back to article Vulture gets claws on Lego's latest Apollo nostalgia-fest

One of the more delightful side effects of the current obsession with Apollo 11 at 50 has been the arrival of nerd-pleasing Lego. Today, an injured Vulture had a crack at building his own very Lunar Module. Lego had already, er, launched its monster Saturn V set after a successful Ideas campaign and, while that set was a joy …

  1. MrBanana

    Why is Christmas so far away?

    It looks terrific. I have the Saturn V, which is awesome. Did anyone else who has built it notice that it is listed as having 1969 pieces?

    1. TheProf

      Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

      Yes '1969 pcs'. Although my set actually had more in it. No, I didn't miss any bits out of the model.

      1. pig

        Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

        LEGO sets will usually have a few extra bits, almost always the smallest parts.

        It is due to the way they pack the sets and that they decide a while ago it was better (and cheaper) to have extra bits in then have people upset they are missing a bit. (As happened during the dark days of LEGO when the company was struggling)

        Over time they add up to a lot of pieces.

        I know I have a bag full of 'extra bits' that is scarily large!

        1. rg287

          Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

          Over time they add up to a lot of pieces.

          I know I have a bag full of 'extra bits' that is scarily large!

          Same, though they all tend to be the same sorts of parts - small and/or irregularly shaped. I suspect their bagging equipment is able to count the larger bricks more accurately than the smaller studs, plates and irregular-shaped parts, so they have to err on the side of caution with certain components. It would be interesting to know how much variance they get - how my kit varies to the other "identical" kits on the shelf, no doubt some packaging expert in Lego knows as they constantly battle to keep customers happy whilst not giving away too much product unnecessarily.

          And yes, I appreciated the 1969 touch when I built the Saturn V, though I didn't personally verify!

          1. WonkoTheSane

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            I understand it's done deliberately to make each bag for each kit a unique weight, as that's how they ensure the correct bricks are in the bag.

          2. ArrZarr Silver badge

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            I didn't notice the part count while building it but distinctly remember wondering why certain parts of the model had what looked to be entirely extraneous bricks hidden away on the inside.

            Still a great kit to build, although one of the fins got lost during a house move :(

            1. MrBanana

              Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

              The fins are a little fragile in their attachment. I had to dissect the hoover bag to retrieve one that went missing.

        2. MrBanana

          Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

          Mine came with two extra astronaut figures. They are now in a little moon diorama of their own, staring at a large black slab made from 2x1 flats.

          1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            Where's that dramatic orchestral music coming from?

          2. Mike Brown

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            My god, its full of studs

          3. Muscleguy

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            The Lego universe obviously has a much larger Planck length than ours has. Hat tip to Alistair Reynolds for the concept.

          4. Sgt_Oddball

            Re: Why is Christmas so far away?

            Now we just have to press Lego to make a version of Discovery one complete with spare AE-35 unit?

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    It's my birthday soon...

    should there be some inexplicable failure to deliver at christmas.

  3. m0rt

    Fsck me!

    They do a Saturn V too!!

    1. rg287

      They do a Saturn V too!!

      A Launch Pad/Umbilical Tower has been designed as well, but it hasn't been adopted as an official product (yet).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        AFAIK Lego told they won't make the tower, it's a too niche product. A real disappointment, but I can understand their business reasons.

        1. Dave 126

          Lets you order individual parts. They closed a service in 2012 tglhst let you order parts lusts created by other users.

          1. MJB7

            "parts lusts"

            Oh excellent. Here, have one of these --->

          2. fwthinks

            Design by Me

            The pick a brick service is still there - much bigger range than they used to have and very reasonable. However they do not tend to make the rare pieces available which is a bit annoying.

            The design by me service was shut in 2012 which allowed you to design your own 3d model and have a unique set box and instructions created. Very cool, but more expensive than normal sets. They shut it down because they said there was "quality" issues. Personally I would be surprised if the decision was driven by anything other than money.


