Suz: One up, one down. (a thumb up for the set in general, and a thumb down for the mini-figs)
Patrick: I'll have to agree. The set is okay...but it doesn't seem to be very organized. The mini-figs are very ugly too.
Suz: The packaging is impressive. Wrap-around graphics and very sturdy construction. The type of box which has a removable face under the flap (like the Explorien Starship) rather than a slide-out box. The newer 1996 catalog was inside (the one with cowboys on the front). Worth noting that the Wild West is not depicted as a place to go in the Time Cruiser graphics.
Patrick: Nor is Aquazone...not exactly. On the front panel of the box, they've got a moon on the left (for space), town in the background, castle in the lower left, and pirate ship in the lower right. No sign of Wild West or Aquanauts.
Suz: It was fun to assemble. Took about an hour, I think. As you've probably noticed, on the finished model, the wings flap and the rear propellor spins as you push it along. Neat the first time you do it, but the second time ain't much different...
Patrick: ...and it doesn't seem to work as well when it rolls in reverse.
Suz: The cabin flips up to reveal the "control center" and treasure/weapons chest. I was very surprised and disappointed not to find any sort of "clock" pieces in the controls. (Don't most time machines have those? ...so you can set WHEN you're going and see when you are...) One mini-fig at least does have a pocket watch, but... The whole thing reminds me very much of Baron Von Munchausen, that Terry Gilliam film. Also of course, the Back to the Future films, but not so much with this particular set.
Patrick: Inside the cabin, you'll find two control sticks and a radar display. No sign of a flux capacitor or any other essential technology for time travel.
Suz: The size and shape is quite similar to the Renegade Runner pirate ship. Uses the same hull pieces only now they're grey with black instead of brown with grey. And they're left split a bit apart to accomodate the wheel workings.
Patrick: There's also no sail for the mast...it just kinda sits there. Apparently time travel doesn't require you to be aero-dynamic.
Suz: Their treasure chest contains: a magic wand, a pistol, a pirate sword, and an Ice Planet 2002 orange chainsaw piece.
Patrick: No sign of any Wild West revolvers or Aquazone knives.
Suz: The ship is also armed with two crossbows, and what I like to think of as a deadly laser-beam thingies out the dragon's head on the helm, and on each wing.
Patrick: On the back of the ship, you'll find an Aquazone propeller and a large black airplane prop. On top of the cabin, there's a periscope...apparently the windows aren't good enough for the average mini-fig. It's not connected to anything on the inside...not that you'd expect it to be.
Suz: Their ship has a "containment pod" (which sadly, is not designed to be removable) for their various helmets including one each of: a blue pirate bandana, a black pirate hat with skull and crossbones, an Explorien helmet, an Ice Planet 2002 helmet, a black knight's helmet, and grey knight's helmet. Too bad they won't be prepared for the Wild West or Aquazone. Hey, come to think of it... Here's a quote from the "Hard to Imagine Childhood Without It" book, describing this very set:
"It's a boat - it's a plane - no, it's the amazing Flying Time Vessel! This wild and wacky time machine takes passengers to LEGO® themes of the past, present and future. Whether you're in the age of Pirates, Castle, Aquazone, Town, Wild West or Space, the lab is equipped with the right accessories for any adventure!"
I'm sorry, but this is just plain UNtrue... Perhaps this is why they were able to get the set out so soon... Hmm... I would have loved to have gotten a cowboy hat or neck bandana... or some Aquazone flippers for their feet...
Patrick: There may be Aquazone and Wild West accessories in other Time Cruisers sets, but this one is clearly incomplete. There aren't any Islanders accessories either...but since Islanders may be on the way out, I'm not too suprised.
Suz: The only thing Patrick and I truly dislike about this set is the goofy heads of the mini-figs. I've already put aside the cross-eyed "Doc" and dorky, snub-nosed kid heads for return to Lego hopefully in exchange for "normal" Lego heads (the plain-smiley variety).
Patrick: They've got white eyes! That's not natural for mini-figs! (I did notice some of the ugly Wild West faces have them too.) Also, the "Tim-the-snub-nosed-kid" figure has a nose! Mini-figs aren't supposed to have visible noses!
Suz: I've already replaced the heads... But overall it's pretty neat. It's my favorite of the Time Cruiser sets for visual appeal. And pretty fun to hold with one hand and make swooshing sounds with.