Introduction - Remembering the Launch Command Sub-Theme from the 90s
In 1990, LEGO introduced a new sub-theme that would have Town and City passengers swooshing into space in the blocky yet classic United States Space Shuttle with set 1682 Space Shuttle Launch. An additional set was added to the collection in 1992 with 6346 Shuttle Launching Crew, a space shuttle with 4-stud wide truck and trailer transport; and in 1995, the theme was expanded with five additional sets including the large 6339 Shuttle Launch Pad. Classic Town fans can certainly appreciate the 4-stud wide vehicles, slope brick-built shuttles, and roadplates contained within the Launch Command sub-theme. Now in 2011, LEGO brings back the theme with a NASA license with 3367 Space Shuttle.
Set Name: Space Shutle
Set Number: 3367
Price: $29.99 USD found at ToysRUs
Accessories: Space Telescope
I was immediately drawn to the beautiful City/Space boxart with a ship that is based on the United States Discovery Space Shuttle. While the shuttle is not called the Discovery, images found on the boxart and instructions suggest that this is the U.S. Discovery with Hubble Telescope.
The box reads: In collaboration with NASA, with a small picture of the Discovery.
Upon opening the box, one will find two large bags numbered One and Two, with 6x16 black baseplate, and a sticker sheet:
An image of the sticker sheet with new and improved space logo/emblems:
Accessories include a space telescope similar to the Hubble Space Telescope and one lone astronaut:
Opening Bag #1, one is drawn to some of these unique pieces. I love the printed control panels reminding me of Classic Space:
Also reminding me of Classic Space is the use of wing-shaped baseplates, two white and two black (10x10). I think these are new pieces - please correct me if I'm mistaken:
A shot of the cockpit assembly. Unfortunately, it only fits one coffee-drinking minifig:
After using all the pieces in Bag #1, this is the base assembly of the shuttle:
Bag #2 has some unique and special pieces including, but not limited to these shuttle components:
As well as these additional components. Please Note: the set includes some other new pieces not shown.
The main landing gear assembly is three sections (2 landing gear wheel sections connected to a 4x4 frame). A seperate wheel assembly connects to the front/nose section of the shuttle allowing the shuttle to turn:
After completing the shuttle, the Hubble Telescope can be placed inside the Payload Bay. The astronaut's oxygen helmet with gold visor helmet can also be stored nicely inside:
Attaching the Hubble, the arm can lift it away from the shuttle:
A view with the Payload Bay doors closed:
The shuttle has three large engines and two smaller ones tucked behind panels that swing open:
The rear wings flaps also fold upward:
Interestingly, I thought I had done something wrong with the landing gear because the shuttle slopes forward. After looking at images of the actual Discovery, I realized this is an actual feature of the real shuttle:
A top view of the shuttle:
Removing the nose to see the cockpit once again:
A look at the Lone Astronaut, I will name Major Tom:
And lastly, a poster from the LEGO SAH website:
I thank and applaud LEGO for re-introducing the Space Shuttle sub-theme of City. Just as LEGO has produced some amazing City sets over the past few years in Classic Town fashion, once again LEGO City fans can certainly appreciate this revisited theme with a new modern look. Blocky sloped bricks have been replaced by the new stream-lined front nose. The white shuttle with black and red accent colors/stripes create a nice visual appeal, and I like the use of a trans. blue window piece for a lighter more playful look, bringing me back to Classic Town. I love the 2x2 printed sloped computer pieces and like how the Hubble Telescope can neatly be tucked away inside the Payload Bay. This is a great "playability" feature.
Opportunties for Improvement
While the new Space logo is certainly nice with its black, blue, white, and red color scheme, and serves as a generic logo for Space fans of all countries, they are stickers which I hate to even place on my model. I may make some duplicates of these and tape them on just for added visual appeal. The single minifig is nice and I like the gold visored helmet with oxygen tank, but it is only one. A set this size should come with at least two figs so that Major Tom doesn't end up lost in space. Break out those space figs from the Minifigure Series 1 collection. Additionally, Major Tom has no tools to work on the Hubble with. Where's the Classic Space black spanner/screwdriver wrench, or a SF Super Chief monkey wrench for some added play? I suppose we have to create a small tool chest and make some room inside the bay. Lastly, I understand the limitations of the cockpit due to size and/or length, but it would have been nice for the crew cabin to fit "a crew" vs. lone Major Tom.
The final question that I always ask myself when taking the time to review a set is: "Would I buy this set again after building"? Based on the above, my answer is a strong YES. I believe the strengths of this set far excede the limitations. While I think the set is a little pricey at $30 (USD), it is a nicely designed set that can appeal to both City and Space fans as an interesting "cross-theme" model. It also has an educational element for children with facts about the Discovery included within the instructions. I plan to break out some newer space-related Minifigures (ie. Robot, Alien, Blacktron fig), and take a little visit to Mars or the Dark Side of the Moon. I hope you have enjoyed this review. Comments are certainly welcome.
Edited by TheBrickster, 05 March 2011 - 11:03 PM.