Galaxy Squad: Vermin Vaporizer (#70704) by LEGO

I was hoping to save the second LEGO set I got for Christmas, at least for a little while, but to me LEGO sets are like bottles of Jameson, they don’t hang around the house for long before being opened. I had so much fun building the last set I decided to build this one on my very next day off. At 506 pieces, this isn’t exactly a massive set, it only has the last one beat by about 60 pieces, but it’s the largest Galaxy Squad set in my collection and I’m rather excited to get started.



The box sure is big! Open her up and you get four numbered baggies of bricks, two beefy instruction booklets, a sticker sheet, and four loose wheels. There’s a ton of great stuff to build in this set, so let’s get cracking and as always we start with the Minifigs!!!



You get two good guys and one bad guy, and if you’re rooting for the aliens and think that’s unfair, well this clearly isn’t the set for you, but we’ll see more of that in a bit. The two Squaddies consist of your typical guy in a spacesuit and a robot. The robot features the same chest piece we saw on the last robot, but a different head and no wings this time. Oh yeah, one of the benefits of joining Galaxy Squad is obviously that you can wear any color you like, because both of these guys are green and at odds with the blue and orange guys I got in previous sets. I guess when it’s humans versus aliens, your comrades don’t need to identify allies by the color of their uniforms, but rather whether or not they have giant bug heads. Oh yeah, the human Squaddie is the exact same figure that came with the Crater Creeper set that I looked at a while back.


Speaking of the Crater Creeper set, the Swarm alien you get here is the same one that came with that set too. He even has the same gun. I guess some may bitch about the lack of original figures in this box, but hey, they’re all basically army builders, so I’m not complaining.




On the bug side of this horrific battle is this little walking bug chair. I love this thing. It’s a cool and original design, particularly the way the articulated tail curves up to point the gun forward. You also get two flick-fire missiles. I’m hoping this thing can fly. I mean, if this is all the bugs are bringing to this fight, they’re screwed, because…



BEHOLD THE VERMIN VAPORIZER! Awww, yeah! The Galaxy Squad isn’t f’cking around on this day and they rolled out this assault tank to take care of their tiny little bug problem. Sending this behemoth against the bug vehicle in this set is like sending a Sherman tank to take out a cockroach. But hey, you never can be too careful… we’re in this war to win it, people!!!


So, what we have here is a heavily armored assault vehicle that rolls on four gigantic wheels. The design here is really cool. There are some nice curves and contours to the armor, but at the end of the day it’s just a rolling box of death. The front of it is a slab of metal wall designed to smash through anything that comes in contact with it.


There’s an opening canopy for the cockpit where the driver sits and a secondary canopy for the gunner. The squished bug stickers on the front canopy sure are a nice touch! When fully bulked out this thing features four cannon and four flick-fire missiles. The cannon assembly on the back can rotate 360-degrees and each of the weapons are mounted on ball joints for more precise aiming and target tracking. But wait… this thing has a couple of surprises…




For starters, the front can drop down to reveal that the driver seat is actually a little self-contained vehicle. I’m going to call this thing an escape vehicle, because I can’t imagine any scenerio in which you’d want to leave the safety of a giant tank to scoot around on this little puddle-jumper. Maybe it’s for scouting, but it’s clear that once it leaves, the tank isn’t going anywhere. So, the logic behind this feature may be a bit muddled, but I don’t care because it’s a really cool play feature.



Next up, the upper back portion of the tank is actually a mech that can deploy by simply jumping off the back. It’s a lot smaller than the Eradicator Mech we looked at last time, but it still looks like it can stomp a lot of vermin. This guy has rotating joints in the hips, hinges in the ankles, and ball joints at the shoulders, plus it can swivel at the waist. You can also mount the robot’s gun and shield on it.


With the mech deployed you now have access to the inside of the vehicle. There’s a little lab back there where it appears our Squaddies are trying to analyze one of the bug eggs and possibly find a way to get one of their trapped comrades out of it. The set does indeed come with a purple bug egg, which is cool because all the ones I have so far have been yellow-green Mountain Dew colored.



