The latest from Lego this year is the Atlantis theme. Let’s go through what the best features of this new theme are and I’ll show you which sets to buy and ones that you can pass on. They developed this line with kids in mind. The focus groups used in it’s development consisted of mostly boys 6-12 years old. The ten sets released so far are mostly underwater vehicles. So if you enjoyed the old Aquazone theme or currently collect racers and other vehicle specific themes then Atlantis will be more appealing. So far the line hasn’t offered anything that draws fans of Castle or City (builders who prefer structures over vehicles). But this may change with future waves.
Let’s mention the story briefly just because I think this one is dangerously similar to Disney’s recent movie Atlantis. In the Lego Atlantis story a person’s grandfather discovered Atlantis years ago and left a journal. Their grandchild gets the journal and with the help of a big submarine and a crew of underwater divers goes looking for the lost city. Hmm, those of you who have seen the Disney movie may be getting deja vu. To be fair to Lego, the Atlantis story goes back for centuries and even Disney’s movie copied heavily from previous movies and books about Atlantis.
One definite plus about the Atlantis Lego theme is the minifigs. The diver’s helmets are nice and the different divers each have unique faces based on what character they are. But far cooler are the Atlantians. There is a Squid warrior who not only has a face of a squid but a lower half is made of tentacles too. There’s also a shark headed warrior and a manta headed warrior. The Manta Warrior’s head is removable to reveal a gray minifig face underneath.
Check out the fish-like detailing. The smallest sets are mostly just for the minifigs and I’m glad they made these. You can pick up the Manta Warrior or a diver for under 4 bucks. Not bad if you want to do some Manta army building.
Another nice feature about Lego Atlantis theme is the inclusion of collectable “Treasure Key” pieces. There are five treasure keys so far and they each have a unique color and animal symbol…
orange crab treasure key – blue squid treasure key – red shark treasure key – green manta ray treasure key – yellow turtle treasure key
If you get the 8061 Gateway of the Squid set there is a special turntable brick element that the keys can fit into and turn to open the gate revealing the treasure. (bricklink has the turntable element going for about $2).
I don’t feel the two large sized sets (8061 Gateway of the Squid and 8075 Neptune Carrier) offer that many reusable bricks to justify the larger price point. Especially the large submarine even though the vehicle itself looks nice and does a lot. On the other had, builders interested in making MOC space ships could definitely take advantage of some of the pieces here.
Here is the breakdown of all ten sets
So you may notice that the two most expensive sets (Neptune Carrier and Gateway of the Squid) have duplicate treasure keys that can be found in other less expensive sets. So as long as you pick up Seabed Scavenger and Wreck Raider you can still have those treasure keys for cheaper.
As far as the mid range sets go, I feel if you have to choose between 8079 Shadow Snapper and the 8060 Typhoon Turbo Sub then go for the later. The Typhoon Turbo Sub may have less total pieces but it is a bit cheaper, you get two minifigs and the yellow turtle treasure key. Since the Shadow Snapper also has that yellow key you could skip this set and still get all the treasure keys. I like the Shark and the Crab guardian sets but the Snapper turtle just doesn’t look as good to me. Maybe its all the spines on its back that fall off too easy. In fact when I first saw it I thought it was a hedgehog or something, not a turtle.
I think even if you don’t splurge on the Gateway of the Squid you should try to find the red Squid Warrior minifig on bricklink or ebay. It’s such a neat figure and that’s why they put him in with the most expensive set. It sweetens the deal!
So here’s my final recommendations for this first wave of Lego Atlantis if you wanna get the best value and still collect all the cool minifigs and treasure keys. These are the must have sets if you wanna collect the Lego Atlantis theme!
8056 Monster Crab Clash 6.99 – 68 pieces – one minifig – orange crab treasure key
8057 Wreck Raider 9.99 – 64 pieces – two minifigs – blue squid treasure key
8058 Guardian of the Deep 14.99 – 144 pieces – one minifig – red shark treasure key
8059 Seabed Scavenger 14.99 – 119 pieces – two minifigs – green manta ray treasure key
8060 Typhoon Turbo Sub – 24.99 – 197 pieces – two minifigs – yellow turtle treasure key
8072 Sea Jet 3.49 – 23 pieces – one minifig – no treasure key
8073 Manta Warrior – 13 pieces – one minifig – no treasure key
Then go on bricklink and pick up the Atlantis Squid Warrior. Though you may need to wait awhile because they are going for around 15 bucks right now! I’m not sure if this will go down with time.
What is your favorite set out of this first wave of Lego Atlantis? Let us know in the comments section.