Random set of the day: Interstellar Starfighter

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Interstellar Starfighter

Interstellar Starfighter

©1997 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 6979 Interstellar Starfighter, released in 1997. It's one of 18 Space sets produced that year. It contains 292 pieces and 3 minifigs, and its retail price was US$80.

It's owned by 1483 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


27 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I love this set, not juniorized at all.

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By in United States,

Say what you will, but I love those big curved panels, and I wish they were still around today.

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By in Canada,

Oh gosh I had this one and played the heck out of it. Gave it away to charity somewhat recently and I hope it has a new life somewhere.

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By in United States,

So was this or the Alien Avenger supposed to be the flagship? (both literally and figuratively)

Ironically according to Brick Insights the price per piece is actually on the better side for 1997. Yikes.

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By in United States,

@Norikins From a real-world standpoint, this was likely the flagship set of the year, being $80 vs the Alien Avenger’s $60.

However, from an in-universe perspective, I’d lean towards the Avenger being the faction’s flagship:

The design of the Interstellar Starfighter points it more towards being a heavy interceptor/dogfighter. It’s built for speed, heavy hit and run attacks, etc. Something for a fighter squadron commander, not an alien general.

The Avenger, on the other hand, is armed with a number of rotating turrets surrounding the main dome, indicating a slower moving heavy gunship. The ample room within the central dome makes a perfect place for our alien general to give orders and make battle plans!

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By in United Kingdom,

Man, this is a weird one. The ship has a bundle of fibre optic cables in the middle, which are attached to a kind of light brick triggered by a tiny motor. The end result is that the cables flash one after the other; it’s entirely superfluous, but admittedly it looks fantastic in action. Apparently it’s also the only System set to have this mechanism.

The battery box is buried pretty deeply in the model, the motor is darn noisy and the lights in the cockpit are temperamental (at least on my model) but the sheer novelty of it helps to counteract all this a bit. I don’t know if it’s a must buy, but I’m very glad that I took a punt on it, especially as mine is (essentially) in full working order.

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By in Netherlands,

UFO theme was great, I only got 2 very small sets but the figures were awesome as well.

Even the smallest set I had, 2847 - 15 pieces, had this awesome red UFO guy with a trans-neon orange head.

Insectoids the year after still was amazing as well, and continued the amazing figures (grey/green/blue skin colors and metallic printing and cool transparent helmets)

Insectoids also had this amazing electronic part that emit light and multiple sound functions from bleeps , laser gun sound, and even an engine sound that changed pitch the longer you held it down.

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By in New Zealand,

Magnets are awesome!

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By in United States,

This was by far the weakest set in the U.F.O. wave. I scrutinized it a lot, since that fiber optic lighting did look very cool. However, the lack of alien minifigures compared to the Alien Avenger and the higher price for a not-as-iconic design forced me to abandon trying to get this one. I don't regret it, either. The fiber optic thing was a novelty that had its moment there in the late 1990s, but it wasn't to last. LEGO was throwing all these zany "electronic" features in sets at the time like this, the "bug zappers" of the Insectoids line in 1998, and the barcode programming truck in the Technic lineup. It all seemed to coalesce around the launch of LEGO MINDSTORMS in 1998. I wonder how much the cost of the R&D for these electronic components ate up the Lego Group budget in the late 90s and (possibly) how much led to the near-collapse of the Lego Group at the turn of the century.

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By in Turkey,

As I see it Insectoids and the UFO brought the end of classic space. Not with a bang, but with a fizzle. Sets are obviously arguable, but very few space sets drew my attention since 1995. Recently (When you are close to 50, 10 years is recent) only Space Police 3 and Exo Force had me interested.

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By in Hong Kong,

Not swooshable at all! Kind of big and clunky but some great parts, and the novelty of the fibre optics! All printed parts by the way. It was languishing at a toy store over 3 years after it was released...but I bought it anyway as I was after anything "vintage" at the time!

