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Lego Rock Raiders
Lego Rock Raiders logo.jpg
SubjectMining, Subterranea
Licensed fromThe Lego Group
Availability1999–2000
Total sets16[1]
CharactersList

Lego Rock Raiders was a Lego theme focused on mining equipment that released in 1999 and 2000. It was the only underground-based Lego theme before Lego Power Miners. The theme, while short-lived, featured sixteen construction sets and numerous story-related media, including three books and a video game.

Overview

Lego Rock Raiders was a short-lived Lego theme that lasted for two years. It was launched in 1999 and discontinued in 2000. Despite this short lifespan, the theme introduced an elaborate storyline that was delivered through video games and comics. The storyline centred on the crew of a spaceship and their search for energy crystals. The toy sets were all set on an alien planet. The storyline involved the Rock Raiders' spaceship being sucked through a wormhole into a distant galaxy. The crew must then mine for energy crystals but in the process must also face territorial Rock Monsters. In 2009, the Power Miners theme was launched, which despite not being set in an alien galaxy, had similarities to the Rock Raiders theme by focusing on a group of miners.[2]

Characters

Chief
Chief

There are six characters in the Lego Rock Raiders theme.

Energy crystals

Three of the green energy crystals, the most common variety.
Three of the green energy crystals, the most common variety.

Energy crystals are yellowish-green crystals that contain vast amounts of energy, and are the main sources of power for the Rock Raiders. However, they also serve as the primary food source for the monsters and slugs on Planet U, often resulting in conflicts between them and the Rock Raiders. Energy crystals were introduced in Lego Rock Raiders, and have appeared in several themes since then.

When an energy crystal’s energy has been depleted, either by use of a Mining Laser or by Slimy Slugs, it turns either a dark gray or a purple color and has to be recharged at a Recharge Seam.

A rare variety of red energy crystals, five times more powerful than normal green ones, appears in the PlayStation video game, where they serve as bonus pickups to challenge the player for a better score.

Planet U

Planet U's surface
Planet U's surface

Planet U is the alien planet featured in Rock Raiders. The entire plot takes place on this planet. Planet U is located in another galaxy, outside of the Milky Way. The rock below the planet's surface is abundant with Lego ore and energy crystals. Monsters made out of rock, ice, and lava live in caverns deep underground, feeding on the energy crystals. Other creatures like giant slugs, scorpions, and spiders also make their homes in the tunnels. Runs found in one of the books suggests an intelligent civilization may have once lived on the planet. Planet U has very little oxygen, the Rock Raiders must build Support Stations to purify the air, and make it breathable.

Vehicles

The LMS Explorer being pulled into a wormhole
The LMS Explorer being pulled into a wormhole

Buildings

Rock Raider HQ is made up of a number of buildings. Buildings must be constructed by power paths, which can be used to link buildings together to allow power to flow to them all. Rock Raiders can run much faster on power paths than rubble or cavern floor, and power paths can also be used as dams to temporarily block lava erosion.

Creatures

Construction sets

The Lego Rock Raiders theme featured sixteen Lego sets in total.[1] Eight main sets were released in 1999, while seven smaller ones were released in 2000. First editions of the 1999 sets included promotional mini comic books. Four of the sets released in 2000 were promotional sets sold by Kabaya Foods Corporation.

Reference Name Released Minifigures Pieces Notes
4910 Hover Scout 1999 Jet 39
4920 Rapid Rider 1999 Bandit 38
4930 Rock Raiders Crew[3] 1999 Axle, Bandit, Docs, Jet, Sparks 38
4940 Granite Grinder 1999 Axle 108
4950 Loader-Dozer 1999 Axle, a rock monster 89
4970 Chrome Crusher 1999 Axle 167 Requires two AAA batteries for "laser"
4980 Tunnel Transport 1999 Docs, Jet 341
4990 Rock Raiders HQ 1999 Bandit, Docs, Jet, Sparks, a rock monster 402 Requires two AAA batteries for "laser"
1274 1 Light Hover 2000 Jet 25 Released by Kabaya in Japan only
1275 2 Chain Dozer 2000 Bandit 22 Released by Kabaya in Japan only
1276 3 Heli Transporter 2000 Docs 20 Released by Kabaya in Japan only
1277 4 Drill Craft 2000 Sparks 27 Released by Kabaya in Japan only
3347 Rock Raiders #1 1999 Chief 8 Part of the Mini Heroes Collection line, includes a display stand and collectible card for each minifigure
3348 Rock Raiders #2 1999 Bandit, Docs, Sparks 21 Part of the Mini Heroes Collection line, includes a display stand and collectible card for each minifigure
3349 Rock Raiders #3 1999 Axle, Docs, Jet 24 Part of the Mini Heroes Collection line, includes a display stand and collectible card for each minifigure
3916 Rock Raider Key Chain 2000 Jet 1 Keychain

Books and comics

Three books and a number of comics about the Lego Rock Raiders theme were published.

There were also small promotional mini comic books included with specially marked, first edition releases of the main eight Lego Rock Raiders sets from 1999.

Video game

Main article: Lego Rock Raiders (video game)

A real-time strategy video game of the same name as the theme was developed by Data Design Interactive and released for Microsoft Windows in 1999, with an action-adventure PlayStation game following under a year later.[4][5][6]

Original plans

Early Rock Raiders concept art
Early Rock Raiders concept art

The Ultimate Lego Book contained concept art for Lego Rock Raiders on pages 30–31, showing how the theme developed over time. The original plans were vastly different:

See also

References

  1. ^ Herman, Sarah (2012-07-09). Building a History: The Lego Group. Grub Street Publishers. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-78340-804-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Farshtey, Gregory; Lipkowitz, Daniel; Hugo, Simon (2020-10-01). LEGO® Minifigure A Visual History New Edition. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-241-50202-0.
  3. ^ "Lego Rock Raiders". IGN. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  4. ^ "LEGO Rock Raiders gets a deep dive in latest LEGO podcast". Brickfanatics. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Bits N' Bricks Season 2 Episode 28: The Fans, Devs, and Remake of RealTime Strategy Classic LEGO® Rock Raiders" (PDF). Retrieved 14 July 2021.