You may remember back in July 2019, the image I created of the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander appeared on LEGO social media. The good folks from Billund have now sent me the not yet released 21321 LEGO Ideas International Space Station to review in preparation for the official launch at the beginning of February.
The International Space Station
For those of you who do not know what to expect, here are three interesting facts about the ISS:
1. It is one of the largest single structures that mankind has ever put into space.
2. The space station was taken into space piece by piece and gradually built in orbit.
3. The ISS circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 mph.
I really did not know what to expect when I said yes to reviewing this set. I knew it would either be something else or just space junk. Once my son put it together we could see just what I had to work with for producing images for LEGO.
It’s big… And it really has to be if LEGO is going to create a replica model. Indeed, the actual space station including its large solar arrays, spans the area of a US football field. This scaled-down model spans a width of 19 inches (49 cm). The solar panel width span is 12 inches (38 cm) so you are going to need ‘SPACE’ to store it.
It is fragile, oh boy is it fragile. I would not recommend you purchasing it for children to play with as it will be broken into the tiny little pieces it started off as. It is definitely a display model if you have the ‘SPACE’. The attention to detail makes it like the actual real thing and this set includes eight movable solar panels.
Three are a Team
The ISS generally holds crews of between three and six people who are responsible for science experimentation and maintaining the station. Included in this set are officially two (well actually three) Astronauts. However if you are expecting the usual size mini-figures I will have to disappoint you. These figures are only half an inch high. Nevertheless they add to the scale of the model. In addition as a nice little touch, a little Space Shuttle is also included.
My mission was to photograph the International Space Station ready for the official release. As a matter of fact, it was a challenging mission. Firstly I needed ‘Space’ and not to mention good lighting. The model reminds me of the size of an old fashioned television aerial, remember them? Secondly, I knew I would have a few hours editing the final images. Nevertheless, the build itself took a few hours and I have created five different images in more time than the ISS circumnavigates the world. (Keep an eye out for the pix, remember to check every 90 minutes).
The question is, would I purchase this set? Personally I do not have the ‘Space’ to display it but if I did, yes I would, simply because I love the idea of this set and what technology can do for our learning experiences. I will never get close to the real International Space Station (ISS). Still this set gives me the opportunity to explore and learn. It allows my perception to envisage just what Space Agencies are achieving. The fact that different nationalities live together in harmony shows that it can be achieved. The team from LEGO Ideas has created something special and again I will say: If you have the ‘Space’ then make this station yours, too.