In 1978, LEGO first started producing space-themed playsets, and so what is today known as "Classic LEGO Space" was born. Stretching for a good decade from 1978 to 1988, this LEGO Theme was a 20 Minutes into the Future type of adventure dealing with very simple exploration of the solar system, establishing moon bases and conducting research on the planets. The sets were known for their bright palettes; most craft and buildings were bright blue, with a small few instead being a bright grey.
Tropes present in the Classic LEGO Space period:
- Absent Aliens: The closest the setting ever came was the appearance of some Non-Human Head aliens in the 6000 ideas book, in what may well have been a dream sequence.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Word of God on the various space suit colours:[T]he Red and White spacemen started as Cosmonauts and Astronauts. Later they became red pilots and white explorers, yellow were introduced as scientists, blue as security/soldiers, black as spies.
- Exty Years from Now: The Space Command Center (sets 493 / 926), introduced in 1979, has a panel reading "LL2079", implying it's set a hundred years in the future.
- Fan Sequel: "Neo-Classic Space" is a popular building trend in the LEGO community, devoted to taking the general bright aesthetic of classic Space and putting a more detailed modern twist on it.
- Humongous Mecha: Set 6951, the Robot Command Center / Cybernaut.
- Market-Based Title: The sets had different names in the UK and US markets. Particularly confusing when it came to ships called "Explorer" — in the US, it refers to set 497, while in the UK the name was carried by sets 6890 and 6980.
- In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: This was before The LEGO Group even designed visors for minifigure helmets.
- ISO Standard Human Spaceship: Most of the smaller ships are plain grey, angular, and with exposed studs in lieu of rivets. A few larger ships in the mid-1980s have the same aesthetic, with the addition of green windows.
- Space Plane: A good 60% of the sets were either spaceships or small personal flyers.
- Space Station: Fixed buildings tend to be blue, boxy and with yellow windows.
- Space "X": Quite a few sets were simply called things along the lines of "Space X" (eg Space Scooter, Space Buggy, Space Digger). Parodied in The LEGO Movie's ''Behind The Bricks'' Featurette:Benny, the 80s-something space guy: We've got, a space dog, space cat, space chair, space shelves, uh, I think there's some space food, ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM! We have astronaut milk, uh, sh-shelves, did I say shelves?
- Spacesuits Are SCUBA Gear
- Standard Sci-Fi Fleet
- Tin-Can Robot: Minifigure-scale robots are boxy approximations of the humanoid form made from bricks, with a 'robot arm' element designed to resemble the classic 'flexi-tube with pincers on the end' look.
- Trope Maker: This was the first space-themed LEGO line (though there were a small few space sets before the themes kicked in). It was also one of the first LEGO Themes outside of towns and cities (the first Classic LEGO Castle sets also debuted in 1978).
- 20 Minutes into the Future
- Walking Tank: 6940, the Alien Moon Stalker / Thunderfoot Launcher.
- Zeerust: The overall aesthetic, especially in the astronaut figures, is reminiscent of 1950s science-fiction (although some sets are quite angular and utilitarian as typical of 70's sci-fi - this was one year after Star Wars after all).