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10497 Galaxy Explorer 90th anniversary set

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Lord Insanity said:

We are basically in uncharted waters space here.  Lego has never made a second modern remake of a classic set before.  For whatever reason Lego doesn't seem to embrace their own brand legacies without two separate movie producers (The Lego Movie and LIghtyear) smacking them upside the head with it.  Up till now I would have insisted that anyone who skipped Benny's Spaceship because is was a movie tie in set had completely missed the boat ship and was never going to see the likes of an LL series ship again.  I am super happy to be wrong.

Anyone that claims to want blue,gray, and trans yellow classic space back and doesn't save up a buy at least one of these just can't be taken seriously anymore.  If this thing isn't everything we ever hoped for in blue,gray, and trans yellow classic space I have no idea what could possibly be.

Oh, I see. So you didn't think they would make another Galaxy Explorer remake, since Benny's Spaceship was basically already that. That makes sense.

I agree; I have two of these on preorder and will probably get more. And further to your point...I don't see what Lego can really do now to follow this. This is the ultimate Classic Space set. And what does ultimate mean, literally? It means last. This feels like a send off. Like, "We love you Classic Space. And always will. Goodbye!"

And honestly, I don't think I'm going to need more blue, grey, and trans yellow sets after this. I don't want to be trapped in the '70s. I'd love some gray & trans green sets, or white & trans blue sets, or Blacktron, or Ice Planet, whatever.

(EDIT: I'll still take a blue gray & trans yellow Creator 3-in-1 set though, with NEW trans yellow windscreens, where you can build a base & a rover & a spaceship!)

But what I want more than anything, is a new Space theme with new colors. Maybe something with trans purple, or trans light green, or trans pink even.

6 hours ago, icm said:

Which is precisely what makes this set so cool, because it’s a set that the fans have been begging for for years through Ideas and fan builds. Like, we’ve been building this all these years and FINALLY this is the OFFICIAL VERSION! It’s like the difference between building your own fan model of the X-wing in 1980 and upgrading it over the years and then finally getting the official set in 1999. Unless you’re a killjoy who thinks that anything that’s not a 100% original never-seen-before, never-thought-of-before, idea is boring, derivative, and uninteresting. You can bet there would be more complaining from the fans if the super special 90th anniversary Classic Space set WASN’T a remake of something like the 497. In the interview on The Verge, Mike Psiaki says they actually considered going down that route, building a ship that was merely inspired by the 497 instead of a direct remake, but it ended up looking like another Space Shuttle so they didn’t go ahead with it. Personally I think that no matter how neat a different spaceship might have been on its own merits, it would have been a real facepalm moment for Lego to release such a ship when the 497 remake has been fondly anticipated/dreamt of for so many years. You can’t please everybody, but I think they pleased a whole lot more people this way than they would have the other way.

Yeah. I love Classic Space as much as anyone, and I didn't build a 497 MOC. I'm working on Space MOCs but never had a desire to build a better 497. Besides, Peter Reid knocked that one out of the park, I can just look at his. :)

But 10497 is just as good, and official, and a hell of a lot cheaper than making 20 different orders on Bricklink to get the pieces.

5 hours ago, RichardGoring said:

Marketing. Because, just like their at building instructions, LEGO needs to be very clear that it's OK for adults to get LEGO sets.

And I appreciate it! I can walk out of the store proudly with everyone knowing I'm a big boy! 😁

7 hours ago, Wonderpants said:

One thing I am disappointed about with this set is that they didn’t give us bricks with “918” and “924” printed on them for the alt builds.

Huh, that's an interesting idea! That would be above and beyond. I'm glad we're getting prints at all... 😁

Edited by danth

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7 hours ago, RichardGoring said:

OK for adults to get LEGO sets

WHAWHAWHAW
So all those desparate dads don't have to persuade their wives that "the kid" needs this "toy".

