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Review: 7985 Temple of Atlantis


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#1 Etzel

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 12:47 PM

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Probably the most anticipated Atlantis set of the new 2011 January wave, the Temple of Atlantis, happened to be available at Toy's R Us in my city (Uppsala, Sweden) and I didn't hesitate to pick it up. I've tried to take some decent pictures of the set but I'm well aware that they could be better, I'll try to make up for that with some in-depth thoughts about the set.

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Set info
Set name: Temple of Atlantis
Set number: 7985
Release year: 2011
Piece count: 653 + 5 minifigs
Price: TBA, I got it for 759SEK but I haven't seen any official MSRP yet.

Box
The front of the box is shown in the first picture, here is the back side:
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An alternative view of the set and some close up photos of the play functions:
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(my bad photoshopping  :blush: )

The content
This is what is found inside the box, looks pretty nice:
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7 bags, 2 green rubbery pieces, 1 instruction booklet and one DSS (Dreaded Sticker Sheet)

The obligatory random instruction page picture  :tongue: :
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Clear and nice, no problem telling colours apart but then there aren't many colours you can mistake for another in this set. There was however one mistake that I discovered in the instructions:
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At this step in the instructions you add the white pieces you see in the piece-call-out-box up to the left, but on the picture the two flickfire missiles are added too, one step before they are called out. I now ask all of you, how will this effect LEGO as we know it? Are we seeing a trend break in our hobby? Will AFOLs abandon their cause or will sales rise extraordinary as a result of this?
Of course not, I just mentioned it because I felt proud to have observed the fault  :tongue:

Here is the inventory list, sorry about the quality of the picture I'm not sure if it's readable. In any case, you can find it at Bricklink too: LINK
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And the DSS together with the green rubberly pieces which are originally a Bionicle piece with first appearance in 2007 but in this set for the first time in green:
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As you can see there are 14 stickers but of these I only applied 10 to the set. My inconsistency with the stickers might be confusing but I wanted to save some of them for a MOC I'm working on and some I didn't want to apply since the pieces are more useful without them.

Here we have some interesting pieces:
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Black Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Angled Handles on Side is Bricklink's name on the piece to the left, there are 2 of them in the set and is all new. The only other set it appear in is 7984 Drill Submarine, another 2011 Atlantis set. The propeller piece is made in Flat Silver this year, it also appears in other 2011 Atlantis sets.

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The Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Clip on Top is also new, a combination of a 1x2 plate and a 1x1 modified tile with clip. It also appears in light bley in the new Police station. The windscreen in trans-yellow is highly anticipated by Space-fans, in particular the sly Classic Blacktrons. Maybe it will fit well together with the Series 3 Space Villian...

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And here, the piece that has drawn most attention to this set, the ribbed round bricks or Round 2 x 2 with Grille as BL calls them. The set contains 83 white and 19 tan ones which is more then I expected. We also get some old pieces in new colours, the 1x1 tile modified with clip in dark green, fish in Flat Silver, Ornamental Fish in pearl gold and the new handle which is also in the Ninjago sets, BL calls it Bar 1L with Top Stud and Two Side Studs.

Minifigures
Lets move over to the characters in this set, we got 2 humans, 1 statue (that lives?) an 2 creatures which clearly seems to be in their right element several leagues deep in the sea.
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First out is a familiar member of the Atlantis crew, Ace Speedman in a new yellow diving suit and a large propeller on his back. The propeller makes him very back heavy and hard to position.

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The golden statue is a clash of many different gold shades. I think it's meant to represent Poseidon (or Neptune if your Roman), the god of the sea with his trident. His armor is the same as the Portal Emperor and his helmet is Spartan but without the dark red painted plume.
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Here you can see how he looks without the equipment. I like the printing, now we have a naked muscular man torso in yellow, light flesh and gold, but I wonder when we will get a female version?  :grin: Leg printing is also nice but when it comes to the head I'm disappointed to see a very noticeable moulding mark right over the face  :sceptic: , luckily the back side of the head is spared from such things and is instead favoured with a nice human face. I guess that means the statue can be brought to life, but how and why is up to your own imagination.

