Back in Bargain Bricks, Episode 8, we took a look at the Utility Shuttle (60078). I acquired it at a good cost in a bin of bricks I purchased off of Facebook Marketplace. The set was not complete, but even with the Bricklink orders I placed, it still only cost me $8.26. Incidentally, I love the City theme space sets. Truthfully, any science themed sets tend to make my wish list. However, space exploration holds a particular sense of wonder. Perhaps because it is so close, yet still just out of reach for the average person. In any case, this week we are taking a closer look at the Utility Shuttle.
UTILITY SHUTTLE SUMMARY
- NAME: Utility Shuttle
- SET #: 60078
- THEME: City
- COST: $29.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 155
- MINIFIGURES: 2
- RELEASE DATE: May 18, 2015
- RETIRED: November 1, 2016
UTILITY SHUTTLE QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 57% (This set was not a good value at full price.)
- BUILD: 90% (Simple design with good detailing.)
- MINIFIGURES: 81% (A good number of characters, but only okay designs.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Fun set for space enthusiasts with great play value.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 80% (Good set.)
UTILITY SHUTTLE REVIEW
As I write this, the Utility Shuttle has long since retired. However, when it was fresh and new, the set retailed for $29.99 in Canada. Consequently, the cost-per-brick was $0.19. That is a bit on the pricey side, but not unheard of for a City set. Compared to other City sets, it earns a score of 76%. However, the Utility Shuttle fares worse in a comparison against LEGO® sets in general. City has always been an expensive theme. As a general LEGO® set, Utility Shuttle earns 62%. Averaging these scores gives a cost-per-brick rating of 69%. This set did not offer a lot of bricks for the price.
This was a really short build. I assembled the whole set in 16 minutes. Consequently, the cost-per-minute of build time was $1.87 at recommended retail price. That is not the most expensive build time I have seen in the City theme, but it is close. With that said, this was a second hand set for me. I carefully laid out all the bricks before building to ensure they were all there. As such, I eliminated all searching time from the build. Perhaps assembling this set from the box would have taken slightly longer. In any case, I rate the build time score at 45%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 57%. I am quite happy to have only paid $8.27 for mine second hand.
The Utility Shuttle is essentially a smaller version of the Spaceport shuttle released in the same year. I bought the Spaceport on liquidation as I was emerging from my dark age. I opted not to buy this one at the time because I was on a tighter LEGO® budget, and I wanted the larger ship. Despite the poor value, the Utility Shuttle still represents a cheaper alternative to the Spaceport. Additionally, it is by no means a bad alternative. The shuttle is quite nice.
The front of the vessel features the same nosecone design as the Spaceport shuttle. The nosecone lifts off to reveal an interior with enough room for both Minifigures included to sit. Additionally, I really like that both Minifigures get their own computer bricks. The payload bay is behind the two seats. As expected, it is smaller than the Spaceport shuttle’s storage area, and there is no robotic arm. However, it does feature enough room to fit the small satellite side build included with the set. Of course, the payload bay doors open to deploy the satellite. The payload bay also features control panels, which is a nice touch.
For a small shuttle, this is a nice one. It is less futuristic than the more recent shuttles, but the design is solid. I particularly like the angled wings. I do wish the rocket engines included some trans-orange bricks to simulate fire through. It is an easy enough fix, but little details like that would help the value rating. Additionally, do not expect any overly complicated or novel build techniques in this set. However, it will teach you basic space shuttle structure. I award the Utility Shuttle 90% in terms of build.
This set includes two Minifigures, a male and a female astronaut. Each consists of all the standard parts. Both have their astronaut gear, and you acquire a wrench as well. However, neither character comes with an alternate hairpiece. Therefore, both are bald without their equipment on. That is a little disappointing. Additionally, neither character has a double-sided face. They both have front and back torso printing though. I rate the character designs at 70%.
Two minifigs in a 155-piece kit is good by City standards, but excellent compared to LEGO® sets in general. As a theme, City tends to offer a lot of Minifigures per set. In this case, I rate the ratio of bricks to figs at 91%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 81%.
I love the City space exploration sets. Consequently, I found this set very enjoyable. It is not a hard or long build. However, the end result is a fun little shuttle. From a display perspective, it looks realistic enough to sit on my shelf with some space books or something of the sort. Additionally, the Utility Shuttle has a lot of play value. It is very “swooshable” for kids. Space sets are not for everyone though. As such, this is more of a niche interest set… though I like to think space exploration is a slightly bigger niche than something like ninja mechs… but I could be wrong. In any case, I rate the entertainment score for the Utility Shuttle at 90%.
OVERALL SCORE: 80%
The Utility Shuttle (60078) is a good set that suffers from a terrible value. Given the size of the set and the amount of build time that you get, it was expensive. The good news is that you can acquire a used copy of the set cheaper than it originally retailed for on Bricklink. For space enthusiasts, that might just be worth it. The set is a fun little build with nice details. The Minifigures are a little uninteresting, but what space fan doesn’t have a million astronauts already? You can easily swap them out for nicer ones in your collection. Utility Shuttle is an even better play set than display piece, so aspiring KFOL astronauts will probably like it. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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