Back in January of 2018, the LEGO Ideas team in collaboration with the LEGO Extended Line team ran a contest called Moments in Space. The challenge was to build a small to mid-size space model that was going to be used as an exclusive LEGO gift-with-purchase set in the future. From the almost one thousand entries, the judges selected one grand-prize winner and ten runner-up winners. The winners received some very generous prizes in the form of LEGO sets and a shopping spree, and the grand-prize winner also got the opportunity to have their model adapted into an exclusive gift-with-purchase set.
The grand-prize winning entry from the LEGO Ideas Moment in Space contest was the Coin Operated Cosmic Rocket Ride by LEGO fan Mark Smiley (a.k.a. mjsmiley), who wrote the following about the model: “For every moment in space, there are millions of dreamers on Earth. Keep the dream alive with the Coin Operated Cosmic Rocket Ride! There was a time where a mere idle coin in your parent’s pocket could transport you to the final frontier! From the irresistible lights that drew you in, to the clanky whir of the gizmo hidden in the base, this retro themed space rocket ride brings the fantasy to heart once again! In the back of the base is a crank that you can rock back and forth to give the ride an authentic motion. Or you can turn the crank completely to give the rider a more high flying exciting time. When resting on display, the rocket can be left with a hopeful skyward tilt as it yearns for the stars. This model has about 115 pieces, and the rider can be a regular minifigure or a LEGO Friends mini-doll.” You can see the original and final model in the comparison video below.
As I mentioned above, there were close to a thousand entries in this contest, including the grand-prize winner, ten that were selected as runner-up winners, and many other really good ones. If you like small to medium-size space models, I highly recommend checking them out at the LEGO Ideas contest page.
Now that more than a year has passed, and just as promised, the Coin Operated Cosmic Rocket Ride has been turned into an official LEGO set, the #40335 LEGO Space Rocket Ride. It was slightly redesigned from the original submission, including an elongated rocket and base, as well as some changes to the colors. Here is the official description of the set: Take a ride back in time with this LEGO Ideas Moments in Space competition winner – the retro-themed Space Rocket Ride. Place a coin element in the slot and turn the sprocket to operate the ride. Includes a minifigure.
The #40335 LEGO Space Rocket Ride is free with purchases of $99 or more from 06/05/19 through 11:59pm EST, 06/18/19 or while supplies last only. Qualifying purchase must be equal to or greater than $99 in merchandise only; any applicable taxes, shipping charges, or value of gift cards purchased do not apply to merchandise total. Offer excludes Bricks & Pieces and backorder items. Cannot be applied to previous purchases or combined with any other discount, offer or free gift. One free set per household. Item is valued at approximately a $12.99 (US) retail value and cannot be exchanged or substituted for any other item or cash value. Item is available exclusively through this offer; additional sets cannot be purchased. Offers not valid at LEGOLAND Parks or LEGOLAND Discovery Centers.
The #40335 LEGO Space Rocket Ride comes in an attractive cardboard box with an image of the set on one side, and some of the functions demonstrated on the other side both on a starry background. The instruction booklet is fifty pages long, and includes a page about the fan designer, Mark Smiley, 36 year old engineer from Plano, Texas. The parts to build the rocket ride come in three unnumbered bags.
The base of the #40335 LEGO Space Rocket Ride is built on a black 6×10-stud plate. The building is pretty straightforward, but the LEGO Technic mechanism is very clever. Next, you build the spaceship, which starts with a red 4×6 plate. It’s a great little model that definitely reminds me of coin operated rides. Just like the original contest submission, the ride can accommodate either a regular LEGO minifigure, or a LEGO Friends mini-doll. The little boy included in the set comes with short legs, so he can’t really sit down, but he looks fine just standing in the rocket. And, he wears an awesome LEGO Classic Space shirt!
It’s also worth noting that five printed 1×1 coins come with the set (one is an extra), which is nice. Other extra pieces are just some 1×1 round plates, an extra decorative star, and other small bits. The mechanism to make the ride rock back and forth in a circular motion works flawlessly. This is a great little set overall that can be incorporated into LEGO City fairgrounds, parks, or other settings, or just used by itself. I should also mention that the rocket is only connected to the base with a LEGO Technic rod, so it’s really easy to remove and whoosh it around if you choose to.
Again, remember that #40335 LEGO Space Rocket Ride is available free with orders of $99 or more starting today until June 18th. There are plenty of new sets, and also some great previous releases that you can get to meet the minimum amount. This offer is valid at official LEGO stores and the Online LEGO Shop.
Also, don’t forget that LEGO VIP members also get a very cool looking NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander patch when they purchase the #10266 LEGO Creator NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. The patch has an adhesive backing and includes the LEGO logo and a picture of the Lunar Lander. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with this cool piece of space history! This offer is valid for LEGO VIP members June 1-9 at official LEGO stores and the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the exclusive LEGO Space Rocket Ride? Are you planning to place an order to qualify for the set? What are you getting? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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Oh, man, I love this! I don’t know what I would do with it exactly, but I love the design! 😀
Thanks for the update! We surely don’t want to miss this. I wish we could get a few extras for the kids. Does it have any special pieces? Or can we build more on our own?
Hm… no special pieces, but you do need to have the right Technic elements to build it. One thing I really like is that you can easily remove the rocket and replace with another ride. 😉
Wow! Love this! I was one of those kids that would wander off and ask perfect strangers to put a coin in the rocket out in front of our grocery store. My poor Mom! Looks like I’ll be going to the Lego store this weekend. This will look great out in front of the Grand Emporium in my little Lego town.
Ha-ha! That’s a fun story! Thanks for sharing! 😀
What are you guys getting? I’m looking at the Lunar Lander! It’s a great match to the Saturn V. Other than that, I think I will wait until next month, or when the City Space sets are available.
I’ve decided to pick it up with the Lunar Lander since it has some overlap with the VIP patch.
Of course there are some big LEGO Movie 2 sets that will net you some double VIP points so that could be another option.
So, should we name it ” rocketman” after sir Elton John? Lol!👨🚀
LOL! I don’t see why not… 😀
Where there any other previous freebies that were designed by afols (or kids). I find it really nice that they picked a fan designed set.
And it’s a delightful set too!
To my knowledge this is the first instance I’ve heard of for a free promotional set designed by a fan.
We’ve had full sets in the past like the LEGO Factory Market Street set in the modular line and an exclusive 4×4 Technic vehicle that came out some years ago.
But LEGO has run quite a few promotions over the years and they may have done something on a regional level. Though we are definitely seeing more fan designs with LEGO Ideas and the BrickLink sets that are being sold right now from their AFOL designer Program.
I will say I’ve seen third party sellers who sell custom parts giveaway fan designs from time to time that were made from official LEGO parts, but none of those were considered LEGO branded like this one.
And they also included the fan designer’s picture and story, which is really cool. Nice way to make lifelong fans! 😀
When are the city space sets available? I forgot. Are they coming next month? That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. But I also want this rocket. 😀
The City Space sets will be available in North America on the 23rd. I believe they are already released in some other regions.
I think I will get some of the Ninjago sets, and maybe some creator. It seems like the patch is no longer available with the Lunar Lander? I tried it out and it wasn’t added to my cart.
I heard that the patch has been iffy online. It shows up for some people and not for others. It’s possible that stock is getting low.
Yeah, I can’t wait for the city space theme to come out. I Wonder if the $149.99 set is going to be an exclusive set to certain stores (wal-mart or target)? I can’t decide if I should get the people pack first or the space station first. I got time to think about it.