Saturday, February 14th, 2015 at 2:48am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
The fourth series of Mixel characters is out, and today BZPower Reporter Xccj is looking at the space themed Mixels, the Orbitons, consisting of 41527 Rokit, 41528 Niksput, and 41529 Nurp-Naut. Are these guys really out of this world, or should you let them burn up in the atmosphere? Read on or watch the video 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 package features each of the characters over a spacey background, with a pale-blue coloring for the bag. The highlight, after the main model, is the cartoon version of the character in the upper right hand corner. The bottom left corner also has a clear section that lets you see some of the pieces inside, which I've always thought was neat.
The back features the Orbitons Max character, as well as all three Orbiton Mixels that make it up, plus a listing of the other Mixels in Series 4. Inside is an instruction booklet and a bag of parts. Sadly, the instruction booklet doesn't give us any glimpses of the Series 5 and 6 Mixels; we'll have to wait for pictures from New York Toy Fair before we can get a close look at them.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The builds are simple if enjoyable. Even moving at a slow pace, the Mixels come together pretty quickly. The real draw is that, once you're finished building them, you take them apart and design your own characters, perhaps using techniques you learned from building the originals.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
First up we have 41527: Rokit.
He has 66 pieces, which is the most for the Orbitons. Among the interesting pieces he comes with are the lime inverted 2x2 bracket (comes only with him and Niksput), lime 1x1 round tile (only in 3 other sets), lime 1x2 curved slope (found in only a few sets, but comes with all the Orbitons), minifig head with eye printing, and the trans black 4x4 hemisphere (only found with him, Nurp-Naut, and the Ghost set from Star Wars). His main colors are lime, white, and black, with a few gold highlights.
He's the tallest of the Orbitons, and has a fairly basic humanoid shape with some decent SNOT (Studs Not On Top) usage, especially with the layering of his teeth. He used the minifig head with printed iris as eyes, and has a rocket booster attached to his back for quick space flight. His most striking feature is his domed head, which either displays circuitry or a miniature city. One issue is that the packaging seems to indicate that the dome is trans clear in color, but it's actually trans black / trans brown, which make it much darker. I think it would've looked much better with a clear dome, but while it's darker, it still works.
In addition to his legs, his arms are also jointed, and he's gripping some lasers that he can use to blast stuff in space. His legs, however, suffer from the socket-hips, where the socket piece restricts forward and backwards movement of the legs. This design flaw is found in most of the Mixels, probably because it's easier to create a leg design with that ball joint piece. However, if they had switched it up and put the ball joints on the body, like they did with his arms, he would have a lot more freedom of movement. I know it might be repetitive because I make this complaint every time, but that's because it keeps showing up!
Rokit also comes with the Orbitons Nixel. On the one hand, the Nixel has a different design than those seen last year, utilizing a handle brick as feet and the space arm pieces as, well, as arms. This design works, although the space arm connections are loose (as always) and were problematic for me to attach. However, the design is nearly identical to the Nixel that came with the Glowkies, with the only difference being the black tooth piece used as ears. It would've been nicer if they had changed it up a bit, but I guess there are really only so many ways to redesign a Nixel.
Next we come across 41528: Niksput.
His name is probably in reference to Sputnik, the first man-made satellite launched by the USSR, which is a fun play on words. Niksput comes with 62 pieces in total, again with mostly lime, white, and black, with gold grilles on his feet and trans red studs on his wings. The more interesting pieces include the lime inverted 2x2 bracket, lime 1x2 curved slope, lime 1x1 round tile, ball joint eye, and clear 2x2 dome.
Niksput is unique because he appears to be part spaceship, which is a unique design for a Mixel. His body is fairly basic, including the previously mentioned socket-hips design flaw. His arms are also jointed with sockets, and also double as wings. Because the ball joint is on the body, he has decent posability with his wing-arms, and can get into some cool flight modes. He also had a clip with a flame attached to his backside, which looks a little odd but must give him a boost in speed.
Niksput's head is the oddest part with him. His jaw is hinged with a ball joint, but it's located at the back of his body, which means he has a very long and awkward head and mouth. His ball joint eye is placed inside the clear dome, which has a nice effect, but depending on the angle his gaze could look really angry. The black fin and tooth elements on the side of his head also look like a fancy hairdo, which is a feature I personally didn't pick up on at first, but it definitely gives him some more character.
Finally we come to 41529: Nurp-Naut.
I do feel like he has a very Mixel-like name, like an astronaut full of nurps. He only comes with 52 pieces, which is the fewest of the Orbitons. He also has primarily lime, white, and black pieces, with a few light grays and some gold clips. Some of the interesting pieces are the white corner slopes, lime curved 1x2 slopes, trans black 4x4 hemisphere, 1x1 white tiles with eye printing, and a 2x2 light gray tile with a droopy eye printed on it, which is exclusive to Nurp-Naut at the moment.
At first glance, Nurp-Naut has the least impressive design of the Orbitons. It's a body-type we've seen in the Mixels before, with clip arms and stubby legs, which again have the socket-hips which makes posability pretty bad. The head is fairly large, and with his droopy eye behind the trans black dome, he looks kind of bored with his whole spacey existence. But then you can swivel his head around and get a completely new expression with two eyes that make him look more curious, in my opinion. The swivel feature, thanks to the turntable that the head is placed on, is a fun new way to give your Mixel different expressions. Think about it; most of the Mixels have very expressive looking faces, but Nurp-Naut is the only one to have two! That feature highlights an otherwise lackluster model.
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?
It's definitely an interesting grouping of Mixels. They're not radically new designs, but they each have their quirks that make them stand out, from Rokit's domed head to Niksput's wing arms to Nurp-Naut's dual sided head. Plus, there's a nice selection of lime and white pieces amongst them. Not to mention that Rokit and Niksput have some decent mobility, even if all of them suffer from the sockets at the hips.
But the main reason you collect all three Orbitons is to build their combiner character, Orbitons Max. After constructing him, it seems that he uses more pieces from the original three than the usual Max characters. And he uses those pieces to make him quite hefty; he's a bulky guy, even downright chubby. For mobility, he has a single point of articulation on his arms and legs, and again suffers from the socket hits that limit movement. He does have a moveable jaw on a socket piece, as well as on his wings and a latch to his jetpack. The body uses some nice SNOT designs to give it a round shape and attach two domed eyes. I like the design of the wings, but the latch on the jetpack does look a little odd. His bulk doesn't make him the most aerodynamic character, so I wouldn't give him points for swooshability. But I like the idea that he could fly around and then drop down on the Nixel character, squashing that little guy flat.
Instructions for the Orbitons Max character can be found on LEGO's Mixel webpage, along with other combiners. But don't let that hold you back; design your own characters from the pieces that the Orbitons come with, and populate your own custom Mixel world!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Some nice lime and white pieces, among others
Each Orbiton has a fairly unique look to them, setting them apart
Niksput's wing arms are a fun feature
Love Nurp-Naut's spinning head and dual expressions
Max character is suitably hefty
What's not to like?
The dome pieces are trans black instead of trans clear.
Sockets are repeatedly used at the hips, which limits posability
Niksput's long jaw is a little odd
Nixel design is the mostly same as the others in this series
The Orbiton's are a fun group of Mixels that embraces their spacey theme. All three may not have the most amazing designs, but they still manage to stand out well as unique characters. And, of course, they come with a nice bunch of pieces, including a few uncommon ones and lots of lime. If the characters or parts selection appeals to you, make sure to pick one or three up!
Thanks again for reading and / or watching another BZPower set review. Stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO and Bionicle news, as well as more set reviews, including the Mixels!