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1 hour ago, danth said:

...I don't see what Lego can really do now to follow this. This is the ultimate Classic Space set. And what does ultimate mean, literally? It means last. This feels like a send off. Like, "We love you Classic Space. And always will. Goodbye!"

And honestly, I don't think I'm going to need more blue, grey, and trans yellow sets after this. I don't want to be trapped in the '70s. I'd love some gray & trans green sets, or white & trans blue sets, or Blacktron, or Ice Planet, whatever.

 

And I appreciate it! I can walk out of the store proudly with everyone knowing I'm a big boy! 😁

 

9 minutes ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

WHAWHAWHAW
So all those desparate dads don't have to persuade their wives that "the kid" needs this "toy".

Possibly. But hopefully it's less cynical than that, and it's to get people to consider LEGO, rather than justify it.

I agree that this could well be the last classic space set and it's a good way to end it. Not only because it's a great set, but also because the demographics for people wanting to buy it are perfect now. Those who grew up with classic space will form the majority of big fans who want more of it. They'll all be in their 30s, 40s, 50s now, and if they're not into LEGO now (through continual collection since childhood, having children encouraging them to get back into LEGO, being a bit more settled with more disposable income, or a global pandemic lockdown that forced everyone to do indoor activities, etc), then they likely won't be in 10 years time. So LEGO are probably at peak audience for this right now. Unlike castle, which has a similar set of AFOL fans, but it's a much more universal classic, compared to LEGO's interpretation of futuristic space adventures from 40 years ago.

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22 minutes ago, RichardGoring said:

Unlike castle, which has a similar set of AFOL fans, but it's a much more universal classic, compared to LEGO's interpretation of futuristic space adventures from 40 years ago.

I'm not sure the rest of the world has moved on from 40 year old space ship designs. The new Star Wars movies still use the same space ships (or slightly modified versions) and new space ships based on the same design language (like the U-Wing or Kylo Ren's tie fighter). Lightyear is another example; its space ships could exist right along side an X-Wing or Colonial Viper. 

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3 minutes ago, danth said:

I'm not sure the rest of the world has moved on from 40 year old space ship designs. The new Star Wars movies still use the same space ships (or slightly modified versions) and new space ships based on the same design language (like the U-Wing or Kylo Ren's tie fighter). Lightyear is another example; its space ships could exist right along side an X-Wing or Colonial Viper. 

Nor indeed 60 year old designs from Star Trek, or 80 year old interpretations of UFOs and flying saucers.

But LEGO's classic space doesn't exist in popular culture to nearly the same extent, and doesn't have refreshed references nearly as often. Nostalgia is largely driving the enthusiasm for this set. But where would the nostalgia come from in another 20-40 years? It's unlikely that the audience/fanbase for LEGO classic space will grow, and this is probably the best time for LEGO to do something for it's fans.

According to this video with Mike Psiaki, the instructions for the two smaller versions will be available online.

LEGO 10305 Lion Knights' Castle & 10497 Galaxy Explorer: Designer Interview! - YouTube

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Really great interview.  I'm so glad to hear the instructions for the 918/924 B and C models will be available for download.  That might be all the justification I need to buy two.  Not three, though ... I'm sure I can fill in any remaining parts for the 918 C model from my loose parts bin.

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9 hours ago, danth said:

...I have two of these on preorder and will probably get more. And further to your point...I don't see what Lego can really do now to follow this. This is the ultimate Classic Space set. And what does ultimate mean, literally? It means last. This feels like a send off. Like, "We love you Classic Space. And always will. Goodbye!"....

Same.  And if this is the final nod to Classic Space I'd be okay with that, simply because they chose the perfect set for the send-off.  I'll buy a few copies, build the alternates, and bathe in the nostalgia!

 

...perhaps hermetically seal one copy and build a candle-lit shrine in my office...we'll see. 

