Thanks to the LEGO CEE team, who sent out review copies on Friday, I now have the set in hand. I'll review it in two parts: this part will cover the box and contents, and part two, which I'll post later today, the build and the model.
Before I get on to the review, let's take a moment to consider what a momentous occasion the release of this set is. It's the first Cuusoo/Ideas set to be made that is not based on someone else's intellectual property, or a real life vehicle. It achieved its 10,000 supporters based solely on the coolness of the model, not because the supporters liked a movie or game or whatever.
I've known Pete Reid since about 2002 and consider him a good friend. Having a model immortalised in a LEGO set could not have happened to a nicer or more talented builder and I am very pleased for him.
I also like to think I'm good friends with Mark Stafford, the LEGO designer who turned Pete's model into the official model, too, so maybe I am not best placed to be reviewing the set objectively. But I'll try and do so...
The 26x19 cm box is the usual Ideas/Cuusoo high-quality design. The front features the image picture we've seen already: the Exo-Suit, the turtle and the two minifigs.
The bottom corner shows the LEGO Ideas logo and states that this is set #007 (you can remind yourself of the other six here).
On the back a couple of surprises are revealed, things that I didn't know were included in the set: two yellow barrels and some sort of base, which I think is for primarily for the turtle to stand on.
I really like that the figures have been given names, Pete and Yve, (after Yvonne Doyle, yvd on flickr, Pete's girlfriend). What a lovely romantic gesture, to have your partner feature with you in a LEGO set!
Inside the box are four bags, a couple of loose parts and the instruction book.
The book is perfect bound like other Ideas sets but this seems to have sufficient glue in the spine to prevent it falling apart like the Ghostbusters one was prone to doing.
Also, like other Ideas sets instructions, it includes introductory pages containing information about the idea, the builder and the model. There's a photo of Pete and Mark in it and also a three-page story called 'The Exo-Suit Adventure' that provides some background to Pete and Yve and how they find the Exo-Suits.
The introductory pages are repeated in French and Spanish.
The 321-parts come in four bags. They are predominantly grey and small, as you'd expect for a Pete Reid model.
Now to get building... check back later for part two of the review.
Update 16:00 BST: the model is built and photographed, but I have a few commitments between now and 9pm so the second part won't appear until later this evening or tomorrow morning. Sorry to keep you waiting!