Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 11:39pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
All the excitement for Bionicle's return next year leads us to the next set review, highlighting the Protector of Stone. Little is known right now about this little guy, but perhaps his transparent neon green limbs and brown armor will make up for that. Read, and watch, on to find out if he blends into the sand or stand out in your collection.
First off, a thank you goes out to LEGO for sending us the next line of Bionicle sets to review for everyone. Not only is the announcement of Bionicle's return exciting, but so is being able to share everything with BZPower.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box itself is a hexagon and made of thinner cardboard than usual, but that is nothing to worry about. The piece count should be noted at 66 pieces since the European sets omit that information from the box. The box art is really cool, depicting some village structures behind the Protector fighting off a Skull Spider. The back of the box shows off some play features like the gatling stud gun, the head fitting the mask and spider, and how he combines with the Pohatu set (seen in a later review). This set retails at $10 USD.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
These new Bionicle sets utilize the bone and shell “CCBS” design originated in Hero Factory, which is a significant change from the ten years of original sets. However, starting off with a torso and adding limbs and armor is nothing new, which looks great. While building, it is easy to admire the blend of old and new pieces, and in the case of the Protector of Stone a new CCBS color: brown! Everything comes together smoothly.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are plenty of new and/or interesting pieces to get excited over here! Brown armor, silver armor attachments, Technic parts, and new limbs, a torso, and a head stand out especially. The staff he holds also contains transparent neon green lightning-like blades, the new gatling gun parts (stuck once snapped together), and a five-length Technic axle with stopper. Plus the dual-color mask looks brilliant!
The design of certain armor pieces make the Protector stand out as a Bionicle figure, new for a new year and away from other previous themes. Bionic-like shell attachments and the staff weapon are an easy giveaway, but the mask is really what stands out. Like the rest of the transparent pieces, it contains trans-neon green but merges with the brown (brown!) to create a groovy, energized look.
The Skull Spider is also a great addition to the set. First of all, it allows for some conflict to occur immediately without having to buy other sets to give the hero something to fight. Second, it just looks cool with its dark blue tone and sickly legs. It also is a mask that can attach to the new head, which will be showcased below....
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.
As mentioned, the Skull Spider provides playability right out of the box (once built). The Protector will have to fight it off to maintain peace, or risk being taken over by its menacing ways. The spider can actually attach to the head as a mask itself! Its claws can then grip the head tight to ensure it maintains control. I am definitely looking forward to seeing just what happens with these little things in the story.
That said, the presence of the spider compared to the size and excitement of the Protector is so minimal I almost completely glazed over it for the review. Not that I would want a larger spider or something more complex, as being able to build an infestation of them would be great, but they are very overshadowed.
If you have watched the video, you can see how well the gatling gun works. Like an enhanced stud-gun found in all sorts of sets this year (like The LEGO Movie and Hero Factory), it shoots off LEGO studs with vigor and precision. Luckily there are plenty of extra studs in the set and probably in your collection.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Bionicle is back!
- Cool mask.
- Enticing colors.
- Conflict value.
- Neat baddie.
- Clever weapon.
What's not to like?
- Can lose studs.
- Small bad guy.
- No back armor.
The Protector of Stone is a nifty little set that enhances the new Bionicle theme. He compliments the upcoming Pohatu set as another brown character and as another villager on the island. While story components are still roughly shrouded in mystery, the set itself is engaging enough. The conflict adds to its value and to ones collection, as amassing an army of Skull Spiders is only inevitable. The new pieces are a welcome addition to any collection. The overall set will be great to have standing next to the other heroes when all collected on display. And most importantly: we have Bionicle back!
These new sets sure are great!
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