Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 at 6:43am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It’s time for another Hero Factory review. Today Xccj will critique the new version of Bulk, who is now taking on the form of a wolf. Is this a canine you should take home and tame, or is he best left out in the wild? Read on and see for yourself.
In touch with the ground, you're on the hunt down after this set: You've found it in the stores or ordered it online. The presentation is what you use to pick it out from its surroundings.
Bulk 3.0 comes in a now familiar Hero canister, which has a lime green lid to depict the jungle theme. On the front we see Bulk the Third (Wait, what happened to Bulk 2.0 again?) showing off his new wolf helmet and blades while Raw Jaw sneaks up behind him. And not just one Raw Jaw; there are about four of those critters visible in the shadowy jungle background. Bulk better be ready for some action. The back of the canister mostly appeals to the multilingual lovers of legal content, but there is a depiction of Bulk and Furno and their combiner model.
Once you manage to tear that lime green lid off, the pieces come spilling out, along with an instruction manual. One thing that caught my eye in this set of instructions was that the different armor pieces are now labeled. When I first built the 2.0 Heroes, I remember having to pay close attention to the instruction images to make sure that I used the correct armor piece. I'm sure this confused some children, so now the instructions clearly label which type of armor to add, based on the number printed inside them. For example, on Bulk, #4 armor is used on his legs, while #5 armor is placed on his arms. I think this is a nice way to simplify the building process for a younger audience.
Scent and a sound, a piece is lost and then found: You're building the set now, and soon the fully constructed version will be in your grasp.
Compared to the other 2.0 and 3.0 Heroes, Bulk's construction is nothing new, with the only real difference being his little arm blades. If you've collected other Hero sets, then the best part of this process is handling some of the new pieces. If this is your first Hero set, then you can enjoy the new ball joint building system, which is still very cool. But in the end, the instructions led to the quick build of a playable character, and that's what you really bought the set for, right?
Strut on a line, its discord and rhyme, you howl and you whine about this set: From the pieces to the construction, you look for the best and worst this set has to offer.
Bulk is made up of only 30 pieces. Unfortunately, since this is the second wave of the new building style, Bulk doesn't quite have as many brand new pieces as the previous wave had. He comes with a decent amount of limb and armor pieces in new colors, such as the lower limb joints in dark bluish grey and the head and Hero core in orange. Besides that, there's a nice mix of silver and black pieces here.
Bulk does have a few pieces which are new and cool. The new blade piece comes in silver, with two pegs that can be attached to holes in the armor pieces. Additionally, there's the new metallic grey armor piece which has the same two peg attachment method, as well as a bar that system elements can clip to, like the Exo Force robot arms that are used in this set. Both of these elements are seen in many of the other new Hero Factory sets, but Bulk is the only canister set to get them.
The trans green name tag armor piece is also an exclusive to Bulk. When I first sat the Toy Fair images of the sets, I thought this piece was kind of lame; surely the green would clash terribly with all the non-green sets. But it works on Bulk, since it adds a small splash of color to an otherwise grayscale build. Plus, the wolf design on it is really nice.
Of course, the best piece here is Bulk's wolf helmet. There's a ton of detail in, it, from the ears to the neck fans to the teeth and fangs. It fits nicely on the orange head using the two peg system, so it doesn't need the eyewear like the 2.0 Heroes. This also means it can be incorporated easily with system sets. I mentioned in my Rocka review that I thought it would be cool to see the lion helmet used in castle sets. But Bulk's wolf head has so much more potential to be used as decorations in system MOCs.
Seriously, out of all the animal heads in both the Hero and creature sets coming out this summer, I think Bulk's wolf head is the absolute best.
All together, Bulk is still a pretty menacing guy. However, unlike his previous incarnation, he is not all muscle; this time, he is a bit sleeker to fit in with his wolf motif. Or, well, at least he's not as bulky as last time. Get it, Bulky? (Oh wait, am I not supposed to make silly puns in this review? Too late) While his legs have decent armor, his upper arms are bare, which can thus leak to a somewhat sleeker look. The armor on his lower arms doubles as a way to connect his weapons to his arms.
This time, Bulk doesn't have some clunky gun to haul around; he's got two arm-mounted blades to slice and dice the Witch Doctor with. On one hand, I like the idea of arm mounted blades; this frees up his hands (yes, we get two this time) and allows for some cool poses. On the other hand… the design is somewhat lacking. The new armor-with-a-bar and blade pieces are cool, but the Exo-Force robot arm that connects the two contributes to a very weak weapon design. That leads to problems when you start to play with him.
As with all the new Heroes, Bulk looks great from the front, okay from the side, and pretty empty from behind. Maybe eventually LEGO will release a line of Heroes with back armor (like in the TV show) but until then we'll just imagine that the Heroes never get attacked from behind. The one exception is the wolf helmet; I think that looks good from every angle, especially the side.
One thing that has bothered me a little about the Hero sets is that they rarely have full armor on all their limbs; most are left with a few bare joints. Maybe this is for specific design purposes, or perhaps LEGO can only include so many armor pieces per Hero. But the above picture is how I would like to see Bulk in full out armor, which fill up the gaps. (The upper arm armor pieces were provided by Fangz, and are not included with the set, just FYI)
Burning the ground, you break from the crowd; you're going to play with this set and see just how great it is.
Bulk has decent mobility, as do all the Hero canister sets. Thus, he can get into some really great poses, and is great for role playing. However, for every cool stance he can take with his arm-mounted blades, they can also get into some awkward poses. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, the weapon design isn't ideal for playing. The connections are too weak; the blade would either fall out of the robot arm piece, or it would rotate into an unnecessary position. Additionally, when the arm clip is moved along the bar, you can swing up the blades into some really unnatural positions which would not be good for fighting. It would've been cool if there was some sort of function to retract the blade into the arm for storage, but Bulk includes no such feature.
But while the weapons do restrict some of the playability of the set, there's still plenty Bulk can do. He is a decent role-playing model, and his two arms could offer better posing than some of the Heroes with only one big claw. (Such as Rocka or Stormer.) Plus, and this is the seller, he's a cool looking wolf! That alone should make role playing a blast!
Your mouth is alive with juices like wine; is this really the best set out there, or should you pass on it?
You're hungry like the wolf.
- Cool wolf helmet
- Great new pieces
- Great old pieces
- Awesome wolf helmet
- Solid color scheme
- Weapons offer some cool poses
- New way to identify armor pieces in instruction manual
- Totally wicked wolf helmet
You're not hungry like the wolf.
- Weapon design has its limitations in posing
- Weapon design is also structurally weak
- He could have more armor on his upper arms
- Basic Hero humanoid design is starting to feel old
I wouldn't say Bulk is the perfect set; he has his shortcomings. Some of them apply to all the Heroes (basic build, empty back, lacking of armor) while some are all his own (weak weapon design). But one thing Bulk's got is character; he looks like a wolf. His armor is sleeker (or not as… PUN… bulky as usual) and his weapons are light and quick for the agile canine. And his helmet is easily one of the best being released this summer.
If you're going for pieces, then Bulk has some nice ones to go around. If you're looking for a playable character, then he's got that too. If you have to buy just one Hero, I would strongly recommend picking up Bulk. If you're getting a couple, then make sure Bulk is on your list. For the price of $7.99 USD, I think he'd totally be worth it.
So remember; don't venture out into the jungle… unless you're hungry like the wolf!
Once again, I would like to thank LEGO for providing us with these sets to review. And we've got more of them coming, so stay turned!
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