70816 – Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!
If you haven’t seen the Lego Movie yet, then I highly recommend doing so. It’s a very entertaining movie, regardless of the fact that it’s all about Lego. One of the key points in the film, one of the characters, Benny the spaceman, builds a terrific looking spaceship from parts that look like they came out of 1980’s space themes.
At the time I first saw this scene my immediate thought was: if they make a set of this spaceship, it’ll be one of the first sets I buy in the Lego Movie theme. As of June 1st, such a set was made available – and just under two weeks later, here’s my review.
It’s a big set, so it comes in a big box. Styled in the Lego Movie theme colouring, we get an action photo of the ship on the front with further details on the rear of the box. Inside the box are seven individually numbered baggies plus two instruction books on cardboard backing. The instructions includes stickers, but also provides several printed parts.
The first bag contains parts to build two glider shuttles and the ship for the enemy robot pilot. We get to assemble Space Wyldstyle, Robo Emmet and the Robo Pilot up front. Given that the bags are pre-sorted, the build is fairly brisk, and before long we’re onto the bag marked as #2. This begins the initial construction of the main spaceship.
What I really admired here were the inclusion of what might be considered ‘retro’ space parts. We have printed computer consoles, parts with the space logo and 1980’s style L-shaped parts.
Bit by bit, the superstructure is expanded upon. The ship is built in two parts with the core of the rear half first, followed by the nose and cockpit section. Then we move onto the wings before returning to complete the nose and cockpit sections.
By the time we have completed the front and the latch on top of the ship, we’re at the half way point, before moving on to the second instruction booklet. The second booklet introduces the build of both Benny (the spaceman) and Astro UniKitty. We continue to establish the external features of the ship, notably a section which houses two small robots (who can detach) as well as neat features such as the rear engines, hidden missiles and more.
There’s something new here too: the set features a unique serial number which is printed onto a Lego part! It is mounted just behind the cockpit window, and judging from the instruction booklet (which marks the part with Xs for the numbers) I believe each set must have a uniquely printed part!
The engine is built so that the bottom engine can be pushed in to expand the wing span and expose the rubber-tipped missiles for launch. The missiles are carefully hidden by the ship’s hull when the wings are not extended. The final external trimmings are all classic space fare – single strut wings, parts that look like a PA system’s speakers and that classic space blue colouring.
Once completed the little shuttles from the start of the build can be attached to the tips of the ship’s wings. There’s plenty of room in the ship’s cockpit to seat three Minifigures, alas not poor Astro UniKitty, who really needs to ride externally.
As I suspected when I first saw the ship in the Lego Movie, it’s a beauty. The attention to detail in addition to the reuse of classic space parts creates a memorable space vehicle and will be well received by anyone who enjoyed the original Lego space sets. The ship is very impressive and has enough features to entertain more than a few space battles.
It’s quite a long set, so if you planned to keep it assembled for a while, you’d need about as much space as you’d use to display or store a Star wars UCS model (like the Imperial Shuttle, for example).
Everything is awesome!