been looking round.


Conclusion

I still feel genuine affection for this set.  I remember hankering after it after receiving the Galaxy Commander for Christmas; I even tried to build it out of the latter.  I must have cajoled my parents into getting it for me for my next birthday, and was delighted finally to add it to my expanding spacebase.

Design: 10/10  It's a simple yet beautiful station, and versatile; the command pod can easily be placed in the centre of the two platforms if you wish.  It looks the part, and matches perfectly with the Galaxy Commander.  

Build: 8/10 Aside from counting studs to place the stands, there is no real challenge, but there is minimal repetition and you always have the finished product in sight.  It took me about 20 minutes, not including photos.  The ground vehicles are a little basic by today's standards, but there is an interesting technique used in the articulated truck.

Playability:  9/10  With four figures, each with a vehicle, there is plenty of opportunity for play.  However, if you're like me, you'll spend most of your time playing with the larger spaceships rather than anything fixed to the ground.  There are plenty of alternatives, as displayed on the box, but I liked the main model so much I don't think I ever changed it.

Figures:  8/10  Four figures is reasonable for a set this size, but - in common with most of classic space - there isn't much variety.  Getting yellow men in 1983 was quite a step forward.  For the time, it gets a good score.

Price:   7/10  It's difficult to judge these veteran sets on price, especially as I didn't buy it myself, and I don't have a feel for whether £15 was a lot of money.  On a parts per price ratio, it doesn't seem particularly good value; however most of the 206 pieces are large, and it does come with a baseplate.  Perhaps the extravagant packaging was to blame.

Overall:  84 %.  If Lego sets were actors, this model wouldn't be cast in a leading role, but it would be in the running for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the film of Classic Space.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.  Please do let me know what you think of the set and the review.

Rufus

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#2 the Inventor

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:46 PM

Great review Rufus,  :thumbup:
This is a nice set, which I own two copy's of, but unlike your set, mine aren't that new anymore sadly.  :sad:


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#3 Zorbas

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:49 PM

Amazing review with excellent clear pictures Rufus! :thumbup:
That last photo really made laugh! :laugh:  They are not called cheese slopes for nothing. :grin:

I still remeber this set for the 80s catalogues and I always wanted to get my hands on that  baseplate. Two vehicles-rovers, four minifigs, a great set from the past!

Btw, every time I look at the good old LEGOLAND boxes I feel  :cry_happy: .


Thanks again for the great review!
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#4 Fugazi

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:08 PM

Thanks for the beautiful review! I never owned this set, but it definitely was on my list back then! It's a very simple build but packs lots of playability with 4 vehicles/ships.

And the moon vehicle in the lower right corner of this image is simply hilarious!  :laugh:

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#5 Bonaparte

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:37 PM

Many years ago I won this set via a contest (not an online one, the Internet as still in an early stage).

It's great to see it again as it brings a lot of good memories. Mine is disassembled for years, mixed with my other bricks, and I find it's amazing you still have the box, instructions and bricks in perfect condition.

Thanks for this professional review!

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#6 lightningtiger

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 09:10 PM

Thanks 'Rufus' for the review of this classic set, I must say back then they kept things simple yet still effective - love those little moom buggies ! :grin:
Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the yellow space figures are the rarest, because I have been to a collectable toy shop in my city and I have seen a few small sets with them in.
Anyway, interesting moom base, I can see this was design for maximum playablity, different way of mounting a radar dish.
Isn't the moon made out of green cheese ?! :laugh:
Keep on bricking everyone ! :sweet:

#7 Rufus

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:28 PM

Thanks for the speedy comments everyone!

View Postthe Inventor, on Mar 3 2010, 07:46 PM, said:

This is a nice set, which I own two copy's of, but unlike your set, mine aren't that new anymore sadly.  :sad:
Two? Now I'm jealous!

View PostZorbas, on Mar 3 2010, 07:49 PM, said:

Amazing review with excellent clear pictures Rufus! :thumbup:
Btw, every time I look at the good old LEGOLAND boxes I feel  :cry_happy: .
Thanks, Zorbas!  Yeah, they knew how to make boxes then.  I love the way you could lift the lid in the shop and see the goodies inside...

