LEGO Atlantis Review: Angler Attack (7978)

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Going further into the depths of Atlantis since crossing through the mystical portal means plenty of new things for the divers to be facing off against. But I’ve got to say, it’s kind of weird that the divers don’t have some cool name even though they’re all sporting trident insignias on their suits.

Outsmart the Angler Fish and evil guardian to reach the treasure! Expert diver Dr. Fisher catches sight of an ancient helmet lying among the ruins of LEGO Atlantis. Just then, the evil Barracuda and giant Angler Fish, with its razor-sharp teeth, swim out from the murky depths. Can Dr. Fisher outsmart the deadly creatures to claim the golden helmet and take a photo of the rare fish?

I didn’t get a Dr. Jeff Fisher in the first Atlantis line, probably because he didn’t get packed with any totally awesome underwater figures. So he’s new to me. Dr. Fisher is wearing the new diver suit and it’s identical to Axel Storm’s second outfit. The paint looks good and I’m still left wondering what the gauge on his right leg is for.

Dr. Fisher’s head keeps the trend of having two expressions on it. One is his calm, mustached face wearing glasses. The other side shows off either reverenced awe or being slightly disturbed. It’s nice to get different kinds of facial expressions on the figures. For accessories, he comes with his yellow flippers, light gray scuba gear, a silver harpoon gun and a black camera.

For a tiny build, Dr. Fisher comes with a real mini-sub. Little more than a propeller attached to some handle bars, it looks right. It has a single arm on the left side to hold an item, while the right clip can hold either the harpoon gun or camera. It’s got three stickers on it too

Facing off against the mustached doctor is the Barracuda Warrior. He’s certainly unlike any other LEGO figure I’ve seen before. He’s all sandy green and looks great. His giant head/tail piece makes him feel like a different height, even though he’s just as tall as any other figure. His eyes are painted orange and black and his two tusks are separate pieces that have to be inserted. His odd head means he has no neck articulation and his tail prevents his legs from moving backwards.

Since Barracuda Warrior’s mouth is level with his chest, when you remove his head you see his open mouth right there in his chest! It’s a nice touch, but seems kind of pointless because you don’t really notice it when his head in on. Still, it gives me a great idea for some monsters. He also comes with a golden trident.

A basic little set piece is also included in the set with a leaning column, a golden treasure chest and some seaweed. The Corinthian column is cleverly using a hinged piece to lean. Inside the chest are two gems and another piece of the Golden Warrior is there: his helmet. It’s identical to the Portal Emperor’s helmet – maybe they’re connected somehow?

But a single warrior and a little underwater jet ski isn’t enough to justify the $20 price tag. But the inclusion of the angler fish justifies it. About six inches long and three inches wide, the angler fish is massive. His exterior is dark and lime green, while his giant bulbous eyes can rotate to look in different directions. The use of dragon wings are fins is genius reuse that works so well.

Hanging from the head is a single light source, just like a real angler fish. The mouth is full of giant fangs, including one gold one! The red lips contrast beautifully (well, as beautiful as something this hideous can look). Both the top and bottom jaw can move, with the bottom one being done with a rubber Technic piece. It even has a little neck beard and a different colored tongue!

One thing about building the angler fish that I loved was how colorful the inside of the fish was – reds, blues, greens, blacks and grays really gave the impression that you were building a creature, not just some fish-shaped construct. The scales on the side are stickers.

The doctor is easily the least exciting part of this set, but everything else in it is incredible. The Barracuda Warrior shows yet another direction LEGO can go in when making new figures. The leaning column looks great and executed so elegantly. But the angler fish is one of the greatest builds I’ve had in a long time with an end result that is stunning and terrifying.

LEGO Atlantis

Manta Warrior | Monster Crab Clash | Wreck Raider
Gateway of the Squid | Portal of Atlantis
Seabed Strider | Angler Attack

Written by jestergoblin

January 14th, 2011 at 12:00 am

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