Friday, February 21, 2014

Lego Space

Since my post on Galaxy Laser Team garnered a warm reception, I thought I would turn my attention to another classic science fiction toy.

I was a bit too old when the Space division of Lego really took off so I never owned many of the sets myself.   But my younger brother had a few and I find them impressive and imagination-capturing to this day.  Check out the Alien Moon Stalker:

It's rather like a Star Wars AT-AT only with ICBMs poised for launch out of it's back.  You'd swear the thing was designed by Reagan himself.  It should probably be taken into consideration that this was the Cold War spin placed on the toy by the Nichols boys and that Lego (at the time anyway) had somewhat of a pacifist streak in them so its doubtful they would share such an interpretation.  Those missiles could just as easily be rockets for launching satellites.

On the subject of pacifism, behold the Exploriens:

Adult Jonny would choose these as his favorite.  According to the ad copy accompanying the toy, these were something of the scholars of the Lego Space set.  They were tasked with scanning alien artifacts with computers and holograms in an effort to decipher languages and cultures.  If there was to be an interstellar Rosetta Stone, these guys were going to come up with it.

Because why would a kid want to build and play with battle pieces when he could lead a team of linguists?  Imagine the conflicts played out in the far reaches of space.  Will the Exploriens get their latest dissertation written?  Will it pass peer review?  'Nuff said!

I have also always admired how Lego seemed to realize that space exploration would not be altogether glamorous times with sterling silver rocketships and laser guns.  Someone would have to do the heavy lifting and carrying just for the necessities of survival.  That was the job of M-Tron:

You can almost hear that Dire Straits song as you imagine these guys working.  "We got to move these magnetic boom cranes, got to drill these geothermal cores."  A working dirge sung but to chirk one another on lonely, icy moons.

Even in the bright promise of a Lego future, one could not trust everyone.  Enter the Blacktron organization and their Message Intercept Base.

I think a friend of our family's actual had this.  All I remember was just how damn big the thing was.  Towers, communication dishes, a deployable fighter, and all of it populated by cyborgs in black.  The Lego Space Police were said not to be friends of these guys but that was as far as the narrative went.  At least to my foggy recollection.  That, however, was the great thing about these Lego sets.  Like Galaxy Laser Team, that didn't really come with any set storyline so you could turn it into whatever you wanted.  Right now, I'm envisioning a "cyborg bad guy" stereotype but the rub is that he used to be in Space Police.  Using his knowledge, his connections, and his RoboCop-type body, he heads up an organization that operates outside the law...and lives in a hideout that any James Bond villain would be jealous of.

Ok, I want these Legos.  Anyone care to crowdfund it?  You can have a say in the storyline and I'll post weekly updates in episodic fashion?

I promise you won't regret it.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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