February 4th, 2013

Galaxy Squad: Space Swarmer (#70700) by Lego

I’m usually up on my toy news, and yet somehow Lego slipped two brand new series, Chima and Galaxy Squad, under my radar and onto the shelves. I saw them the other day while buying groceries and I wish I had been wearing a monocle, so it could have popped out of my head to illustrate my surprise. Both new lines look excellent, but Galaxy Squad tipped me over simply because it reminds me of my beloved Space Police line from a few years back. Ah, Space Police, the gateway drug that brought me back to you Lego. Well done. It was a funny scene, as I was passing through the aisle when I saw some kid holding one of the Chima boxes and I said to myself, but also out loud, “is that new?” The kid thought I was talking to him and he said, “Yeah, it looks cool. Those are new too!” and he pointed to the Galaxy Squad. I picked one up and said, “Yeah, this looks cool too!” So, I picked up the two smaller assortment sets, which we’ll be checking out today and tomorrow.


We’re starting toward the bottom rung of the line with a set that clocks in at just 86 pieces and there’s the box. I dig the Galaxy Squad logo and the fact that you can infer all you need to know about this series from the box art: There are space bugs… and it’s up to Galaxy Squad to murder the shit out of them all! Inside the box you get an instruction booklet and two unnumbered bags of bricks, which build the alien Space Swarmer spaceship and two minifigs. To the minifigs!

As is the case with any good Lego set, you get a good guy and a bad guy. Let’s start with our new friend, the bug alien. He’s a simple enough figure. His body relies completely on a generic body with some cool printing. His ugly bug head has a tail that runs partially down his back and does keep his head from turning. Not a lot more to say, but I dig him.


The Galaxy Quest guy is really interesting because of his uniquely sculpted head. It might be a helmet, but then again he might be a robot. He kind of looks like a robot. Do you think he’s a robot? I’m going to say he’s a robot! Either way, he’s really bad ass and has a cool jetpack, which is very cleverly built out of a control stick and a couple of guns. And speaking of guns, he’s got a doozy of a BFG, which is only fair since this set is pitting him up against an opponent in an attack ship.


And what a cool little attack ship it is! It feels like a lot of ship for a twelve dollar set, and I attribute that to the incredibly cool and creative design. Obviously bug aliens have bug ships (well, duh!), and this little one-seater is made to look like a nasty flying insect, complete with translucent neon wings coming off the back and four articulated insectoid legs, which can serve as landing gear and actually support the weight of the ship quite nicely. The front of the craft has three articulated mandibles, which can rotate and grab its prey. The one-bug cockpit has a dome canopy and there’s even a clip on the back to store the pilot’s gun. The coloring used for the bricks is also worth mentioning. The neon green, grey and red mesh wonderfully together. It’s a tad derivative of the Alien Conquest color scheme, but Galaxy Squad still manages to own it pretty well. I’ve also discovered a neat little way to combine it with a component of the next set, but we’ll look at that tomorrow.

Lego rarely disappoints, but it’s still hard for me to remember the last time I was this delighted with one of the sets in the $11.99 price range. The minifigs are great, but the real star of this show is the Swarmer itself. It’s such a cool little build with a design that takes something that could have been rather trite and stale (oh, ships that look like bugs!) and really turns it into something amazing. I’ve never double-dipped on a Lego set before, but I can easily see me buying another one of these. It was a fun build, it’s a great looking ship, and it feels like a super value. Things are looking pretty good for Galaxy Squad and I’m anxious to see what tomorrow’s set will bring to the table.