My International Space Station Came With A Bonus Play Feature


The LEGO Ideas International Space Station is not really intended to be a playset. It’s a serious set for people who like space and want a cool display piece. It’s marked 16+ on the box for a reason. It does a fantastic job of being a display piece, with a high level of accuracy to the source. It’s also huge – much bigger than I expected it to be.


While this set looks great on a shelf, it’s not the sort of thing you give to a little kid for them to play out their ISS role play games.

That’s true for most of these sets – but my International Space Station came with a bonus play feature that I think makes it way cooler.

The build experience is great with a nice complex build utilising some interesting techniques. The build is broken up over 6 bags and comes together fairly quickly. It was while working my way through bag 6 that I discovered that one of the printed tiles used to represent solar panels was damaged. My immediate reaction was obviously to be a little annoyed. LEGO is known for their high standards and things like printing errors are not particularly common. It feels like really bad luck when you do get a problem in your set.


So I went ahead and ordered the replacement part from LEGO (it arrived fairly quickly). It’s an easy process to follow and overall great customer service.

Then while I was looking at the set and following along with all of the Dragon crew launch excitement I had a revelation. My set isn’t damaged. It has a cool bonus play feature.

The set comes with various craft that are docked with ISS. It also comes with a few tiny little astronaut microfigs. My microfigs have a mission. My microfigs are going to have to do several spacewalks to assess and repair the broken solar panel. My ISS is going to need resupply missions of critical equipment.



In the end the misprinted tile reminded me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi. Kintsugi is an art form in which breaks and repairs are celebrated rather than concealed. I think that is what I am going to do with my International Space Station. It is damaged, but that damage is unique and creates a fun story.

I will keep the replacement part safe somewhere but I kind of like that my set is unique. While the real ISS orbits safely above me I can pretend there is excitement and drama happening on my ISS. It’s like my own personal Apollo 13.

If you want to get your own International Space Station you can get it from LEGO directly for $99.99. It is also available from Myer, but being an Ideas set it isn’t going to be included in most sales. [From June 22 – July 19th 2020 this set is on sale at Myer for $89.99]

I really recommend this set for anybody building up a collection of LEGO Space sets. There’s been plenty of Space related LEGO sets and they are all fantastic. This set looks great alongside the Eagle Lunar Lander or even some of last years City space sets.

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This set was provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions are my own.

2 thoughts on “My International Space Station Came With A Bonus Play Feature

  1. wt Reply

    Its a nice build, mine has no damage to repair 🙁 I found the build good but a little fiddly where pieces would fall off easily. Definitely not for kids to play with… Only space set to build now is the lunar lander.

  2. Andrew Reply

    I’m awed by the standards these real-life space sets have achieved. Saturn V was a masterpiece and the lunar lander and ISS look awesome alongside it. Even the 10231 Shuttle (2014?) stacks up pretty well. More please 🙂

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