Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 2:34am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Ready for more Legends of Chima Constraction figures? Today, BZPower Reporter Xccj looks at 70211 CHI Fluminox. Will this set send you soaring up with the flames, or should it have been left behind in the ashes? Read on or watch the video to see for yourself, and learn how you can get a chance to win a copy of this set!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Fluminox comes in a big bag this time around, and it's fitting because he is a $19.99 USD set. Unfortunately, most North Americans won't get a chance to purchase him at that price, because these Chima Constraction sets are only getting released in Europe. Although our tears from this news may have blurred our eyes, we can still see Fluminox standing proudly on the front of the bag, holding onto his bow-like weapon. The back of the bag features Fluminox in a slightly different pose, with Sir Fangar waiting to challenge him in the background. Also on the back is a real-scale image of the head piece, some images demonstrating the play features, and a potential combo model of Fluminox and Laval.
Opening the bag will probably require some sort of cutting instruments, from scissors to a knife to sharp talons. The bag is technically re-sealable, but that still is a far cry from the reusability of the canisters of Bionicle's glory years. Inside the bag is another bag containing the pieces, and also the instruction book. Normally I skip over the instruction booklet, but this time there was something of interest on the bag. Instead of a pain stricken kid screaming at you to win, we get Laval happily proclaiming that you can WIN if you leave feedback. This is an interesting change. The instruction booklet also contains previews of the other summer Chima sets, including the System and Constraction sets. There's also another promotion for the Fluminox and Laval combiner, which seems to form a SUPER Fluminox.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build of Fluminox is pretty standard. The most intricate part of the build is actually the weapon, which features the old zamor sphere launcher. The launcher piece hasn't been used much since its 2006-2008 heyday in Bionicle, and this is the first time its appeared with the new ball joint system, even if the zamor spheres have stayed around. Fluminox's weapon is built to make the zamor sphere launcher look more like a bow with fire-glob arrows that can really launch, which is a nice touch.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Fluminox comes with 91 pieces, plus a few extra pins. Primarily his colors are gold and trans orange, with plenty of black and grey pieces underneath. There are a few nice trans orange pieces, including the hand piece, the limb piece, and two different styles of socket armors (#3 and #4, to be precise). Some of the armor pieces have been seen before in Hero Factory, and the limb and hand pieces get reused with some of the other Chima Constraction figs this summer, but they're still nice to have. Another reaccuring armor piece with Chima this summer is the dark red armor with printing on it. The new molds here include the new torso armor, which has room to hold a zamor sphere in it. There's also the new gold armor plating and silver blade, which are seen on other Chima Constraction sets this summer. Exclusive to this set (I believe) is the trans orange / yellow wing piece, of which Fluminox gets four of. They are really nicely styled, and although Vardy comes with some in white, Fluminox is the only one who gets them in orange. Finally, you have the head piece, which is real bulky but awesomely detailed. The transition from red to trans yellow is great and gives Fluminox a fiery phoenix look for sure.
Fluminox is quite the character. The gold / trans orange palette he has works nicely and looks pretty solid. His build is generally pretty standard, and it's not differentiated from most humanoid builds in this system. One nice element is the gold shoulder armor is actually attached to the sockets on the torso, leaving plenty of mobility for his upper arms. However, in order to fit that armor there, they had to push the torso armor out by a stud, and that has left a sizable gap in his chest when viewed from the side, which is generally made worse by the torso armor design. (I'll get into that later.)
His weapon does a good job of looking like a bow while also retaining a shooting functionality. I do believe this is the first "functioning" bow in a constraction set, including Bionicle. However, the long axle beam he's holding onto is just for show; it's the yellow bit that you push on to actually launch the zamor sphere. (I guess it's not technically a zamor here, but I'm going to keep calling it that.) When holding onto the bow with both hands, he does have a decent pose, but it severely limits his articulation. But that can be improved by switching the bow to just one hand, or by removing the bow entirely.