        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "AFAIK Lego told they won't make the tower, it's a too niche product. A real disappointment, but I can understand their business reasons.

          You'd think by now you'd be able to design a model online using an app and have the parts priced up, ordered and packed by robot assembly line. We keep hearing about automated this and that and AI something, blockchan something something.

          1. STOP_FORTH

            I think the problem is cloud something. Lego is blocky, but clouds are fluffy. Also Lego is static rather than agile something.

            I agree, though that customised kits should be feasible. Probably not economically viable at a guess.

            We don't all have the same number of bricks in our houses!

          2. Twanky

            design a model online... priced up... packed by robot

            ...and delivered pre-assembled.

            1. STOP_FORTH

              Re: design a model online... priced up... packed by robot

              No, it should be pre-assembled wrongly and glued, so you can't fix it.

          3. m0rt


            That a lego Jackie Chan character?

        3. Mark 85

          Maybe they need to think about putting the parts list/drawings out and let the kids* with 3-D printers have fun making the parts?

          *Kids - not a physical age specific term. Many of us "older" folks are kids at heart.

      2. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

        I have an fairly old Shuttle kit with launch pad and tower, including the swinging service assembly that covered the cargo bay. On the whole, there are quite a few distortions from reality, but it is/was a nice set. Maybe someday I'll get around to rebuilding it; it's been 25-ish years.

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Importing the parts list for the Launch Tower onto BrickLink is showing me over £1000 worth of bricks required.

        Good thing it's feasible to 3D print Lego bricks these days if you can't afford them in the colour you need.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          What's that going to cost though? Let alone the time it would take. Then there's the cost of a good enough 3D printer to get the accuracy in all dimensions. And then you get accused of being The Destroyer Of Worlds when you get the inevitable failures and all that waste plastic.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            As far as cost goes, a black 1x1L brick is averaging about 8p new, or 5p used on Bricklink, and printing the same thing should cost about 3p and take five minutes (according to Cura, the slicer program I'm using).

            We've got a 3D printer at work that works ok for printing Lego, and standard PLA will compost down in an average compost heap (very slowly, and it might leave a few by-products).

            I've printed a few bits of Lego for various people, usually non-standard parts (like this cross rails part), and honestly they're generally pretty easy to print successfully.

  4. pig

    How do I get this job?

    Lego reviewer for El Reg.

    Tis a dream!

      Thumb Down

      I disagree

      Playmobil surely? Disloyal bounders, the lot of them.

  5. Tigra 07

    Conspiracy confirmed. The moon is flat.

    1. jake Silver badge

      There is no flat side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all flat. The only thing that makes it look round is the sun.

      With apologies to Gerry O'Driscoll.

      1. Tigra 07

        Two can play at this game

        And the Earth is a flat plane, floating on the back of a giant Intergalactic Galapagos Turtle...Named Jeremy.

        1. magickmark

          Turtles All the Way Down

          Great A'Tuin's brother?

          "Oh my God its full of Turtles"

    2. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      It's not flat, it's got studs on it.

      1. Teiwaz

        a deep thought about the design.

        It's not flat,

        It's just got a very dull name.

    3. Oliver Mayes

      Pfft, you still believe in the moon?

  6. TheProf

    The LEGO has landed

    I'm going to start making mine at 13:32:00 UT 16th July and will hopefully finish it 102 hr, 45 min later.

    As a plus I got a free 'mission patch' when I bought the kit from the LEGO shop. LEGO and a free gift. What times we live in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The LEGO has landed

      As I don't think it will take 102h to build it, I plan to build mine the evening of 20th... I got it a few days ago. It's hard to wait, but let's wait...

      Anyway, I didn't get it form the Lego shop because it tried to force me to accept to send my data to two third party companies to send me their catalog and a survey about the "shopping experience" - and there was no way to opt-out of it.

