Monday, March 25, 2013

Theme Guide: Galaxy Squad

Page created 25th March 2013. Last updated 24th July 2013.

2013 has a new Space theme from Lego, Galaxy Squad. The sets are coming with two waves, with the first batch already out, and a handful more coming later in the year. This new theme sees the return of space insects, last seen in any notable way all the back in 1999 with the Insectoids theme. Like Insectoids there are lots of insect shaped spaceships for the space bugs to fly. But that's not all, as like all recent Lego themes aimed at boys the story is shaped around conflict, so the insects are paired off against teams humans and robots, all in bright coloured livery. The humans in Galaxy Squad sets are a sort of combination of two recent Lego Space themes, taking the space-suits and alien battling weaponry from the Alien Conquest theme, and matching them with the mostly white (with accents of bright colours) classic sci-fi looking vehicles last seen in the Mars Mission theme.

The overall effect therefore is that Galaxy Squad seems really quite derivative from previous Lego Space efforts. The last space theme, Alien Conquest, was derivative in it's designs; those models were based on classic flying saucer looks - While drawing from well know sci-fi archetypes it was an approach to Space Lego hadn't done before, and as a result seemed much more original than this new theme. It would also be nice to see a modern Lego theme not built around conflict; how about some Star Trek-like seeking of strange new worlds for the purposes of scientific advancement? I'd love to see a space version of something like the old Divers sets, with astronauts collecting alien animals or something.

Anyway, lack of concept originality aside there is still much to offer in this new theme, the insect designs are a huge step up from the old Insectoids sets, and there is lots of stuff that is new, particularly with the alien and robot minifigures, as well as making best use of all the latest Lego tricks, colours and pieces. So lets have a look at the sets (continues after the jump):

70706 Crater Creeper
  • One of the smaller insect sets, I think is the best of the range: This ant-like walker does a great job representing the animal it's based on while making it work as a vehicle too. It also has a fun pair of elasticated mandibles, so should be fun to play with as well. Nice detailing too; the mouth behind the mandibles is a printed title. As well as the insect there is a small hover-disc vehicle for the green clad human in the set. The alien minifigure is a vaguely termite-like creature which appears in several sets.
  • Purchase:,,,
70702 Warp Stinger
  • This set seems to be a sort of hybrid, taking the mouth, head, and wings, of a mosquito, and combing them with the a wasp-like abdomen, flexing inwards to sting, or in this case fire a little ball. The overall effect is quite menacing I think! There's another little flying vehicle for the red-clad human in this set, plus a robot. I quite like the robot head design here; it seems a little dinosaur-like. The insect minifigure in this set is a mosquito-like chap with a long mouth part and lovely wings - This guy is also armed with a brilliant weapon; a Lego scorpion with a saucepan on top and a small dish piece mounting on the front as the emitter.
  • Purchase:,,,,,,,
70700 Space Swarmer
70703 Star Slicer
  • I really want to like this one, as the preying mantis is one of my favourite insects. Unfortunately it's come about a bit gangly in Lego form, but it's not a bad interpretation, the head I think works especially well. The termite-like alien comes in dark red in this set, and is also armed with one of those scorpion guns. He's opposite a blue human and robot in a chunky little buggy.
  • Purchase:,,,,,,,
70708 Hive Crawler
  • The biggest bug is a pretty impressive beetle-like tank! I especially like the big printed bug-eyes in this one. One insect minifigure commands this giant; an ant-like chap with molded shoulders. He is joined by two new Lego animals; little insects, which use horn pieces as legs. The human side in this sets, this time in red, gets a small, but very nicely designed little speeder bike, and is joined by dino-bot.
  • Purchase:,,,,,,
70701 Swarm Interceptor
  • Moving on to the human-centric sets, my favourite is this brilliant little fighter ship. This is exactly the sort of space ship I like to build myself, and has nice play features, with a swivelling cockpit and fold down wings. Our blue-clad pilot faces off against one of the mosquito aliens, with a smaller hover-scooter. The alien ship includes a nice transparent wedge piece.
  • Purchase:,,,,,,,
70704 Vermin Vaporizer
70705 Bug Obliterator
  • You get a winged robot in this very orange set, which is another two-in-one vehicle, a ground travelling dock for a very spiky flying craft. I find the human vehicles in this set a little inelegant, but the insect flying machine seems much neater; another really good example of channelling real insect designs into a space-ship version. Another of the mosquitoes in this set too.
  • Purchase:,,,,,,  
70707 CLS-89 Eradicator Mech
  • I find Lego mecha designs can be very hit or miss, and this one is definitely more miss in aesthetics for me; it's limbs all seem to short. It has compromised the design somewhat to incorporate a fun play feature, a detachable cockpit, which functions as a small fighter. An orange human and robot (with a very big gun) face off against two insect models (no insect figures in this one), both quite nice ant-like designs, using the pod parts found in most of this range as their abdomens.
  • Purchase:,,,,,  
70709 Galactic Titan
  • The largest set in the range is a huge tracked vehicle, and another two-in-one ground/air contraption. I don't normally think much of large wheeled vehicles; the equivalent set in the Alien Conquest theme, 7066 Earth Defense HQ, was hideous. This time however Lego have done a brilliant job making something that looks both robust and elegant, it sort of reminds me of some of the designs you might find in Captain Scarlet or Thunderbirds. The humans face an ant, mosquito, little bug, and a big centipede on the insect side, all working around a little base for their pods.
  • Purchase:,,,   
30231 Space Insectoid
30230 Mini Mech
Curious about the story of Galaxy Squad? Here is Lego's animated introduction to the alien threat, and the four coloured Galaxy Squads, which also introduces some of the features of the sets quite nicely:

Image sources: Eurobricks,, eBay, Joppa.

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