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REVIEW: Atlantis 8061: Gateway of the Squid


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (60 member(s) have cast votes)

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  1. 1 - Poor (3 votes [5.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.00%

  2. 2 - Below Average (5 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  3. 3 - Average (16 votes [26.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.67%

  4. 4 - Above Average (21 votes [35.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.00%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (15 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

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#1 yellost

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:45 AM

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I went to the city centre this afternoon, not expecting anything much but oh Behold!, when I entered the local toy shop (Bart Smits in City 2, Brussels, for those in Belgium who are interested), they just recieved the new Atlantis sets! But at first glance, they didn't seem to have the Squid Gate. In fact,  I had to look deeper, because it was hidden ion the special stand behind a big box of the neptune sub. So I picked one up straight away and decided to make a review of it since it seems there hasn't been one yet.

So, the general info first :

8061: Gateway of the Squid

  • Item №: 8061
  • Pieces: 356?
  • Minifigures:
  •     * 2 Divers
  •     * Squidman
  • Price: US $? / EUR 39,99
  • Ages: 7 - 14
  • Released: January 2010
  • Theme: Atlantis

I'll start with a pic of the Box. It's actually a long one rather than big. As you can see, it's the european version which is really spare on the info side of things... So I calculated 356 pieces from the piece count at the back of the manual but I might have left some by mistake...
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(click pic for a higher res)
on of the sides of the box have the standard legal info and t two have the same illustration than the front. The last one has a pic of the minifigs :
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(click pic for a higher res)
The back has a more generic view of the set
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(click pic for a higher res)

and some nice close ups of some of the features (although, being a subaquatic theme, I have to say that they don't make much sense to me...)
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A secret trap wherein the diver should fall (because underwater, we're supposed to walk, obviously...)
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The gate that needs a special key to be opened (Don't ask me why they couldn't just go round... or even swim above it...)
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Next are the manuals. There are two of them. The front is the same for both and the back of the second one has the usual legal info. But the back of the first one has a really great looking illustration of the various sets of the theme laid out in some kind of map leading to a mysterious temple with a portal on top. The whole thing is lavishly done and really nice.

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close up of the back of book 1
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(click pic for a higher res, it's worth it)

And finally, a really small DSS which I didn't use. It's supposed to go on the giant squid.
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Now let's go on to the main thing.
There are 3 bags of happiness. Each numbered to ease the build.
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Bag one contained all the figs and the pieces to build the 2 monsters
the 2 divers are really nice. I love their scuba pack. But of course, the crown of this set goes to the mighty Cthulhu himself (or Squidman, I don't know his official name).
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The divers are a man and a woman. They both have dual printed head but I forgot to take a pic of the other side. The girl has a slight frown and the guy has a wierdly scared/confused expression like this one  -> :wacko: <-
I like the beauty spot near the girl's mouth. At first I thought it was a misprint but it's also on the other side. Nice little detail I didn't expect...
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And here is a side pic of Cthulhu. The head and bottom tentacles are made of the same rubbery material. I thought it was the same as Kit Fisto's head or Plo Koon's but after checking, it feels a bit sturdier...
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And underneath is hidden a little gem. I love that teethy mouth. It looks fantastic. The Rorshach print on the torso is a bit wierd but nice nonetheless. Maybe they're ink blotches that spilled from his mouth tentacles  :grin:
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Finally, the Trident is made of a rubbery material too. Which is wierd, because the one I got in the small wreck raider set was different...
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Then we move on to the Monsters.
The first one is a small bone squid, all white with a red mouth and red eyes. Simple design yet quite effective.
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And the the real meat of the set, the Giant Squid.
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here I'm afraid I'll have to apologise for the bad lighting. But my room is pretty dark during the day and with the winter, there really isn't much to work with... And the squid being mostly black, it doesn't make it any easier... But I tried to capture it as best I could.

