Back in May this year I launched All About The Brick Blog with my inaugural review (Vintage Review – LEGO 9v Trainset 4563). Since then I have been so busy with constant flurry of LEGO news, set reviews, MOC building and keeping up with the latest LEGO Ideas, that I haven’t revisited any further vintage reviews. Well with the New Year just round the corner I thought I would dip my toe in again! This time round I decided to grab my first ever space set I got when I was 6 years old – LEGOLAND Blacktron Alienator 6876. Unlike my the LEGO 9v Trainset 4563 (recent re-purchase) the Alienator is originally mine and even comes with authentic dust, bogies and all things nasty (sorry the pictures tell all)!
Being an excitable 6 year old the box didn’t survive the original unwrapping, but the instruction leaflet is still in very good condition. Before we get stuck in just a quick recap on the history of LEGO Space themes. Being an ’82 baby I was too young to appreciate LEGO Classic Space (1978-1987). The Alienator sits in the Blacktron subtheme (1987-1988), which was pitched as the villains alongside two other subthemes, Futuron (1987-1990) civilians and lastly Space Police (1989) the heroes to keep in check the Blacktron faction and protect the civilians. You guessed it the pattern is a well tried format by LEGO – basically LEGO City cops and robbers in space. The following two decades the various subthemes (factions) were renamed and renewed to reflect modern trends before sadly dying off!
The Instruction leaflet folds open and has the build broken down into 12 steps printed on both sides. I know I lost the box, but how this instruction leaflet ended up in such good condition I can’t work it out!
Of course every good build starts with our minifigures, on this occasion we get 1 x Blacktron minifigure. Of all the Space subthemes in the 80’s this has to be the best minifigure the black on black on black just works perfectly. The printing on the torso is also detailed and adds interest and contrast to the black. The final touch of a black visor and black oxygen tank gives the overall minifigure a rather sinister look.
Now onto the Alienator (also known as Strider). The build starts with a simple, but extremely effective walking mechanism that LEGO really nailed in the 80’s especially in its larger sets. This one being a good example of the mechanism incorporated into a surprisingly smaller set.
The front page of the leaflet is completed with the cockpit build, of course sporting the classic and menacing black and yellow Blacktron colour scheme. The cockpit also incorporates laser guns (well that’s what I call them) to attack and chase off any of those Futuron Hippies!
The reverse of the instruction leaflet completes the Alienator by building the storage compartment and highlighting how the build all connects to togther (simple really).
The storage compartment is a latched medieval castle wall piece cleverly molded in black to form the storage compartment shell. Not shown in picture, but the compartment contains yellow tools for maintenance work. On a side note it also contains enough room to kidnap and store a minifigure inside, but that’s if you want to take prisoners!
The Alienator is finally completed by clipping in the Cockpit into the main walker body to form what could almost be seen as an early prototype AT-AT Walker (anyone else see some similarity?). Other finishing touches include thrusters and other various adornments to complete the overall badass space vehicle. To close I managed to find one of those Futuron Hippies for target practise.
The final build comes in at 86 pieces and was the smallest Blacktron set on offer when the subtheme was released. Irrespective of that I believe that the set is a real little gem and would be a great inexpensive stepping stone into the classic space era of LEGO. Note – you can still grab this set starting from ~$14 (AUD) over on Bricklink .
Would love to hear everyone else’s childhood favorites? Would anyone else love to see a LEGO Space theme (not just Star Wars)? Feel free to post a comment on here or head over to the facebook page and get the conversation started.
Final Rating: 10 out of 10