Suggested Age: 8-12
Casual Build Time: 3 .5 hours
Dimensions: Exploration Vessel – over 7″ x 12″ x 5″ / Shipwreck – over 5″ x 11″ x 5″ / Submarine – over 1″ x 3″ x 2″ / Scuba Scooter – over 1″ x 3″ x 1″ / Remote Sub – 3″ x 1″ x under 1″ / Lifeboat – over 1″ x 2″ x 1″ / Shark Cage – 3″ x 1″ x under 1″
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve had my eye on this kit for a long time. I really enjoy making vehicles and I don’t have any boats in my collection! I was also impressed by just how many separate parts this set boasts. Included in the box is the large exploration vessel, a shipwreck, a submarine, a remote sub, a scuba scooter, a lifeboat and a shark cage.
Both the vessel and lifeboat actually float in water and the vessel also includes a hidden cabin below the deck and working winch for the cage. On top of this, the kit also contains an impressive seven minifigures (four scuba divers, 2 crewmen and a deep sea diver), a buoy, a swordfish, an octopus, a white shark, 3 grey sharks and a whole bunch of accessories!
Here’s a few pictures of what’s inside the box and the building process:
When fully constructed, its clear that this kit offers an outstanding range of features which I feel made it fully worth its price. It was all pretty easy to put together, with the winch and stickers being the only thing that younger builders may find a little tricky.
The kit is designed for imaginative play more than display and certainly excels in this regard, offering a lot of toys and set pieces in one huge box. Since there’s a lot to talk about, let’s look at its contents one at a time, starting with the largest item: the Exploration Vessel.
The vessel doesn’t take as long to build as you might imagine as the base is just one solid piece. However, it does boast a lot of features to play around with. The lifeboat on the front detaches for separate play and the winch is fully operational, allowing a single minifigure to take a dive in the shark cage.
You can access the insides easily by removing the roof to reach the wheelhouse and the entire wheelhouse to reach the cabins. While this is a little fiddly, it does mean that its simple to get the figures in and out which is something that I’ve noted is sorely lacking in some of the Star Wars kits that I’ve reviewed.
The box advises that both of these boats do float in water, meaning that play does not need to be limited to land, however I was reluctant to try so due to fear of damaging the decals on the sides of the vessel. I would be interested to know if any builders have had issues with this – feel free to comment if you’ve had any experience!
I was a little disappointed with the shipwreck as it doesn’t seem to be as detailed as the rest of the kit. It was also rather fiddly to put together as many of the pieces were black or grey and the instructions weren’t greatly clear in places.
However, it does boast a collapsing cabin which is rather fun to play with. By pulling out the little lever under the gold bars, the entire cabin falls forward. Please note that this does fall very fast so be careful that it doesn’t damage anything below it (or trap little fingers) when it comes down!
The submarine, remote sub and scuba scooter are all similar to the mini sub from the Deep Sea Starter Set. While small and easy to put together, they’re still very nice looking and can be posed with the divers. I especially like the poseable arms of the submarine as they can easily grasp small items. The only thing that I found a little tricky was getting a minifigure to grab the handlebar of the scuba scooter as this takes a little bit of patience and elbow grease!
Finally, we have the figures. Wow, what a selection! I’m used to getting three or four figures in a kit so I was really surprised to get seven to play around with! The divers are the same as those in the Starter Set and I’m still impressed by their flippers and masks. I also rather like the torch that came with the deep sea diver, as I haven’t seen this accessory before. It’s also nice that not all of the figures are men, though I’d like to see more of an even split between male and female figures in kits.
The two crewmen are a little less exciting as they’re just men. I do like the chap in red’s beanie and the details on the back of his jacket but the captain is far less exciting. At least the kit redeemed itself by giving me more sharks. Yes, I still love these figures more than anything. Just look at them! I want to buy more Deep Sea sets to further strengthen my shark army! The octopus is also cool looking but lacks moving parts and so isn’t as fun to play with as the sharks.
All in all, this is a great set. It’s not the most impressive looking if you’re buying to display but as a toy, its top notch. There are so many pieces, figures and moving parts that it will easily keep a younger builder occupied for hours after they’ve finished putting it all together.
I’ll be certainly looking at more of the LEGO City range in a future review…