Captain Ace Speedman|
Dr Jeff Fisher
Professor Sam Rhodes
Lego Atlantis was a product range of the construction toy Lego, themed around the underwater world of Atlantis. The range was announced in 2009, for launch in early 2010, and was discontinued by the end of 2011. Sets included models of buildable underwater vehicles, as well as 'heroic diver' and 'shark warrior' minifigures. A ride based on the range was operated at Legoland Windsor.
The product range underwent extensive development, with the design team using focus groups "mostly comprising boys aged between six and 12, but also child psychologists". Designer William Thorogood commented on these focus groups that "it emerged that there were certain key icons the product simply had to include: propellers, dome cockpits, big lights, helmets, harpoons, torpedo-like weapons, tridents, giant squid and, of course, evil sharks." The focus groups also threw up some surprising views on particular Lego pieces, such as transparent pieces, which the boys in the focus groups determinedly asserted as being "magical". There is also a ride at Legoland Windsor, making it the 3rd ride to be based on a Lego theme, preceded by Fire Academy and Laser Raiders.
The Lego Atlantis theme backstory has been described on the Lego website and in the Lego catalogue. The Atlantis Crew were described as a deep sea salvage crew who searched the ocean for shipwrecks and treasure. The crew finds a clue to the location of the long lost Atlantis city, and then made it their mission to search it out, and uncover its mysteries.
In the 2011 sets, the divers, having succeeded in finding Atlantis, were searching for golden treasures and gems.
Before the Atlantis website was fully launched, a preview page, and online game, was published. The game involved the user in navigating through a small part of an "ocean" trench where they would come across an abandoned submarine, "the map to Atlantis" which allowed the user to download a preview map of Atlantis, and then finally an old journal that explained about an explorer, called Artimus Rhodes (grandfather to the main character), who journeyed to Atlantis in 1919.
The sets (along with the official website), introduce two groups of good and evil characters. The first was the Atlantis salvage crew of 'heroic divers', led by Captain Ace Speedman. Also in the crew was marine biologist Dr Jeff Fisher, First Mate Lance Spears, "Tech Expert" Axel Storm, and apprentice Bobby Buoy. Professor Sam Rhodes was also part of the team, but was described as having "not initially been part of the crew, so she tricks them into helping look for Atlantis".
The evil characters were described as "Atlantis Warriors", and have human-like bodies with the heads of a sea creature. The three warriors were the "Squid Warrior" (with tentacles as well as a squid-like head), "Manta Warrior" (with the head of a manta ray), and "Shark Warrior'" who performed a shark attack. Finally, there was the "Portal Emperor", who resided over the portal to Atlantis.
There were a total of 19 sets, at a range of sizes and price points. The largest, Portal of Atlantis (8078) contains 1007 pieces, and instructions to build a portal to Atlantis, as well as six minifigures- three divers, a shark warrior, a squid warrior, and the portal emperor. Others included Seabed Scavenger (8059), Typhoon Turbo Sub (8060), Gateway of the Squid (8061), Atlantis Exploration HQ (8077), Shadow Snapper (8079), and Temple of Atlantis (7985).
As well as the Lego models, a number of other products, and merchandise, were created, to tie-in with the theme. These included wearable items such as a water gun, a "harpoon blaster", a trident, and a shield, as well as a collections of minifigure magnets, and keyring accessories.
Lego Atlantis: The Movie is a brickfilm for the LEGO Atlantis theme. The film was first shown on the Internet on Cartoon Network.co.uk on February 15, 2010. It was directed by Mark Baldo, the director of Bionicle: The Legend Reborn and premiered on Cartoon Network US September 18, 2010.
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