Ahh, LEGO, how long has it been my addictive and over-priced friend? By my reckoning it was last September when I built a LEGO City 4×4 and Boat Trailer. Of course, it’s been even longer since I visited with the Galaxy Squad series. That was way back in October of 2013. Wow, how time flies. I guess TRU was having a 50% off sale on these sets. My parents emailed me a list asking me which ones I had and if I would recommend any for my nephew. Turns out they were just trying to see which ones I didn’t have because I got two of these bigger sets under the tree on Christmas! Santa can be tricky… I like that! Anyway, I’ve got the LEGO withdrawals, so let’s get the preliminaries out of the way so I can get started.
The box is pretty big and as always the art and photos give you a great idea of what you’re building. In this case it’s a giant Galaxy Squad Mech to fight off those damn space bugs. I absolutely loved this series. It’s like a cross between Space Police, Alien Conquest, with a love letter to Starship Troopers thrown in. Opening up the box reveals…
This mess… SHIT! Bag #1 literally exploded on me when I tried to tug the corners and straighten it out. Hopefully I didn’t lose any pieces. We’ll find out soon! Anyway, you get two beefy instruction booklets, a small sheet of stickers, and three numbered bags of bricks. When all is said and done, you build two Minifigs, two Swarm Bugs, and the Galaxy Squad Mech, Eradicator! Let’s start with them Minifigs!!!
The Minifigs include one human Squaddie and one robot. The Squaddie features an orange space suit with a gray double-printed torso. He has a helmet with clear visor and two printed faces. I like to use the one with the breathing gear when he’s wearing the mask and the other when the mask is off, but maybe it’s supposed to be the other way around. He also features two big ass guns. Actually, I thought they were big ass guns until I saw the one for the robot. I guess everything is relative. And hey… robot! I forgot this line featured robots, but now I remember one came with the Space Swarmer set. They’re cool!
The first bag builds the Swarm Bugs and I’m glad to see that I hadn’t lost any pieces in the terrible bag explosion. The Swarm Bugs are pretty cool, although they do share a fair amount of the same build. The heads are identical and the legs are the same, and they both feature translucent green butts that can double as prisons for the unfortunate Squaddies that get captured and shoved up a bug butt for imprisonment. It’s a terrible war! Also, one of these beasts has wings while the other is purely a scuttler. I would have preferred an extra set of legs for each as six legs would have made them more stable. C’mon LEGO… This set sold for a lot of money, could you not have thrown in four extra tiny pieces??? I may eventually frankenstein them together into one superbug if I get ambitious enough.
The second and third baggies build The Eradicator and it is one cool and tough looking mech. I’m definitely getting a lovely MechWarrior vibe off of it. It stands on two stubby legs with ball joints at the hips and ankles and it can pivot at the waist. The two arms feature a chain gun and a rocket launcher with five rockets, because as the song goes… “Everything is awesome… when you’re inflicting genocide on a hostile alien race.” I really like the design of this thing and some of the wonderful little touches like the cartoony sprays of bug guts on the feet, no doubt from stomping on the fleeing enemy forces. Another very clever touch is the way the robot’s big gun can mount on the gatling gun for added firepower. The main cockpit can fit the Squaddie, while the robot sits in a rather awkward position in the back. But there’s a reason for that…
Because you can launch the main cockpit of The Eradicator as a little attack shuttle and transform the rear cockpit into the mech’s main cockpit. I just said the word “cockpit” a lot! You simply flip up the back of the mech, swivel the waist 180-degrees and reposition the weapon arms. It’s pretty cool that The Eradicator can lose a good piece of its structure and still function as intended without missing a beat. It’s a perfect design for divide and conquer tactics against the damn, dirty bugs!
The little attack shuttle is exactly the kind of one-person ships that the folks at LEGO love to design. It is indeed small, but it has hinged wings and a pair of missile launchers. It can also poop a landmine out of the back. I imagine it’s also a good escape pod for when the tide of alien bugs turns against you. “Hey, robot, wait here, I’ll be right back… YOINK!”
I seem to recall seeing this set at around the $40 price point, which feels like a very good deal as LEGO sets go. Even without the clever separation and transformation engineering, The Eradicator would have been a welcome addition to my Galaxy Squad forces. Likewise, I’m happy to add a few more bugs to my Swarm Army. While there’s a fair amount of redundancy to the build, both in the bugs and the mech itself, I still found building it to be quite enjoyable and it took me a couple of hours, although granted that includes interruptions here and there. The set is also loaded with playability as you get a very fun good guy vehicle and a couple of bad guys to fight. I place a lot of value in these “battle in a box” style sets, as even if this is your first acquisition in the series, you’ve got everything you need to start waging the war between humankind and the dirty bugs.
And with that, I’m off to do a little drinking and flip the clock with some friends. Everyone have a very safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and I’ll see y’all on the flipside…