Saturday, February 5th, 2011 at 12:57am by Andrew M, BZPower Reporter
Better, Stronger, Faster, Harder
In only one mere week, BZPower representatives will be scoping out the next wave of heroes and villains in the Hero Factory line of product. But in our current chronology, the 2.0 heroes are still new - and two more still need to be reviewed. To that end, today we bring you the lowdown on that sexy stud of a hero, Mark Surge, in his new, augmented, and enlarged form.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Oh hey look, it's that can again.
Fans of Lego's Bionicle/Hero Factory sets will recognize this design as the one used both for the Stars and the original '1.0' heroes (the latter of which featured the original version of Surge). This can is exactly the same in construction: the only differences are that its lid is orange and its labels depict the news set.
As cans go, it is sturdy and effective, though I still wonder if a cardboard box might keep the price down. I do find the homogeneously-coloured lids to be an issue, however: it makes the sets harder to tell apart on store shelves and I could very easily see a parent buying the wrong set for his or her Surge-loving child easily. I suggest a return to the individually-coloured lids in the next wave, Lego.
Other than that, nothing of note here. Once he was known as 'Mark Surge'...now he is 'Surge 2.0.' And that's it.
THE BRICKS - WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Here's where we start to cut to the heart of the matter. You didn't buy this box for all the glossy booklets & creative artwork. You want to know about the LEGO bricks & bits that are included, and what (if any) new & interesting parts you'll find inside. Here's also where I'll talk about any new and/or interesting pieces that you will encounter.
Holey cheese, is there a single piece in this set that isn't new? The answer is 'Yes, but only three.' The trans-blue 'lightsaber blade,' the limegreen flat spike, and the tan plus rod/pin are the only pre-2.0Hero pieces included in this set - everything else is sweet, beautiful brand-new moulding. Just smell that tasty ABS (warning: do not sniff the plastic. It'll mess up your brain, kids).
And what pieces they are! The 2.0 Heroes introduce a new, modular form of construction for Lego's 'Buildable Figures.' Completely bereft of traditional pin-and-axle connections, the new generation features all-socket-joint armature and armouring.
This definitely will open up new fields of building and other play. Muscles and other more organic traits will be easier to incorporate into MOCs, as well as much easier forms of armour layering. There is also an inherent increase in mobility thanks to all-ball-joint construction, and it will be interesting to see how MOCists take advantage of that. I hope to see transforming MOCs in droves.
Basically, this set in an explosion of incredible, untapped gold in parts.
BUILDING EXPERIENCE AND SET DESIGN
What can you expect while putting this model together? And once it is complete, how does it look?
This was new. Building Surge 2.0 was a breath of fresh air just by virtue of it being a completely new experience in terms of building with Lego. It's totes revolutionary.
That said, it's also very simple. I got Stormer 2.0 at the same time as this fella and built him second, and it definitely lost a lot of the charm the second time around, because the construction is pretty much identical between every hero. The result of this clonism is that you'll be delighted if you get only one but bored after building six.
The specifics of the construction are that you first build a pose-able armature and then armour it with all the blue pieces. The new limbs have ball-joints in their centers to which the sockets on the armour attaches.
As far as design, wow. Just wow. The 2.0 Heroes are everything Bionicle tried and failed to be. They have accurate human proportions, a full range of pose-ability, a quick but still engaging build, and they look really cool.
Who could complain about that?
My only quibbles are, in general, minor. The only big thing is that I object to the design of the head, wherein the 'monocle piece' is necessary to hold the helmet on Mark's head. Since Lego does not manufacture those lightsaber pins in a 2-length size, there is no way to have Mark's head be full and complete without the monocle accessory. Bugger.
Another design complaint is the back of the figure, which is empty and just shows the skeletal armature. This is not very heroic-looking! Especially after seeing how smooth and fantastic Mark looks from the front, this back makes me turn up my nose.
I could say a lot about the construction, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's 4000 words of detail.
Oh, did I mention the new hands have four fingers and don't have that elongated wrist that Pat hated? It's worthy of celebrating.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
Hey look, you can pose Mark in any way and he looks really cool!
Yeah that's all I've got. Without any gear- or lever-driven action functions, or even a projectile gimmick, Surge 2.0 doesn't really do anything. But Bionicle sets stopped doing things in 2006 or so and Lego's direction became 'let's make really pose-able humanoid sets,' so this really isn't surprising. The difference is that Surge here looks good in every pose, and has good proportions. As I said earlier, it's like Lego has finally succeeded in what they've been attempting to do for half a decade. Huzzah. I've heard people who know nothing about Bionicle or Hero Factory see Surge 2.0 sitting on the footlocker I use for a coffee table (guys, I am so poor) and exclaim 'Wow! That is so cool!' Definitely a step up for Lego.
Interaction with other Hero Factory sets is also good fun.
As you can see, Meltdown surprised Mark with a forceful blast from behind here, but Mark struck back!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
I think I'll let those bullets speak for themselves. Surge is a good buy. He's probably not any better than any of the other nigh-identical 2.0 Heroes, but they're also possibly the best canister set Lego has made, design-wise. Pick up a few if you like Legos, Bionicles, or Hero Factory...s.
What's to like?
- Amazing new building system
- New mould motherlode
- Attractive colour scheme
- Full pose-ability
- Accurate proportions
- So much MOCing potential
What's not to like?
- Back is empty
- The head design is a boo-boo
- The line has severe clonism. I'd have liked a little more personality difference between each figure.
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