Review: Imaginext Alpha Explorer Space Shuttle Playset… and space toilets

Being an astronaut can be a pile of poo sometimes

Being an astronaut can be a pile of poo sometimes

During the school holidays, we took Gammon and Chips to the National Science Museum in London. It was a great day out, and we were all particularly impressed by the Exploring Space Gallery there. I’d never seen anything quite like it – the Apollo 10 capsule and a replica of the Apollo 11 moon landing ship – to infinity and beyond indeed!

Gammon was particularly taken by the part of the exhibition which explained how astronauts go to the toilet in space. To be honest, it’s not something I’d ever thought about before, but once I saw the mahoosive potential for a rather large (and smelly) space faux pas it really makes you realise that life as an astronaut is not all pretty comets, spectacular asteroids, space food sticks and dehydrated neopolitan ice-cream in shiny silver packaging, but it can actually be a bit sh*t (sorry!) And after we saw an example of the giant space nappies they have to wear, I’ve finally struck ‘spacewoman’ off the list of things I’d like to be when I grow up. That and Space Shuttle Challenger… that didn’t help either.

How astronauts go to the toilet

How astronauts go to the toilet

So my only criticism of the Imaginext Alpha Explorer Space Shuttle Playset that we were sent by the very lovely folk at Mattel/Fisher Price to review was that I couldn’t see any obvious facilities for the poor intrepid plastic spaceman to use. And holding on until orbit brings you round to the International Space Station might be a bit difficult – I’m not sure how many light years of uncomfortable wriggling that would be.

So, this spaceship set is pretty cool – Gammon has been doing loads of imaginative play with it. And as we definitely encourage gender-neutral play in the Gammon & Chips Household, Chips has been getting her astronaut on too (watch this tres cute video here – doesn’t she just do the best ‘whoosh’ sounds?!) IMG_4014

Imaginext Space Shuttle Playset

Imaginext Space Shuttle Playset

The set comes with a main spaceship which docks into the space station, and a smaller space capsule which comes off and fires little space missiles. Gammon liked the capsule so much he took it round to his friend’s place to play with and I think it must have been hit by an asteroid or something, because we seem to have lost radio contact with it. The spaceship comes with a little spaceman and a fuel hose (so you can top it up with space juice at the space station). When you dock the spaceship it make a whole array of very cool lightsabre-like space noises and authoritative space commands undoubtedly from a very serious bossman with a sexy voice down at Mission Control.

So if you’re little spaceman or spacewoman would like one of these space sets, you can get £5 off at the moment when you buy the Imaginext Space Shuttle Playset from Toys R Us for £24.99 (usually £29.99). Both Gammon and Chips think it’s pretty cool, despite the obvious absence of the space bog.

And countdown to launch!

And countdown to launch!

*Disclaimer: We were sent an Imaginext Space Shuttle Playset by the lovely people at Mattel/Fisher Price for the purpose of this honest review. It’s cool. Just don’t fly too close to the sun in it.

 

 

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