Sunday, March 16th, 2014 at 3:01am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Today, you get not just one product review, but three at once! BZPower Reporter xccj looks at the three Electroid Mixels: 41506 Teslo, 41507 Zaptor, 41508 Volectro. Are these yellow mini characters worth the impulsive purchase, or are they just an unnecessary zap to your wallets? Read on or watch the review video to find out for yourself.
From the design of the bags to the instruction manuals, these are the first things you see before building the sets.
These three Mixels came in yellow colored polybags. Theres a big image of the Mixel on the front, and then smaller images of all the series 1 Mixels on the back, as well as an image of the combiner model, Electroids Max. Another neat feature on the front is the clear portion in the bottom left corner where you can see the pieces on the inside. The bags are not easy to open without some kind of blade, so be prepared to grab a pair of scissors when you're ready to get to the contents.
The instruction booklets include a parts count (now a standard), another image of the combiner model (with a hint directing you to the website where you can download the instructions), and a list of the first three series of Mixels. Yes, not just wave 1, but also the rest of the models coming out later this year. It's a nice preview indeed. Finally, theres a code for a Mixels game, although I dont know much about this one yet, so I guess check the website or watch the cartoons to learn more?
Half the fun is had building the sets. How fun are they to build and how easy or challenging are they?
The builds arent very hard or anything; it's very similar to constraction or mecha sets from the past, where you build the torso, head, and then add on the limbs. The benefit here is the utilization of the new mini ball joint pieces, which offer so much building potential. The builds also utilize a lot of SNOT (studs not on top) to get the desired shapes for each of the Mixels. Again, they don't have overly complex designs, but they do a great job of giving them character.
Additionally, Teslo comes with a little surprise; a Nixel figure! The Nixels are apparently small, colorless mischief makers and are out to destroy creativity or something. So they're the enemies, although they could easily get stomped by any of the Mixels. Theres one Nixel for every three Mixels of the same color, and Teslos bag contains the little guy.
Now that the sets are complete, we can critique how they look from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are a lot of good pieces here. There are lots of slopes, cheese slopes, curved slopes, plates, wedge plates, brackets, and clips, all of which are useful for MOCing. Lots of them come in yellow or bright light orange, or as we like to refer to it in the Bionicle Community, Keetongu Orange. Among the more interesting pieces are the Keetongu orange bush piece with Volcectro, the purple/blue electric bolts in Teslo and Zaptor, the ball-joint eye pieces in Zaptor, new tooth plates in Teslo and Zaptor, and the black ice cream cone found with Teslo.
But as interesting as those parts are, the real stars of these sets are the new mini ball joint elements. It's not a radically new design; Lego had these ball joint connections well before the Bionicle system of ball joints, and they were used as vehicle hitches and whatnot. (The old style is pictured on the left in the image above.) But these connections were always loose and never as sturdy as those used in Bionicle. As pictured above, the ball joint itself is relatively unchanged, and can fit in the old and new socket pieces. But the socket plates have been redesigned to increase sturdiness, which now allows for pose-able figures at a much smaller scale. Of the three Electroids, Zaptor is the only one to include the longer piece that includes a ball joint and a socket on it.
Zaptor is the tallest of the three Mixels, and also has the added benefit of having two points of articulation on his legs, whereas the others only have one. His most interesting feature is his tall head with the electric bolt shooting out. The ball joint eyes are also a nice touch, and give him a more cartoonish look. He comes with 61 pieces, including the longer ball joint / socket element.
Teslo is the shortest of the Mixels, whos most interesting feature is his electric bolt tail that he can hold in his hands. He is a Cyclops with a giant 2x2 round tile eye piece, and since his head is on a hinge he kind of has a mouth he can open and close. His legs are pretty simple, but he can't really swing his legs forward and backward due to the restrictive socket piece. He comes with 54 pieces, including the Nixel.
