LEGOģ Set Review: 6972 Polaris-I Space Lab
Polaris-I Space Lab
Space System / LEGOLAND Space
Ages 9-Up / 386 Pcs
16 page manual: 4 models, 5 (twice), 12, 17 steps.
Price Range: Discontinued
Review Written: 18 August 1997 by Joseph Gonzalez
Special Features / Compatibility
1 Control Stick
1 Technic Bushing
Scale: Mini-Figure Scale.
Errors: A mistake on page 4 of the instructions gives an overhead view to assist in placing the initial bricks for station construction. Craters in the overhead diagram are transposed and the diagram incorrectly places a black round 2x2 brick (if you are counting studs on the inside of the raised ridge to place the
brick). This is very minor but it is the first time Iíve seen an error in LEGO instructions.
While I wasn't originally too excited about the set (other than lots of add-on space elements) I find that the model is growing on me.
The Polaris-I is a small launching site (almost entirely in white with some black and transparent blue pieces) with an elevated platform for the satellite gantry and two sheltered control booths. Hinged braces on each side of the gantry/tower hold the satellite somewhat secure until launch. Two mini-runways (also elevated) extend from the station with mobile platforms that glide along the runways from the station to small landings. Each landing houses what appear to be some kind of maintenance/patrol aircraft. Each aircraft could hold two standing or one sitting astronaut. The outpost launches a laboratory satellite which allows one minifig to sit inside and conduct his necessary experiments. The satellite has an opaque octagon nose-hatch and transparent red panels that can fold out once the satellite has been launched.
I confess that the original reason I purchased this set was to build up my number of classic blue astronauts (that and the fact that I noticed it in more than a few auctions and nobody seemed interested in buying them so I got one at a good price). It wasnít until I put the set together and started writing this review that I actually figured out why the set has the name of lab. At first it just looked like a missile launching silo but the combination of the manned-satellite and control panels at the launch site make me realize that the guy in the satellite conducts tests and can transmit the results to the two techs back at the site for review/analysis. Very cool. I might have originally blown the set off as useless but Iím coming to appreciate it more and more.
Set Rating:Good The set comes with more than the normal amount of odd elements. There are slanting window frames with transparent panes, some wall-corner pieces, hoses, struts, antennas, 2x2 macaroni bricks, hinge elements, etc., but there arenít a lot of building bricks. You might want to pick it up for all kinds of space elements in white, but aside from a lot of 1-stud-wide plates of varying lengths there arenít many simple bricks for alternate constructions.
Model Rating:Very-Good The model is effective in portraying an experimental station. The addition of the mini-runways is kind of fun but the runways are too short to seem very useful. It would have been better to connect the two runways together and make it feel like the moving platform can get up some pulse-pounding speed before the ride is over. The station and runway/monorail idea seems to work a little better in the 6970-Beta-I Command Base and the 6971-Inter-Galactic Command Base. The model makes for a pretty good display piece (looks very technical and all) and it might even be cool to buy four of the set and place the finished models in a square so that they make one large station.
Playability Rating:Very-Good I originally thought the set was kind of dumb, but my son couldn't wait for me to finish completing the model and he kept himself pretty busy with it once I finally finished. Seeing his excitement and taking a close look at things for this review made me realize that it is a pretty useful set. The all-in-blue astronauts give one the impression of a team of specialists that maintain the little station.
I have no particular likes or dislikes with the set, it just seems kind of limited for making alternate sets because there arenít a lot of building bricks.
Interesting elements include four transparent red 3x6 half-octagon plates and a white opaque 6x6 octagon hatch (usually comes in a transparent color for use as a window or hatch). Also worth mentioning is the unique display tray that is contoured into the shape of a ringed planet like Saturn.
I mainly purchase anything interesting that is currently available, watching out for more fascinating sets from past years in auctions. Really cool models are displayed on a shelf for a couple of months (and played with intermittently) and then taken down and boxed-up so they donít get too dusty.
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