As anyone who follows this blog well knows, I love any and all kinds of science. And as followers of my other blog well know, I am also an unrepentant lover of LEGO and happily identify with the term AFOL.
Herein is the consummation of my greatest love with another wondrous thing: science and LEGO! The set is 21110 Research Institute. This is the first totally science-oriented LEGO set that I am aware of (they have had plenty of science-related things in the past), so I simply had to pick this set up as soon as I heard about it.
I saw it first right here on Tumblr, then ran off to place my order at LEGO.com. After some time, my order never came. Due to whatever issue, it turns out they never received my order, either through their error or my own browser. It was really irrelevant. The sad fact of the matter was that the set was now listed as “sold out.”
To the LEGO-mobile! Or rather, to my local LEGO store I went, and they didn’t have any, either. But they told me they may be getting some more….
Over the past few months, I have stopped by the LEGO store repeatedly. I got a date for a possible shipment. I later got confirmation of that shipment date.
On that day (just this past Monday) I called them, had them hold one for me, and stopped by immediately after work. It was mine. All mine! (And good thing I called them to ask them to hold one for me. They were all sold out!)
The set has some rare parts, the builds are easy but effective, but the real value is in the uniqueness of what the set is. I mean, come on, you’ve got a paleontologist, an astronomer, and a chemist! What’s more, they’re all female—a good move considering the ongoing issues with encouraging women in STEM fields. The chemist vignette is fun, with beakers and even some hypodermic needle parts (reused as pipettes?), the astronomy vignette has a cool telescope and a one-of-a-kind star chart piece, and the paleontology vignette has a really ingenious brick-built dinosaur skeleton as well as a microscope. The MSRP is $19.99, easy enough even for this student (who would probably own every single LEGO set ever produced is his checkbook would allow it). What more could we possibly want?
Even the instruction booklet’s first pages contain educational information (a highlight of the set’s creation as well a summaries of the sciences and what such scientists do), and the instruction pages themselves had relevant science-y backgrounds (see photos). All in all, this was a great set, and if you can ever get your hands on one, I would highly recommend doing so! After all, I had luck, and the website now says “Limited quantities may be available in October in LEGO Stores.” So either you get one now at your nearest LEGO store, or you pay lots more on eBay. Either way, I think it’s worth it, both for what the set contains, as well as what the set symbolizes.
For the science, and for the LEGO, signing off!
Science, to a Student