The Angler Fish playset was released as a Toys R Us exclusive under the package name Sea Life Playset. The set included a medium sized fishing boat, a huge angler fish and a diver. This set is still available at Toys R Us and through there website.
Will began with the fishing boat. This is the same boat that came with the hammerhead shark and sea captain that was released everywhere except the United States. I don't think their is much variation and appears to be the exact same boat. What makes this boat so interesting is the winch on the stern (rear) of the boat. This is also what makes this boat a fishing boat and not a research vessel as Toys R Us tries to make it out to be. You can attach several varieties of fish to the winch and raise and lower it. The None domestic version came with a sailfish which attaches to the winch perfectly. I have since placed everything conceivable to it including the Stone Age Icthyosaurus. Their are also four holes on each side of the stern that can fit a fishing pole or net that came with the captain. The captain was available with net, fishing pole and sailfish for a short time at Big Lots. You will also find the sailfish included with the Sea Life sawfish at Toys R Us. The boat also includes two movable antenna, turning steering wheel and a place to stick a fishing pole on the bow (front) of the ship. Their are some indentations where some wheels might have been placed under the boat however my version has no such feature. I have yet to see if the boat floats or not. It's a unique craft and is one of the only none military vessels that was made for this series alone.
The figure that comes with the set is a Diver from the Deep Sea Adventure line. He is dressed in a dive suit. The helmet is removable and appears heavy looking, both accessories that come with the diver snap on to the leg, making him even more cumbersome looking on land. The head arms and legs all move on this figure. What puzzles me is the fact they should of gave him some more protection like a small sub because the fishing boat just does not go very well with the diver alone. Alone the diver does not stand much of a chance against a giant angler fish. The diver does have some pretty nifty accessories and I like how they attach to his legs to free up his hands. The first is a hammer which slides into a pocket on his right leg. The second is a metal detector which just snaps into the hole on his left leg. Both are useful tools for underwater research but don't do much good against a hungry deep sea angler.
Rising from the depths like in some Lovecraftian leviathan is the enormous deep sea angler. This was one of my favorite fish growing up and I would often wonder if some toy company one day would ever make an angler fish. Twenty years later someone did and they did a hell of a job I might say. Next to the great barracuda this is one of the most detailed fish Chap Mei has made. Chap Mei has taken some creative liberties with the scales and fins. The actual angler was an ugly slimy smooth brown color. This angler is almost fantasy based with spiny green brown scales, translucent fins and a touch of bright pink for the mouth. Chap Mei did an excellent job with the coloration giving it a greenish brown earth tones with a splash of bright spots on the body. I only wish this figure had light and sound. Like all Chap Mei figures from Toys R Us the batteries and electronic device has been removed. I'm sure this fish only lite up because most fish don't vocalize. The only feature on the angler is the mouth when you press down on the dorsal fin the mouth will shut slightly. It was also neat that Chap Mei included a movable tongue which flips up and gives it an appearance that it is gulping down prey. The angler also came with a bio card which briefly describes the life style of the fish.
The Deep Sea Exploration series came out about the same time as the Pirates II line and features many of the same creatures in both. Toys R Us carried an exclusive line through Animal Planet titled Sea Life and featured most of the Deep Sea Exploration figures and accessories in different packaging. Perhaps the most popular play set to come out next to the Animal Planet giant octopus with mini sub is this one. This set contained a dive suit, raft Alex Aqua and two sea creatures. The set included a collectible card which gave some information on the sea creatures included. Most of what is included in this set was taken from several other Chap Mei toy lines. Only a few items are from the Deep Sea Adventure line. The set sold at Toys R Us for $14.99 and was considered a medium size play set.
Will began with the dive suit. The dive suit is based on the Atmospheric Dive Suit (ADS) which is used for deep ocean exploration. However this suit is almost twice as big as the suit that it was based on. It is so big that a figure can stand in the lower torso and still have room to move about freely. It reminds me of the diving suits used in the films Leviathan and Deep Star 6, both are deep sea horror films released during the eighties. The suit features an opening canopy where the figure is placed into the suit. Both arms rotate and the claws also rotate. The propellers on the waist move up and down and the fan blades rotate. Both the camera and emergency oxygen tank are detectable so be careful not to lose them. The feet are stationary which is the only gripe I have about the suit. It is a very well constructed detailed dive suit to take with you on your deep sea adventures.
