Benny was among the most popular characters to appear in The LEGO Movie from 2014, as one might expect given his origins in Classic Space. This magnificent subtheme has remained iconic across four decades, inspiring great excitement following the announcement of 70841 Benny's Space Squad!
The set only contains 68 pieces but evokes the distinctive design of Classic Space vehicles and comes with four astronauts, one of whom is wearing brand new pink attire! Furthermore, this set costs just £8.99 or $9.99 so seems to offer good value and may be a highlight of the entire theme for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
Four astronauts are included, the first of whom is Benny. This delightful character made a tremendous impression during The LEGO Movie and I am delighted to see him return, sporting a blue helmet with a broken chin strap and matching air tanks. The worn Classic Space emblem on his torso looks excellent and the minifigure's double-sided head features two different expressions which convey a great deal of personality.
The original Classic Space astronauts were only available in red and white, although a yellow minifigure appeared in 1979. Kenny takes inspiration from that design, featuring a yellow helmet without a broken chin strap which appears nearly identical to its predecessor. However, closer inspection reveals certain differences between them as the new element is bulkier than the older version, reducing the chance of breakage.
Lenny wears a brand new pink uniform which looks marvellous! Only five different colours appeared during the original Classic Space series and a green version became available with 21109 Exo Suit in 2014. This pink design is therefore a welcome addition to the range, featuring the familiar emblem and some air tanks which look perfect when integrated with older figures. Perhaps additional colours will be introduced in the movie!
The fourth astronaut is named Jenny. Her white suit appeared in 1978 and few alterations have been made. This helmet is more robust than the original design and the printing on the torso seems brighter than that seen on the earlier version, although that might be a partial result of age. Nevertheless, these minifigures are excellent and they come with a selection of traditional equipment, including a wrench, a radio and a metal detector.
The Completed Model
Robots are a perennial feature of Classic Space sets and this example looks familiar as it also appeared in 70816 Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship SPACESHIP! It is not based directly upon a classic design but resembles that from 6891 Gamma V Laser Craft which also stands on a 2x2 dish and features a camera piece at its centre. However, this character consists of light bluish grey, blue and trans-yellow elements, matching the colours of Classic Space vehicles rather than the robots which were more often monochromatic.
This tiny lunar buggy also bears a resemblance to some Classic Space vehicles, including 886 Space Buggy, but is more focused upon capturing the essence of those models rather than recreating them. I think that was a sensible decision and am quite satisfied with this vehicle, which includes seats for two minifigures as well as clips for their accessories at the back.
A single trans-yellow 1x2 plate forms the headlight which is charming in its simplicity and I like the basic steering wheel for the same reason. Lunar buggies produced during the earliest years of Classic Space always included red wheels and that might have been an interesting feature here, although light bluish grey wheel hubs are more consistent with the broader colour scheme so probably look slightly better.
While two astronauts can ride the moon buggy, another pilots a small spacecraft. This vehicle is fairly rudimentary in its design but that works beautifully in this instance. 885 Space Scooter is probably the closest point of comparison for this model as their silhouettes are similar and both craft have the same laser cannons or sensors at the front. In addition, the vehicle features a printed Classic Space emblem in front of the pilot along with an attractive rocket booster on the back.
Whether you grew up with Classic Space sets during the 1980s or have only recently encountered the series, 70841 Benny's Space Squad is a phenomenal set! It contains a brilliant selection of minifigures and represents a perfect combination of old and new in my opinion, capturing the essence of the early designs from Classic Space but using modern elements where necessary.
The new pink astronaut, named Lenny, is also very appealing and this set offers tremendous value for money, costing just £8.99 in the UK or $9.99. I would therefore highly recommend adding this fantastic set to your collection, perhaps even in multiples if you are planning to turn Benny's Space Squad into a small army!
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