Sunday, April 28th, 2013 at 4:43pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Galaxy Squad member Chuck Stonebreaker was patrolling the asteroid on foot when suddenly he gets attacked by a giant bug. But this member of the Green Squad isn't going to just back down, so he charges towards it with just his trusty blaster. This is the story of Galaxy Squad polybag Set #30231: Space Insectoid. Should you snatch this grub up, or toss it back to the hive? Read BZP Reporter Xccj's review in the Talkback Topic to help you decide.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
I don't normally review polybag sets, but this one was too cool not to show off. The front of the bag gives you a preview of the awesomeness; the green Galaxy Squad fig is facing off again a flying brick-built bug. What more can you ask for? Also interesting on the front is the Galaxy Squad logo, which shows a ship in the middle that splits in two, which is a neat design that I hadn't noticed until I picked up this set.
The back of the back mostly has the legal information written on it, but there is a clear bar down the middle that lets you see the package's contents. Using this space, you could attempt to try and build the entire set inside the polybag, known in the AFOL community as Bag Builds. It can be a bit tricky and time consuming, but it's a fun activity if you really want to challenge yourself. But enough about the bag; most of us want to get straight to the contents.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is straightforward and fast. But since this is a polybag set, you can't expect much more from it. However, for the few pieces it has, it does utilize some nice SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques and other nice designs. In particular, the dark red coupling plate is placed in a way where it fits snugly and overlaps the tile wings, which adds stability to the design a bit. It's not a new concept breakthrough, but it shows that some thought certainly went into designing this small 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.
This set comes with 27 pieces, as well as a few extras of some of the smaller elements. The colors vary, but in general the bug is lime green and dark red, which make for a nice, contrasting color scheme. Of particular interest is the 1x4 trans neon green tiles that make up the wings, because this is the first time this piece has ever been produced in this color. I'm sure it'll appear in future sets, but it's interesting to see a piece introduced in a polybag set.
The minifigure included here is Chuck Stonebreaker of the Green Squad. He also appears in the more expensive Vermin Vaporizer set, and will also show up this summer in the cheaper Crater Creeper set, but he's still a cool fig. He has a detailed torso (printed both sides), leg print, and a double sided head, with a bearded grin on one side and a face mask on the other. He also has the new style space helmet, which is appearing in green for the first time. The green is actually the new shade called Bright Green, which is different from the shade of Classic Green (or as Bionicle fans may know it, Lewa Mata Green.) Bright Green has appeared in some sets like the constructible Green Lantern or the City Garbage Truck. It may not be easily compatible for Classic Green, but it works nicely with the light grey on Chuck.
Next up is the bug. It's not the most appealing bug ever, and it doesn't have quite the same realistic look as some of the larger bug sets. But considering the size, it has a pretty amazing design. It has legs, pinchers, wings, and even a tail, which is all nice detail. I personally have a problem with the width / height proportions, since the bug feels like it's a plate too tall. But I can overlook this because it is just so well designed otherwise, considering how few parts it uses. This insectoid is sure to give Chuck a run for his money.
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?
To be honest, one thing I don't expect much from in polybag sets is playability. But this set has a decent amount to be worth it. First off, it has plenty of role-play potential. Chuck has to face off against this bug on foot, and they're about evenly matched, so there's no clear winner here. Furthermore, the bug even has a moveable tail and moveable wings (which are held in place by the dark red coupling plate, making movement possible without accidentally snapping off the wing piece itself.) And the bug is also swooshable, which is a necessity for any flying vehicle or creature. There's even an easy grip on the tail to allow you to fly it around and attach Chuck.
Now, if this were anything like Bionicle, then Chuck would be able to master the Insectoid and tame it, thus giving him a steed to ride into battle. There's even room for him to sit atop the bug! Will he fly on this bug through space, or is that seat reserved for one of the other bug figs from the theme? You decide!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Chuck Stonebreaker is awesome
- Bug has a nice design for such a small set
- Trans Neon Green 1x4 tiles are new
- Includes two opponents who are about evenly matched
What's not to like?
- Bug seems a plate too tall
- Chuck's color is Bright Green and not Classic Green (Well, that's a con for me)
- Availability is likely limited compared to other Galaxy Squad sets
Overall, this is an excellent example of what all polybags should strive for. It's a descent representation of the theme, and allows for the same kind of playability and building design as the larger sets, just on a smaller scale. Furthermore, it is totally affordable, so if you can find it in stores it should be listed at impulse prices. I believe that this polybag should be available within ToysRUs stores in the United States and Canada, and I'm sure it'll make appearances elsewhere. But at the same time, it probably won't see a wide distribution compared to the other sets in the theme. If you get the chance to pick this set up in stores, you should totally go for it! (But beware of buying it on the secondary market, because prices will surely be increased.)
That's it for now, but stay tuned to BZPower for more set reviews and LEGO news!
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