I tend to believe the raft was thrown into this set to even out the cost. The raft has been featured in other Chap Mei lines including Solder Force and the Adventure series that Big Lots carried in 2005. The raft could possibly hold two figures maxim. It does float on the water. The oars rotate and the engine turns back and forth. The hole at the front of the raft comes the way it is and I'm pretty sure it was used in other lines to hold a gun or spotlight. Their is an antenna that fits in a small hole on the back right side of the raft and can easily be broken. I think if something where placed in the hole at the front of the raft it would make this toy more appealing to the set. Instead it looks like a cheap pool toy to entertain a small child.
The figure included in the set is none other then Dino Valley's Alex Aqua. Alex is by far my favorite Chap Mei figure because he is a SCUBA diver just like myself and comes with some of the best gear of any Chap Mei figure. Alex also has feet that can move up and down which most Chap Mei figures including the other scuba divers lack. The one included in this set is not as great as my Dino Valley version of Alex Aqua and is seriously lacking in the equipment department. Alex does come with his removable red BCD vest which is impractical in this set because he is missing the air tanks. Alex has all kinds of pouches and gadgets molded to his body for ocean exploration. I also like that they left the crazy tattoos on this version of Alex Aqua. Alex is a great addition to this set but I would have gladly traded the raft for some better gear.
Speaking of gear Alex comes with just the bare essentials. He has his classic fins which snap right on the foot and don't even require a peg hole. His light which fits into the hook on his leg and his dive mask. I really don't know what Chap Mei or TRU or Animal Planet were thinking including the mask but not the air tank. My only guess is the mask is suppose to be a mask and snorkel for free diving. He really does not need any of his scuba gear anyway. The suit produces oxygen and is probably climate controlled. One other thing Alex comes with is a net which is also pretty useless in this set. He could use it I guess as a cast net for bait fish which he could use to hunt the giant barracuda. The accessories are a bit of a disappointment for this set and I wish he would have come with his dive knife, harthingy gun and oh yeah an air tank...
So far the high points of this set are the dive suit, Alex Aqua and the two sea creatures. The first is a small octopus which is included in several larger sets of the Deep Sea Exploration series. It was also included as a passenger in the bilge of the Mirage pirate ship from Pirates II. Chap Mei fans will notice that the octopus looks very similar to the Octoblast figure of the first Pirates series. It is a solid plastic figure with no movable parts and makes for a great display piece. The small octopus is perhaps closer to scale with its real world relatives but who is to say that some giant species of octopus is not out there waiting to be discovered.
The gem of this set is by far the Great Barracuda. The barracuda was actually part of the Pirates II beast assortment and not part of Deep Sea Exploration. Their was a smaller version of the barracuda that was part of the Mighty Mo play set. Some how, Animal Planet got the barracuda from Chap Mei and included it in Sea Life. The great barracuda features a moving mouth that when the dorsal fin is pressed opens and closes. The barracuda is extremely detailed and has some very shiny blue paint applied to the sides of the fish. This fish is by far one of the few masterpieces Chap Mei has done with their animals. Size wish the barracuda is gigantic, I would say this barracuda is pushing twenty feet in the real world. Most barracuda don't get larger then 7 feet. I tend to believe this is a giant prehistoric species of Lepisosteus (Gar family).
Post by Ghouldrool on Jan 13, 2011 16:56:52 GMT -5
Ah, there is hope on the horizon yet! Saks.ru listed these as NEW in their catalogue. Single carded figures of Deep Sea Adventure!!!
I am overjoyed these seem to be getting a re-release. Captain Rogue in particular (third from left) has been incredibly hard to find for me (STILL don't have it) and these figures getting produced once more is very good news for me and others who are still looking. Here's hoping they will get picked up by retailers in the UK or US!
I scored this great sea turtle not too long ago. As far as I know this one was only available in a small set with Alex Aqua under the Deep Sea Adventure line. Not sure if it's ever been re-released, but I don't think so.
Also in the same assortment were a fantastic swordfish and manta ray!
