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Toys / LEGO Life on Mars

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LEGO Life on Mars was a short-lived LEGO theme from 2001, and a subtheme of LEGO Space. Basically, a small group of human astronauts crash-landed on Mars, discovered Martians, and sat down and observed them for a while. It is unusual among LEGO Space themes for its stronger focus on exploration and discovery over combat; the human astronauts had no interest in conquering the Martians and instead preferred to observe their lives. The only conflict takes place in the online story, where the human astronauts help the friendly Martians deal with a violent rebel faction.

This was the last true LEGO Space theme for several years, until its Spiritual Successor LEGO Mars Mission turned up in 2007. Although both themes share the same Martian setting, unique vacuum pump system, and other similar concepts, Mars Mission does not continue the storyline of Life on Mars and presumably takes place in its own continuity.

Unrelated to the TV show Life On Mars, though that would be awesome in its own right.


LEGO Life on Mars provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Compared to most LEGO Space themes, Life on Mars is closest to modern technology. It certainly helps that it's a Stealth Sequel to the Space Port line, which appears to be set in present day.
  • Ace Pilot: Mac is Earth's best space pilot, and Altair is one of the best pilots on Mars.
  • Action Girl: Cassiopeia is a female Martian who takes initiative in fighting the rebels.
  • All There in the Manual: The majority of the theme's storyline could only be found the website. The LEGO Mania magazine also provided extra information, such as revealing that Cassiopeia is Riegel's daughter.
  • All Myths Are True: Remember all the panic that was caused by people who thought that a 1938 radio drama of The War of the Worlds was a true story? It was. Arcturus was leader of Mars at that time, and he actually did invade Earth and was forced to retreat after being exposed to Earth germs.
  • Advertisement:
  • Combining Mecha: A more unconventional example: all sets were designed to be consistently segmented and modular, and all instruction manuals point out that the modular segments are interchangeable between sets. Also, most of the Martians' sets are mecha.
  • Cool Starship: The Solar Explorer, the humans' rocket ship.
  • Crossover:
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: As it turns out that the events of The War of the Worlds are real, Arcturus's invasion of Earth was cut short by exposure to germs.
  • The Engineer: Mac is the mission's top mechanic, and Antares is the inventor of the Aero Tube Hanger.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Assistant is only known as Assistant.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Martians are humanoid enough, with an upright posture, two arms, and two legs. Though, discounting Rock Monsters, the Martians were the first LEGO alien lifeforms to depart from the standard Minifigure design.
  • Humans Are Special: Defied by Riegel, who seems unconvinced of the intelligence of highly-trained astronauts.
    Riegel: "So you say you are Earthlings? Are you an intelligent species?"
    Mac: "Of course we are! We built a rocket ship and came here, didn't we?"
    Riegel: "You came here, but maybe you didn't build the ship. Maybe you are just test animals. After all, some Martians believe that creatures with - ugh! - hair on their heads must be stupid, since the sun never warms their brains enough."
  • Humongous Mecha: Most of the Martians' vehicles are mecha, and almost all of them have some mechalike traits.
  • Martians: It should be obvious from the theme's name, but Life on Mars is all about human astronauts discovering native inhabitants of Mars.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Biodium is a glowing mineral that is crucial for Martian survival, and the canyon rebels are out to seize it.
  • The Mole: Arcturus was secretly providing information to the canyon Martians.
  • Plot Coupon: Cassiopeia and the astronauts search Mars for three scrolls instructing how to create synthetic Biodium.
  • Power Crystal: The Martians were searching Mars for Biodium, a green type of crystal which creates a breathable atmosphere.
  • The Professor: Doc is the astronauts' resident scientist.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Riegel is a tough ruler, but he is reasonable enough to work with the humans once he recognizes that they do not pose a threat, and he even asks for their help against the aggressive rebels.
  • The Remnant: Seems to be the case with Arcturus, who still seems bitter about the failed Martian invasion of Earth, is the most distrusting of the human astronauts, and is ultimately revealed to be The Mole.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The canyon Martians are rebelling against Riegel's peaceful Martian High Council and are plotting to steal all the Biodium and take over Mars.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Riegel and Cassiopeia, the Martians' ruler and princess, respectively. They take an active role in stopping the rebellious canyon Martians, with Cassiopeia even going out into the field.
  • Shout-Out: Arcturus was leader of the Martians during the 1930s. As it turns out, a certain radio drama in 1938 retelling the events of a Martian invasion of Earth was actually telling the truth.
  • Slice of Life: The LEGO sets, unburdened by the canyon Martian rebels of the online storyline, basically depict daily Martian life.
  • The Smart Guy: Doc is described as a "super space scientist", and Antares is a brilliant inventor.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Riegel's name is frequently spelled as Reigel and Rigel. It's particularly egregious on this page of LEGO Mania, where both the "Riegel" and "Rigel" spellings are used!
  • Stealth Sequel:
    • While it's not directly advertised as such, Life on Mars is actually a sequel to the 1999 Space Port' sub-theme. BB made his debut as a trainee in the Rocket Rescue'' book, which even says that he is training for a mission to Mars.
    • LEGO Racers 2 implies that Life on Mars might also be a Stealth Sequel to the LEGO Arctic line, since the game identifies an identical-looking scientist on the Arctic team as "Doc". It's possible that both scientists may be the same character, much like Brains appearing in both LEGO Power Miners and LEGO Atlantis ten years later.
  • Stellar Name: Every Martian is named after a star.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: You can tell that Cassiopeia is the only female Martian because she's the only one with noticeable eyelashes.
  • Theme Naming: All the Martians were named after stars.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The online bios list each character's respective favorite food.
  • Tube Travel: The big gimmick of the Aero Tube Hanger set is a set of tubes and a big hand-operated pump: Martian minifigures can be placed into pods that can be loaded into the tubes, and depending on how the pump is oriented, either sucked or pushed towards either end of the playset (with two possible destinations for the pushing which can be switched between like a train track).