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REVIEW: 6774 Alpha Team ATV


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#1 -R8-

-R8-

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:40 PM

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It has been nearly a decade since the release of the first incarnation of Alpha Team. Debuting in 2001 and ending in 2005, the Alpha Team theme brought us sets that existed on land, in the murky depths of the sea, and on treacherous realms of ice. Today I'll be reviewing a set from Alpha Team's first incarnation, the very first Alpha Team set I bought way back when it was first released: the Alpha Team ATV.

Receiving transmission - schematic #6774 of the Alpha Team ATV. Authorized personnel only.

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Name: 6774 Alpha Team ATV
Theme: Alpha Team
Year: 2001
Pieces: 134
Minifigs: 2
Price: USD 19.99, GBP 14.99

Further Reference: Brickset.com, Bricklink.com, Peeron.com, flickr


The Box: Front
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Credit goes to Peeron.com for the box image. The Alpha Team boxes of '01 had a prominent gray border that resembles some kind of circuit board, certainly fitting in with the high-tech atmosphere that Alpha Team had. What's most noticeable about these boxes however is the placement of the set's minifigs on the side - Flex and Cam. I'm not entirely too pleased with this layout. The border and the minifigs take up too much room on the box, almost detracting from the main subject, the set itself. Placing the minifigs on the back and trimming the border down a bit on the front would have in my opinion been a more effective layout.

Nonetheless, the image of the happy-go-lucky Flex being catapulted from the ATV was surely enough to catch the eye of prospective buyers.

The Instructions: Front
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It's been scotch taped more than once, but still intact. My thoughts for the box art front are the same here. Note how happy and carefree Flex looks being catapulted into the air despite the obvious rain of lightning  *huh*

The Instructions: Last Step
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The apocalyptic scenery from the box art acts as the background here. The steps are clear and concise.

The Instructions: Comic and Alternative Builds
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Here's where the nostalgia starts kicking in! These mini comics found in the back of instruction manuals were always fun to look at, and inspired numerous ways to play with the set. Not to mention the alternative builds shown on the back  :thumbup:  The sets never came with instructions for how to build them, but as a young kid I always liked to try and figure out how to make them even without the instructions. And with that, we are left with just one vague but true phrase: just imagine...

The Stickers
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There are two stickers that are used in the set, both exhibiting Alpha Team's insignia. According to Bricklink, the sticker sheet also came with a third sticker that just depicted the insignia, although this is not used in the actual set.

The Pieces
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Many of the pieces consist of plates, bricks, and slopes - always great to see a good amount versatile pieces. This set is also one of the seven sets that included small treads. In addition, you've probably noticed the printed tile (I'll get to this in a second!)

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Most of the old light and dark gray bricks here are composed of modified plates and bricks. The transparent dark blue windscreens could be useful in space themed MOCs. Another neat thing about the pieces are the trans-neon green pieces, specifically the propeller, antenna, and grille, all of which are uncommon in sets. A single 1x1 round trans-neon green plate is the sole extra piece in this set. And I know you've definitely noticed by now...more printed tiles!

Notable Pieces:
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A propeller housing piece (which looks like it could be used as a torch stand) is one of the more uncommon pieces in this set. Another notable piece would be the curved arch, a potentially valuable asset to MOCs of nearly any genre. The aforementioned trans-neon green pieces, like the windscreens would also be great for space creations (I guess any transparent piece would be  :alien:  ) Finally, the printed tiles. Their printing is versatile enough to be used as great little details in numerous MOC genres. The white printed tile is a little hats off to the Ice Planet line, since it was used prominently in that line.

Minifigures: Front
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Cam is one of the two female characters in Alpha Team, the other being Radia. Cam's stern, tough as nails impression will certainly make Ogel's skeleton drones think twice before attacking.  :thumbup: She also comes with female hair in red, which isn't in too many sets. As for Flex, all I have to say is this: what in blazes would make him smile so much?  :wacko:  The juxtaposition between Cam's and Flex's facial expressions is almost too funny to think about. Unfortunately the headsets on each head limits their use in MOCs. Focusing on apparel choice, both minifigs sport the Alpha Team insignia on their torsos, and have leg printing (which are actually the same designs, just different colors). Overall, they look adequate and well prepared to tackle any mission.

Minifigures: Back
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Not much to comment about - no back nor dual head printing.

The Build

Mini Submarine
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Within 15 easy steps, the mini sub is built and ready to be commissioned within treacherous waters.

Trailer
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Ten pieces and four steps later and the trailer is complete. Frankly, there's no need for instructions at this stage.

ATV
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And finally, the last part of the set is complete. Younger kids might have a little bit of trouble building this, mainly with tying the string to the winch and the hook.

All that's left to do is put the sections together...

Design and Playability

The Set
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Voila! Ready and fully equipped to take on any threat!

Mini Submarine
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Let's start with the sub. The bulbous windshield creates a decently sized interior and provides a large range of vision for the submarine pilot. It isn't waterproof - submerge this in water and the cabin will be completely flooded. Good thing minifigs don't need to breathe  :thumbup:

Another thing to know is the side lights can fall off very easily during play, and it can become quite a nuisance after some time. Adding a second robot arm to each side might help reinforce the lights better, but frankly I feel that it would detract from the aesthetic value of the submarine as well.

