Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 7:49pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Third time's the charm, and so today we bring you our third review of one of the invader sets. BZPower Forum Assistant Sisen is back at it again, looking at 44021 Splitter Beast vs Furno & Evo from the 2014 Hero Factory line. Are two heads and two heroes better than one in this case? You'll have to 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.
Just as repairs from the previous incursion events started another kaiju monstrosity has appeared in the city. William Furno and Evo were both dispatched to handle the most recent occurrence. The two heroes assigned to the incident might explain the mixed reports we have received. While there have been claims of only one monster tearing up the city streets, eight to fourteen onlookers claim that there were two monsters onsite. Wait. There is an update coming in via the live feed. It appears that there is a monster that has merged. We have confirmation that there is some sort of Splitter Beast wreaking havoc. Two heads are better than one, and with Evo and William on the case nothing can go wrong right?
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Starting off the build involves assembling William Furno and Evo. The skeletal constructions of the mechanical heroes are no different from the other sets. Each has their own color and helmet design in addition to specific weapons. Building the heroes takes next to no work. They practically assemble themselves.
Next up is putting together the bigger monster out of the Splitter Beast hybrid. Again, once you have assembled a hero or one of these beasts it is not a complex build. Orangey has more pieces than the average beast, so there is more armor and a longer tail. However, the tail bone connects to the... tail bone just like it should.
Up next is the little tyke known as Lil' Blue. While Diggersby - er Jaw Beast - has the most straightforward and simplest design, Lil' Blue rivals that construction. Unfortunately there is not a lot to offer when building up this little guy. There is even less armor than on Jaw Beast, but that does work in Lil' Blue's favor since it can combine with Orangey.
While Orangey can be a set standalone, Lil' Blue would not equate too much of a set itself. The combination they form with Splitter Beast makes a more robust set, and helps bring things together.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The overall set design for Splitter Beast is very good. Color coordination works great and two separate beasts that combine is a great concept. The latter only works so-so in execution though. While Orangey retains most of his head movement, Lil' Blue cannot do much while it is attached. There is not much head movement available, and the legs and arms are pretty much useless while the little tyke is attached. Overall the set is designed nice and it looks cool, but it lacks in execution.
There is a lot of trans orange in this set with the claws on the beast, armor pieces, and even the chain used by Evo and Furno to subdue the creature. The black hand pieces are not new, but they are a nice piece to have to integrate the claws into the kaiju. Additionally, the new feet pieces and claw type points are nice additions. This set is the one that finally delivers on providing two pieces of printed armor.
The cool thing about this set is that since there are two beasts, you get two of the new heads to experiment with. With the construction design the blue and orange can attach to each other to form their own head. However, the coolest part is the two lower black jaws can actually attach. The piece could possibly be used as some form of beak? It might even have potential to be opened up and used as a helm for some sort of creation. Cool stuff.
This is the last time you have to hear about the comic art. Promise. (Though there should not be any need for an apology.) The artwork is featured once again in this set instruction manual, and provides some more cool imagery and visual backstory to the set. WHOOOSH! SNAP! !? RARR! CLUNK! The stylized kaiju beasts and heroes battling is a neat sight to behold.
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?
With two beasts in one there is a lot of playability with just one set. Orangey can pick on Lil' blue to his heart's extent. There is other stuff they can do too such as blinding people with their torn up street light, and using it as a chew toy.
What happens when all four beast get together? FUSION HA! Not exactly... Why is Jaw Beast clamped onto Flyer Beast? Are they a splitter kaiju too? We just don't know.
Evo and William have their hands full with Orangey and Lil' Blue. Two heads are better than one, but that works in the monsters favor too. It does not look like the heroes can handle the two headed monstrosity. However, with a little teamwork they can take this chomper down to the ground.
Adding in the other beasts to play with is a lot of fun. What happens when Flyer Beast pokes Orangey? Well one of the two gets fried Kaiju wings for dinner.
What about diggersby - Jaw Beast - and Lil' Blue? Lil' Blue tries to take a bite out of Jaw Beast, but that is a huge mistake.
All in all there is a lot of playability with the set standalone, but the fun really comes from bringing everything together. If you want a lot of pieces and do not plan on buying a lot of sets then Splitter Beast is your best buy. However, if I was just purchasing one I would stay true to Jaw Beast for simplicity sake.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Fair amount of pieces
- Two Kaiju
- Combo model
- Color scheme
What's not to like?
- Combo model
- Lack of maneuverability in combo
- Clunky combination
What will happen next? We just don't know. Stay tuned for more reviews later this week. Just as a reminder: For everyone in North America the sets will be available March 1st, but should begin to appear in stores everywhere else January 1st.
Watch out for these strange beasts that are appearing, and be sure to snag your combiner instructions!
We're getting closer to the end of the 2014 Hero Factory reviews, maybe... Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this look at Splitter Beast - be sure to thank Sisen in the Talkback where you can also ask questions. And of course, keep checking back for more LEGO reviews and news, right here on BZPower!
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