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Book review: LEGO Space: Building the Future

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

23-10-2013 20:03 CDT

Topics: product review, fun

Oh my gosh you guys, this book is so great. I cannot imagine how many hours of happy building went into the development of the various LEGO ships and space bases included in this book, but I wish I could have participated. I give you LEGO Space: Building the Future.

LEGO Space: Building the Future
LEGO Space: Building the Future
Available from No Starch Press.

The book is a science fiction tale of human exploration of the solar system and then (inevitably) run-ins with evil masterminds and alien life forms. It begins auspiciously enough with a brief treatment of the space exploration history that we know so well. There's Sputnik (for which building instructions are included in the text):

LEGO Sputnik

Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

LEGO Sputnik

And Voyager:

LEGO Voyager

Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

LEGO Voyager
From the book LEGO Space: Building the Future by Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

And Opportunity:

LEGO Opportunity

Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

LEGO Opportunity

And so much more. And that's just in the first dozen or so pages of the book. After that, it moves on into the "Birth of the Federation" and the future of LEGO space exploration. For those of you who, like me, were LEGO-building kids in the 1980s, we learn the significance of the different-colored LEGO space suits -- red for flight crew, white for ground crew, and so on. It's a ground crew member that is piloting the Exo Suit below. The authors of the book were delighted to tell me has, as of today, been selected as the sixth LEGO CUUSOO product for mass release:

LEGO CUUSOO Exo-Suit
LEGO CUUSOO Exo-Suit

This book is so much fun -- clearly a labor of love. My one problem with it is that although they've updated those 1980s-era astronaut minifigs from the LEGO archaic smile to heads that bear 21st century faces with facial expressions and beards and squints and so on, not a single one of those red-suited elite pilots has a female face. It's okay I guess because plenty of the faces are andyrogynous, and I'd encourage my daughters to name characters in any space ships they're inspired to build with female names. But I didn't find any female named characters in the book, though I'll admit I didn't read every bit of text before posting this. It doesn't seem too much to ask for girls to be able to participate in a future that includes such ideas as dropships orbiting Ganymede....

LEGO Ganymede Drop-ship

Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

LEGO Ganymede Drop-ship

It's funny how much that LEGO Space logo took me back to my own childhood. The ships in LEGO Space are terrific and I'm going to have to make the attempt to build some of them. My girls are old enough that I think it's time to bust out my old-school space LEGO collection. It hasn't gotten much of a workout in the last couple of decades, but I spent hours and hours building my own space worlds when I was a kid. Thanks to my mom for digging up this photo from 1986, when I was in 7th grade.

Emily, the space LEGO cadet

Karen Stewart

Emily, the space LEGO cadet
 
See other posts from October 2013

 

Or read more blog entries about: product review, fun

Comments:

Loren Roberts: 10/24/2013 10:36 CDT

Oh, I had every single space LEGO set they made, too. I'll have to check this out...thanks!

Stephen Atkinson: 10/24/2013 02:19 CDT

Christmas present for kid #1 = DONE Thanks Emily!

Andre van Hooren: 10/25/2013 02:09 CDT

Emily, you haven't changed at all.

Aleksandr Khokhlov: 10/28/2013 07:06 CDT

I like models Stephen Pakbaz http://www.flickr.com/photos/65402716@N07/with/7539524066/

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