LEGO® Set Review: 6195 Neptune Discovery Lab
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Aquazone / Aquanauts

Neptune Discovery Lab (us)
Aquanaut forskningscenter (da)
Aquanaut Unterwasserstation “Atlantis” (de)

Ages 9-12 / 492 Pcs
36 page manual: 2 models - sub and lab, steps for sub: 14 steps for lab: 28. ©1995
Price Range: $89 MSRP
Special Features / Compatibility
  • Magnets
  • Extra Elements
    • 2 Conveyer Belt Links
    • 1 Flourescent Orange 1x1 Round Plate
    • 1 Grey Small Pulley (“half-bush”)
    Decals: None
    Scale:
    Errors: None


    Conclusion
    If you can afford it get it.

    Description

    The set consists of the lab and a sub. Both are assembled using the typical Aquanauts colors: yellow, black, translucent blue and orange. The lab features a crane, conveyer belt and really big translucent blue doors. The lab has a guards post, launch/landing pad for the sub and what appears to be filling station for refueling subs. The set’s primary purpose seems to be a place for storing the Hydrolator crystals after harvest.

    The sub features opening doors in the main section which are accessible to the flexi-arms that are common to the Aquazone line. One arm is magnet equipped, the other has the claw attachment. Pictures on the box show other underwater structures that to me resemble greenhouses.

    Impression

    Like many LEGO enthusiasts this big set was one I figured I’d never purchase. So when my wife brought it home I was completely ecstatic about the surprise. The building experience did not let me down either. My wife and I spent the better portion of the afternoon building it and had a great time. All the different types of elements made it fun just trying to find the next little thingy in the bottom of the box. I was always excited about turning the page and getting on to the next step. With all those parts the instructions had to be followed carefully so we didn’t miss anything and we had to backtrack a couple times to move stuff or put on a piece we missed. Everything went together well with only one fit problem. The conveyer belt tends to bind slightly on the bricks surrounding it but I’m sure it is due to the close tolerances that The LEGO Group designs to.

    The set has lots of moving parts, opening doors etc. I'm sure that this kind of stuff makes it fun for kids to play with after the building is through. We even brought out the Sea Claw 7 and Deep Sea Predator and had a bit of a skirmish fighting over all the new crystals. Basically the set it a place to store the crystals. Take your sub out explore the ocean floor. Using the posable arms harvest the crystals and swing ’em around to store in the back of the sub. The sub has 4 doors in the back that open wide to receive your precious cargo. When you return to the lab (assuming no “Sharks” problems) the crane swings over to the landing site and removes the crystals from the ships hold. The crane, which is mounted to the top of the lab, can easily swing around and load the crystals onto the conveyer belt where they are transported along to a series of ramps that slide them down into the storage area. The crystals can be accessed from inside the lab or from outside via a door underneath the lab. As I mentioned before there is a guard post and filling station so the lab is somewhat self-sufficient. If you get hungry there is octopus or sea plants that look quite nutritious if not tasty.

    My ratings below reflect the fact that the set is fun to build and great to look at. It looks like it would provide many hours of fun play and adventure. I rated it slightly lower in playability because with all the special pieces and particularly large special pieces I think the opportunities for new designs is somewhat limited if this is the only set you have. Overall though I’m really pleased and am sure sure I’ll get many more hours of building pleasure from it.

    Ratings

    Set Rating:Excellent

    Model Rating:Excellent

    Playability Rating:Good

    Elements

    Ok here's where the review gets hairy. There are quite a few pieces new to me but I don't have much LEGO so here goes. First off you've got the huge doors mentioned earlier and the frames that hold the doors. The doors are about 2 1/2 mini figs tall. They create a large arc shape and open at the center. The set also features large trans-blue angled wall pieces that I think are unique. Next item of note is the crane which feature a bucket made of the translucent blue material. The conveyer belt is made up of pieces that I'm not familiar with but I’m sure are common to Technic builders, there are 23 links in the belt and three gears to drive the belt along. There are quite few unique column pieces included in the set. These are 2×2 peg types but feature a unique offset that I'll try to illustrate for you:
    Actually I think there are enough of octagonal column pieces (straight, 90 degree bends) to build a waste treatment plant in your LEGO town if you are so inclined. A large octagonal trans-blue canopy and a matching base that forms the basis of the guards tower. There's also a weird 2×2.5×4 brick that features pegs on 3 sides and recess on 1. The ends (2×2.5) are smooth. Of course there a lot of propellers, crystals, control panels and such. There is a gas pump handle and a cord at the filling station. I'm sure there must be something else but what is unique to me may be common to someone else.
    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Product Lines/Themes
    Jerry McDonald 30 jmac@nwrain.com --- Castle/Pirates/Aquazone


    Copyright

    Steal it if you like. I doubt there's any money to be had.
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