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LEGO 10497 Galaxy Explorer (2022) box comparison with 497/928 Galaxy Explorer (1979)

One of 2022’s most anticipated sets is 10497 Galaxy Explorer, announced at LEGO CON 2022, the set is a reimagination of the classic 928/497 Galaxy Explorer, which is considered one of the most influential and legendary sets that defined the Classic Space theme.

I have a review of 10497 Galaxy Explorer coming up that I can’t wait to share next week, but in the meantime, I thought it’d be great to share how the box compares with the original 928 Galaxy Explorer’s.

The set number, 10497 is direct nod to the American set number of the 497 Galaxy Explorer – outside of the US, the set had the number 928, which is what most LEGO fans remember it as. Unfortunately, the set number 10928 has been taken by a Duplo set (of all things, lol).

10497 Galaxy Explorer will be released on 1 August 2022, and can be pre-ordered now from LEGO.com. See below for regional pricing and links.

If you’re pre-ordering the set, please consider using these affiliate links as I may receive a small commission with each purchase, that helps support the running costs of this blog!

I’m a bit of a Vintage LEGO connoisseur, and Classic Space has been a favourite of mine, so I’m very fortunate to own a boxed version of 928 Galaxy Explorer. It’s in pretty bad shape, but I can’t complain for a box that’s over 40 years old, and it’s relatively rare to find boxes that are intact these days.

Here’s a look at the boxes side by side. The newer 10497 Galaxy Explorer box has a longer, rectangular shape, but as you can see it retains many of the elemennts of the original, such as the LEGO logo in the top right corner, and set number in the top left corner, which is reminiscent of the box layouts of sets from this era.

The orientation of the Galaxy Explorer ship also mimics the original (sans moon base and landing pad unfortunately!) but as you can see, the design draws heavily from the original.

In the bottom right corner of the box is the 90 Years of Play logo, which features a Red Classic Space Astronaut beaming in the logo.

I really love how this logo is being consistently used across all the sets that LEGO are retro-ing this year – here’s a comparison with the logo on the box of 40567 Forest Hideout gift with purchase (GWP), which saw LEGO remake a classic Forestmen set in June 2022.

One of the most defining features of Vintage-era LEGO were these bright strips of yellow on the top of the box, which featured the words “Legoland” in teal – the new 10497 Galaxy Explorer also features this nostalgic strip, but instead of Legoland, it has the set’s name in teal, in a slightly different font-style, as well as the LEGO logo.

Instead of a photo of the set, and the set number, the newer version has the 1:1 minifigure window on the right.

Here’s a look at the bottom of the box – again, I appreciate the relatively similar orientation of the sets, although the original 928 Galaxy Explorer had alternate-builds featured here.

I like that the LEGO logo is in a familiar position, and curiously, you could see that the original set was intended for those 6 years and above, whereas 10497 Galaxy Explorer has an 18 years and above rating, reflecting LEGO’s newfound focus on targeting nostalgic adults with the toys of their youth.

Here’s look at the side strip, which again features the same shot as the one on the bottom, which showcases the back of the Galaxy Explorer opening up to deploy the Moon Buggy.

Here’s a look at the back of 10497’s Galaxy Explorer box which has more shots and features of the set, with closeups of the interiors and features of the spaceship, as well as the dimensions.

The new 10497 Galaxy Explorer measures 32cm (12.5 in.) x 52cm (20.6 in.).

Interestingly, the box photo on the 10497 Galaxy Explorer product page has this on the right, with the text in teal – my box didn’t have this, and only had more warnings, regular white text, so this suggests that there will be slight regional variations with the box design.

Here’s a look at the back of the box for 928 Galaxy Explorer. Nearly all LEGO sets from this era were known for featuring and showcasing alternate builds that served as inspiration and encouragement to go beyond the build, and make your own creations.

It reflects a drastic shift in LEGO’s direction to a more instructions-led, and model display paradigm, instead of a toy that encouraged creativity and freestyling.

Kinda disappointing, but I did wish that the 10497 Galaxy Explorer box also included alternate builds that could be possible, as it’s such an core design feature of set boxes from this era.

Another big difference is of course the lack of a flip top box. For those that are new to LEGO, older LEGO sets from this era had box flaps on the front that could flip open, revealing the contents in inner plastic inserts, behind a film of plastic.

These were so much fun as a kid, as it allowed you to peer into the set, see what was inside, and also see more alternate models, and photos of the set on the inner flap.

