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 

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.