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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Space : Alien Moon Stalker

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6940 - Alien Moon Stalker

Rating: 5 Stars
Pros: Great design; two detaching vehicles that combine into one look kind of goofy, but were a nice thought
Cons: None
Contents: 259 pieces including 2 mini-figs
Price: Discontinued
Reviewed: 28-May-1997
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6940 Immigrants on the newworld Oasis colony have been pestered by Sissnean tribe bandits since they first arrived but help is coming in the form of a donation of equipment from the nearby military unit. The Alien Moon Stalker will be manned by two skilled professionals on a surprise visit to the robbers' known infested hideout for a quick but thorough cleaning. The robbers' fortress is a medium sized crater protected by three tri-level towers but this poses no serious threat to the large and powerful walker. One visit should be enough to convince the robbers of their evil ways. A shout goes up from the well-wishing crowd of villagers as the walker powers up and ambles off into the night.

I hate to accuse the Lego Group of trying to copy designs from somebody else but you have to admit the designers probably spent at least one or two afternoons watching The Empire Strikes Back when they went to their drawing boards and came up with the Alien Moon Stalker. Still, this model stands out among the Lego lineup of innovative modes of space exploration.
The AMS looks a lot like the walkers of the afore-mentioned space drama on first look but close inspection reveals the large barrel-shaped body to actually be a twin missile silo. Detachable flying units on each end of the Stalker provide a place for human pilots and also give the Stalker some character (although I was kind of disgusted when my three-year-old son looked at this menacing monster and called it a "doggy".)
Briefly, the flying units are a one-man shuttle and a flying platform with a snakelike arm and pincer (operating mini-fig stands/does not sit). An additional construction on the platform unit allows both mobile units to attach to each other (facing out) to function as a combination vehicle. Personally, I'm not too crazy about the rear unit with it's tail/arm that gives the Stalker its "doggy" appearance. As it is, the main body is the coolest part of the model anyway. The fairly spacious interior where the missiles are located can be used as living quarters if you don't have the missiles in place. No doors on the main body, but panels located on both sides allow entrance easily enough. A 2x2x2 utility box is built into each front leg; also, the front and rear legs on each side are joined by a hinge so that they do not walk stiffly when one side's legs advance. The whole model comes in a simple grey and this is the way I remember and like these classic models, too many colors nowadays can detract from a model's coolness in my opinion.
Kit comes with a classic blue and classic red astronaut. Unique pieces are the convex wall panels (four) that make up the walls of the body section (spotted in only two or three other models of the period). These pieces look like two diagonal window frames stacked one on top of the other to make a vertical arch. Panel inserts for these frames come in black and transparent green (four each). There are also eight 1x2 semicircle (macaroni) bricks in grey if you are a fan of those. A few preprinted bricks include a 2x3 slope with the classic orbit insignia and four 2x2 slopes with vertical lines (grill) printed on the sloping side, used on the feet of the walker.
Strangely, the Lego Group only made a couple of walker-type models (maybe Twentieth Century Fox tracked them down with bloodthirsty lawyers for this first attempt). For uniqueness and classic grey colors with green panels, this is a five-star set.

24 readers have rated this set as 4.23 out of 5 stars.
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