With the LEGO Ideas 90th Anniversary set vote underway, I want to start campaigning for my Number 1 vote – Ice Planet.
Stay tuned for the official launch of my Ice Planet 2022 campaign, but in the meantime, I think it’d be a lot of fun to revisit one of my favourite LEGO sets of all time – 6973 Deep Freeze Defender!
Let’s wind back the clock and go back to simpler times in 1993, and check out the Deep Freeze Defender in all its icy glory!
6973 Deep Freeze Defender Set Details
Name: Deep Freeze Defender
Set Number: 6973
Price: US$45 (at launch) – Buy now from Bricklink
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Ice Planet 2002
Release Date: 1993
The Deep Freeze Defender is perhaps one of my most cherished vintage sets, and it has massive sentimental value to me.
Ice Planet was one of my favourite themes (if not, the favourite) as a kid. I didn’t have a lot of LEGO growing up as my parents could never afford most of the bigger sets – the ones with front flaps that could open up to preview the sets contents.
I was always drawn to the Ice Planet sets because I absolutely loved the aesthetic of the theme, with the striking trans-orange pieces against blue and white. The backdrop – Space explorers attempting to set up an outpost on a harsh, icy planet was just irresistible to me as a wee lad.
Ever since I emerged from my Dark Ages, I’ve been making up for my childhood by picking up sets that I always dreamed of having as a 5 year old. Sets that I only got to see at my friends’ houses, or in LEGO catalogues.
The Deep Freeze Defender is one such set, so enjoy this review as I indulge in some early 90s LEGO nostalgia with one of the most iconic LEGO sets of all time!
We’re almost spoilt these days with the huge number of minifigures included in sets. As the largest set in the Ice Planet 2002 theme, it’s quite astounding that the set only comes with 3 minifigures.
We get 2 Ice Planet explorers, and leader of the expedition – Commander Cold featuring his imposing bushy moustache.
Deep Freeze Defender is also one of two sets (the other being 6983 Ice Station Odyssey) featuring the female Ice Planet minifigure, who is designated as a doctor.
It’s a great reminder of LEGO’s heritage in including female minifigures in key sets and their commitment to gender representation.
Of course, one of the most recognizable aspects of Ice Planet is their awesome transparent visors – which I believe are one of the most iconic elements of the Ice Planet theme.
After just using different coloured visors, Ice Planet was groundbreaking at the time for introducing these custom-moulded visors.
Of course, the defining accessory of Ice Planet is none other than the Transparent Orange Chainsaw! These were lightsabers before LEGO Star Wars were a thing, and till today, are unrivalled in their sheer coolness.
Here’s the completed Deep Freeze Defender in all its trans-orange glory!
The silhouette of the Deep Freeze Defender follows after typical Classic Space flagship spaceships, but makes a striking visual impact with its colour scheme.
Play features were baked into the Deep Freeze Defender and integral to the ship’s design. It’s modular in nature, and splits up into 4 separate modules.
As a kid, it was easy to let my imagination run free, with the two cockpits split off to explore the icy terrain, the middle section playing the part of the satellite launcher, and the back half as a base of sorts for the astronauts to rest in.
The two pods at the front are the most recognizable parts of the Deep Freeze Defender thanks to the gorgeous trans-orange cockpits.
I love the large white ski pieces that they’re on, and also the little engines situated at the top. There are also trans-orange minifigure skis as well on the sides.
On the front, wedged between the pods is a satellite that is attached to the front.
Remember these awesome printed consoles?
The middle section of the Deep Freeze Defender is home to a rocket, that is used to launch the communications satellite.
It’s hidden so well, and integrated so seamlessly into the design that from first glance, you’d be hard pressed to even know there’s a really cool play feature built into the body of the Deep Freeze Defender.
Let’s also marvel at that beautiful canopy piece with the Ice Planet logo printed on it.
Pop up the canopy and lift it up to reveal the rocket! It’s a simple yet beautiful play feature that makes the entire spaceship so much more dynamic.
The satellite goes on the tip of the rocket as well, ready to be launched into the Ice Planet’s orbit to establish a communications network, or further atmospheric research!
Hate stickers? Peppered around the Deep Freeze Defender are printed tiles and slopes bearing the Ice Planet logo. Something you don’t quite get with modern LEGO sets.
Here’s the Deep Freeze Defender from the back – I love the interlacing angled screens, which looks like laser barriers.
For the Deep Freeze Defender’s final trick, we take a look at the back section, which features this gorgeous array of white and orange garage doors.
Side them open, and boom, out pops a small Ice Planet sled for one, to allow for further manouverability.
I was really impressed by how seamless and well this play feature worked. Nearly 30 years later, the mechanism and design still works smoothly and is a fun little addition to the model.
Here’s a look at the sled, which is manned by one Astronaut, and has a small control panel. Interestingly, it has magnets on its side which allows it to attach itself to the rocket!
What I liked:
- Trans-orange everything!
- Deep Freeze Defender is satisfyingly swooshable
- Fun little play features
- No stickers
- Modular ship design provides plenty of play features
- Transparent Orange Chainsaw!
What I didn’t like:
- The build is quite rickety, and doesn’t benefit from modern stability/build techniques
- Nearly impossible to find copies of this set these days!
Despite being a nearly 30 year old set, 6973 Deep Freeze Defender has aged gracefully and is still a spectacular set.
As the flagship set of the Ice Planet 2002 theme, it truly stands as the crown jewel of the theme.
The colour scheme is unrivalled to this day, and manages to exude coolness, thanks to the healthy serving of trans-orange elements against a blackdrop of blue and white.
It’s doubles as both a great play and display model – one of the icons of early 90s LEGO where Billund designers could really have fun with the designs. From the lasers on the sides, to the satellite-launching rocket, there are so many fun features that
As a later addition to LEGO’s Space theme, the Deep Freeze Defender manages to expand the imagination and horizons of space exploration. Ice Planet had a unique charm about it, that I think LEGO has not been able to replicate to this day.
Deep Freeze Defender is undoubtedly one of the greatest LEGO sets ever designed, and both 30-year old me, and 5-year old me would agree that it stands on its own as one of the crown jewels of LEGO’s legendary Space era.
If you’d like to indulge in some icy nostalgia, you can still pick up Deep Freeze Defenders on eBay or Bricklink for non-extortionary prices!
Thanks for reading this Retro LEGO Review of 6973 Deep Freeze Defender! With this, I am officially launching my ICE PLANET 2022 campaign! Want an updated version of Deep Freeze Defender and a return to the glory days of Ice Planet? VOTE VOTE VOTE!
What do you think of Deep Freeze Defender? Do you think Ice Planet stands a chance in the LEGO Ideas poll?
If you haven’t already, please vote Ice Planet in the LEGO Ideas 90th Anniversary LEGO set! You have until 25 January 2021 to vote and with enough support, I can see Ice Planet eking out a win in the Top 3!
Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you voted Ice Planet! Would you like to see more Retro LEGO Reviews?
Ending on this photo, as the Astronauts finally discover the Ice Planet’s secrets.
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