Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 at 10:26pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Nuju Metru]
Today we're continuing our 2016 Star Wars constraction reviews. Forum Assistant Nuju Metru is taking a look at 75116 Finn, based on the character from The Force Awakens. If you're interested in seeing how this set stacks up, keep on reading to check out the video and full review!
Hey guys, and welcome to BZPower's review of 75116 Finn, one of the 2016 LEGO Star Wars constraction sets based on the new film, The Force Awakens! As always, I'd like to heartily thank both TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff and Andrew for passing some of it on to me. I love my job and I love my free LEGO. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and a text/image format - on this model. Is the Force with 76112? Maybe! Are my jokes bad? Probably! But reading on is the only way 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 return of boxes in LEGO constraction figures has been so strong that I'm considering investing in cardboard.
75116's box doesn't bring a ton of note to the table: LEGO, Star Wars, and Disney logos all make their prominent appearances; the set (with CGI-enhanced Lightsaber) stands front and center, looking dramatic; and a bottom-corner infographic names this as a buildable figure, just in case you were looking for the Hasbro aisle. The one element of the box front I find notable is the backdrop: it's a dark forest (that technically appears in the new Star Wars, spoilers [and spoiler: this review might contain minor spoilers; but if you're the kind of person who cares about spoilers and STILL you have yet to see The Force Awakens, I'm thoroughly confused]) which feels to me more like it belongs behind a LOTR set.
I'm a box's behind!
There's more to talk about on the flipside of the product's package... but still, nothing's terribly new here. I compared 75116's box design to that of my other LEGO Star Wars constraction set, 75112 General Grievous, and found that the reverse faces of the boxes are basically built on an identical blueprint. Similarly to other LEGO Star Wars constraction figures, 75116's box has play feature callouts on the left, another image of the main model on top of a griddy thing over to the right, a row of little pictures of 75116's companion sets in the wave along the bottom, and a small product size indicator up in the top right corner.
Really, nothing new or exciting on this package. But this isn't the part of the review you're looking for. So let's move along, move along.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
My policy on build pictures is that I don't include them. A few reasons for that: first, that I get into building the set myself and don't feel like taking pictures; second, I never look at those pictures myself in other reviews; third, because I like the little surprises that come with building something for the first time, and who wants that spoiled for them?
However: I'm okay with describing the process in brief. Adjectives for the build: ephemeral, unsurprising, standard, simple. The only parts where I thought "wow, neat!" were the parts where I realized how the new molds connected with, or fit around, existing elements.
By following instructions accidentally incorrectly on one occasion, I thought my set came missing one short black Technic pin later in the build. I retraced my steps, discovered that I'd made an unsanctioned (but, I think, superior - more on that later) mod of the set, and corrected my error before photography.
I know this many words in a row can be boring, so let's throw some pictures at your faces!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Look, pictures! 75116 comes with several interesting recolors of existing elements, as well as a handful of new molds. These are:
Dark tan is the color of the season. Fashion Week told me so!
- 4M CCBS shells, in fashionable dark tan (4x)
- Small Technic panels, in fashionable dark tan (2x of each)
- Uniquely printed Star Wars constraction torso shell (Finn design), with surprisingly intricate pointillist printing, in extra-chic dark tan (1x)
- Shoulder armor parts, one with purposefully-scratched (ooh, industrial!) red printing, one unprinted, in trendy dark tan (2x)
- NEW MOLD(!) upper back part, w/ Technic holes and one ball joint, in stylish dark tan (1x)
"Yes, darling, I recently got the chrome treatment; it does marvels for the complexion."
- The lightsaber hilt part, appearing for the first time in chrome silver (flat silver part in-shot for comparison, does not appear in the set), and lookin' mighty fine (2x)
- A "CCBS-torso-and-a-Technic-beam-walk-into a bar-fall-in-love-and-several-months-later-this-new-mold-is-born" piece, in black (1x)
I call this one "brown hands and blaster." I've already gotten a sizeable offer on it.
