It’s that time of year again, when a crack team of TLCB Elves ‘volunteer’ to be fired over the perimeter wall of LEGO’s HQ. Their mission; to uncover the new-for-2024 Technic sets, dodge the guard dogs, and return with this new set bounty to TLCB Towers where fame and glory awaits. By which we mean they’ll get fed.

However this year, things have gone… well, unexpectedly…

42178 Surface Space Loader LT78 

LEGO Technic 42178 Surface Space Loader LT78

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No it’s not April 1st, these really are (some of) the new LEGO Technic sets arriving in 2024, when – for the first time – LEGO’s Classic Space theme and Technic will collide like an asteroid into the surface of the Earth.

Four new Technic Space sets will launch in 2024, each bringing a galaxy of new elements, and each wearing a distinctive white-and-orange colour scheme. This is the first, the 42178 Surface Space Loader LT78.

Interestingly, LEGO have decided to give a Classic Space vehicle code to the new sets’ titles, with the Surface Space Loader denoted as an ‘LT78’, which is what we’ll call it from now on.

Aimed at ages 8+, LT78 features working rear-steering, a curious transformable body – where the bubble cabin can be raised above the surface or lowered close to it – and a side-loading mechanism for picking-up or depositing an orange crate. Kinda like a space garbage truck.

Newly grey tyres, 435 pieces, and a multitude of stickers complete the 42178 set, and you can expect to see LT78 and its cosmic counterparts in Earthly stores for 2024.

42179 Planet Earth and Moon in Orbit

LEGO Technic 42179 Planet Earth and Moon in Orbit

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There is one exception to the vehicles in the 2024 Technic Space range, and this is it; the 42179 Planet Earth and Moon in Orbit, although we’re not sure why LEGO didn’t just call it an orrery, seeing as that’s what it is.

Constructed from 526 pieces, the 42179 orrery creates an approximation of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, and the Earth’s around the sun, with each celestial body represented via bespoke half-sphere elements (with the moon being a ball on a stick).

Turning a handle at the base of the orrery sends the Earth on its orbit courtesy of a large Technic arm, accurately spinning the planet on the correct tilt as it does so, whilst the Moon circulates it.

It’s a lovely example of mechanical engineering, something that perhaps Technic has lost in recent times, and we think it looks rather beautiful too.

The 42179 Planet Earth and Moon in Orbit is perhaps the most unusual addition to the Technic line-up that we can remember, and yet… it’s the one we’d really like to take home.

42180 Mars Crew Exploration Rover

LEGO Technic 42180 Mars Crew Exploration Rover

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The largest of the 2024 Technic Space sets is this, the 1,600-piece 42180 Mars Crew Exploration Rover. Apparently ‘Inspired by NASA Mars Rover Concepts’, 42180 is a huge six-wheel tow-truck/mobile laboratory arrangement, complete with a rotating and lifting crane, pendular suspension, working steering, and a body that can expand or condense for… er, space reasons.

Like 42178, the 42180 set also uses a myriad of System parts alongside its Technic components for greater detail, and allows for range of accompanying equipment, including gas canisters, a robotic rover, and storage containers. These items can be loaded on board by the crane, or there’s another bin-lorry-type-hoist at the rear, with all of the above controlled by mechanical levers and knobs.

The aforementioned System parts also mean that 42180 is approximately mini-figure scale, with a detailed crew quarters and cab suitable for your Classic Spacemen. They probably can’t wait.

New wheel covers, an array of decals, and the return of the Classic Space logo all feature, and you’ll be able to get your hands on the new 42180 Mars Crew Exploration Rover when it deploys in 2024.

42181 VTOL Heavy Cargo Spaceship LT81

LEGO Technic 42181 VTOL Heavy Cargo Spaceship LT81

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The final set in the 2024 Technic Space line is this, the 1,365-piece 42181 VTOL Heavy Cargo Spaceship LT81.

Looking like some sort of spacey Bell-Boeing Osprey, the LT81 features pivoting engines to enable vertical flight, controlled via a mechanical cog, whilst another deploys the landing gear.

A container and a remotely operable vehicle are included, which can be plucked from the martian surface via a fuselage-mounted hook system. It also appears that the container from 42181 is able to be connected to the those included within the 42178 and 42180 sets, combining to build something no doubt very spacey indeed.

As with the other sets in the new Technic Space line, several new parts make their debut on LT81, with others available for the first time in new hues, whilst System pieces are combined with Technic (plus many stickers) for added detail.

Aimed at ages 10+, the 42181 VTOL Heavy Cargo Spaceship LT81 will land at the start of next year. Start turning your bedroom floor into a martian landscape now…

We didn’t see that coming. LEGO’s decision to combine Technic and Space could well be an inspired one, but even if you’re not too sure about trading a supercar, tractor, or giant crane for a martian rover, we suspect many builders will be interested in the new Technic Space line for the parts alone.

Being a car blog, we’re rather more interested in the new earth-based vehicles that we’ll be able to reveal soon, but we nevertheless salute LEGO for boldly going where they’ve never gone before. And we really do like that orrery.