This is kind of a reverse of how you would normally review something, but I just wanted to talk a little bit about my general (and initial) impression of the Atlantis theme as a whole. For the in-depth reviews as well as video, please see our review page. Even though this is just for the first three sets released, I think it’s a sign of good things to come. On Saturday I picked up these three LEGO sets at a local Toys R Us (you can click on any of the images below to go to the flickr page to see a larger version):
The prices and SKUs were:
Monster Crab Clash # 8056-1 : SKU: 673419128742 Price: $6.99
Guardian of the Deep # 8058-1 : SKU: 673419128780 Price: $14.99
Typhoon Turbo Sub # 8060-1 : SKU: 673419129626 Price: $24.99
I’ll get into the in-depth reviews of each in the next few posts, but here are some quick photos and a few comments:
First off, this is clearly a big launch and it’s quite a surprise that these popped up in stores so early. BrickMaster magazine had an ad that said November 24, 2009, while most retailers (and the Atlantis.LEGO.com website) showed January 2010. Even LEGO’s official site for Atlantis (Atlantis.LEGO.com) had a January launch date, and the boxes themselves show a 2010 date. The January launch date made sense – that’s when quite a few other LEGO sets would be launching, along with some new parts and accessories. As I mentioned in another post, a few retailers here in the US were running some fairly aggressive sales, notably Target and Toys R Us. Some people speculated that the November 24, 2009 launch mentioned in BrickMaster magazine was in fact accurate and that some retailers were trying to clear shelf space for the upcoming sets. Others (myself included) figured they might be getting ready for “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving in the US when most major retailers would be running big sales. K-Mart, for instance, will be running a Buy 2/Get 1 Free sale on certain LEGO sets.
Even though the boxes said 2010, I have a feeling they were meant to launch early. Maybe not this early, and instead on the 24th, but I don’t think retailers would want LEGO to be shipping them products in early November that they couldn’t move until well after Christmas. A lot of stores are going to be stocking up for the “Black Friday” sale along with Christmas sales and products, and storage space will be at a premium. If they have the sets this early, I think it was pretty clear they were meant to be out in stores before Christmas.
Enough release date and sale talk, here’s a few photos for advertisements for the full sets that were in the manuals (click on the photos if you want to see high-resolution shots at flickr)
This is interesting, I guess the Atlantis.LEGO website will be adding a 3D component at some point:
As for the minifigs for these three sets, they are very repetitive as far as the divers and hopefully this will change with the release of the rest of the series. All three humans had double-printed heads, and there were two different types of heads.
With that said, I really like the diver suits, except for the fins/flippers. The fins can come off quite easy with a simple bump. I understand why they are the way they are – if you want to stick the minifigs on anything or stick them in a vehicle, the fins can get in the way and so it makes sense not to have them molded onto the legs. Surprisingly the tank and helmet weren’t in the way when you stick a minifig in the cockpit of the Typhoon Turbo Sub. They designed the cockpit around the diver’s suit – see the Typhoon Turbo Sub review for a photo of it. It makes sense, it would be a pain to remove the tank/helmet every time. Very nicely done and besides, the cockpit has an open feel to it.
As for the sets and how they compare as far as size, here’s an angled shot as well as an overhead shot:
Overall I would say these are going to be a big success. For kids (and AFOLS alike), the swoosh factor is high on the Typhoon Turbo Sub, and if the rest of the sets are anything like these, all of them will work really well together, and I can’t wait to see the MOCs that come out of using some of the Typhoon Turbo Sub’s parts (and motors). These definitely feel like they are a part of a complete system, and I can see quite a few fans buying multiple sets of each type just for the MOCs alone, similar to what we are seeing with some of the current Space Police sets. My wife actually did almost all of the assembly and she enjoyed it – I would not have thought this was her type of LEGO set.
I was impressed with the pricing overall as well – it seemed very reasonable. I know 8056 is meant to be an impulse set, but it’s one of those that you’ll want hanging around, it’s very well done. I would like to see a much larger version of the Typhoon Turbo Sub, and since this was developed by LEGO and wasn’t one of the licensed sets, I can see that happening somewhere down the line. The 8075-1 Neptune Carrier is substantially larger (it even has a wheeled rover it carries), but I’m thinking more along the lines of something sleeker, but that holds more minifigs.
Kudos to LEGO.
If you haven’t checked out Atlantis.LEGO.com, I highly recommend that you do – it’s the backstory for these sets and LEGO has put some effort into developing it.