Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 10:55pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today is a day I've been waiting for for quite some time. Earlier this year BZPower was contacted by Jan Beyer of the LEGO Community Team to see if we would be interested in getting some 2011 Hero Factory sets early for review purposes. Obviously you can guess what I answered, and soon three of our top reviewers had their grubby little hands on sets that very few people outside of LEGO had even seen yet. Today marks the day where we can finally post these reviews on our site - to start things off, DeeVee looks at Furno 2.0. Read on to see what has happened to our pal Bill!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Furno 2.0 (hereon referenced, again, as "Bill"), comes in the same canister as his prior incarnation. It's the Stars canister with the Hero Factory lid, but this time, there's no colour-coded lids. They're all orange. All of them.
Which is kind of weird. I'm not used to all of the canisters being the same color. I wonder if this will cause parents to buy their lovely, adorable, we-didn't-leave-that-mess-on-that-table-my-kids-are-perfect-so-clean-it-yourself children the wrong canisters? It's a lot harder to say, "Get me the orange one!" when they're all orange at first glance.
Or maybe I should give consumers more credit?
The front image involves Bill in front of a fiery backdrop, with a presumed villain in the top corner throwing more flames down upon the raging 'furno (puns are fun).
Actually, all the canister images involve the heroes standing in front of blazes. Maybe our heroes are now fire fighters?
I don't know, I have the sets, not the story.
The back shows two of the heroes, in this case Furno and Evo, and a possible combination of the two, I call Bilvo. One can imagine Leonard Nemoy popping above the canister singing about good ol' "Bilvo! Bilvo!"
Below that are the legal disclaimers that have decided to take me back, even though it was they who were unfaithful. They should be lucky I still love them, but forgiveness was always the way I rolled, so here we are.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
So, this is new. Building Bill's new body isn't hard, it's still rather easy. But it's different, because TLG wasn't kidding when they said Hero Factory would usher in a new "more flexible style" (paraphrased). Some of you took that to mean there would be more posable sets. Which was silly of you.
However, these sets are more posable than the Stars and the Heroes 1.0 were. By a lot. But something else happened. We lost the pins and axles almost entirely. And gained?
A brand new building style. Bill here connects almost exclusively via ball and socket joints. His limbs attach this way, sure. His head? Yep. Extremities? Sure.
But so does his armour.
Yes, his armour is attached via balljoint.
This doesn't make for a difficult build, but it makes for a new and somewhat interesting build. (The first time, anyway.)
The possibilities here are, to put it mildly, intriguing.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Okay, so a brand new building style must mean new moulds, am I right?
Oh yeah. Like, oh yeah. Remember how our little Bill was originally almost entirely new moulds? Well, new Bill is no different.
Oh wait, yes he is. He has even more new molds.
New pieces include:
- New feet mold with the joints fused to the feet (BOO!)
- New head
- New helm
- New head accessories
- New fist with four fingers in the fist instead of three (!!!)
- New weapons
- New shield thing weapons attach to
- New torso
- New torso armour
- New torso armour armour
- New Hero Core
- New upper limbs
- New lower limbs
- New armour v1
- New armour v2
- New socket mould
- The dark blue lightsaber blades might be new. Might. I don't know!
First, let's look at the head.
It has a cleft chin, and is not transparent, which I'm ambivalent towards. It has a built in neck socket like the Glatorian heads, but in a new style. It clicks on and off easier, and I think it won't break like a bunch of Glatorian heads and Av-toran heads did.
It attaches to the helmet and visor thing in a way we've not seen before.
Via minifig-sized pin-holes.
The visor sits in between these pieces, and if you're like me, you'll be disappointed to know that the head and helmet cannot connect without the middle visor accessory.
Also, there's not a single axle hole on any of them.
Next, the new fists.
As you can see, the new hand is smaller than the old one (there was much rejoicing from me!) The hand also has a different socket mould than the Glatorian one, and even more significantly, Bill has grown an extra finger.
The new torso is a big "t" with ball connectors on the ends, on the bottom, on the top, and in the center. They are literally everywhere. I can see this being a fantastic skeleton for many MOCs, though I hope it doesn't become too prevalent. I like originality, too!