Post by dinoviper on Sept 11, 2011 19:31:53 GMT -5
Sperm Whale Playset Location Toys R Us Price $19.99
Finally struck gold today at TRU we are finally getting the long awaited Sperm Whale nicked named Mighty Mo. This playset includes one large Sperm Whale, small sub craft, 4 small marine creatures, figure and accessories. I will first start with the Sperm Whale which many of us have waited so long to attain. The Sperm Whale was part of the Deep Sea Adventure series which came out several years ago as a larger set that has never made it into U.S. shores unless you know somebody over seas that will get it for you. Nick named Mighty Mo the whale is a large figure but not in scale with say a full grown sperm whale. The whales action feature is able to squirt water out it blow hole when exposed to water and when you press the dorsal fin (back fin) the lower jaw closes releasing a stream of water out the blow hole.
Next is the small mini sub that holds one figure it features an opening canopy, moving arms and a rotating saw tool. The craft will fit other 3 3/4" figures inside.
The figure is basically a retooled Alex Aqua now with a one piece wet suit he still has the flash light that clips to his leg and also includes an air tank w/ removable breather, dive mask, pouch, fins and camera.
Lastly are the 2 tuna, spider or king crab and sting ray that can be used as either food for the whale or as additional pieces for display.
The Sperm Whale set is available right now at TRU or TRU.com they should not be too hard to find and should be in stores well after Christmas if your still on the fence about picking this set up.
Post by dinoviper on Sept 11, 2011 19:33:15 GMT -5
Sea Animal Rescue Set Location Toys R Us Price $24.99
This new marine life set comes with a wide assortment of new sculpted vehicles and figures and is well worth the package it comes in. First up is the new research vessel it is a new sculpted boat as far as I know and holds up to several figures with one figure in the driver seat. I am pretty sure the boat is designed to float in water. It includes a moving crane with hook, moving water cannon and room to store the medical kit and other accessories. The life raft is none removable but that is a price to pay for an otherwise terrific vehicle.
Up next is the new Humpback whale this is an entirely new mold and I wonder if Chap Mei plans to introduce other new sea creatures on the horizon. Although like the Sperm Whale the Humpback is not in scale with its actual kin but with that aside it does include some pretty neat features including a working mouth when you press the button on the whales back and ball socket fins. I am glad Chap Mei has worked in a ball socket feature for its marine creatures and I would like to see this done on any new animals with flippers especially prehistoric ones We also get a loggerhead sea turtle. He is not new and was included with the tiger shark one of the first marine sets TRU released several years ago.
The set includes 2 figures the repainted Alex Aqua and a female diver/biologist. Both figures come with accessories including a medical kit bag with medical tools attached to a weapon tree. Also included is a canteen, spot light, telemetry device, camera, binoculars and video camera. In addition is a newly tooled hydro sled which will only hold Alex in this set.
Its no surprise that this will probably be a popular set despite it being a few dollars extra. It comes with a lot more stuff and a more newly sculpted accessories
There has been much talk about this cool sub here at Chap Mei forums. I finally picked one up at my local TRU. I must say it is one of the coolest play sets Chap Mei has done in a while. I haven't done a Chap Mei set in a while so I can't wait to jump in.
The set includes two divers a repainted Alex Aqua and generic diver. There accessories include a knife and scuba tank for the diver and mask, scuba camera and dive sled.
The sea animals included are the sting ray and giant barracuda from the Deep Sea Adventure series several years ago. The barracuda has a opening jaw when you press the dorsal fin on the back.
The meat and potato's of this set is of course the submarine. It is pretty big and carries up to four figures... The sub has 3 rolling wheels so it can roll in smooth surfaces. It also has light and sound features. By pressing the top button the lights on the front flash and a series of aquatic sounds, sirens, animals are heard. The top hatches open to set a figure as well as the two side doors. One feature I wasn't aware of was that extendable claws come out of each side and the claws are adjustable as well as open and close. The rear of the sub fin turns from side to side and the propeller spins as well. This is a nice vehicle and I really dig the color even if it is bright yellow. What I truly like is there are no decals or etchings of the Animal Planet logo at all on this craft. This is a perfect vehicle to customize and I plan to eventually slap some Adventure Team stickers from cobrastickers.com on this beast.
Post by Ghouldrool on Sept 7, 2013 13:59:20 GMT -5
That's a pretty amazing submarine. I still need to cover that enormous black submarine that's featured in Soldier Force =) Chap Mei truly keeps getting better and the deal with TRU is really getting them attention.