Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut review

Essential info:

Price: $54.99/£44.99

Model number: 31152

Number of pieces: 647

Dimensions: 10.5 inches (27cm) tall

Recommended age: 9+

Lego is well and truly throwing everything at the space category this year. Its City, Creator, Technic and even Friends ranges all have dedicated ‘space’ sub-ranges and, if you’re someone who loves space as much as Lego, it’s fantastic news. We’re loving the emphasis on the stars, planets and space exploration — and one of our favorite sets so far has to be this Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut.

Buildable into a dog, a rocket or an astronaut, this is a set aimed at children but one that’s going to be absolutely loved by adult space buffs. Its 9+ age rating means its instructions are on the simpler side but when the finished result is something so fun-loving and brilliantly designed, it’s hard to care too much. 

As nice as the secondary builds may be, it’s the astronaut who is the star of the show, and so this is the build we’ll be focusing on in the course of this review.

Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut review: Build

Being a set with a 9+ age rating, the Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut is — mostly — a simple, inoffensive build. Its instructions never ask you to apply more than three or four bricks at once, making them nice and easy to follow for youngsters and newcomers to Lego. It means more advanced builders may find the process a little boring, but it’s a quick build: Split into five bags, it’ll take no more than 60 to 90 minutes to complete.

There are some slightly fiddly sections, though. The worst for us came in the fourth bag, which saw us constructing the astronaut’s jet-propulsion backpack. It’s all built completely separately from the astronaut (neat, in that it can be removed from him easily) but it means it’s a rather fragile build, framed around a single bridge piece. Once it’s finished it’s a little more sturdy, but if you’re too heavy-handed you’ll likely see it break into pieces multiple times before you’re done with it. We speak from experience.

It didn’t ruin the experience though, and neither did the slightly repetitive sections of the astronaut build. Having two arms and two legs means you’re repeating two almost-identical builds one after the other — and because they’re mirror images of each other you can’t simply build two at once. But the slight laboriousness is worth it, because once the Astronaut is finished, it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.

Away from the fiddly sections, there are some seriously neat building techniques used in the Space Astronaut. He has posable legs, feet arms and fingers thanks to multiple joints, and these are all exceedingly well constructed. The fingers, in particular, are a fantastic touch and one we didn’t expect. Not only does it add a level of realism you wouldn’t normally find in a $54.99 set, it allows you to have fun with various hand gestures, giving your astronaut some personality.

Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut review: Design

Despite being made largely of white bricks, the Space Astronaut is immediately eye-catching. Maybe it’s because of his golden helmet visor (a unique piece that’s found only in this set), or maybe it’s because he’s strikingly realistic-looking, despite only being made of 647 pieces and being 10.5 inches tall.

The well-placed red and blue stripes, along with grey detailing, help give the astronaut’s suit some contouring and break up the mass of white. Placed inbetween as you’re building, you don’t realize the full effect until you’ve finished the full model but it works really well: Those red and blue stripes could very easily be company logos or a country flag emblazoned on his suit.

As we’ve already mentioned, the posable limbs really help give the astronaut some life. He’s almost as pliable as an action figure and, if you remove him from his display stand, can be used as one if kids want to use him as a plaything.

But for us adults, we’d prefer him to stay in place on his (incredibly-well constructed) stand, where he dangles off the ground, as if floating in zero-gravity. It means you can make use of those leg joints, too, bending his knees and feet to arrange him into poses that make him appear as if he’s jumping.

Of course, the astronaut is only one of three builds you can create out of this set. You can only build one at a time, of course, so repurposing the astronaut into a space dog or shuttle first means deconstructing him. We know which one we’d rather have on display, but the other sets have their merits too.

The dog is a rather fun little build, embodying a cute doggo within a white spacesuit and putting the helmet atop its head. Like the astronaut, you’ll also build a display stand, giving the impression that the dog is floating. You don’t need to use it though, since it can stand tall on its four legs, all of which have hip joints. On its back is an oxygen tank, and it has a little waggy tail.

The third build is a shuttle of sorts, called a “space viper jet” by Lego. It’s our least favorite of the three, but has great playability (and “swooshability”, to use Lego’s marketing buzz words) for kids. Here, the golden visor is repurposed into a cockpit, and inside you’ll find room to place a minifigure as a pilot. It’s a shame there’s not one included in the set though.

Should you buy Lego Creator 3-in-1 Space Astronaut?

Ask yourself two questions. One: Do you like Lego? And two: Do you like space? If you answer yes to both questions, then yes, you absolutely should buy the Lego Creator Space Astronaut set. This is perhaps one of the best Lego Creator 3-in-1 sets we’ve seen in a long while, and one of the most creative and fun-loving space-themed sets ever.

Despite being a 3-in-1, the Space Astronaut alone makes this easily worth the cost. The other two builds are a nice bonus, especially for kids, but if you never build them you won’t feel like you’re losing out.

Other Lego sets to consider

If you’ve got a big budget, one of the best Lego space sets you can buy is the Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. The Space Astronaut might look realistic, but this shuttle is actually based on NASA’s real shuttle, packing in a great amount of detail. We also love the Technic Mars Rover Perseverance which, thanks to its real suspension and other working features, feels like a scale model of the real thing.

If you want something a little different, how about the Lego Ideas Tales of the Space Age set? This colourful, fun build packages up four postcard-sized dioramas of different space events. You can either display them standing up or hanging on the wall, and either way they look fantastic.

Source: Space.com

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