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The dark red Crab-man is a unique minifig for this set, very cute with short legs and large claws. He has, like his partner the Fish-man, a mouth on his torso.
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As you can see, the claws are held by normal minifig hands and the headpiece is one piece, no normal minifig head under it like on the hammer-shark minifig.

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The fish-man has featured in other review here on Eurobricks, he's quite an eye-catcher. BL calls him a Barracuda Warrior, but I don't find it very similar to a real barracuda. Maybe the underbite...
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Last, but not leat, we got the leader of the expedition, Samantha Rhodes. She also sports the new underwater fashion of 2011 with a light bley diving helmet with trans-yellow visor, dark bley diving suit with silver and yellow details and yellow flippers. As accessory she has a flat silver harpoon.

The build
From the first bag you build not only the minifigs but also the black crab monster:
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Here you can see how the new "knuckle"-piece is used.
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Black with orange details and sticker Atlantis-markings. The orange Bionicle spikes, which the crab-man also has 2 of, is a new colour for that piece.

The next sub-model is the submarine:
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Quite simple build but the brackets gives us a nice base for the snotted sides:
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The use of Wedge 4 x 3 Open with Cutout together with the curved stud-less slopes works very well. The colours used are mostly red, dark bley and trans-yellow. as with many action theme sets we have some flick-fire missiles. They are however a bit difficult to fire since the propeller gets in the way, but maybe the set is designed more to small kid's fingers and not my clumsy ones.
Back:
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Front:
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And now we start with the temple itself, this is what's inside the bags numbered 3:
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Lots and lots of column pieces and mostly pieces in white, tan, dark tan, light and dark bley.
After bag 3 the temple looks like this
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I've put on the stickers on the large white panel but not on the rock pieces. The new gold handle is used to hold two gold ornamental fishes and the silver fish goes together with some jewels in the treasure chest. In the middle you can catch a glimpse of the mechanism that makes the golden statue come up through the floor when you turn the Atlantis key.
Back:
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As you can see, there are more column pieces then just those in front of the temple. Apart from some seaweed the basement of the temple is pretty bare, but that leaves room to place the monster crab there.
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Here is a picture of the golden gate at the left side of the temple. The 1x2 tile has a sticker with a key hole pattern, but there is no key in the set (except the Atlantis key but tat won't fit), who might have it?
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This a view from the other side where the statue rising function more visible.

Content of bag 4:
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Much like bag 3 but with less big plates and more 1x1 round gold plates.
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Now we can see what this is going to be. The temple rises up on the base and is about 24 bricks high.
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At the bottom of the stairs there is a structure with the key mechanism that makes the gold statue rise up. The blue gem sitting in front of it looks a bit out of place to me, but I guess it's meant to be some kind of decoration.
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Another back side shot, it shows that quite empty back of the pediment. Only the flick-fire missiles and a small ledge.

And finished:
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At the end a portal and some columns in different degrees of decay and large and small seaweed is added. The right column can be tipped to the left if one want to.
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With all the minifigs and sub-models:
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The portal in the front has a dangerous trap:
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Push the golden cone and an axe falls down, luckily the diver managed to roll away:
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The temple before the key is turned:
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And after:
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The white panel doesn't rise all the way up by itself so the merman stickers aren't very easy to get a good look of unless you pull it up yourself:
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It would have been nice if we could get gold mermaid fins too, but I guess the legs of the statue is pretty good too.

