Released in 1995/6, this submariner comes from the somewhat underrated, LEGO Aquazone theme.
True to LEGO form, Aquazone pitted the ‘good’ Aquanauts against the ‘bad’ Aquasharks. It later incorporated the ‘heroic’ Hydronauts and ‘cagy’ Stingrays. Each faction fought for control of underwater mines whose crystals it was said, contained ‘unlimited amounts of positive life force’ (or perhaps caffeine).
The Aquanaut faction came with three minifigure variants; the Commander (aqu001), Diver (aqu002), and Technician (aqu003).
AQUANAUT COMMANDER (AQU001)
Like his Aquanaut counterparts, the Commander came with white torso / hips, blue legs, black arms, white-gloved hands, blue flippers, and white diving suit. The latter with fixed propeller, side clips and trans-dark-blue helmet.
Each figure had identical torso prints including blue wet-suit with zipper, weight belt, and gun-sight with battleship logo. The zipper, logo and utility belt had gold details.
The Commander was distinguished by his black dot-stubble, orange-red headband with ‘C’ in the centre, and short black hair.
The diving suit is a great addition to this figure and has some detailed moulding, particularly around the propeller and antenna. The visor is a nice contrast that matches the trans-blue set pieces. A clever touch is that the visor also reflects a sea-green colour onto the figure’s head. The torso print and gold trims are a cool detail, although the print alignment was not great on my figure.
Whilst the head is cool, the design is mismatched to the theme. The anime style hair and headband resemble a distant cousin of the Exo-Force line. The same head was reused in the (very cool) Roboforce (1998) and Soccer (2000) themes. That the Commander’s torso print isn’t distinguished from the Technician or Diver make this design feel a little rushed.