Saturday, June 30th, 2007 at 2:15pm by Robert, BZPower Reporter
On this momentous occasion I thought we should take pause and give thought to some things. Dissapointed in that result I decided to review Takadox instead.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard everyone Rant and rave and rant some more about those funky new canisters, about how different they are, how cool they, are, how crooked they are. I bet you’re getting rather tired of it, huh?
Well too bad, ‘cause I’m about to rant and rave myself.
These canisters... well, to put it plainly, they rock. They rock in every way shape and form, and to put it simply—they sum up the Barraki completely.
Moulded in two separate parts in two separate colours (like all previous canisters), this one takes it a step further, in that the base section is moulded to look like the seafloor (and is responsible for the slant—as I’m sure you know.) But the truly interesting thing here is the fact that the base is moulded in a muted, almost washed-out shade of Takadox’s primary Metru blue with additional blacks and whites mixed directly into it. The end result? It honestly looks like a rock formation you could find underwater. Very, very cool.
The translucent blue section (complete with bubbles and… cracks? How does water crack?) is evocative of water and is where you can manage to sneak your first peek at the warlord waiting inside. Aside from that we simply have the usual CG image of our respective set—but wait, it appears something is different on Takadox! Up in the top-right hand corner there’s a nice little circle that shows that Takadox’s head, back, and legs glow in the dark. Never a bad thing.
On the back we’ve got the omnipresent picture of our respective set (oddly enough his feet are coloured silver, like his weapons), as well as something which attempts to instruct us on how to launch our tiny little squid things. However, the interesting things back here are the Kanoka club points and a small picture showing how to put Takadox into his canister: upside down. Aside from that all we’ve got is standard fare
Two additional notes,
One: My Takadox label was applied sloppily, something I haven’t had on either of my other Barraki. Perhaps it was just an oddity.
Two: Unlike some previous canisters these labels can peel off and not leave residue. Although they’re a bit tricky to get off, as they’re not designed to do so, if you take it nice and slow you can have a smooth blue canister in which to display your captive Barraki.
Now that I’ve talked your ear off (or typed your eyes out, really, your choice) about the canister, let’s move on, shall we?
The instruction manual is… well, an instruction manual, complete with the exact same picture of Takadox as was found on the packaging (in a rather bland looking pose and still with the silver feet, I might add). The only interesting things here are
A. The vertical alignment of the instruction manuals is still fairly new, however the contents are still horizontally aligned.
B. The reappearance of the piece inventory from ’06. Welcome back, old friend.
C. Even more instructions on how to not suck at squid launching…still not enough, of course. Then again a book could be written on the subject
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
In a word, “easy.”
Thought you were gonna get off with just that, eh? I don’t think so. Takadox’s design is a rather simple one to begin with, following the same tried-and-true (and rather repetitive) formula that we’ve seen from the beginning. Build a body, and pop limbs on said body—you’re done.
Takadox’s body profits (or suffers) in this department, depending on how you look at it. You see, our wrathful Barraki is a beanpole. He’s skinnier than a stop sign pole (literally, the whole set is) and that makes his building process a walk in the park—not to say it’s not interesting, as there are some rather neat things in his build, such as the angled technic liftarm making up his body, and putting the Vahki hips on an angle—very cool looking.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
I have seen Takadox from every angle, I have looked into the mouth of madness unblinkingly… and I have learned. Don’t display this bad-boy head on.
While Takadox’s entire appearance is about speed and stealth (minus the, y’know, glowing pieces), his skinny body simply doesn’t look good looking from the front, mainly due to the large Vahki hips, which look even larger. Minus that minor niggle, this guy is great. His overall appearance isn’t overly threatening; even his face is the least scary of the Barraki (in my opinion). That makes sense, though, as Takadox operates on guile—it’d be difficult to trick your opponents if they were too busy being terrified of you.
…But I digress; Takadox as a set is a very dynamic looking thing, full of ridges and sharp spikes, and with his incredibly skinny body and minimal armor, you can contort this evil warlord into just about cool position you can think of—how’s that for cool?
Plus the colours go well together, with the two blues blending quite nicely, the black being mostly unnoticeable, and the red contrasting nicely with the rest.
Any new and interesting pieces with Takadox?
TRY JUST ABOUT EVERY ONE.
Four trans-blue hipjoints (as found in Matoro)
Four trans-blue long double hipjoints (also in Matoro)
TEN red Vikings horns (You only use nine. Also found in Mantax)
Three glow in the dark armor pieces (as found in Morak)
Two brand new hooky-bladey weapon things
Two modified red light domes
Two Barraki brand claw-mandibles, for when your food is just too big
One angled connector neck (As found in Toa Hordika)
One Squid launcher
One Brand new triangle connector
One freaking awesome glow in the dark head.
