Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 at 9:48pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Nuju Metru]
We're back with another 2014 LEGO Legends of Chima constraction review. This time Forum Assistant Nuju Metru takes a gander at 70212 CHI Sir Fangar, one of the largest sets in the lineup. Will this saber-toothed tiger make you want a new kitty pal, or will his icy looks freeze your heart? Read on to find out!
Hey guys, and welcome to the BZPower review of set 70212 CHI Sir Fangar from the LEGO Legends of Chima line! As always, I'd like to thank TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff, and thank Andrew for passing some of it on to me. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and BZPower's traditional text/image format - on this model. Is 70212 "cool," or will it melt on store shelves? Let's find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
70212 comes in a big Ziploc bag, as has been the custom in recent years for constraction sets. I'm still not crazy about this kind of package, but as it looks like they're here to stay, I'd better stop my whining about them, and move on to actually examining this one in particular. Much of the design of the front of the bag doesn't need addressing, because it's so routine: the figure included within, Sir Fangar, scorns such petty things as design borders by popping past them; the Legends of Chima Logo, in summer 2014 adorned with icy spikes and a sphere of fire-Chi over the "I," sits next to the iconic LEGO logo on top; a suggested age range and product number can be found on the left-hand side.
What strikes me most about 70212's packaging is how overwhelmingly blue it is. Sir Fangar is mostly neutral hues, but his touches of trans-blue make him a cool-colored set; beside the blue ice energy patterns, blue border and blue logo, the image of the product itself hardly stands out. Admittedly, there's subsequently a great deal of focus drawn to Sir Fangar's red eye and his pink maw, so that might work for some people.
The back of the bag has much more going for it. While the top of the back of the bag is done up in similar hues as the front (once more, a blue logo on a blue background), the lower portion, bearing the routine legalese and advertising a combo ability with 70209 CHI Mungus, is contrasting orange. The highlighted features of the set - that the Chi orb in Fangar's chest can drop out, that his staff can launch a Zamor, and something to do with the spikes on his back (we'll look into play features later in the review) - are in yellow-orange boxes, adding to the color interest going on. Next to Sir Fangar in his alternate pose here, you can see a silhouette of 70211 CHI Fluminox; to what will likely be the disappointment of many a Chima fan, though, there's a little bit of white text at the top-back that tells us that "only one figure [is] included." Bummer. Another bummer I noticed here was that the Sir Fangar head represented on the package for 1:1 scale was, in fact, represented slightly bigger than the real element. False Advertising, boo!
Enough of the package; we care more about what's inside it, so let's get to that!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
70212, being done mostly in the Hero Factory balljoint system, comes together... like a snap (bu dum tsht). Sir Fangar's torso and the end of his staff, though, are constructed more Technically. While taking longer than a smaller Constraction figure, Sir Fangar's build is neither time-consuming nor challenging. It's not unenjoyable, though; I liked discovering the way in which the angles of the spines under his shoulders were achieved, and the slight asymmetries of the finished figure kept things relatively interesting.
As a constraction set, only part - and really, the smaller part - of 70212 is the construction. The rest is in the action: design and play value. Let's look at them.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
70212 includes a couple of fun new pieces and recolors. They are (roughly from left to right):
- Sir Fangar's head (cranium and lower jaw): comprised of two new molds that click together. The pieces are made of multiple colors of plastic; the eyes and teeth are done in tan (and I assume the red next to the irises, and the lilac of the tongue, are printed/painted) Aside from the ball socket on the back of the larger piece, there are no compatible attachment points.
- Cape: made of standard LEGO Constraction cape cloth (the same stuff as we saw on Vezon in 2006). It has an asymmetrical tattered edge, and on the top there are two axle-sized holes for attaching it to the model.
- Zamor Sphere: this one is a color-blend of solid white and trans-blue, which is a combination we've never gotten this relatively archaic piece in before. This is a gorgeous element, and it's too bad the set only includes one.
- Foot part: this mold was new with the Hero Factory
Pacific Rim Invasion From Below sets of earlier this year, and appears for the first time in white here.
- Curved spike: this is a new mold. I'm curious as to why this mold wasn't employed in the previous line of Legends of Chima sets, since it looks suspiciously like it was designed to be an arachnoid leg.
- Torso armor: a new mold, which appears in 2014's line of constraction figures in both gunmetal (as seen here) and gold. There's a round cavity in the upper torso that can securely hold a Zamor sphere. The mold includes some ornate decorations around this niche, giving the new element a legendary, rather than mechanical, feeling, which I think fits the Chima vibe well.
- Printed armor piece: adorned with some draped chains and silver mail, the design looks cold and vaguely medieval (Sir Fangar also hearkens to a feudal vibe). The top half of the armor is sand-blue, which is a rare color to see in Constraction sets.
- Basic Hero Factory system parts in trans-blue: 70212 includes trans-blue limb parts in two lengths (two of the shorter, one of the longer), as well as a hand piece in trans-blue. These are among the most exciting parts the set includes, I think.
The completed Sir Fangar is pretty slick. Broad-shouldered and tall, with a cape, decorative spikes, and a big ice-claw to boot? Sir Fangar is one bad-looking villain who looks extremely good (hah, confusion). The first thing that jumps out to me is how clean and gorgeous the color scheme is. We've known since the Kopaka days that white and trans-blue set each other off excellently; here, with trans-blue given a leading role, and all that paired with gunmetal and black, the end result is just lovely. Villainy, frigidity, and power are all conveyed clearly by the colors; could you ask for anything more in a palette? I couldn't.
