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Posted: Dec 11 2009, 01:18 AM
Member No.: 3
Joined: 30-June 09
This area's a bit empty. I've got a ton of my old reviews saved, but for now I think I'll focus on just reposting ones from the latest sets (ie; Glatorian and Legends).
I was in TRU today, looking to buy another Skeleflex set (holy crap these things are fun...) when I noticed something odd in the lego section. Now I was just passing by, not really looking for anything since I've already got the Phantoka, Mistika, not to mention the three big vehicles plus Takanuva himself.
And that was when I saw something that I honestly hadn't been expecting to see for another month or so.
And so several hours later, I figure I'll drop the first Glatorian review.
So to start with, the canister really isn't anything special as you can see. It's black, like the Mistika, and the lid is the most featureless design yet (although at least these sets HAVE lids; I'm looking at you, Phantoka).
And so after opening, I'm immediately hit with a slew of new pieces as shown below.
HANDS. Okay, so I'm half and half on this one. I was initially disappointed that the original Bionicle toa didn't have actual hands, and it was something I'd wished for. Despite that, I'd gotten fairly good at customized hands, so getting a definite hand mold is a mixed blessing. Good for the newer, larger sets, but I guarantee you; the hands look crappy and oversized on the original toa. The hand itself has a socket connection for ball joints, and a +hole that goes all the way through so it can hold one longer pole-type weapon, or two standard Bionicle weapons (ie; doubles of Tahu's sword or something). Additionally, to avoid left/right confusion, the "thumb" connects to the middle of three fingers, so a hand can be either right or left in this case.
NEW HEADS (sorry for blur). Again, mixed feelings here. The head design is a transparent orange with some lightly-etched facial features that give it a somewhat skullish look. Unlike the previous head molds of late, we've got a socket on the bottom of this one instead of a ball. I don't mind these heads as much as the Inika ones as they've at least got several +rod connection points, but they still seem to be unique to the new---
HELMETS. Why Helmet and not Mask? Simply put, these things cover the front and sides of the head sculpt, immediately concealing far more than any of the masks have to date. Skrall's looks cool overall, but by design these are pretty much limited to the heads they come with and can't fit over Metru or Mata heads, least of all Inika. Anyway, Skrall's got one that covers his entire head and stretches back to a point with ceveral circle patterns running up along its top/back. There's an implied mouthpiece area, although the only section that reveals anything of the face beneath are the two eyeholes. Of note is the fact that this is another totally asymmetrical design. I rather like the fact that these are becoming more common.
NECK JOINTS. Remember all those angled grey pieces we've seen on sets like Phantoka Pohatu, Pridak, and a fair number of the slightly newer sets? Well, Skrall's got a new joint piece, and this one's not only straight, but it's got a +hole and a rod hole, as opposed to the two +holes of the angled joint pieces.
ARMOR. New armor design (at least to me). It's not that big and can either connect over leg areas, or be used (possibly?) as part of a weapon given the +connector on one end of it. Srkall's got one on each thigh, and a third up over his chest.
SWORD THINGY. Not sure what to make of this. It's already being used with other colors, as the red on Atakus' swords is replaced with glow in the dark material. As seen above, Skrall's also got two of these on his shoulders. It's got a connection for a +hole, and two rod holes in the side above it, like about 90% of all Bionicle weapons.
LAUNCHERS/AMMO. This is another win for the weapon designs in Bionicle. The leaked pics now seem to have been prototypes, as they used what appeared to be zamor sphere launchers that fired spheres plugged with those little curvy teeth/claw pieces. In the final product however, we've got two separate launcher pieces that fit onto any sort of 2-wide piece, and clamp the ammo between them. Squeezing the middle sections together fires it. The distance isn't as great as the original zamor launchers, but we've been saved from another squid launcher. The ammo itself is a soft, rubbery golden ball with eight spikes on it, and a harder plastic band around the middle. The band sort of takes away from the solid ammo color, but at least it enables for better firing.
SHIELD. Not a lot to be said here. It's got a rod hole in the middle, spikes on its edges, and a rather nice looking maze design on the front.
BIONICLIX. Okay, sorry, had to say that. It's a little dial counting down from five to one, and then there's a skull after one. Five's the greenest, and it goes through yellow to orange, and the skull's red. More on what this is for later.
So, after all those new parts, I had Skrall; ready to climb out of his canister.
And there he is again.
He's got both pieces of the standard Inika body, although already he's headed down the lien of something new. A right-angle grey piece like the ones used to attach the Shadow Matoran to the Makuta in the past two sets hooks the two pieces together, giving Skrall a sort of short, hunched look to him. The arms and legs -in structure- aren't anything too fancy; both more Metru/Inika connection pieces and feet here. The noticeably new bits in this case are the hands. The aforementioned neck joint is connected to the lower (now forward?) end of the torso piece, and that in turn connects to the head.
Now here's where we get into my only only real with Skrall. I love the apearance of this guy and everything, but the combination of two really long shoulder pieces and the back-spine of his helmet do inhibit poseability somewhat. Not a lot, but it's there.
Color-wise, he's obviously the black one, although this time the standard color scheme's been given a slight shakeup. His secondary color is bright red. Not orange, not the darkish red we've been seeing since the days of Toa Vakama; bright, original Tahu red. In other words, it gives you the impression that this guy lives in some dark cavern where the rocks crack and lava gushes forth. It's all a nice touch.
The weapon is of great interest here. Of late, most weapons -whether they've fired a projectile or had an action feature linked into their arm- have typically been one or two pieces, ammo aside. This time, we've got several pieces connecting both launcher and sword blade to the hand, and even after that we've got one of the right-angle blades (finally in a color other than silver) at the bottom forming a sort of upside-down hilt. As mentioned, the weapon doesn't beat the zamor or midak, but sure as **** beats the squid. She shield -unremarkably- attaches to the hand with a loose +/rod connector piece.
Now, looking back at the huge list of new parts, you'll notice that Bioniclix piece I mentioned. Well, that hooks into a toa metru chest piece via tight +/rod connector piece, and that in turn latches onto his heel.
For the first time since the original Toa/Toa Nuva and the Rahi, Bionicle's actually got a sort of game/objective to go with things. I'm calling it Bioniclix because of the rotating dial, and you should call it that too because I think it sounds great and then I can totally claim credit.
1: Set two Glatorian apart, each one next to their canisters.
2: Set the dials to five.
3: Aim and fire the weapons. Hitting the canister costs the other player one point. Hitting the other player's Glatorian costs two points.
4: Let the other guy fire and then you move your Glatorian to where the ammo fell.
5: First to have their dial reach the skull loses.
Regarding this little game, I can see why the ammo has spikes on it now. It always lands on four of them, and thus makes it more likely to stop sooner than it would if it were a sphere. Still, it bounces around a bit too, so it's not like moving your Glatorian will always end up with the thing right in front of the other guy. Whether or not anyone here would ever try playing it is uncertain, but it's nice to see a little something worked into these figures. I've missed the "knock off the mask" objective.
Left now of course, are the size comparisons.
Slightly shorter than the average modern toa due to his stumped nature.
Half as tall as a Transformers Universe Rerelease Unicron (TRU Exclusive).
So where does that leave things with this?
I highly recommend this set to anyone interested in the new stuff, and perhaps to some fans of the older sets who enjoyed "knock the mask off the other guy" and/or "fling your discs into the containers". While nothing exactly falls off here, the fact that they put in a game feature is still nice.