LEGO® Set Review: 1728 Crystal Crawler
Aquazone Banner Aquanauts Banner
Aquazone / Aquanauts

Crystal Crawler (us)
Lent Véhicule de Cristaux (fr)
Submarino Rastreador (es)
Aquanaut amfibiefartøj (da)

Ages 7-12 / 92 Pcs
12 page manual. 1 model. 15 steps, (c) 1996. 1996 Catalog 2 (Wild West) . ©1996
Price Range: $14.99 CDN
Special Features / Compatibility
Extra Elements
  • Perhaps a couple 1x1 Round Plates
Decals: None.
Scale: Mini-Figure
Errors: None


Conclusion
The Crystal Crawler is a good set if you want to buy 2 (or more) and build a cool vehicle, in partial/full Aquanaut colours. Otherwise, it might be sale material.

Description

[Editor’s Note: This was culled from a dual 1822 Sea Claw 7/1728 Crystal Crawler review. The review format wasn’t designed to handle dual reviews, so they have been separated into two]

The Crystal Crawler makes a yellow and black Aquazone vehicle, and has two big wheels and four tilting propellor arms, plus two movable arms. Presumably, it should crawl slowly along the ocean floor. Luckily (?) an ocean floor is provided, but it has absolutely no studs. The Alternate models are some sort of undersea robot, a vehicle that looks like a cross between a scorpion and a dragster, and a small submarine.

Impression

The Crystal Crawler seems to be an attempt to get rid of some truly cool pieces.

Of course, this could all be bias. There are 11 Aquazone vehicles to my count, (the 6 obvious ones in the catalog, this one, the Sea Claw 7, the two with the bases and the polybag) and 10 of them have no wheels. (I call them “submarines”, despite that all Aquazone is submarine). There is only 1 wheeled vehicle. On the other hand, despite all of the submarine movies, National Geographic specials, Jacques Cousteau shows and the like that I’ve seen, I have yet to remember an underwater wheeled vehicle. (There's probably some counterexample. Oh, well.) They seem entirely impractical.

Ratings

Set Rating:Good

As far as pieces go, the Crystal Crawler has a few very interesting special pieces. It's got 4 “bent oct tubes”, 4 props, 2 “bigfoot” tires, 2 large arms, and 2 pieces that previously appeared as suspensions. The design puts these pieces in continual compression - this may reduce the spring's k-value (strength). The set also has a bush (green part only), and an “BONUS Aqua Playscape” that I hereby dub the AWFUL plate (for Aquazone Waste: Flawed, Useless & Lumpy plate). It looks like the protective cover for a keyboard that was co-designed by the Marquis de Sade and an ergonomist on crack.

Model Rating:Very-Good

Some features that weren’t initially all too evident made the set a lot cooler then I thought it would be. The Crystal Crawler uses the suspension elements to keep the propellor arms in a few positions: up, down, across, and 45 degrees between these. I think that this use may eventually reduce the strength of the spring. Otherwise, the Crystal Crawler is only moderate. The vehicle wobbles at the slightest touch because there are only 2 wheels. Its effectiveness in a real-world system would be dubious, at best. It has massive wheels – but almost no ground clearance. In what is almost certainly my only use of the AWFUL plate, I tried rolling the Crystal Crawler across it. The vehicle bottomed out pretty well constantly, and spent about 1/4 the time sliding on it’s underside. (As a side note, the AWFUL plate found a second use - it’s now sitting on the lowest shelf in my computer furniture, to discourage me from putting my feet there). I’d like to redesign it, but I’d want two. Then, I’d make a rolling vehicle, (with 4 wheels!) and a small sub. That would be OK.

Playability Rating:Good

As noted earlier, the Crystal Crawler has poor ground clearance. The Crystal Crawler is not nearly as overall cool as the Sea Claw 7, for instance.

Likes

Some truly cool element, especially the suspension elements.

Dislikes

Looks offroad, but keep it to the streets. Wobbly. AWFUL plate.

Elements

Special/Unusual Elements

Big wheels, “suspension elements”: a 1x2 x 2 brick high black brick, hollowed out, with a sliding hole capable of taking Technic pegs and spring in center.

New

The suspension element was used in the past. During my dark ages, I think. [Editor's Note: it was used in only one set prior, the Blacktron Future Generation 6833 Spectral Starguider]

Decorated pieces

  • 1 2x2 round Aquanaut logo on yellow tile
  • 1 1x2 yellow tile with “depth gauge”.

    Mini-Figures

  • Pilot: Black snorkel mask, white Aquanaut diving suit, zippered Aquanaut torso, white & blue legs, face w/ green shades & brown hair.
    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Product Lines/Themes
    Kevin Stefan 19 kjstefan@acs.ucalgary.ca --- All. Space, Town & Aquazone as of late.

    I tend to buy sets for the elements, most of the time. Both sets that were reviewed were bought for the elements (as opposed to for the models). They were also bought because I hadn't got any good LEGO sets lately.


    This is a fan created web site. LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.
    All views expressed in the reviews on this site are those of the review author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Joshua Delahunty or the University of California.
    Set names and photos are copyrighted materials owned by The LEGO Group, used according to its Fair-Use Policy. Set photo scans courtesy of Pause Magazine.
    Background imagery supplied by and Copyright © Todd Lehman. Used with permission.
    3-D Element bitmaps supplied by and Copyright © James Jessiman. Used with permission.
    All product line and theme banner graphics hand-drawn (not scanned) and Copyright © 1996 Joshua Delahunty.

    Send comments on these pages to the editor at dulcaoin@alumni.cse.ucsc.edu.


    Return to Aquazone Menu Return to LEGO® Reviews Menu