Final thoughts
This is a great set, I won't hesitate to say that. I like sets that contains lots of useful parts and I think this set has much of those. The colours are mostly very useful, white, tan and grey are colours that can be used in many different MOCs and the gold details are nice too. I'm not a big fan of the submarine and the monster crab but to Atlantis fans I believe they are popular. I must say though, that I find the submarine nicely designed but I'm turned back because of the not-so-nice colours and the use of the big ugly ball-and-socket-joints. When it comes to minifigs I wasn't very interested in them but I must say that with the figs in my hands, many of them are nice. The divers are probably good for Sci-fi fans and personally I think they look better then the lime green variant. The golden statue is really special, but the mash of different gold nuances are kind of dragging down the grade on it. One can also ask oneself what a gold minifig are good for, maybe it can be used an El Dorado MOC or something but it's uses are limited IMHO. The fish-man and crab-man are really cool, I have no idea what I will use them for but I still think they look great. Since their parts aren't very versatile I guess I'll just keep them together standing on my shelf.

Build and design: 6/10 Nice and detailed, the temple is very good but the monster crab and the submarine is not that good IMHO.
Playability: 7/10 Quite a lot of different functions, the rising statue is the most advanced and the rest very simple.
Pieces: 8/10 Really good, over a hundred new grilled round 2x2 bricks and some really interesting new pieces.
Minifigs: 7/10 Not so exciting divers but very nice mutant creatures and gold statue.
Price: 6/10 I'm not sure yet what the MSRP will be but the 759SEK I paid was fair to me. I guess the $/€ price will be something around 80.

Total: 7/10 Above average according to me, well worth a buy if you like the pieces and minifigs. To me this is the kind of set I had hoped all of the Atlantis set would be like when I first heard about the theme, with Greek inspired architecture submerged ruins clad in seaweed, I very happy we finally got one.

#2 Piratedave84

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 12:55 PM

Thank you for the review!
The set looks just awesome, I was not really into Atlantis, only buying the sets for parts but this new wave I for sure will get (and build!  :classic: ) all the sets!!

Anyways thanks for the pics .... must find it ... gold statue  :wub:

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#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:16 PM

Thanks 'Etzel' for this review :sweet:,  I actually like the sub, but will agree with you on the new dive suits and what about those undersea creatures eh ? :devil:
All I would want out of this set are those 2x2 round grill bricks.....SWEET ! :grin:
Keep on diving everyone ! :wink:

#4 Big Cam

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

I'm not a huge Atlantis fan, but I am a fan of a good review.  I lovr how well you covered each section and I really enjoyed your writing.

That gold statue is very appealing, and I may consider looking for one on bricklink.

Great review!

#5 jonwil

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

Nice review, it confirms that this set is a MUST BUY.

#6 The Crazy One

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:34 PM

Great review, but this set doesn't cut for me. I don't think any of this wave does. I think I may have to get on of the smaller ones for the hammerhead though.

#7 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:35 PM

Of course is MUST BUY!
IMO is one of the greatest Lego designs ever!
Thanks for review, I hope I will get this. Grrrreat pieces are great!
I fell in love in Crabminifig!

And could you take a photo oh the green fire piece? It looks like it have two colors...

Edited by Lordofdragonss, 15 December 2010 - 02:42 PM.

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#8 iamded

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:17 PM

What a great set! Many kudos for the review, Etzel!
Loads of great parts. I think my favourite part of this set is not the column pieces (though they are great), but the little crab guy. Those pincer pieces are so awesome. :laugh: Thanks again Etzel. :thumbup:


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#9 Cancerkitty

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:21 PM

Excellent review. I want to pick this set up just for all those awesome column pieces.

#10 Izzy

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:30 PM

Very well done on this review Pretzel.

I am happy to see those cute little short legs in Dark Red. Has that been done before? Those crabby hands are adorable. This set looks much much better set up than on the box. So many great pieces that I didn't notice from just seeing the cover shots.

Not sure if I will ever get to buy this set, but it is now on my wish list!  :sweet:

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#11 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:58 PM

I've managed to convince myself to never even consider large sets like this, both because of lack of space and lack of funds, but I've become a real fan of Atlantis and there is so much in this set to like... The Crab-man is awesome, the temple and seaweed looks really good, and the gold man is the microfigure from the Atlantis Treasure LEGO game, which I can no longer think isn't 'in continuity.'

