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Lego Space Sets Past and Present

First introduced in 1978, Lego space sets featured spaceships and astronauts. It is also one of the largest and most expansive toy sets that Lego has produced. It has about 200 individual sets, which when connected formed one big outer space set.

The first of the Lego space sets that were produced were considered to be a great leap forward in terms of design. It has since become one of the most loved and cherished Lego products putting it up the same pedestal as the Lego train sets, pirates Lego themed sets and the medieval castle sets. In comparison to the former space set releases which included the Rocket Base, Space Rocket and the Moon Landing sets, the newer and better themed Space and Mars showed new building techniques as well as Lego parts that were previously unseen. Even though the traditional Lego bricks were still present in these new sets, they also had some finer details, which enabled more multi-purpose space vehicles and smoother looking battleships.

In the early space sets there were certain oddities such as the use of a steering wheel to drive the spacecraft and even though it lacks any on board pilot protection except that of the space suit, it was still enough to spark the imaginations of kids back then. From battleships and the basic 4 wheeled vehicles, the theme further developed and was often said to be following the trends of science fiction movies that prevalent at that time. As their development continued, the vehicle designs became more advanced as well.

The addition of Lego minifigures, robots, space bases, buggies, as well as, larger battleships soon followed. These early sets, though sometimes rather humble when compared to today's standards, were some of the most modern among other sci-fi inspired toys during that time. They were simple yet very charming toys that kids adored. Occasionally, gray became a major color for this theme which well fitted to its very futuristic and utilitarian theme. There were also more building base plate type Lego parts, in that color, that were being made. More often than not, these gray parts were paired with green, which can be seen in the space ships windows. Other dominant colors also included yellow and blue.

The most recent of space Lego sets would be Life on Mars, which included interaction between the human Lego minifigs and the Martian ones. It shows a very peaceful co-existence between both races and was released during a time when there was much interest and curiosity surrounding the red planet and the possibility of other beings living on it. The new set incorporated what was thought to be very reminiscent of a Martian landscape, so the sand that was colored in green, red and purple.

Although not as colorful as the previous sets, it did feature a first, which is the transparent brown windows for the battleship. Following the release of Life on Mars, 2007 saw the debut of Mars Mission, which is the second installment in the series of Mars related sets. Unlike the early ones where the humans and extra terrestrials exist peacefully, these sets saw them being pitted against each other which was what the children did with the first set anyway. Up to date Lego space sets are sure to be released in keeping with the advances in today's space technology.

Source by Bronnie Vaughn

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Differences Among the Major Construction Toys

There's several major brands of construction toys, and you've probably heard of some of them, such as LEGO, Technic and K'nex.

LEGO is by far probably the most popular construction toy, and almost every child has a set of LEGO or has played with it before. What makes LEGO so popular is that it is incredibly easy to build with because it is based on bricks. There are no complex piece designs, and pretty much everything snaps together vertically, which makes it ideal for youngger children. The pieces are often very detailed and the sets have different themes, with everything from castles and jungle explorers to space vehicles. These themes are ideal for spurring a child's creativity.

In a way, Technic is a more advanced form of LEGO. While LEGO only consists of basic bricks to stack on top of each other, Technic introduces a more mechanically oriented element with rods that can snap into the sides of bricks to allow for rotating structures. Unlike K'nex, Technic was not designed with size in mind, but mechanical detailing. The sets often come with many different sizes of gears, angled pieces and various shapes that allow for mechanically accurate designs.

K'nex is the most distinct of these construction toys because it completely eschews the brick design that LEGO and Technic use. Instead of bricks, K'nex uses rods and connectors to allow builders to create different structures with. In addition, the type of plastic used by K'nex is also much softer than that of LEGO and Technic, and allows for bending structures. However, K'nex has also released a Micro-K'nex line with smaller versions of standard K'nex pieces, allowing for smaller models. K'nex is ideal for building very strong and large structures because the pieces are comparatively large and the connections between pieces are also stronger.

Source by Timothy Keyes