Review: 20013 Mini Neptune Carrier
Posted 31 December 2009 - 03:28 AM
My Brickmaster package arrived a few days early, so here's an early review of the latest promotional. I remember thinking that the "Top Secret" set would be Atlantis, and boy was I right. But I expected a small sub or minifig, not a mini-model! I was genuinely thrilled at a new mini-model, but after building it, I was let down. The thought was nice, but the execution left something to be desired. Let's see where Lego went wrong, as I review set 20013 Mini Neptune Carrier.
Set Name: Mini Neptune Carrier
Set Number: 20013
Number of Pieces: 63
Price: January 2010 Brickmaster Promotional (estimated value: $6 USD)
Year Released: 2010
I've started getting used to these gigantic Brickmaster bags. They still have the tendency to jiggle and flop like fish out of water, but something I noticed with this one is that it isn't a glossy. It has a less smooth feel to it, which helps it keep its shape a bit more. Of course, it also features the wonderful Atlantis scripture and logos.
There's nothing interesting on the back, unless you want to learn how to warn someone in several languages.
Polybag:: Thoughts: A little crisper than other Brickmaster polybags, as well as wonderfully decorated.
And out come the contents! A folded manual, some loose pieces, and a small polybag.
The instructions are similar to the box art, but feature the Atlantis background more prominently. These days, I'm more tired of complaining about folded manuals than and actual manual, if you get my meaning. Brickmaster promotionals are doomed to have folded instructions forever.
This random page shows the lack of piece call-outs, which are always nice, but in this case completely unnecessary. However, a nice kelp background is used, that compliments the Atlantis theme colors quite well.
A really cool ad for the other Atlantis sets can be found in the back of the book. This would make an awesome wall poster if it was bigger.
Here are some more ads. The first shows fewer sets, but also a sneak peek at the Atlantis temple. Also here is a kooky ad for the 3-D stuff on Lego.com. I'm not sure how that computer works under the sea.
Also at the back of the booklet is the parts inventory. It's no surprise that it fits on one tiny page, since it's small set.
On the back is the crazy screaming kid that I think all of us have come to hate. I would rather rip the back cover off than stare at him. He's almost as bad as the creepy Woody on the Toy Story box art.
Instructions:: Thoughts: Folded and crazy-kid covered, but simple and to the point.
The pieces are loose except for the one small bag. Already you can see that the main colors are red and dark gray.
Here are the pieces all sorted out so you don't have to squint at a tiny inventory. Remember, click the picture for a much larger one. There aren't very many of them, but the ones that are there are not particularly common.
Pieces of interest:
Some of the more interesting pieces include the 1x3 tiles, the neon green slopes, and some SNOT related plates and bricks. The 1x3 tiles are really cool, and feel weird, since they're a new length.
Pieces:: Thoughts: Not many of the little suckers, but a good selection none the less.
I was surprised that there were so many sub-models for such a tiny ship. Otherwise, the build was smooth. Lots of SNOT is used, which makes the build a bit more enjoyable.
A few little studs and pins are the leftovers.
Build:: Thoughts: Very quick and to the point. SNOT fans will be delighted.
The whole set:
The model looks quite good from the angle. The curves of the ship are captured surprisingly well. The neon cockpit also stands out really nicely.
There are some nice lights and details on the front. I especially like the technique for the clear lights, which can be revealed by going back to the in-build shots.
My favorite part of the sub is ingenious front curve. The pieces line up perfectly and just look so good. However, the cockpit should be below the upper curve, so even though it's an awesome technique, it's not entirely accurate.
Taking a look at the side reveals another interesting technique: the fan is kept in place by over-extended plates! I really like the fan piece, because it spins if you blow on it. In this picture you can also see that there are several studs on the side that aren't covered. I really would have liked some plates or tiles to patch those up.
Here's a better angle of the fan. The mini flick-fire missiles are pretty funny-looking.
On top of the model is a pole. Lego really screwed up here; this is the same piece used on the big version! This means the scale is way off.
Bird's Eye View:
A bird's eye view displays how fat the thing is. It's much too wide around the front, a problem which could be easily fixed. Also, I think that the back extends a bit far.
Design: 4/10 The basic shape is captured well, but there are way too many flaws. For example, the back is too long, the front is too fat, the cockpit is too high, the antenna/pole is too big.
Parts: 9/10 A great selection with lots of SNOT pieces and red. I am a huge fan of the neon green.
Build: 9/10 Quick and easy due to all of the sub-models. It felt about right for a Brickmaster set.
Playability: 8/10 Lots of fun to swoosh, and the fan can actually spin. Having full-size Atlantis monsters attack it could be an awesome play experience.
Price: 8/10 It's a promotional, so it doesn't have a price, but $6 sounds about right for the number of pieces.
Total: 38/50 Not a great set to have for display, but certainly a fine one to play with or part out. If you can't afford the big one, this actually isn't a bad alternative. There are some things that should have been fixed, but can be easily modded, so it's not terrible. I always wanted mini models for other themes besides Star Wars, and it looks like Lego is finally branching out.
Thanks for reading!
Posted 31 December 2009 - 03:42 AM
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Posted 31 December 2009 - 05:13 AM
I love that the fan moves when you blow it!
Posted 31 December 2009 - 06:56 AM
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Posted 31 December 2009 - 11:29 AM
This looks like a nice BM set, has lots of nice snot pieces.
I agree, I really like that front part where the two tiles join-fit together so nicely, that was the first thing I noticed when I saw the photo.
Thanks for the Review!
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Posted 31 December 2009 - 03:07 PM
All the fun bright colors of the Atlantis series without the annoying high price and useless figs.
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Posted 31 December 2009 - 05:31 PM
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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:55 PM
Although the SNOT techniques are pretty straight-forward, I like this litte model nonetheless. It's a good source for those bright green transparent curved slopes. Thanks for the review and heads-up.
Posted 02 January 2010 - 06:42 PM
Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:47 PM
Even so, this is a nice set in my eyes, and a great way to expose fans to the look and feel of the new Atlantis theme! I can't wait to see what other Brickmaster sets might await us this year!
Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:17 PM
I wish BrickMaster was available in the UK, because this model is really good! I love how the two slope pieces fit together perfectly at the front to give it a very rounded and smooth shape! I like the trans-green parts too.
I'll sure pick this up if I spot it anywhere!
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