#12 fff

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:26 PM

nice Review. It looks awesome  :thumbup:
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#13 Flare

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:59 PM

Fantastic review! I've been admiring this set since I found the pictures about a month ago, and this review has been very helpful and informative. Great work :sweet:

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#14 crabboy329

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:45 PM

Great review  :thumbup:. The set is nice but its not my kinda thing. Although I really love the new parts and figs  :sceptic:.

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#15 Erdbeereis

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:51 PM

Awesome review Etzel! :cry_happy:

I love this set, not only for its great design, but also for the number of new pieces you get (especially those outstanding 2 x 2 column pieces). The minifigs are really nice as well; I do wish that the sea creatures would come with a head, like some of the other Atlantis creatures.

Overall, definitely a set that I would like to get my hands on. Thanks for the review!

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#16 Aanchir

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:55 PM

Very nice review, although I winced at the use of the term "flat silver". Most of the time I can tolerate Bricklink's names, but this one strikes a nerve for several reasons. This is a new silver color to summer 2010, called 315 Silver Metallic, and yet BL insists on conflating it with older silver colors. And it does so with great inconsistency-- some pieces in the new silver are called Flat Silver, others are called Pearl Light Gray, and still more are called Pearl Dark Gray (mostly Hero Factory parts get this unfortunate deal, of course, and it's not as though BIONICLE and Hero Factory parts have had outstanding accuracy in their Bricklink color designations before).

If you must use a term other than the official term (which of course you must; if you said 315 Silver Metallic hardly anyone would know what you were talking about), I'd just call it "Kingdoms silver". Still might cause some confusion, but not so much as calling it by an already-inconsistent Bricklink color name.

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#17 Zorbas

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:04 PM

Don't tempt me Etzel! :sing:

:tongue:

Fantastic review buddy, thanks! :sweet:  Although that I'm not into Atlantis I must say that this set looks fantastic and I really consider of buying it. The ancient temple is beautiful and well designed and the new column pieces are just marvellous.
The Poseidon minifig is to di(v)e for!

Thanks again for the splendid review! :thumbup:
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#18 buddy

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:22 PM

Great review for a great set! I too like the new 2 x 2 round bricks.  :thumbup:
Very well done on the review.  :classic:

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#19 lisqr

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:07 PM

It's a fantastic set and you've done a great review. But I just want to say that lego is putting flick fire missile on buildings now?!  :wacko:  :oh: *oh2*

#20 JCC1004

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:26 PM

~* Goes to Brickset and adds this set to wanted list. *~

:grin:

Thanks for making me want this set.  :hmpf_bad:  :tongue:

This is by far the best Atlantis set we've gotten.  :classic:

Thank you PrEtzel for a fine review!  :tongue:

View Postlisqr, on 15 December 2010 - 07:07 PM, said:

But I just want to say that lego is putting flick fire missile on buildings now?!  :wacko:  :oh: *oh2*
They put them as the eyes on the archway in the Indiana Jones set "Temple of Akator". :wink:  You could argue it's not a building but rather a structure. The same applies with this set.

Edited by JCC1004, 15 December 2010 - 07:27 PM.


#21 Etzel

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:51 PM

View PostLordofdragonss, on 15 December 2010 - 01:35 PM, said:

Of course is MUST BUY!
IMO is one of the greatest Lego designs ever!
Thanks for review, I hope I will get this. Grrrreat pieces are great!
I fell in love in Crabminifig!

And could you take a photo oh the green fire piece? It looks like it have two colors...
BL has a nice one:
Posted Image

View PostCutlass Iz, on 15 December 2010 - 02:30 PM, said:

I am happy to see those cute little short legs in Dark Red. Has that been done before?
Nope, first time.

