Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 9:39pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
What happens when LEGO decides to add another space theme next to its successful Star Wars line? Mars Mission, yes...but no! Recently LEGO looked back more than 15 years for inspiration and grabbed the Space Police yet again, bringing it back for a third installation, with a redesigned look in selection of colors and new minifigs. Today the Raid VPR is reviewed, taking a look at what makes this set worthy of the “Space Police” name that has driven fear and respect into the evil-doers of the galaxy for some time now.
Point of interest: The front tongs, side wings with weapons, and single tail are particularly special, as this design was inspired by the Flickr AFOL fad of making “Vic Viper” MOCs in the same fashion. A LEGO designer noticed and took action to please the adults. (Woot!)
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box tells the viewer all the necessary information: Name (Raid VPR), piece count (69), set number (5981), age recommendation (6-12), company logo (LEGO) and theme logo (Space Police) (or Space Police III for us older builders), and even the name of the lime-green alien villain (Rench), said to be "wanted."
The “Viper” is zooming by Rench, which is shooting at it, and the space police’s face is one of surprise and fear. A price tag of about $10 will probably be found on the store shelf or somewhere on the box, depending on the store.
There is, however, one problem of faulty advertising: The transparent-blue canopy is shown with a pointed tip when, in fact, it squares off at the tip, much to the dismay of many builders. (Picture in the next section.)
The back of the box gives a more angled view of the starfighter, along with the figs encountering each other, the canopy opening, and the flick-fire missiles being demonstrated.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The pieces come in two polybags, one for the bigger pieces and the other for the tiny ones. In addition to that are the sticker sheet (if that is your thing) and the instruction booklet, with the same picture as on the front of the box.
The minifig pieces and a few relatively new pieces, including the disappointing squared off canopy.
The pieces given may not seem like much, but there are a few surprises and nice novelties, such as grey studded pins (which seem to have turned blue lately), as well as that cool alien minifig.
With so few pieces, one can wonder how such a ship can be built. The answer would be in the numerous largely-sized bricks and slopes that do a nice job of creating a sturdy base and build.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The end result is a sleek ship with flick-fire missiles and an opening canopy that fits the space police comfortably. The front tongs give it a sleek look, while the engine looks like it’ll be strong enough to propel itself to the farthest reaches of the galaxy to capture Rench--even with that big gun of his. (Personally, I call it Vera.)
Both minifigs have some cool features. The lime green head, as seen as orange in the first wave of SPIII sets, is hard plastic (as opposed to rubber, as I had thought), and the body has a Blacktron logo in the corner, to nostalgic delight.
The police figure has the same body as the first wave, but the helmet is a new piece and looks pretty cool. Lately LEGO seems to be enjoying giving their characters split-personalities, and the space police is no different. He can go from smart, eyebrow-raising, ready for action hero to yelling and get-the-job-done tough-man with a quick twist of the head.
Finally, the canopy. As you can see, the front does not end in a nice point but is rather blocky and squarish. Only time will tell how MOCists will incorporate this inconvenience.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
The ship is sturdy and can be held nicely between the fingers, allowing for much swooshability. Go ahead, you know you want to, making pew-pewing sound effects as you go. Flick that missile at Rench and he does not stand a chance at escaping from your clutches.
However, the ship is pretty much all you get, aside from Rench and his gun. No real way for the bad guy to try to escape with the police hot on his tail. But this is LEGO, after all, so all options are not lost.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Blue canopy
- 2 cool minifigs
- The price. Nicely sized ship for $10
- Inspired by AFOLs
What's not to like?
- Squared-off tip of canopy
- Stickers (unless you like them)
- Just a ship for the good guy only
I can not find any other cons to add. This is a neat set at a good price. The figs are cool and, let’s face it, those are an important part of the set! I can live with and work around the canopy’s square tip, and the other pieces included are pretty nifty too.
Either series, those baddies can consider themselves caught!
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