Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 5:35pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's been exactly one month since our last review and we're back again with a look at another set. Today DeeVee (formerly known as Darth Vader) takes a look at Bulk and Vapour from the Hero Factory line. It this limited edition set the one for you? 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.
Bulk and Vapour (the box mostly uses the more UK English version of the spelling, though it does use the more American "Vapor" in a few places) come in a box. A rather weirdly shaped box, compared to the rest of the Hero Factory line. Which is okay, as this is a special edition set or somesuch silly thing, and that makes it stand out a little more.
The front of the box sees our hero, Bulk, flying overhead, taking on villainous Vapour, who is shooting vaporous Zamor spheres at him from below, from a very close distance. Basically, this is the same scene as shown on the back of all the other canisters and boxes, with a hero versus a villain in front of the same cityscape. But here, it's used for the actual promotional image. The front of the box also says "LIMITED EDITION". In case you didn't know why you hadn't seen it anywhere else but Toys "R" Us (you know, like 60% of the rest of LEGO sets too, but we don't call all of those "SPECIAL EDITION" sets. We just call them "the other sets Walmart and Target don't generally sell").
The back of the box has the two duking it out from a different angle in a different part of the city. The six heroes are detailed below, next to a "here's how to shoot a Zamor sphere from a Thornax launcher" diagram. In case you had questions, you push the two pieces towards one another, and this forces the sphere out of the launcher. Whew! Glad we cleared that up.
There are legal disclaimers and things on the box, but legal disclaimers told me last night that they just want to be friends, and I don't feel like dwelling on a broken heart right now, so we'll move on.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
This is an interesting section, because we're breaking the build into two parts: Bulk, and Vapour. Not often do we get two sets in one, and so this is a fun moment, right?
First, comes Bulk, the hero-you-might-already-basically-own.
His build is slightly different than the regular canister-version, because he has a jetpack and a tube that doesn't do anything because it just connects to his torso on both sides. He also has Stringer's weapon in Stringer's colour, which makes me sad.
Basically, you're building a canister set. And then adding a jetpack. Like I already said. The build is not anything special, and is reminiscent of the Agori and the Stars, and obviously very reminiscent of the canister'd heroes this was released alongside.
It's not a bad build, for what it is, at least the jetpack makes it interesting. But it's a boring build, and so I'm glad this isn't the only set in here.
Because the set also comes with...
Vapour is a unique villain, not following the template of any of the other villains. He's not an Xplode clone, nor is he a Meltdown or Corroder clone. He's close to several of them, with the chest armour and the Vahki legs with Ben 10 thighs. But he has his own arms, and his own chest-attachment process. This makes him super unique!
I'm not sure how sarcastic I'm attempting to be in that paragraph, so I'll let you, dearest denizens, decide that for yourself. It's like a game in a review!
(That is exciting!)
(I do know how sarcastic I was being in that last parenthetical, but I'm not telling you.)
Vapour's build is pretty straight-forward, for the most part. His weapon-hands-things might be difficult, and getting the tubes connected to the right holes might be difficult if you care about accuracy. But overall, it's a very normal and very tame build, with a lot of familiarity, and some extra "hey, this is a bonus set!" kind of things thrown on for decoration.
Which is cool.
But neither portions of this Limited Edition set will leave you in awe or blown away by creativity.
And I guess that's okay. By now we should be used to it, and resigned to our fates.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
First things first, let's look at the pieces we're going to get in this set, and not in any others.
Now before you say anything, I'm aware that the blue Bohrok eyes exist in an older technic bike. But they've never been used in either Bionicle or Hero Factory sets before, so I'm going to put them here anyway.
Also, the blue Ben 10 thighs may have been used in a Ben 10 set in that colour. I don't know, I only bought one of them and that was because I could. But the only other colour Hero Factory uses those pieces in is black, so if you want them in blue, and don't want to buy a Ben 10 set, that may or may not have them, this is your only option.
Exclusive to this set are:
- Rotor's helmet in blue
- Blue Corroder things
- Solid Blue Zamor spheres
Oh, and those orange tubes also exist in Rotor, but they added some color to an otherwise all-blue photo, so here they are. I like them. Do you?