View Postspace6901, on Mar 3 2010, 08:08 PM, said:

And the moon vehicle in the lower right corner of this image is simply hilarious!  :laugh:
:laugh: They did go to town on the alternatives, but that one is scraping the barrel!

Bonaparte, on Mar 3 2010, 08:37 PM, said:

I find it's amazing you still have the box, instructions and bricks in perfect condition.
Yeah, I had foresight then!  I always keep boxes; I have boxes for appliances that have themselves long gone on the scrap-heap!

View Postlightningtiger, on Mar 3 2010, 09:10 PM, said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the yellow space figures are the rarest, because I have been to a collectable toy shop in my city and I have seen a few small sets with them in.
Isn't the moon made out of green cheese ?! :laugh:
Unfortunately I didn't have any green cheese slopes to hand.  I think the blue and black spacemen were rarer, though I entered my dark age in 1985 and the relative numbers might have changed after then.

Thanks again for all the lovely comments :blush:

#8 Legostein

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:06 AM

Hello!

I voted for average. But that's of course the rating for the set not for the review which is again fabulous. And you really can take excellent pictures. :classic: When I browsed the space section of the catalogues when I was younger I was more impressed by the bigger and more functional stations. But as you said, this one is also important for the logistiscs in our space world. :classic:

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#9 def

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:19 AM

Lovely review, and with this I've been getting excited about these Classic Space sets.  I only brought one set back with me last time I was home, and I wish I'd brought them all back.  They are a lot of fun.

Always more to buy  :cry_sad:

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#10 Spacefan

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 03:26 AM

The companion base to 6980 Galaxy Commander, both released in 1983.

I wish I had it to go with my 6980. :cry_sad:

#11 TheBrickster

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 04:23 AM

I think a green light in my Galaxy Explorer just turned on. :classic:   What a wonderful review Rufus, and a set I don't remember from the early space collection - in fact, I don't recall seeing pictures of this set before.  You're pictures are outstanding, and it looks like your set is in fantastic condition.

This is well deserving of a 5, and I think it deserves special mention.  Front-paged!

And long live Classic Space. :thumbup:

#12 Rocketbilly

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 05:56 AM

Great review. I really want one of those baseplates!
I think even I have some of the pieces necessary to MOC something similar to this, and your great review certainly inspired me to do so!
I really like your pictures too.

Looking at many pictures of classic space sets makes my hands feel sticky and filthy. Not yours...my hands feel fresh and clean  :thumbup:
Seriously, this looks like it's fresh out of the box!

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#13 Grimmy

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 07:06 AM

This brings back memories. Nice review and great pictures too! Do you use a professional camera? Nikon D90 or the newer Rebel?

I remember as a kid my favorite was the space because I really liked the pieces. They were a bit more different then the plain city stuff. I remember those balloon tires lol. I liked the oxygen tank backpack things and the helmets. The computers were great too. Me and my brother would make these long cars that were like mobile police station transports with lots of computers, levers, and space stuff. I also really liked the the cupboard cabinet things sometimes used as mailboxes as is the blue on in your set there. You could put the helmet in to store it or other equipment they would use. I was exited when I did a recent pick-a-brick and they had the wider ones. Then at another store they had the cabinet doors which made it complete. I love those things. I kept saying to my niece, "look we could put it on a car and put the peoples stuff in there." lol It was funny because I think she saw I was more fascinated by it then her.

Edited by Grimmy, 04 March 2010 - 07:09 AM.


#14 VMLN8R

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for the excellent review Rufus! This set is before my time, but I still want a Classic Space set badly.

The set looks like it was good value, I especially love the look of the control centre itself. The figs look wonderfully nostalgic too.

#15 DutchTreat

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:39 AM

View Postthe Inventor, on Mar 3 2010, 08:46 PM, said:

This is a nice set, which I own two copy's of, but unlike your set, mine aren't that new anymore sadly.  :sad:
the Inventor

I was gonne say exactly the same. I also have two copy's, but they don't look all that sparky anymore  :(
Anyway; great review of a great set.

Some alternative builds may seem weird, but i remember always trying to build them! Except maybe the moon party vehicle from this set :)

#16 L-space

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:43 AM

Another trip down memory lane, or up the Space Corridor, for me.
Unfortunately I never owned this set but still it is locked in my mind from way back when.
This is one of the sets that really represents the golden Age of Space for me, especcially with the yellow minifigs. Source of constant battle between my brother and I.
Thanks for the review, it was great.
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#17 drdavewatford

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:35 PM

Excellent review - thanks !