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Oh that interview was fantastic.  Lots of good insight into both sets.  The best part is the confirmation that the new Galaxy Explorer uses all prints, no stickers. :excited:

 

10 hours ago, danth said:

I agree; I have two of these on preorder and will probably get more. And further to your point...I don't see what Lego can really do now to follow this. This is the ultimate Classic Space set. And what does ultimate mean, literally? It means last. This feels like a send off. Like, "We love you Classic Space. And always will. Goodbye!"

And honestly, I don't think I'm going to need more blue, grey, and trans yellow sets after this. I don't want to be trapped in the '70s. I'd love some gray & trans green sets, or white & trans blue sets, or Blacktron, or Ice Planet, whatever.

(EDIT: I'll still take a blue gray & trans yellow Creator 3-in-1 set though, with NEW trans yellow windscreens, where you can build a base & a rover & a spaceship!)

But what I want more than anything, is a new Space theme with new colors. Maybe something with trans purple, or trans light green, or trans pink even.

Well I would love to see a similar modern deluxe version of the 9685 Cosmic Fleet Voyager but that was blue, white, and trans yellow classic space.   I still think that was and is the best Space ship Lego ever made.  I would love other color schemes represented by quality builds too.

It's funny back in the mid-90s I thought that a hypothetical Blacktron 3 should have gone back to mainly black with yellow trim, but how cool would it be to get a trans-neon magenta as a counter part to M-tron and Ice Planet trans-neon green and orange.  The modern trans-pink is pretty close to the color I imagined back then and thanks to the upcoming Ninjago sets I will finally have a windscreen to test out the color scheme. :drool:  (black, yellow trim, and trans-pink sounds awesome to me.)

 

1 hour ago, icm said:

Really great interview.  I'm so glad to hear the instructions for the 918/924 B and C models will be available for download.  That might be all the justification I need to buy two.  Not three, though ... I'm sure I can fill in any remaining parts for the 918 C model from my loose parts bin.

Its funny I am thinking the other way around.  I will totally get 3 copies of the set to make one of each LL series ship and use the extra parts for MOCs.  Realistically I will likely get a 4th set just as a parts pack.  I rarely buy a whole set just as a parts pack but we rarely get a set that is such a perfect Space parts pack.  (the no stickers pushes that right over the edge into perfection as a parts pack)

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Posted (edited)

Funny you should mention a Cosmic Fleet Voyager, I just built one of those a few months ago. On a scale of 1 to 10, how closely does this resemble what you’d like to see in a hypothetical update? (Probably pretty low, it’s very simple studs up construction. I’m no Mike Psiaki.)

LL 6985 Cosmic Fleet Voyager


More pictures on Flickr, you should be able to just click on the picture and go there.

Edited by icm

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For a while I feared this was going to be just another big flop like the 11022 set. Something idealized by Lego fans taking it to a state of visualizing this rumor as absolute truth. 

Good thing I was wrong.

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4 hours ago, icm said:

LL 6985 Cosmic Fleet Voyager

Nice!

I always wonder how to recreate those ribbed panels that were used in this set. There's gotta be some way to brick build them. I've seen some attempts before but nothing that looked that great.

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21 hours ago, icm said:

Which is precisely what makes this set so cool, because it’s a set that the fans have been begging for for years through Ideas and fan builds. Like, we’ve been building this all these years and FINALLY this is the OFFICIAL VERSION! It’s like the difference between building your own fan model of the X-wing in 1980 and upgrading it over the years and then finally getting the official set in 1999. Unless you’re a killjoy who thinks that anything that’s not a 100% original never-seen-before, never-thought-of-before, idea is boring, derivative, and uninteresting. You can bet there would be more complaining from the fans if the super special 90th anniversary Classic Space set WASN’T a remake of something like the 497. In the interview on The Verge, Mike Psiaki says they actually considered going down that route, building a ship that was merely inspired by the 497 instead of a direct remake, but it ended up looking like another Space Shuttle so they didn’t go ahead with it. Personally I think that no matter how neat a different spaceship might have been on its own merits, it would have been a real facepalm moment for Lego to release such a ship when the 497 remake has been fondly anticipated/dreamt of for so many years. You can’t please everybody, but I think they pleased a whole lot more people this way than they would have the other way.

