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WhiteFang

REVIEW: 21312 Women of NASA

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Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to share this latest LEGO IDEAS 2017 set. This brand new 21312 Women of NASA is the 19th LEGO IDEAS set since this unique theme started back in 2012. I am very glad to buy this latest LEGO IDEAS set since the last one I reviewed were the 21108 Ghostbusters and 21307 Caterham Seven 620R. I had bought a few others previously including the Yellow Submarine, BTTF, Doctor Who, etc, not withholding that I am still saving up for the new Fishing Store. This one was exceptionally interesting and fits my impulse budget. I thought I could do a review to share with our Eurobricks Community on my recent purchase. Without further ado, let me share my thoughts on the second smallest LEGO IDEAS set ever till this date, after the 21110 Research Institute

Name: 21312 Women of NASA
Theme: LEGO IDEAS / Licensed / NASA
Year: 2017
Pieces: 231
Minifigs: 4
Price: USD $24.99, GBP 19.99, EURO 24.99, SGD $44.90
Resources: Brickset, BrickLink


An original box image of the 21312 Women of NASA
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Back view of the original box image of the 21312 Women of NASA
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Share the dream of the new frontier in space exploration through this new LEGO IDEAS set
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It's no easy feat for Maia Weinstock (20tauri) to be able to gather 10,000 supporters on the LEGO IDEAS platform within such a lightning span of time. It was approved by the LEGO Panel and the final product was recently launched on 1 November 2017 worldwide. This set design is specially dedicated to the modern history of women involving in space exploration, science and engineering through the vivid simplistic presentation of vignette to tell a story of very accomplished professional women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to NASA history. You may refer to this page to find her welcome thoughts in the instruction manual. 

The original design featured a total of five Women of NASA and the only woman (Katherine Johnson) was excluded in the final product. The remaining four women and their associated concepts were re-looked and designed by LEGO Designers (Gemma Anderson and Marie Sertillanges) together with Maia Weinstock. This is truly an original and inspirational product and certainly appeal much more than the 21110 Research Institute. The notable difference between both sets could be the choice of licensed minifigures in flesh tone versus traditional original yellow minifigures. 


The content of the sealed box
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By slicing the box's adhesive sealed labels, you are greeting by this opening box welcome. The sealed box come with three un-numbered mint packs and an instruction manual. After building the set, these are the remaining spare parts. The best thing about these packs are the incredible printed tiles/bricks without the need to apply stickers. The thin instruction manual contains summarised information on the Women of NASA bibliographies.  


The entire building content
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These are some well designed female minifigures
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Before we begin with building the rest of the vignettes, we had a pleasure to view the four extraordinary Women of NASA (from left: Margaret Hamilton, Nancy Grace Roman, Mae Jemison and Sally Ride). These are very impressive well designed minifigures especially on their facial expressions. I believe there are all unique minifigures' heads with alternate facial expressions as well. There are also back printings for all these minifigures. I personally felt these flesh minifigures brought a sense of premium to it, also not sure if is probably due to the fact that they are real-life people or attributed to the fact that they are NASA licensed (in some sense). This approach does make it very appealing to minifigures' collectors and also increase the varieties of customisation on their torsos and heads. 

Margaret Hamilton is a computer scientist and the large amount of great work was due to her achievements on developing the guidance and navigation system for NASA's Apollo Moon-landing program. The software was the key to allow the Apollo space programmes becoming a success. Nancy Grace Roman is a astronomer. She was largely involved in the planning and development of numerous orbiting satellites. She is most famous for her involvement in the Hubble Space Telescope which was launched in 1990. Mae Jemison is an astronaut. She is the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Sally Ride is a physicist and an astronaut as well. She is the first American woman to blast into space on-board the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983.   


The completed built of Margaret Hamilton's build features a stack of book elements, representing the books of listings of Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)
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The completed vignette for Margaret Hamilton is focusing on the academy environment where she is focusing to make a breakthrough in AGC. Those stack of books are piling up to aid her research on the formulas. There is also a coat stand and a white wall background, which is very similar to her original design. It's a pity that we don't get a stack of actual LEGO books but those 2x2 tiles help. This is the completed built without the minifigure on it. 

 

The completed built of Sally Ride and Mae Jemison’s build features a launchpad and Space Shuttle Challenger with 3 removable rocket stages24246525597_2c297cd9f0_o_d.jpg

The completed vignette for Mae Jemison and Sally Ride are accompanied with the impressive Space Shuttle - Challenger ready for take off. With tight selection process for shortlisting of potential astronauts and intense rigorous routine, their training paid off and they are on their way to space. An opportunity where few had successfully ventured. The built of the Space Shuttle is simple and yet elegant. You can remove the rocket stages before it fully orbit into space which is back by powerful rocket thrust. The concept is similar to the original work, but the Space Shuttle for the official design is way nicer. This is the completed built without the minifigure on it. 


The completed built of Nancy Grace Roman’s build features a posable Hubble Space Telescope
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The completed built for Nancy Grace Roman is actually a micro built and representation of the Hubble Space Telescope. The original design was nicely done but what real impressed me is how LEGO managed to follow closely to actually create an unique printed brick for the planetary nebula. The Hubble Space Telescope was equally impressive with those printed panels. I got to admit that the built stayed true to the originator. This is the completed built without the minifigure on it. 


