Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 2:56am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
The third wave of Mixels is starting to hit stores, so it's time for another BZPower set review. BZP Reporter Xccj managed to grab the three Mixels from the tan Spikels tribe, including 41521: Footi, 41522: Scorpi, and 41523: Hoogi. Should you claw your way through the crowd to get your hands on these, or are they best left in the dust? 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.
The Spikels Mixels come in the now-recognizable Mixel bags. Funnily enough, their bags are silver colored, which is odd because their primary color seems to be tan. Perhaps the silver draws more attention than tan would? Either way, the front showcases the bag's Spikels Mixel, with a clear portion in the lower left corner to see some of the pieces inside, and a cartoon version of the character in the upper right corner. The back of the bags also shows off the Spikels Max character you can build, as well as the rest of the Mixels in the third wave.
The bags are pretty tough to tear opened, but yield easily to scissors or a knife. Inside each bag, you get another bag for the parts and the instruction booklet. The instructions include a code that can be used in the online game, as well as a checklist of all twenty-seven Mixels in the first three waves. (Unfortunately, there's no teaser for the fourth wave of Mixels here, so I guess we must wait until next year for those.)
The Spikels contain a lot of pieces in tan and dark tan, the latter of which is a relatively rare color. While none of the pieces are new or exclusive, a bunch are fairly rare or only come in expensive sets. The Spikels also contain a lot of parts, with a higher count than most of the other Mixels. Footi has 72 pieces, Scorpi has 70 pieces, and Hoogi has 69 pieces. Additionally, each has a fair amount of extras too. They undoubtably make for good parts packs.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Although the Spikels have some of the highest piece counts among the Mixels, a lot of that comes in smaller pieces like spikes. The construction of each is fairly straightforward, with the build focusing more on their limbs, so you see less SNOT techniques on their bodies compared to previous Mixels. Still, the posable limbs and plethora of spikes and cheese slopes make them all unique characters. The builds are nothing complex, but they still result in good figures!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
First is 41521: Footi.
Footi is yet another long-legged Mixel, and he has the spiked feet to live up to his name. He's easily the tallest of the Spikels, and probably one of the taller Mixels in general. He comes with 72 pieces, which I believe is the most for any individual Mixel. Among his useful pieces are dark tan and trans black cheese slopes, silver spikes, a few tan SNOT bricks, and the 1x1 round tile eye piece.
He has a couple of nice features with the Mixel joints. First, his legs use two of the ball-and-socket joints pieces each, giving him a delicious three points of articulation per leg. Secondly, they use the balljoints on his hips rather than the sockets. This is important because socket hips restrict forward and backward movement, and has been the design used on most of the other humanoid Mixels. The ball joint hips give Footi a much wider range of motion. Sadly, his arms follow the standard procedure of using clips, so their motion is fairly limited.
Of the Spikels, Footi is the only one with a movable jaw, which gives him some more personality at times than his comrades. Plus, his big mouth and long legs, when bent, give him a sort of frog-like look, which is neat. His main weak spot is his head spikes. Their connection to a 2x2 dark tan jumper is fairly loose, and they keep falling off the model at the slightest whim. But besides that, Footi is a fun guy who's full of character and plenty posable on top of that.
Next is 41522: Scorpi.
I was personally a little hesitant about Scorpi, seeing that he has few of the new ball joint elements, but fear not, for in the end he is a great little guy! Scorpi comes with 70 pieces, and among the more interesting ones are the tan clip pieces, the 1x2 curved slope in silver, cheese slopes in dark tan and trans black, the 2x2 round eye tiles, and silver spikes in two sizes.
You can tell from his name that Scorpi is probably supposed to be based off a scorpion, and some of his attributes attest to that, from his eight legs to his long tail. But his head is not scorpion-like at all (not to mention his lack of pinchers.) His head is roundish and connected to his body via a rod, which lets it rotate freely. And it is ADORABLE! The look on his face just makes you want to snuggle him, spikes and all! Most credit should probably be given to his large puppy-dog eyes, as this is the first time a Mixel set has included two of the 2x2 eye tiles.
In addition to the head, he has his eight short legs. They're not the best at holding him up, but if you position them right you can get the right balance. One odd bit is that six of his legs utilize black spikes, but two use silver spikes. His tail has three points of articulation; two are clips and the one connecting to his body is a joint. The use of the joint gives the tail a surprising amount of articulation, and while it's not really long enough to strike things in front of his head, it's easy to pose it around. However, the head and tail are both fairly heavy, and for the body to remain upright they need to be positioned to balance each other out.