The figure is filled well; full armor on the legs, extra shoulder armor, burly frosty/furry biceps, back armpit spikes, and those decorative blue spines on top create a broad frontal silhouette that is cleanly backed up (backed up, ha) by the cape. From the rear, this same cape makes invisible any holes or awkward Technic assemblies that might have detracted from Sir Fangar's appearance there. Being as broad as he is, Sir Fangar feels a little narrow from the side, but this too is salvaged by the way the cape falls on his form. The wonders that a piece of fabric will do, huh?
Sir Fangar's unadorned forearms are able to get away with nakedness by virtue of their transparency; the trans-blue color makes their brittleness look intentional and somehow energized. I like that both hands have trans-blue fingers; on the oversized claw, this continuity is especially pleasing. We saw the exact same (or, nearly the same: here, one of the claw pieces is designated as a thumb by its reversal) design used on 44011 Frost Beast during Hero Factory's Brain Attack wave, but far less effectively; there, it wasn't at the end of a trans-blue arm. The staff held in the other hand is a little bit of a Technic mess, with half-measures of red 2-length axles sticking out all over the place, but the icy prongs happily tie even the chaotic end of the staff into the rest of the set.
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?
Needless to say, Sir Fangar lends himself to all kinds of icy villain poses. I adore all the trans-blue, I do (could you tell?). Friction joint pieces at his ankles and hips make 70212 a very sturdy set, enabling all kinds of dynamic postures (as I write this review, Sir Fangar stands pretty severely tilted on one leg next to my computer!). The set has 21 points of articulation, including its jaw, an extra joint in the neck, and a separate flexibility in the shoulders; because of how they widened shoulders are attached to his torso, they can actually pivot forward and back, making Sir Fangar one of the few Constraction figures in ever (the only other one that pops to mind is Maxilos in 2007) to have the ability to shrug.
Poseability aside, 70212 has three main advertised functions. Let's look at them.
The first feature is dependent on the new torso element we looked at earlier, and as such is shared by all the figures of this wave. The niche in Sir Fangar's chest that holds in that cool color-blended Zamor sphere (orb of ice Chi?) will drop the sphere if the roughly pentagonal button below it is pressed. The Zamor really just drops, with no forward momentum whatsoever. I wish that this feature had been made a little more active, so that it would shoot out a bit more when the button was pushed. Nevertheless, this button was probably just intended to be a release mechanism, rather than a weapon, so I guess it works well in that respect.
The second feature is one I didn't expect, and it involves Sir Fangar's decorative spines. Because of a piece of flex-tubing attaching the pairs of claws to each other, if one claw is flipped down on what turns out to be a frictionless axle, the other one will follow suit. The same thing happens if the spines are down, and one is folded up. I'm reminded of the wing folding/unfolding mechanism on Nivawk in 2004. Though I have no idea why you'd ever want to have Sir Fangar lose his intimidation-spines in favor of what looks like the handle of a basket, it's a working function that adds something to the set at no real cost.
Lastly, there's the Zamor Sphere Zamor Spear. At the end of Sir Fangar's polearm is an old-timey Zamor Launcher. This one is different than those that populated Voya Nui sets in two respects, aside from its placement on the end of a long stick: there's a fourth "claw" built onto the launcher, to hold the sphere in, and the trigger doesn't have a rubbery band to pull it back into ready position after it's been pressed. I have mixed feelings about both these changes. The fourth claw, while allowing the staff a full range of motion without the possibility of losing its sphere (a plus, especially when 70212 only includes one shot), it also inhibits you from loading the launcher without either removing pieces or temporarily bending an axle with pressure. The altered trigger, meanwhile, is subtler without the rubber part, but also now requires conscious action to reset.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Well, those are my in-depth opinions. Let's see how the set stacks up...
What's to like?
- Several new molds and recolors
- TRANS-BLUE LOVE
- Color scheme is brilliant
- Set is well-designed, looks powerful and imposing
- Shrugging ability
- Spine-folding feature works, doesn't detract anything
- Zamor Launcher included
- Exclusivity - doesn't come out in North America (lucky me!)
What's not to like?
- Package is boring and misleading
- Cape is leaned on heavily to hide holes in the design
- Sphere-drop feature is boring, only one sphere included
- Modified Zamor Launcher, with only one shot
- Doesn't come out in North America
70212 CHI Sir Fangar is a lovely set. Cast in icy hues, with a broad and threatening silhouette (and a cape!), he looks and feels solidly like a villainous leader. There are several new and pretty pieces included in this set, notable among them trans-blue Hero Factory system limb parts and a color-blended icy Zamor sphere. Aside from a few play feature disappointments - which aren't very substantial, anyway - this set leaves very little to be desired. I'd strongly recommend 70212 as both a display item and a useful parts pack.
Big Black Capes (BBC): a must-have for any self-respecting villain.
To find out how you could win a FREE COPY of this set, watch the video review. Thanks for reading!
Thanks everyone for reading and watching, and thank you to Nuju Metru for taking the time to do this review. Any questions or feedback can be left in the Talkback thread. Don't forget to keep checking back on BZPower for more Legends of Chima constraction reviews and LEGO news!
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