Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 at 6:06pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It is once again time for another set review here on BZPower. Today Forum Assistant InnerRayg takes a look at another Mistika from this summer's line, the Makuta Gorast. How does this lime green and black monster stand up to the rest of the summer's sets? Read on to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Gorast comes packaged in a wide package reminiscent of the Inika packaging, sans the light up weapon in the top. Her Canister is a far cry from the Phantoka packaging of earlier this year, and the two don't mesh very well if you display your boxes. However, as a whole her new box is extremely unique for one reason:
The Ignika top.
This molded lid is a separate piece from the canister, and is two-sided. One side, the one facing towards the front, is cracked and damaged. The other side is molded in smooth plastic. The really cool thing about this design is that the Canisters, which are symmetrical, are flipped for Toa and Makuta so the good guys display the smooth side on the front, while the Makuta display the damaged version.
Now, Gorast's CG art is pretty cool, but a little constricted. It all looks good of course, but you don't really feel the menace of the character, and the washed out color doesn't do justice to the black tones in her armor and makes the green appear more like Lewa's original color. This is even more of a problem on the back-if you were to go off of the pictures there you would assume Gorast is completely green, not lime. It shows she can connect with Radiak (or any shadow Matoran, really) but the color clash is probably not worth the effort.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The first step is getting the package open. Good luck on this. The lid is notoriously hard to remove - hooking your fingers through the eye holes and pulling is my method of choice, but expect a lot of kickback when it flies open and be careful to not let any parts fly out.
So now you've got it open, and inside we find a multitude of black and lime green parts, with some flickers of orange deep in the depths.
Her instructions are the standard fare we've come to expect-the artwork is done in the cartoony CAD style we've all come to love, and the booklet does a wonderful job of distinguishing darker colors like grey, silver, and black, from one another. I must say this is also one of the most sparse instruction booklets I've ever seen. There is an ad for the Lego Club and nothing else. Not even an advertisement for the other Mistika Lego? Times are hard.
Of the parts you get in this set, there are seven that are completely new molds, three of which are for her Nynrah Ghost Blaster. We also have a new silver claw that is a piece I personally believe is completely unnecessary, with Nuparu's 2006 claws serving the exact same purpose and almost identical aesthetic design, her translucent wings, her new Kanohi, and a menacing spike/foot/claw piece that I think is one of the highlights of the set.
Gorast's build is pretty cool. You start out with the Blaster, which has the awesome distinction of coming in separate parts.
You then move onto her limbs. The feet that utilize the new claw molds have an interesting design, but everything else is pretty much exactly what you would expect - ball joint A into hip joint B all the way around.
Her neck features a Toa Metru arm that enables her to make all kinds of cool poses, and I'm very happy about this inclusion in the set.
Her mask lies on top of a hand joint, meaning that this one can not actually fit onto a head and is thus mask in ceremonial terms only. This set is not really about the construction, and if you're looking for a satisfying build I would avoid it - this toy, like most of the canister sets, is about the finished product.
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'd like to start off with an expose on the new transparent wing pieces. These are mostly rubber, with the connection point as hard plastic. They are very bendy and have an awesome texture on them. You remember those old "animated" toys that you could shift back and forth by moving them around? This is very reminiscent of that kind of texture. The light glistens in these pieces and brings a very insectile feel to them. Try not to stare too long at the wing - it can and will hypnotize you. I could also see this piece coming in handy as a unique broad sword, so it has definite MoCing potential.
The Kanohi Felnas Gorast wears is also a rubber/plastic hybrid. The stinger and sides are rubber, while the main connection point is hard plastic. It uses a plus rod molded into the top to connect to the hand piece. I like the way it looks and the circular texture molded into the sides of it, but ultimately I feel this mask is not as iconic as say, Krika's.
The final piece I love is the new claw piece. It features two different ways of connecting - a plus rod and a plus rod connector point, bringing back the days of the Toa Olda foot and making this piece a must-have for MoCers. If you don't like it in the dual lime green/black this piece is available with Bitil in Silver, but I would still suggest getting Gorast just to see how cool this claw looks.
Finally, her Nynrah Blaster is an air-powered pump gun. It works alright, about as reliably as the Cordak for me, and it does shoot well, although not nearly as hard or as far as the Midak. Ultimately everything about it feels a little cheaper. The Midak blaster was a solid piece of equipment, but the light plastic this one is made out of makes me feel like it could break if I pressed too hard. It's cool, but not a must-have and I wouldn't blame you if you decided to remove it from the set. Now, the nice thing is that the lime green "bullets" it shoots blend in very nicely with her color scheme, but unfortunately this is just coincident, not intentional design.
As a set, Gorast is pretty awesome. She can make any number of intimidating poses, and her only drawback is the limitation on articulation the use of Av-Matoran limbs necessitates. Her top arms are all great if you want to make a menacing pose, but if you want her to be relaxed you're going to have a hard time of it. Her double-jointed legs are pretty cool and give her a very alien feel, something I don't think we've seen in a Bionicle set before.
Her wings are posted to her arms. I feel like these really deserved a ball joint of their own, but it still serves to have them like this - just be aware it will be harder to make a realistic flying pose.
Ultimately her insectile appearance makes her alien in a way the Phantoka never were. It is disturbing, but in a good way.
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 real fun of this set is going to be in it's ability to roleplay - and boy, can you ever roleplay with this girl. Her personality, if you follow the story, is the direct opposite of her leader Krika, and her devotion to the plan is both disturbing and intriguing. Her obsession will make her stop at nothing, and this in itself is more scary than any fangs or claws. She is made for terrorizing Toa and Matoran alike, and even though she is a good deal shorter than most of the sets coming out this year, I think she will still be able to force her way to their throats.
Her Nynrah Blaster does add another aspect of play, but the soft head of the missile means it's going to be hard to knock over another figure with it, and it stands no chance against the hard-hitting Midak.
Beware that it seems the new joints Lego has come up with may not be as solid as they appear - I managed to snap four different hip joints in the process of building her, and these were the black ones, so it's not a Lime Green problem like last year. I've never broken a set in the past seven years I've enjoyed Bionicle, so this comes as a major disappointment for me.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Awesome canister lid design
- Great new claw piece that will be a wonderful new tool for MoCers, and an opalescent new wing design that is in my opinion the best one so far from the Mistika.
- Awesome role-playing potential
- Great color scheme
What's not to like?
- Uninteresting build
- Other than new molds, none of the parts are in colors we haven't seen before.
- Lack of connecting Matoran "designed for her", but with the empty back that still begs to have one attached.
- Even worse price to parts ratio than what we got for the Phantoka
Gorast is a great character, and an adequate set. In my opinion she is the second best of the Mistika this year - if you are limited to only one, then don't get her. Buy Krika for his interesting build and menacing look. If you want you can also go for the Toa - Tahu, especially has a great look to him, but frankly I would save my thirty plus dollars for the titan that is Takanuva. In any case, she is very fun to pose and play with when you are done, and I think this figure would be great for anyone who likes the story and enjoys pretending their characters follow their own personalities. She doesn't invoke the same swooping menace that the earlier Phantoka did though, and I feel that overall this second half of the year is just a weaker follow-up to what was an awesome beginning. Still, she is not something you'll want to pass up lightly. If you like monsterish creatures such as what we got in the Barraki last year, she is a great choice.
And so another set on the list of ones to be reviewed bites the dust. We still have a couple more reviews in the queue as well as some others in progress, so keep checking back for more and the latest Bionicle news. Oh, and don't forget to thank Ray for doing this review!
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