Space Research and Development

A review of the LEGO® Space Research and Development people pack.

This past summer, the LEGO® City theme went on a mission to Mars. Included in the series of sets were two Minifigure packs. I have already reviewed the smaller of the two (click here to read about it). Consequently, this week, we will look at the larger Space Research and Development People Pack. This set excited me because actual “NASA careers” inspired the Minifigures included, and I am a science and space enthusiast. My main concern, however, was that this kit might end up being superfluous for collectors of all the other sets in the series. Let us see if that was the case.

Disclaimer:

This set was provided to me by The LEGO® Group for review purposes. However, the provision of sets does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more), and provide my honest opinion.

Box art for the Space Research and Development people pack.
Space Research & Development box art.

Space Research and Development Summary

SET NAME: People Pack – Space Research and Development
SET #: 60230
THEME: City
COST: $49.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 209
MINIFIGURES: 14
RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2019

Rear box art for Space Research and Development
Space Research & Development rear box art

Summary Review

VALUE: 90% (Good value compared to Minifigure blind bags.)

BUILD: 90% (Not much to build, but what you get is fun.)

MINIFIGURES: 92% (Good designs, loads of accessories, great brick:fig.)

ENTERTAINMENT: 75% (Characters are redundant in this theme.)

OVERALL: 87%

Rocket engineer Minifigure from the Space Research and Development set.
Development underway.

FULL REVIEW

VALUE: 90%

If we compare the value of this people pack to a regular LEGO® set, the value is not very good. With 209 bricks, and a price tag of $49.99 in Canada, the cost per brick is $0.24. My current average is $0.14/brick. However, with past people packs, I have reviewed the value differently (click here to read my Fun at the Beach people pack review). Since people packs are Minifigure collections, I compare the price to the cost of Minifigures in the Collectable Series blind bags. An individual Minifigure from each of the last two series has cost $4.99. Comparatively, in Space Research and Development, you are paying $3.57 per Minifigure. That is a savings of about 28%. I generally consider 30% off or more to be a very good deal. Consequently, this is not amazing savings, but it is certainly not bad. I will rate it at 90%.

The focus of Space Research and Development is Minifigures, not building. As such, I will not rate this set on build-time value this time around.

Alternate face for rocket engineer Minifigure from the Space Research and Development set.
Should have paid more attention to the rocket, and less to the coffee…

BUILD: 90%

Since this is a “people pack”, there is not much to build. You piece together a small land form, a botanical research station, a test rocket, a treadmill, a short radius centrifuge, a drone, and an android. My favorite is the android, which is in essence a 15th Minifigure. The design of the botanical research station accomplishes a lot with a small number of bricks, so it makes a close second. The short radius centrifuge is based off one that NASA actually uses, though not the main version most people think of when imagining G-force training. Overall, the only uninspired build here was the mound of rocks and flag. I will rate the build at 90%.

MINIFIGURES: 92%

There are 14 Minifigures included in Space Research and Development. All of them come complete with all the usual parts, unique faces, as well as front and back torso printing. Additionally, seven of them have double sided faces, while five have leg printing. Based on design, I would rate them at 72%. However, you get loads of accessories as well. I will not go through them all, but there are 23 in total. Those bring the score up to 83%.

With 209 bricks and 14 Minifigures, you are looking at a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 15-to-1. That earns a ratio score of 100%. Averaging this with the design score yields an overall Minifigure grade of 92%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 75%

As an adult collector, I am not sure how much I needed this set. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Minifigures, and I like the idea behind the kit. It promotes science and space exploration. However, there is not anything unique or exclusive to this kit. You get these Minifigures, or variants of them, in the other sets. The characters do not lend themselves well to populating an average LEGO® city, and the builds do not stand alone without a spaceport. Conversely, the accessories are great, and you can almost never have too many Minifigure accessories. As an AFOL, I would rate the entertainment value of this kit at 3.5/5 (70%). I am taking off half a mark for the lack of general integration value for a city. Space Research and Development also loses a full mark for its lack of unique characters.

From a kids’ perspective, I don’t think that I would have disliked this set. I probably would have designed my own spaceships and spaceports to populate with them. However, they would be more fun if they came in a kit. If you don’t plan to buy all of the sets in the Mission to Mars sub-theme for your child, Space Research and Development is a great booster pack to bolster other sets in theme. But, if you plan to buy many of the other sets, then you will get variants of all of these characters. I give this set a KFOL score of 4/5 (80%) for character redundancy. This equates to an overall entertainment rating of 7.5/10 (75%).

OVERALL: 87%

If you compare Space Research and Development to the Collectible Minifigure Series, you are getting a good value for each Minifigure in the box. Additionally, the characters and builds are fun, and science based. This set loses points for me because the characters are not unique. If you plan to collect many of the kits in the Mission to Mars theme, you will get variants of all of these characters. That negates the need to acquire this people pack. I recommend this kit if you only want one or two of the actual sets.

Space Research and Development robotics engineer.
Robotics engineer.

What are your thoughts on the Space Research and Development set? Be sure to let me know in the comments below. If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me on FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Until next time,

-Tom

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