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  1. Mars Mission had its flaws of course, the absurdly high sticker count in many sets being the bane of children building sets and collectors efforts to complete them and sure, two piece green aliens aren't a brilliant minifigure design on its own. But I do believe that the theme has been overlooked enough and as a fan I would like to present my reasoning. The greatest aspect of the theme is its excellent vehicle designs. The Astronaut vehicles are quite impressive and as aside from a few exceptions, they have the consistent vision of being civilian mining vehicles drafted into military service. Take the Claw Tank for example, between its massive grabbing claw, the elevated glass cockpit designed for spatial awareness more than protection and its cargo tubes, it’s clear this was intended as a cargo hauler. Furthermore, the Crystal Reaper is literally just a crystal harvester with a single gun and a couple of missiles strapped on for self-defence. These aren't the weapons of an organised invading army, it’s the desperate defence force thrown together with what they had. The alien’s designs are also excellent, all of them being sleek, pointed, designed for speed and stealth, the complete opposite of the Astro's rugged and heavy vehicles. They truly look alien, almost animal-like in some respects with the red teeth accents and flowing green tentacles. I will also issue a small defence of the figure designs themselves. The alien drone designs whilst being lack lustre are purpose built for the sake of their vehicles, you know, the thing you’re buying the sets for. Being only two studs wide, they can fit in places where conventional minifigures cannot, which helps with the design of the vehicles as it makes them far less bulky than they could be. Whilst I admit that perhaps the battle droid design could have been used instead, I think it would take away the more unique aspect of the alien drone design and would simply be a copy of the Life on Mars aliens. The astronauts are also perfectly fine, sure they all have the same uniforms, but each has a unique face print as well which does bring some variety. Keeping in mind this is fundamentally in-universe meant to be the early days of Lego space exploration, so it would stand to reason that they wouldn’t all have personalised uniforms yet. In particular, I think it’s actually very poor the fact that many are so opposed to the conflict in a box formula, when it emphasises the play aspect of the sets. Sure, pacifism and more diplomatic space themes have their appeal, but I think we need to remember these weren't designed with AFOLs in mind and most kids usually aren’t entertained by pure exploration. Most kids probably won't be getting more than one set for a while as well, unless birthdays and Christmas’s are close together, hence its prudent to get both factions into the single set so that kids can get a basic storyline going at least with the first buy. Maybe this wouldn't be an issue if the theme wasn't conflict focused, sure, but then we wouldn't have many of these excellent designs. Also let’s face it, the colour pallet is phenomenal, the orange and white of the Astros is such a good look, very pleasing to the eyes. The alien's black and lime just adds to their mystique, the aura of 'alien', almost evoking the xenomorph with its black form and green acid blood. When put together they create the perfect contrast, complimenting the existing contrast of vehicle designs excellently. It may simply be personal taste, the the colours are the icing of the cake. I would like to hear other opinions on this theme though, feel free to comment and start your own discussions!