Rear View
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Although I like the primary black and yellow color scheme, I feel that the yellow 1x4 brick behind the Alpha Team insignia looks out of place and was placed rather haphazardly. Black would have been the better color choice.

Side View
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For the same reason as above, the 1x2 plate underneath the propeller housing would be better in black. I'm also not too sure why a red grille was used on the top of the submarine. Why not black or yellow?

Interior
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Absolutely love the curved effect the arches give off on the roof - they go a long way in enhancing the look of the cabin.

ATV
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Now for the ATV. The transparent grilles at the front adds to the futuristic nature of Alpha Team. Before we move on, let me just tell you all that this ATV isn't any old ATV - it's packed with features.

Hidden Lasers
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No barricade of skeleton drones will stop the ATV - just flip down the grilles and fire away!

Side View
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The treads work well on both carpet and hard surfaces. The trans-neon bar can be extended outward so that the cable However, the clip attached to the neon bar does get in the way of the treads and can fall off during play. It's best to keep it raised or removed so it doesn't interfere with the treads. I'm not sure why orange grilles were used, yellow looks much better in my opinion.

Rear View
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Unlike many new sets which often utilize Technic for play functions, the ATV's play functions are made completely out of System pieces. As a result, none of the play functions act as a detriment to the overall look of the ATV. In fact, I would even go as far to say that it enhances the ATV's design.

Interior
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The cockpit is pretty roomy for a single driver. The controls look complicated  :wacko:

Zip-line Function 1
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Perfect for scaling down treacherous cliffs. The submarine can be lowered using this feature as well.

Human Catapult
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Alpha Team agents can be quite the daredevil at times:



Ideal for flying over vast crevasses - just make sure you don't miss. It can be quite frustrating to try and get a minifigure's hand to grasp the hook - would it by any chance be an illegal connection?

Zip-line Function 2


Never mind the rude landing - at least it's a quick escape plan.

Conclusion

Is this set worth the money?

Pieces: 7/10 - Printed tiles, treads, and trans-neon pieces, just to name a few. Many of the pieces are good ol' bricks, plates, and slopes too.
Minifigs: 7/10 - Good for what they are, Alpha Team agents.
Build: 6/10 - You can't expect much of a build from a 20 dollar set. It's pretty straightforward, although tying the string to the hook and winch may be difficult for younger builders.
Design: 7/10 - Despite some issues with the colors, both the sub and ATV have a nice solid design to them. The playability features on the ATV are incorporated without taking away from the look of the vehicle.
Playability: 8/10 - On the contrary, for a 20 dollar set, this has a hell of a lot of playability in it. I used to play with this set in the water a lot as a little kid (even lost a piece to the drain  :cry_sad: ), and the zip-line functions are loads of fun. Alpha Team seemed to emphasize play features in its sets, and this one certainly lived up to that standard.
Price: 7/10 - Around 15 cents per piece. Twenty dollars is a bit high for a set with 134 pieces, but I'd say it's worth it because of the playability and set design.

Overall: 7/10

It's quite frankly a real nice set, and one of my favorite Alpha Team releases. Bricklink has a number of these sets for sale; even new and sealed copies are being sold at the original 20 dollar price. I'm sure it would make a great gift for younger fans, and adult enthusiasts can definitely appreciate some of the features this set has.

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"Damn it Flex!"

:devil:

Thanks for reading  :classic:

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#2 Peppermint_M

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for the review  :thumbup:

I wanted this set so badly when I was younger, but I couldn't find them in any shops (apart from the small impulse sets I had) I was very pleased to find the set on ebay. It took me a long time to take it apart, but I wanted to use the sub front for an Alpha Team Mecha MOC..

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#3 Rocketbilly

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:38 AM

Great review, I always wanted this set (or any set in the Alpha Team series) when I was a kid, and this doesn't disappoint.
Just so you know, the orange and red grille pieces, I believe are placed to correspond with the uniform of the vehicles driver - orange grilles to reflect Flex's orange uniform stripes, and red grilles to reflect Cam's red uniform stripes. I think that's pretty neat.

I like how the lasers are hidden behind the front of the ATV, and how the whole thing comes together so well. Sadly I don't like how messy the colours are in some places, I think it detracts from the overall look of the set.

Will/Rocketbilly

#4 WhiteFang

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:09 AM

Interesting review. Thanks for doing up those videos to showcase the playability features. It's really nice to see such fun mechanisms made available in this. I wasn't interested in this theme, mainly because back then I was in my dark age. It's good to see a review like this to keep me informed of the beauty of this set.  :classic:

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#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 04:28 AM

Thanks '-R8-' for the review of an interesting set from an interesting theme, nice and very different vehicles.... though not really my cup of tea, but I do like the zip line idea - wish that was used in SW/CW sets - now that would be cool !
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#6 Lockon Stratos

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:46 AM

As usual, nice review, nice set.  :thumbup:

Anyway, the use of the red grill for the sub and orange grills for the ATV is to go with the colour scheme of each vehicle's respective minifig driver.

#7 CP5670

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:46 AM

This is a nice set with some fun features. I love Flex's expression too. :grin:

This set was also sold as a package alongside 6771 and 6773, called the "Secret Mission Collector Pack." I got my copy that way.

#8 Brickviller

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 09:34 AM

Good review, back then I loved Alpha team and collected all the sets I could get. Good old times eh :cry_happy:



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