Tuesday, June 10th, 2003 at 1:19am by Kelly, BZPower Co-Owner
New NHL sets use Bionicle pieces, design style
In a surprise move, the Toa of Air today announced he was going in for Hockey rather than the more traditional sport of Koli (or, as it is being revised, Kolhii). After meeting with representatives from the National Hockey League (NHL), Lewa put on his game face and took a few swipes at the puck in Ko-Koro this afternoon. He announced his free agent status shortly afterward and a starting salary of 15 million widgets per year with the Philadelphia Flyers. "I'm keeping my options open," he said, "mainly because the color schemes clash. Maybe I'll go with Dallas - they have a green motif. Philadelphia black and orange: yuck!"
OK, maybe not. Lewa is staying firmly planted on Mata Nui - for now, anyway. But the new LEGO Hockey sets, including the Flip Shot dude pictured here, use several notable Bionicle-originated pieces and have some design similarities. These sets are good for MOCs (My Own Creations) and are kind of a hoot in and of themselves.
The Flip Shot set (#3542) retails for $7.99 and contains 46 pieces, including a tiny little trophy cup. Optimists. The cylindrical canister (about the same dimensions as a Toa can) doubles as a - wait for it - sports bottle. Flippy here is just one of several hockey sets.
There are actually only three Bionicle-specific pieces with this guy (two shoulderblade armor and the head piece), but the whole set is quite reminiscent of the Bionicle design style. The body is very Toa-body-ish, although stockier since it has to put up with more force (more on that below). The feet are easily something you could see on a Rahi or other Bionicle set; the shoulderblades and chest armor wouldn't be out of place on Mata Nui - but most of all, these guys wear masks (duh - they're hockey players). This set came with three separate masks, including the goofy-looking one Lewa sports above. Two other masks are included, and they pop into the head piece just like a Kanohi. As you can see, they're compatible with the regular Toa heads as well. The hockey face masks are made of the same material as the head piece. It's good to see those old McToran heads being used again - the design is great. Imposing but not scary.
This particular set's action is, as described by its name, a "flip shot". The action is clever but it takes some practice to get the stick to loft the puck just right. My kids like the way you get him to fling the puck: whack Mr Hockey Guy on the noggin and his stick flicks the puck up and away. Great way to take out some frustrations, and the squat body seems made to take the punishment. The widely-splayed legs, however, are on the comical side. Waddle waddle waddle.
It'll probably be most fun with several people using multiple sets. The pucks themselves are quarter-inch thick, nickel-diameter plastic disks with rounded corners, with enough weight to get going but not enough to do any damage if they were to hit you in the teeth or something. The set comes with two pucks.
The hockey stick is also quite Bionicle in design - and should be a popular MOC item.
Don't quit your day job, Lewa.
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