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Posted: Dec 11 2009, 01:25 AM
Member No.: 3
Joined: 30-June 09
Okay so this is the third repost, but the second of the original reviews...if that makes sense.
Hello once again! Yesterday was the review of Skrall, and getting a bigger kick out of this line than I have of any Bionicle canister line since the Toa Nuva, it shouldn't be too surprising that I hit TRU again today to grab another Glatorian. This one was a bit tricky, since I knew I wanted Skrall from the minute I saw the prototypes, but I wasn't really sure who I'd be getting after that.
And so after some amount of coin flipping (green-white-blue vs. tan-red, green vs. white-blue, white vs. blue), I walked out of the store with Strakk. Of mild personal note here is that Onua was the first Toa I got, followed by Kopaka. Is earth-ice/black-white repeating itself?
SO, moving right into things; I popped Strakk open -again, unremarkable canister- and was of course, hit with a slew of pieces, some of which were new, and some of which were new, but already in this line of sets.
AMMO/LAUNCHERS. The exact same thing that shows up in the other Glatorian sets, this time the launchers are merely locked into Strakk's hand with two red +rods and sit there.
The design of it is almost depressingly simple (seriously, imagine if every Glatorian had this setup), although it does carry the slight perk of looking like a Covenant Elite holding a Plasma rifle.
*Wort wort wort*
Moving on, the next new piece here is the HEAD. Notice anything? It's blue. Good old light transparent blue; the same color as Kopaka's eyes used to be when he first came out. If this and the eyecolors on the canister art are any indication, then it looks like we'll once more be back to eyepieces of varying color, as opposed to the imposed green-or-orange limitations we've had ever since the Toa Hagah were released.
ARMOR. I can't speak for the remaining four Glatorian, but like Skrall, Strakk's got some new shoulder armor and for the first time in a long time; the figure's image is actually reflecting its element instead of simply being a primary color with black or gunmetal grey. The two armor pieces Strakk comes with look like ice shards and are made of hardened plastic at the base, with a semi-transparent rubbery blue material at the top; similar to the color/substance change that we saw with Pridak's fins back when the Barraki came out. The armor's got two connection points; a pin hole and a +rod hole. In this case, it's nice to note that the armor style is echoed in the...
HELMET. Once again, it connects with a +rod through the top of the figure's head and covers the face/sides/top of the head, although this time it curves up and back a bit, so there's room if you want to add something to the two +holes in the side of Strakk's head (ice horns? Dunno. Either way, it's room for MOC potential). Like Skrall's helmet, it seems to have something of a facial design, although unlike Skrall's; this one is much more distinct. Maybe it's just me, but the narrowed eyes and toothy grin almost remind me of Thok (Piraka).
HANDS. Yes, more hands, and this time they're white. Not much to say on them that wasn't said with the Skrall review. They've got three fingers each, and for the sake of never having too many right or left hands, the thumb connects up the center to the middle finger. +rods can fit into either side of the hand, and it typically connects to a ball joint.
AXE. Again, simpler than Skrall in that the axe merely connects to his hand rather than hooking up to other pieces. Still, it's a nice weapon. The long, somewhat twisted handle gives way to the biggest axe head I've ever seen in a canister set. Of special note here is the fact that the weapon is two-color like Strakk's armor, although the somewhat-transparent blue part of it is as solid as the rest of the weapon; not rubbery at all.
BIONICLIX. Yes, that's what I'm calling it. While the dial itself isn't a new part, and certainly the Toa Metru chestpiece connecting it is old, the setup's different this time. Rather than hooking into Strakk's heel, it's mounted to his upper back just behind his neck.
Call that image a cutaway if you will. I removed one of his arms. It gives a much better shot of the head. Construction-wise, Strakk's another case of hunchbackery. I must say, this is the second time I've seen it used, and I'm hoping it won't be a line-wide trend that continues throughout every set. Still, I applaud them for taking a new route with the body parts and not making everything an Inika clone. As seen above, Strakk is hunched over by a right angle grey piece, and a white Inika shoulderplate acts as a chestpiece to fill that little gap in and give him some structure.
Of further note this time is the fact that there is no neckpiece, but a Metru forearm in its place. It gives him a longer-necked look, but doesn't really take away from the figure. The shoulder armor juts out enough that the extra length there is appreciated.
Additionally, we get another treat with this one in that the figure posesses not two distinct colors, but three. Strakk is a blend of dark blue, light blue, and white. Why he's been given this increased color variation; I don't know, but I certainly don't mind. It brings back memories of the Ski Throwbot.
Now of course, we get to take another look at the Bioniclix game they've stuck us with. To go over things one more time; you set up the canisters and Glatorian a ways apart from each other and take turns firing the ammo at either the other player's canister, or the Glatorian itself. Canister hits take out one point, and Glatorian hits take out two points. The other guy fires, and then you each move your Glatorian to wherever the ammo fell. A player wins when his opponent's dial reaches the red-bordered skull.
So of course I had to test this out myself since I had two of the things now.
*insert Yugioh joke or Final Fantasy VII battle music here*
Essentially, to really enjoy this game, you either have to have little or no aiming skill, or you should set them up far apart and let physics take its course with things. I quickly discovered that three feet was too close. You'd land each hit too perfectly. So I backed one of them up to my windowsill and put the other at the foot of the bed. It forced me to have each one fire in an arc so as to even hit anything, and they both ended up on the floor after a fairly long battle.
*Insert Final Fantasy victory music here*
And of course, size:
Taller than Skall, about the same height (stretched) as a Toa.
Taller than Heath Ledger.
So to wrap this up:
Definitely another success here, and certainly in the upper percentile of things, however it loses points with the lack of creativity in weapon/tool placement and the fact that it's fairly limited in what poses actually make it look cool. Hunched is the new win, basically. Still, it's well worth getting. Another Glatorian, and again it's avoided clunker status.