There are some Lego sets that are built like a tank, such as the recent 3,300-piece Tim Burton Batmobile allowing collectors to get in a bit of play time too. Lego’s new International Space Station appears to be just the opposite. It’s lavishly detailed, but like the real thing it needs to be handled with care or will it come catastrophically crashing down to Earth.
Built on a smaller scale the Lego ISS uses just 864 pieces and as a result will cost just $70 when it officially releases on February 1, but that’s not to imply there’s not a lot to build and explore with this set. Based on yet another member-submitted Lego Ideas creation that managed to attract the interest of over 10,000 fans who voted in support, the International Space Station measures 19-inches wide and includes eight sets of adjustable solar panels, a posable Canadarm2 for assisting with station maintenance and other missions, a pair of astronaut microfigures (smaller than the standard Lego minifigure) and even a tiny matching version of the Space Shuttle.
To make splurging on the set a little easier (it’s educational!) Lego’s also including a 148-page booklet that includes factoids about the real International Space Station as well as details about the fan creator responsible for the original Lego Ideas design. As with all of the fan creations that have been put into production, Lego’s team will update and improve the initial design so that it conforms to the company’s standards, although the original ISS model looks very close to what you’ll be able to buy next month.
But the most important accessory that Lego’s including with this set appears to be a sturdy display stand which includes a name plaque and a place to store all the tiny satellites and cargo containers that accompany the station. Given its smaller scale this set screams fragile so most of the time you’ll want it safely perched on a shelf or the corner of your desk because it doesn’t appear as if it will survive much playtime.