The new torso armour attaches to the body via a socket that attaches to the ball in the center of the single-piece torso. The armour armour attaches via pegs like the helmet, and then the hero core attaches via a peg to that.
(Are you getting the feel of this? Everything outside the weapons attaches via peg or socket.)
The new limb armour pieces attach via sockets to the awesome, amazing, super fantastic, innovative, marvelous, brilliant, lovely, gorgeous, overblown adjective, overblown adjective, etc, new limb pieces.
Speaking of which, there are two new limb pieces. Both have a socket on one end, but one has a ball, and the other has a side-ways ball thing that the socket attaches to much like the limb pieces of yore did so that the arms can move at the elbows and legs at the knees. (It's hard to describe that end-part.)
So you may have noticed, we're only at pieces still.
The set itself is a marvel in that it's barely bigger than the original Heroes, yet it possesses all the articulation we were used to in our canister sets, that articulation we all bemoaned losing in the original Heroes and the Stars.
I like this a lot. And I love the new limb pieces, though now I am bemoaning the lack of axle and pin-holes on most of the new pieces.
Seriously, the hardest part of getting BIONICLE customers to get into Hero Factory 2.0 is going to be the perceived incompatibility with their BIONICLE/Technic parts. A lot of AFOLs and other fans saw an incompatibility with Technic, System, and BIONICLE to begin with, and this new wave of Hero Factory sets takes this a step further.
Of course, those who saw those themes as incompatible were dead wrong, and I hope Hero Factor goes on long enough for some of the more amazing builders in the community to show just how wrong those who see this as a problem really are. I know I'm stoked to start MOCing with these pieces.
So, how does Bill 2.0 compare to Bill 1.0?
On one hand, I love the new articulation. I really, really, really love it. But I can't help but feel the standardization of the helmets, with only the visors being different, and the weapons all being super similar, has cost our Heroes some of their individuality and character. Bill's first helmet was super expressive and character-defining. His new one? Not so much.
I'm also glad they ditched the Keetorange for plain yellow here. Very very glad. But that's really just me, because I'm not a fan of Keetorange, really.
Also, really quickly, the sockets are all new. The one regular socket we're used to has even changed, consisting of a different feeling plastic, and looking similar to the last rendition. I'm hoping this means they won't break as often as the old ones did: every socket on my Tahu Stars is broken. Which is weird, since I still have sockets from the Throwbots that are solid as a rock.
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?
Bill here retains the normal points of articulation for a canister set, which have gone back up from the dip they took with the Stars and Heroes 1.0. This is good, and lets him do a lot more to be playable and fun than the 1.0 heroes did. I didn't get too many zany poses photographed (mostly because this isn't the only set I'm photographing right now), but I think these still show it off well.
No launchers, thankfully, we'll save those for the villains, and Bill's weapon here shows he's ready to put out some fires with his companions, and take on some Fire Lords.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Everything, literally, is new
- New building style is innovative
- New limbs are amazing
- Seriously, I love them
- I might cheat on the legalese with them
- (But I won't cheat on my true love with them)
- Articulation is back
- Seriously, this set is super neat
What's not to like?
- Lack of axle and pin connectors
- Going to lead to perceived difficulty in theme compatibility
- Lack of individuality
- Lack of character
- Only one hand piece
In short, you should get on the bandwagon and buy a couple of these new Heroes 2.0. They are innovative, interesting, and set a new bar that the smaller sets couldn't have achieved before. Moving limbs on what are almost Matoran sized sets? Yes please. You don't have to buy all of them (and I wouldn't!), because they lack a lot of character and individuality. But I would definitely recommend Bill be one of those you do. Even if his goggles look silly.
I hope you all enjoyed this review of Furno 2.0 - be sure to thank DeeVee and ask any questions you may have in the Talkback. As I said at the beginning of this story, LEGO has sent us a bunch of 2011 Hero Factory sets, so keep your eyes glued to our front page for even more Hero Factory 2011 reviews and coverage!
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