      Got it a shop not too far away - probably best for the shop owner too, which didn't ask me anything but my money <G>

  7. Blockchain commentard

    And is the 'Eagle extras' kit the Hollywood film studio, directors, cameramen etc. so you can re-create it as NASA did? :-)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Bad troll.

      No cookie.

    2. magickmark

      Apparently you'd need a small Stanley Kubrick as well...

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Apparently he insisted on location shooting.

      2. Tim Jenkins

        Clearly Kubrik didn't get the gig: he'd still have been doing reshoots of the first 'landing' by '72

  8. Fortycoats


    €90 is not exactly pocket change. Mind you, still better than the €800 they're asking for the Millenium Falcon.

    There's only one LEGO Spaceship for me, though: 928

    7-year-old me had a great Christmas with that, and for several years afterwards, back in the Good Old Days (TM).

    1. PerlyKing
      Thumb Up

      Re: Lego 928

      Upvote for this. I've still got most of it, but can't find the baseboards :-(

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Lego 928

        That's 497 here in the States. I have both sets, with original boxes & etc. (My family did a lot of traveling back and forth between California and the UK ... I was the eldest, and living on my own in California when these came out, but I still made the trip for holidays. They were a present from my brother and sister.)

        Strangely, the number on the side of the crew cabin (the hull number?) on the Yank version is also LL 928 ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "but can't find the baseboards"

        I've used the baseboard with "mountains and craters" to stage the Saturn V kit LM on the Moon's surface :-)

        It reminded me how old I'm now....

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: "but can't find the baseboards"

          My daughter is currently using the "mountains and craters" baseboard I bought - separately from Wrexham having saved up the brick tokens, as I never had a 928 set - as part of the garden of the model of our house she's built. The large crater is a sandpit with children playing in it.

          Although they have an inordinate amount of their own Lego, a lot of it was mine back in the 1970s and 1980s and some of that was my brother's from the 1960s. I think it's brilliant that it all still fits together and is mostly in good condition, though a few days ago she did manage to snap what I think is probably one of my brother's original lattice fence panels, which seems to have gone a bit brittle.

          Oh, and the orange pieces that seem to be quite common in the Star Wars sets my children have don't half fade on a sunny windowsill - none of the other colours seem quite as bad.

          I know it's heresy around these 'ere parts, but I've always been a Lego kind of person, never really got on with Playmobil :-)


      3. defiler

        Re: Lego 928

        Sorry, guys. 6980 for me.

        9-year-old me was delighted by the dual cockpits, the slotted wings, and all the other things that KSP has taught me are totally impractical on a spaceship! :)

    2. gryphon

      Re: Pricey

      I also had the 928 and a lot of the older space kit.

      Came back from Uni one day to find my mother had given it all away because "You're too old for that sort of stuff now".

      Also all my Scalextric stuff.


      1. Mark 85

        Re: Pricey

        Came back from Uni one day to find my mother had given it all away because "You're too old for that sort of stuff now".

        Moms did and probably still do that stuff. Maybe that's why some things are "rare" and worth a lot money now.

      2. Muscleguy

        Re: Pricey

        After I left for Uni my father fished my prize breeding goldfish out of the pond I made and took them to my local and excellent aquarium shop and was shocked, very pleasantly by how much he was given for them. The owner was good that way. Still, it was a wrench, I had a VERY good pair of comets.

        My train set was dismantled and ended up being passed down to a nephew of mine who greatly appreciated it. I was fine with that. I sold my No 7 Meccano set myself though. I still regret that, but where I would have stored it I don't know. The Eldest's metal set is still in a cupboard mind if I wanted to . . .

      3. Martin Peake

        Re: Pricey

        Mum did that with my Thunderbirds, including my Zero-X favourite toy. Still miss it, and I'm 58...

    3. Annihilator

      Re: Pricey

      Coincidentally, Lego 928 is available on the second hand markets for around the same price of the Apollo set new.

      People talk about Apple products holding their second hand value well, but Lego are in a different league.

