Time for another Lego review as I plough through rebuilding the 250 sets I have accumulated instead of going on holidays, having a life, or eating nice food. Today, it’s a highlight: one of the best sets in my collection, and one of the best things Lego has ever done.
Oh, my God. I think I need a cigarette.
Okay, the quick rundown.
Sometime in the receding-quickly past, Lego realised that the AFOL community was actually producing some pretty great stuff. Seeking a way to
cash the fuck in give increased representation to fans, they came up with the Lego Ideas gateway: a fan-voting website that served as a way for fans to bring their own creations to production. Upload your design, collect 10,000 votes, and your set could be considered for production by Lego, released onto the general market, and the profits monetised like a charging bull in a shameless corporate cash grab designed to screw even more money out of your brand loyalty shared (by which they meant they’d give you about 1% of the dosh).
Quicker than you can say “Watch all the idiots clog this thing up with their crappy versions of the Batmobile and every other licensed set the company already produces”, it was clogged up with Batmobiles, and every other Star Wars vehicle that appeared on screen for 1.5 seconds, and all the other properties Lego already produced but Incel McFanboy just knew he could do better because reasons and why don’t girls like me?
But in between the overwhelming volume of batshite, there was the occasional precious stone. Like Peter Reid, a heavyweight AFOL with genuine creative chops, and his magnificent Exosuit.
To quote Mr Rogers, this shit is like crack.
Look, I’m not saying it’s the greatest set of all time. I’m just saying
there’s a very real chance it’s the greatest set of all time.
The Exosuit was the 7th set released through the scheme, and the first one to really capture my interest. It contained everything my inner eight year old craved: a robot suit! a sidekick K-9 robot dog thingy! (Yeah, it’s called ‘The Turtle’, but this is my imagination…) Millions of tiny parts arranged in the freakiest, most complicated, most satisfying build possible! HOLY SHIT, OLD-STYLE SPACEMEN! IN FREAKING GREEN! AND ONE OF THEM IS A WOMAN! (This at a time before the Lego movie, when Classic-style spacemen were bloody hard to get at a reasonable price, and the market wasn’t flooded with Benny army packs…)
TAKE. MY. FUCKING. MONEY!
Seriously. Look at that detail. Look at those connections. Look at the greebling.
This is beauty.
It did not disappoint. This is a set that expresses everything I love about Lego. It looks bloody amazing. It has about a million and one points of articulation. It’s a hymn to greebling– the art of creating fine detail that looks functional but is really just there to add visual interest. It’s superbly playable. Looks brilliant in amongst a diorama. Is made, mostly, of common parts so that it’s relatively easy to replicate. Is superbly fun to build. Is just… just everything.
The turtle. In all probability, not actually a dog.
I was absurdly happy to get this set, absurdly happy to build it, and five years later, rebuilding it for the third or fourth time, I’m absurdly happy again. I’ve picked up three of the 27 Ideas sets over the years: each one extremely different to the others, and each one an absolute pearl. There’s great talent out there, and great sets, if you can overlook the obscene prices that Lego charge for the range.
That detail, though. That articulation. Just superb.
The Exosuit is one of my two or three favourite sets. Not one iota of doubt. I loves it with great lovingness. This is the set I would have wanted at eight, definitely love at 48, and will undoubtedly sob over as my arthritic fingers drop all the pieces while I utterly fail to rebuild it at 88. Timeless, brilliant, and embodying the very best of Fan culture, creativity, and playability: the Exosuit is Lego at its very best.
The Lego version of ridiculously perverted sex with a supermodel. There should be a rating above ‘excellent’. Is ‘orgasmic’ a rating?
The League Table of Awesomeness
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