Honestly, this just sounds like you don't care for the set, but you care that the set is original Lego, because that's what matters for some reason.
There is no difference between the "official version" and "fan version" for new products. They are both made by Lego designers, only one of them is employed by Lego, and the other one is not.

And what Mike Psiaki said speaks a lot of the problem Lego has that I seemingly have to mention in every post. Lego has no imagination anymore. Or designers are not allowed to make imaginative ideas anymore.
It is very possible to make an obvious remake of the Galactic Explorer that has some imagination and flair, neoclassic space MOC's are perfect example of this.
And this goes not only for models that stray from the original which, as you've said might have ended up disappointing a lot of people, but also for models that are closer to the original than the Lego offering.

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8 hours ago, icm said:

Really great interview.  I'm so glad to hear the instructions for the 918/924 B and C models will be available for download.  That might be all the justification I need to buy two.  Not three, though ... I'm sure I can fill in any remaining parts for the 918 C model from my loose parts bin.

Too bad there won't be new printed bricks for these 918/924 versions included. But I guess if I really want it I can let someone with the equipment do it.

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15 hours ago, danth said:

I agree; I have two of these on preorder and will probably get more. And further to your point...I don't see what Lego can really do now to follow this.

A Galaxy Commander remake? Or some other flagship model from Blacktron, Space Police etc? The possibilities are endless.

15 hours ago, danth said:

This is the ultimate Classic Space set. And what does ultimate mean, literally? It means last. This feels like a send off. Like, "We love you Classic Space. And always will. Goodbye!"

I wouldn't be so pessimistic, companies' policies are based on sales, every choice and its opposite are on the table, always.

15 hours ago, danth said:

And honestly, I don't think I'm going to need more blue, grey, and trans yellow sets after this.

Resistance is futile :-)

Jokes aside I understand your point of view but think of film market, nowadays an infinite series of sequels, prequels, requels of the same franchises. Are they running out of inew deas or afraid of them? Perhaps, however, depending on the skills of the producers, writers and directors, we are watching new movies instead of the same ones repeated over and over. The goal is to lure old customers and new ones, the latter ones are going to enjoying the reboots because for them is new material, the original viewers are having a revival moment of something they appreciated in the past, when they were younger. A win-win case for film companies. The concept is valid in many other markets and that's why it is so successful. 

15 hours ago, danth said:

I don't want to be trapped in the '70s.

Or the 80s or the 90s... please see previous point.

15 hours ago, danth said:

But what I want more than anything, is a new Space theme with new colors. Maybe something with trans purple, or trans light green, or trans pink even.

Huge investment so give it time, it the classics work then they may consider it.

15 hours ago, danth said:

Yeah. I love Classic Space as much as anyone, and I didn't build a 497 MOC. I'm working on Space MOCs but never had a desire to build a better 497. Besides, Peter Reid knocked that one out of the park, I can just look at his. :)

I still hope he is going to release the instructions eventually. In the meantime I think I am going to build a Galaxy Explorer moc from another designer who sells the instructions, I want to have both the moc and the 10497 on display. Actually I wonder if buying two official sets could be useful for saving some money on moc's parts.

OT I wonder if sooner or later someone could create the instructions for a proper (modern) version of a transformable Macross Valkyrie (or at least Starscream). 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Merlo said:

Honestly, this just sounds like you don't care for the set, but you care that the set is original Lego, because that's what matters for some reason.
There is no difference between the "official version" and "fan version" for new products. They are both made by Lego designers, only one of them is employed by Lego, and the other one is not.

And what Mike Psiaki said speaks a lot of the problem Lego has that I seemingly have to mention in every post. Lego has no imagination anymore. Or designers are not allowed to make imaginative ideas anymore.
It is very possible to make an obvious remake of the Galactic Explorer that has some imagination and flair, neoclassic space MOC's are perfect example of this.
And this goes not only for models that stray from the original which, as you've said might have ended up disappointing a lot of people, but also for models that are closer to the original than the Lego offering.

