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Theme Guide: Galaxy Squad

Page created 25th March 2013. Last updated 24th July 2013.

2013 has a new Space theme from Lego, Galaxy Squad. The sets are coming with two waves, with the first batch already out, and a handful more coming later in the year. This new theme sees the return of space insects, last seen in any notable way all the back in 1999 with the Insectoids theme. Like Insectoids there are lots of insect shaped spaceships for the space bugs to fly. But that's not all, as like all recent Lego themes aimed at boys the story is shaped around conflict, so the insects are paired off against teams humans and robots, all in bright coloured livery. The humans in Galaxy Squad sets are a sort of combination of two recent Lego Space themes, taking the space-suits and alien battling weaponry from the Alien Conquest theme, and matching them with the mostly white (with accents of bright colours) classic sci-fi looking vehicles last seen in the Mars Mission theme.

The overall effect therefore is that Galaxy Squad seems really quite derivative from previous Lego Space efforts. The last space theme, Alien Conquest, was derivative in it's designs; those models were based on classic flying saucer looks - While drawing from well know sci-fi archetypes it was an approach to Space Lego hadn't done before, and as a result seemed much more original than this new theme. It would also be nice to see a modern Lego theme not built around conflict; how about some Star Trek-like seeking of strange new worlds for the purposes of scientific advancement? I'd love to see a space version of something like the old Divers sets, with astronauts collecting alien animals or something.

Anyway, lack of concept originality aside there is still much to offer in this new theme, the insect designs are a huge step up from the old Insectoids sets, and there is lots of stuff that is new, particularly with the alien and robot minifigures, as well as making best use of all the latest Lego tricks, colours and pieces. So lets have a look at the sets (continues after the jump):

70706 Crater Creeper
  • One of the smaller insect sets, I think is the best of the range: This ant-like walker does a great job representing the animal it's based on while making it work as a vehicle too. It also has a fun pair of elasticated mandibles, so should be fun to play with as well. Nice detailing too; the mouth behind the mandibles is a printed title. As well as the insect there is a small hover-disc vehicle for the green clad human in the set. The alien minifigure is a vaguely termite-like creature which appears in several sets.
  • Purchase: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it.
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70702 Warp Stinger
  • This set seems to be a sort of hybrid, taking the mouth, head, and wings, of a mosquito, and combing them with the a wasp-like abdomen, flexing inwards to sting, or in this case fire a little ball. The overall effect is quite menacing I think! There's another little flying vehicle for the red-clad human in this set, plus a robot. I quite like the robot head design here; it seems a little dinosaur-like. The insect minifigure in this set is a mosquito-like chap with a long mouth part and lovely wings - This guy is also armed with a brilliant weapon; a Lego scorpion with a saucepan on top and a small dish piece mounting on the front as the emitter.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp.
70700 Space Swarmer
70703 Star Slicer
  • I really want to like this one, as the preying mantis is one of my favourite insects. Unfortunately it's come about a bit gangly in Lego form, but it's not a bad interpretation, the head I think works especially well. The termite-like alien comes in dark red in this set, and is also armed with one of those scorpion guns. He's opposite a blue human and robot in a chunky little buggy.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp.
70708 Hive Crawler
  • The biggest bug is a pretty impressive beetle-like tank! I especially like the big printed bug-eyes in this one. One insect minifigure commands this giant; an ant-like chap with molded shoulders. He is joined by two new Lego animals; little insects, which use horn pieces as legs. The human side in this sets, this time in red, gets a small, but very nicely designed little speeder bike, and is joined by dino-bot.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it
70701 Swarm Interceptor
  • Moving on to the human-centric sets, my favourite is this brilliant little fighter ship. This is exactly the sort of space ship I like to build myself, and has nice play features, with a swivelling cockpit and fold down wings. Our blue-clad pilot faces off against one of the mosquito aliens, with a smaller hover-scooter. The alien ship includes a nice transparent wedge piece.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp
70704 Vermin Vaporizer
70705 Bug Obliterator
  • You get a winged robot in this very orange set, which is another two-in-one vehicle, a ground travelling dock for a very spiky flying craft. I find the human vehicles in this set a little inelegant, but the insect flying machine seems much neater; another really good example of channelling real insect designs into a space-ship version. Another of the mosquitoes in this set too.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it.  
70707 CLS-89 Eradicator Mech
  • I find Lego mecha designs can be very hit or miss, and this one is definitely more miss in aesthetics for me; it's limbs all seem to short. It has compromised the design somewhat to incorporate a fun play feature, a detachable cockpit, which functions as a small fighter. An orange human and robot (with a very big gun) face off against two insect models (no insect figures in this one), both quite nice ant-like designs, using the pod parts found in most of this range as their abdomens.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it.  
70709 Galactic Titan
  • The largest set in the range is a huge tracked vehicle, and another two-in-one ground/air contraption. I don't normally think much of large wheeled vehicles; the equivalent set in the Alien Conquest theme, 7066 Earth Defense HQ, was hideous. This time however Lego have done a brilliant job making something that looks both robust and elegant, it sort of reminds me of some of the designs you might find in Captain Scarlet or Thunderbirds. The humans face an ant, mosquito, little bug, and a big centipede on the insect side, all working around a little base for their pods.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.frAmazon.it.   
30231 Space Insectoid
30230 Mini Mech
Curious about the story of Galaxy Squad? Here is Lego's animated introduction to the alien threat, and the four coloured Galaxy Squads, which also introduces some of the features of the sets quite nicely:



Image sources: Eurobricks, Brickshop.nl, eBay, Joppa.