Here’s a closer look at the 928 Galaxy Explorer’s inner flap, which not only showed off photos of the completed sets, but also threw in more alternate models.

And here are the plastic inserts (the plastic window is long gone, unfortunately) where parts were usually nestled. I can see why LEGO didn’t go the extra mile to do this with 10497 Galaxy Explorer – the additional plastic inserts and sheets are not compatible with their aims of ensuring all packaging is made of sustainable/recyclable material by 2025.

That doesn’t make me wonder about what could’ve been and how could would it be to have a set with a flap on the front in 2022.

Lastly, here’s the box with the original 928 Galaxy Explorer, one of my most prized vintage LEGO sets in my collection.

I’ll be sharing my full review of 10497 Galaxy Explorer some time next week, so be sure to keep a lookout for that when the review embargo lifts, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this comparison of the packaging between 10497 and 928/497!

I really appreciated that many of the similarities from the original’s packaging design were carried over, which bolsters this as an incredibly well-done remaster of the 1979 icon. If I had one complaint, it would be the lack of alternate builds and models on the back!

10497 Galaxy Explorer has a release date of 1 August 2022, and can be pre-ordered now from LEGO.com.

What do you think of the box design of 10497 Galaxy Explorer, and how do you think it compares to the original? Does it make you excited for the remake?

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10 responses to “LEGO 10497 Galaxy Explorer (2022) box comparison with 497/928 Galaxy Explorer (1979)”

  1. flow in says:

    i loved the original, and went on to build my own larger version, combining all my sets together. I was very proud of it.
    My son saw the new one and is begging me to buy it. I share your disappointment at the lack of alt builds. lego was, for me, all about the big box of stuff that could be turned into anything

  2. Gerrit says:

    When is your set review video out??

    • Jay says:

      Hopefully this coming week. I got struck down by the flu/cold, and have been sick for a week, so have been a little slow here, sorry!

  3. art says:

    still love and like the old one more.

    1. packing ( the flap is so awesome ) yeah bla bla lego going more substantial so no more plastic bag and plastic films
    for lego plastic toys i get it.
    2. content sad to see lego gone away from the landing strip plates at all even in the city the old street plates where
    awesome for kids to build real citys now the need to just carpet or the hardwood floor and imagine streets.
    an NO the new street brick type streets are overpriced and an rip off.
    3. the build is nice but it moved to much in the new age its not much classic left in this build
    4. still lego packs to much air in the boxes most of the boxes could me 25-33 % smaller which would have an HUGE eviormental impact due much less packaging at all ( cardboard usage per set and print ) also shipping boxes could be smaller if packaging size will be reduced , again LEGO many simple steps are missed out.

    • Jay says:

      Yeah, I really miss the landing pads and moon crater. Maybe they’ll bring it back for their 100th anniversary?

      I agree on packaging size to reduce their carbon footprint as well.

  4. Reader says:

    Now that you mention it, I do recall older Lego boxes having the alternate models and ideas on the back. But nowadays I am more focused on display builds too. There does seem to be less focus on ‘generic’ sets/themes and more on specific ideas that are hard to combine into something else. (Excepting the Classic theme.) Even City has limited customisations nowadays as all you get are windows and roads. An interesting change to think about.

    Good article – you’ve managed to made a box comparison article interesting and worth reading!

  5. GJBricks says:

    That’s a great run through Jay! I’d totally forgotten about the alternate builds. You are so right about that being a great way to encourage creativity! And those flip front boxes were brilliant! I especially liked it on the technic multi-build sets they used to do where you saw all the cogs and bricks you could play with – as well as all the models on the flap you could make. Now I need to go hunt down some space plates for when mine arrives! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  6. tim robinson says:

    Looks like there’s no pre-ordering in the UK, only available on 1st August

    • Shaun Fisher says:

      Looks like you can pre-order this set from Smyth’s toys in the UK. Just ordered mine from there and delivery is expected on launch day on the 1st August.
      Shame I’ll miss out on VIP points, but I get the feeling this set is going to sell out quickly on the official LEGO site and at least with Smyth’s I’ve got myself a set!

  7. Damien says:

    Seems like as part of legos sustainability move, they are switching to punch tabs instead of tape (I have been noticing this on newer sets), which is unfortunate but at least the boxes we get in Australia (from the china factory) use better quality cardboard than boxes I’ve received from other factories

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