LEGO® Set Review: 4012 Wave Cops


[4012 Set Photo] Wave Cops (us)
Politibåd (da)
Motoryacht (de)
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Floating Boats / (Boat)

Ages 6-10 / 101 Pcs
11 page manual: 1 models, 15 steps. ©
Price Range: $22.99 CAD at Eaton Center Toronto

Review Written: 6 February 1996 by Calum Tsang
Special Features / Compatibility
  • Really Floats
  • Extra Elements
  • Two extra lights
  • 1x1 round plate
  • etc. (usual stuff)
  • Decals: Yes, single bricks/hull
    Scale: Mini-Figure Scale, 401x boat class size hull
    Errors: My hull somehow rattles inside (?)

    Ratings: Set: Excellent Models: Must-Have Playability: Must-Have

    I would certainly buy it again, and I wouldn't hesitate recommending it as a good gift for children or adults.


    4012 Wave Cops is a 401x Class (yes kids, I have now CREATED a new classification of LEGO floating boats :) Floating Boat model. It's meant to be a fast patrol boat for your LEGO Town. With a small hull like the 4011 Cabin Cruiser, but in black with white deck, a cabin area and a flying bridge, it los sleek and modern, capable of catching criminals in your harbour or coming to the rescue of citizens in distress. Just two inches from the bow is a low cabin, with translight blue windshield and hatch, with rotating searchlight. Below deck is a small area with seat and engine control panel, replete with dials and indicators.

    Further aft is the bridge, again with a windshield, crammed with tons of crimefighting equipment. Apart from the standard steering wheel, there's a radar screen, and a telecom package, which includes phone, tape recorder and video conferencing monitor-with an image of a fellow police officer (now, the question begs to be asked, where are the LEGO cops getting all this bandwidth?) To the left and right are attachments for a walkie talkie and megaphone. Over top is a "wing" with loran/surface radar dish, horns/loudspeakers, a mast with light, a long whip antenna and what seems to be a infrared lamp. (I suppose for nightvision equipment.) Also, a small winch assembly for towing/rescue is included on the back.

    The entire craft is nicely decked out with new generation Police logo stickers, (italicized white with red underline) and is done in the usual black and white colour scheme with sharp red trim. Two officers, have black vests, white arms, with the new disheveled Police look (tilted badge etc), white caps and sunglasses. For once, I think those new sunglassed heads are appropriate here. I can just see these guys smiling, as they're whipping along at 40 knots chasing some smugglers in the bright sunshine.


    Sometimes you get a set, and you say, "Yeah! This one's done right...". 4012 is one of those sets. This past year I've done more LEGO buying in my whole life. And while I've opened some greats (4031 Fire Rescue, 4558 Metroliner), I've also picked up some duds-like 4002 Riptide Racer and Trail Ranger to name a few. I really wanted the 4002, once I saw Lou Zucaro's scans of the 96 lineup. For the new hull. But my thoughts soon drifted to the 4012, which looked like a much better value. And it is. However, as luck would have it, Walmart, Zellers and all the major chains carried the 4002 first-so I bought it. $16 wasted. The thing now sits on the top of my Industrial Systems Engineering textbook, collecting dust. (industrial profs note: my ISE text is not gathering dust, the model is)

    Fortunately, while not on sale, Eaton's flagship store at the Eaton Center store in downtown Toronto brought in a new shipment of LEGO to fill their redesigned Toy section this week on Thursday, with a pile of 4012s. I'm glad I'm the first in Toronto to get one, because this is one great set. Now, I have to say, I'm not as awestruck as that day I got my Metroliner, or even my 4031, or when my girlfriend gave me a 6397 Gas and Wash Express. And there are telltale signs of The LEGO Group cutting corners. But, this is a pretty good try, and certainly a better value than the other 96 boats-4002 and 4022 (from reports on the net).

    Let's take a look at some of the details of this model.


    Set Rating:Excellent

    4012 has a good collection of specialized pieces, hile including basic parts, unlike some other sets. They've built impressive features and detail into the model, without using new or odd things, like the way Space or Castle often do. No new octagonal wings, or Special Punched Explorien Wings here. Some parts are old but welcome, like the windshields, like the old Galaxy Explorer ones. Others are w, but will find their uses, like the angled 2x3x1 black "wedge" pieces.

    If you're new to Boats, or own a Town and want to expand into Boats, then 4012 is a must have for crucial boat parts-mast, winch, weight block, lifevests and hull are all Boat staples. Another benefit of the 4012 (and the 4022) is the clip for the Playmobil 7201 thruster pack, which adds a little motor and propellor for added action! This was an incredible oversight of the 4002 hull designers, and I'm glad they reused the solid 4011 concept. The hull, from past experience, does take on water if you're not careful. The 4002 and 402x/403x hulls are a bit better in this respect.

    Model Rating:Must-Have

    What a difference $7 makes in a set! 4012 has all sorts of nice parts in it, totalling 101 pieces, which is twice the count of the 4002 Riptide Racer, and 10 more than the 4011 Cabin Cruiser at 90. While the 4012 makes use of newer ones, there's no shortage of useful components to aid in any nautical design. The model looks great on it's own, currently perched on my Supra modem, but also fits in spectacularly with the 4021 Police Patrol 40ft cutter, the 4011 recerational boat, and even the 4031. Of course, with it's police insignias and colour scheme, it goes well with other Town Police sets. One of the groovy aspects is the "wing" with all the nifty equipment up top, including the antenna tilted back.

    One bug I have with the 4012 is that you can see The LEGO Group cutting some corners on the design. The mounting of the engine control panel below deck was poorly done, as was an exposed piece on the weight block (ie, the block looked like it was moved at last minute for weight adjustment, leaving a 4x1 area showing. There are two pieces missing in the bridge area. Not a big deal, because none are visible from the outside, and not even noticeable unless you're looking. I felt the inclusion of these few pieces could be better for completeness, but don't really make sense. Just gives me the chills, like when my Amiga is missing screws, or a SCSI chain is improperly terminated.

    Playability Rating:Must-Have

    4012, like all other floating boats, is quite playable, since you can take it off your floor and play in the bathtub or pool. Or, if you're odd, like me, you can take it to work, and run it around a public reflection pond, the way I did this summer with my 4021 cutter. But The LEGO Group hasn't just merely built a floating model, they've added in some fun features too.

    Unlike the Riptide Racer, they've done a fantastic job at adding extra value into the set. For instance, all you can do with the Racer is race, and possibly look at the engine. With Wave Cops, you have two minifigs, a below deck area, a hatch, a searchght, all the groovy hardware up top, the antenna, the towing winch, the cockpit parts. You have two "stations" of play, and possibly more-the bridge, the cabin, the foredeck, etc. And while kids don't often play directly with a radar screen, they can "pretend" to be searching for accidents or bad guys. Why does it take $7 extra to get this? If not for the just cool looking factor, Wave Cops is highly playable for all the extra "features" they've put in.

    And you're not limited to the "Wave Cops" situation-you could build a cabin cruiser just like 4011, or a more docile search and rescue ship. It's not like the 4002 hull, where you're more or less restricted to a racing boat concept. I miss the shark from 4011.


    Design, colour scheme, stickers, play features, piece selection, attention to detail.


    Skimping on a few areas for parts



    Attractive, only fit on single bricks/hull
    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Theme
    Calum Tsang 18 Town / Train / Boats / Dacta

    You know, 95% of everything I build ends up on my desk. I should really get to building up that Town again. Oh foo. I really like to get things to fit in there though.

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