Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 5:50pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Darth Vader]
In my effort to clear the backlog of set reviews I present you with the first review from our newest staff member (returning staff excluded). Today Darth Vader shares his thoughts on Mazeka and his turret. If this Zamor/Midak-firing emplacement the set you should get? 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.
The Mazeka box looks like the other boxes for the summer lineup, with an image of the swamp in the background, and the same image of Mazeka we've seen in promotional materials. A large "LIMITED EDITION" emblem takes up a good portion of the bottom of the box, in a bright yellow, contrasting nicely with the otherwise bland colours of the box. Luckily, the swamp is a light blue, whereas the set and box are darker shades, so they don't all blend together too poorly. Still, without the "LIMITED EDITION" emblem, this wouldn't be a set that would catch your interest.
The back of the box has an image of Mazeka and his vehicle separated, so you get a nice view of each. Towards the bottom are images of the set's various 'functions' and whatnot. To the upper right are images of the T-series of vehicles.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The box contains three bags, labeled appropriately 1, 2, and 3, and an instruction booklet with the same image that the front of the box displays.
The build is more Technic-y than many of the larger sets we've gotten in the past few years, but sadly, the build is rather straightforward, and there are no real functions to discover as you build. Like with other larger builds, you move through the three baggies in order, each one corresponding to a different section of the build. There's not a lot of interest here, and that was disappointing. The build shouldn't take a large amount of time, because again, there isn't a whole lot to the build. You'll spend more time counting beam holes to make sure you've put the pins in the right ones than you will actually building.
And of course, one the build is finished, there is a handful of pieces left, including, oddly enough, a piece of thigh armour that belonged to one of our 'beloved' Toa Inika.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Out of the 301 pieces you get, the only interesting pieces in this set consist of a Technic turntable, not available inside Bionicle sets before, a gunmetal coloured Kalmah foot (a slightly modified Hordika foot), and the lovely grey tri-axle (which is love heaped upon love, and I want so many more of them).
As has become customary, there is a lack of new parts in this special edition set. The Matoran is recycled from the Av-Toran from earlier this year, and this is disappointing both story-wise, and set-wise, as I personally find the new Matoran overly bulky, awkward, and ridiculously easy to put together.
The colours are quite frightful, with the red axles a blight upon all of mankind. Man, they are unseemly! As a MOCist, the colour organization is deeply troubling. Blue, Metru blue, gunmetal, light bley, dark bley, black, red axles, silver. It just doesn't stop. Unfortunately this is all put together to make present a jumbled mess of parts that slightly resemble a four-legged walking turret.
One thing I did enjoy quite a bit was the new tri-angled Zamor sphere loading mechanism. Unlike Vultraz, you can store Mazeka's extra Zamor/Midak spheres in these, and they actually load into the firing mechanism (a Zamor sphere launcher. Again.) It's quite nifty, and I'll admit, it looks cool.
The legs move only at the the two joints created by the short double-sockets, and these only allow up and down movement. I suppose side-to-side movement is possible since there are four legs, but I find the lack of movement on the axis quite frustrating.
The Inika foot makes a nice seat back for good ol' Mazeka, and that's neat.
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 technic turtable allows the set to rotate 360 degrees on the central axis, and that's fun. The Zamor sphere launcher works just as well as it has in the past, which is quite well, with a satisfying pop made when the spheres launch. As mentioned earlier, the legs only move up and down, and that hinders the posing possibilities with the walker (which is named..? Fill me in, S&T gurus!). The Matoran is the same standard design we have seen this year, and he moves at hips, ankles, shoulders, hands, and neck. He can achieve some not-too-shabby poses himself, but on the clawed-walking-vehicle, there's not a lot of interest there.
Shooting the Zamors is fun, just as they always have been, and unlike in the canister sets, the launchers make sense here. The tri-angled loading mechanism is great, and allows Mazeka to hold a large amount of Zamor spheres at once, without reloading.
Unfortunately, though, the launcher is unable to move up and down, so Mazeka is limited to one plane of fire per pose. Though this is a 360 degreed plane, so that's at least better than a stationary turret. You can, of course, angle the legs for more up and down action, but even then it's not a whole lot of up-down love.
For thirty dollars, I'd like a little more oomph to my set.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Tri-angled loading is great fun
- Zamor launcher launches satisfyingly
- Technic turntable is fun
- Not a flying vehicle like the rest of them
- Wal*Mart exclusive means good availability compared to some other exclusives
What's not to like?
- Zamor launcher is over-used
- Colours clash hideously
- Not a lot new for the price
- Bland, jumbled, and messy design
- 08 Matoran design leaves something to be desired
In the end, save ten more dollars, and buy the Rockoh T3, or a little more and buy one of the other vehicles. There are some nice ideas here, but the overall set is lacking in so many ways that I cannot recommend this set to the average consumer. Buy two canister sets, buy one of the larger vehicles, just don't buy this one unless you're a completist.
And there you have it, clear and concise. Be sure to keep checking back for more reviews and the latest Bionicle news; and don't forget to thank Darth Vader for taking the time to build this set (at Brickfair) and share his thoughts with you all!
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