I’m heading back into LEGO City today, or should I say out into LEGO City Space, with a look at another one of these NASA themed sets. LEGO’s goal here is to take some real concept vehicles from NASA and make them a little more toyetic and fun. Last time I checked out the Mars Research Shuttle, and now it’s time to go to the Moon with the Lunar Roving Vehicle… Let’s Go!
As the box claims, the Rover is based on the Artemis concept vehicle, but takes a lot of liberties with that design. This set is about the same size as the Shuttle, give or take a few pieces, but unlike the Shuttle set this one really just focuses on one vehicle. You get 275 bricks, which builds the Rover, a Mineral Deposit, and three Minifigs. As always, let’s start with the Minifigs!
You get two Astronauts and one Rover Pilot, and straightaway I like these better than what we got in the previous set. The Rover Pilot is great, with a blue jumpsuit and printed leather jacket. He has a ballcap and a cocky smirk on his face. There’s no hair piece, so the hat stays on, and none of these Minifigs have second face printings. The printing on the Astronaut suits is quite nice and both have shoulder harness pieces to attach their backpacks The backpacks are actual builds, which I like more than the one-piece on the EVA Suit from the last set. These are male and female figures, with the mail having a backpack with articulated spotlights and the female has a tool pack with a circular saw and as shovel, although you can switch them if you like.
The gold solar screen visors lift off to reveal their faces and, unlike the Pilot, these figures have hairpieces so you can take their helmets off completely. I dig all three of these Minifigs a lot!
The Rover is a fun build, but I’m a little iffy on the final model. It’s super clunky and looks absolutely nothing like the concept design that it’s based on. In fact, this thing is just plain ugly. The Rover rolls along on six sets of dual wheels, each of which can rotate 360-degrees, which makes for a spectacle of chaos when this thing is in motion, but it is interesting to see it roll. The cab has an upper and lower windshield, which looks good, there’s a blue lightbar on top, as well as an articulated radar dish. The back has a platform that drops down like a tailgate, which I guess can be used to haul cargo or samples, and it also has clips for tool storage. There are five stickers visible on the outside of the Rover, four are gold solar-panel type stickers on the side hatches, and the fifth is the space agency logo on the top.
The front of the vehicle has two articulated arms, one with a build in drill and the other with a clip that holds a metal detector-type device. The detector can be swapped out to be used by one of the Astronauts, and you can put the circular saw in this arm so the Rover can dig. I’m not a big fan of the way these arms are built, as they just look kind of awkward.
The vehicle opens on both sides, with the large circular ports leading into the cabin and the blue solar-panel-type hatches leading to an airlock compartment. It’s pretty tight quarters in the vehicle, but if you put on Astronaut in the airlock and one in the back of the cabin, you can load everyone onto the Rover. There’s no access from the airlock to the cabin, so that whole thing has to work with the power of your imagination! It also seems kind of odd that the side pieces with the solar panel stickers drop down rather than rise up to collect those rays!
The cabin has room for the Pilot to sit, with consoles on either side of him and joysticks to either steer the Rover or control the arms.
You get a Mineral Deposit, which is basically a big rock on a pedestal, along with a space agency flag to show those filthy Commies that it belongs to us! I really dig how they did this, with the rock opening to reveal translucent blue crystals inside, as well as a single crystal that can be removed as a sample. It’s a lot more interesting than the paltry little samples that came with the Shuttle set.
The Lunar Rover set is a fun and satisfying build with some excellent Minifigs and some promising play value, but it falls short of the Research Shuttle set, at least in my opinion. The Rover is pretty ugly, and that’s all you get, whereas the Research Shuttle looked awesome and came with a Rover and two Drones. I certainly don’t regret picking up this set, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it. It’s solid just not exceptional. It does, however, interact with the Lunar Base set, and I’ll be taking a look at that set in the not too distant fugure!