Neat miniature Abu Simbel

Check out this brilliant micro-scale Architecture style MOC of Abu Simbel by CustomBRICKS. Egyptian themed Lego sets are among my favourites, plus it's really neat to see minifigures used to represent something not mini, complete with collapsed giant statue.


This is one of a series of ancient world inspired micro builds by CustomBRICKS, check out the rest, among many other clever creations, on their flickr.


The Yoda Chronicles

Lego are up to something this year, something called The Yoda Chronicles. Building on the success of the excellent Lego Star Wars animated films, The Padawan Menace and The Empire Strikes Out, they are returning for a whole trilogy of films! Here's how Cartoon Network describe them:
LEGO Star Wars returns in epic style with THE YODA CHRONICLES, a thrilling, funny and action-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TV specials! Set in the “Prequel” Star Wars timeline, THE YODA CHRONICLES stars the one and only Yoda—the Jedi Master who has seen it all, done it all, and taught generations of Jedi Knights—in an all-new adventure. With the help of a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jedi in a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating a new super-weapon that could crush the Republic and win the war for the forces of Evil.
It's not just new animations though, they're making a whole new sub-brand, with the original story of the film due to give us new designs for Lego sets, starting with 75018 Jek-14's Stealth Starfighter. They are also bring out a Yoda Chronicles book, which promises to give us a look into the Lego life of Yoda. Here's a look at the exclusive minifigure that comes with the book, a Special Forces Clone Trooper (revealed today by USA Today), plus a sample spread from the book (as seen in the DK catalogue), the cover is at the top of the article:



On top of the longer animated episodes the Yoda Chronicles brand is also being used for some of the latest Lego Star Wars short animations, which highlight recent sets with light-hearted little adventures for the Star Wars minifigures. Here's the trailer for the awesome looking longer films. The shorter promo films play after in the playset of all the Yoda Chronicles animations so far:





Theme Guide: The Lone Ranger

Page created 8th March 2013. Last updated 10th April 2013.

On the way this summer is the new The Lone Ranger theme, based on the Disney movie, itself based on the classical radio/TV/film serials. Eurobrick's GRogall has now released high res images of the sets in the theme, allowing a close look at what's to come.

A little like the Prince of Persia and Pirates of the Caribbean sets before, I think these sets will be highly enjoyable whether you care for the film or not, because they give us a whole load of new themed sets, in this case wild west! Perhaps one of the best themes in all Lego history, Western sets first appeared from 1996-1997. Then there was nothing until a few re-issues in 2002, a couple of old-west style sets in the Toy Story range, and a smattering of wild west characters in the Collectable Minifigures series. In all that time Lego has developed a much large pallet of parts and colours, and willingness to create new parts, so these new sets, many not dissimilar to the classic Lego Western sets, are significant improvements on the old sets, with much more detailed designs, and new features.

Lets have a look at the sets (continues after the jump):

UPDATE: Alternative images, showing details of the play features in each set, have now been released. See them here.

79107 Comanche Camp
  • One of the icons of the the classic Western range makes a return in this set, the Native American teepee. Teepees appear in three of the classic line, this small set is most like 6746 Chief's Tepee, with the teepee being the main feature of the set along side a few extra bits. It appears they have opted to use plastic rather than fabric for the actual teepee, which I think is unfortunate as it doesn't have the same natural look to it, but the printed designs are pretty nice.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it.
79110 Silver Mine Shootout
79108 Stagecoach Escape
  • Lego haven't done a western style stagecoach before, and they've really excelled themselves with this debut! If you squint this bares a bares a passing resemblance to the Kingdoms set 7188 King's Carriage Ambush (which has awesome gold wheels), but this new stagecoach is so much more detailed! Flip side of that detail is it seems a bit huge compared to the (three!) horses in the set. Also check out another brilliant new female hair-piece.
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it.
79111 Constitution Train Chase
  • A little like 7597 Western Train Chase in the Toy Story range, this set takes that train, makes it look more "real" and detailed, and the result is pretty darn impressive! Unlike that previous set, this one comes with a ring of track, as well as an exploding rock, and collapsing water-tower, both with slots to put your Lego dynamite in, neat!
  • Purchase: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it.
79109 Colby City Showdown
79106 Cavalry Builder Set
30260 Lone Ranger's Pump Car
  • Little promo set. We've had a "pump car" promo set before, in the form of 2585, which came with the game Lego Loco. This new version is quite a significant improvement on that design!
30261 Tonto's Campfire
  • Another little promo set, with a camp-fire, maybe a camping buddy for Woody in the Toy Story promo set 30072.
Images sources: Eurobricks, Toys N Bricks.

The Simpsons Lego coming?

Reports coming from Denmark seem to indicate Lego might be working towards acquiring a license to produce The Simpsons Lego sets. DR cites a Lego employee:
Lego's marketing director, Mads Nipper, confirms that the company is negotiating with the people behind the Simpsons, but can not say anything about when an agreement is expected to be in place.
A bit strange for news to come out before a deal is struck, but an interestng possibility. I've not watched The Simpsons for years, but it still seems widely popular, and the minifigure prospects alone are quite appealing - Can you imagine Marge minifigure hair?! It could also result in a nice diverse range of urban buildings, maybe even a new Lego "monorail, monorail, monoraaaaail". Indeed the potential for sets is pretty huge given how long the series has been running now.

Source: Borsen, via DR, via Brickset.