7775 Aquabase Invasion
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The Packaging
The Parts
The Build (Sub)
The Build (Base Part 1)
The Build (Squid)
The Build (Base Part 2)
Bianca & Gavin and the night of Kraken McSquid-face

The Packaging: As with all of the Aqua Raiders™ sets, the box art is very cool and I like the logo as well. Here are pictures of the front of the box and the back of the box. I really want LEGO to start putting alternative models on the backs of the boxes again. Not only does it help spark creativity for more building and learning, it encourages kids to want to buy more than one set. For example, they could put an alternative model on the back of this set that shows how to build a cool addition to the Aquabase. Here are all of the pieces in numbered bags, my favorite way to build things. A new trend for LEGO is to include two instructions booklets in bigger sets and of course we have the Aqua Raiders decal sheet. What's interesting about this decal sheet is it is the same as the one in 7774, except you only use a few of them. I don't know why they did this, but I imagine it saved them some money.

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The Parts: This set has an abundance of unique parts. This is a great set for parts monkeys as it has a lot of small detail parts and a lot of bigger unique elements too. I love window and cockpit pieces and this set has a lot of them! There is one trans-light blue tunnel like the one in 7894 Airport. We get two trans light-blue 12 x 6 x 6 cockpits like the one from Slave I. This set is also the first I've seen with the 6 x 6 x 3 half sphere cockpit (here in trans-black) with a click hinge. This is a great piece and now we have it in dark blue, which should come in handy for MOCs of all kinds. This set also has two of this rare canopy with a click hinge in dark blue. But the abundance of cockpits doesn't stop there! We also get a 10 x 6 x 2 curved cockpit in trans-black with squid pattern.

Other than the abundance of cockpits, we get a lot of other cool parts. Like this spikey Bionicle spine that glows in the dark. There are a lot of these tan 1 x 1 round plates. I find these come in handy for a lot of great details work in MOCs. My new favorite piece is the 1 x 1 x 2/3 slope and in this set we get 16 of them in dark blue. I was impressed to see this yellow 2 x 2 x 3 75 degree slope brick, but apparently it's not all that rare. Here is a new style of column/girder. I'm not sure why we need another one, but here it is nonetheless. I really feel, as an MOCer, that I like consistency in a building. Even in assymetrical buildings I like elements to repeat so I don't like that they change some pieces often like these girders. On the other hand, it's cool to have different girder types so not every structure in town looks exactly the same...anyway, on to the figures.

As with all the new Aqua Raiders sets, I like the figures a lot. Here we get four new Aqua Raiders. Although at first glance it seems that two are supposed to work inside and two are supposed to work outside, rest assured that there are plenty of fins and helmets to go around. Speaking of helmets, these helmets have printing on them, very cool! And like the other Aqua Raiders sets, the figures's torsos have printing on the front and printing on the back.

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The Build (Sub): This is a great little mini-sub. I really like the construction of it and it certainly blows away the clunky weird thing they gave us in Aqua Raiders set #7772. The sub starts out with a nice sturdy base. After the years of juniorization, as long ago as they were, it's still nice to see good construction techniques. A simple yet effective design with a lot of little details and SNOT technolgy start to build a cool little vehicle. I love these lights. As LEGO® has gone through the years they've added quite a few colors and having done so cause quite a bit of confusion between black, dark gray and light gray (and dark blue and dark green, etc.) in their building instructions. This step illustrates just how strange their 3-D rendering objects are. The particular technic pin used in this piece always shows up much darker than other black pieces in the instructions. The mini-sub is perfect for fitting crates of treasure, of course. And finally here is the completed sub with it's mini-figure pilot.

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The Build (Base Part 1): This is pretty simple but very cool. If I have one complaint, it's that I don't always like Lego's version of rocks. The completed sub docking platform is very cool with running lights, an air tank and a bridge to the main station.

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The Build (Squid): Awesome! This squid is just great! I have to say that hands down this is best creature of the Aqua Raiders line. After I built it I played with it for hours (see story below)! The first few steps don't look much like a squid, but by step 14, we see some unique features: spiny Bioncle pieces make up the inside of the squids stomach where it has digested one of the brave Aqua Raiders. So cool! One of my favorite parts of the squid is the eye. I like the ingenious way they mixed the colors of the spear have to give a nice organic feeling to it. Also very cool is the squid's beak . I was a little dissapointed to see that you couldn't shove something into the mouth and have it end up in the stomach but you can't have everything. But I think the technic gear and the "horns for teeth" are a great way to build the beak. Here is the completed squid about to attack. And here is another picture showing the articulation of the tentacles. Another very cool feature is that if you shine a light on the squid and then turn the lights off, the squid's eyes and tentacles glow in the dark. In short the squid is excellent!!!

