LEGO is continuing its partnership with NASA by announcing a new set – 10283: Space Shuttle Discovery – which also includes the famous Hubble Space Telescope stowed away inside of the build.
This set contains 2 354 pieces and costs US$199.99 / €179.99 / £169.99 / CA$269.99 depending on where you live. For us in South Africa the official LEGO stores have announced that it will be priced at R3 499.99.
In our country LEGO pricing is usually based on the UK. At the time of writing €179.99 converts to R3 179.80. This means that, unfortunately, we’re paying a rather heavy premium to get this set locally.
Overseas this set will be available from 1st April. In South Africa no official launch date has been provided but we can usually expect a released within a week or two compared to the international date.
So what’s on offer here to try and justify that price? Once you’ve put all those 2 354 pieces together you get a model which is 1:70 scale for the shuttle and there’s a plethora of small details and functions such as flip out landing gear, moving control surfaces and detailed interior spaces.
The real party trick is the payload bay which features a robotic arm to remove the cargo: a similarly detailed recreation of the Hubble Space Telescope. The two can be displayed in a variety of ways: with the telescope completely folded away inside of the payload bay, with the robotic arm removing the telescope, or the pair side by side. Three separate stands are included in the box to display the models in these three distinct ways.
This is, we’re sure you can agree, an absolute stunner of a buildable model. Really the only problem is the price as it’s already expensive and local fans are paying even more. If this is your first time seeing LEGO NASA craft we should also show you the NASA Apollo Saturn V, a 1 969 piece set that sells for R2 499.99. While it has less pieces it’s longer when built standing a metre tall. That’s just another one of the NASA Sets available right now.
You can see more of set 10283: Space Shuttle Discovery in the designer video embed below. In it the people behind the project explain how the set came to be with the price being somewhat explained by new pieces and fancy “lacquer drum” pieces that are coated with ink to replicate shiny metallic parts.
For those you prefer stationary glamour shots you can find a gallery of the released images available here.