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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Town : Divers : Sting Ray Explorer

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6442 - Sting Ray Explorer

Rating: 4 Stars
Pros: The camera piece; the sub looks great; a manta ray; stickers are optional; did I mention the camera piece?
Cons: The price should be $15 instead of $20; manta ray cannot bend
Contents: 147 pieces including 3 mini-figs and 1 manta ray
Price: $19.99
Reviewed: 20-Dec-1996
Reviewed by: Patrick Delahanty

6442 It doesn't pay much, but that's not the point. These divers, fresh out of their marine biology graduate studies at the University of Washington do their job for the fun of it. Today, they're exploring a site just off the coast of Bermuda. The site is filled with tropical sea life to examine and enjoy. Their main purpose for being here is to test out the new equipment...everything from a submarine to an underwater camera.
The submarine illuminates the floor of the sea while two divers follow along. The light from the sub soon spots a manta ray slowly hovering above the sea floor. As he moves out of the way, the divers spot what appears to be the frame of an old wooden ship. They move in a little closer with their video camera to satisfy their curiosity. They find a small barrel with a sword inside.
After returning to the surface, they clean up the sword. It's not too fancy, and although they're not experts in history, it appears to belong to be from the late 18th century. Engraved on the handle is what appears to be the name of the former owner...Captain Joan Antonio.

This is a really great set. Out of all the Divers sets I've bought so far (three as of this writing), they seem to be batting 1000.
The centerpiece of this set is the sub. It seats one person in the pilot's seat and one in the rear. The rear seat is equipped with a computer for research of marine data. There's some illegible text on the screen along with a picture of a fish. The portholes on the sub are a nice touch. You can almost imagine this sub creeping along the floor of the ocean to a certain Beatles song.
The front of the sub is a half-bubble which allows the pilot to see in all forward directions. There are two manipulator arms in the front which seem to be more articluate than any you'll find on an Aquazone vehicle. On the top and side of the sub, you'll see small adjustable lights.
In the rear of the sub, there are two maneuvering flaps, a propellor, and two jets engines for extra propulsion. The cabin walls around the rear seat open up so the mini-fig can be placed inside. Unfortunately, you'll have to take off his air tank first...but there's storage space behind that seat.
The set also comes with a small section of sea floor. It's a quarter-size tan baseplate (as found in Wild West sets). There is a rock section on one side...luckily the silly fish stickers are optional. There are also two curved brown pieces which I believe are supposed to be pieces from the hull of a sunken ship. This theory is supported by the fact that there's a barrel and pirate sword next to them. Also, there are two wavy sea plants coming out of the sea floor. On the rock wall, you'll find green flame-pieces. They look perfect as sea weed.
The manta ray is really neat! His mouth is so cute and mini-figs can even hold onto his tail. There's a hole in his stomach so you can stick him to the top of the sea weed. He almost looks like he's floating above it. I was a bit disappointed he wasn't made from the same plastic which they used for the octopus. You can't bend his wings or tail to simulate movement...he's very solid.
The set also comes with an odd little piece of equipment to aid the divers. It has a square ring for them to hold onto and two jet engines on the bottom. The top is equipped with a video camera and the sides have large silver-piece lights.
The divers themselves are interesting. One has brown hair and long stubble. Another has white hair while the sub pilot has blue glasses and a headset. There's a red baseball cap for each of them, but the divers also have helmets with clear diving masks and gray oxygen tanks. One diver has a yellow harpoon gun while the other one has a camera. Yes, Lego actually made what appears to be a 35mm camera (or in the case of Lego scale, 35nm). It's very nice looking but isn't too visible on any image of the set.
This is a truly great set, but $20 seems a bit steep. $15 (or even $17) seems better for a set this size.

10 readers have rated this set as 4.1 out of 5 stars.
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