Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 5:06pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today is time for another installment of BZPower Set Reviews. Forum Assistant and all-around nice guy Sisen takes a look at the Seabed Scavenger from the Atlantis line. Can he dig up enough cool things about this set to make it worth a purchase? Read on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
When you first look at the box art you see the focal point of the packaging: the Seabed Scavenger. The underwater vehicle is approaching the Manta Warrior in possession of the green treasure key. The front of the box also displays the Atlantis theme and LEGO logos. You will also find the age range (7-14), set number (8059), the set name, and the piece count (119). Below this information, in the bottom left corner, you'll see a space showcasing the collectable key with Manta symbol inscribed upon it.
The back of the box has much less going on but is still fairly informative for the set. Besides the LEGO logo and set number, there is a web address for LEGO.com. The main purpose of the back of the box is to show you what all the set is capable of. It shows the opening/closing feature of the cockpit, rotating saw blade, crushing claws, twin flick torpedoes, and suspension. Our underwater friend Atlantis Diver 4, Lance Spears, is also shown in a game of tug war with his enemy the Manta Warrior over the fabled treasure key. There is also a space reserved on the bottom left corner of the box that tells you this Manta inscribed ring is number four of the quintuplet.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
When you dump out the box there is the instruction book, two bulky wheels, and one large bag. There is also a small sticker set if you enjoy adorning your shiny new pieces.
After setting aside the bulkier wheels and leafy instruction booklet, I tore open the bag and dumped out the pieces. The third wheel was bagged in with the larger pieces and there was a smaller bag within containing the small pieces for the set. There really is not much to say about the pieces, everything included has a nice familiar feel to it. However, there are two interesting tidbits: Contained within the set are two BIONICLE ball joint arms in Dark Bluish Grey (Dark Bley if you're a MOCist), which is a new re-color for an older piece that goes back to the Toa Mata heydays. The second bit is there are no blue pins in the set, instead tan pins are used. Yay!
The build of the Seabed Scavenger is very intriguing. While I was building it I could not help but feel like a little kid building a set for the first time again, the instructions kept me guessing as to how I would build the vehicle. Assembling the set is not complex but it keeps you on your toes as you put together the various pieces. There are about thirty steps to constructing the Seabed Scavenger from start to finish and a half an hour of build time.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The Seabed Scavenger surprisingly has a good heft to it and is supported nicely by its unique suspension system. What is really great about the chassis is the fact it allows the vehicle to turn when the main body is leaned one way or the other. The capability to turn, unlike most wheel-bearing sets is the only redeeming factor for the suspension system. With two large wheels on the front of the vehicle the two singular support systems feel very flimsy at times. Another downside is the front of the scavenger drags when you barely apply any pressure. I suppose if you are driving along the seafloor covered in sand it does not matter, but if you hit a rock you will probably flip the car. Whoops, it looks like I have made the diver driver weary.
Unfortunately I have a few more small gripes. First and foremost there is the fact the front of the vehicle drags, there are some other construction issues. The hinging canopy that seals the driver in the scavenger does not actually fit the shape of the red slope arches used for door panels, which leads me to my next gripe. The top two pieces snap into studs at the front and back which provides a good sturdy structure, while the bottom two only snap in the latter. The front portions fit against the front of the body but do not actually snap in, like the top portions do. They stick out and looked somewhat questionable while putting the set together.
There's not much to say about the minifigs as they have both appeared in other Atlantis sets. Seeing minifigs with multiple emotions is great though. Just look at how happy Lance Spears is to find the treasure key. But wait - Oh no! A Manta Warrior appears and uses its trident to instill fear into our Atlantis diver.
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?
The twin flick torpedoes are fun to play with once you figure out how to hold the set. It is a bit hard to hold the vehicle down while you flick the torpedoes because of the wibbly-wobbly front suspension. I was afraid I might break something when I flicked the torpedoes, but thankfully the hefty build held up. The only thing that moved was the flicked torpedo and the unit housing the torpedo.
When compared to other Atlantis sets I cannot help but think that the large weapons are a bit unwieldy and out of place on the Seabed Scavenger. I really enjoy seeing the weapon pieces and the older BIONICLE arms used but something is off. Both of the weapons are capable of rotating and moving up and down at the arm, but they lack the ability to move sided to side. It would have been nice to see something with a bit more maneuverability.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
If you are a fan of the Atlantis theme you should definitely purchase this set and even if you are not it is still a good buy. There are a good amount of useful pieces included for the price and you get an interesting building experience. It would be fascinating to see what else could be done to this intriguing build. If you remove the ginormous wheels and weapons and customize the body of the vehicle it would make a great starship fit for Star Wars. It could even make an interesting and more versatile underwater submersible if the wheels where movable like a tiltrotor used for vertical take-off and landing. Overall it is a good build and well worth the money.
What's to like?
- Interesting build and use of pieces
- Nice number of pieces for price
- Unique but questionable suspension system
What's not to like?
- Somewhat flimsy construction in areas
- Unique but questionable suspension system
- Lack of weapon functionality
The pros and cons are equal but the experience of building and fun of playing with the set outweighs whatever flaws I may have mentioned.
Make sure you thank Sisen in the Talkback for this review, and feel free to ask any questions there as well. We'll have more reviews coming up, even as we approach BrickFair - so keep checking back for those and more LEGO news!
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