I’m doing it hard today. It takes a huge commitment of energy for me to remain focussed right now, energy that ran out this morning and left me completely non-functional. In getting Luscious, Lord 14, and Erin through each day I’ve been stressing the importance of routine and habit: when the will is suffering, and the emotions are unravelling your day before you, routine and habit can be the difference between achieving the one thing you need to make the day a functional one, and laying on the bed counting the non-existent cracks in your pillowcase all day.
So, I need routine today. I need habit. And as I couldn’t manage to get up, dressed, and through the three-minute drive to my workplace, I’m going to get a Lego 250 review up. Then I’m going to go count pillowcase cracks for a while.
Let’s make it a good one, shall we?
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this more or less than a hundred million billion jillion quintillion zillion gajillion times, but I love Lego Space themes. Love them. Love. Them. Even the shitty ones (looking at you, Spyrius and Roboforce). Love ’em.
But, you know, some more than others.
Space Police III is one of the themes in the ‘some’ column.
It’s centred around a classic good guys vs bad guys concept: Mad Max-ie looking bad guys committing crimes; square-jaws honest-injun trustworthy cops chasing them. Classic. Solid. Done twice already, hence the III. And God knows, we don’t like to accuse Lego of any implicit racism around here, so there’s no way on Earth or Outer Space we’d bring attention to the fact that all the cops share, shall we say, a certain essential look, and all of the villainous, treacherous, crimey-wimey scum a certain… you know… other look…
I can’t quite put my prehensile finger on it……
Dubious race politics inside (And aren’t we all just yellow on the inside, really, amirite?) what sets the Space Police III theme apart from others in the loose conglomeration of Space themes are the sets. There’s no polite way to say this. They are bugfuck insane. As a spaceship freak, these are the frigging bomb. The swooshiest of the swooshable. The inner-eight-year-old of the the inner-eight-year-old-iest. Space Police III looks like Lego gave the coloured pencils to their kids and then went down the pub for an early lunch. It looks like a ridiculous them set in a pretend outer space featuring weird alien plastic people ought to look.
And it’s great.
I mean, seriously. Look at them.
Hyperspeed Pursuit stands out in one other very important way. The standard Lego set template for vehicles is to provide one large vehicle and then, well, some inconsequential piece of tat to use up a few pieces and give you an excuse to lump your younger sibling with the crappy, tiny one while you get the cool set every time Mum tells you to play together and share. Not this set. There’s just shy of 450 pieces in this, and they’re split fairly evenly between two equally-sized ships. This isn’t just a swooshable set. It’s swoosh and counter-swoosh. ‘Pursuit’ isn’t just in the title: it’s in the play.
There is simply no angle from which this set doesn’t look gorgeous. It’s almost perfect.
Gorgeous from every angle. Just mad as a bucket of weasels.
Because there are a couple of flaws. Not many, and not large, but they are there.
For all the greebling and cool design sense, there is a fragility to both ships that limits the swooshability. The engines and various protrusions on the police cruiser fall off at the slightest knock– not ideal for play if you it takes you three pauses to pick up antennae every time you navigate the Hallway Wormhole of Terror. Those two big lumpy things on the front of the Skull Interceptor (that’s its name, apparently)? They’re shootable missiles, and to say they have a hair trigger would be understating the case. They can go off when the wind shifts direction outside the house. Don’t hold this one directly over your baby brother’s cot… The cockpits in both cases are not well attached, and the prison pod (that blue tube at the back of the cop ship) has a tendency to fall apart if you so much as say an unkind thing about its favourite cafe.
So, they look amazing, and seem built for never-ending play, but the fragility of both ships means you’ll spend as much time in the repair docks as you will zooming around the outer reaches of the Horse’s Ass Nebula. And that’s a shame, because the Space Police III Theme has some of the best sets I’ve ever collected (There are some doozies coming up. I mean, one really unbelievable doozy, but some real doozies). And this is a 90% winner in all directions except one of the really important ones.
It still looks freaking amazing, though.
Such a stunning look, swooshable, and mad AF. Just that bit too fragile for true space travel, though. And, you know, it is hard to ignore the subtle flavour of space racism.
The League Table of Awesomeness