When the SpongeBob Squarepants theme first came out, I still cared for the show and had faith it would be good again. Nearly seven years later, I have given up on it. Still, from 1997-2004 is a pretty good run with episodes which are nearly all memorable and have great humor.
This set appears to be based on the classic episode "Plankton!" from the first season, which introduced his namesake. He was a treat back then, but more recently I don't enjoy his character as much. Patrick is the only good thing about that show anymore.
This set is really an oddity. A brick-built model of SpongeBob? I mean, really? Action figures from licensed themes aren't that uncommon. Star Wars had its Technic line, Toy Story had Buzz and Zurg, and Super Heroes has had these ultrabuilds. This still stands out from the rest, but for better or for worse?
Though I love the pose on the box, it is really quite ugly. The model is obviously a digital rendering and the background is just dull, I'm sure they could have come up with something a bit better than that. The green and orange also clash: the newer yellow on SpongeBob boxes is better. Really it seems lazy. The box is such a superficial thing to grade, yet it is what sells the set. I don't think that this set sold very well, honestly, and I'm sure that the unattractive box was a large part of it, ignoring the awkward idea.
The instructions have the same image and I don't remember any mistakes, but I don't have an eye for that sort of thing. The instructions were hard to follow at certain points, mostly due to bad coloring. There was still that black vs. gray problem at the time.
Plankton is...interesting. It's a decent representation, I guess, but it isn't too good. The sticker is annoying because it is placed on a rounded surface, doesn't exactly match the sand green, and makes him look chubby. I still have him together, but with a piece of tape holding the sticker on.
I'm sure you could expect it to be different, and it is. There isn't much to learn, unless you want to build another model of SpongeBob, but I thought it had some really good ideas on how to build things like his shoes, tie, ridges, etc....
The Completed Model
What you see is what you get. The inside is strange. I like Plankton's posters, but they are placed on multiple bricks, so...yeah. I like the spinning eye play function, but the bubble shooting one is sort of, "What the heck?" At least it is bubbles and not jellyfish though, as LEGO.com suggested.
The model is very strange, but a good brick-built representation of SpongeBob. It looks much better in person than in those lousy CGI renderings; the bricks aren't so distinct.
He really is not good for playability, he is more of a playset. Other than his arms (and eyes, I guess) he is not pose-able at all. The legs are fragile and break often if played with. The bubble function does not work too well. The eye rotating one does, but it isn't much.
I still have this set together, almost six years after getting it. It was a ridiculously awful idea, but it works quite well in some ways. It makes an awful toy, but a good model. I still have it displayed on my shelves with some other licensed sets, and I think that this is the oldest one I still have together (I did raid the inside for parts though, admittedly) and I find that my younger cousins love to play with (and break) it.Building Experience: Memorable (mostly due to needing repetition) and unique
Overall:I would recommend it to anyone who appreciated SpongeBob's golden age. LEGO did right by basing their earlier sets off of the classic episodes (and I think they still do mostly). It is an odd set, but a good model.
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