Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mars Research Shuttle - LEGO 60226 - REVIEW

  The LEGO 60226:  Mars Research Shuttle set is a LEGO City set with 273 pieces.  I picked this one up off of a Target online order during the pandemic mostly because my toddler has been really into space and space shuttles lately (more on that in a future post)!  

The box art for the set showcases the shuttle front and set (which makes sense) but I didn't even realize that the set also comes with a number of other space exploration accessories.  Speaking bluntly, I think LEGO's box design undersold this set!

Opening up the box, we find three instruction booklets along with three corresponding bags of pieces plus a sticker sheet.  The instructions were packed loosely in the box but as you can see from the above photo, my set at least didn't have any bending or damage to the instruction booklets.

Bag #1 is used to build the little moon rover plus the collection drone (as well as the female astronaut who is in full uniform).

A surprising feature to me was the little red "reader" that was attached to the drone.  If you hover the drone over the moon rock base, you can see a blue design.  I'm not exactly sure what the design is supposed to be...nor why a moon rock would have such a design but it's a fun enough play feature (and for older LEGO collectors such as myself it was a nice throwback to the Explorien line of space sets).

The second bag of pieces is used to simply build the bottom half of the space shuttle as well as the second (of two) minifigs - a male pilot.  

The shuttle gets finished off with the third and final bag of pieces.

I get that LEGO wants the City line to be easy enough to build for kids so I have no problem with the two numbered bags for the shuttle build.  My only issue is why are there two different instruction manuals for the build as well?  It's not like you could give manual #3 and bag #3 to a different child and have them build their own portion of the shuttle.  Maybe LEGO didn't want the manual to be too thick?  You can also see the used up sheet of stickers.  The amount of stickers felt "average" to me for this set and I'd say the majority of the stickers do add to the look of the finished model.  None of them were overly difficult to apply, even for someone like me who hates applying stickers!

Looking more closely at the shuttle itself, I love the fact that you can fit both included astronauts inside.  The front cockpit is for the pilot and he gets a nice looking, rather large blue chair to relax in.  

The second astronaut sits in the back of the shuttle (you need to open up the swinging cargo doors).  There's also room for the rock collection unit without making everything too cramped.  

In the end, this is a great little set though the suggested retail price of $39.99 is definitely more than I'd be comfortable spending.  I was able to get this set for about $31 which is still a bit high in price but definitely closer to a "fair" price (at least as far as LEGO pricing is concerned).  The shuttle is a nice finished model and having dedicated seating for two minifigures is much appreciated.  I actually like the moon rover a lot as well.  The only "miss" as far as I'm concerned is the drone, it doesn't add much play value and the red "reader" seems to have no real purpose.  That's too bad though since it's actually the drone that is advertised on the box as being inspired by NASA.

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  5
Adult Value:  4
Overall:  6

This is a tough set to review because if you ignore price then it's a lovely set.  You get a fun shuttle and an equally fun second vehicle plus a pair of minifigures and a few other odds and ends (drone, space rock).  On the other hand, a suggested retail price of basically $40 for only 273 pieces and two minifigures is a terrible deal.  If you can find this for closer to $30, I'd recommend it and give it an 8 overall but since I try to go by the suggested LEGO retail price, I have to knock the overall score down a few notches.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I just bought a space shuttle too. Although mine is a Lego Creator 3-in-1 set (#31091). I've been lagging on building it, because I have a 1977 Kenner Star Wars puzzle that's been taking up my "build" space. Hope to build it before then end of summer though.