Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 1:04pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Here it is, the moment we've all been dreading. Today marks our last review of the 2015 Bionicle sets (those that we know about, at least). Blog Leader DeeVee has taken a look at 70783 Protector of Fire and is ready to share his thoughts on the set. Will this set make use of the cash burning a hole in your pocket or will you pass on it like a hot potato? Continue on, dear readers, if you'd like to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
As we've established by now, the new Bionicle 2015 sets come in thin, hexagonal, cardboard boxes. The Protector of Fire is no different! The "LEGO Bionicle" logo is front and center, with the Mask of Creation in the top right. The Protector of Fire is posed in the most exceptionally awkward pose possible, with his weapons splayed out and his lack of arm articulation already making itself apparent.
The skull spider is jumping to attack the Village of Fire you can see in the background, but luckily the PoF is there to stop it!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Out of all the Protectors, the Protector of Fire has one of the more interesting torso builds. Utilizing the small HF torso bone, the set then uses some Technic construction to build new shoulders. This is pretty similar to the way the Toa sets utilize the Technic backpacks, but the Protector of Fire doesn't leave the original shoulder joints open. Instead, he opts for a beefy, thick look with HF shells covering them. The new shell add-on works well as a torso shell, nearly recalling the old Toa torsos from 2001. It's a nice touch!
The rest of the build is fairly standard, with the shoulder-mounted stud-shooter and limbs.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The Protector of Fire comes with a smattering of interesting parts. Amongst them:
- The Protector mask in red and trans-yellow. This blend gives the mask a neat, fiery look, and the blend will be unique for each mask.
- The Skull Spider in the pastel yellow-green.
- The new Skull Spider legs.
- The new armour add-on in silver.
- The trans-orange number 4 HF shell, only available prior in the non-North American Chima 2014 sets.
- The new head and eyestalk in blue.
- The honeycomb-like stud launcher in grey with the yellow insert. Once put together, they don't come apart. Be aware!
- The neat small double-Technic axle connector at a 90 degree angle.
- Trans-orange fists.
The Protector mask is gorgeous, though the open lower head is a lot more obvious in person than in renders or photographs, and I find the exposed near-grimace slightly distracting and awkward. The mask does bear a slight resemblance to Jaller's 2007 mask, but I think it's just that - slight. In person it's a lot less noticeable.
I really like the looks of most of the Protectors. They have a lot of the personality of the best generations of Matoran, but with the articulation and style of the CCBS system, merged with the new 2015 Bionicle aesthetic. I love that.
BUT I don't know if I think the Protector of Fire is finger-licking good. Without elbows, I'm not sure he could even lick his fingers!
The neat torso build comes at a big cost - the gap between the shoulders, with the Glatorian neck part, and the shell on the chest, is awkward and too apparent. The trans-orange for both limbs, but red on the torso and mask, and then trans-yellow on the mixed parts, just looks unbalanced and weird. The distribution is messy and I don't like the final result.
The shoulder-mounted stud-shooter is glorious, and the shooters work marvellously! Seriously, this launcher is everything a LEGO toy launcher should aspire to. It's small, stylish, and shoots easily-accessibly ammo. It's a great part, and I'm glad to see it!
But travelling down... The wrist connection is a no for me, but that's the least of the limb worries. Let's be frank here - the lack of an elbow and the use of the small bones for his upper legs is awful. The Protector of Fire has some of the worst articulation out of all six small sets, and it shows. He's incredibly hard to pose, and you can see this reflected on the box, too. I just really don't like this.
He's just really difficult to pose. And the weird way he holds the weapons really doesn't help. What are they supposed to be? Swords? It's a swing and a miss.
He comes with a skull spider (the same one as Tahu), which we've been over quite solidly by now. The skull face is amazing, and the green colour is sickly and creepy looking, and all of this is perfect. I love the re-molded HF claws, they add just enough character to 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?
Like the Toa, the Protector of Fire comes with a skull spider that can take over the set. Just like with the Toa, and especially because of his deeply-set-in neck, the lower legs do not fold around the head.
As mentioned above, he's hard to pose in any dynamic way, as the awkward weapon placement combined with the poor limb designs doesn't lend itself to much visual interest. I love the design of the mask, it looks beautiful, and the knocking-off function works great on this set. The stud-launcher is fantastic. I can't talk enough about how much I like it.
There is one other thing, of course.
If you have both the Protector of Fire and Tahu, you can give Tahu the Protector's weapons to make the powered-up form of Tahu. Basically this involves putting both gold swords in one hand, removing a shoulder pad and replacing it with the stud-launcher, and then giving Tahu the flame pieces in one hand. This actually looks pretty cool, even if it is one of the simplest power ups out of all the sets. I like the visual, almost like his fist has powerful flames coming off of it. The gun looks okay - I prefer how the shoulder pad looks.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Beautiful mask
- Innovative torso design
What's not to like?
- Poor limb designs
- Weird colour distribution
- Weapons are what?
- Poor articulation
In the end, I'm not sure I'd buy this set if given the chance. If I was interested in purchasing a single Protector or just a few of them, I'd leave him out. Unless one is super interested in the powered-up form for their Tahu, I'm not sure the Protector of Fire is worth it.
Thanks of course to LEGO for sending us this set (along with all the others) to review, and thanks to Pat for reviewing it for us! Make sure you leave any questions or comments you have on this set in the Talkback. It's been a lot of fun getting an early look at the 2015 Bionicle sets - I hope you've all enjoyed it! I'm sure there's a lot more Bionicle news coming in the future, so keep checking back on BZPower to stay up to date!
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