Actually I’m very well informed about most of the NCS Galaxy Explorer remakes that have been made (I reverse engineered about a dozen of them in Studio) and I built my own. My opinion of the official set 10497 is that it’s got more fresh ideas, imagination, and flair than 90% of the fan builds out there, and that includes my own. I think it’s a fantastic set, and not just because it’s a Galaxy Explorer. I was actually expecting to be disappointed with the rumored Galaxy Explorer remake, because there are so many ways for one to be honestly pretty boring! But that’s not the case here. There’s no accounting for taste, of course. You think it’s boring, I think it’s great. I’ll post a picture here of a different Galaxy Explorer remake, one that is a lot closer to the original. My very own remake was intended to reproduce the dimensions of the original as closely as possible with very simple techniques and clean lines, in deliberate contrast to the excessive profusion of greebly bits and bobs and pipes and hoses on many NCS Galaxy Explorers. But you know what? It honestly turned out pretty boring! According to my personal taste, I would much rather have the 10497 be the “official set” version of the Galaxy Explorer remake than my own MOC or, honestly, any other fan build of the subject I’ve ever seen. Speaking strictly from how I like the design, not from the point of view of “this is the official set, omg”.

LL 928 Galaxy Explorer

Flickr album with a whole bunch of reverse engineered Galaxy Explorer fan builds

https://flickr.com/photos/149520828@N02/sets/72157708529956604

Oh, and btw, the difference between the “official version” in a set and “just build your own MOC!” is that an official set is widely available, easy to get as a single purchase with a relatively low price, and easy to reproduce and modify and share. A MOC, if you take the cheap route of not buying parts specifically for it, is likely to be clunky and mismatched (remember your multicolored childhood builds and how you always wished you could do better? I do) or, if you do buy parts specifically for the MOC, very expensive and time-consuming, as you’re buying parts, some of them individually very expensive, from different locations, with shipping fees adding up fast. So there’s legitimate reasons to get excited about 10497 just from the perspective of “omg it’s the official set” if you’ve wanted a Galaxy Explorer even if you don’t particularly like the new model on its own merits. It’s a heckuva lot cheaper and easier than a MOC. Making a really good Galaxy Explorer MOC is financially out of reach for a good chunk of adult Lego fans and certainly for any children who may be aware of Classic Space (I was reading Brickset and Eurobricks, though not posting, at ten years old). I spent a heckuva lot more than a hundred bucks on my version, I can tell you that. So here comes an official set that’s bigger and better and cheaper, and not only that, I actually really like the build on its own merits? Dream come true.

 Sorry, one more thing (I realize I’m being a bit of a keyboard warrior here). If you’re looking for a modern Lego spaceship that’s 100% original and has a lot of fresh ideas and isn’t gray and blue and yellow, just buy the 80035 Monkie Kid Galactic Explorer and leave the 10497 Galaxy Explorer alone. Seriously, all the imagination you think is missing from the 10497 is in the 80035. That came out this very year, 2022!  I bought a copy of it in January and I can tell you it’s a great Lego spaceship that deserves its place in the lineup beside every other Lego Space capital ship ever released, and it stands on its own as definitely a new thing, not a remake of any older spaceship.

Edited by icm

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@icm  That's a great Flickr gallery to browse, however only two maybe three of those models even appeal to me.  The 10497 still rises above those MOCs in my opinion.  About the only nitpick I might have is the slab-sided nature of the aft engine section - a bit too plain and blocky, but easy to fix.

You make valid points with regard to re-creating a Galaxy Explorer:  LEGO just did all the work for us!  All we have to do is purchase this fantastic set for a very reasonable price - for the ship itself, or just for parts.  It's one-stop shopping.  Plus, we get a retro styled box - try to reproduce that!  Classic Space enthusiasts got a huge win with this set.  It still feels surreal to me, like a daydream come true.

