Sunday, April 9th, 2006 at 7:19pm by Robert, BZPower Reporter
The following is a review of the “8901 Piraka Hakann" set which is currently available worldwide
So let’s get in touch with this bully
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.
A very interesting new Canister design to say the least, the first thing you notice about this bad boy is that it’s big, in fact this is the biggest BIONICLE canister made to date! It’s even taller than a Visorak canister! LEGO took advantage of this and used it to put on some big artwork. The Hakann glaring at me on the package is nowhere near as big as the one standing next to me, but he’s still the biggest we’ve seen on a canister.
That aside the artwork is very similar to that of the Voyatoran with a central CGI picture of the Piraka in question with a smaller ‘portrait’ of them in the left corner. Behind is the ever-present image of Voya Nui on a Zamor sphere and the angled lines along the side. One cool thing is here are the flames rising from near Hakann’s feet. Nice attention to detail there.
The back of the canister shows off Hakann’s flip weapons, how his Zamor launcher works, how his teeth glow in the dark and how his light-up eyes work. Oddly enough they have a picture of Thok for showing how to put him into the canister. Along the left there are small ‘portraits’ of all the other Piraka
The moulding on the canister is very nice, and surprisingly detailed. Done up in gunmetal grey there are five ‘rivets’ on each side, while up on the lid there are a number of ridges popping out (Similar to the Piraka’s spines, now that I think of it.)
However I must sidetrack for a moment to talk about my second favourite bit of moulding—the bottom, you see, on the bottom of every canister there is a star surrounded by blunt rectangles…which look like the Piraka's teeth. Very cool.
Headed back to the lid we find the reason that these are being purchased with such rapidity. Attached to each Piraka canister is a removable mock-up of their faces (in their respective colour) attached to the light-up feature. So if you want to know what your Piraka lighting up will look like, here’s your chance. Moulded in on either side of the ‘Try me’ button are two grooved hollows for Zamor Spheres.
All-in-all, it’s pretty wicked—unless you’re pressed for space, then this canister might not be so great.
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?
Once we crack open this ruthless beast we find…
Four Zamor Spheres
The loose parts
Essentially it’s standard fare—aside from that great rubberized monstrosity you find, but I’ll get to that in the next section. Unfortunately there’s no free LEGO club invite here—too bad. One odd note here, A miscoloured Thok is shown at the end of the instructions (showing you how to put a Piraka into their canister)
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.
Oh the new pieces! The gorgeous new pieces! This guy comes with so many new and fun pieces.
To start off with there’s the spine/face combination. Hakann’s face is done up in a very interesting fashion, with fleshy ‘teeth’ on the outside of his teeth, you’ll also notice how his eyes are the smallest of all the Piraka. Finally there’s some smooth ‘veins’ flowing into the rear section. The spine itself is composed of tiny tri-pronged spikes on the arms, and massive tri-pronged spikes all down the back that alternate betweens between long and short and finally come into a ridged tail.
Hakann’s entire spine/face piece is moulded from a high-tensile rubber, and though it may come bent in the package it is easy enough to bend right back.
Next there’s the skull, done up in a similar style to the Toa Metru heads, they’ve removed the mouth port and added in a great gaping jaw full of teeth. Also, for an as-of-yet unknown reason, they’ve carved two hollows in the side of the balljoint in the neck. The teeth are (as mentioned in Swert's review) painted with the glow-in-the-dark substance to prevent the entire head from glowing.
Moving down the list there’s the new eyepiece which is very similar to the Metru eyes. It is done in translucent orange and widens at the back to allow for the button to be pressed. These can fit inside of Metru heads.
Next there’s the new body piece. Done up in a dark gunmetal (as found on Makuta) this is a very complex and interesting piece, with numerous ports for pins and even some smaller ports which can be used with the bendable tubes used on the Zamor launcher.
Then there’s the new weapon arm which has more detail than any BIONICLE set I’ve ever seen! With two separate sets of pistons on either end, as well as a ‘rounded honeycomb’ pattern used across the upper section, it’s very interesting. There’s a wide gap towards the bottom to allow for the weapon end to fit in.
Speaking of the weapons let’s combine them so this review doesn’t go on forever. Both of Hakann’s weapons are moulded in the same gunmetal shade as found on his body. The Zamor is a very interesting design, using friction to fling those little things as far away as possible. It’s an easy to use mechanism and the launcher base itself is detailed up the ying-yang. His ‘Lava Launcher’ as it is named, is also a very interesting design. The back being adorned by a rather large two-pronged claw (which can hold Zamor spheres) and the front moving into a very gun-like section, with two ‘barrels’ on the top and bottom, and a third usable ‘barrel’ in the middle, where you insert the translucent red tube.
The legs are our last bit of new pieces, so once again let’s get them all done at the same time. There’s new thigh armor on these ex-Dark Hunters moulded with many ridges and even a spike or two, it looks utterly awesome. Next we have the new legs which, though they may not look it, are the same length as Rahkshi legs. Two slits are on either side which almost brings wings to mind. The ‘rounded honeycomb’ pattern returns here as well. Finally we come to the feet. Done up like some nightmarish version of the original Onua’s claws, these things are massive. Using the two tone colour trick (such as used on Dume, the Poisoned Hau Nuva, etc) it looks like the perfect mix between organic and technology, with pistons and ridges abounding galore.
Other items of interest are.
One Red Toa Metru lower torso
One translucent red lightsaber
Two Red double hipjoints
Four Zamor Spheres in various shades of green (As mentioned by Screenguy)
What can you expect while putting this model together?
The building experience is over and done with nearly the second you open this guy. To put it bluntly, he’s simple. The removal of any gear-oriented gimmick has made the build completely simplistic, however it did slow down a bit once I reached the head/spine combination—that piece is a bit difficult to work with at first. And interesting thing to note here is the reason why the Piraka have the long rods sticking out of their skulls—if you tried anything shorter, the rubber would warp over it and pop off!
But soon you have a Piraka to terrorize your Voyatoran!
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
Mmm, Hakann really is a delight to play with. As mentioned in MunkeyMunkey's review, all the Piraka have 13 points of articulation, however they only have 10 points of static articulation. That is, the head and arms are restricted by the rubberized spine and can be moved into a variety of positions, but will not hold in those positions. (I’d also argue that the spine counts as articulation, watching it bend is too cool) The features here are obviously the light-up eyes (which actually causes part of the face to light up underneath, a very cool effect) and the Zamor launchers. Really, if all the Piraka are like this (Zaktan and Hakann certainly are) then they are a blast to play with.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
Buy. Them. Now.
The Piraka are something new to the BIONICLE universe, bringing out the Organic sides of these previously all-mechanical sets, and rather than try and go over the top they kept it just right. These guys are a blast to play with and those light-up eyes are so cool it isn’t even funny. I don’t care what anyone says, those light up eyes are wicked. Add that on to the brand new Zamor launchers, as well as glow-in-the-dark teeth and the flip weapon, and I’d say that Hakann—and the rest of his gang, are definitely worth the price (even the 12.99 price for Canadians)
And now I’m off to enslave an entire island….again.
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