Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 at 8:14pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Continuing our series of staff reviews, Forum Leader Screenguy brings us his take on Piraka Vezok. Read on to see his opinions on Voya Nui's villains. And be sure to thanks Screenguy for taking the time to bring you this review. Enjoy!
The the most superficial part of any LEGO product, but the one that often determines whether or not the set is a success or failure.
The new Piraka cans are about the same size as the recent Toa Hordika canisters, but of a new solid dark gray color. The design is similar, with round bumps on the sides and ridges on top. Some great artwork adorns the front and back as well, with Vezok in a menacing pose, launching a Zamor sphere.
The back displays the regular ways in which you can play with the set, showing how each Piraka's weapon can be flipped upwards, or how the Zamor sphere can be launched. A cool shadow of Vezok shows how the back of the set is constructed, and two other squares inform the consumer about the new light-up function.
This is the most intriguing part of the Piraka canisters. A display version of Vezok's face is attached to the canister, with evil-looking red eyes behind. A button labeled "Try Me" on the top of the canister, when pressed, results in a gleaming red light shining out of the face! While this will surely attract more customers (And it is a fun feature), make sure you take a Piraka from the back of the shelf when you buy one, to ensure you get one with a little used battery.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
So you've bought it and taken it home (or at least made it to the car), punched the perforated tabs and dump out the contents. What do you get for your money?
Included in the 41 pieces in this set are several large new pieces, a number of Zamor spheres, and one notable extra-large piece. The instruction booklet is also present, which include partial instructions for a two-Piraka combiner and advertisements for the 2006 Titans, Axonn and Brutaka.
Here's where we start to cut to the heart of the matter. You didn't buy this box for all the glossy booklets & creative artwork. You want to know about the LEGO bricks & bits that are included, and what (if any) new & interesting parts you'll find inside. Here's also where I'll talk about any new and/or interesing pieces that you will encounter.
There are several new pieces here, including two new limb pieces and a large, silver torso. Two large, clawed feet are included, and a white head with the now familiar menacing teeth. Also included are some hip "armor" pieces, a silver piece that functions as a Zamor sphere launcher, and a long, silver weapon reminiscent of the Vahki, with a point at one end and a sharp blade at the other.
Of the most interest is a large piece with several bendable pieces of plastic protruding from the main "spine".
This entirely bendable piece apparently covers the back, arms, and face of the Piraka. More information on this as I build the set.
What can you expect while putting this model together?
It doesn't take very long to build this set, and I couldn't help but have fun seeing how I could connect all of these new pieces. Most of the set is constructed similarly to the Toa Metru or Rahkshi, but the spine mentioned before covers the whole back of the Piraka, connected to the head, arms, and lower back.
You can see how the spine bends, protruding from the back to make it around the whole set. It seems to flow from one arm to the other, giving a more real, organic feel to the set.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
There are several cool features to this set. In the previous picture, an orange circle was visible near Vezok's head. This was part of the light-up eyes - press on it, and Vezok gains some red eyes to go along with that hungry looking smile of his.
The new Zamor spheres, which come in several different shades of green, are launched using this new contraption. When you push the back forwards, an axle pushes the sphere out with considerable force. From about six inches above the ground, the Zamor will usually travel about two feet before hitting the ground! Even farther lengths can be procured when the Zamor is launched slightly upwards or from an increased height. It's very fun to launch the marble-sized Rhotuka and try to catch it yourself or with a friend.
Posability is a bit different in this set than compared to recent sets such as the Toa Metru and Toa Hordika. While there are 13 points of articulation, the spine on the back prevents the arms and head from moving too far. The arms are naturally prevented from moving behind the torso, and the head is almost kept in one place, although it can move slightly from side to side.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
All things considered, the Piraka are great new sets. Their hunched stature and glaring face make them great sets for display, and the increased number of things that can be done with the set - launching Zamor spheres, using the new light function, flipping the weapon up and down - make the set great for playing. All of the new pieces will certainly make MOCers happy with new possibilities.
At $8.99 at your local Toys'R'Us, the Piraka are a great value, and definitely worth buying at least one or two.
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