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The Build (Base Part 2): I have to admit that I like the base a lot. I know a lot of people have complaints about it not being air tight and they liked the prototype better. I, however, really like that LEGO® still creates building with no back so that you can play inside easily. After all, no part of this base pretends to be airtight, so that much is forgiveable, plus it has a really cool overall design. One thing that bothers me, however, is the use of BURPs without support. If there's one saving grace to a BURP, it's that there are 2 stud notches at the bottom for them to fit into mor assymetrical rock formations. There should be a rule against using a BURP without support...but I digress. There is nothing too special about the base of the station, although I do like the airtanks. The new yellow girders give the set a cool look. One thing I've noticed about LEGO® instructions lately is that they leave the 2 x 2 turntable un-assembled. They used to always come assmbled. I wonder what caused the change. I like the trans-blue tunnel pieces and didn't want to put decals on mine. I like to keep the option open for using it for something that doesn't require caution stripes and I don't like to remove decals as they tend to leave residue. Always pay attention when LEGO® gives you a "stud-map" to look at. In this particular step it is necessary to show the placements of the new girders. The mechanism being built in these steps looks intriguing! At first, I thought this was going to be kind of lame. However, it is a great way to launch the divers into the water and a very cool feature. Diving stations like this should have an entrance in the floor, the only way to get in and out without filling an interior chamber with water. I like the launcher alot, even if you do need to have very tiny hands to operate it...

The interior of the base is very well layed out. I don't like the way these airtanks are stored. It kinds of ruins the illusion that they are airtanks by sticking them on posts by the base which isn't supposed to be hollow, technically. I love this door, it's a great example of cool details with simple construction. I am always amazed and how well things work that seem like they wouldn't like the way this door closes. It very simply creates a complete closure. However moments after I fell in love with this door I turned to hating it. If someone were to open this ingenious door, they would drown everyone inside! This yellow piece always irks me. I never like to see it as it was a staple of the juniorization days. I think it's interesting that some pieces get decals while others are printed. The tile on the windows is one of the few printed pieces in the set. I like the way they used the cockpits to make the rounded observation windows for the base. I love when they use this gray piece in sets. It reminds me of my first big set, 6390 Main Street, I got for getting a good report card in first grade...I love this warning that the launcher can hurt you. I think the tear coming from the eye really gets the point across...Here's a picture of this thingy that the Aqua Raiders can swim around with. And finally, here is the completed set.

I really love this set! It is a very cool build and fun to play with (even for a 30 year old...) This poor Aqua Raider™ couldn't make it to his his huge cannon in time! Here are some of the negatives I found with this set:

  • I don't like these turret spear things. I thought at first they were gatling guns, but they're not. They don't rotate, they only stab and I'm not sure why the trans-clear domes are on the sides.
  • This yellow piece upsets me. I'm not sure why it's there and it annoys me. I'm not sure if it's supposed to enclose the tunnel but I don't think it's necessary. I imagine the tunnel is already underwater so there's no reason to try and connect it to the building. And if that's what it's supposed to be doing, I have to say it's pretty lame.
  • I'm also not sure what this is supposed to be. It looks cool, but it has no robotic arms, cameras or guns so I guess it's just meant to be a companion.
  • This cannon thing is so pointless. I won't go off on a tirade, but just look at it. Why are there fins on it?

Here are some of the positives I found as well:

And last but not least, check out the extra parts and the overall rating of the set. I hope you enjoyed my review of this excellent set. Don't forget to check out the further adventures of Bianca and Gavin in the Aqua Raiders™ base in the story below.

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As usual here is a story about this new set featuring Fabuland® Housewives stars Bianca Lamb and Gavin Gorilla. (I got a little carried away with this one so it is at least twice as long as any of the others. What can I say? This set is just fun to play with...)

New!You can view the story sequentially by clicking here!

   
To see more of Bianca and Gavin's adventures check out Fabuland® Housewives...
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