Since its release in 2010, 10213 Shuttle Adventure has proven to be very popular! Although the model was designed for a 16+ target audience, our consumer call center has brought to our intention that many younger children have been building and playing with the model. As a result, the Direct team has decided to look at the model once more to see what changes could be made in order to provide a better build and play experience for a slightly younger target audience.
10231 Shuttle Expedition may look similar to Shuttle Adventure in many ways, however its build is very different and offers several advantages.
- The fuel tank has been reinforced with supports to strengthen the assembly
- The landing gear is strengthened to function better across many different floor types
- The Cargo doors can now be more rigorously opened and closed
- The entire build has been reworked to limit opportunities for misplacing elements
- Astronauts now have wigs in addition to their helmets (1 male, 1 female). Face prints are also different.
- The new set now has 1,230 elements
- New Satellite can be securely positioned on the new mechanical arm
10231 Shuttle Expedition has already gone on sale in LEGOLAND Billund and will soon be available across all LEGO brand retail stores and on LEGO.com.
LEGO Direct Team
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Sure they might have reworked it to limit potentially misplaced elements (shouldn't they always do this anyway?) to lend credence to the claim of a younger audience than intended, but I am skeptical they would have undertook a complete revision if it weren't for the stability issues.
I don't mind them making the set more child-proof, but it would be nice to have a parts pack that retains the original parts also, to make the alternative/AFOL (original) build.
Also, You can call customer service and ask for a free upgrade pack if you bought the original.
It seems that quite a few people in this forum are concerned about getting this or that part pack or criticizing how TLG explained their redesign when at the same time it does not seem that they are experiencing any stability problems with the models they have themselves.
From the messages put out by the LEGO ambassador, it appears the "stability issue" is simply the tank coming off the shuttle if you swoosh it around. They could have said, well, it is a display model. However, they choose to take actions to cater to their customers (in this case kids specifically). It really has been excellent customer service.
Hint, it doesn't look very different, but if you look close you can see some changes.
What I was critical about was the wording of that communication that does not simply admit that the design was flawed and/or had unacceptable stability issues. Instead it implies that a) younger kids are playing with the models than intended and b) the landing gear works perfectly fine on certain floor types. I own dozens of LEGO Sculptures and similar sets that are considered display sets (UCS Star Wars, architecture) and none of them break apart as easily when holding a large core component. The best comparison would probably be the Sculpture planes -- Sopwith Camel, Red Baron, Wright Flyer -- which are all models that suggest swoosh-ability and aren't as prone to breaking loose. I'm also not under 16 years old.
You know, the tank is supposed to break off the shuttle. That's what happens during launch and I suppose the reason for the break-off feature in a display model is to be able to show it in different configurations. Sets like the Sopwith Camel, Red Baron, and Wright Flyer don't have structural elements that are supposed to break off. They realized in hindsight that it was a little too easy to break off.
seems no one know that problem in australia
so thats why TLG wanna sell in here at this time....