It's been awhile since I've reviewed a set on this blog but that doesn't mean I haven't been acquiring and building sets! Today's set is LEGO 6897: Rebel Hunter and it is the fourth Space Police set that I've built and reviewed for the blog. The set was released in 1992 and is part of the Space Police II line (as were the other three Space Police sets that I've reviewed to date).
This particular set came from an eBay seller - happily the instructions were included (and in great shape) but no box came with the set. Instead, I received a bunch of carefully packaged sandwhich bags full of LEGO pieces!
Upon opening the various plastic bags, I was happy to see that all the pieces were included (always a bit of a worry when ordering used sets online).
The set itself contains 140 pieces and two minifigures (one Space Police and one Blacktron figure). At the time, the Blacktron force was considered the "bad guys" while the Space Police were the "good guys." As such, the included Blacktron figure is meant to be a prisoner on the Rebel Hunter.
Unlike many models, the Rebel Hunter's prison cell is actually a separate compartment which just fits one minifigure. That prison cell can be scooped up by the Rebel Hunter by flexing it's frame - it's a rather unique set-up that was used in a similar fashion on only one other Space Police set (to the best of my knowledge).
In the above photograph, notice the two sides where the red arrows are located. Each side is made up of three connected hinges which allows the spaceship to expand or contract - and when it's fully expanded the prison cell sits firmly in the ship's midsection (see below).
When the prison cell is not being carried by the Rebel Hunter, you can "collapse" the ship to make a shorter, leaner (and presumably faster) ship. The three Technic axles above the prison cell are meant to help stabilize the expanding and contracting of the ship (and they work well I must say). In closed form, the ship doesn't look quite as interesting, but it does look like it'd be fast!
Finally, it should be noted that the poor Blacktron guy doesn't get any spaceship of his own. In fact, he has no possible way to elude the police as he's given no mode of transportation (other than his legs). The poor rebel has no chance against the Rebel Hunter!
I have to admit that I really enjoyed building this set. The build was unique to me - and while I don't usually build larger space craft, this one was fun to make.
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Play Value: 8
Kid Value: 8
Adult Value: 4
The biggest improvement to the set (for the play value score at least) would have been to include some sort of small space ship for the Blacktron figure. As it stands now, he has no chance of escaping which severely undermines the playability of the set. However, the set is still fun enough (and the moving midsection of the ship helps) to keep kids (and adults) interested in the set. Furthermore, it's always fun to get a prison - and having the cell detachable could lead to plenty of fun play scenerios (whether that's building a custom prison for the various Space Police cell containers or devising some Blacktron scheme to somehow pry loose the prison cell from the space ship).
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