Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 6:45pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we've got a review of the largest Hero Factory set from this year, 6231 Speeda Demon. BZPower Forum Leader Makaru managed to look past that silly name and will be sharing his thoughts on the set with you all. Read on to see if this is a set worth adding to your collection!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
What do we see here? Lego doesn't waste any of your time trying to make you solve riddles or put together mysteries for an hour. They let you know right out of the gate what you're in store for here; a dashing villain on a wicked sweet motorcycle. This guy just looks all kinds of cool here. He is the epitome of the bad boy. And Lego knows the score, don't be fooled. They get that chicks dig the brooding, loner bit. He's a devil-may-care rebel in this crazy world, looking for someone to show him to love - he just doesn't know it yet.
Off in the background, you see what looks like the ghostly appearance of Stormer XL. What is this guy even doing back there? Preston looks like he lost his 2007 forest green Prius at the local co-op, and he's just dumbfounded at how he's going to get all his organic groceries home in time for that new episode of Cake Boss. But Speeda? He stone cold just does not even care about that. All that matters is the long, lonely road ahead.
On the back, you see Speeda in all his splendor. He just seems to beckon to you to join him for a ride up to the Bucky Burger. Just you and him, the rumble of a free engine and the open road. Do you hesitate? Do you even dare join him? It seems so... dangerous. He's a criminal! Felonious! What would all your friends say when they see you? What would your parents say if they even knew?
The hog, helpfully, displays all two axis of movement. Down the side, you can see the supporting cast in this year's Breakout line-up, oddly neglecting Thornraxx and Natalie for no discernible reason. You're also advised to use the Hero Factory Hero Core to get a whopping 900 game points for the online adventure. I haven't played it yet, but I hear it's fairly neat. Remember to ask your parents/guardians/wish-keepers first!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
I would like to quickly profess my love for Lego's bag numbering system. Speeda Demon comes in two individually marked bags; one for the eponymous rider, and the other for his iron steed. It may not seem like much, especially in this particular set, but it is great for organization. It keeps you from having to root around for that one piece hidden underneath something you won't even need until step 47.
That aside, Speeda Demon himself is not much to write home about. There isn't anything about him that is exceptionally fascinating. He is the standard Hero Factory humanoid build, with the added neck joint. Everything goes together pretty easy, but I didn't feel shorted by the simplicity. Still, even though he is the highest priced set this year, he is also easily the quickest one to assemble. I found it odd that he carries the electrical streamers as a sort of handheld weapon, and that they weren't colourful zap-tassels for the handlebars.
Most of the work involved in getting Speeda together is in the bike, obviously. Even then, there did not really seem to be any moments where I had to backtrack and make sure I had followed all of the steps accordingly. I was rather set aside at how few parts made up the bike - I was sure I had missed a bag somewhere. As the construction continued, it was rather apparent that the bike comprised of seemingly less pieces than it looked. The most complex design was in the handlebars, using an unusual number of the miniliftarms. In comparison to the otherwise conservative build of the bike, it almost seemed wasteful to cram as many elements in there as it did.
It is odd to complain about having too many pieces in a set, I know, but there it is.
The build looks similar to the Furno Bike released a few years ago, but it's altogether misleading. Speeda's bike is far simpler, and quite a bit smaller. But that's not a bad thing! I remember Furno's bike to be just this big mess of parts. Speeda's, however, I think it looks significantly sleeker as a result. But once it was all was assembled, I noticed something amiss. In all the years lego has released bikes, I can't recall a time where they neglected to account for a kickstand, which is one thing they did take from Furno's bike.
I have added a red quaza spike to the preliminary pictures to account. Red, to symbolize shame.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Speeda Demon comes with one recoloured part. Hey, did you like the helmet design that came with Black Phantom? Lego sure hopes you do! It comes in all the larger villain sets this year [excluding Split-Face, each time a different colour. Speeda's is clearly of the lime-green variety, and I'm okay with that. We get a lot of black, and I'm personally not keen on the iron-grey colour. And of all the "put things beside it" method they utilized for all the helmets, I think the swept-back gold horns is the best execution.
As I said earlier, Speeda is pretty much the vanilla humanoid build. He stands just above average height from head-to-toe. Most of his stature can be credited to his extraneous arms and swords. His colouring is phenomenal, going with the reliable black + lime accents adage. However, there is this odd and out of place iron armour piece in his chest - especially unusual since silver pieces of the same mold are used on the bike. He, like the other villains this year, are decently filled out on the available peg locations on the armour. The gold teeth are appealing on the lower legs and arms. He's also filled out on the back, which I hear had bugged people about sets in the past. The unfortunate thing is, for a taller set he utilizes some of the smaller armour. As a result you have these awkward looking gaps behind the chest and about the legs. This can be ultimately fixed by posing him in any one of a few amazing ways. While Speeda is a card-carrying member of the Status Quo Club, he is actually remarkably fun to play with.
The Bike has a few new parts, and a few recoloured accents for good measure.
- Stormer's "drone" piece in purple
- Two of Voltix's energy weapons
- The new 0O0 ball socket connector
- Vintage Bionicle armour piece in purple
- Purple wheel rims
- Six angular liftarms previously not available in this particular shade of lavendery purple.
The purple is really gorgeous. I will not lie. My only complaint is the two really interesting parts only come in quantities of one per set each. from the standpoint of a builder, to do some seriously decent MOCing with these colours, you'd want to pick up a minimum of two sets. That's pretty steep, considering its price tag of generous proportions.
All the other pieces we've sen before, but I want to make mention of the inclusion of 2 of Mark Surge's energy swords from the first wave of Hero Factory.
The bike has an equal number of hits and misses. I feel the oversight of adding a kickstand to be a grievous error. Furthermore, Speeda's legs don't have pedals to brace himself on. There are no connection points at all, his legs just... dangle there. Precariously in front of the rear wheel well. Speeda actually connects to the bike, aside from the handlebars, ingeniously with a ball joint connector to the ball joint in his waist. It's quite secure, and it allows for a decent range of motion. Which brings me to my next point.
Rarely have I been able to look past so many flaws because of playability.
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?
Wordy wordy wordy blah blah blah
Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of all the fun I'm having.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Purple and Lime together at last
- Biker bot is totally dreamy
- Wheeeeeee hahahahaha
What's not to like?
- Construction is boring and dull
- Limited purple pieces
- Nothing really new, piecewise
- Seriously, this guy is almost $50 I mean come on
Nothing about Speeda's style is something that hasn't been done before on any other set and done better. There's no wealth of new or interesting parts not available in larger quantities for a smaller price-point. I almost feel like Speeda Demon was supposed to be a Toys R' Us exclusive at some point, and the deal fell through. It follows all the same patterns as exclusives before it, yet it is an all retail release. But what he does do, he does well. This set meets my satisfaction, and he is actually pretty fun to play with.
And while all he'll ever do is hurt me, he will always be in my heart.
Thanks go out to Bryan for completing this insightful look at Speeda Demon - your should thank him too in the Talkback, and ask any questions you might have as well. And of course, keep checking back here for more Hero Factory and other LEGO reviews and news!
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