Welcome back to our regular Builders’ Journeys column, where we take a look at sets from years gone by, through the eyes of someone for whom that set has a special significance. Today, Branko from New South Wales, via the Netherlands brings us a tale of his childhood, with 6950: Mobile Rocket Transport. This set was released in 1982 and has 209 pieces. Tat year also saw the debut of the yellow spacemen, and this set came with two of them!
6950: Mobile Rocket Transport
As a child the highlight of my birthdays was always getting Space LEGO to play with and modify into my own builds. One set that found itself in the original form very often was “6950 Mobile Rocket Transport” or “Reuzeroller met tweetraps-radioraket”=”Giant Roller with two-stage radio rocket” as I knew it in Dutch. (catalogue image thanks to worldbricks.com) I remember poring over these catalogues very very very often and providing marked up versions to my parents prior to my birthday.
(micro edition courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/danishspaceprogram/)
I loved the design of this set so much that I preferred playing with it rather than modifying it. Fantastic features such as the suspension that adapts itself to uneven terrain triggered me to build obstacles out of anything I could see, the rear wheel steering with rocked propulsion made for great dynamic terrain racing, the rocket handing system that allowed me to put down the rocket anywhere and then launch the satellite at the top, and then recover the rocket using the massive tracking dish, yellow spacemen! (they were new at the time). Did Space-X also get inspired by this recovery system?
When my dark ages hit, I sold a lot of my LEGO and regretfully this set was one of the first ones to go. Once I saw the disappearance of this beauty (and another favourite, 6932 Star Defender 200) I realized my folly and held on to what was left of my collection. Several decades later when I rekindled my love of LEGO I corrected my folly and added this set to my collection again and nostalgia filled me, even more than with any of the other childhood sets. The replacement I bought has more playwear than I remember of my own childhood version. I like to imagine this represents the enjoyment another child has gotten out of the set once I parted with it.
Full realization of how special this set was, hit me last year with the release of “31107 Space Rover Explorer”. This set has a fantastic amount of detail and play value for the size of the set. It contains a similar all-terain suspension system with large wheels, a crane to handle a dome this time, a large tracking dish and a great interior detail with another new space-man. While building I kept being reminded of my love 6950 which made me realize that occasionally LEGO really does hit all the right notes in unison which makes building sets so enjoyable for me.
I think neither of these sets will ever get parted out into my LEGO parts collection; as a set they hold far more value to me than as individual pieces. Thank you, LEGO, for providing me with this level of joy, and for providing this beautiful recent rekindling of childhood memories.
Thanks Branko for taking us back. This is certainly a more detailed, more chunky rocket launcher than we first saw in LEGO Space with 897
The rocket launcher model is always a popular model in the space range, as I realise this is similar in some ways to the Ice Sat V, remembered by @Danishspaceprogram a couple of weeks ago. There is something about the playability of this sort of set, between the vehicle and the rocket that must have served to capture the imagination of kids over the years…
Would you like to contribute to our Builders’ Journeys column? I believe everyone has a set from their past that is significant for some reason or another, whether it was their first, a set you built with your grand parents, a set you built with your own kids. If you can write a paragraph or two, explaining why that set is special to you, why not send them in. If you do not have photos of it, do not worry: we can probably find one or two to convey what it was about. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and until next time…