- 4-fingered Hero Factory hands, the envy of my brown MOCs, in reddish brown (2x)
- The new molded gun part, fittingly in gunmetal grey (1x)
Mr. Boyega made a bold statement on the red carpet today: he came wearing nothing, not even his body.
The most notable new mold is probably Finn's headpiece. Made of black and reddish brown subsections pre-snapped/glued/permafixed into one, the head mold uses texture extremely advantageously... The way the hair and the skin bounce light differently is brilliant. Aside from the fact that it's missing a trachea, this mold looks really satisfactorily like John Boyega from every angle. Bravo, LEGO sculptors. Bravo.
It's the moment you've been waiting for! Let's look at the finished Finn.
Okay, FN-2187, we just need a few angles...
Here's Finn from front, side, back, and so forth. Notice the lower back plating, the calf armor, the coattails; efforts were taken to make the set look good from more than just straight on. Finn's got bulk in the torso - more on that later - and so doesn't suffer from the same flatness as this year's BIONICLE heroes.
Something less positive that's immediately apparent about this "human" design: his arms are too short! At 32 units in height, Finn is roughly the right height for a person relative to his 5-unit-tall head (art classes taught me: the human body is 7ish heads high; 5 x 7 = 35, 35 ≈ 32, hooray math!), so it isn't just that his legs are too long (though they look a little long, don't they?). Finn's hands fall straight down barely past his hips, rather than midway on the thigh; a one-or-two-unit extension, i.e. one or two longer bones per arm, could have solved this problem and made him fit cleanly into the Vitruvian Man's circle. I understand how LEGO designers need to limit the number of unique elements in a set, but I wish they'd taken one of those slots and made Finn look more proportionate.
Color-wise, 75116 follows character design pretty well: tannish on top (jacket), blackish on bottom (Stormtrooper pants). While the black bones on top go pretty subtly a'ight with the dark tan exterior of the build, failing to upstage that wonderful color, the grey joints and bones on Finn's lower half really draw focus away from what could have been a "clean black pants" look.
"Ooh," the reviewer giggled, "You're so... burly!"
As promised: more on the torso. Look at it. Look how solid it is! Look at how gorgeously the new upper back mold houses the gear mechanism while providing over-the-shoulder coverage! I'm a huge fan of this, and the fact that there's plating over the lower back, too. I think it's the most thorough and satisfactory full-torso armoring I've seen on a set, ever. The fully armored upper arms make Finn's torso and shoulders the absolute best part about him.
Something else I'll say about the new upper-back part: the stabilizer ridge on the back of the ball-joint (second picture, look at the neck) prevents Finn from moving his head far to one side or the other. You get about 90 degrees of mobility total, which limits some poses.
About that accidental mod I discovered earlier, mentioned in the "build" section: notice how in the close-up of Finn's back above, there's sort of a gap between lower back plates and front torso plate? That's because the lower back assembly is clicked onto the body with a Technic double pin with axle hole (Part I.D. 32138 - Hey look, Chir bros, I used Bricklink!), creating a one-unit distance between the torso frame and the plates. I accidentally used two regular black pins to do the same job when I first built the set... and the plate assembly fit perfectly. And got rid of this little gap. And looked pretty great. The prescribed assembly is another design choice I don't understand, since 32138 only appears once - right here - in the build. Waste of a unique mold, I think.
"...but I don't date anyone who skimps on Leg Day."
Alternate caption for the above photo: "blergh, legs." I really, really don't like Finn's legs. They look too long. They only have one real angle of solid coverage (and even from this angle - straight on - they don't look super hot). They're so boring. The grey bones ruin everything. The ankles are too tall. The knees are horrendously gappy. Whenever I bend the thighs to try and position them, they break off and leave the friction joint parts behind where they'd been.
TLDR: Legs = Blergh. How's that for math?