Beyond that, he has a nice range of motion, but it's pretty much the same as any decent constraction figure. I suppose, once you remove the bow, he doesn't actually have any parts that limit his mobility, so that could be seen as a plus. Additionally, it used the socket extension pieces on his ankles and hips to add more friction, allowing for more stable posing. However, yet another trait he shares with most constraction figures is that he has a very empty back. Fluminox does have the excuse of needing the room for his wing functions, but that doesn't completely excuse the fact that he's lacking armor on his back.
The wing feature is something that sets Fluminox apart from other Constraction sets. His wing pieces are connected by technic bits, which are connected to a liftarm on his back. The interesting thing is that his two wings are then connected together by this tube. This acts somewhat like a play feature. It holds the wings together at a decent angle when up, but then you can squeeze it together to make the wings "flap" or push it all the way up to switch the wings down into "flight" mode. It's a nice idea, but a little haphazardly put together. In particular, if you try to flap the wings improperly, only one will go down, turning Fluminox into the "fool-hardy phoenix who doesn't really know how to fly". It's not perfect, but the overall wing setup feels more substantial than other wing designs of the past.
Finally, the torso armor has a big hole that's meant for storing a zamor sphere, which fits snugly inside. There's a little hinge that lets the sphere pop out. I guess this is supposed to represent them putting in CHI to power up, and perhaps the pop-out feature is a gag for defeating them. (Or stealing their hearts, Mola Ram.) Or it might not be a feature at all, and merely a design necessity in order to allow kids to switch out zamor sphere. The problem with this is that, to hold the zamor sphere, the torso armor has to be really deep, and as such leaves a sizable gap between the armor and body piece when viewed from the side. It looks like it's only moderately bothersome in some of the other Chime Constraction sets, but since Fluminox pushes it out a stud further to allow for the shoulder armor, the gap is even more exaggerated.
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?
Fluminox has a couple of moderate play features that I mentioned above. His bow really does fire a zamor sphere / ball of fire, although it does so by utilizing the classic zamor launcher and doesn't actually function like a real bow. His wings can also change position and kind of "flap" so that's something. And the CHI zamor pieces in his chest can pop out. These are mostly moderate play features, and while they're nice, they don't define the set.
But you know what, Constraction figures don't have to rely on fancy gimmicky action features, because they are made with limbs that can do poses. And, as I mentioned earlier, Fluminox has nothing limiting his mobility, so he can get in a ton of fun poses. He can be aiming his weapon, getting ready to take off for flight, or just be delivering a powerful kick combined with his sharp talons on his feet! His colors, wings, and head design give him character, and you can show off that character in all sorts of fun poses. Better yet, grab a second Chima Constraction set (preferably one of the evil ones) and let the battle for the CHI begin!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Good parts
- Nice selection of gold and trans orange colors that compliment each other
- Decent mobility
- A bow weapon that actually has a shooting function!
- Awesome wing design
- Nice positioning of the shoulder armor
- Potential for many great poses
What's not to like?
- Pretty empty back
- The large torso leaves a sizable gap in his chest when viewed from the side
- Not-as-awesome wing function
- Articulation limited when holding onto his weapon with both hands (but this is easy to fix)
- Not available in North America
Fluminox feels like a solid character. His gold and trans orange colors work together well, and the design of the head and wing pieces is great. Even the weapon is a nice concept. He's not without flaws, from emptiness when viewed from the sides or from behind, to his not-so-great wing flapping function. If you're interested in his overall look or some of his nice pieces, than he is certainly worth it.
The biggest issue with Fluminox also plagues the rest of the summer Chima Constraction figures, and that is that they won't be available in North America. But our friends at LEGO, who generously provided these sets for us to review, have also donated a copy of this set to give away, so watch the video to find out how you can get a hold of a copy yourself! Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO set reviews, including more Chime Constraction figures!
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