Random set of the day: Alpha Team Wing Diver

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Alpha Team Wing Diver

Alpha Team Wing Diver

©2002 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 1426 Alpha Team Wing Diver, released in 2002. It's one of 17 Alpha Team sets produced that year. It contains 21 pieces and 1 minifig.

It's owned by 89 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


 

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8 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

As much as I loved the first series of Alpha Team, I found Mission Deep Sea to be very hit and miss. The hero sets (the yellow subs and so forth) were horrible. The subs were designed like aircraft, so there were huge gaps in the sides of all the ships. They were about as water-tight as flyscreen, and too often, I found myself looking at the designs and thinking, "do the designers actually know what submarines *are*?"

But then, on the flip-side, Ogel's sets? The killer whale, the manta ray, and Ogel's evil mutant squid? They were *brilliant*, I absolutely adored those. Very early 00s, design-wise, but I thought they were great.

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By in Germany,

Lego spaceships and submarines are surprisingly often not even designed to look airtight. The Aquazone line has holes of varying sizes, the early space sets sometimes didn't even have a cockpit. But IMO the most egregious example is the 6982 Explorien flagship with the main bridge completely open from all sides below and the two side pilots precariously perched on 2 wide plates with open space around them, save for the blue windscreen above to protect them from anything coming from that direction. Any micrometeoroids coming from the direction of travel? Sorry bud, hope your spacesuit holds. Sudden acceleration or deceleration? You'd better hold on to your control console or else you'll go on an unplanned EVA.
Luckily, the imagination of children is perfectly capable of ignoring these shortcomings and so we were able to swoosh these sets all day long :)

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By in New Zealand,

Everyone loves Alpha Team

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By in United Kingdom,

I think I preferred Mission Deep Sea over original recipe Alpha Team. Certainly got more of the sets back in the day. And yes, the holes in the subs annoyed me too

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By in Australia,

@SirZed ... I'm not sure I'd agree with that, to be honest. The Aquazone subs were some of the best, and with the original line, the worst things they did was the habit of using the short fence panels (with the diagonal gaps in the framework), but it was easy to replace them with actual panels (so as to make an enclosed watertight - relatively - cockpit). Divers in '97 was particularly good with that. Even the AquaRaiders line in 2007 wasn't too bad with enclosed submarines (the sub in 7774 was a thing of beauty), although I could take or leave the base.

But Mission Deep Sea used a lot of the curved slopes and wedge pieces (that were popular in the early 00s) that required specific pieces to make them enclosed spaces.

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By in United States,

What surprises me is how dark and foreboding the packaging theme is. If it was Lego nowadays there would be a bright yellow banner (or something) with the line's logo across the top, an enemy to fight, and stud shooters flying through the air.

This Alpha Team set in comparison is very dark, and the water feels claustrophobic around that diver. It's cool for sure, but I don't know if it would pop off a store shelf the same way modern package design does.

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By in Portugal,

Good set.

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By in United States,

It's kind of weird to me how big a deal Alpha Team was to me despite how incredibly little investment I made in the theme. Sure, I read all the comics in the LEGO Mania Magazines/LEGO Club Magazine and the interactive comics on LEGO.com, and I LOVED the puzzle gameplay in the video game even if I only played the Game Boy Color version. But I can only think of one set I actually got from each year.

Part of that is of course just that during the early 2000s, themes like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Bionicle were dominating my attention. But another issue is that while the Alpha Team characters had lots of personality (I can still remember the names and areas of expertise for all six original Alpha Team members and have loads of nostalgia for those original designs), the vehicles didn't have nearly as much. The play features were mostly stuff we'd seen before, the intensity of the color scheme and design language felt like more of the same as what we'd seen in so many other late 90s and early 2000s themes.

The new curved elements of 2002 were very cool in Mission Deep Sea and did a great job setting the design language apart from past underwater themes like Aquazone and Divers, but in hindsight it's clear that the designers didn't really have too strong a grasp yet of how best to use them. Mostly they just made the submarine shapes simpler and more repetitive (literally every one used the same two shapes to construct their windscreen and cockpit). Aqua Raiders and Atlantis would go on do a much better job making streamlined, futuristic submarines that didn't look nearly as redundant.

As far as this set goes, not much to say. It's a Kabaya promo so I've literally never seen it except online. As polybags go it's not particularly remarkable in any way.

@xboxtravis7992: Eh, I'm not sure I'd agree. The boxes for all the other Mission Deep Sea sets use the same generic, low-detail backdrop (set background art in general tended to be a lot more repetitive in the early 2000s than today), but tended to fill much most of the space with zooming submarines and sea creatures (complete with cartoonish speed lines), many of them with brightly-colored transparent lights, spears, saw blades, and… flames? Yeah, I guess so, somehow. They were more tacky than ominous.

The lack of a fight scene in this set's box art (or most for this theme) seems to have more to do with it only having one character/faction and no meaningful play features than anything else. The one Mission Deep Sea set that did have a functioning blaster as well as both heroes and villains, #4795-1, advertised both the shooting function and conflict scenario just as flagrantly as any box art today, perhaps more so. (it's also amusing how blatantly composited together the image is, since the rubber-tipped Technic ammo is clearly out of scale with the submarine it's supposedly hitting).

Even the steely-grey border, which is way different than what we see in themes like Ninjago, is not so unlike the framing of the most recent spy theme, Ultra Agents, except that it, too, has a lot more play features to advertise, including not just shooters and other action features but also mobile app integration.

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