LEGO The LEGO Movie 2 70841 Benny's Space Squad Set LEGO, 2018
Day #2,063: February 5, 2019
70841 Benny's Space Squad Classic Space for Ten Bones
The LEGO Movie 2 Boxed Set
Item No.: No. 70841 Manufacturer:LEGO Includes:68 pieces - most of which are for the 4 figures Action Feature:Build old toys Retail:$9.99 Availability: January 2019 Other: Old Fan Catnip
I couldn't pass up 70841 Benny's Space Squad as soon as I found out it existed. We occasionally would get glimpses of classic Space sets through the odd reissue (often with the wrong helmet) or a limited-edition set with that flavor, but aside from the blue Benny we didn't get a lot of classic blue & grey space toys. This one gives us new versions of toys colored like those you may have enjoyed in the 1980s, adding in classic yellow (Kenny) and white (Jenny) astronauts as well as a new color - the pink Lenny.
If you had these as a kid, you're no doubt looking for differences in the figures. Each astronaut is a little bit different than the old ones. The old helmets had some slightly different looks, with most of my vintage ones being more or less aligned in the brow and the chin department. These new ones have a bit of an underbite, although not as large as the modified visor-era helmets you'd get with Futron, Blacktron, and so forth. There's also a tiny indentation on the tops of these new helmets, so a side-by-side comparison with an original lets you know that these new ones are imposters, and not Crater Plate contemporaries. The figure heads have indentations - they're not filled in like the studs on the originals - but the faces and chest logos are pretty close to the originals for Kenny, Jenny, and Lenny. In a display, the only one that would stand out as not being an original (from a reasonable distance) is the pink Lenny. The others are dang close replicas.
So the figures are good. For ten bucks, you'd probably be well-served to get these. A "ray gun" seems to lack some of the markings of the originals with a slightly different muzzle, the minesweeper is retooled to lack the stud on the original, but the wrench is a wrench and the radio is pretty much a radio. How are the builds?
Robot seems new to me. At least, it's similar-but-different from the ones I had in toys as a kid - the yellow and blue chests are nice, and the old "rocket" base I was used to has been replaced by a round disc - a part that, if memory sesrves, was a later entry in this range. It looks appropriately "classic" though, so I'd say you want it.
The small Space Ship reminds me of a lot of older small vehicles, like the Surface Rover. The forked pieces were frequently used, as were wedges with the classic space logo on them - but not in this exact size. That's new and different, and interesting - as is the rocket booster on the back of the seat. With pieces like flat lights and a clip coming out of the side of the chair, it's definitely a modern take on classic space, and I dig it. It's also more complex than my original Surface Rover.
Also nifty is a small Lunar Rover. This is also new, but you've potentially seen a lot of grey rovers just like it. Back in the day we didn't get rounded disc pieces on the bottom of the wings or plates, so that's a new entry here. Some had gas tanks on the front, or big bulbous wheels, or claw arms, or other gizmos. This one has two clips on the back for accessories, standard tires, a step on the sides, and some clear square lights - which seemed pretty uncommon in the early 1980s. It's another cool, quasi-new, vaguely old vehicle that you would have lost your mind if LEGO sold it to you in a polybag for five bucks.
In the old days, I believe the figure packs got you like six figures for six bucks. But today you get four figures and a few vehicles for $10 - as price per piece goes, it's not an improvement. It's significantly cheaper than buying the originals, and I can't imagine any child of LEGO from the 1980s not getting excited after getting an eyeful of this small set. It's a good, cheap thrill and a better value than some blindbags. Here's hoping we get Classic Castle in this format some day - a tiny fort and a couple knights would be fun! Until then, go get this work of retro goodness.
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