Deconstructing Lego is a blog that analyzes Lego sets under a variety of lenses, sometimes comparing similar sets from different years or creating a story based around a set or analyzing the implicit message that a set creates.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

4950: The Loader-Dozer

Moria.  You fear to go into those mines.  The Dwarves dug too greedily and too deep.  You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum...shadow and flame.

The Rock Raiders theme, released in 1999, contains a series of sets wherein members of the LMS Explorer dig for energy crystals.  According to Rock Raider mythos, the LMS Explorer was on its way home when it ran into an asteroid field and was badly damaged.  After being flung towards the Planet U, members of the ship dropped down to the planet to extract ore and Energy Crystals.  The series has the same goal of many themes, collecting crystals.  Rock Raiders, however, has a much greater backstory, with comic books and a game that explain why they need the resources.

Of course the Rock Raider crew also ran into their own troubles, namely the Rock Monsters.  They feast on crystals, just as the Rock Raiders need the crystals to power their ships, and are only aggressive when their crystals are in jeopardy.  While the Rock Monsters are seen as brutish enemies, they are really only protecting what is rightfully theirs.  However, the crew of the LMS Explorer is not merely mining crystals for profit, exploiting the Planet U, but rather need to in order to successfully escape and return home.

So, unlike many crystal-collecting themes, the Rock Raiders may be disturbing the natural habitat but are only doing so in order to survive.  A stark contrast to the Aquanauts and Aquasharks who are disturbing the natural ocean environment for their own gain.

Regardless, the vehicle here is clearly used as a bulldozer of sorts for moving around ore.  The crew member appears to not be deliberately attempting to hurt the Rock Monster, but rather is attempting to escape and leave the monster alone.  While he could easily use the dynamite on top of the vehicle to destroy the Rock Monster, he decides instead to merely flee the otherwise peaceful creature.

The rich mythos of the Rock Raiders gives us more to work with and allows us to see them not as capitalistic exploiters of the resources of a distant planet, but as shipwrecked explorers.


  1. haha another classic analysis from yourself, great stuff. i loved this set, the comics made it come to life

  2. rock monsters in lego, perfect sense ! nice breakdown ;)

  3. heh good stuff and I gotta agree with Speedy Ed there, excellent break down!

  4. Ive always enjoyed lego just for its pure entertainment value, but i like how you make a story and even dive into the morals and some of the ethics related with the sets.

  5. 1999, i must have just missed this one. I loved lego, it`s a shame I can`t be a child again.

  6. Dude love the in-depth analysis of lego I had alot of these things! Awesome blog and followed you wanna check out my retro gaming blog?

  7. oh man! blast from the past!! haha makes me wish i still had legos...

    oh and here's my blog if anyone's interested; just my thoughts on day-to-day life, I'll update it every day or so:

  8. As a kid I used to wake up every morning before school and just play with lego, this brings back memories!

  9. I remember the old lego castles from back in the day. Awesome to see that new and improved ones are still around :)

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