Building the LEGO Exo-Suit

This article was originally published on 10th August 2014.

On Friday 1st August 2014 the LEGO Ideas set #21109: Exo-Suit designed by Peter Reid (reimagined by LEGO Designer Mark Stafford) went on general release in LEGO stores and online. I managed to snag a couple before they sold out (looking at various reports, I think I managed to place my order literally minutes before I would've been out of luck!) and they arrived the following Monday.

A few Several Lots of people have already done detailed reviews, so I'm just going to have some fun.

I'm lucky to have some "Pete Original" robots, so I employed their help in building the exo-suits.

Clicking on the photos will open them in Flickr (opens a new window).

Building the Exo-Suit #1
Behold the box of LEGO loveliness

Please imagine some rousing music here. Maybe Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra (too cliche?), Holst's "Mars" from The Planets (too warlike?), some generic Latin chanting? Maybe even Everything is Awesome if that floats your spaceship (metaphors mixed? Check!).

Building the Exo-Suit #2
Opening the box
Building the Exo-Suit #3
Locating Pete and Yve

Normally, I'd just rip into a box (sorry collectors!), but I thought I'd give this one some special care. Especially as it's one of the old-style flip-top boxes. It just needs the front-flap, clear plastic window and tray insert for that extra 1980s feel! The turtles and Blips are locating Pete and Yve for me.

Building the Exo-Suit #4
Today we have the sorting of parts

Pete and Yve have been found and they immediately get to work organising and sorting the parts ready to build.

Building the Exo-Suit #5
I wonder what these bits make?
Building the Exo-Suit #6
The Turtlebot Pack

Time to start building! The turtles seem very interested in this little collection of parts, I wonder why?

Ahh, it's another Turtlebot. This one is slightly different, having two eyes instead of just the one, although he seems to have been accepted into the Turtle pack. That's good, I was a bit worried he would be rejected.

Building the Exo-Suit #7
Robots come in handy for heavy lifting
Building the Exo-Suit #8
Are they barrels, or is it a spacey drum kit?

Time to build the stand thingy. Good job we've got the robots to help lift things.

Building the Exo-Suit #9
The instruction booklet
Building the Exo-Suit #10
A small problem

Princess Unikitty has come to examine the instruction booklet, at which point we discover a flaw in properly bound booklets as opposed to stapled ones. Once we extricate ourselves, we agree that spiral-bound might have been better -- classier than staples, but more useable than standard binding.

Building the Exo-Suit #11
Lift
Building the Exo-Suit #12
Push
Building the Exo-Suit #13
Shove

We're into the main body of the exo-suit and the robots again prove very useful for heavy lifting and pushing. Although, sometimes the human touch is needed.

Building the Exo-Suit #14
Trying it out for size and comfort

Yve tries the cockpit out for the size and, most importantly, comfort. Seems ok so far, although a cushion would be nice.

Building the Exo-Suit #15
Looks like platform shoes are making a comeback!
Building the Exo-Suit #16
Greebles

Adding the greebles to one of the legs.

Building the Exo-Suit #17
We forgot the step-ladder

Another test for Yve. It's quite hard to communicate with somebody three times your height, so we've improvised!

Building the Exo-Suit #18
The LEGO Designer was over a barrel with this one
Building the Exo-Suit #19
Robots are handy to have around...

Mark Stafford got quite a lot of stick for the use of the barrels in the arms. While not perfect, there wasn't a lot he could do really. I'll probably experiment with alternatives later (as people already have done). Being AFOLs we are not limited by a) parts currently in production, b) illegal techniques, c) parts too expensive for the price-point.

Building the Exo-Suit #20
One completed Exo-Suit. One more to go!

And we have the completed exo-suit being piloted by Yve. It was a fun build... and now I get to do it all over again with my second set.

Things I would change? The barrels I can live with, but might experiment for the sake of experimentation. The only thing I am desperate to change, or rather fix, are the robot arms on the shoulders - they ping off as soon as you look at them. I'll stick some flex-tube or something in them. It's not really the designer's fault, it's the lack of clutchiness in the softer plastic those parts are made from.

And now for some glamour shots!

Building the Exo-Suit #21
Of course I was going to hi-jack the suit!
Building the Exo-Suit #22
"Exo-Suit, Exo-Suit, EXO-SUIT!"
Spaceships are so 1980-something!
Building the Exo-Suit #23
Exo-suits side by side
Building the Exo-Suit #24
The whole gang

The other two green-suited exo-pilots are Mark and Sigourney, named after Mark Stafford (the LEGO Designer) and... oh... no-one in particular.

View the album on Flickr.