Rocket Assembly and Transport (Review)

Rocket Assembly and Transport is the largest of the summer 2019 City Mars Exploration sets. The centerpiece of the kit is an epic rocket. Additionally, you get several smaller builds to set up your own mission control. However, the set comes at a hefty price that many might find inhibitive. This week, we will take a closer look at Rocket Assembly and Transport, and ask ourselves does the awesomeness of the set warrant the cost?

NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. 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.

Rocket Assembly and Transport front box art.
Rocket Assembly & Transport front box art.

Rocket Assembly and Transport Details

  • NAME: Rocket Assembly and Transport
  • SET #: 60229
  • THEME: City
  • COST: $199.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 1055
  • MINIFIGURES: 7
  • RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2019
Rocket Assembly and Transport rear box art.
Rocket Assembly & Transport rear box art.

Summary Review

  • VALUE: 63% (High cost-per-brick, expensive build-time.)
  • BUILD:70% (This set tries to be too many things.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 86% (Good character designs, ok brick:fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Somewhat display worthy, good for play.)
  • OVERALL: 76%
Rocket Assembly and Launch speed build.

Rocket Assembly and Transport Review

VALUE: 63%

In Canada, this particular set costs $199.99, and comes with 1055 pieces. Consequently, the kit has a cost-per-brick of $0.19. By way of contrast, my current average cost-per-brick is $0.14. Therefore, Rocket Assembly & Transport does not come at a very good value. It earns 63% in this category. It is worth mentioning that City theme sets generally have a higher cost-per-brick than other themes. That being the case, my average cost-per-brick for just the City theme is currently $0.17.

Rocket transport
Rocket Transport.

This set took me two hours and fifty-four minutes to assemble (174 minutes). As a result, at $199.99, this kit costs $1.15 per minute of build time. Again, that is expensive, and earns a score of 63%. You are paying a lot for this set, no matter how you look at it.

Rocket Transport side view.
Rocket transport side view.

BUILD: 70%

Rocket Assembly and Transport tries to be too many things at once. You build a Mars Rover, a rover lab, a truck, a small mission control, the rocket transport, and the rocket proper. It should focus on fewer builds with more depth. Additionally, this set has considerable overlap with the theme’s other large set, the Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control. I have not built the latter yet, but both have rockets as main builds. Both also have some form of mission control. Additionally, based on the images, it looks like the Deep Space Rocket set contains a much better mission control. In this set, you get a small room with a desktop computer. There is also a rover control system with a play feature. When you rotate the satellite on the roof, the Mars imagery spins inside. I could have done without this build.

The truck is also superfluous to the set. On top of that, it is a basic design. I could have done without it as well. Rocket Assembly and Transport tries to be too many things to too many people. Sticking to just rocket assembly and transport would have given it a more coherent feel, while also freeing up bricks for more detail.

Rocket Assembly and Transport lacks coherence.

The rover lab is nice, but it lacks substance. As it stands, you get a warehouse door with an open-air lab behind it. Included inside, there is a workstation, a functioning lift to raise up the rover, and a work platform.

Where this set stands out is in its namesake. You get a neat rocket assembly frame, rocket transport, and the rocket itself. The assembly frame is tall enough to fit the rocket and transport underneath it when the rocket is lying horizontally. It also features a moving crane. I wish that the LEGO® Group would have nixed the smaller builds, and focused more detail on this piece. All the tools and features from the rover lab could have easily been adapted into this play space to make a more coherent set that stays truer to the set name.

Rocket Assembly Frame
Rocket Assembly Frame.

The rocket and transport are the highlights of this set. There is very little that I would change about them. The transport is a very heavy-duty truck that moves around on tank treads. It also features a tilting rocket cradle that allows you to move the rocket from a horizontal transport position to a vertical launch position. Sadly, in the vertical position, the rocket is not exceptionally stable on its own. It will stand by itself, as long as you do not knock it.

Rocket Transport
Rocket Transport

The actual rocket is amazing.

The rocket itself is flawless. It is an awesome design that can come apart in stages to simulate actual space launches. There is a booster section, followed by a cargo module, and finally a small shuttle. The rover fits inside the cargo module, and there is seating for two Minifigures in the shuttle.

Rocket stages
Rocket stages

Overall, I love the rocket, the transport, and the assembly frame. The rest of the builds in this set give it a confused identity. More is not always better, especially when you have overlap with other sets. As far as I am concerned, there are three superfluous builds in this kit. Allocating those parts to the main builds would make for a better kit overall. I rate the Rocket Assembly and Transport build at 7/10 (70%).

Rocket in launch position.
Rocket in launch position.

MINIFIGURES: 86%

Rocket Assembly and Transport comes with seven Minifigures. Each of them comes with all of the standard parts, as well as front and back torso printing. Additionally, four of them have front leg printing. However, none of them comes with a double-sided face. Based on those design specifications alone, I would rate these Minifigures at 70% (74/105).

This set also comes with a number of accessories. There are seven workshop tools, a shovel, a laptop, a coffee mug, two oxygen tanks, two geodes, a frying pan, two printed tile computers, and eight printed brick gauges. That makes 25 accessories, consequently bringing the design score up to 94% (99/105).

Seven Minifigures in a kit containing 1055 pieces gives a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 151:1. My average is currently 141:1. Therefore, Rocket Assembly and Transport has an okay ratio. I rate it at 78%. Averaging this with the design score gives the set an overall Minifigure score of 86%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 85%

From an adult’s perspective, this set is so-so. The rocket and transport are awesome, and worthy of display. However, the rest I will probably re-purpose into custom builds. On the plus side, there are many great bricks in this kit. As a result, you will get a lot good MOC material. Since the main build in this kit is still shelf worthy, I will give an AFOL score of 4/5 (80%).

Space robot
Space robot.

The main builds of this set are fun for adults and kids alike. A younger me probably would have liked the rover lab set-up as well. I have trouble seeing the truck and mission control as being much fun, especially since there is a much better version of mission control in another set. As a child, I would have been less critical of the disjointed nature of the builds, and this set would have been fun. For that reason, it earns a KFOL score of 4.5/5 (90%). Averaging that with the AFOL score gives an overall entertainment rating of 85%.

Mars rover.
Mars rover.

ROCKET ASSEMBLY AND TRANSPORT OVERALL SCORE: 76%

To make this set better, it should have remained focused on its namesake. Too many undetailed side builds take away from the main set. Additionally, Rocket Assembly and Transport is expensive. The price tag is huge at $199.99, and is not well justified in terms of cost-per-brick or build-time. In the end, you do get a fun set for kids. Similarly, adults might like the actual rocket, and will get many nice bricks to re-purpose. I have yet to build the Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control set, but am eager to see how it compares to this one. That will ultimately decide if I recommend Rocket Assembly and Transport. For now, I will recommend buying it on sale. A regular 20% off sale makes this price more reasonable. 25% off makes the value average.

Astronaut Minifigures.
Embarking for Mars!

What are your thoughts on the Rocket Assembly and Launch 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 here on FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Until next time,

-Tom

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