In the end, Scorpi has some odd bits to him, but they come together to form a decent character who looks like he wants to cuddle. . . even if that look is just to lure you into a false sense of security before he strikes.
Finally, we have 41523: Hoogi.
Hoogi is all about his arms, and they do a great job of giving him personality. He comes with 69 pieces, the most interesting ones of which are cheese slopes in tan, dark tan, and trans black, silver spikes, tan clip pieces, and the ball joint eyes.
While we've had Mixels before that come with long legs, Hoogi is the first to come with long arms. They use the socket and ball joint piece to extend them, giving each arm two points of articulation. In addition to that, each hand also includes three clip fingers that end in spikes, giving him rather articulate hands. This allows Hoogi to get into a lot of expressive poses with his arms, a feat that most of the other Mixels can't pull off!
Hoogi also includes a single ball joint connection for his legs. Unlike Footi, his hips use the socket pieces, which is quite standard for humanoid Mixels. This means while his feet can rotate or move side to side, the socket element blocks them from moving forwards or backwards. It's unfortunate, but instead of relying on his feet with limited mobility, Hoogi can instead just to a handstand. (Funnily enough, his shoulders use the ball joints, so he doesn't have the same limitations with his arms.)
Hoogi also includes a Nixel. As a refresher for Mixel-lore, the Nixels are the uncreative baddies, or something to that effect. They're kind of small and seemingly harmless, so they look like pitiful enemies, but maybe those looks can be deceiving. Sadly, the Nixel designs aren't changing with the series, and this guy has also appeared with the Electroids and Fang Gang Mixels.
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?
The three Spikels characters are very posable and very expressive. The joints and clips give them a lot of great poses, and it's fun to play them off each other. Footi and Hoogi are especially contrasting, with one focusing on legs and the other arms. The colors all mesh together well, with the tan and dark tan mixing in with the gray and silver elements. This Spikels have personality to spare, and I think they're one of the best Mixel tribes so far!
Still, when you've finished building these three, you're not done there. The Mixels are all about creativity and combinations, and to help inspire you, LEGO has provided alternative instructions to build the Spikels Max here.
The build isn't really anything special. Rather, it takes advantage of building a single creature with the arms of Hoogi and legs of Footi. The body is rather basic, however one neat design is the round 2x2 eye tiles, which now have a center connection point, are attached to a single SNOT stud. This means that the tiles can freely rotate to position the eyes, which is a nice touch.
The final product, however, is a tad creepy. Scorpi may have looked cuddly with evil intentions, but the Spikels Max looks downright disturbing from the get-go. I think he closely resembles a swamp monster, and his scariness is enforced by the plethora of spikes on his hands and feet. The designers certainly created an impressive character here; I just hope he doesn't give all the children who build him nightmares. (Imaging him sitting on your nightstand after you build him, just watching you as you go to bed! OooOOOoo!!) Articulation wise, he has the benefits of the Mixels that make him with very posable arms and legs. However, his ankle connection is a bit off, as the leg tends to hit the foot and knock off the cheese slopes. This bit can also make it difficult to angle the joint, which in turn can make it difficult to balance him on his two feet. Maybe it's good that he has a weak ankle; that way he won't be very fast when he chases you and you might still have a chance to get away!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Useful pieces, from the joints to the spikes to elements in tan and dark tan
- Footi and Hoogi have very posable feet and arms, respectively
- Scorpi has decent mobility in his tail
- Not to mention Scorpi's adorable eyes
- All three are very expressive, especially Hoogi with his arms and hands
- Spikels Max design is also very expressive
- Only $4.99 USD each with decent parts count
What's not to like?
- Footie's head spikes tend to fall off easily
- Scorpi can be somewhat difficult to balance
- Hoogi has the restrictive sockets-for-hips design
- Spikels Max has a weak ankle connection
- Spikels Max character is creepy looking!
- You just HAVE TO buy all three. . . and the rest of the Mixels while you're at it
I've said it before, and I'll say it again; the Spikels have character! Footi and Hoogi are extra expressive thanks to their lengthy limbs, and Scorpi's head is quite adorable too! The tan colors and spikes give them a fairly unifying theme, and each individual set is totally worth it for the figure! I would easily recommend all three of these Mixels, but just be wary of the scary Spikels Max!
Thanks again for reading this BZPower set review. Stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO news and set reviews, including a look at the rest of the Mixels!
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