Sunday, August 15th, 2010 at 9:08pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
BrickFair is a great opportunity for people to get sets at a great discount, and cheap sets are a great opportunity to get some to review. Forum Assistant Sisen has done just that, and picked up the Atlantis set Neptune Carrier. Read on to see how it stacks up and if it's worth an addition to your collection.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The first thing you notice about the box is the huge tear down the middle of it. I purchased the set for half off at the Running of the Bulls this year at BrickFair. Besides the obvious damage to the box you see the Neptune Carrier prominently featured in the underwater box art. You'll also see that there is a Manta Warrior, manta ray, and a small rover being driven by one of the divers. Also on the box: the age range (8-14), set number (8075), the set name, and the piece count (475). Below this information, in the bottom left corner, you'll see a space showcasing the collectable key with Manta symbol inscribed upon it. The front of the box also displays the Atlantis theme and LEGO logos.
On the back of the box you'll see the Neptune Carrier and crew in the underwater environment. There is an underwater skiff being piloted by Atlantis Diver 3, Ace Speedman, and the underwater rover is being driven by Atlantis Diver 1, Axel. The pilot of the Neptune Carrier, Atlantis Diver 6, Jeff Fisher, is shown in combat with the sole Manta Warrior in the set. The manta ray is also shown swimming along below demonstrations of the flick torpedoes and opening side compartments. Other than the LEGO logo and set number, there is a web address for LEGO.com. There is also a space reserved on the bottom left corner of the box that tells you the 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 are two hefty instruction books, four reasonably sized bags, two red drums, and one trans-bright green windscreen canopy. There is also a large sticker sheet to adorn the shiny new pieces if you want to.v
After setting aside the instruction books and loose pieces, I tore open the bags and dumped out the pieces. I sorted each bag and its pieces into respective piles. There is a lot to say about the pieces in this set, and there is a fair amount to sort through. Some of the pieces are new and exclusive to the Atlantis sets and some have only seen the light of day sporadically in a few other sets in recent years. We have the trans-bright green windscreen canopy, ten trans-bright green Bionicle Barraki eyes, a trans-bright green curved slope, a red window, four red wheels, one triple curved red wedge, two red tipper drums, one modified red tile, four modified red tiles with clips, two large red technic panels, two curved red slopes, a pearl light gray propeller, two glow in the dark opaque Bionicle spines, two dark bluish gray Technic slopes with wing fronts, two triple curved black wedges, a dark bluish gray boat mast, four dark bluish gray arch bricks, and a modified black plate with angled tubes. What all that means is there are a lot of colorful and interesting pieces used in the set, and they make a great addition to any collection.
Building the Neptune Carrier was a lot of fun. It was the first large set I've built in a long time and it was well worth the wait. Looking at the picture of a set is one thing, it is completely different when you get hand-on and build it yourself. Once the core of the carrier is built you just add onto it to flesh it out. Besides the main structure, there are only two separate entities you build and attach to it: the carrier bed and ship front. As you build it to its entirety it looks a bit holey, but the red panels and drums really add to the ship along with the other pieces used to layer the design.
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 Neptune Carrier is a bulky submersible and aptly so! It carries a seabed rover, scout mini-sub, and three divers. The structure of the set is very solid and it doesn't fall apart easily. One of the most interesting features is the 'carrier' in Neptune Carrier. When I first glanced at the box I did not notice the rover actually fit in the sub. It was not until building the set that I realized the dual propellers retracted to give the rover room to use the onboard ramp. Besides the ginormous submersible you get a seabed rover, scout mini-sub, and a manta ray; which is pretty cool in my book.
My only gripe with the Neptune Carrier is how the additional vehicles were included and the space issues. When the seabed rover is in storage the driver of it is only left with a small compartment to sit in hidden behind the red panels in the middle of the ship. The driver of the mini-sub is forced to stay on his vehicle as there isn't any room for him elsewhere. It would have been nice if there had adequate space for each of the divers to sit properly in the Neptune Carrier. Better yet, it would have been spectacular if they all had their own unique individual submersibles which combined to make the Neptune Carrier. The general gist of the set design exceeded my expectations and is truly great.
There is not much to mention about the minifigs, except there are three divers and one Manta Warrior. This really doesn't seem like a fair fight!
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 Neptune Carrier is a lot of fun to play with. You have the ship itself to play with, two additional underwater crafts, and a sea critter. Additionally, you have the flick torpedoes to play with. It was actually refreshing and enjoyable to flick the torpedo without fear of breaking the set. When the mini-sub isn't attached at the rear of the Neptune Carrier you can use its main propeller casing as a handle to hold the ship for playability. When the mini-sub is attached though, I found holding the ship in a similar fashion to a paper airplane satisfactory. That being said: please, please, please, do not attempt to throw the Neptune Carrier like a paper airplane. I assure you it will not fly just because of how you're holding it. Keep a firm handhold on the set at all times, unless you want to rebuild it.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
This set is definitely a must buy if you're looking for red pieces or collecting the Atlantis sets. The Neptune Carrier is really fun to play with and provides a great interactive experience well after constructing the set. When I purchased the set I had my mind set on buying the Atlantis Exploration HQ; however I didn't see it until after spending my money on other the Neptune Carrier. At first I was a bit upset but after building this wonderful ship I am 100% satisfied with my purchase. Did I mention it was awarded the National Parenting Seal of Approval?
What's to like?
- Fantastic structure
- Nice number and use of pieces
- Two additional vehicles for playability
- Fun factor and interactivity of set
Damaged Set = Half Off
What's not to like?
- Lack of space in the main submersible to seat all the divers
I usually don't root for the bad guys but in this case I'll make an exception.
Swim manta, swim!
I hope you all enjoyed the review - be sure to thank Sisen for his time and efforts if you did. I know a bunch of us bought sets at BrickFair, and at least some small portion of us are hoping to review them. So keep your eyes peeled on the front page for them and all the latest Bionicle and LEGO news!
« Return to News