Here is a front shot of it  trying to catch you, pour soul :
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and a close up of that lovely mouth :
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As you can see, it has 2 different sets of teeth. The standard horns we've had since the vikings and another one like a giant shark tooth. That one is molded in a flexible material, like Cthulhu's head.

And finally, the gateway itself.
It's built in two modular parts. The first with the gates and the mechanism that opens them and then the bigger part at the back.
The mechanism is an interesting use of rubber band hidden inside the build.
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One of the band is twisted, so that the gate turns the other way. Unfortunately, it doesnt work that well as there is some desynchronisation between the two gates. Everytime I tried, the left gate opens first and then the right one follows... But still a nice idea.

The back of the 'key' has an axle hole and fits on the axle to control the gears :
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Various shots of the gates :
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And one from the back with the two pins to attach to the back part
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Then there is the bigger rear part : the build here was pretty straight forward and didn't hold any surprise. Only at the end was there some slightly more interesting SNOT for the figurehead, but nothing much... and there's the trap but nothing unusual.
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A front view :
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and a back. The round 2x2 piece controls the trap mechanism (sorry, it's all blurry but I didn't realise it until too late...) :
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The trap mechanism is just a technic gear piece (I don't know the exact name) that pushes the trap piece up when the knob on the back is turned :
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The build is thus finished :

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In the end, it does exactly as advertised, really... It's just a gateway
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A nicely designed one, though. Which makes me hopefull for a temple later next year...
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And some final action shots :
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There is a support on the figure head to set the Giant Squid over the whole gateway, and the little pole on the side holds the bone squid to trap the divers like a cage as seen on the back of the box

What's left over, not much...
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And a few intersting pieces :
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the keyholder goes on top of the turntable base. And the grey piece seems to be a new mold to me.

And finally, the pieces inventory:
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(click pic for a higher res)

All in all, it's a really nice set. The gateway itself isn't much. It's well designed but I don't think I'll keep it built for long. Depends on whether they make new buildings to go along, I guess. But the monsters are really good and of, course, the minifigs are absolutely fantastic. It gives me great hope for what's to come if they do more with this theme.

As for a spare parts use, I don't really know. There are a lot of interesting pieces, like the teeth, tentacles, algae etc... as well as quite a few plates in tan and a new color I didn't know of before. (some kind of sand beige or something)

So in the end, I'm quite happy with it.

EDIT : I took the time to take some more pics of the figs as requested:
here is the back of the divers and their alternate faces :
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And some more shots of Cthulhu.
As you can see, he looks as good with his tentacles forward or backward. I find either way gives it a sense of motion in one direction or the other.
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here is a side shot with the tentacles set backward :
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And finally, a back shot of the fig with his tentacle hair which I forgot to do earlier :
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And the full Brickshelf folder when public

Edited by yellost, 15 December 2009 - 04:11 PM.
Indexed and poll added

Someday, the whole Universe shall bow before my genius... or at least the cat... maybe...

And on for my Brickshelf gallery...

#2 The Crazy One

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:56 AM

Great review. You have totally sold me on that set!  :classic:  I love the divers so much, and the Squid thing is great aswell.

#3 Svelte

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:02 AM

Sweet review! This is the one must-have of the Atlantis line for me! (Well, along with the Mantaman Impulse :wink:)

However some of your pics are pretty huge. The normal maximum we allow is 800x600 - I'd appreciate it if you could resize some of those 1400+ wide behemoths down a bit (box and instruction art especially). You can always link to the original shots if you think that detail is important.

#4 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:20 AM

I'm guessing it will be $50USD.  It really needs another minifigure, human or monster.

#5 prateek

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:30 AM

Awesome review! This set looks a bit better than I thought, it looks really sturdy. I don't really like these Gateway sets that Lego is making, but they do have some good things about them (i.e. IJ Cemetary Battle with the great figs and the motorcycle, and this set with the great figs and the awesome monsters :thumbup: This set is a bit too expensive though :sceptic:

Edited by prateek, 15 December 2009 - 01:31 AM.


