Sunday, December 20th, 2009 at 3:19pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time for another 2010 set review. Today BZPower Forum Assistant Sisen takes a look at the new incarnation of the Skrall set. How does this small 'Star' stack up to his larger counterpart? Read on 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 Stars canisters are all very similar and the new design is very intriguing. Like most canisters sets, the set itself is the most prominent feature on the front, in this case Skrall. The background is very interesting and taken up by half a Golden Hau, while the other half is engulfed in light. There is a slight elemental feel along the bottom, and by slight I mean you barely discern the differences between canisters. Skrall's canister has an earthy cave-like look beneath his feet, or rather stone. Oh, there is also a slightly ferocious looking image of Skrall and his BLACK KOPAKA SWORD, but we will get to that a little bit later.
As you would expect, the basic information like age range, set number, and amount of pieces are all present on the front. The Bionicle web address has been added and the choking hazard that was dominant on the Glatorian Legends Canisters has been removed from the front side. The single most important item on the front seems to be "COLLECT THE GOLDEN BIONICLE," which is present on each canister, featuring the respective piece to collect.
The back has all the legal mumbo jumbo about where the pieces are made, trademark information, barcode, small part warning, not for children less than three years of age, etc. Wait! What's this? No additional poses on the back?! Besides them showing a very small image of sticking little Skrall back in the canister, there is not anything special. Well, there is one other thing, dare I say it again?
COLLECT THE GOLDEN BIONICLE
The Golden Bionicle takes up most of the back design. There are very small images of the other canisters, their golden pieces, set numbers and lines pointing to the golden piece they provide. In this case the Skrall canister is highlighted with a white box, with a white line and large circle surrounding the Nuva shoulder armor/hand guard piece on the Golden Bionicle. Hopefully this is more than some marketing strategy to have people buy all the sets for the golden pieces.
There is also a B.I.O. Code for Skrall.
Did I mention the lid? The new design allows canisters to stack easily and remain seemingly stable. Adorning the lid is the Skrall shield image that we have seen just about everywhere.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Skrall's build is basically the Agori Atakus, only they added a leg piece to the torso to bulk it up and to connect the head, and they moved the Skrall blades to the upper arms to make it "Skrall." The only difference to the build is there is a total of 21 pieces, versus the 13 Atakus had.
The added pieces make the build more interesting and are the key points to making the cute little chibi Skrall "Skrall." Like any build though, the fun of building comes from what you make of it.
"I'm practically naked, give my hands and armor!"
"Now the rest of it!"
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Now for the new pieces:
We have two new feet molds which are actually pretty cool. When I first saw them I could not help but think they fit right into Bionicle. Their shape is reminiscent of the clawed Inika foot - at least that is the closest comparison I could come up with. There are also double connectors in lime green which appears to be a new recolor, I have not seen them in any previous sets or reviews. There is also the new gold armor piece. Am I forgetting something?
B-L-A-C-K K-O-P-A-K-A S-W-O-R-D
Hands down this is the most awesome recolor ever. Whoever decided to include this piece deserves their job, because it is a job well done. Let us hope LEGO continues to release more Bionicle recolors after the line ends.
Okay so maybe, the body and limbs are your basic Agori, and Skrall is pretty much Atakus all over again, I like to think the sword makes up for it.
No offense to Chibi Skrall, he's quite the adorable little one. His Skrall swords with lime green centers make him look like his larger counterpart. Just look at them starring into each other's eyes... it's almost like Skrall is about to say, "Skrall I am your father."
The height difference really makes them stand out as adult and youth. It is nice to have a little Skrall around the house. It would have been a good addition to have something that made him stand out more though. There is not a lot of lime green in the set, compared to all the red in the large version of Skrall. I like black but there could have been a little more color to make the set aesthetically pleasing.
Unfortunately Chibi Skrall does suffer from the issues the smaller sets have. His bent limbs prevent him from moving too much. It was a hassle just getting the feet level on a flat surface.
There is more to it than that though: Chibi Skrall inherited traits from his father as well. You can move his arms, but you are restricted by the large Skrall swords that are constantly hitting each other or hitting the poor little guy in the head. Once you have one arm bent, it is not possible to move the opposite arm without clashing the Skrall blades.
Two other things bother me. One, he has no shield. How can you have a little Skrall without a shield? Two, his head is placed on an attached limb to his torso, so the torso head connector is left sparse. The head jets out from the body and the head armor covers up the ball joint, but from time to time it sticks out like a sore thumb. Maybe he should see a doctor about the large lump on his neck...
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 I said above, the fun of building comes from what you make of it, the same goes for playing. You have to make the most of what you have, and I had some fun with the set.
Just look at the bug stomping action.
(Poor little scarabax beetles.)
He also does a cool Matrix.
Now he's just showing off.
Wait, what's that noise coming from over there? A challenger!
The victor claims his weapon!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- New Feet
- He's a cute Chibi of his predecessor.
What's not to like?
- Lack of color.
- Doubly limited posing capabilities.
- Awkward neck tumor.
- No shield?
Although it seems a little odd releasing another version of a set that came out not long ago, I have to give it some props. The Chibi like size of Skrall is pretty nice and adorable. He has an awesome re-color of Kopaka Mata's original sword and it provides a nostalgia effect. It might not be the best set ever or the best choice for representing the end of things to come, but overall it worked for me. Perhaps I give Skrall too much praise, but in the end what matters is being satisfied with what you are given.
One more down, only three more 2010 sets to go, and it's not even January yet! Hopefully you enjoyed this one - be sure to leave your comments and thank Sisen in the Talkback. Keep checking back as we share our thoughts on the rest of the Stars and get you all the latest news!
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