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By in Singapore,

This set actually belongs to my brother but he hasn't touched Lego since childhood. Only the front is intact and the minifigs survive. Can't fully restore it as many pieces have been lost to time and I don't have space in my house. It serves as a reminder of my neglect for Lego whenever my interests shift elsewhere though.

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By in Moldova,

In-house space themes were a million times more interesting than Star Wars will ever be.
We really NEED those in-house Space Themes back.

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By in Germany,

I had the Alien Avenger. Might have actually been the last set I got before entering my Dark Ages.
Still have it built up on display. And even though I much prefer the older true Classic Space vehicles I have there is still a place of fond memories for these UFO sets in my heart.

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By in Germany,

@Lego Lord Mayorca the fact is, that the fiber optics piece itself was more expensive to produce, than was a price for the whole set. This way TLG lost a money per each set produced with this fiber optics system.

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By in United Kingdom,

I like it - its bonkers! Not to everyone’s taste by any means and it is very much of its era regarding colour schemes etc. the Minifig helmets are great!

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By in Netherlands,

Aren't you a little big to be a starfighter?

I'd imagine everyones command would be to just shoot the weak and unprotected middle part.

That said, it looks pretty neat and what I read about the lights sounds very intriguing.

These days I'm feeling increasingly disappointed by the Starwars line. Everything is grey/yellow and box shaped. I collected most of the stuff that I wanted, but as a result I have a mostly grey shelf. This space stuff or even Ninjago looks a lot better and more colorful.

When was the last time we had Ninjago as a random set?

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By in United States,

@DarthTNT
Ninjago is not old enough. It was introduced in 2011, and RSOtD only picks sets that are >10 years old.

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By in Netherlands,

Thank you Mr thrawn. I didn't know the exact cutoff so I figured Ninjago would've been eligible by now.

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By in Netherlands,

Overall, to me, the era of Space from Classic up to 1999 just appeals way more to me then even the attempt at a reboot with Space Police 3 , Mars themes and the Alien Conquest themes.

Space Police 3 just was too far from the angled studded surfaces of 80s/90s, while the idea is nice, the sets didn't feel the same, and didn't get me out of my Dark Age, unlike Nexo Knights, which in fact did feel a lot more like 90s designs in many ways.

I know UFO has rounded smooth panels but that was at a time it was still somewhat new to have such parts.

Nowadays they could use lightbricks as well.

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By in United States,

Not even the best starfighter in its own theme (6915 Warp Wing Fighter is right up there with 6861 X-1 Patrol Craft as the best-looking fighter craft in all of Classic Space IMO, even though its name leaves something to be desired...), but this was the biggest ship in Space after the 6982 Exploriens Starship, and it's fun to have a huge hunk of Lego on the shelf to complement all the polybag-sized Space sets that tended to get released in each theme. And I agree that 6975 Alien Avenger does a lot more with those quarter-panel pieces with more playability in a much smaller footprint.

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By in United States,

I just want a micromotor.

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By in Hungary,

Oh this is the set where the manufacturing costs of the electric components were more expensive than the final retail price... desperate, decadent times.

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By in United States,

@Lego.Lord nailed it UFO and Insectoids were the end of the road for Classic Space. I wouldn't go so far as to say they ruined it, but I wouldn't argue against those who would.

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By in United Kingdom,

I didn't get very far into this theme but I love the huge trans neon yellow canopies. It's a pity the fibre optics were such a disastrous money pit for Lego; I enjoyed the special effects-heavy era (in 1999 Space Port had some lovely engine sections with lights and three different sound effects, too).

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By in United States,

I would love to see this set in person! It sort of looks like a hybrid of the Enterprise and the X-Wing fighter to my eyes.

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By in United States,

Sadly not a fan of this subtheme. I was a loyal space fan from classic through Explorians. Although Roboforce turned me away from space, this was the subtheme that sealed it.

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