Apart from the lack of original Minifigs, I can’t say enough good things about this set. The vehicle is loads of fun to build and it’s imaginative design and superb playability make it an instant winner. Technically it does fit the whole “battle in a box” mentality, but if you really want to have fun with it, you’ll probably need one of the mid-sized alien sets so you have something beefy enough to give the bugs a fighting chance against the awesome might of the Vermin Vaporizer.

Galaxy Squad: CLS-89 Eradicator Mech (#70707) by LEGO

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…

Galaxy Squad: Crater Creeper (#70706) by Lego

It’s been about four months since I’ve built a Lego set, and I’ve been jonesing something fierce. Yesterday, I stopped by Target to get provisions for the weekend and decided to pay their expansive Lego aisles a visit. I was thinking about another Lone Ranger set, but I’m still holding out for those to go clearance since the movie flopped so badly. So, instead I came home with another Galaxy Squad set. I’ve built two of these already and the series has treated me pretty well, so today I’m building The Crater Creeper.


I’m still digging the artwork on this series. Obviously, the focus here is on bulking up the alien forces, which works well for me because I already have the Swarm Interceptor and I need something substantial for it to fight. The front panel of the box shows one of the Galaxy Squad members going up against the giant Crater Creeper in a tiny little attack sled. Wow, that guy’s got balls! I like balls.


The back panel shows some of the action features of the completed set. It also shows our little friend getting his attack sled grabbed by the Crater Creeper’s jaws. Does this faze him? Nope, he just jumps out of his ship, climbs onto the hood of the Creeper and proceeds to shoot the pilot in the face with his pistol. Holy shit, this guy is hardcore! I think I’ll name him Spunky McBalls.


Open up the box and you get four unnumbered bags containing 171 pieces, a very small instruction sticker sheet, a box with a rubber band in it, and a beefy instruction book. This is a middle of the road sized set and falls right in between the two other Galaxy Squad sets I have already built. When you’re all done you’ve built the Crater Creeper, The Attack Sled, and two minifigs. TO THE MINIFIGS!!!




There’s nothing groundbreaking here. You basically get Spunky and a Bug Guy. Spunky is a cool little figure in a space suit. He has a helmet with a clear visor and two printed faces, one with an oxygen mask and one without. I like his unshaven face. I like to think he got all liquored up at the base camp and just decided to steal an Attack Sled and attack the Bugs all on his own in a drunken rage while screaming obscenities. His space suit is green, which is at odds with the blue suit worn by the Swarm Interceptor pilot. Either he’s in a different branch of the Galaxy Squad military or these guys just wear whatever the hell they want to work. The Bug Guy is cool, but he’s the same minifig that came with the Space Swarmer.


The one-man Attack Sled is a pretty cool little vehicle. I’m on record stating that I’m not often a fan of the little Lego ships, but the design of this one actually shows some imagination, and with two flick fire missiles and two guns mounted on the front, it can probably pack an impressive punch for such a little craft. Ah, but this is not why we bought tickets to the show. The main event is…


The Crater Creeper! And it is rather glorious. It looks like a giant mechanical ant, with a seat for the pilot, two flick fire missiles, and grabbing mandibles that are powered by a rubber band. I love the neon green and burgundy deco on these Bug vehicles, and the clear shell on the back with the translucent sticker works really well. The pilot’s gun can clip into the back under the shell, which may not be a convenient place to keep it, but it does add some aft defenses!


Builders will either be pleased or disappointed that the legs are each just one big piece. I was surprised. Building the same leg six times over out of tiny pieces can get tedious and redundant, but I know some people like the added challenge and build time. On the downside, this vehicle doesn’t feature a lot of articulation. The front and back sets of legs are just static, whereas the middle legs are only hinged where they join the body. Still, what the vehicle lacks in articulation it makes up for in stability.


