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Review: 4012 Wave Cops

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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5... (12 member(s) have cast votes)

... how would you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (1 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  2. 2 - Below average (1 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  3. 3 - Average (3 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  4. 4 - Above average (5 votes [41.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.67%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (2 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

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#1 Rapseflaps


  • Rapsy needs to refresh his mind with a fresh new title!

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 10:13 AM


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4012 Wave Cops (1996)

Two identical cops search for crooks and no-good scum in the waters around Lego City... or your bath tub!

In this review, we'll be looking at the 4012 Wave Cops set, which features an actual floating police boat stacked with features and details. Whether deployed for rescue missions or just patrols, this boat is sure to find its place in any Lego town that has some water in the vicinity. Or you can take it away from the rest of your Legos and have it floating around in your bath, searching the bubbles for bad guys. Hmm... manly!

This set is of particular interest to me personally since it was the first (and only) floating boat I ever got and one of the final Lego sets I got before abandoning Lego in favor of what was at the time referred to by yours truly as "more grown-up stuff." I believe such a tipping point is usually referred to as the start of the Dark Ages.


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The front of the box, courtesy of Peeron.

Item #: 4012
Name: Wave Cops
Theme: LEGO System / Floating Boats
Year: 1996
Pieces: 101
Minifigs: 2
Price: USD$20.00


Now in order to save room, we used to cut up the boxes of my Lego sets and put the pictures into an album. This was particularly handy for all those alternate models Lego used to put on the back. I went rummaging around the attic, but all I could find was the front of my own box, which is slightly different:

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Then again, I doubt there's many big alternate models to be made from this set.

Parts & Pieces

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This set comes in at just over 100 pieces. The biggest piece is of course the boat itself, which has a black hull and a white deck. All the police logos are stickers.

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The massive boat part.

There's only three printed parts in this set:

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The cabin controls and engine room gauges are printed.

The set also comes with a big, heavy block (which I clearly recall was packaged seperately) that gives your boat enough weight to stay stabile in the water.

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Without this piece, your boat will sit high on the water and capsize at the smallest ripple.

Despite what Peeron says btw, the little glass window in the hatch is actually a darker transblue - the same color as the warning lights. The color difference is visible in the instructions as well.


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The front of the instruction booklet shows the same image as the box, along with an alternate.

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For the first few steps, we're shown the inside of the hull.

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Another page of instructions. Notice the dark transblue window in the hatch.

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The back page shows instructions for floating the boat and mentions the possibility of attaching a prop motor.


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Two identical minifigs are included. Both feature the same police body under their life vest.

The Build

Having a massive piece like the boat hull/deck combo seems pretty awesome. Unfortunately, as far as building goes, it also means that pretty much half of your model is done before you even start.

Building the model takes about 15 minutes. The hardest part is probably attaching the little string to make the rig that goes on the back of the boat, but obviously it's something you only have to do once. (same for the stickers of course)

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Halfway through, the engine room is completed: it is a simple dial readout with a red chair in front of it.

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A look at the cabin controls.

The cabin features a radar readout and a communications panel, along with a bullhorn and a walkie-talkie, both attached to the wall. Oh yeah, and a handy steering wheel.

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Over the cabin is a 2x12 plate with some nifty features that will help the cops track down the bad guys.

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Ready to roam the seas!

I like the little engine room and the wings that surround the cabin (even though one does wonder how the captain could ever make it to the bow - then again, minifig accessability was never one of the Lego designers' biggest concerns). The wings give the boat a nice agressive look, suitable for a police boat. I also like the little thingamajigs put on top, which I assume are an infrared camera and a radar. At least that's what my youthful imagination would make of it. ;)

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The engineer in his place...

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...accompanied by his brother the captain

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Coming to hunt down the crooks! (available seperately)

Of course, I haven't gotten to the most important aspect of this boat yet...

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It floats!

This gives the set an extra bit of fun. There's a flipside to this though: if your cops encounter a storm - and trust me, they will eventually - drying the set becomes a bit tedious. You'll have to disassemble the whole thing, dry it off as much as you can and then let it lay for a bit (the bit of string in particular will take a while). It's what you'd expect from getting your Lego wet, but it's also a reason why you might not take this thing with you on the high seas as often. The stickers however, seem to hold up well to water.

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"Hmm, no one around here... maybe they went down this hole?"

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The life vest works! Well... sort of.

The Final Tally

Design: 9/10 Two cool-looking dudes aboard a cool-looking boat that has radar, infrared, a searchlight, an engine room, a walkie-talkie, a bullhorn and a rescue rope. Pretty sweet for just 100 parts.
Parts: 6/10 I liked having the boat hull at the time just for kicks, but there's really not much you can do with it other than, you know, build a boat. It seems like a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of set.
Minifigs: 7/10 They're twins! But at least they have cool sunglasses. Also, they're cops.
Playability: 8/10 The fact that this thing looks as cool as it does helps, as well as the fact that it actually floats. Pity I'll have to buy the bad guys seperately.

Overall: 30/40 Well, I guess that's a 7.5/10 on average, which is probably accurate enough. I might actually give it an 8- for coolness, but I'll guess I'll stick to the average.

Edited by Rapseflaps, 05 August 2011 - 10:19 AM.

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4012 Wave Cops  |  6689 Post Station*  |  6563 Gator Landing  |  6661 Mobile TV Studio*  |  6357 Stunt 'Copter N' Truck*  |  6355 Derby Trotter*  |  6264 Forbidden Cove  |  6983 Ice Station Odyssey**  |  6394 Metro Park & Service Tower*/**
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#2 Lordofdragonss


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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:17 PM

Attack of clones! Legoland must be sunny place... Half of old minifigs wears glasses :laugh:

I never had any boat set, it must be fun when it float!
Very good review, good captions, and photos are so clear!
And the last photo and caption made me lol.
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#3 legotrainfan


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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:38 PM

Nice and detailed review including a good practical test (checking if the boat really floats). However, I don't like this set so much. There were other boats that looked better.
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats

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#4 JTaylor


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    Joined: 04-September 09
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Posted 06 September 2009 - 12:54 AM

That was my first ever lego set! I got it for christmas from my aunt  :cry_happy:
very cool, I would like to buy a new one !

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