Saturday, December 10th, 2011 at 6:27pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It may be 2011, but the 2012 sets are nearly upon us. So close, in fact, that they're here! LEGO has sent us some sets early, and here they are for you to check them out. First up, Bfahome takes a look at Toxic Reapa! Read and enjoy!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Toxic Reapa comes in a new style of packaging. Instead of a canister or a box (or bizarre canister-box hybrid), his container is a top-opening bag (seen here with the top already cut off). The bag itself is made of material reminiscent of food packaging, and is helped by the fact that along the top there is a plastic zipper that you can pinch closed.
On the front of the bag you can see Reapa in all his green goopy glory. He's getting his parkour on, running up a wall or something and spraying sludge as he goes. In the top-right you can see the silhouette of a hero coming to stop him. I wonder who that could be. Across the top there are the LEGO and Hero Factory logos, and in the bottom corners there's the age range, set number, name, and an exploding computer saying that you get 200 points.
On the back we see Reapa in a more generic pose, still spewing gunk. There's also a 1:1 scale of his head (I'd say it's pretty spot-on) and a view of how his gloob tubes attach to their tanks. Just below that is another promo for the 200 points you get for the upcoming game, showing how exactly you do that. And then there's all the legal stuff.
In the back of the instructions are several ads, featuring a split-page view of Reapa and Evo (mystery solved). On the next page there is an image of a combiner model (yay!), indicating that the website will have instructions for it soon. Then there's the obligatory group shot opposite an image of the big bad Black Phantom smashing through the page. He's so strong he can shatter paper! After that there's just an ad for the three DC character sets to be released and the usual club stuff.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Opening the bag reveals another bag inside, containing most of the parts. The torso, tubes, and instructions are loose.
You might not expect Reapa's build to be very challenging. Well, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. But there are some quite interesting parts as well.
First you have your basic, now-standard skeleton. But watch those extra parts on the front.
Now you start adding armor and accessories. And finally, the head. Notice how the front is built out more than usual.
Two pieces left over. One spare pin/axle and a hero core. Wait, what? Why would a villainous villain like Toxic Reapa have a hero core? Let the speculation begin!!
(Actually, it's just because the 200-point codes are printed on the back of the core pieces, and limiting that promotion to only five sets in the wave would be downright silly. But I'll be ignoring it in this review since it's not a relevant part of the set.)
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Here are all the pieces in the set. If my calculations are correct (and why wouldn't they be?) there are 42 of them, 43 counting the spare pin. Note the Shadow Matoran feet. They're the same mold as they were in 2008, so you'll have to be careful using them, as they still might break.
Next up are the parts worthy of extra attention. This includes new molds, recolored molds, or just parts of interest.
First off is the 3-size Hero Factory shell in delicious trans-neon-green. Below that is a trans-orange single HF socket piece, reminiscent of the Rahkshi from way back when. There are a couple of skeleton pieces and doubles of the R2-D2 body pieces in lime green, the odd-looking ball connector that debuted in the Waspix set, the tiny ball/socket joint, the blended green/trans-green fire piece that was used as seaweed in a few Atlantis sets, and the transparent lime-green-filled tubes that seem common in this wave. As for new molds, there are two of the new spherical armor pieces for use on the shoulders, and Reapa's head piece. His head has very nice contours and "damage" details on it, making it seem symmetrical until you take a close look.
Toxic Reapa is a nice set. It's a cool set. For me, it's also a nostalgic set. But how's that possible if it just came out? Well when I see his round, squat form it reminds me of the Bohrok. And that head-on-the-chest thing isn't new; it dates back to the pre-BIONICLE Slizers. But that's just what I'm reminded of, which has little bearing on the set itself.
Even with the custom chest, Reapa is still stuck on the Hero Factory's standard design. But there are enough changes that, I think, he stands out reasonably well. First off, he's got no hands, instead opting for his pumps of putrescence. The armor shells here flow together nicely, making a smooth transition. He's got those tanks on his back, which actually fill out that area and cover the exposed ball joint quite well. Then, of course, there's his torso.
I want to run through Denmark and high-five every person who had a part in the process that led to this design. It looks really neat and bulky. And, to my surprise, not hollow. There is that space under the bottom shell that could use something, but other than that the connectors and the neck piece do a good job of filling out the space.
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?
Reapa is what you should've come to expect from the Hero Factory build. He's got the usual points of articulation, plus a couple others, and no function or launcher. But man you can really put him into some wicked poses. The pictures don't do him justice.
Of course, what's a villain without a hero to fight against?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Really snazzy parts
- Above-average design
- He's just awesome okay
- Buy this set
What's not to like?
- The feet still have the brittle socket mold
- A few holes here and there
- You will never be able to buy enough of this set
This is just the first of many 2012 reviews we have in store for you guys - hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to thank Bfahome and leave any questions and feedback you may have in the Talkback. Keep checking back for more reviews and all the latest Bionicle, Hero Factory, and LEGO news!
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