Sunday, August 29th, 2010 at 10:40pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Lots of BZPower staff bought sets at BrickFair - and it's only 'fair' that we review some of them for you guys. Today our inimitable Blog Leader DeeVee (Darth Vader up until recently), takes a look at Corroder, one of the Hero Factory villains. How does this lime green menace pan out? You'll have to read on to see!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
It took ten years, but our beloved BIONICLE canister sets have finally graduated to the next price point, with their own boxes to go with it. Sure, we call them "HERO FACTORY" now, but the villains, priced a point above the Impulse-sets-turned-canister-sets, are basically what we've been getting for the last several years as the main line type of sets. And now they come in neat boxes!
Stock box image provided by TLG
Because I received this set during BrickFair, the box did not fit in my luggage. So, I don't have a real photo of the box, so this stock product photo will have to do! These new boxes are a weird size, different from the boxes most other LEGO products come in. Which helps set them off as different in the toy aisle at your local store. The box image sees Corroder, well, corroding through a building that he is clinging to the side of, much like 1960s Adam West Batman would do. The dark, subdued tones of the cityscape really help the bright and vibrant Corroder stand out. The front also has the HERO FACTORY logo, and the bottom has "CORRODER" and the "From the makers of BIONICLE" logo. The top of the box has an image of Corroder's rhino-horned helmet, and the sides have CORRODER/CORROSIF on the side. The back advertises the set and has legal notices, I'm assuming, since I don't have the box in front of me!
(I miss you, legal disclaimers! Wish you were here with me now. :( )
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Corroder isn't much different from the standard Toa Inika/Glatorian build we've been getting for years now, and in some ways, he's actually a step down from even that. Though in others, he's a step up.
Because Corroder uses the new Hero Factory Impulse set torso, gone is the even pretend building process for the torso. And as he uses Avtoran limbs for arms, gone too is another point of building from yesteryears. Of course, he has those big hand claw corroding things, and one on his back, and those add a little something to the build, though they're not exactly hard to build!
In the process of three different photoshoots for this review, I built and re-build Corroder several times, and I can honestly say that he's just about as simple a build as the Inika were. I'd like something a little more interesting for this brand new theme, but I guess there's something comforting in knowing that as much as things may change, some things stay the same.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Corroder (and the other villains) come with a lot less new pieces than the Impulse sets do. Which is okay with me, as the Impulse sets definitely come with a lot of new molds.
New to Corroder are:
- His rhino-helmet
- Six of the claw/corroding things
- Black Thornax launcher pieces
- A four-length axle with a cap
- I'm not sure how new it is, but a cool double-pin connector with a pin hole in the center
- A... I'm not sure how to classify this piece, but it is big and black and used for stickers, and is used in most of the villains somewhere as weapons, armour, etc.
- A zamor sphere in a lighter, less-saturated green colour (at least I don't remember this colour existing before)
And there's also the new torso piece from the Impulse sets, and the upper thighs are from the Ben 10 sets.
The helmet is neat, and like I've said multiple times, it seems clearly based on a very rhino-centric vibe. A more mechanical rhino, but still! It is very menacing, and the lower-jaw protruding as it does just helps add to that menacing feel. It is both a very intricate, and very stream-lined piece, and just as with the hero sets, you can tell a lot of work went into the design. I believe it has paid off quite a bit, and wish for recolours of this in other, more usable colours!
Of course, the real reason to buy this set is for these:
I love those pieces, so very hard. Oh man. And Corroder comes with six of them. SIX. <3
I'm really not kidding, I bought this set over the other villains because of those six pieces. And I am not ashamed.
(And you shouldn't be either!)
As for the design of the set itself...
According to the instruction booklet, Corroder seems to have been designed to be posed and set on all fours. Which really helps with the Rhino vibe. On his right arm is a Thornax launcher, and it kind of gets in the way a lot. And it's hard to get in a position where it's out of the way and not botching some pose without just taking it off. It's connected via that new pin-pinhole-pin piece, and luckily that piece has a very nice clutching power. The Thornax launcher does not move around on its own.
The use of the Avtoran limbs for the front arms is very reminiscent of Krika, and works about as well here as it did there. Which is, to say, not badly. I'm not sure TLG could have achieved the same result with an actual elbow, as they don't make lower arm pieces this short (though I would love if they did). The claw things are actually pretty cool looking, and I really enjoy how they're connected to that blackthing piece.
The section on the back I'm ambivalent about. On one hand, it allows the back to be filled out, and not just be an empty torso like so many other sets have been. But the connection is sort of awkward, and leaves the piece just floating above the back. I do like the ridges going down the back, and I kind of wish TLG had ditched the blackthing piece, and figured out a way to do three ridges running down the back. Though, of course, that would have meant two less tri-axle pieces, and also would have left us with an odd number of those green pieces, and I'm not okay with that, so I don't know guys.
The back legs kind of end up being stuck in a weird crouching position at all times, due to their length versus the lack of length in the front legs. It's not terrible, but he does look like he's about to spring on something at any moment. And maybe that's a good thing?
Overall, the set has a very menacing appearance, and it also succeeds in oozing character, and I am very much for that. I've always liked characters over just sets. Oh!
Another thing we need to talk about is the stickers.
Stickers are something that we as BIONICLE fans have not been privy to very much. Tuma had stickers, but I can't think of really any other examples of them in BIONICLE. HERO FACTORY uses them liberally on the villains, so they become a point of discussion. In general, I am not a stickers person. I don't generally put them on my sets, as I prefer to use the pieces for whatever suits my purposes, and I feel stickered pieces can harm that. However, I also prefer stickers to printed pieces, because hey, stickers can come off without absurd chemical baths and the like.
On Corroder, the stickers are used to fill in the big blanks that are those blackthing pieces. And you know what? The set is very bland without them. I was not expecting that. I originally held off on their application, but I must admit that the set came very much alive only after they were added. Yes, I will remove them once I decide to use those pieces for MOCs, but still, this is not a review about MOCs, but about Corroder, and here the stickers are a good thing.
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?
Corroder has just about the same points of articulation as we've become accustomed from our canister sets, even though he comes in a box. He can be posed on all fours or on his hind legs like a normal humanoid, and is capable of some rad poses.
The zamor sphere shoots fine from the Thornax launcher, and stays in pretty securely. I have not lost the sphere yet, so that is a good thing!
He is also capable of fighting Mark Surge, as he is the villain on the back of Surge's canister.
Otherwise, well, he's about what you'd expect.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Six tri-axle pieces
- Six tri-axle pieces
- Six tri-axle pieces
- Neat Rhino-helm
- Tries to do something different
- Mostly succeeds
- Good range of new and old parts
What's not to like?
- Repetitive build
- Ben 10 limbs lack something to be desired
- Single-piece torso
- Lime is hard to photograph without other shades of green to balance it out
- Still not a big fan of launchers
You might notice that even I'm not sure how I feel about this set in general. There are things I like, no doubt. And things I don't. But I'm very ambivalent. He's about what I expected him to be, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Overall, I'd recommend him as a parts pack for sure. Like, way for sure. As a character, I'd probably recommend him over most of the other villains, whom I think are far more boring than Corroder. But as a set, I'm just not sure. I guess you'll just have to follow your heart?
I hope you have enjoyed this fun-filled review - be sure to leave any questions, comments, and thanks for DeeVee in the Talkback. Until our next review, keep checking back for all the latest Bionicle and LEGO news, right here on BZPower!
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