Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 9:08pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we take a look at another Hero Factory set - 44000 Furno XL. BZPower Forum Leader Makaru has picked up this larger set from 2013 and has decided to share his thoughts with you all. Should you add this extra-large hero to your squad, or is he better left warming a peg in the store? Read on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
It was a night unlike any other. We find our factory district covered in a dense green fog - almost of pea soup. It is most eerie to the common man. Suddenly, in the shadows, a large shape skitters by! The fog chokes out anything definitive. What is this mysterious creature? Will our streets be safe again? And what of this tall, brash looking fellow!
Furno is this year's lottery pick for the XL Hero treatment. Instead of a large box, however, Bill is packaged in the bags we've come to know of our small and medium Hero Factory builds. The creepy, b-movie-esque BRAIN ATTACK logo adorns the upper margin on the front of the package, the Hero Factory banner on the left, and the usual Lego Legal on the bottom left. Bill is prominently featured front and center in all his BURNING JUSTICE.
When we flip that package turn-wise, we get a sight not seen in many a year! Instead of just being a page hidden in the instruction manual, we see Bill and his combiner buddy Pyrox. I missed the combo builds, so this is a welcome sight for me. And better yet, from the looks of the sets this year, each combo build has been colour-coordinated. I think it's a nice touch, and makes the result just a tad bit more palpable.
We also see a little picture center left that shows Bill's flip visor in action. And of course we get the reminder that those Hero Cores contain more than just the sum power and mind of our heroes, but also a code to use online. Bill's core is worth a whopping 1000 points. We are also given a little logo reminding us of Lego's Brain Attack app available from Apple. Check it out if you wanna see yourself get Brainificated.
The instruction manual for the most part is the same as always, but with one little gem I had not seen before since the days of Fabuland; there is a blurb about sorting your pieces for easy building, as shown by one of the happiest LEGO men I have ever seen. Look at that guy! He's having the time of his life putting Bill Furno together, even if he's doing it entirely wrong with only half the pieces.
Go get 'em, little guy!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
When I first saw the image of Bill online, I was underwhelmed. For being a Hero XL, he looked... simple. Unfinished. Basically, just a taller version of the garden variety hero. Putting him together, he's...
...well, the torso is actually quite a bit more detailed than I had guessed. It's actually fairly well shaped. There's quite a bit of cool piece interaction that gives him substantial torso bulk. His arms did not connect in any way I would have anticipated, instead mounting behind the normal ball joints. These joints are used for his nifty chest armour.
The problem is he falls rather flat on the legs. While they do boast a whopping three ball socket extenders per leg, the legs are built exactly like every hero leg since 2.0. There's no innovation. There's no style or flair. There's just the same legs we've been getting for years now.
I can't help but consider Bill XL to be a subtle nod to our favourite firespitter, Tahu. Carrying not one, but two of his iconic weapons. The fire shield is comprised of two halves with some decent flame deco adorning the sides. The fire sword is more of the same. Both bring a great deal of style and colour to the set.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Bill features an interesting assortment of new set pieces. As we've seen in previous reviews, the "skull" is an entirely new mold, reminiscent of the featureless Inika heads, straying away from a "face under the mask" approach. The helmet/mask is also a new mold, which quite clearly harkens from Bill's previous designs. The visor is a printed piece, and fits perfectly over the mask as you would imagine.
The shield and sword pieces are also new for this year. The shield pieces are identical to each other. Unfortunately, both Furnos I purchased suffer from the unfortunate "curved" blade defect that we had with the Ninjago line of swords. It's not too pronounced, but it is there. Bill also comes with three of these amazing new "BLAZING" fire pieces. These are pretty much the best fire pieces we have gotten of this size since Tahu's original fire sword.
Bill also comes with this SWEET CAPE. Unlike capes of the past, this cape uses two peg holes instead of one "neck" hole. I can see this being used quite well in the MOCs of the future. One side of the cape is very soft, and the other side is quite a bit shinier, almost as if it is laminated.
Like I mentioned above, Bill's design pretty much peaks in the torso. There are a lot of cool shapes and designs that make him look strong and intimidating. The weapons are also decently thought out, and give Bill a sort of regal knighted look. The arms and legs, I think, do a disservice to the rest of the build by being vanilla.
I want to take a bit of time to say I appreciate the effort that went into the Masks this year. Seeing a remade character is nothing new to to fans of Bionicle, who have seen many iterations of some their favourite characters. But outside of Takanuva, I can't quite recall any redesigns that harken as much back to their predecessors as the Hero Factory sets this year do. Some of them may not be the best designs, but I think the thought really does count.
One last thing; the colour scheme. This is some of the best balancing in colours I've seen Lego do for a Hero Factory set of this size. The silver core, the red armour and the iron accents; it all looks evenly distributed and it's very pleasing to the eye.
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?
While the simplicity of the legs take away from the overall look of the set, they come back in full for poseability. The limb extenders are notoriously stiff, but in a set as big as Furno, it makes him sturdy and reliable. You can put him in all matters of poses.
But aside from the flippy visor and the wide range of motion, Bill doesn't really have much going for him. Yeah, I'm glad we've gone a year without the ball shooters. But is nothing really the only option we have? Give me a disc shooter. Gimme a brain remover. Gimme something INTERESTING to do.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- BURNING JUSTICE
- Colour scheme is very balanced.
- Great for posing
- Wealth of new and interesting pieces
What's not to like?
- Vanilla Hero build from the waist down
- Aside from posing, not much to do with him
This is one of my favourite sets from the Hero Factory line, despite his flaws. Bill looks good. He's filled with BURNING JUSTICE. Hahli Husky told me to use a bunch of Japanese words to describe him, but I forgot them all. Kawaii? Is that a thing he is? Of course she's offline while I'm writing this.
Yeah, let's go with that. Bill Furno is super happy fire robot kawaii. *Thumbs!*
And there you have it - everything you ever wanted to know about Furno XL but were afraid to ask. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to thank Makaru in the Talkback as well as ask any questions you may have. Don't forget to keep checking BZPower for more LEGO reviews and news!
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