Monday, September 20th, 2010 at 10:50pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The diver scurries on with his underwater jet ski, a trail of bubbles being left behind him. With any luck, he can find another disc and go back to the sub successful. The waters have other plans, as a giant scorpion rises from the depth, it many eyes focusing on him as it readies its stinger tail. Sounds like a nightmare, but it is just another Atlantis set by LEGO. Today the Deep Sea Striker is reviewed, revealing just what is at the heart of this black and orange monster.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
What will most likely catch your eye when you first see the box is the huge scorpion creature, looking fearsome covered entirely in black with only a few bits of orange to add to the creepiness factor. Then you see that there is a scuba diver floating along right in front of it, and you think that this is not a battle—it's a disaster! This is, of course, LEGO, and only the builder can be the judge of the outcome!
Also prominent on the box's front is the LEGO and Atlantis logos, clearly telling you that this is the company we all know and love and what theme you are delving into today. There is the age suggestion (7-14 years, but I am 20, hehe), set number (8076), set name (Deep Sea Striker) and piece count (260). It might also tell you that this set should cost $20 which, when compared to the piece count, is pretty good. It also highlights a gateway portal disk, this one being green and containing a picture of a manta ray.
If the front of the box did not already catch your attention, though it probably did considering the orange popping out of this monstrous sea creature, then the back sure will, as it shows the stinging tail function of the scorpion as the diver quickly gets it out of this creature's territory. The back also makes note of the snapping claws and the biting jaws, showing that this spiky guy means business, no matter which way you look at him.
(You might notice a dent in the bottom of my box, but everything inside is just fine. This particular set was purchased for half-off at BrickFair 2010's Running of the Bulls, in which us AFOLs got to purchase sets with damaged boxes for a discount.)
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The instructions say to start with building the minifig, his individual parts being in three separate poly bags. Of the 260 pieces are a nice assortment of large and small bricks, and more than a few Bionicle/Technic pieces as well. The bags they come in are categorized by size, so even though they are all open at once it is a little easier to find what you are looking for. (Of course, some pieces are just destined to be unsearchable!) There is plenty of black, with some orange sticking through getting ready to make the creature *pop* out.
The pieces inside sure give clear warning that this big guy will be covered in spikes from head to back and legs to tail, if you could not tell from the box picture.
The instructions have one start by building the small vehicle the diver rides. It is a simple task, but it looks cool nonetheless. With a claw for grabbing and two harpoons on the sides, the minifig just might have a small chance of barely escaping the beast's claws.
Getting into building the scorpion, the first few steps use a bunch of Technic pieces, which is cool because as it starts to come together you can already see the internal layout of the set and how the functions work.
Building the claws and face/mandibles is quite fun, for they are covered in spikes and pointy bits. Plus they move, so you can start playing with this thing before you are even finished building! Building the tail is exciting, because this is the nasty end of this creature...as if any bit of it is not! There are plenty of spikes to be seen, and that is before it is attached to the rest of the model.
The final result is the big monster of a scorpion facing off against the lone diver and his two harpoons. Is one little Atlantian disk really worth it? I think the diver knows that yes, it is! Just watch out for that tail, or the claws, or its mouth, or any one of a dozen other spiky parts.
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 set itself is very sturdy and built well. The Technic bits at the beginning provide a good start and basis, and other designs in this set are used well, such as the claws being able to open and close, as well as a huge, scary mouth.
This scorpion is also truly a monster! It is big, looks scary, and there are plenty of pokey parts sticking out of it in every direction. I can not stress enough how much this should not get near anything that could risk popping, such as an underwater oxygen bubble....
The only problem I have with this set is that the tail can not stay up when positioned naturally. Ideally, the tail would have an arch to it, and when you wanted the scorpion to sting its victim then you would move the gear and have the stinger attack. However, with the design of the set raising its back, the tail has no choice but to let gravity continually pull the tail down, making it fall forward instead of staying up. To counter this, the click hinges could be positioned back further, but the tail would not snap forward as much.
Unfortunately, the head had no articulation, making him always face forward.
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?
With all the points of articulation, sharp bits sticking out of every angle, and a tail, it is safe to say that this big guy has plenty of playability just screaming through its tail, along its belly, and out its mouth. The diver's little speeder is a nice transport with a clever design, but will it be able to evade the fiendishness of this underwater monster?
The stinger's function is also really clever, providing a nice, constant attack, and plenty of playability. The claws open up nice and wide, like its jaws, to be able to provide a sharp grab of anything coming its way.
The minifig's head is also two-sided, going from happy explorer to frightened scorpion-chow.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- It is big and monstrous, as promised by box art
- Cool speeder for diver.
- Lots of articulation for some fun times.
- Price-per-piece ratio
What's not to like?
- Stinger does not stay positioned up.
- Head has no movement.
In the end, however, the little nitpicks can be ignored, for the other neat factors make up for it. It looks awesome, has an awesome build, and has awesome playability and function. The pieces it comes with are also excellent, especially if you are looking for a bunch of that new tooth piece in both white and black. I think this set is worth the price for its pieces, design, and sheer cool and scary looks. This thing is big and means business...what is not to love with a scary monster?
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