Random set of the day: Scorpion Detector

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Scorpion Detector

Scorpion Detector

©1996 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 6938 Scorpion Detector, released in 1996. It's one of 10 Space sets produced that year. It contains 196 pieces and 2 minifigs, and its retail price was US$24.

It's owned by 1244 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


 

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12 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

The Exploriens didn't really do much for me, I've gotta say. It was like one last fading Space hurrah, but you could tell their hearts just weren't in it much anymore.

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By in United States,

I absolutely LOVED the Exploriens sets. I missed a couple but it was kind of one of the last hurrahs for classic type space sets. The new helmets were really cool and very unique for the day and age. A number of other new/rare pieces throughout the line. I loved that you could hook up a hose to a helmet. This set in particular was one of them that I missed out on but would like to buy someday. That and the starship.

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By in United States,

For my birthday that year I got this set and the big one, the big Exploriens starship. I enjoyed this theme, but not as much as Space Police or Spyrius. I liked the helmet element from this theme, and I thought the design of the vehicles was pretty interesting. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid space theme. I wished we got more of these nowadays!

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By in United States,

Exploriens seemed like a mix between Futuron and Mtron, utilizing magnets again. It kind of worked, but you could also tell they were running out of original ideas.

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By in Poland,

Explories have some greatest astetics but their builds are often very fragile.

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By in United Kingdom,

This seems to be going to a lot of trouble just to detect scorpions. I didn’t realise they were so difficult to find.

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By in Netherlands,

@EvilTwin to be fair, have you ever seen a scorpion in space?
Besides, it couldn't hurt to avoid Fleebnorks when you're out exploring the galaxy. Wouldn't want your vehicles to be sabotaged.

Joking aside, Exploriens is indeed a strange subtheme. Their colourscheme is basically futuron but with the trans-red switched out with trans neon green. And their vehicles are funky. Very funky. But that's what gives them their personality. They are basically scientists out on what might be the edge of the galaxy. They have telescopes (which may or may not be able to shoot a powerful laser back if the polarity is reversed), they have fossil detectors and they have all sorts of sensors and cameras. Imagine having a hubble telescope on a space vehicle that can actually travel across the galaxy! Exploriens are a faction that simply wants to map out unknown sectors. This hasn't been done since the early days of space, and that's what makes Exploriens so great.

Also, they have some foreshadowing for the upcoping final factions. Some background images show a wormhole in the sky that is also visible in the backgrounds of the UFO sets. They have alien fossils. They might have come from the UFO/insectoids dimension. And in some material the resident android... Ann Droid, has her brother abducted and repurposed by the UFO aliens. His name? Andy Droid. (not making this up)

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By in United States,

Exploriens was probably the space theme I got most into as a kid! And truthfully, while some of the parts were very big and specialized, I do feel like the overall aesthetic holds up pretty well in hindsight (even if to today's generation of kids it probably wouldn't feel nearly as futuristic as it did to mine). The theme made incredibly good use of stickers, from cool 3D holograms to magnetic fossils that you could see different images in depending on whether you used a red or blue filter.

Exploriens is also a lot more overtly exploration-based than Classic Space or Futuron, in that they have something specific they are seeking out (alien fossils), and the sets focus intently on that task. That said, it is kind of weird that so many of the sets had such comically oversized lasers, as it's hard to really imagine how they contribute to the mission! (yes, I know that officially they were probably radio telescopes or something like that, but let's not kid ourselves; they're lasers).

Did anybody else have the Exploriens puzzle playmat from Rose Art?

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By in United Kingdom,

Does anyone remember what the European name for the this set was?

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By in Germany,

@Brickalili:
UK: Exploriens 'Mercury I'
German: Exploriens Magno Carrier
Dutch: Planeten Verkenner
LEGO Internal Name: Planet Explorer

The whole 'Andy Droid relation' made me wondering if he was not originally meant to be this guy: https://brickset.com/minifigs/sp041. Color schme asides, he's (almost) identical to Explorien's Ann Droid (though somewhat in the opposing faction yet again). Also note that the red UFO Droid (the 'real' Andy AKA Techdroid II in the UK) has the exact color scheme as the Spyrius droid, just reversed! Coincidence?

Other named characters of the theme include the Astronauts Nova Hunter and Captain King, though they may be just different localized names for the same character (most likely the commander with the unique face and the large Exploriens logo on the chest). Both he and Ann Droid were playable characters in the 1999 game LEGO Racers.

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By in United States,

More classic space making random set of the day, woohoo! (I totally count Exploriens as classic space).

@ZordBoy nailed it. Exploriens was the last gasp of decent space themes. I have a big gap in my collection after Space Police II, then Exploriens, then... sadly, nothing.

I feel like Exploriens holds up well, though. A good old fashioned exploration/scientific theme. The spindly, delicate ships were properly suited to their function.

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By in United States,

1996 was a strange year. After the rush of awesomeness that was 1995, Lego didn't figure into my life again until the end of the summer. Apparently, my one-year subscription to Lego MANIA Magazine was up in December 1995, and my dad didn't bother to renew it for me (and I didn't know). I don't even think I got any [email protected] catalogs either! However, the Lego Club was forgiving, and sent me a free renewal reminder issue in July featuring the Time Cruisers. I was amazed at the reveal of that unique theme, but the hints of other 1996 themes, like Exploriens, jumped out at me as well! Yes, I recall Nova Hunter and Ann Droid, but the first Exploriens set I beheld in the flesh was this Scorpion Hunter. It was similar in packaging to the Aquazone "store exclusive" set from the year before, and frankly, this wheeled contraption didn't inspire a desire to own it in me. However, it at least put the theme on my radar solidly. For Christmas 1996, my big gift was the Explorien Star Base, my introduction to Lego Space bases, what with the marvelous domes and side panel pieces.

Any Exploriens collector take care! All that white yellowed REALLY easily. My poor star base looks horrid now. A real shame.

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