Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 6:38pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Today, we have yet another Hero Factory review, and this time it's not a Hero. Xccj takes a look at the new beast Fangz. Will he be a worthy creature to add to your collection? Read on and find out.
This round, our Hero Factory buddies are through with battling strangely armored humanoids. No, they're diving into the jungle to face some real critter danger, and no critter is more dangerous than Fangz. With such a unique and creative name, Fangz truly brings fear to the heart of any non-Hero who confronts him. (The Heroes, of course, are not so easily frightened.) Questions still remain; can Fangz be humbled and tamed by removing his tainted Quaza spikes? Can the Heroes hope to survive his brutal attacks? Oh, and is he a set worth owning?
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is the same size as the other Hero Factory villain packages; it's vertical on the front and then horizontal on the back to accommodate the artwork. The front of the package shows Fangz jumping out towards you, ready to rip your arm off. There's some nice jungle scenery behind him, and in the shadows you can see the outline of his pack. There are more Fangzes to be dealt with in this jungle. (Fangzes? Fangzi? Or is Fangz just the name of the individual, and the species is called something else all together?)
The back is also interesting as it shows a rough timeline of the whole jungle story. It starts out with a Witch Doctor skull looking delightfully evil, followed by a Hero getting reconstructed. Then a shuttle leaves the Hero Factory tower and travels to this new planet, where a mighty struggle occurs between Nex 3.0 and Fangz. (Wait, that's supposed to be a jungle planet? But it's hollow and falling apart. There's no way that planet could support such an ecosystem!)
The usual information stuff is still found on the box, like the age range, piece count, and set number on the front. The legal disclaimers have been moved to the sides, which makes the back feel a bit cleaner.
Here's what's inside the box. A couple of bags of parts, the body piece, and the instruction manual. Did you know that the bags the parts come in can be recycled? Yes, save the planet, just like the Heroes, by recycling the unwanted plastic bags and cardboard box.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Fangz offers a slightly new building experience, since he is one of the first quadrupeds to be made using the new ball joint system. Okay, it's not radically different; he's mostly a humanoid with four legs instead of any arms, but he does have an interesting method for positioning his spikes.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Fangz has 55 pieces (along with a spare rod piece). Only a small amount of it is technic, and most of the elements are either new or reused pieces from the new ball joint design.
Fangz has a lot to offer in the way of armor and limb pieces. If you're looking for some new parts, he wouldn't be a bad purchase. What's particularly of interest are the five trans orange armor pieces. Four of them have printing on them, but it's not a bad print design, and I think it could easily be worked into MOCs, and it's nice that you get multiples of them.
Fangz also boasts a few new armor accessories pieces. The black spikes, the long silver spike, and the black-red Quaza spike are all new molds that fit over the new armor pieces, and they will certainly diversify the look of MOCs and more sets to come. Also of note is that Fangz contains two rubbery spears, first found on the 2.0 Heroes. They are a fun addition, even if they do make puny weapons for a critter like Fangz.
The new helmet is, of course, the coolest piece in this set. It's very detailed, and it has a two peg connection like the new Hero animal heads do. But instead of attaching to a head element, this helmet fits over an armor piece, and does so rather nicely. This is the piece that gives Fangz all his character.
Fangz appears to be part wolf, part bear, and part stegosaurus. (An odd combination indeed.) His back legs have an extra limb joint built into them, which gives Fangz a semi-realistic look when you pose him. The spike armor on his front legs is nice detailing, and the row of Quaza spikes on his back in an interesting feature. While his color scheme is a bit convoluted with blacks, grays, and silver, the trans orange really stands out and looks great. (Even the red rods also blend in with the color scheme.) Fangz does make for one dangerous looking beast.
However, he is not without his faults, and I will list them out for you from least annoying to most annoying.
- The back spikes look cool when positioned correctly, but they do tend to shift out of position at times.
- The tail is too short and stubby. It doesn't flow with the rest of the body quite as nicely.
- The feet are reused Bionicle claw pieces; it would've been nice to see something original.
- The back legs feel too exposed, while the front legs look too beefed up. This could either be helped by bulking up the back legs or thinning down the front legs to reach some sort of equilibrium. But they just don't look very proportioned on Fangz as is.
- Fangz's fangs; I'm sure that element is what gives him his name, but man do those spears look out of place. They aren't positioned like fangs, nor are they positioned like horns or tusks. It looks like Fangz has these pikes jutting out uncomfortably from his neck. (Perhaps this is why he's always in a bad mood.) Furthermore, the construction for all this can be easily seen through Fang'z helmet mouth, which makes it look even tackier. Sorry, Fangz, but if you want to be a better set, you're going to need to lose your rubbery-spear-neck-attachment.
But if you can get over some of these nitpicky details, Fangz turned out to be a decent quadruped, which is also a refreshing style after two waves of humanoids.
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?
Fangz has all the articulation points of a humanoid and then some. His head and tail have a fairly free range of motion, and his back legs have an extra joint piece to allow for better posing. The large armor on his front legs can slightly inhibit mobility, but it's not too bad. Even the spikes on his back can move a bit. (But, as mentioned before, this causes them to fall out of ideal positions.)
Thus, Fangz can get into some neat poses for a wolf-bear-stegosaurus. He's certainly built for posing and role playing. He does not have any specialized action features or launcher weapon (those are saved for the larger sets) but that shouldn't stop him from taking on a Hero or two.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Quadruped- refreshing after seeing so many humanoids
- Nice range of motion
- Wicked cool helmet design
- Great selection of pieces
- Trans orange armor pieces!
What's not to like?
- Name not so unique or creative (I was being sarcastic earlier)
- Fangs / spear-neck-attachment looks bad
- Leg armor out of proportion
- Tail is too short and stubby
In the end, Fangz is a decent set with some noticeable flaws, but they shouldn't get in the way of enjoying him too much. If you're a builder, he comes with a decent amount of good pieces. If you're more into role play, he is good for posing and attacking hapless Heroes. If you're into the story… well, I don't know all his abilities, but he's named Fangz, so you'll still have to get over that. He'll probably be a $12.99 USD set, and if he is the only Hero Factory beasts you purchase, you won't be disappointed.
Again, I would like to thank LEGO for sending me this set. I thought Fangz was one of the more interesting animal sets in this wave, and I was delighted to have the chance to review him, and I hope this review was helpful for you, the reader. And we'll have even more Hero Factory set reviews coming up, so keep an eye on the front page. But keep the other eye on Fangz, because you never know when he'll attack!
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