LEGOŽ Set Review: 6973 Deep Freeze Defender

6973

[6973 Set Photo] Deep Freeze Defender (us)
Ice Planet Tripel- Raumtransporter (de)
Space System Banner Ice Planet 2002 Banner
Space System / Ice Planet 2002

Ages 8-12 / 412 Pcs
20 page manual: 1 model, 3+7+5+13+14+18 steps. Š1993

Review Written: 26 June 1995 by Joshua Delahunty
Special Features / Compatibility
  • Magnets
  • Extra Elements
  • 1 Black 1x1 Round Plate
  • 1 Neon-Orange 1x1 Round Plate
  • Decals: None, all decorated bricks
    Scale: Mini-Figure
    Errors: None

    Ratings: Set: Good Models: Excellent Playability: Excellent

    Conclusion
    As a Space System enthusiast, I'd definitely insist on this ship for my collection.
    It's large and attractive, and has many exciting features.

    Description

    6973 Deep Freeze Defender is a large modular spacecraft from the Ice Planet:2002 line. The color scheme is blue and white as primary colors, and black and neon-orange as the accents. The ship disconnects into 4 modules, two of which sit at the front of the main vehicle as cockpits, and are identical in construction.

    A cockpit module uses the pre-fab fuselage and sloping windshield pieces to form an arrow shaped cockpit. The underside is blue, and connects to two long white skis (an element originally released as part of the Technic line). Above those skis sit neon-orange skis that fit the Mini-Figure pilot driving the craft. Two black jets on the back sides of the craft, near the top, provide propulsion. On either side of the craft are two accessory clips for attaching tools. They are usually occupied by a phaser and a chainsaw blade in neon-orange. These modules connect to the rocket module through traditional connector peg and beam construction (with connector pegs permanently attached to bricks).

    The middle 'rocket' module supports the first set of main wings, and houses the rocket launching station and satellite storage bay. The front of this bay is a sloped cockpit piece with the Ice Planet Logo embossed into it. Once raised, this sloping piece allows access to the top of the rocket, where the satellite can be attached. A hinged armature in the center of the mod allows the rocket to be raised into launch position and then launched into orbit. Convenient arrows at the front of the module indicate the docking connect-points for the front cockpit modules. The underside of the rocket module supports the 6 drive engines that help propel this module through space.

    The rear 'bay' module is the most massive on the ship. It is roughly rectilinear in shape, broken up by large wings to the sides, and modular octagonal outer bay lights around the perimeter. The front of the mod owes to its massive size: Two connector pegs are needed to keep the intermodule connection with the middle module, and two hinges, appropriately marked with arrows, hinge down securely to form a tight seal when the middle module is in place. Two black jets up top and six white jets on the bottom provide propulsion. By far the most impressive feature of the bay module is the rocket sled launch pad. Once the top jets are safely moved up and off to the side out of harm's way, a segmented bay door is rolled forward to open the top of the launch bay. Automatically and concurrently, the sled will rise into launch position. Once it is launched, the door can be sealed again for protection from the vacuum of space, with the launch arm lowering back into position. The procedure can be repeated upon the return of the sled from its mission.

    The rocket sled is a small, single pilot vehicle featuring pilot-ski storage, a compact design, and a side magneto coupler for attachment to the rockets of Ice Planet 2002. * The sled is for small towing operations only, so all operators must be aware of the limitations of the craft in rocket towing operations.
    The rear end of the bay module bows outward with its octagonally shaped bay lights in an attractive space-age design. Two maneuvering jets per wing, two at the rear, and two larger jets on sloping frames at the top provide precise control over the positioning of the module in space. Two long antennae at the wing tips of the module provide the Deep Freeze Defender with its communication capabilities.

    Impression

    I've had the set for some time, unbuilt. It was a Christmas present, and I hadn't had time to build it in the six months since I got it. Now that I finally made the time, I have realized what I've been missing out on!

    This ship is 928/497 Galaxy Explorer Class, which is to say that it's of the size and general shape of the LL928 Galaxy Explorer, the first grand LEGO ship. As such, it doesn't disappoint. With three astronauts to play with, and lots of skis for action, it's got high playability value. The modular design makes it two ships in one. You can take the two cockpits and attach one each to the other modules, and have two very effective ships, where neither looks terribly underpowered (one looking pretty sleek and maneuverable, the other bulky and powerful). The two ships apart are of the Space Cruiser (LL924) Class, perhaps even slightly larger. Add to that the little rocket sled for remote missions, and you have the makings of a winner.

    I must admit to a feeling of dread after I finished the model, since the front of the bay mod has a connector peg hole, but the back of the rocket mod has no corresponding peg. It looks so logical for one to be there. A quick recheck reveals that no peg is meant for that location, and the center hole in the bay mod is for the peg on the back of a cockpit mod.

