back to article Vulture discovers talons are rubbish for building Lego's International Space Station

The Register's resident brick botherer picked up Lego's new International Space Station (ISS). But is it any good? The ISS set has its origins in the Danish toy maker's Ideas programme, which has furnished enthusiasts with the likes of the mighty Saturn V set over the years. This take by builder XCLD, a scaled-down version of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "change the Lego Saturn V to Skylab configuration"

    I've done this with mine (instructions here), I should probably take a picture because it does look pretty cool.

    Still waiting for my official set to show up, but at work I have a mini Lego ISS on top of my computer.

  2. spold Silver badge

    Plan B

    Just put the appropriate knobbly bits on all those SpaceX satellites - should be able to build quite a big real station. 12,000 pieces with a plans for a 30,000 expansion pack.

    Don't forget to buy the motor.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Plan B

      Quite adventurous that they included a Starliner. I should think that they can leave out the bit you need in order to dock it with the ISS :)

  3. LDS Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "deciding it made much more sense to stick a Shuttle on top"

    Well, she just resumed the old Shuttle-Saturn project... not bad, for a seven-years old!

  4. MJB7 Silver badge

    Pet Shop

    She clearly has a career at NASA/ESA in her future.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Pet Shop

      Either that or she's been sneakily watching Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets...

      1. baud Bronze badge

        Re: Pet Shop

        Considering how inferior the movie was compared to the comics, I hope she's reading the comics instead.

  5. Stork Silver badge

    I like the pet shop

    Is that for pets from space or homesick astronauts?

    1. PM from Hell

      I've got a 'LAB' for the ISS

      I l like the idea of a canine 'lab' at the ISS. I'll volunteer Henry my 18 month old Labrador Retriever and I'll go along as K9 Handler '

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: I've got a 'LAB' for the ISS

        The last dog in space was not impressed with the experience I believe?

  6. TRT Silver badge

    Limited play potential indeed...

    There's plenty of potential for recreating scenes from a film for example, taking advantage of LEGO's primary feature, i.e. its take-apart-ability.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

    Um, it seems to me that that is not something that Lego encourages these days. My godson got a Saturn V two years ago for Xmas. I watched him build it and, all the while, thought to myself "okay, and when that's done, then what ?".

    The number of custom pieces in Lego sets these days tells me that Lego has abandoned creativity in order to just sell toys that you have to build yourself and cannot do anything else with once it's done.

    My Lego years are over, but I find my two large suitcases full of bricks infinitely superior to what Lego is churning out these days.

    1. mittfh

      "Abandoned creativity"

      A strategy which is rather ironic when you consider the message of a certain film endorsed by the brand...

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

      > The number of custom pieces in Lego

      Why, you still can buy the generic pieces, don't you? The "sets" are just more publicity-worthy. There is obviously more "wow" factor in a Lego ISS than in a heap of bricks.

      I don't think they are aimed at the same public either: Generic bricks are for inventing and building all kind of stuff, but not everyone is able to invent cool-looking things out of a random heap of multicolored plastic rectangles. Some clearly prefer to be told "connect piece A to piece B - look what a nice thing you're building here".

      Just saying. (I personally would prefer the heap of generic bricks, but I admit that's me. I've been building all kind of crazy stuff with them when I was young.)

      1. baud Bronze badge

        Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

        I was clearly in the "be told "connect piece A to piece B - look what a nice thing you're building here"." camp, I've never been able to build anything apart from following the instruction of a set.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

          I remember purchasing my youngest son (a prolific Lego builder with an enormous collection of bricks - mainly purchased in job lots from car boot sales at knockdown prices) a book of lego designs for 'interesting things'. He thought it was great and carried on taking some of the designs and constructing increasingly bizarre electromechanical widgets that swung/crawled/shed dangerous lego bits arond his bedroom and the house in general. One of my best purchases (at retail costs) was a 'lego hoover'. It saved many a foot injury and the early introduction to the kids of creative anglo saxon.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

            "I remember purchasing my youngest son"


            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

              How much for the little girl?

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

              Just another symptom of modern society ... nobody makes anything at home anymore.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "a pain when using the pieces to create something new"

      Nothing stops you from using the custom pieces in other ways.

      My older granddaughter is also 7, and she's been playing with Lego since she was 2. She has a bunch of sets from various collections (mostly DC Superheroes, Harry Potter, and Frozen), and we do all sorts of things with them after the official build. All sorts of stories have been played out with odd characters and chimerical monsters in bizarre vehicles and Frankenhouses.

      And all the sets I've seen have plenty of generic parts, too.

  8. mittfh

    "Roller-coaster for getting back to earth quicker"

    If only the ISS was in a geosynchronous orbit...

    Although even then, assuming you could build several hundred miles of track and bolt them together, you've still got hundreds of other physics / engineering challenges to overcome (including protecting the track from space debris).

    Cool idea for a Sci-fi flick though...

    1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

      Re: "Roller-coaster for getting back to earth quicker"

      Why not just combine it with an elevator to make the round trip simpler (not sure anyone would manage the stairs)

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: "Roller-coaster for getting back to earth quicker"

      Two words: bungee cord. You supply just enough length to jerk the passenger to a stop right above the ground, they hop off, you attach cargo for the return trip. Solves a lot of problems and saves on launch costs!

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: "Roller-coaster for getting back to earth quicker"

        Appropriate XKCD: (is there ever any other sort?)

    3. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: "Roller-coaster for getting back to earth quicker"

      That age old question :

      How long's a length of bungee rope?

  9. jake Silver badge

    "As well as a roller coaster "for getting back to Earth faster". And a pet shop."

    Seems to me that exercising the imagination is the entire point of LEGO. Well done, that kid!

    A pint for Dad ... you're raising her right.

  10. Andytug

    At the risk of being shot down by Lego purists

    For those on a limited budget, try Blox (available in WIlkinson's in the UK).

    There is a Space Shuttle (on an amusingly far too-small gantry) among other things, and it's about 1/3 of the price of Lego (but is compatible).

    My 11yo daughter spends most of her spare cash on the stuff-it's taking over the house....

    Bargain so far, at Xmas, a 2ft long racing car transporter, with pits, tools and 2 cars (160 stages in the instructions) - £17 in the sale.

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