Wednesday, January 25th, 2006 at 12:13am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's been a little bit, but we haven't stopped our staff reviews. Next up is Zaktan, reviewed by staff member munkeymunkey. Be sure to thank him for going out of his way to provide his personal insight into the new year's sets.
The other day, I received some adorable little Piraka in the mail. One of these sets was the ferocious and devious Piraka leader: Zaktan. Hereís a review to tell you what to expect from this protodite-made monster.
The the most superficial part of any LEGO product, but the one that often determines whether or not the set is a success or failure.
In 2006, Lego has gifted us with some intricate canisters, both in their shape and graphics. Unlike the simple designs of 2005, The Piraka canisters include a plethora of textures throughout the container: the side is bumped; the bottom sports a twelve-point star, some ridges and more bumps; and the top (obviously the most exciting part) not only has Zamor holders and ridges, but also a light-up feature that illuminates the bonus Piraka face. In short, we already have a source of entertainment, and we havenít even opened anything!
The rustic graphics of a blending white behind a menacing Zaktan are eye-catching, as is the glowing Piraka, but in my opinion, the colors donít look quite right compared with the real Zaktan (i.e. a little too fake). One last note is that the Piraka still come with Kanoka Club points. On the back of the canister is a nifty little several digit code.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
So you've bought it and taken it home (or at least made it to the car), punched the perforated tabs and dump out the contents. What do you get for your money?
Zaktanís box is complete with a rubbery substances that will become his face and spine, a normal, not-all-that-exciting building manual, all of the necessary pieces, and a wonderful little white piece of paper warning us of the dangers of small piece when eaten my young children (or in my case TWO!!). All-in-all, I feel as though I made out fairly well.
Here's where we start to cut to the heart of the matter. You didn't buy this box for all the glossy booklets & creative artwork. You want to know about the LEGO bricks & bits that are included, and what (if any) new & interesting parts you'll find inside. Here's also where I'll talk about any new and/or interesing pieces that you will encounter.
First off, I should mention that the new gold is awesome. Unlike the former gold, which was dull and, frankly, a little bland, the new golden color that is present in Zaktanís can is flashy and brighter. It looks more like gold. Zaktanís other new color is a dull tealish-green color (itís difficult to describe). Basically, itís a jade with a dash of lightener, if that makes any sense. This color isnít as exciting as the gold, but itís still new, and thatís significant. Zakyís last major color is, of course, good old metru green (dark green).
There are also plenty of new pieces, as seen with the other Piraka. There are 12 in all officially: Zaktanís feet, Piraka femurs, Piraka tibias, the main Piraka body (the hulking gold thing), the non-launcher arm, the triple-bladed sword (gold, and thus awesome), Zamor spheres, a Zamor Sphere launcher (gold and fun to shoot), that rubbery mess, the eyes, and the head (complete with teeth). So, there are eight really useful pieces and four specialty ones. Not bad. The feet, body, we- tool, femurs, and Zamor Launcher all include alternate holes to use for MOCs (those feet would make excellent donkey heads- try it!) These pieces are all new and interesting, but their real worth is seen in building and MOCing. So, letís put them to the test!
What can you expect while putting this model together?
If thereís one thing I didnít like while building Zaktan, it was that dastardly rubber suit heís wearing. It triples as his head, spine, and arm-tubular-connection-piece (hard to explain). The upside is that he has interesting coloring and a neat texture. The downside is that itís hard to put together, itís stiff- very stiff-, and has some posability issues Iíll discuss later. This piece was difficult and annoying. I would have preferred plastic.
Now that thatís out of my system, there are also some very enjoyable parts to building him. Luckily, the rubber is a final step, so there are a dozen or so steps of straight Bionicle building. His articulation is better than the Hordika, since he has knees as well as two elbows. I found myself playing around with the joints while building and already developing poses.
There were three other distinct things I noticed during the building process. First, that left arm is a little shorter than Iíd like, but still an improvement on the Hordika; Second, why does Zaktan have a pole sticking through his forehead?; and third, that Zamor launcher is soooo tempting to play with.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
Now, obviously nothing can top Rhotuka, but this Zamor launcher comes pretty close. The balls (there are four in a package, by the way) are pretty, easy to find if a shot is missed, and they have incredible bouncing abilities. The best part, however, is that little ďpopĒ that the launch produces whenever I shoot off another glowing sphere. Why is that so cool? Itís a wonderful sound; thatís why.
Is he posable? By Jiminy, yes. Thirteen (thatís 13) points of articulation and a versatile sword make Zaktan entertaining to fondle and move about. The one major downside to Zaktanís posability, and thus playability, is that rubber hindrance. It impedes the mobility of the head, and even manages to tangle and fold a little, which is a little unsightly.
Lastly, thereís the light up eyes, and the glow-in-the-dark teeth. I think the launcher and new colors and pieces are more exciting, but if you ever get bored with Zaktan during the daytime, there are two other neat attributes for the dark.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
I have a thing against rubber, but between the new pieces, the new colors (especially the gold), the Zamor launcher, and the pretty light-up eyes, Zaktan is a great set to pick up.
Thanks again munkeymunkey! Everyone else, keep watching as we continue to review the 2006 product line.
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