A researcher expressing interest to join their team
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Just one day, I dream to be like this astronaut
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These are my favourite space characters
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A drawing inspiration featuring these 3 builds illustrating their scientific areas of expertise
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To conclude, this set is an above average LEGO IDEAS set. It contain four awesome well designed female minifigures. It has three completed vignette builds, nil stickers and more importantly printed bricks/tiles and name tiles. The pricing for this licensed set is very well priced, affordable and value-for-money. In Singapore's case, I don't see this set in LEGO Certified Stores (LCS) anymore since the first week of its release. Still awaiting for the new stock to come in and I am actually tempted to buy a second set in view of the minifigures and printed parts. These vignette make a fine piece of table display holder in your office on or your writing table. I find it quite inspiring and refreshing to see this set. Lots of positive experience from me and what do you actually think of this? Do you also fall to its charm like I do? 

Summary review
Playability: 7/10 (Not much playability but you can take it apart and form mini scenes and interactions/role-play with one another.)
Design: 9/10 (Good vignette designs for all three and excellent printed parts as well.)
Price: 10/10 (Price is very reasonable at SGD$44.90 SRP and I rarely give full marks on pricing.)
Overall: 8.7/10 (Very worthwhile to acquire for its originality and inspiring builds.)

I gave it a "4" based on my Review Score Card. :wink: What about you?

I hope every one of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Criticisms are welcomed.
Pictures can be found in My Flickr.

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Excellent review. I thought it would be some time before it would be steadily in stock (like the Saturn V) but wound up seeing it after going in to browse the pick a brick wall and almost dropped everything. :grin: Must have! Excellent set highlights and great pictures. 

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Whatever happened to McAuliffe? What were the criteria to select some women over others?

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3 minutes ago, DrJB said:

Whatever happened to McAuliffe? What were the criteria to select some women over others?

There were no criteria, just the women that the designer / ideas submitter wanted in the set. I guess she didn't want it associated with the Challenger disaster in case NASA didn't want to go ahead with it.

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Great review and I've had the opportunity to meet/interview the designer Maia Weinstock at the Flatiron store NYC plus get my set signed.

AC

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On 18/12/2017 at 1:54 AM, koalayummies said:

Excellent review. I thought it would be some time before it would be steadily in stock (like the Saturn V) but wound up seeing it after going in to browse the pick a brick wall and almost dropped everything. :grin: Must have! Excellent set highlights and great pictures. 

I really hope the stock level will resume to normalcy and hope to see it on the shelves longer than just a few months of release. 

8 hours ago, MAB said:

There were no criteria, just the women that the designer / ideas submitter wanted in the set. I guess she didn't want it associated with the Challenger disaster in case NASA didn't want to go ahead with it.

I believe there’s no criteria and more of the thoughts can be found in her original LEGO IDEAS submission.

2 hours ago, ACPin said:

Great review and I've had the opportunity to meet/interview the designer Maia Weinstock at the Flatiron store NYC plus get my set signed.

NIce AC! Real nice to be able to see and interview the lady behind this original set design. Do you have the interview coverage being shared anywhere? Would love to read about it. 

On a side note, I miss visiting the Brand Store at Flatiron. 

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5 hours ago, Forresto said:

Does Jemison have back printing?

Yes she does. There is a big zipper on the torso and dark silver printing from the neck also continues on the back.

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19 hours ago, DrJB said:

Whatever happened to McAuliffe? What were the criteria to select some women over others?

She died in Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster on 28th January 1986.

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Nice review, also nice one ACPin!

I really love this set, will get one together with Saturn V next year (this one I already reached wife limit with Millennium Falcon). :D

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11 hours ago, WhiteFang said:

I really hope the stock level will resume to normalcy and hope to see it on the shelves longer than just a few months of release. 

I believe there’s no criteria and more of the thoughts can be found in her original LEGO IDEAS submission.

NIce AC! Real nice to be able to see and interview the lady behind this original set design. Do you have the interview coverage being shared anywhere? Would love to read about it. 

On a side note, I miss visiting the Brand Store at Flatiron. 

Only a snippet since I've got NDA pending release on it. 

 

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4 hours ago, Good Old Dude said:

She died in Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster on 28th January 1986.

Yes, I remember that day VIVIDLY ... she was the 'proof' that anyone can make it, to be an astronaut.

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Cheers very much for puting up the review.
I'm not a huge fan of this set; some nice prints on the figs, and I like the solar panel tiles, but it's not great value for money.
Since the theme does not really appeal to me, I shall not buy it.
But hopefully the solar panel tiles will be available soon on Bricklink :wink:

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7 hours ago, Withacee said:


But hopefully the solar panel tiles will be available soon on Bricklink :wink:

1

They already are.

 

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Thanks guys for your thoughtful comments. Glad you have enjoyed it. 

On 12/19/2017 at 12:08 PM, Forresto said:

Does Jemison have back printing?

Yes, all of the minifigures do have back printing

On 12/19/2017 at 9:42 PM, ACPin said:

Only a snippet since I've got NDA pending release on it.

Nice, thanks for sharing a preview! 

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