Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 at 4:01pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Continuing our series of 2006 set reviews, this week we bring you another Piraka. BZPower Forum Assistant Toaraga has kindly reviewed Thok for us, taking time out of his busy schedule. So read on, and see whether or not this villainous set is right for you!
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.
Looking at the canister, I am reminded of a snowy television with the black and white spray-painted background. Thokís main colorís being white, combined with shadow, he seems to somewhat blend in with his surroundings; what stands out on the packaging are the eyes, blue pieces, and Zamor sphere.
Photography experience teaches me that unless the subject can cast enough shadow to be distinguishable, at least try not to have the same type of background as the subject (ie, dark background for lighter subjects and vice versa); besides, some different colors can add excitement to an otherwise bland picture. If not for the light-up eyes and the white plastic head against a gray background on the outside, there probably wouldnít be anything great to see before opening the set. Fortunately or unfortunately, the canister is not the main focus of this set; if it were, this would make for one of the most uninteresting sets.
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?
Being the avid BIONICLE fan and somewhat sporadic MOCist I am, Iím not going to let a seemingly lackluster design prevent me from checking out what maybe an otherwise potentially awesome set. Opening up, the first thing that catches my eye is the fish-type skeleton that is the Pirakaís spine. Upon removing that and emptying everything else, I find a few all-too-familiar-but-basic-and-necessary pieces and many new colored or designed pieces.
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.
The Pirakaís spine, being white, truly does have a fish-type skeleton feel; if nothing else is done, mounting this on your wall might just be a fun idea. And just think, itís already gutted and cleaned.
Looking at the canister, I was expecting somewhat darkened blue pieces but was surprised to find baby blue pieces were awaiting me; this is not necessarily good nor bad. If you were expecting something that matched previous blues, you might be disappointed though, but with a storyline getting darker, having baby blue pieces makes for something interesting, if not a bit lighthearted.
Checking out the new actual pieces, sans the Zamor as they donít connect directly, youíll find eight different types and a total of twelve pieces (counting the spine). At this point, most of the pieces are pretty much distinguishable as to what they most likely will become: the most recognizable as pieces to those who have little or no prior knowledge being the webbed feet, smiling skull, the fish spine, and Thokís weapon of choice.
The weapon looks as if part of Takanuvaís staff was cut off and attached to a ray gun. Mostly designed for looks, it also has enough holes to give it some MOCing potential.
Not only does Thok have a new shade of light blue, I was surprised to find that even the white is more of an off-white/light gray than actual white, somewhat like a marble-color. This might be a first in BIONICLE history: I believe all the former whites were the same shade. Unless pieces are compared or one takes a good look, the difference might be mostly unnoticeable.
What can you expect while putting this model together?
If you put together another Piraka, you can probably build this mostly from memory. While this may seem bad and overly done, with all that the Piraka offers, such as articulation and piece detail, you can still do a few things with an incomplete Piraka.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
With so much articulation, this guy is pretty fun just to pose.
Even taking a hint from some feedback from another review, I even moved the position of where the spine connects to the arms, and Thok does indeed seem a bit looser and, thus, give him a bit more poseability.
And of course, letís not forget just how much fun it is to launch hard plastic marbles... Zamor spheres.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
All in all, Thok isnít such a bad guy... er, set. Having such huge feet, he can be positioned in various poses in just about any place that has room, without fear of his falling over. Great MOCing pieces and set look, Iíd have to say that Thok is an almost flawless set.
One thought floats near the top of my mind when looking at this set though. Between the spine design and the webbed feet, I wonder if maybe LEGO wasnít going for an aquatic feel or sea creature look when they designed the Piraka. Then again, I guess thereís nothing worse than being awakened by a grinning fish of death... especially with the smell.
With that, I leave you with these fun shots.
Hopefully you've found this review both helpful and insightful in aiding your decision on whether or not to purchase Thok. I'd like to once again thank Toaraga for taking his time to write the review, and hope you all join me in the Talkback Forum to do the same. Keep checking back as we continue our staff reviews of the 2006 sets!
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