Saturday, January 5th, 2008 at 2:28pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Roa McToa]
2007 may be over, but that doesn't mean we have to stop reviewing its sets. Up until today, we hadn't reviewed any of the playsets from the past year. Today BZPower Forum Assistant Roa McToa brings us a review of the Barraki Deepsea Patrol. Read on to see if this playset has the value you're looking for!
Today, we're going to review one of the latest Bionicle play sets for 2007, the Barraki Deep Sea Patrol! This set contains many interesting parts and features that make it worth going to the store and getting one for your child or yourself. Take the time to read this review, and see what you think about the set before buying it. Click on the thumbnails to see larger pictures.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
First off, we have the box. This is one of the top marketing tools of the building toy. Its colorful packaging displays the crawler, driven by Kalmah, chasing Toa Hewkii who is in the blue pod. The graphical quality of these images are really good, and make you look at it, enjoying the myriad colorful imagery. Looking into the background, you can see Mantax standing on a squid launcher turret, shooting a ravenous squid at Hewkii. And way in the back is a glowing jellyfish floating in the water. Overall the front of the box is very appealing to the prospective consumer.
On the back of the box you see many interesting things. On the far left is a picture that shows Voya-Nui and Mahri-Nui. Looking to the right, there is a vast ocean scene displaying all of the Toa in heated battle with the Barraki and their armies of sea creatures. The right hand side of the box shows the play set itself, and all the interesting things it comes with. The full arsenal of weapons is displayed up top, with the set itself in the center. Below it shows features of the set, and three solidified air bubbles.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Digging into the piles, we build the four mini-figures first. You get (from L to R) Mantax, Takadox and Kalmah, with Toa Hewkii in front. Their hands, legs and bodies are unchanged from the mini-figures of 2006, but they feature a new type of arm, and unique heads.
The arms attach fully around the shoulder pin on the mini-figure torso, and give the figures a burlier and tougher appearance than last year’s figures. They are also less prone to falling off, or flicking off to some unknown location.
The figures heads are also much more detailed than they were last year. They are well molded, and it’s easy to tell who each character is.
As we open the manual, you can see a nice soft bit of scenery, with Mahri-Nui on the right pages, and air bubbles on the left pages. The instructions are very easy to read and understand.
Here we’re building the jellyfish. Most of the pieces have been released in previous sets, but in this set, you get new glow in the dark tentacles! These will have great potential for building your own creations.
The assembled jellyfish is pretty nifty. I like how the tentacles look, and its relative size to the mini-figures is appropriate. If put under a black light, the jellyfish would glow brightly!
Hewkii's escape pod is a fairly easy build, consisting only of eleven pieces, excluding the figure.
When assembled, it makes a spiffy little escape pod with landing gear that Hewkii fits into well.
Next, we build Mantax’s squid shooter turret. There's one new piece that is also found in the Hydraxon set, it's a three way connecting pin with a hole in the middle for an axle. These pieces are used for the feet of the turret, and make it well balanced.
The build is fairly simple, completing construction within a couple of minutes. The stand where Mantax is placed rotates around the launcher. Like the other sets with squid launchers, you can store your extra squid right in the launcher.
Now we look onward to the biggest and most important part of the set, the crawler. Looking at all those great pieces just makes you want to finish the set so you can play with it!
Starting off, the construction is pretty basic.
As you continue on and add more pieces, the structure becomes very sturdy. Looking at the design, you can see the system bits that stick out over the leg sockets to keep the legs from collapsing. This is a good design, and proves to be very durable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
The cockpit went together very quickly, and Lego put the proper pieces into the design for the pilot to be properly centered to the control panel. This is something that wasn’t present in 2006 sets that would have been nice on the vehicle type sets.
The cockpit then attaches to the frame built earlier.
Building it up, the bubble storage chamber takes shape, and the frame begins to smooth out. The build of the crawler is becoming very sturdy, and more streamlined.
Adding the two windscreens, and another pilot, the main body of the crawler is complete, and streamlined.
Adding the legs and some trim parts really spruces up the model, and makes it look more complete.
Next, you assemble the bubble harvester, which is a very interesting structure. It opens up and looks like a very vicious, hungry mouth. New pieces shown in this picture are the white Visorak pincers, and the black tentacles. These are also good useful parts for custom creations.
The play set is finished! The battle arsenal is ready and waiting for these warriors of the deep to grab them up and duel.
You get a small assortment of extra pieces which are good either for replacing a lost part, or using for your own creations.
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 we’ve really done it. The box is open, and we get to ogle at the goodies inside!
Laying out all of the parts on the table, you can already see many new parts that were not previously available. There is a fair share of pieces here, and it looks to be well worth its value. Seven baggies of parts, a windscreen, two pod halves and an instruction booklet all look pretty intriguing to the eager builder. You get several new parts with the set, like new style minifig heads and arms, white Suukorak pincers, the blue pod parts and two black tentacles.
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?
Now that the set is done, how does it stack up? Well, its presence is very nice, and it practically begs to be played with. The legs are very articulate, and the rubbery tentacles can be bent to grab at things, and just looks plain cool! The bubble storage on the back is a great idea, and can be used for other things as well, like trapping Toa. The escape pod offers some good imaginative play potential, as Hewkii needs to jet away to escape from the Barraki. The jellyfish can grab a hold of a Toa while Mantax fires squids at them.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- The set is well designed and is fun to play with
- The minifigures have a better arm design than previous iterations
- The gripping claw on the front of the machine is really cool
- Hewkii's escape pod and the Jellyfish are neat set counterparts
- You get a nice assortment of new parts
What's not to like?
- The mini turret is poorly designed
- The Toa are outnumbered. Poor Hewkii...
- The legs of the crawler tend to splay out on smooth surfaces
I’d say the pros greatly outweigh the cons, and this set is well worth the cash spent. So what are you waiting for? This set is a good introduction for the line of play sets for Bionicle, and would be a good addition to your Bionicle collection.
Keep checking back for more reviews! In addition to new 2008 sets, we hope to get some reviews for the last three 2007 sets up some time this month as well.
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