The rest of his pieces are essentially stolen from Vezok… I don’t imagine he’s too happy about that.
But let’s take a more in-depth look at some of those new pieces, shall we?
DA ARMOR: The armor is essentially the same as it was on Morak—in fact it’s exactly the same as it was on Morak. Which is good, ‘cause it was cool then, and it’s cool now. This piece just rocks for all sorts of reasons. One: it’s glow in the dark, which is never a bad thing. Two: it’s very aquatic, full of ridges and smooth sections. Three: it’s a good piece for MOCs, with three different connection points. Plus, it snaps easily and firmly onto Takadox’s legs.
DA WEAPONS: I’m going to tell you right now, this is how I knew Takadox was a mantis from the beginning: look at those things, they scream praying mantis. Aside from that, however, I find these weapons to be rather bland. With expectedly little detail, the only thing that I really enjoy is how much they resemble a mantis’ claw. They’re still cool, just not as cool as, oh say, Ehlek’s.
The squid launcher is the same as always, a rather neat design that ultimately falls flat. Moulded in silver--and in a rather interesting shape (That brings a manta-ray more to mind than a squid) with neat little ridges and lines, the entire thing is…well, rubber--Which is going to bug a lot of people. Aside from that, the gigantic fingerhold really makes it look awkward. A pity. The squids are fairly interesting, with tube-like protrusions all around their body, as well as clearly moulded eyes and a ring of razor sharp teeth. Pretty neat. Mine came in a reddish orange and a yellowy-green
DA JAWS: I’m sure we’ve all seen more than enough about these; moulded with all sorts of wicked-cool details, these things just plain rock. My personal favourite detail is the ridges in the back which almost look like gills. While not as cool as the snapping feature of the Visorak jaws, these still move when you push your fingers inwards.
DA CONNECTOR: This is going to be a short one; I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief already. Now, the only difference between this triangle connector and the ones of old (affectionately called Throwbot feet) is that this one does away with the downwards slope and replaces the centre hole with an axle connection point—as useful piece no doubt, just not interesting to discuss.
DA HEAD: Awesome, just plain awesome. With ridges and bumps and smooth carapace galore, this head is a work of art. While long and lengthy, Takadox’s actual face is incredibly skull-like, with high cheekbones and almost-sunken eyes—a very neat looking effect here. Additionally, his gaping maw is filled with all sorts of razor sharp looking teeth… plus he has buckteeth, and how cool is that? Really, I gotta say that of all of the new pieces I got with Takadox, that head is my absolute favourite. It looks cool, it glows, and it’s going to be useful on MOCs (stay tuned, true believers!).
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?
The set functions at what it does, and what it does is pose well—with some changes. First things first, remove your squid launcher, and now put it in his canister. Now, never take it out again. Whether or not those things work, they just don’t look particularly cool, and their large and wide nature simply doesn’t look that good with the skinny, smooth look of Takadox.
When posing Takadox there are some things you may want to keep in mind:Try to hide the inner beam or pose him on an angle: anything that removes the central body from view will improve his appearance greatly.
Remember that he glows: try not to hide any of the glow in the dark pieces from view when posing him, as it may lessen the effect.
Make it dynamic: being so skinny, Takadox’s body looks best with all of the limbs working in a dynamic pattern. Make him crouch, or step on something, or make his arms ready to use those blades, tilt his head and make him look towards you.
Have fun: remember, he’s yours now, and you can do whatever you want.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
He glows in the freaking dark, how cool is that?
He comes with trans-blue joints, previously only available on Matoro Inika and Nocturn
His stick-thin body is useful for multitudes of awesome poses
No less than ten red Viking horns
Brand-new reinforced triangle joint
Useful pieces for MOCing and pretty cool new weapons
That’s still a really cool canister
What's to like?
Some of those cool red spines are gonna sag on you, which will bug the picky displayer
The Squid Launcher is fairly lacklustre in action—even If you manage to fling the thing, it’s not gonna go far.
His body looks fairly awkward straight on, being a stick body with large hips.
Cool though it may be, that canister is a storage nightmare
Lots of reused pieces
What's not to like?
Overall, I gotta say Takadox just plain rocks (my socks). He’s a devious character, an awesome set, and just a general good buy. I would totally and one-hundred percent recommend him. Not only do you get lots of nice new pieces (and shiny old ones), you also get a set that succeeds at what it sets out to do, and that’s look good and pose well.
Plus, which other Barraki can you pose like a chicken?
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