Space Rover Explorer (31107) Review
Summer 2020 saw a couple of really interesting Creator 3-in-1 sets. First, we got the Pirate Ship (31109). It was an amazingly detailed and nostalgic set for AFOLs. Second, we got today’s review piece, the Space Rover Explorer (31107). In terms of color scheme, the set is not reminiscent of the Classic Space sets of old. However, the Minifigure included represents a new twist on the classic astronaut. He has the classic LEGO space logo on his suit. I thought this set looked fun. Additionally, it goes well with the City sets from summer 2019 that featured space exploration. Consequently, I requested one to review from the LEGO® Group.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.
SPACE ROVER EXPLORER SUMMARY
- NAME: Space Rover Explorer
- SET #: 31107
- THEME: Creator 3-in-1
- COST: $49.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 510
- MINIFIGURES: 1
- RELEASE DATE: August 24, 2020
SPACE ROVER EXPLORER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 91% (Great cost-per-brick, and a fairly good build time as well.)
- BUILD: 85% (Great looking set, but the rover interior is hard to access.)
- MINIFIGURES: 63% (Amazing new astronaut design, but only one minifig?)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Great fun for space enthusiasts, but it could be more inclusive.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 81%
SPACE ROVER EXPLORER REVIEW
Space Rover Explorer (31107) costs $49.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set consists of 510 pieces. As such, the cost-per-brick is $0.10. That is quite good. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick across all themes is $0.14 at the moment. Meanwhile, my average for the Creator 3-in-1 theme is $0.12/brick. I rate the value-per-brick at 93%.
Space Rover Explorer took me one hour and 21 minutes to build (81 minutes total). Therefore, at full price, each minute of build time costs $0.62. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, that is great. My average is $0.83/minute. However, Creator 3-in-1 sets usually offer a better build time for the price than your average set. For this theme, my average cost-per-minute is $0.66. By that comparison, Space Rover Explorer still offers a good amount of build time, but not a great amount. I rate the build-time value at 88%. Averaging this score with the value-per-brick gives an overall value rating of 91%.
As a Creator 3-in-1 set, Space Rover Explorer features three different assemblies. At this time, I have only built one. I started with the main build of the space rover proper. However, you can also turn this set into a shuttle or an outpost. Both look like good fun. I may build them in time. With that said, the outpost features an open back design which is play friendly. I prefer modular builds. Consequently, if I go that route, I might customize mine.
The space rover assembly features two small side-builds. You put together a small robotic rover and an alien creature. The mini rover is nothing overly exciting. However, the alien is a neat design. It is menacing and cute at the same time with its sharp teeth, tentacles, and googly eyes. In the outpost alternate build, you assemble a different alien species more reminiscent of a giant bug.
Space Rover Explorer (31107) includes a fun alien build.
In terms of the main build, I like the look much more than the Rover Testing Drive (60255) from 2019. This design is a long-range rover with sleeping quarters and a limited lab space. I am particularly fond of the front of the design. It has upper and lower windows allowing the pilot to see ahead and below. Additionally, the rover has a cool looking side hatch for entry. The wheels also feature a nice suspension system that is not too wobbly. I quite like the look of this build.
With that said, the set has a couple of issues that I enjoy less. Firstly, the robotic arms on the front of the craft are too short to be useful. They do not reach the ground. Each arm needs at least one more link, preferably two, in order to manipulate materials in front of the rover. That issue is easy to remedy with spare parts, but I wish the set came with the links already. Secondly, the interior is hard to access. Two sections of the roof lift off, the cockpit and the rear. However, the mid section does not come off. Consequently, you can place a Minifigure easily in the cockpit or on the bed. The lab space is not very accessible. I rate the build for the Space Rover Explorer at 85%.
This set only comes with one Minifigure, a male astronaut. He features all of the standard parts, as well as a double-side face and torso print. However, he does not have any leg printing, nor does he come with a separate hair piece for when you remove his helmet. In terms of accessories, the set includes an oxygen tank for the minifig to wear, a cup, a wrench, and a two-way radio. Interestingly, the astronaut’s torso print is new for this set. It has the classic space logo on it, but the look is otherwise original. I like it a lot. I rate this character’s design at 100%.
Where Space Rover Explorer really suffers is Minifigure count. Of all the Creator 3-in-1 sets I have built, this one has the worst brick-to-fig ratio (510:1). Comparatively, my average ratio for the theme is 255:1. For LEGO® sets in general it is 163:1. The Minifigure in this set is great, but he needs companions. I rate the ratio score at 25%. Averaging the design and ratio scores gives an overall Minifigure rating of 63%.
As an adult fan, I enjoyed building this rover. Photography was also loads of fun. Additionally, this set inspired me to do some drawing projects that I might share at some point in the future. However, the set will not appeal to everyone. I am not sure that it is “Classic Space” enough for hardcore fans to get nostalgic. With that said, anyone building a custom space scene using the 2019 City sets may find some display potential here. I only wish it came with more minifigs featuring that great torso print. I rate the AFOL score at 80%.
KFOL space fans will enjoy the Space Rover Explorer. As a kid, I would have loved this. The rover is loads of fun for play. Additionally, the fact that it rebuilds to a shuttle or outpost increases its value. The alien build also offers another playable character in a set that sadly comes with just one Minifigure. The drawings this set inspired me to make would have made great play scenarios for a younger version of myself. Space exploration also appeals to a lot of young minds. However, it remains niche interest even if it is a broader niche. The set also needs a female Minifigure for the aspiring girl-astronauts out there. I rate the KFOL score at 90%. Overall, that translates to an entertainment rating of 85%.
OVERALL SCORE: 81%
Ultimately, Space Rover Explorer (31107) is a good set, but not a great one. While it comes at a good value, it does not contain enough Minifigures for a set of this size. Additionally, I feel space exploration sets need to come with male and female Minifigures. With that said, I enjoyed the build. Additionally, it inspired me to get creative outside of just building with a fun photography session and some artwork. However, I think Space Rover Explorer appeals only to specific subset of space exploration fans. If that is you, then you are in for a fun build with this kit. What do you think of the Space Rover Explorer (31107) set? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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