Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 at 12:01am by Matt, BZP Operations Manager
Today, BZP presents an exclusive in-depth look at the only one of the four brand new Bionicle playsets we haven't already seen at Toy Fair. Visorak�s Gate (8769) retails for USD$39.99 and is currently exclusive to Toys �R� Us. These playsets mark the first time Bionicle has blended Technic pieces with System pieces. The result is a more complex and challenging build than that of most current Bionicle sets. In fact, many of our seasoned MOCers will be familiar with this �fusion� style of building.
We begin by taking a look at the box:
The Visorak�s Gate box art gives the viewer a good idea of the set, displaying several action features. Miniature Visorak figures can be launched from a compartment above the giant Visorak head, and the walls on each side of the gate can be lifted to deploy a pair of fireballs. Far from helpless, the miniature Toa Hordika can fight back by commandeering a catapult and launching a fireball themselves.
On the front of the box, we have quite a battle on our hands: Nokama fends off a bite-size Keelerak; Nuju fiddles with the menacing gate; Vakama, Whenua and Matau stand their ground; and poor Onewa is forgotten in the background, providing further firepower for those who feel that Bionicle�s brown-colored characters are constantly getting the short end of the Kolhii stick.
The back box art features a second (and less chaotic) scene with the Hordika and Visorak, as well as a demonstration of the playset�s action features and, in classic LEGO fashion, an inspirational alternate model.
Now, let�s see what kinds of pieces are included in this set:
This set contains a total of 325 pieces, almost all of which bear System�s signature studs. Notable Bionicle pieces include two staffs of light (first seen in the Takanuva set) and a pair of massive Vohtarak fangs. The set also features a decal sheet with which you can create the Visorak�s �face� and add Matoran writing to the walls. LEGO�s designers paid quite a bit of attention to detail in this set � they even included green �webbing� for these little guys:
These miniature Visorak figures are made of a soft, rubbery material; they come in all six Visorak varieties; and best of all, they glow in the dark.
Of course, who could forget about our main protagonists, the Toa Hordika:
Unlike the Visorak, these tiny Toa consist of a hard, glossy plastic. Each figure is armed with a silver staff to combat their spidery adversaries.
We conclude with images of the set under construction:
And the finished model:
All in all, some might consider $40 a steep price for a rather small set. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the building process, and once the set was completed, I discovered that it bears a tremendous level of play value. I don�t believe I�ll ever get tired of propelling my incandescent little Visorak out of the gate and onto the battlefield. This entertaining and interactive set is a welcome addition to the Bionicle universe.
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