Saturday, August 25th, 2007 at 2:34pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Yep, it's that time again. Today we bring you a review of the Mahri Nui Matoran Defilak, compiled by BZPower Forum Assistant InnerRayg. If you're still not sure if these smaller sets are worth picking up, read on to see what he thinks!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
This year, Lego used a new marketing scheme on their smaller sets. These sets have always been known as secondary to the main sets of the year, but Lego took this a step further by releasing only four small sets, two Matoran and two new Rahi called Hydruka. There is something else unusual about these sets though, that you will immediately notice when you find them in the store...
They're huge! These boxes are almost twice the width and depth of the boxes we've had in the past, especially during the first few years. You'll soon understand why, but for now let's look at the packaging. If you don't own one of the small sets yet you should take a gander at the aquatic background on the box. I feel that Defilak and Morak's boxes compliment the scheme well, but Thulox and Dekar, red and yellow respectively, contrast a bit. Also you cannot forget the red “solidified air bubble” that draws the eye towards it on every box.
The back of the box gives you a new pose of Defilak and some instructions for the operation of the Zam...er...Solidified Air Bubble Launcher. Nothing terribly exciting, but I like the pose. Of note are the red eyes staring from Defilak's mask. These do not actually come in the set.
Like the box, everything else in this set is huge as well. The instructions are now almost as big as a normal booklet. Not surprising when you realize the small sets now have as many pieces as the bigger sets used to.
Every year, it seems like the Lego team alternates between realistically 3D instruction manuals and cartoony, L-Draw style ones. For those not in the know, L-Draw is a program that lets you make your own Lego models and create instructions for them. This year we get the cartoony style, which isn't a bad thing, but can be a real pain when you're trying to distinguish dark grey, black, dark blue, and other dark colors form one another. It looks like this year Lego's tried to help by making what color each piece is fairly distinct, a relief to someone who had a headache after trying to find which color piece to use on the Kardas Dragon.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
When you get your first quick look at the pieces, there's not much to impress. Some Dark Green Bohrok limbs (I'm not sure if they've ever come out in this color, so they might be very useful to a few people), an old Hordika armor plate, a Zamor Launcher, Dark Green Toa Mata Limbs (already done in the Vahki Vorzakh, so not very useful), and then you get these:
These are the really new and exciting pieces of the set. The blade, also available in white on Pridak, is an amazing little dagger that looks great on small sets and really adds some ferocity to your characters. The Toa Metru foot really isn't a big deal, but hey, we've already got so much silver you can work it into any color scheme if you are so inclined. Then you get the gold of this set, a new Dark Green Kualsi. This mask has already been used on tons of MOCs (and no, using it on a Toa Nidhiki MOC is not condoned here – say it with me boys and girls, Nidhiki wears a Mask of Stealth) and presents a good way to jump back into the days of old where Masks were available in a plethora of colors. The new Karzahni set that has been released helps cement this position with a Dark Blue Ruru, but that is for another day. If you have any love for masks or the days of old, I'd suggest dropping the five bucks just for this beauty.
Or you could always use Ebay. But moving on.
The construction of this Mahritoran is not difficult, but I found that the more complex and interesting builds of 2006 have influenced 2007 as well, much to my pleasure.
As you can see, it's not a difficult build, but creating the body piece is the best part of this set. The limbs are fairly simple from that point, and really once you're past the point of the body it's just a few clicks to having a completed set for display.
Many people complain about the lack of eyes on Defilak, and I agree that is probably the lowest point of the set, but I honestly was never bothered by it that much. He still looks very cool without them.
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?
Anybody who has played with a Zamor launcher basically knows where the “fun” factor for this set comes from. The cool part is the fact that the Launcher is fully detachable for when you want your Matoran to go on a more peaceful mission. Or maybe when you get sick of having to put the Air Bubble back in every time you move his arms around.
The lack of wrist articulation on the Matoran this year is an issue with some people but I think that you still have a lot of power when it comes to posing these sets. As the Barraki video shows, you can express fear, anger, defiance, solitude, and all sorts of emotions just by moving the arms and head a little. I also need to emphasize how big these Matoran are. They nearly dwarf the original Toa Mata. Onua is only a few millimeters taller then the Matoran. Keep this in mind if you want to do some intermixing between years while playing, because it tends to look pretty silly to see Tahu rescuing a Matoran that looks stronger then he does. While some people might dislike the fact that these Matoran are so “buff”, the look also helps make them look like these guys could actually defend themselves if a Barraki decided to take a bite out of them.
These Matoran are best-viewed head on, as the sides do show a bit of thinness in the bodies. Just about every set since 2005 has been guilty of this, but it's not as terrible as some sets have been about it and really you can almost choose any pose and make these guys look good.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
While Defilak is not going to be the centerpiece to any collection (this honor, if it were to go to any small set, would go to Dekar for being the brightest of the Matoran and also the most important in the story... but more on that later) no collection is going to really look complete without him. He has a darker tone that contrasts well with the other brighter sets that have come out this year and is very distinguishable in a line-up.
What's to like?
- Extremely good price for that amount of pieces
- Excellent callback to the days of yore with newly colored Kanohi mask
- Great weapons for use on MOCs or just on sets
- Tried and True playability with the Air Bubble Launcher
- Wonderful for posing
What's not to like?
- Lack of eyepiece
- Launcher is recycled from last year
- Dark color scheme forces Defilak to sometimes not stand out
- Not impressive from the side
- Simple construction, but you knew that, this is a five-dollar set
Defilak is a cool set. I have a lot of personal attachment to the little guy, but that's more to do with the fact that I got it from a loving girlfriend rather then that actual set himself. What it comes down to in the end is the question of whether it really bothers you to plop down five bucks for this guy. If you're limited in your choices, I would suggest going with a brighter set like Dekar or saving and waiting for one of the Barraki (my favorites are Kalmah, Takadox, and Mantax if you can get two to replace his little arm) or the new Toa Mahri. If, however, money is not too big of an issue, or if you know somebody who might want to get you a small gift, Defilak is a good choice. If you have any sort of love for Kanohi as well, you simply must get this set. He's also more reminiscent of the 2003 Matoran than the versions we had in 2006, so if you prefer that sort of set this guy is your cup of tea.
If you made it this far, you've finished this in-depth review. Be sure to thank InnerRayg for this detailed and thorough look at Defilak. Hopefully you were able to get a better idea of what this set is all about. And as always, keep checking back for more reviews and the latest Bionicle News!
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