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Posted (edited)

I measured the original set and this one will be quite huge compared to it, which isn't a bad thing as it's packed with detail/interior.

I wonder if the non-tiled edges are left studded on purpose with a goal to recreate an inner section closer to the shape and size of the original set, while the added bevel obviously adds size in multiple directions.

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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Being more interested generally in historic themes I occasionally buy Star Wars and very seldom Space sets, but looking through the pictures I'm very very tempted to get this one on a discount. Will this be a Lego/retailer exclusive?

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2 hours ago, icm said:

Actually I’m very well informed about most of the NCS Galaxy Explorer remakes that have been made (I reverse engineered about a dozen of them in Studio) and I built my own. My opinion of the official set 10497 is that it’s got more fresh ideas, imagination, and flair than 90% of the fan builds out there, and that includes my own. I think it’s a fantastic set, and not just because it’s a Galaxy Explorer. I was actually expecting to be disappointed with the rumored Galaxy Explorer remake, because there are so many ways for one to be honestly pretty boring! But that’s not the case here. There’s no accounting for taste, of course. You think it’s boring, I think it’s great. I’ll post a picture here of a different Galaxy Explorer remake, one that is a lot closer to the original. My very own remake was intended to reproduce the dimensions of the original as closely as possible with very simple techniques and clean lines, in deliberate contrast to the excessive profusion of greebly bits and bobs and pipes and hoses on many NCS Galaxy Explorers. But you know what? It honestly turned out pretty boring! According to my personal taste, I would much rather have the 10497 be the “official set” version of the Galaxy Explorer remake than my own MOC or, honestly, any other fan build of the subject I’ve ever seen. Speaking strictly from how I like the design, not from the point of view of “this is the official set, omg”.

LL 928 Galaxy Explorer

Flickr album with a whole bunch of reverse engineered Galaxy Explorer fan builds

https://flickr.com/photos/149520828@N02/sets/72157708529956604

Oh, and btw, the difference between the “official version” in a set and “just build your own MOC!” is that an official set is widely available, easy to get as a single purchase with a relatively low price, and easy to reproduce and modify and share. A MOC, if you take the cheap route of not buying parts specifically for it, is likely to be clunky and mismatched (remember your multicolored childhood builds and how you always wished you could do better? I do) or, if you do buy parts specifically for the MOC, very expensive and time-consuming, as you’re buying parts, some of them individually very expensive, from different locations, with shipping fees adding up fast. So there’s legitimate reasons to get excited about 10497 just from the perspective of “omg it’s the official set” if you’ve wanted a Galaxy Explorer even if you don’t particularly like the new model on its own merits. It’s a heckuva lot cheaper and easier than a MOC. Making a really good Galaxy Explorer MOC is financially out of reach for a good chunk of adult Lego fans and certainly for any children who may be aware of Classic Space (I was reading Brickset and Eurobricks, though not posting, at ten years old). I spent a heckuva lot more than a hundred bucks on my version, I can tell you that. So here comes an official set that’s bigger and better and cheaper, and not only that, I actually really like the build on its own merits? Dream come true.

 Sorry, one more thing (I realize I’m being a bit of a keyboard warrior here). If you’re looking for a modern Lego spaceship that’s 100% original and has a lot of fresh ideas and isn’t gray and blue and yellow, just buy the 80035 Monkie Kid Galactic Explorer and leave the 10497 Galaxy Explorer alone. Seriously, all the imagination you think is missing from the 10497 is in the 80035. That came out this very year, 2022!  I bought a copy of it in January and I can tell you it’s a great Lego spaceship that deserves its place in the lineup beside every other Lego Space capital ship ever released, and it stands on its own as definitely a new thing, not a remake of any older spaceship.

Can you point the specifics of where that imagination and flair is?

