Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 8:13pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
The Bionicle 2015 set reviews keep coming! This time I take a look at 70782 Protector of Ice, one of the small sets from next year's first wave. Should you pass over this set on your way to pick up all the Toa, or is this little guy still a worthy addition to your collection? 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.
The front of the box is very similar to that of Kopaka's. We see the Protector of Ice fighting off skull spiders with his saw and gatling launcher underneath the Bionicle logo. I really like the architecture in the background and look forward to learning more about Okoto and its denizens who live there.
The back is lacking the alternate artwork and comic of the larger sets, and instead focuses on the features. You can see the mask-launching function, the skull spider latching onto the face, the gatling launcher, and a to-scale image of the mask. Along the right they let you know that the protector can combine with Kopaka to power up our hero. Legal text takes up a lot of space on the bottom, but I guess that can't be helped. Like the other sets we've looked at, the packaging is made out of a thinner cardboard than usual and the labeling indicates that it is designed to be more environmentally friendly. Nothing wrong with that!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is pretty straightforward for anyone who has put together a constraction set before. The weapons feature a good bit of Technic, which is definitely welcome and helps mix things up a bit. Still, you won't be spending a long time putting this set 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.
For a $10 set, there's a lot of pieces in here. White and trans-light blue are the primary colors, with silver, black, and dark grey all making appearances as well. It's a pretty decent variety and will definitely help augment your collection.
The piece that's sure to stand out the most is the mask. Dual-injected with white and trans-light blue plastic, no two versions will be exactly the same. I like the look and think it definitely has a 'primitive' or 'tribal' feel despite its icy coloring. The prongs coming out the top seem very decorative and make me want to know about Okoto's culture.
We've already seen the skull spider mask and the new head, but in case you missed it - the former has five bars where the legs can clip on and it looks suitably evil. The new head is not compatible with the old masks, but has a definite robotic look and a spot carved out for the eyes. Speaking of the eyes, they come in trans-light blue here and fit into the head perfectly, enabling the play feature that we'll show off later.
The new gatling launcher is pretty fantastic. The six openings around the perimeter can accept the stud on the top of a 1x1 round plate. The middle hole is designed for the new yellow piece, and once you pop it in, good luck getting it out again. The back of the launcher has two Technic pin holes for attaching it onto things, which is pretty conveniently. Overall it's nice and compact and doesn't look too crazy, which makes it a great design in my book.
This set also includes the new armor piece in white, which we saw previously in Kopaka. I really like the ridges and pistons the designers incorporated into it and definitely think it hearkens back to some of the original Bionicle designs. The new claw piece is pretty cool and definitely has a spidery feel to it. I'm sure it will see a lot of use in MOCs. Finally, I'm not sure if this is new or not, but the set includes a Technic pin spacer which is awesome. It's a really simple part but I can think of so many times when one would have come in handy in the past.
Once assembled, the skull spider takes on a life of its own. It's creepy and crawly and has a sinister look to it. If you saw one crawling around your house you'd definitely step on it first and ask questions later. It's really effective even though it's so simple.
Finally we have the protector itself. Once assembled, this is a pretty cool looking set. I was a little unsure at first about the proportions, but they really work well I think. The color scheme is very effective, with the white and trans-light blue complimenting each other effectively. The silver feet stand out a bit and I think I would have preferred those in white, but it's a minor complaint.
Another thing I like about the design is how solid it is. Taking advantage of the three-length Technic beams with a ball joint, both the front and back of the torso are armored and bulked up enough so the protector doesn't look emaciated. The positioning of the armor on the arms and legs keeps things from looking gappy there too. Speaking of the arms, it would have been nice if there was elbow articulation, but I don't see how they could achieve that while still keeping the proportions and the armor. It definitely looks cool standing posed on your desk, so props to the designers.
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?
Like all the Bionicle sets that feature the new head, when you push down on the eyes the mask pops off. It's a simple mechanism that works pretty consistently. Once the mask is removed, the skull spider is able to hop on, taking control of the defenseless protector.
But all is not lost! The new gatling launcher is super effective. As I mentioned earlier, 1x1 round plates fit into the dark grey piece. The yellow piece spins around on an axle and has a little notch in it. When the notch comes in contact with the round plate, it shoots it out with a good bit of velocity! Knowing that kids (and adults) are bound to lose some ammo, they even include six extra round plates. I like that they use readily available ammo, unlike many past launchers, and also gave it a really compact design that can be adapted into creations easily. It's also cool that the smaller set gets the launcher instead of the larger ones like we have seen in the past.
Finally, the saw blade can spin around, so the skull spider had better watch out that it doesn't get chopped in two!
With eleven points of articulation, the protector is very poseable. The armor doesn't really restrict the range of motion, except perhaps for the head a little. I like that you get a very flexible action figure but that the play features don't get in the way of it.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- More Bionicle!
- New gatling launcher is awesome
- Nice color scheme
- Good proportions
- Conflict in a box
- Variety of play features
- Saying Bionicle is back is never going to get old
What's not to like?
- Feet would have looked better in white
- No elbow articulation
- You're going to lose a lot of 1x1 round plates shooting off the gatling launcher
The Protector of Ice is definitely a cool little set. At $10 for 62 pieces, I'd say you get a pretty good value, with lots of action features and role play possibilities. It's definitely a good entry point to the Bionicle line if you don't feel like shelling out the big bucks for one of the Toa.
I hope you all have enjoyed this review. Thanks so much to LEGO for sending us the sets to take a look at. As always your questions, comments, and feedback can go in the Talkback where I'll do my best to reply. We still have ten more Bionicle 2015 sets to review, so keep checking back on BZPower for those and all the latest LEGO and Bionicle news!
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