- Yellow Spaceman: joins Red & White
- Dish 6 x 6 Inverted (Radar) Webbed: previous dishes were solid and either 4 x 4 or 8 x 8.
- Minifig, Utensil Camera with Side Sight (Space Gun): either an old-fashioned video camera or a bazooka
- Wheel Full Rubber Balloon with Axle hole: perfect for traversing craters
- Hinge Plate 1 x 2 with 2 Fingers / 3 Fingers: New hinging system that will be widely used in a few years, but adoption is low in the early 80’s.
Surface Explorer (6880)
Features: Excavator/backhoe type machine with grabber jaws on one end and a shovel scoop on the other. Twin steering wheels, computer, radar, and twin lasers. Comes with a yellow spaceman and two accessories.
Thoughts: It’s like the mullet of space vehicles: business in the front, party in the back! First appearance of the yellow astronaut. This set goes all in on the new balloon tires. This set is a return to the mostly gray color scheme of early space ground vehicles.
A close-up look at the new balloon tires. This set comes with 12 of them!
Cosmic Cruiser (6890)
Features: Small rocket sled that docks inside a larger spaceship shell (for faster-than-light travel?) piloted by a red astronaut.
Thoughts: Unique design. The blue on transparent dark blue with white is a new color scheme. The hinged vehicle roof is also new this year. The blue slope with classic space logo is unique to this set because its logo is smaller than those that appeared on the early enclosed spaceships (such as the Galaxy Explorer).
The inner rocket sled reminds me of 1981’s Small Space Shuttle Craft (6842)
Close-up look at the new hinged vehicle roof (here in a relatively rare transparent dark blue)
Mobile Rocket Transport (6950)
Features: Large vehicle with new big tires and independent suspension with computers, radar dish for tracking, and a jointed arm for placing a large rocket. Twin yellow spacemen.
Thoughts: Most epic of all the rocket launchers. Much larger than 1978’s Mobile Rocket Launcher (462). The color scheme harkens back to the earliest Space sets: white and black for the rocket and light gray, blue, and transparent yellow for the vehicle (albeit inverted with the base of the vehicle in blue and the top in gray).
The arm is long enough to set the rocket vertically on the ground. I really like the giant transparent yellow inverted space slope combined with the regular windscreen slope and 1 x 6 transparent yellow bricks.
Close-up of the satellite that the rocket deploys.
At just three sets this has been the smallest wave yet. Mobile Rocket Transport (6950) is the stand-out set for this year- it really is a fantastic set that stands the test of time.
Next: Space 1983