      1. MonkeyCee

        Re: Pricey

        "People talk about Apple products holding their second hand value well, but Lego are in a different league."

        IIRC Lego has been a better investment than gold. Not mint condition rare sets, just plain bricks.

        1. defiler

          Re: Pricey

          They do mint condition rare sets of gold now?

          Ah - you mean collectors coins!

    4. SonofRojBlake




    5. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Re: Pricey

      omg I had 928 too! I loved it! Thanks for the trip down memory lane :-)

      1. 0laf

        Re: Pricey

        I think I had that 928 spaceship or maybe just coveted it.

        I certainly had the baseboards.

    6. Hockney
      Thumb Up

      Re: Lego 928

      I was an earlier generation.

      1973/74 gave me these...

      The web site should come with a time-suck warning.

      1. SgtFalstaff

        Re: Lego 928

        I still have the 367 box and most of the bricks. Of course they are mostly mixed in with my sons other bricks but still nostalgic for me.

    7. davetalis

      Re: Pricey

      I could only afford the 918 Space Transport as a kid, but loved it! Felt more like a sportscar in comparison to 928 for me :-)

    8. M E H

      Re: Pricey

      I had one of those! Probably still got most of the parts in a big plastic tub that I won't let my daughter near yet. Kudos to my parents for buying it for me. unless Lego wasn't as shockingly expensive then as it is now.

      My favourite was the 6929 Space Voyager with a tool kit that could be deposited around the house to be collected later, and the Concorde inspired drop nose.

    9. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pricey

      There's only one LEGO Spaceship for me, though: 928

      Darn you to heck.

      I had to look up that kit - and now I’m 9 years old again, it’s Christmas morning 1983, and I have to tear myself away from building the space-ship because it’s time for us all to go over to Na & Grandad for Christmas dinner...

      Madeleine moment? Pah, if Proust had been writing a few decades later, his narrator would be having a LEGO set moment...

    10. Jay 2

      Re: Pricey

      I had 928, much fun. Most of it (and other bits) still live at my parents' house, where my nephew plays with it. At one point I built a similar spacecraft (also with buggy in back) which nephew was very impressed with.

  9. lee harvey osmond

    Other Apollo 11 tie-ins

    Or Lego could depart from its customary practice of not modelling military vehicles, and produce a set based on Buzz’s F-86.

  10. Brindles73

    I would love this set but still have the James Bond , Aston Martin to build as well as finish off my model railway in the loft. Where am I going to find the time???

  11. 0laf

    Bugger, I'm 42 and really want this. And I don't want to share with my 9yr old.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Easy solution xD buy two - one for you one for the kid xD

  12. Dave 126


    How about a review of the Apollo 11 Airfix kit? :)

    1. Blue Pumpkin

      Re: Next!

      And the lunar lander !!

      1. OssianScotland

        Re: Next!

        Or the new Revell LM in 1/48, which looks a lot more realistic than either the old Revell (Monogram?) kit or the Airfix 1/72 one.

        (I am a sad computer/plastic modelling nerd, but I tell SWMBO that it could be wine, women and song, so she should consider herself lucky. I have been forced to confine the stash to one room, though)

        Yes, the one with the paint and glue stains on the sleeve, please

  13. AIBailey

    I've not played with LEGO for years

    I've still got some in the loft, from the old 80's TECHNIC range - a still-built pneumatic digger, and the early car chassis in bits.

    I can't believe the cost of LEGO these days, even the spares. I remember a few years ago that some bits had got damaged on the chassis (mostly universal joints) and baulked at the cost of replacing them.

    However, If anything would tempt me to part with some cash for more LEGO, this is the one.

    1. Dave 126

      Re: I've not played with LEGO for years

      I remember my friends and me combining the pneumatic digger set with the car chassis to make a giant car with a gearbox and pneumatic suspension that raised and lowered. Only when we had nearly finished it did we realised there were no Lego wheels big enough for it!