#6 Tereglith

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:35 AM

I'm thinking you might want to correct the age range at the top of the post - it says 6-12, and then right underneath has a picture of the box blaring 7-14...

Nice review though, you really covered all the aspects of the set. If this had a sub of some sort, it would be worth fifty dollars.

However, those squids do pain me to look at. The smaller one is clearly an octopus, and the larger one needs four more arms. And even if the arms were there, they would probably put the tentacles in positions 3 and 8, instead of 2 and 9 where they belong. *sigh* Schools these days, not teaching anything about giant squids. :hmpf:

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#7 Bfahome

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:42 AM

What does Mr. Cthulhu look like with his "legs" reversed?  Better?  Worse?

#8 MrCustomizer

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:53 AM

I don't suppose you could post a pic of the figures with their heads turned around could you? I am making a Brickfilm and the girl head looks great, but I want to know what the "frown" face looks like. ;)


Either way, I'm totally getting this!

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#9 Derek

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:39 AM

View Postyellost, on Dec 14 2009, 06:45 PM, said:

It's actually a long one rather than big.

That's what she said!  :grin:

But really, great review.  :blush: You've made me begin to consider this set, but unfortunately I don't know if my bidget will allow!  :sing:

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View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
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#10 RampantDingo

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:44 AM

Is Squid king's legs like a normal minifig, or is it just regular studs?

#11 GovernmentGuy

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:08 AM

Great Review! Thank you~ :thumbup:

This set could be better if its price was lower...

Although this set contains new minifigures, price seems to be too high :sceptic:

Anyway, I am getting this set for my x-mas~

#12 RileyC

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:41 AM

This set seems only good if you want to collect the Atlantis theme or if you just want the parts because it looks like there is some pretty interesting parts in this set.

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#13 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:05 AM

Very nice review I really like the red head it is very cool.

#14 Sir Gecko

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:18 AM

Oh the Humanity! Must you torment me with this set?  :cry_sad:

But seriously, thanks for the review; I’ve wanted this Squid Dude since I saw the clay concept.   :sweet:
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#15 Fumoffu

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:33 AM

Thanks for a good review.  I'm not sold on this set yet.  The other Atlantis sets look more appealing to me.

#16 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:41 AM

Propably this will be the first set I will get from this theme- Horible Atlantian (in good way of course), female diver, gold doors, and nice squids.
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#17 CommanderFox

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:44 AM

A very nice review yellost! :thumbup:
This set looks like another nice Atlantis set. :thumbup:
The parts look nice, I especially like that red squid guy, very nice alien face! :wub:
Nice review!

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Edited by CommanderFox, 15 December 2009 - 07:44 AM.

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#18 Sandy

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:51 AM

View PostMrCustomizer, on Dec 15 2009, 03:53 AM, said:

I don't suppose you could post a pic of the figures with their heads turned around could you? I am making a Brickfilm and the girl head looks great, but I want to know what the "frown" face looks like. ;)

It's not a new head, it's the same as the Crownie Queen's head from the 2009 set Drawbridge Defense (also available in the upcoming Imperial Flagship). Hence there's a beauty spot, as well. :wink:

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#19 Batbrick

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the review yellost, I really love this set. The figs are fantastic, and Cthulhu is a must-get no matter what for me. The giant squid is better than the one from the Aquaraiders theme, which is really saying something as that was a fantastic squid. The baby squid is actually somewhat cute as well. The gate of the set is sadly nothing to really write about, so that certainly brings the set down a bit.

Odds are sadly that I'll end up getting Cthulhu off of bricklink, monmey is hard to come by these days.

