Launch Command Moon Walker Review (6516)
Launch Command is a short lived sub-theme that was released from 1995 to 1997. Not to be confused with the Classic Space, it featured more present contemporary space themes spun off from the City theme. Available on eBay for less than $10, its a nice way to have an appreciation of older sets from almost 22 years ago.
The Launch Command series had its own insignia of a more modern NASA-like shuttle with a blue and red semi-circle. As much as it looks good, nothing seems to win over the Classic Space logo to date.
Box and Instructions
As my used set did not come with a box intact, this is one that's been taken off an eBay listing. Bright colored blue with the LEGO SYSTEM branding and the Launch Command branding on the top right corner of the front print.
Box Art Source: eBay
The instructions are similar to the folded piece of prints similar to the smaller sets that are issued today.
The parts shows weathering and yellowing. It's interesting to see how they do not age uniformly over time even though they're of the same color. After handling bricks of the current age, these bricks seem a little different in terms of material, what exactly? I cant place my fingers on it. Just feels different. Even the minifigure parts feel more dense and solid and tighter fit between torso and legs, head and torso.
The vehicle build steps are extremely simple - perhaps it reflects the days where shape or form factor and details were of less importance but leveraging the imagination and play to fill in the gaps of youngsters.
It's interesting to know that these almost generic minifigures that are issued had names. This particular space person is actually named Becky Blastinoff from Evergreen, Alabama, USA. Yes, I find this quite amusing as today's play themes do not name or provide history to their characters. And even more surprising naming a female astronaut is quite unique too. Given, she does not have the best last name in the universe, but it's good effort!
As mentioned earlier, these mini-figures do seem to have a more 'hardened' quality and a lot more tight fitting compared to the figs we have today. The helmet visor is made of a very shiny material that weathers poorly over time, almost oxidised looking. If you have a good condition visor, it's quite a very nice shiny and spectacular visor to be used. I've not seen these used anywhere in more recent sets.
The final setup with the mini figure mounted on the vehicle does look quite simple but still appealing. I somehow don't see any collectors value in these sets, perhaps because they are pretty much very City Themed looking sets, so simply they lack the details and appeal of the Classic Space series.
Overall, I still find these older sets quite appealing. They bring you back to a time when things were simpler and less complex and encourages more imagination in the play themes. I'm still quite amused that this minifigure is female and after staring a little longer, I'm beginning to see and make that association in those black beady eyes, or perhaps that smile? I think the power of suggestion does play an important role in naming the characters!