60266 Ocean Exploration Ship – Should you buy it?

There is a lot going on in LEGO City. There’s a lot of crime, way too much fire and some very odd characters (according to the LEGO City Adventures TV show). Quite often the LEGO City sub-themes that step away from that urban setting end up having the most interesting sets. That is no exception with 2020’s ocean exploration range.

Developed in partnership with National Geographic, the 2020 Ocean Exploration sub-theme contains a range of sets that celebrate the exploration of our oceans.


Today, I am going to be checking out the flagship of the theme (pun intended) Ocean Exploration Ship 60266 and answering the question… Should you buy it?

“You’re not gonna need a bigger boat because this one is f#%king huge”

Opening the box for this set the first thing you are probably going to notice is the insane hull pieces. You get two identical pieces and each one is about 32cm long. The hull pieces float so they are quite solid. Some people don’t like big pieces like this but it works for something like a boat.


What a pile of ship

There are 3 main parts of the ship, and each has a different level of actual building. At the front of the boat you’ll find a small compartment where a submersible can be stowed.


The midship build takes advantage of the open hull design to include a large crane. This is perfect for lowering things like the shark cage into the waters below. The crane build is pretty cool; you can raise or lower it; raise or lower the hook; and slide the whole crane back and forth on rails. It’s a pretty cool play feature.



The rear of the ship features multiple rooms layered on top of each other, kind of like a modular building. The lower level includes a table and chairs with some computer equipment.


Moving up to the next level we’ve got a few beds. This level is fairly short and doesn’t have a lot to it. I do like the cute little fish tank.


The top level is the bridge. It features some great use of decorated elements and I like the ample use of windows. My only complaint with the bridge is that the roof isn’t removable so it’s a bit harder to access than the lower levels.


There’s a boat in your boat

The Ocean Exploration Ship features a range of other vehicles included. The main boat essentially acts as the floating launch platform for the actual exploration vehicles.

Firstly there is a small dinghy. It’s a fairly simple build and takes advantage of the single piece small boat element so there’s not really a lot of building with this one.


Next there is a single person submersible exploration vehicle. Another simple little build but the end result looks great. The claws on the front make it well suited to hunting for treasure.


Finally we have a helicopter. Of course we have a helicopter because LEGO loves helicopters.


Giant shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo (and a stingray)


The set comes with two sea creatures for your crew to interact with. The first and most impressive of these two is clearly the giant shark. The classic LEGO sharks are neat but this one is so massive you can fit a whole minifigure inside. Is that a bit morbid? Yes. But still neat.


While not quite as impressive as the shark the included stingray is still really great. I really love the printing.


Treasures of the deep

What exactly are these ocean explorers up to? Hunting pirate treasure it seems.


The set includes a small pirate ship shipwreck build. It’s pretty simple and almost feels like filler but I personally still appreciate that it’s included. It gives younger LEGO fans a little bit of extra story prompt for their play with this set.

Seamen everywhere


The set includes a great line-up of 8 minifigures all performing a variety of duties on the ship. My only complaint is that LEGO has decided to include one of the named LEGO City Adventures characters in this set. It’s not needed and I don’t really understand why somebody that is supposed to be a handyman is suddenly joining a National Geographic ocean exploration expedition.

So, should you buy it?


Do you want a big non-pirate ship? Then yes you should.

I added this set to an earlier in the year for something a bit different. With so many fire and police sets every year I figured I’d give a big boat a chance. To be honest I have mixed feelings about this set overall. It wasn’t a particularly engaging build, as for the most part its lots of little things built separately. But the end result is just super fun to play with, and at the end of the day that’s really what a LEGO City set should be right? It’s a theme for kids, and the sets should be fun. 60266 Ocean Exploration Ship is fun.

This set was provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions are my own.

Buying Guide

Looking to pick up an Ocean Exploration Ship for yourself? The set is currently available as part of Amazon’s Black Friday sale for $111.20, which is about 38% off. You probably won’t find it much cheaper than that.



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