Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 at 10:46am by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
He is tough as stone and absolutely rocks: Pohatu, the Master of Stone, is the subject of the latest Bionicle set review as we prepare for its return in January! The brown and stone sets have had a rough history over the years, but to see the color make a return is a welcome addition. Should this set be left in the dust or be shown off high on a plateau? Read, and watch, on to find out.
First off, thank you to LEGO for sending BZPower these sets to review. It is always a pleasure to show off how cool LEGO's products are, and when they make sure I can it gets even better. Having the Bionicle sets this early, especially after the New York Comic Con announcement, is really cool.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is hexagonal, which helps focus on the box art of Pohatu fighting off a dark blue skull spider with a cyclone while seeking his gold mask. There are some desert structures in the background, giving us a small idea of what the environment and any villages look like in the story. We also see the proper logos, age range, set number, and set name as one would expect. The Mask of Creation is featured in the corner too. This box doesn't say it, but Pohatu comes with 66 pieces and is priced at $15 USD.
The back shows off the play features of Pohatu, including his Jetarangs equipping to his feet to be used as Stormarangs and the mask-popping-off feature. Other tidbits include a picture and a comic showing how he can get help from the Protector of Stone.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
On the surface, Pohatu looks like any other shell-on-bone set. But it is the little things that count, in this case being bits of armor really bringing out the Bionicle feel and some gear structures in his back giving him a play feature not seen for some time. The mask, armor, and gears all bring that out, but more on that later. Building the new gear system is not difficult at all, and everything snaps into place nicely. In the end he looks strong and ready.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There is an array of new and interesting pieces in Pohatu: Master of Stone. The masks stand out in particular, being new but reminiscent of the Kakama of old. The Skull Spider body/mask is also a rich, dark blue. Its legs are a new mold but seem similar to claws seen in System sets. The new armor has pistons and hydraulics, which are very nice details. The head is new and looks very Bionicle-esque. The gear box has its uses. Guurahk's staff makes a reappearance, as do Bohrok eyes. Limbs are seen in trans-neon green, as is the new eyepiece. Some armor is seen in new and cool colors, and the chestplate is a painted piece. Last but not least are the boomerang pieces in gunmetal, which attach to form Pohatu's Jetarangs. We see some great uses of all of these in the completed set.
To begin, the head and mask has a very Bionicle feel to it, a clear step away from Hero Factory. Next, the silver knee cap armor contains hydraulics and tubes we know and love from past Bionicle designs. Finally, the gears on his back make this new line of sets stand out, as that is not a function seen often in the constraction area any more. Along with the gears are a few measures put in place to allow him to be posed, from the ball-joints to extra friction pins attached to more gears.
Pohatu has less armor than a lot of the sets, particularly on his shoulders. Some of the torso's attachment points sick out behind his chest armor, which does not look as bad in real life as it does on the box. However, this gives him a lean look which we would expect who's other history involves running. This is probably also welcome living in the hot desert, so he does not get burdened with such things.
As for the Skull Spiders, this dark blue one comes with a tail/stinger, making it even cooler than the other two breeds. It is quite menacing, especially after realizing it can attach to the face of an enemy and wreck havoc.
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.
Between the Jetarangs, Skull Spider, and gold mask, Pohatu: Master of Stone comes with a handful of play features. The clever execution of gear pieces on his back means he can lift up his arm and strike a pose without fear of it falling down. The Jetarangs can equip to his feet and become Stormarangs, but he will not be left defenseless as he can grab the dagger held on his back. If that is not enough, he can team up with the Protector of Stone and get a little help by way of borrowing armor and weapons, using the staff himself. But why does he need help...?
If Pohatu does not watch out, his mask just might be knocked off! The new eyepiece and head are made for this play feature and put our hero in more peril. At this point, the Skull Spider can make a move to attach itself to Pohatu, which is not what we want at all. Does it take control? Does it steal his energy? We just have to wait and see. This addition of a conflict really adds to the set when only one villain set is currently available.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Bionicle is back!
- Dual-use weapons, plus Protector power-up.
- Conflict in a box.
- Lean yet strong.
- Can hold weapon and pose.
What's not to like?
- Only 66 pieces compared to the other Toa Masters.
- Skull Spider does not do much.
Having Pohatu here is really cool. Not just because Bionicle is back, and not just because brown is back, but because he is a really awesome constraction set. He has fighting power through strength and some neat weapons. His friends can help protect him and team up. His foe can cause havoc and who knows what else. And although he is not attributed to have any enhanced speed powers, his form gives us a semblance of agility and his Stormarangs look like they can do some damage utilizing the surrounding area. All in all, he is another welcome addition to the return of Bionicle.
“Do we get a promotion with all this new power?”
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