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Toys / LEGO Adventurers

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If imagination has a name, it must be... Johnny Thunder!
LEGO Adventurers (later called Orient Expedition) is one of the many themes of LEGO toys out there, revolving around adventurers Johnny Thunder, Pippin Reed (formerly Gail Storm), and Dr. Charles Kilroy (formerly Charles Lightning) as they travel the world in search of ancient artefacts (with one exception). They had one recurring villain, Sam Sinister (who forms a micro-Continuity Snarl) and many single-subtheme villains.

The theme itself was divided into four smaller themes, with the last one itself split into three:

  • Egypt: Revolving around Ancient Egypt, where the main setpiece was a pyramid and the primary MacGuffin was Re-Gou, the largest ruby in the world. Sam Sinister and Baron von Barron were the villains.
  • Amazon: Set in South America, the Adventurers search for Mayincatec treasures this time, especially the "Sun Disk", opposed by the villainous Señor Palomar. Sam Sinister is oddly absent.
  • Dino Island: Johnny and co. investigate a Lost World. Sam Sinister (formerly Baron von Barron), his sister, Alexia Sinister, and Mr. Cunningham are the antagonists this time.
  • Orient Expedition: As the name implies, all three are set in the East. The main goal is to find a golden dragon given to Marco Polo by Kublai Khan, which in turn needs three Plot Coupons to find. Sam Sinister figures in all three subthemes.
    • India: The Golden Shield as well as the Sunstone is found here, the latter being needed to overthrow a tyrannical maharajah.
    • Mt. Everest: The Golden Sword is to be found near its peak. Yetis, sherpas and poachers are abound here.
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    • China: The Golden Helmet and the Golden Dragon are to be found here. Opposing the crew is the evil Emperor Chang Wu.

The characters of LEGO Adventurers can be found here.

And yes, this entire theme is one big Expy of Indiana Jones (with a helping of The Lost World and Jurassic Park to boot), right down to the characters.

