Sunday, May 25th, 2014 at 6:36pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
LEGO was kind enough to send us a batch of the LEGO Legends of Chima constraction sets for this year, so of course we're going to review them. We're kicking things off with 70206 CHI Laval, the brave but often problem-causing hero of the group. And don't worry, if you're bummed that these sets aren't available in North America, we're giving away a copy too! So continue on to watch our video and read the review!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The theme of the packaging here greatly differs from that of the first wave of 2014 Chima sets. Gone are the poisonous-looking spines and instead the logo looks positively frosty, with an orb of golden Chi to dot the 'i.' The rest of the front is the fire to the logo's ice, with lots of reds, oranges, and yellows to give it a very hot appearance. And of course we've got Laval front and center in his golden armor, ready to take on any foe.
The back is quite the contrast of the front, with Laval appearing on some icy plains, his fire all but extinguished. I prefer this background since it has a lot more contrast and allows you to see the set more clearly. In the background we see Vardy on approach, hoping to catch Laval off guard. There's also a 1:1 scale image of Laval's head, an inset showing how the Chi can be removed from his chest, and a callout illustrating that he can combine with Fluminox to make an even bigger, winged, Laval.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Laval is a very basic constraction build - two symmetric arms, two symmetric legs, a head, a sword, and a shield. He'll go together fast and you won't find any interesting techniques here.
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's a good selection of new and recolored parts here. We get the new armor with a hole for a
Zamor sphere Chi orb, some nice medieval-looking shoulder armor, and a new sword/axe piece. They've all got some nice detailing on them, and I look forward to the armor especially being made in other colors. We also get the large dish piece in gold with a phoenix print on it, a recolor of Laval's head, and a 'golden' Chi orb in yellow and trans-orange. There's also a new #5 armor piece with a printed armor pattern on it that I forgot to include in the first photo.
Overall, there's a lot of gold, including the new Hero Factory Invasion from below feet and the Hero Factory paw/fist pieces. There's a good amount of trans-orange, although it's all in #4 armor pieces and claws. Aside from that, there's nothing amazing or unusual.
I feel like Laval suffers from too-much-gold syndrome. He has a gold chest, gold shoulders, gold hands, gold print on his legs, and gold feet. There's a little dark red, but that has gold printing on it! The colors go well together, there's just too much gold and not enough of a dark secondary color. I think it would have been really nice if they had given us dark blue instead of dark red, like the printing on the Laval minifig. Other complaints include a lack of wrist articulation, which is somewhat expected with those paws, and the way that his shield is connected causes it to rattle.
On the plus side, it's certainly a well-proportioned figure, and the head does bear a pretty reasonable resemblance to Laval, except for the eyes. The weapon is pretty cool, and I do like the paw design with the opposable thumbs. I also like that they did attempt to cover the back, which is always appreciated.
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?
Including the fingers, Laval has twenty points of articulation, which seems like a lot until you realize eight are the fingers. Still though, twelve points is plenty to put him into a lot of poses. Aside from that, you can make his golden Chi fall out by pushing the button and tipping him over - it's not a launcher by any means. There's no shooters here, which I'm not complaining about.
Of course, like with most constraction sets, the more you own, the more fun you can have! Laval and Cragger can have a sparring match to keep themselves sharp between missions, or perhaps Crooler finally found some more persuader plants. Whatever the case, the battle is on!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- New armor and blade pieces
- Trans-orange pieces are sweet
- Good overall design
- Reasonable amount of poseability
What's not to like?
- Too-much-gold syndrome
- Shield rattles around
- Boring build
Overall, I'd say CHI Laval is a thoroughly average constraction set. The build is nothing new and the color scheme needs a little help, but it's still a cool-looking action figure that captures Laval decently. It's certainly not a bad set, but it's not a must-buy either.
Thank you all for reading - I hope you've found this review informative and insightful. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them in the Talkback thread. Don't forget, if you want to win a copy of this set, make sure you watch the video! And of course, you should keep checking back on BZPower for more Legends of Chima constraction reviews along with other LEGO news, reviews, and more!
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