(Check box for yes.)
For an exclusive, limited edition set, that's not a bad bag of exclusive recolours. I wish they still did exclusive molds more often, but that's a different conversation, and is neither here nor there, though it's mostly here. Because I brought it up.
I would love for more, especially because this set cost more than a hero and villain would together, and I'm not sure if a few extra Bohrok eyes attached to the worst of the Av-toran limbs makes up for that.
Bulk is basically the canister Bulk, and for an in-depth look at that, I refer you to BZPower's official Bulk review done by second-to-none Gatanui.
I'm going to focus on the differences here (and give you some pretty pictures). This one has a jetpack, a useless tube, and Stringer's weapon. I'm not a fan of the weapon arms, which is one of the reasons for my canister review I did one of the Rookies, who don't use them. I think they're hollow, they're ugly, and am glad they won't be making a return in the next wave. So the fact that Bulk comes with two is disappointing, especially since they didn't even bother to recolour Stringer's into a Bulk-specific silver. Argh.
The jetpack and tube, however, are super cool additions, and I really like this "area specific" armour idea, and I wish TLG has pursued these kind of variants with more gusto, instead of giving us only one mission-adapted hero set. I would have loved to see more of this kind of imagination and ingenuity, and they do it with Batman, and those keep selling, so I feel TLG could have given us one or two more.
But anyway. I like the jetpack. It is attached in a really nifty way, and I like how the tube looks, even though I doubt its usefulness.
I hate Vapour's arms. They are the worst of the Av-toran limb molds, with the weird protruding parts towards the top. I hate that his hands are his weapons, as this makes for awkward poses with his elbow-less arms.
Otherwise, I'm not too opposed to this guy. I kind of like Rotor's helmet, and I'm glad to own it in blue. I'm glad it's been recoloured at all, actually. I wish the other villain helmets had been recoloured (especially Corroder's rhino helm). This is a good thing.
I like Corroder's things hanging off the back of the arms, I think that's a cool piece, even though I'm not sure what they're doing here besides looking cool.
The tubes are used effectively here, making it look like he's channeling some power from his body to power his vapour-ball shooting weapons.
Speaking of which, I wish he had only one Thornax launcher. The one between the silver weapons looks out of place, and without it, Vapour has a lovely claw to pick things up with.
The other launcher is built quite nicely and I like the Mahritoran blades being used like that. Very neat.
Overall, it's not an exciting design, and I hate the lack of elbows, which I and most of you have probably become accustomed to. For the price I paid, I want some elbows, dangit.
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?
Okay, let's be honest. The best part of this set is playability, because it comes with two characters, who are obviously opposing forces, which gives kids (and me) an out-of-the-box conflict to roleplay. Vapour's launchers give something tangible to this fight, since Bulk's weapons are single molds that require imagination.
Other than that, they have the normal points of articulation for sets their size in this line (which again, means no elbows on the villain!).
Which means they can pose.
That's again, about it.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Exclusive recolours
- Two sets in one
- Neat mission-specific ideas
- Mostly fun villain design
What's not to like?
- No elbows
- Lame one-piece weapons
- Launchers :P
- "Don't I already have this guy"-itis
- Kind of expensive full-price
Anyway. This is an exclusive, Limited Edition set. It's not super special, but it does have some things you won't get anywhere else. If it weren't for that silver hand piece in the regular Bulk, I'd suggest skipping the canister version for this set, because hey, jetpacks are awesome. And the villain certainly isn't any worse than the other Hero Factory villains, and so you can snag this guy and only be paying five dollars more than you would if you bought Bulk and a regular villain. But man, I know for some that silver hand piece was the definitive moment of purchase. Though who knows, maybe we'll get some new silver hands in wave 2, and it'll all have been okay?
And another review is completed. Be sure to leave your comments and thank DeeVee in the Talkback for taking the time to review this set. Our next review will definitely be less than a month from now, so keep checking back for that and more news, right here on BZPower.
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