Monday, April 9th, 2007 at 7:17pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's been a while since our last review, but don't worry, we haven't forgotten. In fact, today BZPower Forum Assistant -Shannara- brings you a review of one of the smaller sets, the Matoran Dekar. How does this set stack up against previous Matoran, and is it the right set for you? Read on to find out!
Well, 2007 is in full swing right now. Even now, we're gearing up for the upcoming summer sets and the promise they show. But hang a second. Let's take a minute to look into LEGO's latest version of a group we've known since Bionicle's beginning: the Matoran. Today I'll analyze one of Mahri Nui's denizens: Dekar.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The most immediately noticeable thing about the box is easily its size. Box sets in the past have never even come close to this size of container. This allows Dekar's picture, an action pose with the Po-Matoran shooting his solidified air launcher, to grab the attention of a potential buyer.
On the other side, there is another picture of Dekar launching a sphere, an indicator of how to make it shoot, pictures of the other 2007 small sets, and the watery image of Mahri Nui in the background.
Opening and dumping the box reveals a small assortment of parts in the classic plastic bags, and the instruction booklet.
While looking over the pieces, I realized that LEGO has made a decisive step in the growth of small box sets. All previous small sets have their instructions on a single sheet folded over onto itself. The 2007 small sets, though, have a full on booklet, same as the canister sets.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Not really a lot to say as far as building Dekar. Building the small sets have always been an endeavor of a few minutes tops. No exception to the rule, Dekar's quickly together in three or four minutes.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Completely finished, Dekar is a nice little package. He's got a nice blend of silver, black, and Keetorange parts, and despite his size he still feels more like a Matoran than the Voya Nui Matoran we met last year. The helpless appearance of 2006 is gone, replaced by a Matoran who can mean business and can show it too.
Dekar isn't anything special from behind, but he's not nearly as exposed as some sets have been, such as the Metru Nui Matoran. One thing that caught my eye about his design, (pun absolutely intended) is Dekar's lack of legitimate eyes. He's got the eyes holes, having used the Toa Metru head. The box art even depicts him as having either orange or red eyes. But in reality? The poor guy's gonna have a hard time dodging the Barraki if he can't even see them...
Something I had noticed right from the opening of the bags was the tiny quantity of new parts. Of the 37 pieces, only three could be considered new. Of those, one is just a Kiril in a new color. Initially I found this disappointing. But as I put Dekar together, I decided that this is more of a quality-over-quantity matter. The Kiril is easily one of my favorite masks, and I'm glad that LEGO finally has a mask in Keetorange. In addition, Dekar's staves remind me of a smaller Takanuva staff, meaning it has possibilities nearly as limitless as its larger cousin.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Dekar's got 9 points of articulation if you count the mobility of his air launcher. It's not a huge amount, but for a small set it's not bad either. I found, though, that the lack of wrist articulation, which has become a practically a staple of Bionicle, is absent. Hmmm... No thanks. I'll tolerate more Bohrok limbs if we could have the wrist posability back.
The air launcher has me rather torn. It's nice to get back to the functions in the small sets. But, pure and simple, it's a Zamor launcher. I almost think a Kanoka launcher in one hand and a blade in the other would have been less confusing, but that may just be me.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Dekar's got a nice, solid body structure.
- He sports even more Keetorange, including a Kiril.
- He's fun to play with, if not mind-blowingly so.
- And of course those lovely blades.
What's not to like?
- He doesn't have any eyes.
- No wrist articulation for Dekar.
- The rehashed Zamor launcher.
- He's got a shortage of other new parts.
Four pros, and four cons. Interesting.
All in all, I recommend for the average Bionicle fan at least one of the 2007 Matoran box sets. As Dekar and his Le-Matoran counterpart Defilak are nearly identical, I would suggest buying at least one of the two. My own slant as a MOCist changes my opinion, though. He may not come with a ton of awesome parts, but the blades, Kiril, and other Keetorange parts are enough for me. At this price, I'm going to get at least one more Dekar. He's not huge and he can't see... But his staves are, truth be told, more than enough for me.
And there you have it, Dekar in his underwater glory. Please make sure you thank Shannara for the review, which you hopefully found insightful and informative. Keep checking back for more reviews, there are still plenty of sets coming out this year.
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