Gone are the days when Lego® sets were simply a mishmash of brightly coloured bricks. Lego® sets of today offer the builder the chance to meticulously recreate reality into beautiful scale models. Almost as soon as this trend started, the Danish toy maker began to produce sets to commemorate the rockets and people that made an impact in the race to reach space. The following are a five of my favourite space-related Lego® sets that you can buy from Amazon today.
The Saturn V was a massive three-stage rocket designed to launch a crewed mission to the Moon. Thirteen Saturn V missions were launched from 1967 to 1973 including Apollo 11, the mission that would see Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. The rocket was retired following the launch of Skylab 1 in May 1973.
A must-have for any space enthusiast, the NASA Apollo Saturn V stands at a meter tall and is packed with detail. The set includes the huge Saturn V with detachable rocket stages, the lunar orbiter, and lander, and with three microfigures (smaller than the traditional minifigures). Also included in the set are three stands that allow you to display it horizontally.
The 1,900-piece Lego® Apollo Saturn V set is a steal at $117. You can also spring for the frustration-free packaging for an extra $2.95 but I really have no idea what the difference is between that and the standard packaging.
Easily one of the most iconic rockets ever built, the Space Shuttles were operational from 1981 to 2011 and were used for 135 separate missions. Most famously, the Shuttle is credited with launching the Hubble Telescope and several modules for the International Space Station.
There are several Lego® Space Shuttle sets available but this one is by far my favourite. The Shuttle Shuttle itself is incredibly detailed featuring retractable landing gear, a detailed cockpit, and a functional cargo compartment with a robotic crane and a satellite payload. The set also includes the Shuttle’s two SRBs, the giant burnt orange external tank, three minifigures (two astronauts and one ground crew personnel), a ground maintenance vehicle and four floodlights to… set the mood I guess.
There are a number of Amazon sellers that stock Lego® Creator Shuttle Adventure sets that range in price from $549.95 to $665.
Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft was the first to return a sample of an asteroid back to Earth. NASA’s Galileo and NEAR Shoemaker had both performed flybys of near-Earth asteroids but JAXA’s Hayabusa was the first to return a sample. The Lego® Cuusoo Hayabusa is likely one of the first Lego® Cuusoo (now Lego® Ideas) sets to be produced after the toymaker’s partnership with the Japanese website. The detail incorporated in the spacecraft’s solar panels is unlike anything available today. It really is a neat little set.
The set also includes a minifigure of Junichiro Kawaguchi, the project manager of the Hayabusa mission. Kawaguchi is credited with the titanic effort of ensuring Hayabusa returned to Earth despite numerous faults and setbacks.
The Lego® Cuusoo Hayabusa sets could be a little difficult to get hold of. The set has been discontinued but there are several reputable sellers on Amazon with what I am guessing is new old stock.
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover was launched towards the end of 2011 and touched down on the surface of the Red Planet just shy of a year later. The car-sized rover is by far the largest and most technically advanced to ever have been sent to another planet. The rover has now been operational for an impressive r 2,000 days, over 1,300 days past the end of its primary mission.
Another discontinued Lego® Cuusoo relic, the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover set was designed by Stephen Pakbaz, an engineer that actually worked on the real rover. The build is not a challenging one but with “working” suspension, an articulating robotic arm and “multiple camera sets”, the Lego® Curiosity rover has all the charm of its real-life counterpart.
Despite it being discontinued, you can still find a few examples of new old stock on Amazon. If you’re thinking of buying one though, get ready to pay a premium. NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover sets go for between $329.99 and a staggering $741.
Yes, I know this one is cheating a bit but how could I not include the ridiculous 7,541-piece Lego® Millennium Falcon in this, the greatest Christmas wish list of all time.
Every detail of one of the most iconic science fiction spaceships of all time has been recreated in Lego® with meticulous attention to detail. The completed model includes removable hull panels that allow access to all of the ship’s compartments. The set also includes Minifigures of original trilogy Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and C-3PO, and new trilogy older Han Solo, Rey, and BB-8. It also includes classic weapons like Han’s blaster and Chewie’s bowcaster.
You can grab a Lego® Millennium Falcon set for $799.99 from Amazon which, surprisingly enough is significantly cheaper than the $1,299.99 price tag on the official Lego® page.