This set was $20, which seems about right for the piece count, and it was a fun build, albeit relatively quick and straight forward. I’d actually recommend it for a starter set in this series, as it gives you a pretty good idea what Galaxy Squad is all about. It also makes a very nice companion set to the Swarm Interceptor, if you don’t mind your ship attacking ground targets. Above all, it felt really good to build a Lego set again after so long and it’s definitely primed the pump and made me want to pick up one of the bigger Galaxy Squad sets in the next week or so.

Galaxy Squad: Swarm Interceptor (#70701) by Lego

As promised, I’m back to look at more Galaxy Squad, and this one is the next size up from yesterday’s set. The Swarm Interceptor gives the Galaxy Squad something with a little teeth to fight back with against the Space Swarmer.

A bigger box and some cool artwork showing the ship in action as well as illustrating its many play features. Inside the box you get an instruction booklet, a sticker sheet, and two numbered baggies containing 218 plastic bits. When all is said and done you build the Swam Interceptor, a small buggy rocket sled and two minifigs. What shall we start with? MINIFIGS!!

As expected, you get a bug and a human. The bug is extremely cool with a unique head sculpt that includes a pair of tiny bendy antenna. These things may qualify as the smallest Lego pieces I’ve ever seen and one of them very nearly got tossed with the empty baggies. He has a nicely detailed printed body, a pair of translucent neon green wings and a zap gun. I like the fact that the bug aliens are all different. The one in the last set looked more like a larva guy, this one looks like a wasp guy. Cool!

The Galaxy Squad guy is pretty generic but I like him nonetheless. He’s got a printed body, a removable helmet and two printed faces, one of which has some kind of breather mask. He’s pretty similar to the guys from the Alien Conquest series. In fact he’s wearing the exact same helmet. I’m cool with that. I think Lego killed Alien Conquest too soon, so I appreciate that these sets can hang together.

I was a little worried the Interceptor would be too derivative of the Space Police ships, but it took just a little time with this set to realize that wasn’t going to be the case. Don’t get me wrong, this ship would look fine bulking out your Space Police armada, but there have obviously been a lot of creative advances in Lego’s starship design teams over the last couple of years. At first glance, this ship may look a little generic. It’s clean, it’s efficient, it’s a one-seater fast attack ship with a cockpit up front and wings in the back. But Lego also packed a lot of play gimmicks into the design, and every one of them is a homerun.

First off, the cockpit portion of the ship has a gyroscope feature so that no matter what position the back of the ship is in, the cockpit is always oriented the same way. You can spin the whole back of the ship if you hold onto the cockpit. I don’t know why I love this gimmick so much, but I do. Secondly, the wings are multi-positional, so you can fold them all the way down and rest the ship on them like landing gear, put them straight out, or even angle them down into a classic Bird of Prey configuration. There’s a cleverly hidden missile launcher that flips up out of the back and the front cockpit can detach from the rest of the ship, fold out it’s little wings and become a little fighter. This last feature reminds me of the whole Hyperspace Ring design used for the Jedi Starfighters.

If I were a cynic I’d cry foul at Lego for being so lazy and using the whole rocket sled motif so often for their smaller vehicles. We’ve seen this thing a hundred times from Atlantis to Alien Conquest to Space Police and even in the Chitari had them in the Marvel Super Heroes Avengers-based sets. Oh, wait, those were actually in the movie. Still, my point holds. Nonetheless, it’s a perfectly fine little vehicle and I’ll grant you that Lego certainly customized it to fit perfectly into this new line, right down to the little translucent wings that hang off the back.

I haven’t been big on experimenting with Lego builds, but I do love the fact that this little sled can clip onto the back of the Swarmer from the last set. It looks like a stinger, adds two aft guns, and it can detach quickly to convert into its sled mode. Very cool.

