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I've been eagerly anticipating this release. A realistic LEGO Saturn V rocket that stands 39 inches tall with detachable stages, lunar lander and printed microfigure astronauts. I thought I'd died and gone to LEGO heaven! LEGO could have easily charged $200 for this set but kept the price tag at $119.99 which is probably why it sold out almost immediately, almost everywhere. I got mine direct from Amazon and not a reseller because I got in very early on June 1st and it has been out of stock since but I have seen supplies coming and going at my local LEGO Store.
Build took 3 hours 18 minutes (see my unboxing, speed build and review video) and was challenging - not one for the younger kids. Pay careful instructions to the manual as mistakes made early on can be painful to replicate (note the use of pliers in my speed build). The finished result is an unbelievable masterpiece of LEGO engineering and a fitting tribute to the pioneers that took one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Check out my video review to see every aspect of the set reviewed in detail.
This LEGO Apollo Saturn V is the biggest and imo the best Ideas set to date. Terrific detail and the completed rocket is over 3 feet tall! Can be displayed upright or horizontally on stands. Fun to build and beautiful to display!
But... the retail price of this item is $119.99. It is a new release and very popular, sold out on Amazon and the LEGO site as soon as it was available. It should be in stock at the regular price again once they catch up to demand, so don't shell out extra money to these third party "marketplace" sellers unless you have money to burn and don't care about wasting it. And even then it's good idea to pass and not reward these sellers... they are the reason the set is out of stock, they buy them all up so they can turn around and gouge you!
This set is stunning. Build took me around 3 hours, and is not overly complicated. Seeing this set come together is one of the more exciting Lego builds that I've ever done. As you get close to the finish, the scale of this is incredible. At 39" tall, it looks beautiful displayed upright or horizontally, and feels quite sturdy.
You can pull apart the separate stages and put the lander inside as well. It's impressive how accurately this simulates how the real thing worked.
Oh and the astronaut minifigs are TINY. Like smaller than a single 1x1 brick. Once you see their scale next to the rocket, it's even more amazing that NASA pulled this off back in the day with less computing power than we all carry around in our pockets every day.
I'll start off by saying this: If you're a fan of building LEGO sets, buy this set while it's still available. It's well-worth the prices I'm seeing on Amazon right now. It's retiring soon, will disappear into the ether, and will re-emerge with horribly inflated prices.
That said, building this set was so much fun. The end product is beautiful. It's sleek, it's big, and it'll definitely be a show-piece in any room you put it. In comparison to other sets I've built, it's not easy. It's a very intricate build, and instructions must be followed very closely. If a single piece is placed incorrectly, there's a high probability that you'll have to disassemble a significant chunk to correct your error. While building, I would closely inspect my work every few pages. The innards of the rocket are tightly knit and closely aligned, and they must be absolutely correct for the exterior pieces to fit properly. Don't hesitate to double or triple check your work as you progress.
I built the set over the course of a week...basically 2 bags per day. There are 12 bags total, each with a similar number of pieces. In total, I spent about 4 hours building/inspecting. It's a really well-thought out build...different than any other I've experienced. Piecing it together, it seems flimsy as you start each section. Eventually sections fully come together using interesting techniques, and wind up being extremely solid. The end result winds up being a very, very solid rocket.
This set is great in every way. If you're an adult fan of LEGO, you'll love it. If you're a parent whose child likes LEGO, this would be a great set to build with kids. It would expose them to techniques and designs that are likely not found in many other sets.
OK so the last time I built anything with LEGOs was over 30 years ago. But as a massive fan of the Apollo missions I had to buy this. First off DO NOT PAY MORE THAN MSRP. I wanted this kit from the moment it was released. I tried every brick and mortar locations in my area and even took a drive to the LEGO store at Disney Springs. No one had it. So I waited and checked back daily and July 31st it was available on Amazon for MSRP. Upon arriving I was shocked with the kit. Very detailed and the instructions were clear. It was a complicated build but very fun. When complete the detail was amazing and the finished rocket is huge!! Be patient and buy this!
This set is geared more toward older teenagers and AFOLs since it has some difficult steps, particularly on the second stage that would be challenging and frustrating for younger LEGO builders and as always, LEGO sets are not very forgiving of accidental part losses. I wish LEGO would pursue mire of these types of sets of NASA and other Spacecraft sets. I would like to see more with Russian, Chinese, British and French space craft. It is sad though that The LEGO Creator / LDD challenges always eliminate complicated ideas for sets especially when the parts count is high. For example, in Feb 2018 two people who had designed the complete launch tower for this model exceeded the 10,000 nominations to produce the set; but, LEGO turned the production of the set down. Just sad for AFOLs like myself.
I would recommend this set. Nicely executed modeling of the Saturn V even though the building steps need to be refined and some steps resequenced to make it easier to build. It was a fun 16 hours of building time spread out over a week. Thank God, that LEGO now prints on the bricks instead of using the cheesey stick on decals.
I built this for a time lapse video for the 50th anniversary. When I found out there are no stickers in this set and all the bricks are printed, I was over the moon. Be careful and follow the instructions. If you space and put a piece in the wrong place, it can be an issue later on. It may be one small step for you, but its one giant leap back in the instructions to find your mistake. This thing is kind of heavy, so make sure your arm's strong when you pick it up. I know you've heard the Buzz about this set. It's for a reason.
This may be my favorite LEGO model ever, at least to construct. There are a ton of crazy connections to make and I was genuinely excited to see how it would all come together. I've never used many of the techniques before, and I was surprised at how sturdy the model was once completed, despite seeming at points that it would be fiddly.
It stands quite tall, so make sure you have room to display this beast. If you have more horizontal room, the model breaks apart into three pieces that rest on included stands. I put it next to my 10231 and the combination is awesome...just wish they were the same scale. Saturn V is 1:111 scale, and 10231 Shuttle is 1:128 scale, so a little undersized.
The instruction booklet is lovingly crafted with great graphics and information about the rocket, though I wish LEGO would spiral bind their large booklets instead of perfect binding them...the weight of the pages creases the spine. A minor nitpick.