Review: 60225 Rover Testing Drive

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View image at flickr

Space exploration has become a popular subject within LEGO City and the latest sets appear quite unusual. They take inspiration from NASA and its development program, striking a superb balance between present and futuristic technology which distinguishes this range from past examples.

60225 Rover Testing Drive focuses upon Martian exploration and contains an excellent research vehicle which seems reminiscent of the rover from The Martian. Furthermore, some appealing new elements are available here, including two geodes, a robotic grasping claw and an updated astronaut helmet.

Minifigures

Two minifigures are included, the first of whom is dressed for exploring the surface of Mars. He wears an orange space suit which looks marvellous and I like the emblem printed on his torso. Metallic silver highlights decorate this piece and continue onto the legs, depicting a mesh that presumably maintains the integrity of the suit around points of articulation on the minifigure.

60225 Rover Testing Drive

However, my favourite aspect of this minifigure is its new helmet. This dual-moulded element appears highly detailed, particularly when viewed from behind. The trans-light blue visor is connected on either side, much like previous helmets, but cannot move. Nevertheless, I think this minifigure looks fantastic and the white air tanks on his back are integrated nicely.

60225 Rover Testing Drive

The second minifigure is a technician and makes ingenious use of some existing legs from the recent Mining subtheme, combining them with a new torso. I like the dark blue and orange colour scheme as well as the badge pinned to her pocket which appears realistic. The subtle creasing looks nice as well.

60225 Rover Testing Drive

Furthermore, the character features a pair of tinted goggles and a hard hat, suggesting that she works with heavy machinery. This minifigure is accordingly equipped with a remote to control the robotic arm which is mounted on the rover and a laptop for diagnosing any issues during the test phase.

60225 Rover Testing Drive

The Completed Model

Many different designs have been proposed for extraterrestrial exploration vehicles and this example looks marvellous, featuring six large wheels and an angular crew compartment. This model is slightly smaller than I anticipated, measuring 14cm in length, but certainly gives the impression of substantial weight and its consistent colour scheme of white, orange and pearl gold is excellent.

View image at flickr

The packaging suggests that NASA test rovers inspired this model, although it scarcely resembles the vehicle shown on the box. Instead, the rover appears more reminiscent of that featured in The Martian as its cockpit shape and wheel arrangement is similar. I love the printed canopy element and the trans-light blue headlights really stand out against the surrounding bodywork.

View image at flickr

Removing the canopy reveals a printed control panel and room to seat an astronaut inside. There are no doors or steps to reach the cab but it looks good in my opinion. I particularly appreciate the orange upholstery on the seat. Moreover, the interior has been designed to permit space for the oxygen tanks which are fitted to the astronaut's back.

View image at flickr

Six pearl dark grey wheels provide support to the rover and these appear suitably robust. The ground clearance underneath enables the model to traverse rough terrain but there is no suspension which is disappointing. Even a simple rocker linking the back wheels, such as that in 76017 Avengers: Captain America vs. Hydra, would have been welcome here and could have been combined with some rubber components.

View image at flickr

An articulated robotic arm is mounted on the rover and folds very neatly for storage, as demonstrated below. There is also space for equipment which is kept behind the robotic arm, including a light bluish grey crate and a solar array. In addition, another box is situated beside the cab and you could place a geode in here.

View image at flickr

The robotic arm features four points of articulation so offers a significant range of motion and I like its striking colour scheme. A new grasping claw appears here and features a rubber band that maintains pressure on items being held between these claws. The exposed Technic axle above the rubber band looks slightly awkward but cannot be avoided as this is an important attachment point.

View image at flickr

Some new geode pieces have been introduced for the Space subtheme. This dark tan and trans-pink example appears in four sets and looks marvellous, including some wonderful glitter. Furthermore, the moulded detail is exceptionally intricate, especially within each geode where the minerals appear fairly realistic.

View image at flickr

Other accessories include a laptop which displays the robotic arm, a crate containing a drill and stickered solar panels. These items can be stored on the rover but the rotating camera cannot. Presumably this represents part of the testing process as the performance of the vehicle is being recorded, should any alterations be required before launch.

View image at flickr

Overall

60225 Rover Testing Drive is certainly an enjoyable set, although some unexploited potential remains in my opinion. The absence of suspension is rather disappointing as that would be a necessity for any Martian rover and might offer excellent play value here. However, the vehicle looks great and I like the robotic arm attachment with its useful new claw element.

View image at flickr

Furthermore, the selection of accessories is appealing and I am particularly satisfied with the geodes. The prices of £17.99 or €19.99 in Europe seem reasonable but this set costs $29.99 in the US which feels extremely expensive so I would recommend waiting for a discount when these new Space sets are released in North America on the 23rd of June.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments below.

37 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I was going to say also that it looks like it came straight out of the Martian! Those rock pieces are so interesting...

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By in Germany,

Imho those geode pieces are the best new pieces in years. Such a lot of intricate details.
Strange that for once the price in the US is so much higher than in Europe. Usually it's the other way round with many themes, especially licences ones.

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By in United Kingdom,

The colour scheme and Martian setting make me feel like this is a prequel to mars mission..

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By in United States,

Terrific set! Definitely more like the Martian than the image on the box.

