Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 9:43pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The Atlantis theme is close to my heart, being a LEGO underwater theme with a dash of sci-fi, adding some variety and flavor to anyone's LEGO collection. Today I review the Ocean Speeder, a small impulse-buy set that makes use of the new yellow tint for the humans and makes a nice companion set to the theme. Read on for a full review of what makes this set pop.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is small, but the colors make it stand out. The speeder is red, and the yellow, edges give it that ancient, Atlantis feel. The back shows the set in action, displaying some of the treasures this diver can find while exploring.
Of course, there are also the LEGO logo, the jagged Atlantis logo, an age suggestion, and a piece count of 54 elements, which is quite a generous amount for a
$3.50 $5 (edit: sorry, I must have gotten it on sale) set.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Inside the box are two poly-bags, a sticker sheet I don't quite care for, and the instruction sheet folded up into a slight booklet. The pieces are mostly bright with red and yellow, with some shiny gems standing out, but more on that later.
First comes the minifig, always a crowd pleaser and usually a high selling point for any set. This guy has yellow instead of lime green details, as well as a light-grey helmet instead of the dark grey of last year. It's quite a change that is welcome to a collection that already has a few dark grey Atlantis divers.
Building the set is fairly simple, but fun at the same time. It makes use of some SNOT bricks, putting studs on the sides of the speeder to allow for some interesting shapes. The wings are now flexible because of it. Speaking of the wings, you might notice the transparent red and green studs on each side, allowing for some variation in the look.
The final result is a little speeder with some big propellers to push it along. As it explores, the set also contains a little rock bit, starting to be covered in seaweed and inhabited by a snake. If you want the gold cup, you'll have to be careful.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
New and interesting pieces include the yellow Atlantis diver suit, looking enhanced from its old, green version. You also get some gems and a gold cup, shiny stuff to dive for. Other neat pieces include some silver propellers, seaweed, a snake, and a silver harpoon gun. Not bad, especially once you include all the other pieces gained.
While small, the set has a nice shape to it. It's sleek, has some good curves, and looks speedy.
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?
There's a snake to watch out for! There are some gems to seek out! There is whole ocean to speed right through on this little underwater buggy. To use a space term: very swooshable.
The biggest problem I have is that the diver's face is the same one used in almost every other Atlantis set. Or at least all the ones I've bought. It is overused and, while it has the nice scared face on the opposite side, I wish LEGO would make a few more designs for their divers.
Unfortunately it has some trouble standing with wings unfolded, but a small brick on its underside can fix that problem. The diver is ready to go!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
In the end, quite a few pieces for just a few dollars that create a neat little speeder seems harmless to pick up off the shelf and buy. It's got a new minifig, some cool LEGO elements, and adds to any other diorama or play time.
What's to like?
- Fun little speeder
- Cool, slightly new pieces
- SNOT in some places
- Makes a Great gift
- Nice addition for other layouts
- Price-to-piece ratio isn't bad
What's not to like?
- A little unsturdy at times, not able to stand up on its own well.
- Same, repeated minifig head. Boring.
Like new minifigs? Like small sets? This one isn't half-bad.
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