If the golden age of Science Fiction is twelve (Thank you forever, Peter Graham), then the golden age of Lego 250 reviews is somewhere between eight and thirteen. Let’s revisit that age for a review that will unashamedly burble over an ancient set like a Granddad under dementia care. Welcome to 6929 Starfleet Voyager. It’s my childhood. You all just live in it.
There are three colours in space, and every Lego-loving boy of the 1970s knows this: Grey, blue and transparent yellow. Somewhere, deep in our hidden eight year old hearts, we know without a shadow of a doubt that space travel should resemble staring at the flag of Sweden through cataracts. Imagine, then, the seismic impact that occurred when the 80s rolled around, and Lego introduced sets that were…….. still grey. But also white! And black! And… and… TRANSPARENT BLUE!
Shit was lost, my friends.
Shit. Was. Lost.
Way back in my first Lego 250 review, I mentioned that I gave away my childhood collection to a colleague when I was in my early twenties, and that I’ve been trying to chip away at re-collecting it over the last few years. 6929 Starfleet Voyager is one of those sets: one of three that formed the highlight of my collection, along with the LL918 from the first review and one we’ll discuss later. Just like the 918, 6929 Starfleet Voyager is an absolute grab-bag of wonderful design, pure nostalgia, and the stupidest imaginings of what a space vehicle would actually be like. Which is exactly why I loved it so much as a kid, and exactly why I love it so much still: because it might resemble a space vehicle, but whenever it matters it conforms to a child’s imagination first.
In the words of Jesus, neeeeeeeeeeeyowwwwmmmmmmmm pew pew pewwwww!
I mean, look at it. A robotic spearhead, every angle aimed forward to give the impression of speed. It looks like it’s swooshing even when it sits on your shelf. This is no tanker or supply ship. This is a voyager. When you’re running up and down the hallway with this in your hand you’re not refilling some distant base on an inhabited planet. You’re out past the edges of known space, screaming between the stars at the maximum allowable speed, dodging through asteroid fields and blasting space junk out of the way with those huge, roaring engines shaking the hull as you coax every last ounce of speed out of the big, beautiful beast.
Well, that’s what I imagine I’m doing, anyway.
Just the spaciest spaceship that ever shipped a space. Also, check out that nose piece for an object lesson on how far bricks can loosen over time…
And it’s gloriously stupid. I don’t say this disparagingly. Eight year olds are stupid. It’s part of their charm. But they know what they like, and if you’re going to include ohmygodit’ssocoolIjustmightDIE things like printed computer parts you’d better put them where your eight year old can see them: not inside the cockpit like an adult would, but outside, where they’re functionally useless but ohmygodlookitemthey’resoCOOL. Include a detachable supply pod and you’d better make it so kid fingers can open and close the doors, and if that means re-purposed louvre shutters from some Swiss skiing chalet, well, that’s just the price you pay for children to love you. And when you design that cockpit, you understand that a child is flying this baby using only the medium of legs, hands, and a hallway: you put that part count on the outside where it can be seen, buddy!
Louvres. Because space. And because children don’t care as long as they can get a marble or dinky car inside while they’re losing their shit over the swivelling hull sections.
External computers. Because space.
It’s a stupid set, but it’s stupid perfectly.
This was an expensive set, when I was a working class kid. The most expensive one I ever received. Coming back to it as an adult involved finding a Bricklink dealer in Canada, several emails to coax missing parts from them as each successive package inched towards the full set I should have received the first time, and paying the kind of money that prompts the standard AFOL joke “My biggest fear is that I’ll die, and my wife will sell my Lego collection for what I told her I paid for it.” It took two months to get the whole thing. Half the pieces have lost their clutch power. It falls apart the moment you breathe on it. The printing is faded, and the minifig’s helmet has split at the chin-strap in classic Classic Space minifig fashion.
And it was all worth it.
Just the best thing ever made. Along with all the other best things ever made I’ll be talking about. But this one as well. Best thing ever made.
6929 Starfleet Voyager is aesthetically beautiful. It conjures memories of every happy afternoon lying on the carpet of my childhood living room, canvas mat spread out before me, building and swooshing and building and swooshing again. It’s playable, and swooshable, and just the Best. Thing. Ever.
I love it deeply, and I always will.
This is my childhood and I can remember it any way I want, la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaaaaaa.
The League Table of Awesomeness