Sunday, February 21st, 2010 at 6:54pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Recently BZPower reviewed one of the new Ben 10 sets as part of our expanded coverage of other LEGO lines. Today, Bfahome looks at the Wreck Raider from this year's Atlantis line of sets. So yes, these things are here to stay. Read on to see what he thinks of this little sea-scooter and how it stacks up.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The most prominent feature on the box is the Raider itself, boldly rushing out of the darkness to confront the fearsome shark warrior. But the shark warrior, henceforth known as "Sharkie", is ready, clinging tightly to his key and readying his trident for battle. He dodges as the Raider fires one of its harpoons, and swoops in for the kill. WHO WILL WIN?!
Drama aside, the box displays the set nicely. A large "ATLANTIS" in a cool font is emblazoned along the top edge. Along the left edge you will find an enormous "LEGO" logo, the strictly enforced age limit, set number, name, and piece count. Below that is shown the "Atlantis key" that comes with this set, the blue one with a squid on it. How appropriate? Anyway, the whole box front is bordered by a circle of what looks like gold or rocks adorned with Atlantean hieroglyphs.
On the top of the box you will find another picture, this one of the diver (Captain Ace Speedman, according to the Atlantis site) facing Sharkie again, but this time without his precious Raider. My my, how the tables do turn.
Also, that "actual size" key picture is legit. Much more accurate than Vultraz's box ever was.
The back of the box, as usual, portrays the set in a less theatrical manner (except the part with Sharkie rapidly converging on Ace, but whatever), instead focusing on the features it contains. Such exciting and unique features as: Flick-fire missiles! Rotating turbines! And many, many more! I kid, of course. It's a smallish $10 set, so you can't expect it to be packed full of functions.
The back also shows the five "Atlantis keys" you can collect, highlighting the one in this set, the squid key (seriously, what).
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build, unsurprisingly, is short and easy. However, it's still rather fun.
Here we have a mass of red and grey parts on a tabletop, interspersed with hints of green, black, gold, and white. Next to them are the instruction manual and sticker sheet (ugh, never had to deal with these in the usual BIONICLE sets).
The first thing you're instructed to build is the minifigures: one Sharkie, and one Ace.
The first several steps lay the basic skeleton for the Raider. Only one red piece so far, and not looking too streamlined.
Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Slopes and tiles have been added, starting to give it its distinctive shape.
Aaand done. The Wreck Raider is now complete. Note that I haven't added any stickers. However, I'm told that the part where it tells you to put the stickers on the "wings" is wrong, and shows them on the opposite wings than they should be. So watch out for that.
Here's the massive amount of spare pieces you get. That little green thing is what Ace's fins come attached to.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
These are all the parts you get in the set (including spares). A bit of a selection for a set this small.
And here we have new or otherwise interesting parts. New to the world are the Atlantis key, Sharkie's head, the diving suit and visor, trident, and a three-long tile. Old but still interesting to me are the turbines, the Space Police missile holder/shooter pieces, the grappling hook pieces (one of the main selling points for me as I don't have any), the arch piece that can hold the smaller arch inside it, the two bricks that taper down from three studs to one, and the two-long tile with the four-long overhanging plate (good for SNOT [Stud Not On Top] MOCs).
Might as well start with the minifigures.
Ace is just your average everyday minifig, albeit with fins and a diving suit. He's got front printing all the way down his front, literally from head to toe. On his torso there's some cool tube action, and on his left leg there's a red logo with a trident in it.
Ace's back also has some tubes printed on. Also you may notice his sudden change in mood. All the Atlantis divers have two-sided heads; one side for a neutral or happy look, and the other for a scared or angry look.
Here's that awesome headgear that he and all the other divers have. It's two new molds; the one-piece suit and the visor. It goes completely over the diver's head, tanks and all. The back has a double TECHNIC pin hole that goes all the way through, and the bottom of the tanks can fit over SYSTEM studs (and are correctly spaced to do so), leaving room for possible add-ons.
The only gripes I have are that 1) you can see Ace's second face through the back of the diving suit, and 2) that he has no handheld weapon of his own.
Sharkie, on the other hand, is not your average everyday minifigure. He's half shark, after all. His body's got much less printing than Ace's; only the front of his torso, waist, and legs. However, the head has some interesting "tattoos" on the top of it, as well as printed eyes and teeth. He's got no back printing, but it's unnecessary because the shark piece goes all the way down to his waist.
