Review: LEGO 7977 Atlantis Seabed Strider

As some of you readers might already know, some of the 2011 LEGO Atlantis sets are out, including Atlantis sets popping up at your local LEGO store, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby. In this article, I will be reviewing one of the three 2011 sets that I’ve seen come across, the Atlantis Sea Strider.

LEGO 7977 Atlantis - Seabed Strider

The Sea Strider is a two-legged mech that transforms into a little underwater exploration speeder. This set is sort of like the little brother of the larger LEGO 8080 Atlantis Undersea Explorer in that they both transform from vehicles to mechs in their search for the lost underwater city. Transformation is quick and easy; just flip the legs back, and it’s ready to outswim the Guardian of the Deep…maybe! Armed with grabber claws and powered by two aluminum propellers, it should have no problems carrying out its mission. The Seabed Strider is a simple set to construct (105 pieces, some stickers), and is reasonably priced ($9.99 USD).

By the Numbers:
Set: LEGO 7977 Atlantis Seabed Strider
Year of Release: 2011 (Available late 2010)
Type: Atlantis vehicle that transforms
# of Pieces: 105
# of Extra pieces: 7
# of Minifigs and what kind: 2, human diver, Atlantis monster
Stickers? Yes, 11
Price: $9.99
Available: Amazon.com
Ages: 7 – 14
Time to Complete: 15 minutes or less.

Read more

LEGO at Barnes and Noble

I’m always interested in how LEGO is portrayed and sold in other stores outside of the official LEGO retail stores. I’m lucky enough to have had a LEGO retail store open up in my area in the past year, which means no more sporadic trips to the LEGO stores in Houston or Dallas when I’m visiting family and friends there.

Now of course, I’ve got plenty of Targets, Wal-Marts, even Sears, in my area, with plenty of LEGO sets to choose from. I can’t forget Toys R Us as well – have a couple of those.

There is one place that has quite a few LEGO sets available, as well as some nice displays, that often gets overlooked, and they happen to carry LEGO-related items that the other non-LEGO retail stores don’t necessarily carry.

I’m of course referring to Barnes and Noble. I visit the one in south Austin occasionally, and this time around I decided to take some photos of their LEGO sets and displays, because I don’t think most people realize what all they have – they aren’t just selling books, magazines, food and movies/music. They’ve been adding a toy and hobby section, and the one I visit has quite a bit of LEGO-related items. The store I’m referring to, they obviously have put some effort into the LEGO displays – I’m not familiar with other stores, but I am impressed with this one.

Some notes/observations:
* The main LEGO display was fairly prominent – it had it’s own little dedicated section in the middle of the toys and hobby section.
* The LEGO alarm clock/flashlights were in another part of the toys & hobby section.
* The LEGO games and the LEGO Architecture displays were next to one another, however they were off in the game section of Barnes & Noble and weren’t near the main LEGO display. They were still easy to find.
* I did a really poor job of taking photos of the LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Star Wars stuff!

LEGO items and lines I saw:
* LEGO Architecture – Empire State Building, Sears Tower, John Hancock Center, Fallingwater, Guggenheim Museum, White House
* LEGO Games – Pirate Code, Robo Champ, Magikus, Minotaurs, Ramses Pyramid, Creationary, Race 300, Dragon, Harry Potter/Hogwarts
* LEGO Accessories – flashlights, nightlights, alarm clocks, pens, keychains
* LEGO Books – Minifig stickers, Star Wars Visual Dictionary
* LEGO Atlantis (a nice mix!)
* LEGO City
* LEGO Creator
* LEGO Kingdoms
* LEGO Star Wars (both original and Clone Wars)
* LEGO Technic
* LEGO Toy Story
* The beginner LEGO tubs
* Duplo

Anyways, here are some photos of the various LEGO displays in our favorite B&N. I apologize for the poor picture quality – I’m not using a flash in a store, and I’m not the steadiest of hands when it comes to photo taking. You can click on any of them to take you to a larger version at flickr.

LEGO Displays at Barnes & Noble (South Austin)

LEGO Displays at Barnes & Noble (South Austin)

Read more

Previews of a Lot of 2010 LEGO Sets

Last weekend, Kris Abel from CTV News visited the Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair and got a good look at upcoming LEGO sets from the LEGO Canada display. He posted a lot of pictures (would have loved more from some of the Atlantis sets) and a lot of them I was surprised at. They were some of the first good photos I’ve seen of some of the unreleased sets scheduled for later in the year.

A few highlights:

8077 Atlantis Exploration HQ
LEGO 8077 Atlantis Exploration HQ (2010)

8078 Portal Of Atlantis
8078 LEGO Portal of Atlantis (2010)

My observation on the Atlantis sets:
* The 8077 Atlantis Exploration HQ looks to be shaping up well. The first blurry shots I saw a while back made it look closer to the 7775 Aqua Raiders Aquabase Invasion. It looks to be a square-ish/self-contained structure which makes sense. I’m assuming the vehicles will dock on top.
* The 8078 Portal of Atlantis (the infamous Shark Temple or Shark Castle) is bigger than I thought and looks to have a lot of really cool and unique parts. It’s hard to get a sense of the minifigs since they were mixed together with other sets. There looks to be some parts in colors that we haven’t seen before. The box shows 898 pieces but that’s obviously subject to change since it’s a prototype. I’m not sure on new minifigs – there is a skeleton with some diving gear on that has a trident symbol on their head. You can barely make out what looks to be the “turtle warrior” on top of the Portal, that’s been discussed in the past.
* Kris mentioned when discussing the Space Police sets that Atlantis was the focus this year, hence the lack of a lot of new Space Police sets.

As Kris notes, a lot of the upcoming sets are prototypes/mock-ups and details are not yet finalized. Nothing from Harry Potter and nothing new from the Toy Story line that’s not already out. I’m not quite as interested in the World Racers line or the Hero Factory line, but it looks like both could give us some new parts or older parts in new colors. Looking at the boxes for the World Racers, I think they’ll probably sell very well to the target audience.

Some of the other sets shown (besides 8077/8078) include quite a few sets that are currently available and some that are limited right now or unavailable (depending on area), such as:

Read more