The Interceptor is a great ship and it really compliments yesterday’s set nicely, as the two ships are fairly evenly matched. I enjoyed building this one a lot, and the finished model is just plain fun. So far I’m really impressed by this line and I fear I’m going to be in it for the long haul. I can already feel the shakes as I try not to jump in the car and head down to Target to pick up a couple more sets. But then I still have some Alien Conquest sets to build, which I’ve been saving for a rainy day. Nonetheless, I’m going to exert some willpower and give the Lego a rest for the rest of the week, because I got me some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys to look at!

Galaxy Squad: Space Swarmer (#70700) by Lego

I’m usually up on my toy news, and yet somehow Lego slipped two brand new series, Chima and Galaxy Squad, under my radar and onto the shelves. I saw them the other day while buying groceries and I wish I had been wearing a monocle, so it could have popped out of my head to illustrate my surprise. Both new lines look excellent, but Galaxy Squad tipped me over simply because it reminds me of my beloved Space Police line from a few years back. Ah, Space Police, the gateway drug that brought me back to you Lego. Well done. It was a funny scene, as I was passing through the aisle when I saw some kid holding one of the Chima boxes and I said to myself, but also out loud, “is that new?” The kid thought I was talking to him and he said, “Yeah, it looks cool. Those are new too!” and he pointed to the Galaxy Squad. I picked one up and said, “Yeah, this looks cool too!” So, I picked up the two smaller assortment sets, which we’ll be checking out today and tomorrow.

We’re starting toward the bottom rung of the line with a set that clocks in at just 86 pieces and there’s the box. I dig the Galaxy Squad logo and the fact that you can infer all you need to know about this series from the box art: There are space bugs… and it’s up to Galaxy Squad to murder the shit out of them all! Inside the box you get an instruction booklet and two unnumbered bags of bricks, which build the alien Space Swarmer spaceship and two minifigs. To the minifigs!

As is the case with any good Lego set, you get a good guy and a bad guy. Let’s start with our new friend, the bug alien. He’s a simple enough figure. His body relies completely on a generic body with some cool printing. His ugly bug head has a tail that runs partially down his back and does keep his head from turning. Not a lot more to say, but I dig him.

The Galaxy Quest guy is really interesting because of his uniquely sculpted head. It might be a helmet, but then again he might be a robot. He kind of looks like a robot. Do you think he’s a robot? I’m going to say he’s a robot! Either way, he’s really bad ass and has a cool jetpack, which is very cleverly built out of a control stick and a couple of guns. And speaking of guns, he’s got a doozy of a BFG, which is only fair since this set is pitting him up against an opponent in an attack ship.

And what a cool little attack ship it is! It feels like a lot of ship for a twelve dollar set, and I attribute that to the incredibly cool and creative design. Obviously bug aliens have bug ships (well, duh!), and this little one-seater is made to look like a nasty flying insect, complete with translucent neon wings coming off the back and four articulated insectoid legs, which can serve as landing gear and actually support the weight of the ship quite nicely. The front of the craft has three articulated mandibles, which can rotate and grab its prey. The one-bug cockpit has a dome canopy and there’s even a clip on the back to store the pilot’s gun. The coloring used for the bricks is also worth mentioning. The neon green, grey and red mesh wonderfully together. It’s a tad derivative of the Alien Conquest color scheme, but Galaxy Squad still manages to own it pretty well. I’ve also discovered a neat little way to combine it with a component of the next set, but we’ll look at that tomorrow.

Lego rarely disappoints, but it’s still hard for me to remember the last time I was this delighted with one of the sets in the $11.99 price range. The minifigs are great, but the real star of this show is the Swarmer itself. It’s such a cool little build with a design that takes something that could have been rather trite and stale (oh, ships that look like bugs!) and really turns it into something amazing. I’ve never double-dipped on a Lego set before, but I can easily see me buying another one of these. It was a fun build, it’s a great looking ship, and it feels like a super value. Things are looking pretty good for Galaxy Squad and I’m anxious to see what tomorrow’s set will bring to the table.