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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Space : Ice Planet 2002 : Deep Freeze Defender

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6973 - Deep Freeze Defender

Rating: 4 Stars
Pros: Really cool model, lots of good bricks; contains an Ice Planet babe!
Cons: Goofy landing gear (very minor complaint); ugly orange pieces
Contents: 412 pieces including 3 mini-figs
Price: $44.97 (Discontinued)
Reviewed: 27-Sep-1996
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6973 Ever since the discovery of the rare gas Marcelineon, locked within the glaciers of the inhospitable planet Toria III, expeditions have wielded incredible stores of the precious gas. Those expeditions have proven very profitable to the Intra-Capital Environmentalists' planet group.
Recently, extraction expeditions had become near impossible with the threat of raiding Spyrius ships who also discovered the thriving trade. Now any such danger can be shrugged away with the development of the new Deep Freeze Defender starship. Able to protect any extraction convoys and assist with the transportation of the Marcelineon glacial fragments, even now new adjustments are being made to the existing Defender ship to make it an even more formidable opponent in any intergalactic confrontation.

The DFD is in my humble opinion one of the best of the larger space craft models Lego has come up with. It's big, yet has components which are compact but not gaudy or odd-looking when separated from the ship. The DFD is made up of four components which I will term as the following: two command pods, central/silo section, and aft cargo hold.
Each command pod is identical to the other, a one-man thruster vehicle with skis for landing gear and outside clips and hooks to hold the driver's skis and chain saw/laser. Figures fit comfortably in the pod and with minor alterations to minifig and vehicle, you can even fit two figs to a pod.
The central section is a very cool design in itself, using two sets of wings to give a top-view x-type formation. This section's entire centerpiece is a holding/launching unit for a large probe/rocket. The section's hinged canopy has a connecting pin at the base of the hinge for the rocket. As the roof is raised, the pin holds the rocket in place and raises it at the same time so that with the roof raised at a ninety-degree angle, the rocket stands ready for the launch. This central unit's nose is a curious five-pronged assembly which could also be a mini-satellite or a multi-phaser weapon system.
The aft cargo hold is a little more bulky looking, but is probably the sturdiest of all sections. It has a segmented canopy/door (like garage doors for town system models) which slides back to reveal its cargo area. This area also holds a small scout vehicle and is constructed so that as the garage door is rolled back, the scout ship (loaded on a rotating axle assembly) flips up and points into the sky for a quick launch.
There isn't a lot to the scout craft (though it could be used as a quick escape vehicle) so I prefer to use this large, approximately 8x8x5 area to hold large amounts of cargo or passengers. (Side note: center and aft sections use white top-mounted thruster elements for propulsion, but the ships also actually rest on these for landing which I'm not too crazy about but I'll get over it.)
As mentioned, each component functions well on its own, or a command pod can be inserted into the front of the center or aft section to create a different looking ship. My preference is to use all modules as one large craft.
The set contains three figs (two men and a woman) with standard Ice Planet equipment, but I would rather equip my crew without the back-mounted tanks because I can get more individuals into a vehicle that way. (This also applies to other Space and Aquanaut sets.) I guess you need to decide how badly your people need oxygen (fuss, fuss).
There are no particularly unique parts here, it's mainly standard space stuff: tubes, antennas, transparent panels (corner and side), but the segmented garage door is not common to space (and never comes in bright orange with town sets) and it was very nice to get three pairs of wing-flats for alternate sets. There are no stickers with this set, any and all pieces with decals are preprinted.
This set was a lot of fun. If you collect space but haven't got any large ships, I'd take the plunge and pick up this set. It is scarce at retailers (but not entirely impossible depending on your area) and I just called Shop at Home this morning to find out it is no longer available through them although it did appear in their 1996 Holiday catalog.

90 readers have rated this set as 4.71 out of 5 stars.
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