    Another problem I had involved the rocket silo: it wouldn't open correctly. I eventually diagnosed the problem, narrowing it down to the rocket. Be careful how the #12 cross axle is placed in the middle of the rocket. Too far down into the base and the rocket won't sit all the way down in the silo, and then the silo won't open or close correctly.

    Ratings

    Set Rating:Good

    The set rating of good reflects the specialized nature of the pieces in the set, and especially the Ice Planet theme. The neon-orange color is somewhat unique in the LEGO world (Aquazone being a notable exception -- if you're into that theme, than this may be a bonus for you), and the Ice Planet theme uses a lot of it. The theme also sports a wealth of skis and chainsaws; if that toolset sounds limiting, there's not much else included with this set (two phasers are included). The new helmet visors are unique, as well. While they are attractive, interconnectedness with other themes suffers since they're new and they have the neon-orange color. The back of the box shows a 4 very interesting and varied alternate designs. The photo in the upper left, in particular, shows a very nicely done base/ship/land vehicle combination that shows the versatility of the set despite its specialized elements.

    Model Rating:Excellent

    I rate the model excellent because of its wealth of features and sweeping, spaceship look. As a part of the Ice Planet theme, it fits in perfectly. The theme is one of the larger Space themes that's come out, and this fits in well in the lineup. The modularity is a big plus.

    Playability Rating:Excellent

    The playability of the set is also excellent. The modular construction -- allowing for many configurations and play scenarios -- coupled with the wealth of gadgetry and moving parts, makes for a rich play experience. ("It's lots of fun to mess with all the stuff on this ship, and to take it apart and put it back together in lots of different ways.") The two separate launch doors, the rocket, the small space vehicle... there's just so much to do with the set. If you're a Space Maniac, then upgrade this rating to "Must-Have."

    Likes/Dislikes

    One complaint I have about the model is in regards to the front of the 'bay' module: it's too squared off. This is especially apparent when the module is viewed disconnected from the rest of the ship, or when viewing it from below. It was an unnecessary look. Two 3x3 wing plates, along with some additional plating, could have angled off those edges most attractively without a large increase in piece count.

    Another attractiveness issue I immediately corrected has to do with the alternating color scheme of the bay door: I connected all white together in one block, and the neon-orange in the other. I truly wish The LEGO Group had gone for one solid color (strong vote for white) instead of the striping.

    Elements

    This set has most of the octagonal corridor elements that were so prized from the Blacktron 6987 Message Intercept Base of the late 1980s. It is missing the very important inside-corner element, and the elements are all in a somewhat gaudy-looking neon-orange, so this is a mixed blessing.

    Another piece from that era is the 4x6 sloping cockpit piece with hinge connect. In the 6894 Invader, 6941 Battrax, and 6954 Renegade, the element was transparent yellow, while this is opaque blue and decorated; so it's more of a reminder of past glories in the Space line than a way to increase your count of Blacktron elements.

    Also of note are the 3 sets of large 7x12 wing plates -- most often used in large airplane models -- and the garage door elements that are used in the rear of the ship (half, including the handle element, are white, the other four are neon-orange).

    It's nice to see the return of the Technic Figure skis; they're used nicely for the models of Ice Planet to give them that (what else?) true 'Ice Planet' look.

    The display tray shows a good selection of the elements used, but doesn't display the female Mini-Figure, which is a little strange. Fortunately, the three Mini-Figures in the set are shown together in a group photo on the back of the box. A bit hidden from view, but better than not showing up at all.


    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Theme
    Joshua Delahunty 27 dulcaoin@alumni.cse.ucsc.edu http://alumni.cse.ucsc.edu/~dulcaoin/ All of 'em


    Copyright

    This review is Copyright 1995, by the author as named above. This information may be reprinted, provided (a) all information in the document is published in full, and (b) no profit is made, directly or indirectly, by the publishing of this material. All other rights reserved.

    This is a fan created web site. LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.
    All views expressed in the reviews on this site are those of the review author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Joshua Delahunty or the University of California.
    Set names and photos are copyrighted materials owned by The LEGO Group, used according to its Fair-Use Policy. Set photo scans courtesy of Pause Magazine.
    Background imagery supplied by and Copyright © Todd Lehman. Used with permission.
    3-D Element bitmaps supplied by and Copyright © James Jessiman. Used with permission.
    All product line and theme banner graphics hand-drawn (not scanned) and Copyright © 1996 Joshua Delahunty.

    Send comments on these pages to the editor at dulcaoin@alumni.cse.ucsc.edu.


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