Okay, I set a goal this year of completing at least 150 of these Lego 250 reviews, and hopefully all 250, so we’d better get the hell on with it, hadn’t we?
Let’s start the year with the set that started my AFOL obsession, and kicked off this expensive adult phase of my Lego journey: the straight-out space pimpage of 5984 Lunar Limo.
When my daughter was but a teensy-tiny little sausage toddler, I bought her a big box of Duplo blocks. Which stayed untouched in a basket while everybody tried to turn her into Princess Princessface. When our son was born, three years later, we passed them on to him, where they stayed untouched while we spent our time peeling him out of various trees, off ceilings, back out of the inside of large snakes, and generally just visiting every emergency room hospitals could provide.
Then, when he was something like seven, he received a remote control T-Rex for his birthday. I shouldn’t need to explain why. Suddenly, there was a need to supply a maze for the T-Rex to traverse in order to properly terrify the herds of plastic dinosaurs at the other end of the living room. If only the kids had something large, and blocky, that came in green and blue to signify lakes and meadows……
After several hours of watching the kids arranging and rearranging blocks, I turned to my beautiful, unsuspecting, wife, and uttered words that will ring with infamy throughout the passing centuries.
“I wonder if they’d enjoy some real Lego?”
Ultimately, the answer was “no,” but in the meantime there were a bunch of sets, beginning with a trip to the local Toys’R’Us to see what sort of thing might be suitable, and the discovery of this particular one, lodged at the back of a set of shelves where it had fallen a couple of years before and been forgotten.
It was love at first sight. Well, for me, at least: a love that resulted in me scouring the shelves and Bricklink dealers for as many Space Police III sets as I could get my hands on. Of which there were many. But, to begin with, we gathered around the table as a family for the next week, taking turns to complete one step after another, as this quite huge set took shape before us. And huge it is: it might only come in at just under 400 pieces, but every one of them is dedicated to one aim, and one aim only– to make the Lunar Limo as long as humanly possible.
Seriously, look at it. Longer than John Holmes watching women’s beach volleyball.
And long it is. I have sets with three times the part count that are only just longer. The Lunar Limo is lean, mean, and cool beans. It looks great, with exactly the kind of oversized engines, shiny greebles, and aggressive features than an inner eight year old demands from his spaceship. It represents the strange centre of the Venn diagram between car, rocket ship, and pew-pew-pew marked “Traditional boy gender role imagination place.” My inner eight year old loves this ship.
In fact, one of only two downsides to the set is the result of this desire for length. The set is constructed in three separate sections, which are then clipped together, resulting in a frame that is just a bit too fragile for purpose. While it looks great, (and it really does. All the Space Police III sets do. They’re as mad as a mad thing that was mad about St Mad’s Day in Madtown,) this isn’t a set you can pick up and swoosh about, no matter how much you want to. It’s more a set you pick up and then re-pick up seven times before you put the whole pile back on the table and swear you’ll never do it again while you rebuild it for the third time in as many minutes.
The other issue is… well, there’s no polite way to say this. I’ve touched on Lego’s faintly problematic relationship with, well, race relations before. But this set…… wellllllll….. judge for yourself.
If that’s anything other than a space pimp, I’m Adele. If that’s anything other than a space pimp designed after the set designer spent 48 hours alone in a darkened room watching every Blaxploitation movie ever made intercut with Huggy Bear outtakes, I’m Adele’s less talented sister, Blodwenella. That, my friends, is a space pimp. A very specific type of space pimp, no matter what colour the head is.
It’s problematic. It’s inexplicable. What’s more, it’s obvious enough that a seven and a ten year old commented on it while building the set first time out. As cool as the set looks, it’s not a lunar limo at all. It’s a Space Early 1970s Harlem Pimpmobile, and I’m really not sure the theme needed the reference.
That aside, the limo itself is wonderful. It looks superb, is a joy to build, with hidden compartments and clever part arrangements throughout. The minifigs are beautifully printed. The whole thing looks stunning — racist, but stunning.
It does look great, though, doesn’t it?
It’s the set that kicked me off into this extended second childhood, and it will always hold a special place in my collection for that. And I’ll never tire of building and displaying it. I might just keep the minifigs in the tub, though…
Straight out 5/5 for the memories, the build, and the sheer awesomeness of the limo itself. A mark off for racism not even David Duke could explain with a straight face.
The League Table of Awesomeness