Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 9:14pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we return to our Bionicle 2016 reviews with a look at another one of the creatures. BZPower Blog Assistant Ta-metru_defender shares his thoughts on 71301 Ketar - Creature of Stone, one of the smaller sets in the winter lineup. Will this creature sting and slash its way into your collection, or will it end up squashed in the desert somewhere? You'll have to read and watch our review to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Hey, Bionicle's back! I mean, Bionicle's back AGAIN. It's like it never left.
At least based on the big Bionicle logo on the box. So Ketar's box art is pretty great with our scorpion-rahi-beast-creature of stone on the front fighting a Shadow Trap (do you fight Shadow Traps?) and in the background you can see Pohatu chasing after a mask, as Toa are wont to do.
It does what it needs to do, which is show that Ketar looks like a scorpion and not a keyboard-guitar combo. Which definitely doesn't disappoint your friends when you say you got a Ketar.
The back shows off Ketar's action features, warnings, and his unitability with Pohatu. You know the drill. It's a box. There's nothing really special about this.
But the top of the box has some wonderful fanservice with Pohatu's Nuva Symbol making a reappearance. Lego didn't have to do this, but they did, and it makes me happy.
Aaaand that's what's inside this box. The parts to make Ketar. Let's put him together.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
I've never built a CCBS set before.
Madness, I know. I mean, I've messed around with pieces and whatnot, but never actually built one out of a box with instructions. And here's the thing about Ketar: There's a lotta Technic.
Which is cool. Ketar brought back memories of the Rahi (the Nui Rama come to mind) while building him. It's not overly complex, though, and shouldn't take too long to build.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
New year of Bionicle means new Bionicle pieces. Woo!
There are a lot of new and relatively interesting pieces in here. Having not bought a Constraction set since, um, Vorox, a lot of these pieces are interesting to me. Let's take a closer look.
There are the cool new armor-rock bits that can connect to shells. I like the look, somewhere between geological and technical which feels very Bionicle. The swords, too, are neat; we always need more sword-swords. There are also a couple technic bits which may or may not be cool but have great MOCing potential.
The Shadow Trap parts look their part and there's probably some good potential there. There's also a gear part, an arm thing, and a joint part all of which may or may not be new.
Then there's the piece that's a lot like Barakki armor. This one too has a distinctly Bionicle aesthetic to it and feels like it wouldn't be out of place at all in a set from 2007.
And, of course, Ketar's head which is the same head as all of the other creatures. What others have said is true: it is quite hollow and yes, it is quite intricately done. My big disappointment is the lack of printing on the eyes, they're kinda just there but not really. That said, there does seem to be a lot of potential here for reuse as armor parts, so that could be cool in future MOCs.
But you didn't buy this set just for the pretty ABS bits, did you?
And if you did there's no shame in that. But I'm told this is a set review so I'm going to review it as a set.
So first. The Shadow Trap.
I LOVE THIS THING.
I don't know why, but for some reason I find the Shadow Trap to be really cute. It may be that it's single eye makes it fall right in the ugly-cute region, or it could be the stumpy legs, or maybe the chain tail; but I really like the Shadow Trap. More interesting than the Skull Spiders I think.
The design's a lot like a hair clip.
I wonder if it'd work as one.
Yep. it does.
Now, Ketar himself doesn't really photograph well. With four legs and two claw-arm things over his head and a tail stinger thing, he's got a lot going on.
I took off one of his sword-arms for one of the pictures you could get a better look at him. Now, the Rahi comparisons are not off. The gear function and animalistic look really evokes that old feel. But, and this may his CCBS nature or maybe a fault of his own set, he's a little busy. It's hard to find a pose where all his joints and limbs are just right, so that's a bit of a put off. If you do get a good pose, though, he looks great.
But these are constrACTION figures, so let's check out the action part.
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?
If you twist Ketar's tail, his sword-arms move up and down. This is both good and bad. It's a cool and effective action feature. But it also means his tail isn't always on straight and makes posing his sword-arms difficult. They also alternate going up and down (rather than in tandem), which, well, I think I might like it the other way. Also, with him being scorpion-ish, a claw snapping function or tail stinging action would be more apt.
Oh yeah, his tail can't sting. It doesn't reach far enough forward to sting anything that isn't about two inches over his head and back. That's also a real bummer.
But, but but but, the Shadow Trap. It clamps on to Ketar so there's roleplaying potential there that makes it a bunch of fun. Also, I can't help but to like Ketar. Sure, he's imperfect and wonky here and there, but for some reason I do like him a bunch.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Bionicle is back! (Wait, am I late on this hypetrain?)
- Cool parts
- Technic! And gear functions!
- The Shadow Trap is really great
- I kinda really like Ketar for some reason
What's not to like?
- Stinging tail does not sting
- Some bits feel a little lazy
Is Ketar a bad set? No, not at all. He's imperfect, but he's something different from the cut-and-dry Bionicle we were getting towards the end of G1. And that may be why I like him: he's delightfully odd. Sure, he's busy, and yeah, his sword-arms look better as swords on Pohatu, but he's got character.
And also there's the Shadow Trap. <3
If Ketar is a sign of Bionicle to come, with big risks being taken and all that, then I'm game. Let's get weird.
Thanks as always for checking out our review - we hope you found it enjoyable and informative. Any questions you have can get posted in the Talkback along with your comments, and we'll do our best to answer everyone. We still have a bunch of sets to review from the Bionicle 2016 assortment, so keep checking back, right here on BZPower!
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