Does this have anything to do with cars? Not at all, but we like Lego, space is cool, and what the heck, it’s Sunday. Lego is celebrating 10 years since it launched Lego Ideas, a platform for fans to concoct new creations that otherwise didn’t already exist. To mark the occasion, Lego took one of the community’s ideas, a small-scale model of the International Space Station and turned it into a real, for-sale product. The design comes from Christophe Ruge, and it will be available to buy on February 1, 2020.
Lego already offers numerous space-themed kits and toys. There’s a lunar space station, a deep space rocket with a launch control building, a NASA Apollo 11 lunar lander, a shuttle transporter, a Mars research shuttle, a space research and development people pack, and many more. This is the first time, however, a replica of the International Space Station will be available.
The new kit includes a 148-page instruction booklet that explains how to put together 864 pieces. When assembled, it measures 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide. It sits on a black pedestal stand and also comes with its own space shuttle (unlike the real I.S.S.). Several detailed features make the kit as realistic as possible, including a dock for the space shuttle, a poseable Canadarm2, two rotating joints, and eight adjustable solar panels.
Technically, the idea is not new. Ruge, a 42-year-old Germany native, submitted the kit, along with several other space kits, roughly three years ago. It gained thousands of votes of support from the Lego Ideas family, but it never made it to home base.
“We decided to dive into the archives of Lego Ideas projects that had gathered 10,000 supporters but hadn’t quite made it into production,” the Lego Group Engagement Manager Hasan Jensen said in an online announcement. “We decided that one of these great ideas should have a second chance, so we thought we would turn the Lego Ideas process upside down. This time we started the internal review and came up with four exciting projects that we thought showed the greatest potential – and then it was up to the Lego Ideas community to decide which of the four would be made into Lego Ideas set number 29.”
The initial project was built on a larger scale and took Ruge, a computer engineer who works for a company that builds trains, more than three years to design. This time around, however, the kit was much smaller, so it only took him about four days to create (Read more about Ruge and his process at Lego Ideas).
The official kit will be available online and at Lego retailers on February 1 for $69.99, plus tax. Or, if technology, global collaboration, and the search for the meaning of the universe is of no interest to you, Lego is also selling a Flintstones kit with the Flintstones car for $59.99.