Well, wouldja LUKE at these? #geddit
Finn comes with two major accessories: Luke's lightsaber (SPOILERS!?), built in the usual way but with more pizzazz thanks to its chromey hilt, and a unique-but-still-fairly-boring blaster, which uses the cool new part and gets the job done efficiently. The lightsaber handle is, so far, one-of-a-kind in the SW constraction world, which endows Anakin's old saber with the kind of MacGuffiny goodness it so thoroughly deserves. More on how the gun works in the next section.
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?
Haiiyah! Bzzzscht! Kahpow! Treadmill!
Usually I have fun posing sets. Because of the frictioney hips, blerghy legs, and short arms, though, I sorta struggled (or, just lost enthusiasm) when the time came to pose 75116. It's a shame, because I really found Finn to be a cool, interesting part of The Force Awakens, and his figure is... well, pretty "meh" to pose. If you squint and cover the lower part of the images with your hand, though, Finn might look pretty good. His upper body is so much more solid, overall, than the lower.
Now, as promised, we turn to the blaster. I dig this little gun a lot! Not only does the launcher fire further than the six-shooters of BIONICLE, but it also looks better, has easier-to-find ammunition, and has an actual trigger, which I think is pretty nifty. The extra shot storage spot is convenient, too, and I don't think it looks awful or impedes anything so I'm happy to have it there.
In which Finn loses control over his arm, much to his... chagRINN.
As on the Gen. 2 Wave 1 BIONICLE sets, a gear turned in back makes the arm go swooshy-swooshy! Works just as well here as it did there, with a notable aesthetic improvement in 75116. I really adore how the friction gears fit so cleanly into the outside of the upper back part.
Dark Tan: Who wore it better?
Finn doesn't play well with others, unless they're Star Wars figures. He's cliquey like that... Or my imagination is limited. Or Umarak's shy. I don't know; but the two don't belong together. They behaved badly all through my "size comparison" photo shoot. The ugly side of modeling.
I think there's a pretty significant aesthetic discrepancy between the SW and BIONICLE constraction figs, especially in 2016: while BIONICLE is straying back in the direction of gears-and-pistons, a more complex (to put it diplomatically) Gen. 1 visual language, the SW buildable action figures embrace the smoothness of CCBS's origins, to try and recreate the simple lines of human forms. Can't say which I prefer overall; but Finn only uses that smooth simplicity to his advantage in his upper body. In the lower body, the "minimalism" looks skimpy and disappointing, in my opinion.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
The only shot I took where Finn looks cool (apologies to Mr. Boyega).
Well, that sums up the in-depth review. Let's tally up the final score.
What's to like?
- Box is reliable, clean (as if you care about that)
- Wealth of fashionable dark tan
- New molds of blaster, upper back, wonderfully functional and versatile parts
- Finn head looks just like John Boyega, is excellently wrought
- Dat torso doe!
- Special lightsaber
- Functions work impeccably; blaster function cool, fun, better than six-shooters any day
What's not to like?
- Box is boring (as if you care about that)
- Build offers little new
- Some new parts are too specific to use anywhere else (i.e. head, torso shell)
- Tragically disproportionate in the arms
- Bone pieces sometimes undermine color blocking of shells
- Limited head mobility
- I'm adding again how blerghy the legs are to reinforce how much I dislike them
- By the way, the legs: mega-lame, like MegaBloks lame
- Posing isn't great
- Confusing design choices in places
75116 is a mixed bag. It's got loads of interesting pieces, all of which contribute concretely to making this rendition of Finn better (even if some of them are a little too specific to use elsewhere), and it has cool, unobtrusive functions. On the other hand, some of the design choices leave me scratching my head, especially in the lower body, where the legs spoil a lot of the good stuff that goes on in the upper body. If you asked me if 75116 is worth buying, I'd probably make a little grimace and say, "Meh, not tremendously. But you've gotta get yourself some of that Dark Tan somehow."
"Don't look so surprised, John... It's Star Wars! Someone ALWAYS loses a hand!"
Thanks to Aaron for taking the time to put this review together - we hope you found it informative and helpful. We'd love to hear your thoughts and questions in the Talkback! And don't forget to keep checking back here on BZPower for more 2016 set reviews and all of the latest LEGO news.
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