Thanks for joining us for another Throwback Thursday, in which we take a look into our reader’s personal Builder’s Journeys. Take that old set that is important to you for some reason, and write up a paragraph or two about why it is important to you: was it your first set, the set that brought you out of your dark ages, or something else entirely?
This week we hear from Greg M aka @danishspaceprogram over on Instagram. Greg lives in Indiana, USA, and has graciously shared his story today, where he takes us to Iceplanet2002 to revisit at 6896: Ice Sat V.
As a young child, my house featured LEGO. My sister and I had Basic buckets that got a lot of use, and for birthdays I would occasionally receive small sets. But I did not become a full-blown LEGO kid until Christmas of 1992, when I got set 6896, the Ice-Sat V from the Ice Planet 2002 series. (I know for sure that it was 1992, even though Ice Planet is listed as being released in 1993. The sets must have been on store shelves early.)
This set blew me away, even among the other LEGO that I received that year (sets 6879 and 6987). It had everything to hold the attention of an eight-year-old boy: eight chunky wheels that rolled satisfyingly smoothly over carpet, those incredible fluorescent orange parts, a huge rocket that played the part of both offensive weapon and built-in propulsion device for the vehicle, and it was my first experience with magnets in a LEGO set! I was hooked. But the world-building that was inspired by the catalogue spreads featuring the other Ice Planet, Space Police, and Blacktron sets made my imagination run wild. I remember staring at those diorama photos in the catalog for nearly the entire car trip home from my grandparents’ house where we celebrated Christmas, the Ice-Sat V tucked safely in its box so that I didn’t lose any pieces under the seat.
Later on, the Ice-Sat V played a prominent role in many childhood adventures. It frequently did battle against my Spyrius Robo Guardian, alternately destroying the robot with its rocket or getting destroyed by being thrown from the bottom step. It explored my backyard patio where I laid out ice cubes in the summer sun to have the Ice Planet astronaut pilot “melt” them with his laser chainsaw. I built and rebuilt so many other vehicles and robots using the parts from the set that I was able to put it back together entirely from memory. I built miniature versions of it and copies in different colour schemes, which is something I still do to this day.
My early teenage years coincided with the rise of the internet and the earliest LEGO online communities, so I stayed active with the toy for longer than my other friends. But I ultimately succumbed to a dark age in college. As an adult, I gradually got back into the hobby after several years through architecture sets and modular buildings. But at the beginning of 2020 when COVID first hit and I turned to nostalgia to seek some measure of comfort, it was my old Space sets that I wanted to build, and the Ice-Sat V was right there to bring back some childhood joy. It was one of the first sets I rebuilt, re-coloured, and recreated in micro-scale as I launched myself completely into celebrating those Danish sci-fi building toys I enjoyed so much as a kid and will always love.
Be sure to check out Greg’s work on Instagram @danishspaceprogram. Do you have a Builders’ Journey that you would like to share? what was that special set in your childhood? Your adulthood? If you would like to share your story, send a note to email@example.com, and until next time,