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#20 Swash Buckler

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:13 PM

:classic: Nice one looks better than i first thought- i like that there is so many of those seagrassparts i don't have any- although i will probably buy only a little one with same grass and blue mantaguy and trident :thumbup:  i am surprised if that is rubbery it actually don't suit very well for that part :sceptic: That squidguy lookscool- although he is much like Cthuthu it makes me think that they are actually just planning Davy Jones for possible potc theme- he would look cool as Dark tan rubbery molded head and new tricorne mold that can be removed :cry_happy:  Not everyone in classic pirates would like to see potc theme but i definitely want- all those great monsters and nice new pieces would definitely be more cooler than recycling same piratepieces over and over again :sceptic:  anyway nice review good set- that golden gate makes me think that someone definitely could build classic view of Heaven's gates with Saint Peter- not pearly gates but golden ones would look great symbolism as well :laugh: - although i personally see that buiding religious mocs is a little bit questionable :hmpf:

#21 Big Cam

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:16 PM

Really nice pictures!

That face on the squid guy is scary, I could see great uses for that in a Halloween MOC.

I've never been as craxy about actual playset sets as opposed to vehicles but if I was collecting Atlantis, I think I'd get this, your review does it justice!

#22 yellost

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:59 PM

Thank you all for the comments.

View PostSvelte, on Dec 15 2009, 02:02 AM, said:

Sweet review! This is the one must-have of the Atlantis line for me! (Well, along with the Mantaman Impulse :wink:)

However some of your pics are pretty huge. The normal maximum we allow is 800x600 - I'd appreciate it if you could resize some of those 1400+ wide behemoths down a bit (box and instruction art especially). You can always link to the original shots if you think that detail is important.
Sorry, I optimised them all to remain below a 150 Ko limit but I forgot to keep track of the resolution in the process...
I've changed the bigger ones, now.

View PostBfahome, on Dec 15 2009, 02:42 AM, said:

What does Mr. Cthulhu look like with his "legs" reversed?  Better?  Worse?

View PostMrCustomizer, on Dec 15 2009, 02:53 AM, said:

I don't suppose you could post a pic of the figures with their heads turned around could you? I am making a Brickfilm and the girl head looks great, but I want to know what the "frown" face looks like. ;)


Either way, I'm totally getting this!

~MC
I updated my first post with pics. Hope it'll give you an idea.
Cthulhu really looks fantastic from every angle and with his "feet" facing forward or backward. So far, no matter how hard I try, I just can't find a flaw. It's that good a fig.
as for the other faces, I don't know if they're new or not. I've just never had them before (but since I've only collected LEGO SW and a very very few other themes lately, I'm not really up to date...)

View PostFumoffu, on Dec 15 2009, 07:33 AM, said:

Thanks for a good review.  I'm not sold on this set yet.  The other Atlantis sets look more appealing to me.
Actually, this set was the more appealing to me because there wasn't anything from the others in it. I mean, the other vehicles are rather well done and the design between them is really consistent so kudos to the designers, but I don't really like them. Whereas, this here could actually fit in some kind of fantastical take of the Pirate theme (yes, PotC does seem to be coming this way...) That's why I'm really curious what that temple will look like if they ever do it.

View PostThe Green Brick Giant, on Dec 15 2009, 02:20 AM, said:

I'm guessing it will be $50USD.  It really needs another minifigure, human or monster.

View PostGovernmentGuy, on Dec 15 2009, 04:08 AM, said:

Great Review! Thank you~ :thumbup:

This set could be better if its price was lower...

Although this set contains new minifigures, price seems to be too high :sceptic:

Anyway, I am getting this set for my x-mas~
Usually, the sets are cheaper in the US than in Europe, so I don't think it would be that high.

And at a 350ish pieces for 40€, we're not really far from that "optimised" 10cent/piece (and we're talking euro, here) and it's got a few new mold pieces which should have made the price even steeper (though I'm only comparing it to the SW trend, here, so I might be completely off the mark). In truth, I was expecting to be much higher.
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#23 BearHeart

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:15 PM

This set looks like something that was made by "Megablocks" and not LEGO.

#24 Wout

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:58 PM

Thank you for the nice review.
This set looks quite nice and maybe I will get it.
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#25 MarcusV3

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:22 PM

I can't wait to pick up this set and great review of it! I heard at first it was 60 usd but someone else told me 40 can anyone clear this up for me? Or is it still unknown  :sceptic:



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