  14. Alister

    My only complaint about the LEGO sets today is that they seem to contain so many more bespoke pieces, which do not readily lend themselves to use in other builds. I recently saw the Bugatti Chiron, I think it was, which contained hardly any "normal" LEGO bricks.

    I recall back in the day that LEGO sets actually had suggestions for alternative things to build from the same parts, is that still the case?

    1. Malcolm 1

      As far as I know the only truly bespoke bits in the Chiron set are the wheels. Like many other flagship sets it introduces a few other new elements, but these will most likely reappear in other sets in the future. The rest of it is all standard Technic parts (which admittedly underwent an almost complete reinvention about 20 years ago from the earlier "bricks with holes" era).

      I've recently rediscovered Lego - the main difference these days is the sheer number of different shapes and colours of pieces compared to ye olden days. There does seem to be quite a lot of thought about how these pieces fit into the underlying system though, and when you encounter one you can see the gap in the system it it fills.

      Most kits have do still have one or two alternative models to construct though, but you often have to download the instructions for those from the website or via their app.

    2. GregC

      I recall back in the day that LEGO sets actually had suggestions for alternative things to build from the same parts, is that still the case?

      Not in the box, but a few years ago me & my dad* bought each other one of the big Technic sets for Xmas (mine was the Volvo digger, he got the mobile crane) and there was at least one alternate build for each set available as a pdf from the Lego website.

      *45 & 65 at the time, you're never too old for toys!

      1. Aladdin Sane

        My dad and I

  15. Paul Kinsler

    How it was actually made....

    described here:

    If I remember the descriptions correctly, to save weight some of the metal skin was just 2/1000 of an inch thick!

    (part of BBC "13 minutes to the moon" series. I expect that there'll be a bonus episode where they describe designing and assembling the LEGO versions as well :-))

  16. Spherical Cow Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Great parenting by our correspondent!

    1. Peter X

      ^ This.

      "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and explain why a Shuttle's delta wing would not have helped Eagle "fly" over the surface of the Moon."

      May I suggest KSP as a complimentary educational tool to help explain this and also how to launch, orbit, transit, etc.

  17. Patched Out

    Got my Lunar Lander set for Father's Day

    Built it over two nights within a week. Unfortunately my set was missing 3 black 2x4 plates used in the lunar base. But Lego got the missing parts out to me very quickly, so all is good.

  18. DelM

    Kids of all ages

    I was 8 the day of the landing. And just Monday I built this LEGO model with my 25yo "kid", who probably knows more about space travel details than I do at this point.

    We too liked the 'hidden' tank detail. And I wished the LEM legs were foldable, just 'cuz. So much fun.

  19. Richard Scratcher

    That flag looks a bit unrealistic.

    1. Peter X

      Yeah, needs to be billowing in the wind like the real one does!

  20. Lee D Silver badge

    £102.52 + £9.90 delivery

    That's at least three Raspberry Pi4's!

    Or a Chromebook.

    Or an entire afternoon in Hawkin's Bazaar buying 100 random Christmas-cracker-like toy things.

    Lego ain't getting any cheaper. My daughter liked Lego Friends but it was getting silly and costing £60-70 for a non-main present that, hours later, was just random bits inside a box full of other bits.

    1. TheProf

      HOW MUCH??

      Buy it from the online LEGO shop £84.99 and free delivery.

  21. vincent himpe

    Buzz take my Photo ?

    Armstrong had the camera ! The iconic picture of the man on the moon is Aldrin in the suit. You can see Armstrong in the reflection of the visor

  22. Timbo

    LEGO? Give me Betta Bilda any day !!

    I know LEGO has taken over the world, but I grew up with BETTA BILDA, which was made by AIrfix.

    All the components were smaller than LEGO and more detailed models could be made.

  23. earl grey

    looks liks something you could sink your beak into

    Getting my coat now...

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