[Review] 6899 Nebula Outpost from Exploriens

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Here we have Lego's Nebula Outpost from 1996's Exploriens, a sub-theme of the long-running Space theme.  It contains 158 pieces and its retail price at the time of release was $15.  Like M-Tron and Ice Planet 2002, the Exploriens were a completely civilian outfit.  The Nebula Outpost represents a small research base, which we'll now look at in further detail.



To easily access the two levels of the outpost, one can open two panels at the top and bottom of the set.



The upper section of the outpost is devoted to astronomy.  It features a holographic panel with a shimmering starfield and a high-powered telescope.  A minifigure can "operate" the telescope, but needs to lean back a bit because of how far the white cone element sticks out.  Further, the upper section can rotate freely thanks to a turntable element that joins the upper and lower sections of the outpost.



Another look at the upper section of the outpost, which shows the front of the telescope.  To the left, one can make out a small hand-held detector that can be stored on a clip piece.  We'll see more of that later.



As part of another gimmick, the upper and lower sections of the outpost can be separated from one another.  Perhaps this is an emergency escape module of some sort.



The lower section of the outpost is devoted to communications and equipment storage.  A minifigure can be stationed at a console with a large holographic sticker.  The tools used to study fossils and an astronaut's "bazooka" style device can be stored here as well.



Specialized stickers were a hallmark of the Exploriens.  A large holographic sticker here reveals the image of another Explorien astronaut if viewed from just the right angle.



Shown here are both of the tools featured for studying fossils. On the left is a set of red and blue "filters" that can be used to examine fossil plates. On the right is a magnet, which can can carry and transport the fossil plates due to their magnetic nature. When not used by the Exploriens, they can be clipped onto the lower section of the outpost for storage.



They can also be used while attached to the outpost itself. Swinging them out on the hinges shown above gives one enough space to interact with them without bumping into the rest of the set.



Here both tools are being held by a minifigure. Due to their weight though, it's necessary for them to touch the ground or floor, otherwise the minifigure will simply fall over.



Seen here are both fossil plates included with the set.  When looking at them unfiltered, they appear somewhat jumbled.



Here are the fossil plates viewed under the filter tool.  The plate on the left now appears to be an alien creature in an egg, while the one on the right is a dinosaur-like creature about to chew on a bone.



And here the plates have been swapped to show the difference when viewed under the opposite color filter.  The dinosaur-like creature is now chewing on the bone, while the alien in the egg has been replaced with a humanoid skull or mask.



Because the stickers on the fossil plates are magnetic, they can cling to the magnet tool as shown here.  Perfect for carrying and transporting a newly-discovered fossil.



Shown here are both minifigures included in the set.  They are unnamed and identical to one another except for their helmets.  Having a more advanced helmet, one can assume that the astronaut on the left is a senior researcher.



Lastly, here are both astronauts equipped with their hand-held devices. Being a research team, they're likely scanners or detectors of some sort rather than weapons.

Overall this is a fun, if basic "space base" set. I feel like it looks the part of a remote research outpost. I enjoy the red/blue filter and magnetic gimmicks of the fossil plates, but several other Exploriens sets feature it as well. While not a "must-have" set, you can certainly do a lot worse. I hope everyone reading this has enjoyed taking a look at this set with me.

Edited by delta7890

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Thank you for this well written and photographed review. You just taught me something new: Initially I didnt expect to find anything I didnt already know, but I was utterly unaware of this sub-theme! The prints look pretty basic compared to today, but its 20 years ago already. The holograms are really cool and I haven't seen anything like that in Lego before.:classic: :thumbup:

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I always liked this set. There were very few small bases in the Space themes. This one looked almost like a robot with the canopies and antenna making its "head." I bought this set way back when it came out which was the year I graduated high school. It made me nostalgic for the old Futuron sets I used to love.

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