It’s time to take a look at a new set that revisits a classic, as 40580 Blacktron Cruiser is coming to the official LEGO online shop and will be free with qualifying purchases.
Blacktron is back! After spoiling fans with last year’s 10497 Galaxy Explorer, 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle and 40567 Forest Hideout, LEGO.com is continuing the retro recreations with 40580 Blacktron Cruiser. This time around, the beloved Blacktron faction is getting a modern update of a classic model – and it’s free when you spend $170 / $190 / €190 at LEGO.com, starting January 1.
That’s a high threshold, but fortunately there are plenty of new LEGO sets to add to the online basket. While it might feel frustrating having to spend that much, this is a decent sized model so is a very decent freebie.
40580 Blacktron Cruiser
|LEGO set name||40580 Blacktron Cruiser|
|Price||Free when you spend $170 / $190 / €190 at LEGO.com|
Building the set is tremendous fun; putting together a spaceship in this colour scheme is an absolute delight. It comes together quickly, built in three distinct sections. Many vessels in the Space theme could split down into smaller ships, so this modular approach is very much in keeping with the classic theme.
The set is based on 6894 Invader (known in some territories as 6894 Blacktron Cruiser), but like the retro sets from last year, it deviates somewhat from the original model. The cockpit element used in 6894 is no longer produced, so the set has to be modelled around a modern piece. A sleeker shape is much more pleasing than the blockier look of the original, with this feeling like a spacecraft that could exist in a modern sci-fi video game.
Functionality from the original model has been retained in 40580 Blacktron Cruiser; as well as the aforementioned modularity, there’s an opening cockpit for the pilot, a storage area for a crate of black bullion and the robot, with weapons clipped to the interior and exterior.
Seeing the Blacktron minifigure back is an absolute treat. It’s a classic and the modern version sticks with the clean lines and simple printing of the original – but there’s now back printing too! This is a nice way to distinguish the minifigure from the vintage one, which should be helpful when buying them on the secondary market.
For the cherry on top, the set comes in packaging that is influenced by classic LEGO System sets of the 1990s. It’s lovely to see that clean design back, even it lacks some of the ‘pop’ that the original artwork had thanks to the use of actual photography.
Hopefully the LEGO Group won’t overdo these retro sets, as they do feel very special indeed. Getting to build a new Blacktron model is a slightly surreal experience that results in an attractive and intimidating spaceship.
VERDICT: The size of this set is perfect for the subject matter and it delivers a really satisfying hit of nostalgia.