For example, that BrickBuff version is sufficiently different to be it's own thing. I like the big glass part.
The base part by Wolf Leews is great. I'd love it if that replaced the baseplate.
The Alkinoos one at least managed to thicken the sides so they are not perfectly straight and dated.
Elephant-Knight one is interesting, looks like it's out of Futurama or something.
Science Cruiser is cute.
Lego version? Kinda plain. I like that it's sporty.
This is cool
1000x800.jpg

This is epic.
40326615713_121b15edf2_b.jpg

This is very cool.
legacy
I want this.
51199133499_90afb863b7_b.jpg

 

80035 is pretty cool, but not AFOL enough for me :)

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14 minutes ago, Merlo said:

Can you point the specifics of where that imagination and flair is?

For example, that BrickBuff version is sufficiently different to be it's own thing. I like the big glass part.
The base part by Wolf Leews is great. I'd love it if that replaced the baseplate.
The Alkinoos one at least managed to thicken the sides so they are not perfectly straight and dated.
Elephant-Knight one is interesting, looks like it's out of Futurama or something.
Science Cruiser is cute.
Lego version? Kinda plain. I like that it's sporty.
This is cool
1000x800.jpg

This is epic.
40326615713_121b15edf2_b.jpg

This is very cool.
legacy
I want this.
51199133499_90afb863b7_b.jpg

 

80035 is pretty cool, but not AFOL enough for me :)

First one: Simply hate the messy wing-design.

Second one: Not realistic as a commercial set and impractical sized too as a display model for most.

Third one: Actually like the design but still prefer the less greebly LEGO remake :classic:

Fouth one: Too different and not really a Galaxy Explorer but just a neo-classic spaceship in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Merlo said:

Can you point the specifics of where that imagination and flair is?

Glad to!

