Sunday, July 8th, 2012 at 11:12am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
The second half Hero Factory sets are available in Europe, and that means BZPower Forum Mentor Gatanui was able to get his hands on some of them to review! First up is 6282 Stringer, everyone's favorite guitarist-I-mean-hero. How does this smaller set stack up compared to current sets and past iterations? Read on to find out!
Please respond, STRINGER! The villains are on the run from the Hero Factory and must be intercepted! To battle some extra-special villains, we've suited you up with advanced amplified armor, sonic speakers, a powerful sonic blaster and hero cuffs. It's time to track those villains down and cuff them!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Stringer comes in the same kind of packaging as the winter wave, although with one notable difference. You can't see it well on the picture as I already cut the top off but at least I didn't throw it away so I could include it in the picture. The summer sets all come with a golden colored top instead of the silver top from the winter wave. It succeeds at setting them apart from the winter wave.
Apart from that, barely anything to remark. The front features Stringer in an impressive pose in front of an impressive yellow lightning bolt-charged background with Voltix. The back features Stringer in another pose, showing off the launcher function and, surprise, actual screenshots from the Breakout game. The parts have been made in Denmark, Hungary, Mexico, and the Czech Republic, for those interested.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
As usual, the building is nothing challenging, but the launcher offers some building never seen before in a small-sized Hero Factory set, including even some technic pieces. Please forgive my not remembering which extra pieces came with the set, although I can assure you there was at least one.
The building is quick and smooth. For some that may be good, for many others that's a bad thing, although the launcher is some more fun.
Here goes the Stringer/Voltix combiner for you.
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 thing to note is the amazing number of pieces Stringer has. With a total of 42 pieces (omigosh), that's more than a small-sized Hero has ever had and it's a huge step up from the 17 pieces Stringer 1.0 had and even the 30 pieces from Stringer 3.0. Having the same price as the former two (in some European countries even a lower price!), that's quite impressive. Granted, many of these are small technic pieces, but it's still better than nothing.
Stringer comes with one new mold, two new pieces and three recolored ones, which isn't too much, but summer waves never tend to have many anyway. No remolded Glatorian heads yet, sorry.
The new pieces are two new armor pieces that are supposed to look like speakers, and they do succeed at that. Great to see Stringer is back to his sonic theme, but more on that later.
These are the recolored pieces. The torso armor in trans-dark-blue with a sonic wave pattern looks simply gorgeous and is wonderful to look at. Fortunately, the dark color means the torso beam is barely visible from the front, so that's one less problem. Speaking of torso beams, I was surprised to see Stringer had a narrow torso this time. Looks like LEGO prefers to go with these on small sets now, with the exception of Surge. The narrow torsos do look better with the new torso armor, too.
Not much to say about the other recolored pieces. A silver launcher top piece and a silver MTIS (multi-tool ice shield) that's also available in Bulk. This should cheer up a bunch of fans, especially those who wish to put a silver MTIS piece on the Hero's backs like they have them in the TV episodes.
This seems like a good chance to address the hollow back issue once again and we will never stop until LEGO fixes it for the small-sized Heroes. It looks as annoying as ever. 'Nuff said.
A design flaw about Stringer is the lack of transparent blue cladding pieces apart from the large torso armor. I'd have loved to see the other blue pieces in a transparent color as well. Another flaw are the dark grey bone pieces on the thighs. A theory for LEGO using differently colored bone pieces for the limbs since the summer sets last year was to avoid having two different bone pieces with the same size and the same color in a set so kids wouldn't mix them up when building. However, he uses the same pieces in black on the upper arms, so having them in dark grey on the legs is just silly. Then again, bone pieces in a greater variety of colors cannot harm either, but I'd love to hear about LEGO's reasoning for this.
Speaking about colors, here comes the obligatory note about the strange change of Stringer's secondary color. It's strange, but it looks good. Apart from the grey bone pieces and maybe the gunmetal speaker armor, the color scheme is very consistent and good-looking. The entire launcher being silver is not even a downside, rather the opposite. Silver is a rare color in Hero Factory.
Let's get to the interesting part of this set, namely the gun. Many of you have already noticed how it's supposed to look like a guitar. It's by no means a perfect guitar and it's most likely not supposed to, but the resemblance is undeniable. It's a perfect addition to Stringer's sonic theme, and that's awesome. I bet, though, that if Smeag had written this review he'd have started complaining that it doesn't look like a guitar at all and about what a real guitar should look like. :P I'm not sure kids will even recognize it as a guitar, but it's not like they'll care about it either.
The gun has a number of problems, though. First, I'm not a fan of the way the MTIS is connected. It's done with a ball joint, which means it can be moved around and it can be hard to keep it in line with the rest of the gun. However, it makes posing easier, and this is where we come to the greatest downside of this set.
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?
The gun is huge and Stringer's arms are tiny. This means it's hard to do a pose with the gun facing front or any good pose at all. No matter how you do it, Stringer will either have to look sideways so he can hold it with both hands or he will have to hold it with one hand in a way that it doesn't look good. We'll be fair, though, and remark that the way the gun was built was a reason to include two fists in this set, and that's definitely good and far from obvious.
Still, Stringer manages to pull off some decent poses, just like any Hero Factory set since last year. The Hero Cuffs are somewhat annoying for playing and poses, but once they stand still, they are alright and a great addition to the set. Both the Hero Cuffs and the launcher are what make this set far more fun to play than Hero sets before this year.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- New and recolored pieces look good
- Transparent blue!
- Decent amount of pieces
- He's Stringer and he's cool
- He has a guitar and he rocks
What's not to like?
- Hollow back still not solved for small sets
- Can be hard to pose
- No remolded Glatorian head
Overall, Stringer comes with all the ups and downsides of previous Heroes, plus some new points for both sides. He's far from spectacular, but for some reason, Stringer always manages to look good, if not one of the best of his wave. Even when he's not orange, which is quite remarkable, although for this set, maybe that's exactly the reason. I mean, who doesn't love huge transparent pieces, after all? And who doesn't like guitars? I think a huge torso armor in transparent orange would have looked weird, but in blue it looks beautiful. So there you go.
You know, I've been hoping to review Stringer for months just to take a picture comparing all three Stringer sets. Like, seriously!
So, overall, should you buy this set? If you're looking for a small Hero of this wave, Stringer may be the one to choose, although I haven't got Nex so I can't judge him. As far as small Heroes of the entire year go, I do own Evo and Surge, but it really depends on preferences. For example, Evo looks more coherent but he's harder to pose. At the same time, Surge may have too much lime green for your taste, but I digress. If you simply love Stringer and guitars, want a silver MTIS or can't get enough of transparent pieces, then Stringer is your choice.
Now please excuse me as I listen to Stringer rocking powered by Voltix.
Rock on, dude! I hope you all enjoyed this review - be sure to thank Gatanui in the Talkback if you did. We have more Hero Factory and other set reviews coming up, so keep checking back right here on BZPower!
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