Volcectro seems to be the star of the Electroid Mixels, looking especially cool with his bushy hair. His legs have the same flaw as Teslos, but part of it is made up in his arms, which includes a clip connection at the shoulders, swivel plate elbows, and clipped fingers. Although not as articulate as a ball joint, he has more range of motion with his arms and fingers than any of the other Mixels, and thus can get into some fun poses. He also comes with 70 pieces, the most for the Series 1 Mixels, although a bunch are 1x1 round trans light blue studs that are used on his fingers.
Finally, the Nixel. It comes with a few black pieces, and a printed white tile with its mischievous face. It's not a noteworthy build, but it's a nice extra to include. It is really out of its league here. Maybe a swarm of Nixels could take on a Mixel, but instead it's three on one, and this Nixel is doomed.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the sets. How well do the sets function and are they enjoyable to play with?
The Mixels themselves are fairly pose-able. The ball joints are used for the legs and feet, whereas the arms are mostly clips. This offers less mobility for their arms, which is a bit of a shame. Furthermore, the socket pieces do somewhat limit movement, such as Teslo and Volectro can't swing their legs forward, but merely to the side. It's a slight disappointment, but nothing too major. Still, all the characters can get into some fun poses to show off their quirkiness, although Volectro can get in the most poses thanks to his more articulate arm.
I guess another added benefit would be role play. As with Bionicle and Hero Factory in the past, you are building the actual character, and all three supposedly have different personalities to coincide with their unique looks and abilities. And with their pose-ability, they can be fun to play around with in whatever Mixel adventures you can think up.
But theres one more point of interest to the Mixels; they can be mixed and matched! LEGO seems to be all about the combo builds with these guys, and is heavily advertising how various characters can be rebuilt into newer characters. Two or more Mixels who combine into something useful create a Mix, while if the model is a bit of a mess, they're deemed a Murp. And if three of the Mixels of the same tribe combine, they form a Max. The character combinations seem to be limitless, with the only constraint being the bounds of your imagination. (Which is kind of what LEGO is all about anyway.) However, to give you a push in the right direction, LEGO has provided instructions on how to create many Mixs and Murps on the Mixels webpage. Also included are instructions to Electroids Max, so I took a chance to construct him here!
Electroids Max looks like some kind of electric dragon, in my opinion. His head is a nice design, with lots of teeth, the bushy hair, and the electric eyebrows. His body and limbs are less detailed, where his arms are just swivels and clips, despite some ball joint elements remaining in the leftover pile. He also has a long tail with blue studs on the end. Theres a fair amount of leftover pieces, but all the same, it's a decent model, and provides a good example of the kinds of creations you could make out of the Mixels. Think you could do better... then start building and show us!
Once it's all said and done, how do the sets stack up? Should I get them?
What's to like?
- Great pieces like clips, slopes, brackets, wedge plates, and more!
- Of course, the new socket pieces are also great!
- Great colors with yellow and Keetongu orange
- Well defined and quirky characters
- Lots of MOCing potential
What's not to like?
- Articulation isn't the best for all of these guys
- Slight disappointment that clips were used on the arms instead of more ball joints
- Wait, the Nixel is supposed to be the enemy?
The Electroid Mixels will likely appeal to multiple people. They have great character shapes for users who want a unique figure to play with, in addition to decent articulation for their scale. They're also excelent parts packs, and push the idea of using the pieces to build something new from your own imagination. And at $4.99 USD, they're quite affordable.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend purchasing all three Electroid Mixels if you're just a casual buyer. Indeed, there are multiple Mixels coming out now and in the near future, so you can pick and choose the ones that appeal to you the most, either by design or parts collection. If you're a collector or really want to build Electroids Max, then getting all of them wont hurt, but it's just not necessary for everyone. This is certainly an appealing new theme, and I look forward to collecting more of these characters in the future. I hope this review has also helped you decide if you want to grab a few of these yourself.
Thanks for reading and/or watching. Stay tuned to BZPower for more set reviews, including some of the other Mixels!
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