This toy series includes examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Harry Cane. Mike is getting there.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Pretty much all the characters.
  • Adventurer Outfit: But of course.
  • Adventurers Club: The Explorers Club, as seen in the puzzle book The Lost Temple.
  • Artistic License – History: Frequently only used the Theme Park Version of most cultures, although averted with the mention of Marco Polo's trip to China.
  • Awesome Aussie: Johnny Thunder is officially an Aussie.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The last of these appears - where else? - in the Himalayas, where it chases Pippin Reed and later pursues the Adventurers to the Temple of Mount Everest.
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  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Power Trio used to have a pilot, Harry Cane. He disappears after the jungle theme.
  • Continuity Snarl: At first, there were two main villains, called Sam Sinister (or Slyboots) and Baron von Barron (or Mr. Hates). When Dino Island rolled around, Baron von Barron/Mr. Hates was renamed Sam Sinister, while the original Sam Sinister became more commonly known by his European name Slyboots. It gets particularly confusing here, where the hook-handed villain is introduced as "Sam Sinister (aka Baron von Barron)", which surely must have confused anyone who knew beforehand that Sam Sinister and Baron von Barron were originally separate characters. This got so notorious that even LEGO got into the act, putting a joke about it in their LEGO Minifigures line.
  • Cool Airship: The Adventurers had a zeppelin in the Amazon line, piloted by Harry.
  • Cool Boat:
    • The Adventurers get a pair of Cool Boats between the River Expedition and the T-Rex Transport sets.
    • Emperor Chang Wu has an entire fleet of ships, one of which gets captained by Lord Sam Sinister.
  • Cool Car: Throughout the entire theme, the characters utilised all sorts of early 20th century offroad vehicles, some of them creatively modified for increased performance. One of the more unusual vehicles was an amphibious truck in one of the Dino Island sets.
  • Cool Plane: Both the heroes and the villains get them. In fact, this was Harry Cane's entire schtick, since he was the gang's pilot.
  • Crossover: With LEGO Studios. Johnny Thunder also appears in LEGO Racers, LEGO Universe, and much more recently The LEGO Movie, while the four main characters appear on "Adventurers Island" in LEGO Island 2.
  • Curse of the Pharaoh: Parodied. In the LEGO Mania comics, Baron von Barron is subjected to Pharaoh Hotep III's curse after trying to steal the ruby from his tomb. The "curse" is being trapped in a room and being forced to listen to Hotep's groan-worthy "mummy" jokes.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Slyboots (the original Sam Sinister) has this appearance.
  • Diesel Punk / Two-Fisted Tales : It's basically a LEGO Indiana Jones series (years before there were official licensed Indy sets and minifigs), so this is to be expected.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Perhaps the most infamous and confusing instance of this in LEGO history comes from the Egypt line:
      • In America, the Power Trio consisted of Johnny Thunder, Gail Storm, and Charles Kilroy. The top hat-wearing villain was named Sam Sinister, and his hook-handed accomplice was named Baron von Barron.
      • In Europe, the Power Trio consisted of Sam Grant (although he was sometimes referred to as Johnny Thunder), Pippin Reed, and Dr. Kilroy. The top hat-wearing villain was named Slyboots, and his hook-handed accomplice was named Mr. Hates.
    • In the later Amazon line, the villains were named Señor Palomar and Rudo Villano in America, while they were known as Señor Gomez and Max Villano in Europe.
    • Additionally, much like LEGO Pirates, the names of some of the early sets differed greatly between America and Europe. For example, Pharaoh Hotep III's temple was known as the Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins in America and the Temple of Anubis in Europe.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Egypt line had the worst cases of Dub Name Changes. By the Dino Island line, most character and set names were international rather than region-specific.
  • Expy:
    • As mentioned above, of Indiana Jones, with elements of Jurassic Park and A. C. Doyle's The Lost World.
    • Mike from Dino Island was essentially a younger replacement for Harry Cane from the previous Egypt and Amazon lines. Both are skilled, fearless pilots and mechanics of the Adventurers team.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Notable for being one of the first LEGO themes to actually avert this trope: many of the vehicles and aircraft have guns mounted on them.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting: The timeframe of the whole theme, as one of the many homages to Indiana Jones and various non-throwback pulp adventure novels and films.
  • Improvised Weapon: In a comic based on Orient Expedition on the LEGO Website. After helping Pippin escape from of their prison cell, she asks how she's meant to get the others out. Johnny just hands her a part of the bed through the bars and tells her "You're a smart girl, see what you can do with this."
  • Limited Wardrobe: Within the first three lines, Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, Harry Cane, and Sam Sinister only wear one outfit, while Pippin Reed only wears two outfits. While the heroes receive three outfits each during Orient Expedition, Lord Sam Sinister is once again stuck with only one.
  • Mayincatec: The entire Amazon line blends together aesthetic elements from various Latin American and South American civilizations.
  • Multinational Team: Johnny Thunder is Australian, Dr. Kilroy is British, and Pippin Reed is American.
  • Palette Swap: In the Orient Expedition line, Johnny Thunder's personal bi-plane during the China Story Arc, the Thunder Blazer, is a Palette Swap of the bi-plane flown by Lord Sinister during the Mount Everest Story Arc.
  • Predators Are Mean: While this may be, the heroes put a lot of effort into saving even tyrannosaurs from the villains.
  • The Shangri-La: The second Story Arc of Orient Expedition takes place in the Himalayas as the Adventurers search for the Temple of Mount Everest.
  • Shown Their Work: Each instruction booklet in the Dino Island line included a brief science section dedicated to the four Stock Dinosaurs.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • In the Egypt line, the name "Baron von Barron" was sometimes written as "Baron von Baron".
    • In the Dino Island line, the surname "Sinister" was sometimes written as "Sanister", and "Reed" was sometimes written as "Read".
    • Pharaoh Hotep III's magic ruby is called the "ReGou" in the 1998 UK catalog, but this is written without CamelCase as "Re-Gou" in the 2000 Denmark catalog and Standing Small.
    • Standing Small also refers to Gabarro as "Gabarros" in a literal example of this trope.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Pteranodon, although the latter was actually based on the Pteranodon species that nowadays goes under the name Geosternbergia.
  • Theme Naming: "Thunder", "Storm", "Lightning" and "Harry Cane", before most of them got changed.
  • Yellow Peril: Jokes about LEGO people aside, Emperor Chang Wu and his cronies.


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