Well, back for a limited time, and not as a general retail release…
The LEGO Group has released official images of an upcoming gift with purchase: 40580 Blacktron Cruiser. I might have just wept a little. The new set is expected to come as a gift with purchase in the new year.
This set follows in the footsteps of the 40567 Forest Hideout, seen earlier in the 2022, rereleasing a popular set from days long past, using contemporary building techniques.
The new set is a reimagined version of 6894, also known as the Blacktron Invader in the USA catalogs around the time of its original release.
What can we see from the new box image?
The new set brings a a sleeker looking ship – using the new windscreen seen with Buzz Lightyear’s XL-15 spaceship, released earlier in 2022. Like the original, it is modular, and has wings that swing out. Looking at the modules, they appear to be held together using clips and the 1×2 rounded brick with bars, used to great effect in Monkie Kid sets over the past 12 months. Zooming in on the images provided, it would appear that the graphics are provided using stickers, rather than printed elements.
With 356 elements, it features many more than the 164 seen in the original set, which is consistent with contemporary set design techniques. Particularly in sets aimed at an older age range.
I love that the box art recreates the look and feel seen back in 1987. It looks like we also get a Blacktron pilot (to be honest, all Blacktron 1 minifigures look the same.), along with a small brickbuilt droid. I am, however, a little intrigued that this set comes with an 18 years and up label – I suspect related more to the nostalgia effect, rather than the complexity.
I own precisely one Blacktron 1 set: fortunately it happens to be the 9894 Invader/Cruiser. I can’t wait to compare it with the new model.
The arrival might have been considered to have been heralded by a tile that appeared in the rereleased Galaxy Explorer, 10497 earlier in the year. A favor that appears to be being returned in this console image appearing on the back of the box, with a Galaxy Explorer Silohuette on screen.
Perhaps it was foreshadowed even earlier by the arrival of Space police in series 21 of the Collectable Minifigures.
I hope to put the new and the old up head to head ‘Real Soon Now’ – Blacktron was the original Enemy Faction in any LEGO theme, and remains a fan favorite after all these years. I cannot help but think this will be an extremely popular Gift With Purchase, although the exact buy-in price has yet to be confirmed by the LEGO group.
Will this set tip your move towards purchasing new sets in January? Will you hunt it down on the secondary market? I am looking forward to reviewing the new set soon, so leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time,
Confirmed as GWP 1/1/2023 – 14/1/2023 (or while stocks last). $190 USD / €190 / £170
Australian Certified stores will have the set available with a $310AUD Threshold. It is reasonable to presume at this stage it will be the same at LEGO.com – but checkout LEGO.com/en-au at midnight for further information.