  • The 10497 is deliberately scaled to 1.5 times the original in the key dimensions.  Other versions are more or less haphazardly sized - some big, some small, but none of them (except mine, which is very simple) seem to deliberately set out to meet a specific "scale".
  • I've seen three approaches to building the wings in AFOL Galaxy Explorer MOCs:
    • Simple studs-up wedge plates, like mine.
    • Inverted wedge plate sandwich, like Wolf Leews.
    • Slope-built brick-thick wings, like many others.
    • The 10497 has a completely different approach to building the wings: the core is a five-plate-thick studs-up wedge plate build, yes, but the leading edge is tiled and mounted at an angle, with cheese slopes mounted underneath the leading edge to give it a bit of a chamfer.  To me, that's a very fresh and unique take on the wings.  I've thought many times about adapting the wing of the 10283 Space Shuttle Discovery into a Galaxy Explorer wing, and that would similarly be a five-plate-thick studs-up wedge plate build with a leading edge mounted at an angle, but that leading edge uses baby bows to be rounded.  (The designer interview at The Verge basically says they started out with that idea.) - But the wing in the final 10497 design is distinct even from that.
  • The approach to the main glass and greenhouse at the back.  Plenty of Galaxy Explorer MOCs use the Benny spaceship canopy (that's what kicked off the boom in Galaxy Explorer MOCs in the first place), but it's virtually always set in flat in a simple studs-up manner.  Approaches to the back greenhouse vary, but I've never seen this one before, except perhaps on a much larger build.  It's a clever way of taking advantage of the natural slopes in the canopy to get about the right angle for the front windscreen, a steeper angle for the front of the back greenhouse, and a nice flat top.  To me, that's very fresh and unique.
  • The entire approach of building most of the main fuselage at a slant.  I have never seen that before on any Galaxy Explorer MOC.  It's totally fresh and unique, and it just works.
  • The three-point retractable landing gear.  Many Galaxy Explorer MOCs have three-point retractable landing gear, but it's usually external landing pads that fold flat against the bottom of the wing without folding in flush.  The three-point retractable landing gear on 10497 folds in flat and flush, so it blends right into the bottom of the wing.  I tried to do that on one of my Galaxy Explorer digital builds ("Gal Greeble", inspired by carrierlost on Flickr), but I couldn't figure out how to make it work.  So that's a very impressive, new, fresh feature.
  • The sliding black ramp at the back.  Again, that's a feature I tried to implement in my 928 "Gal Greeble" inspired by Carrierlost, because the basic height of the cargo bay was so high that a simple hinged ramp would be very, very steep.  But I couldn't figure out how to work it.  I haven't seen that feature on any other MOCs.  So again, that's a very impressive, new, fresh feature.
  • The 2x2 seating in the cockpit.  Almost all Galaxy Explorer MOCs have tandem seating for two in the cockpit.  The shallow tapering slope of the windscreen piece makes it hard to even seat two comfortably; usually the front seater has to be seated so deep they have very little visibility except straight overhead.  When a Galaxy Explorer MOC seats more than two, it's usually in the back section, not in the front windscreen area.  But building the whole forward fuselage at a slant allows an incredible four seats in a 2x2 configuration under the single windscreen.  I haven't seen that feature on any Galaxy Explorer MOCs.  To me, it's very impressive, fresh, and new.
  • The two beds in the back that let the crew lie down with their airtanks on aren't exactly a groundbreaking, innovative piece of Lego engineering, but they're a cute feature I haven't seen on other Galaxy Explorers.
  • The detachable wing engines used as space scooters are a fun, cute play feature that echoes similar play features on past Lego Space flagships like the Blacktron Renegade, the Space Police 1 flagship, and the Space Police 3 flagship, so they're a fun surprise.  I haven't seen that feature on any other Galaxy Explorer MOCs though, so that makes them a new, fresh, fun, innovative feature on the 10497.
  • This is a very small point, but the way the rear hinging sections are clipped back to the main fuselage when closed on the 10497 looks different than it is on most Galaxy Explorer MOCs.
  • Every Galaxy Explorer MOC has a different level of greeble and engine greeble; I like the level of greebling on this one.  It doesn't feel too little and it doesn't feel excessive.
  • Most Galaxy Explorer MOCs are designed with only the Galaxy Explorer in mind; they probably wouldn't be easily transformed into a 924 Space Cruiser or a 918 One-Man Space Ship, despite the fact that the self-similarity of the three ships at different sizes (small, medium, and large) made it almost (but not quite) possible to build either the 924 or the 918 out of the original 928 ship.  I haven't seen any Galaxy Explorer MOCs that come with "alt builds" for the two smaller ships.  Certainly my own design couldn't be taken apart and rebuilt into the accompanying 924 and 918 that I designed to go with it.  So it's an amazing and completely unexpected bonus that the 10497 is actually a 3-in-1 set that can be rebuilt into a 924 or a 918, each of which looks good enough to be an A model released as a set in its own right.  (Most Creator 3-in-1 B and C models don't look good enough to be released as sets in their own right).  That's a very fresh, fun, innovative feature of the 10497 that is really going the extra mile, in my opinion.

So, that's all I can think of off the top of my head that makes the 10497 special, fresh, fun, new, innovative, compared to every other Galaxy Explorer I've ever seen, entirely apart from the "omg it's an official set" aspect.  I think it's a pretty long list.  I can't wait until my two pre-ordered copies ship!

Edited by icm

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, icm said:

 

Making a really good Galaxy Explorer MOC is financially out of reach for a good chunk of adult Lego fans and certainly for any children who may be aware of Classic Space (I was reading Brickset and Eurobricks, though not posting, at ten years old). I spent a heckuva lot more than a hundred bucks on my version, I can tell you that.

 


Yeah, the GE MOCs don’t come cheap. I actually bricklinked the parts for the LL-928 MOC above and it cost over £100. Plus there’s a few issues with it, like the detailing on the front wing edge only being attached at one point, so it tends to sag or flap around, and the cockpit and rear compartment being cramped (the rover only just fits in the rear compartment).

So with the official modern version on the way, the MOC and Benny’s spaceship will be getting dismantled, and maybe used as parts for a base 

Edited by Wonderpants

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