View PostAanchir, on 15 December 2010 - 05:55 PM, said:

Very nice review, although I winced at the use of the term "flat silver". Most of the time I can tolerate Bricklink's names, but this one strikes a nerve for several reasons. This is a new silver color to summer 2010, called 315 Silver Metallic, and yet BL insists on conflating it with older silver colors. And it does so with great inconsistency-- some pieces in the new silver are called Flat Silver, others are called Pearl Light Gray, and still more are called Pearl Dark Gray (mostly Hero Factory parts get this unfortunate deal, of course, and it's not as though BIONICLE and Hero Factory parts have had outstanding accuracy in their Bricklink color designations before).

If you must use a term other than the official term (which of course you must; if you said 315 Silver Metallic hardly anyone would know what you were talking about), I'd just call it "Kingdoms silver". Still might cause some confusion, but not so much as calling it by an already-inconsistent Bricklink color name.
Since Bricklink is the most used and updated database for LEGO pieces that is available for AFOLs I prefer to use their names. Reasons for this are several but the most important is that it will be easy for people who read this review to search for the piece at BL. BL colour names might not always be great (e.g. medium dark flesh is a very silly name IMHO) but at least they are much more logical than TLG's names. It's nice that TLG has shared their official names with us but as long as BL has their own I don't believe we AFOLs will go over to the official ones.

#22 Aanchir

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:09 PM

View PostEtzel, on 15 December 2010 - 07:51 PM, said:

Since Bricklink is the most used and updated database for LEGO pieces that is available for AFOLs I prefer to use their names. Reasons for this are several but the most important is that it will be easy for people who read this review to search for the piece at BL. BL colour names might not always be great (e.g. medium dark flesh is a very silly name IMHO) but at least they are much more logical than TLG's names. It's nice that TLG has shared their official names with us but as long as BL has their own I don't believe we AFOLs will go over to the official ones.
LEGO names do have a sort of internal logic in many cases... example here, and that's just with the default spectrum. But I agree, AFOLs will probably never shift over to the LEGO names in general-- even I tend to use Bricklink or other familiar AFOL naming schemes to clarify colors that would otherwise be extremely obscure like "medium lilac" or "flame yellowish orange" (which I personally prefer to "bright light orange").

It would be nice, though, if Bricklink would put forth a more concerted effort to recognize which colors are new, which are current, and which are out-of-production. The fact that they identify Hamm's "cork" from the Toy Story sets as Fabuland Brown is just one of the ridiculous errors I wish they'd work harder to avoid. Flat Silver is less egregious for me, because Bricklink is almost never consistent with metallic colors-- consider this lovely warm gold piece from the Brutaka set, one of the first sets to use pearl gold (297 Warm Gold). Bricklink, naturally, decided that it's metallic gold.

I suppose it's unfair to pick on BIONICLE parts, since it's a slightly-obscure theme and so the more authoritative AFOLs might not be the ones making inventories of the sets. But someday I'm going to get a Bricklink account and set some of that stuff straight-- main thing setting me back is that the account system seems to be designed for buyers and sellers, not casual users of the catalog for database purposes.

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#23 Enpaz

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for the Swedish great review!

I find the set excellent. The pinnacle of the Atlantis line in my opinion. The Ancient Greece/Rome architecture is really nice.  :thumbup:

I also like the function! At any rate, the set's also a great parts pack.

Overall, a must-buy for me.

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#24 indyman09

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:08 PM

Thanks for that great review Etzel! :classic:
That set is awesome, but from the temple itself I quite expected something more than this. I don't know exactly what it is, but maybe the size is what I don't quite like.
The minifigs rock, and I thought after the first and second line they couldn't get better :tongue:

Edited by indyman09, 15 December 2010 - 09:08 PM.


#25 Ogre

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:14 PM

Thanks for the great review!
Wow, that set comes with WAY MORE column pieces than I thought it did.  
Now I want it even more than I previously did.   :grin:

As for the green 'fish warrior'...I figured he was based on an angler fish, not a barracuda, since he also appears in 'Angler Attack' and has that monster-sized bottom jaw.

Though I don't really care for the Atlantis sets, I DO really like the assorted 'fish warriors' that come with them and this particular set has a lot of other bits and pieces that are great for MOCs.

A total 'must get', IMO.

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