And speaking of that piece, it's awesome. Yes, it is actually his head, not something you slip over a minifigure head as seen in 2005 with Viktor Krum. No, this is the actual head to the minifigure. This allows for another small but cool feature:
Sharkie can hold things in his mouth! Useful for when he's carrying two sticks but wants to also carry a third stick.
I think Sharkie, however, still looks a bit too human. He should have gotten a recolored one of those mermaid tails so he at least doesn't have legs. There's an idea; Sharkie and Manny (the manta man) are each in at least two sets, so each set could have a different "version" of the figure, one with a tail and one with legs. But whatever, I like them how they are now too.
Anyway, onto the main part of this set, the vehicle. I found that it was a bit bigger than what I inferred from the box, but that's not a big deal. It makes Ace seem less unsafe against Sharkie and all of his teeth. The design is based around that large tube piece, so it has an uneven width, something not too often seen in SYSTEM sets.
I like the engine placement and size, since it gives the set a slightly caricatured look while still seeming legit. There is also no seat on the back. Some might not like this, but I think it makes sense for an underwater scooter of sorts. Plus it allows Ace to keep his flippers on (though he doesn't have to; more on that later).
The harpoons/missiles on the front look interesting, and the fact that there's grappling hook pieces on the end for some reason makes them seem more appropriate for an underwater setting. Though they are a bit odd, since there's no real point in having grappling hooks if they're just going to shoot off into the distance without any rope or chain attached...
One minor issue is these two uncovered studs. It seems like it would have been easy to add two red "cheese slopes" (one-stud sloped pieces, sometimes used as police lights) on here to get rid of the extra grey and streamline the shape a bit more. Oh well. If I ever get some, that's what I'll do.
I feel the Atlantis key deserves its own analysis. As you may know, it is a triangle within a circle. It's a transparent blue piece with gold printing on the spaces between the handles and black printing in the center of the triangle, in the image of a squid. On the bottom, there is a raised hollow "tube". This is what allows the key to be used.
Holding on and fallen off.
The "tube" can secure onto SYSTEM studs and not fall off, and the same can be said for TECHNIC pins. Axles, on the other hand, do not secure into the "tube" tightly. They will fall out or it will fall of, depending on which side is up. However, the ring will turn the axle and vice versa.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Even though I said Ace should have his own weapon, I've noticed that he can hold one of the Raider's harpoon/missile shooters as a handheld weapon. The only problem is that it looks a bit too big to work. I also like storing one of the harpoons/missiles in the back of his diving suit, in case he needs defense while exploring crevices too small for the Raider to enter. If you want to, you can also store his flippers on the back of his suit, too.
Doesn't this look sooo ocean-y?
This set offers a decent amount of playability, since it has a representative of both factions as well as one of what they're hunting/guarding. Of course, there are your usual flick-fire missiles that are everywhere these days. The Wreck Raider is fun to swoosh through the air, either pursuing of pursued by Sharkie and his trident. If you add other Atlantis sets into the mix, of course, the playability increases greatly, but this set by itself is good.*
* Plant, stand, and transparent treasure chest not included.
After adding the Monster Crab Clash set, you can see how it would offer more playability. The lone diver could fend off Sharkie with his harpoon while Ace and the Wreck Raider take on the giant crab.*
* Crab, stand, second diver, transparent treasure chest, and second key not included.
Just for chuckles, I added some Mars Mission aliens as kelp people, some vampiric sea squids, and the jellyfish I got in the Barraki Deepsea Patrol. This was the result.*
* Aliens, crab, squids, stand, jellyfish, second diver, transparent treasure chest, and second key not included.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- New and interesting pieces
- Minifigures are good
- Has a good playability factor even by itself
- Price ($10 is on the cheap side)
- Can be combined with other underwater sets/pieces/figures
What's not to like?
- Hole in the back of the diving suit
- Grappling hook pieces really are pointless without string or chain (they're still awesome though)
- Sharkie may be a bit too man-like
- Trident is made of a softer plastic, so it may get damaged if you're too forceful putting it in Sharkie's hand
So, looking at those, I'd recommend buying this set, especially if you plan on getting other smaller Atlantis sets. Though if you're buying this set, I advise spending the extra $7 to get 8056 Monster Crab Clash as well. It'll give you another key and diver, and will add to the playability of both sets.
That's it for the Wreck Raider. There, that wasn't so bad now, was it? Keep check back for more reviews, as well as the rest of our Toy Fair coverage, right here on BZPower!
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