I love the classic space sets, and this is one that I don't yet own, so thanks for whetting my appetite !

Impressive that your blue and white pieces don't seem to have discoloured much - I had a particular problem with some of the blues on my 928 Galaxy Explorer and had to swap them out with (used) replacements. I guess you just looked after your pieces better than I did....

Keep the great reviews coming !

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#18 Big Cam

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:12 PM

Rufus my protege!!!!!

I loved reviewing this in the academy, and it looks perfect in the Sci-Fi forum.

I really like the quality of your set, aka, it's in great condition for being so old.

As I stated before when reviewing, this set really makes me think twice about only focusing on SW sets, it makes me want to try and get some old school space sets.

You'll have your gold in no time, an excellent review and an awesome set.!!!

#19 FinalFeature

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 06:40 PM


[/quote]

:laugh:  I never knew the old wheels had a metal axle attached to a 2x2 plate. Thanks for the review and teaching me a new piece!

Edited by LegoGalactus, 04 March 2010 - 06:41 PM.


#20 Rufus

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 08:29 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Mar 4 2010, 04:23 AM, said:

This is well deserving of a 5, and I think it deserves special mention. Front-paged!
And long live Classic Space.
Amen to that, and thanks for frontpaging, TheBrickster!  :blush:

View PostGrimmy, on Mar 4 2010, 07:06 AM, said:

This brings back memories. Nice review and great pictures too! Do you use a professional camera? Nikon D90 or the newer Rebel?
I'll let you into a little secret.  I'm using the missus' aging Sony point-and-shoot compact, and an ancient version of Photoshop Elements (2.0) that came with my laptop.  And lots of time and patience.

View PostBig Cam, on Mar 4 2010, 01:12 PM, said:

Rufus my protege!!!!!
You'll have your gold in no time, an excellent review and an awesome set.!!!
I hope I'm making you proud, Master Big Cam!

Thanks everyone for the feedback!  :sweet:

Edit - something went wrong with the first attempt at posting.

Edited by Rufus, 04 March 2010 - 08:31 PM.


#21 Piranha

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:58 AM

:wub: Great classic review Rufus  :thumbup:
Photography is excellent, some of the best I have ever seen.  :classic:

I like how you still have the orginal box, and that is wasn't eaten away by mold or disintegrated from age  :grin:
Ahh I love how it had the bricks in the plastic tray and not in individual baggies like today.

On the instructions as you pointed out, they call for placing the astronauts in the vehicles before they are even built  :hmpf:
LEGO still did dumb things in instructions back then too  :grin:

The set has 4 vehicles and they are all quite cute. The minifigs are great, we get naked spacemen for the first time. Never stuck because we don't see all yellow figs today  :grin: My favorite is still the Black ones.

This base however is a step down from Beta 1 Command Base however  :tongue:
However it still is quite nice and I love the crater base plates, very spacey

Keep em coming!
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#22 CommanderFox

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:05 AM

Thanks for the review Rufus!
This is one cool space set!
The designe of the station is nice, and I like the vehicals, especially the hovercrafts! :wub:
The baseplate is cool. :thumbup:
Thanks again for reviewing this set!

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#23 Tobbe Arnesson

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:38 PM

Thanks for putting a smile on my face! :D

#24 indianajones

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:59 PM

Great review, and I'm pretty sure those mailboxes are supposed to store the air tanks when not being used so that they can sit comfortably in their chair.
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#25 SpiderSpaceman

SpiderSpaceman

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 08:17 PM

that was a fun review, thank you sir!

I feel pretty dumb for not knowing about this set  :tongue: , especially because I'm realizing a bag of parts that my grandma picked up at a garage sale a while back IS this set.  fun little realization of the day.  when I'm entertaining the little cousins I've mainly been making more 'explorien' style builds from the parts, that and some mailbox-headed monsters.
I might have to build the official model sometime...

oh to be fair this set is 6 years older than I am.  which brings me to a telling question of naivety:  why are there visor dents in the old helmets?

Edited by SpiderSpaceman, 05 March 2010 - 08:26 PM.





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