Also, I can't help but wish that Lego had made use of this new helmet for the Lunar Lander set . . .

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By in United Kingdom,

My heart will always belong to the Life on Mars theme, but these new Space sets are very cool. I like how they’re trying to reflect real-world space exploration, and I love the new geode pieces.

I also hope we see a lot more laptop screens going forward.

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By in United States,

That's the best helmet design yet. It's good looking, compact, and functionally realistic.

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By in United Kingdom,

This subtheme will be my ruination... especially if all the reviews are positive!

Thanks, Brickset!

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By in United States,

For nostalgia's sake I don't think any Mars rover could ever surpass the T-3 Trike for me, but this looks really nice. Shame about the lack of suspension though.

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By in United States,

This is one of tjose rare cases where the US price is higher so thanks for the recomentadation, does it has extra rocks?

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By in Netherlands,

This almost looks like an old Starcom set. Where are the magnets?

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By in Canada,

Nice set, but confused about the minifigures that are included.

The technician with a clip-on ID badge implies someone working on Earth, whilst the spacesuit clad figure implies working somewhere with slightly less atmosphere (maybe my office.. ba dum tsh)

Maybe the set is actually based entirely on good old Terra and the spacesuit guy is just taking it for a test drive a la Armageddon, whilst the technician plots what fiendish scenario to subject it to next? Or maybe the technician's from Ark B and is just there to wash & wax after a dusty day on Mars?

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By in Brazil,

Everything from these new City Space sets have a total 'The Martian' feel, which I think it is amazing because I love that movie. Gonna buy this one and probably the majority of the line.

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By in United States,

@RikTheVeggie
Most, if not all, in the new City Space subtheme include some sort of Earth-based personnel / accessories. It seems like a conscious effort to expand the play possibilities...training, launch sequence on earth and missions in space.

It also drives home the point to kids that the space industry is made up of much much more than just astronauts.

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By in Belgium,

Damn shame those solar panels are not printed...

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By in United States,

Set looks awesome but for god’s sake LEGO, stop with the inflated prices. This one’s not even a licensed set, there’s no excuse for that $30 pricetag!

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By in United States,

In light of the human tendency to attempt to launch wheeled vehicles into the air, it makes a kind of sense that i now have the urge to jump this rig over a “ravine.” AFTER some suspension mods.

As always, great review, Capn!

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By in United States,

It's like a scaled down more realistic 6989 Mega Core Magnetizer.

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By in United Kingdom,

I agree with the earlier comment, this helmet on the lunar lander figures would be a better compromise. Maybe Lego could have recoloured the trans blue visor gold, if technically possible? Lunar lander aside, I like the black neck roll on the back of the helmet, great use of the dual molding process.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wait, geodes?

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By in United States,

"the helmets can't open"... Well, they are in space. Also, The Martian is one of the best sci-fi standalones of all time. Prove me wrong.

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By in United States,

@Kalking . . . I'm hoping that like most City sets that these will be heavily discounted.

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By in United States,

Those new helmets look just like the helmets on Lost in space On Netflix.

hopefully since LEGO has joined with Netflix we could get a lost in space set in the future

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By in Latvia,

Can't wait for more reviews from this wave! (I hope you do make more reviews)

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By in United Kingdom,

That looks like a really fun set!

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By in Australia,

I don’t know, those exposed rubber bands always look so goofy on claw pieces - I wish they had a better way of setting that up. Haven’t we had springs on similar pieces in the past?

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By in United States,

Love the set but it doesn't scream "$29.99" to me.

I agree that it's a definite wait-for-a-sale set. So many other sets on my list.

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By in United States,

@bananaworld

The rest of the subtheme looks just as incredible. Believe me, if my bank account wasn't already empty, these sets would fix that right quick.

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By in United States,

$30?!?

Man I’m super excited about these new space sets but the ridiculous markup on City sets is WHY they sit on the shelves. It’s absurd that they’re always $10 over other similar sized sets.

Oh well. Maybe my Wal-Mart will have them discounted.

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By in Israel,

This background color works the best IMO

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By in Poland,

Great set, but I am really sad when you confirmed no suspesnion...

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By in United Kingdom,

I like this new space theme, those Rock pieces are so cool I think theres one with green inside too,
Well done Lego..

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By in Germany,

reminds me of the new Kerbal DLC, somehow.

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By in United Kingdom,

One of the rare occasions a set went straight on the want list when it was revealed, but after reading the review I might not bother picking it up at all. Can't put my finger on exactly why, but just seems a little "meh". Maybe I'll change my mind when I see a decent discount on it.

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By in Poland,

@RikTheVeggie - Look at the name of the set - they TESTING this rover.

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By in Netherlands,

Though more similar to the rover from The Martian, it is also fairly similar to the rover from The Last Days on Mars, with its two rectangular extendable solar panels on its back.

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By in Australia,

Completely underwhelmed (though I appear to be the exception). Maybe I have too fond memories of classic space to be impartial. Plastic tyres, silly windshield, stickers, whimpy claw, no suspension. Not excited.

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By in United Kingdom,

The spacesuit is very Martian-esque. It only needs a communication antennae sticking out near the waist for the full Mark Watney look.

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