Set Review: 8696 Bitil
Saturday, September 20th, 2008 at 8:12pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The Brotherhood of Makuta contains members of all shapes and sizes. Today Makuta Bitil, one of many Makuta that have found themselves in Karda Nui in hopes of keeping with ďThe PlanĒ that has put the Great Spirit Mata Nui into his slumber, is reviewed. The yellow is sure to catch your eye, but once it is caught, will the rest of the set catch your intrigue and fascination? Read on to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
As you pick up the canister, or whatever you call the plastic rectangular container Bionicle sets come in nowadays, the first things noticeable is the yellow lid with the Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life, molded in on one side. Well, perhaps you first noticed Bitil flying through the air, looking menacing with his Kanohiís pincers ready to snap as he fires his Nynrah ghost blaster.
This image gives a very nice view of Bitil, showing off his wings, legs, feet, and mask especially well. Nothing is blocked from view or distorted, as can sometimes happen with sets.
Even more interestingly is the fact that, when viewed from the side, the Ignika is smooth on the left and scared on the right. What the reason for this is, I donít know, but it is creative nonetheless. (The other side isnít quite as interesting.)
Continuing on to the back of the canister are the usual pictures relating to the set, which includes showing how the Nynrah blaster works, the fact that Gavla can attach to Bitilís back, pictures of the Toa Nuva and Makuta Mistika, and all the fun copyrights and warnings.
Now that you have observed the set that is Bitil, you purchase him for - urk! - thirteen dollars. Whether or not this is an acceptable price tag will be discussed later, but for now the focus is on opening the set up and building it. Either in the car or on the bedroom floor watch out, for taking the lid off will require a little prodding and pushing. The best way would be to place your forefinger under the very back end of the Ignika (on the right side) and pull. Got it? Hopefully pieces didnít go flying over the room from the amount of effort needed. Yes, the lid is probably the tightest kind yet, but the little extra effort will have you appreciate that your pieces are safe.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Now that the lid is off, the pieces are sure to be askew on the floor. A combination of new and old pieces litter the designated building area, but with the advent of the revised joint sockets, most pieces have not been seen before 2008.
The instructions start off with the assembly of the Nynrah ghost blaster, and there could not be a better place to start, for who wouldnít want to test the latest weapon? Upon completion, I couldnít help but fire it at my brother, about 10 feet away. While it certainly hit him (but be careful not to aim anywhere near the face), the ammunition would not fly much further. But the firing mechanism was easy enough to operate, so perhaps with a little more effort it would have flown well past him.
The ammunition is a hard-rubber, streamlined dart, and works very well compared to the previous Cordak and squid launchers which required extra effort and might not have worked at all. Aside from having to really push the end tube, the only flaw I can find is that only two darts come in the set. Not very long before youíll need to go collect them from the other side of your bedroom to continue firing.
Building the set is not the most complicated thing youíll come across. The arms and legs are basic and are attached to a black 2008 Matoran body, like the one found in Gavla. The head and wings, however, are creative and cool, and open up some ideas for future building.
I was surprised to find out that Bitilís head consisted of a Vahki head as its base. Rarely does one find previous pieces used again for their same function, but this head is reversed and the Kanohi and eyes are built off of the socket holes in the back. The orange eyes are a nice choice as well, as they stand out but are light enough not to clash with his color scheme.
Once finished, Bitil stands roughly nine inches tall if his head is extended high. Usually, however, Bitil will hunch his head over a little to look more menacing and get his pincers a little closer to his prey, reducing his height to eight inches as advertised in the Lego catalogs.
Overall, it is fun to build Bitil based on his new pieces and creative use of everything he comes with. He looks different from other sets that predate him, and the build is sure to be enjoyable.
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 thingís first: seventeen new pieces are contained, consisting of eight new molds and Rahkshi legs recolored in yellow. (For the Rahkshi legs I am especially thankful, and Iím sure many MOCists will appreciate the expansion of their options of pieces.)
The wings attach via a short black double socket joint with two yellow Rahkshi arms protruding from either end. (These arms have been around since the Throwbots.) I had no idea how the wings were attached, so seeing this was a pleasant surprise as it was so simple, but does not intrude with the wings or any movability on their part. They can move quite freely, which are great for posing Bitil.
Bitilís Kanohi of Duplication is also a piece to behold. Not only does it consist of two colors, but they flow into each other perfectly, as opposed to previous multi-colored pieces which were sloppy in the mix. The mask is streamlined, and ends in the front with a sort of pointed nose, and in front of that two pincers that certainly make Bitil resemble, well, a beetle. A single plus rod hole on the underside allow it to attach to the Vahki head.
As you would have seen in the pictures of the new pieces, Bitil has two staff-like weapons he holds. Either extra-long appendages or weapons, my first thought was of making use of those for a custom Vahki. His shoulders are also quite bare, with only a few (color clashing) red spikes (perhaps yellow would be a better choice) protruding from them. This would probably best be covered up by one of the numerous Bionicle armor pieces out there, but Iíll forgive it when remembering that some beetles, who Bitil is trying to resemble, have little spiky things on their arms.
I believe the Nynrah ghost blasters to be the best looking long range weapon so far. Take a look at both the Midak and the Cordak: both are big, clunky cannons. The Nynrah, however, is slimmer, lighter, and doesnít look ridiculous to hold. Two thumbs for that! And it fires pretty easily and well too. (Although I guess the red tube does clash a little, and I do wish it was something more neutral for all sets.)
Especially eye-catching are the wing pieces. Though not greatly long wings, they are wide enough to presumably catch enough air to pull Bitil along, and look like a shell that would be found on a real beetle.
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?
Fly Bitil fly! (Can he really fly? No, but itís fun to make him look like he is!)
The set is fun to play with! With 18 points of articulation, the ways to make Bitil stand or pose in flight, spread his wings or fold them in, and hunch over his meal or rise up to full height are endless.
One thing Iíve been doing with new sets for a while now is what I call the ďOne Foot Test.Ē Can the set stand on one foot, or is it so overly cluttered and immobile that it will fall over? Only one way to find out.
And we have a winner! If anything shows a sturdy, well built set, Iíd say Bitil passed! Donít be afraid to pose Bitil however you want, heíll find a way to look his best.
And while Bitil is built, might as well throw some good guys into the mix to battle for the fate of Karda Nui! While I donít have any (and I mean NOT ANY) sets built, I do have a (semi-customized) Photok on my shelf. Can this little Matoran of Light stand up against a big, mean and nasty Makuta? He looks like he can hold his ground for a while.
That picture also doubles as height comparison! (Hehe, clever me...) Looks like Bitil is about one and a half times the height of an Av-Matoran.
If you like to pose your sets and display them to the rest of the world, Bitilís yellow makes him stand out, and his wings and Kanohi only help make him menacing and scary. If you are the MOCing type, like me, then the yellow Rahkshi legs and wings, not to mention the claws and feet, are going to be a big asset to your piece collection.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Yellow pieces
- Creative wings
- Cool head
- Nynrah Ghost Blaster looks good and easy to use
What's not to like?
- Lack of armor on shoulders
- Extra effort required on Nynrah blaster
- Overall simple build
Personally, I think the thirteen dollars is worth it. Over half the pieces come after 2008, which will add to my collection and MOCing arsenal. The yellow Rahkshi legs are probably the reason I bought this set in the first place, and things like his feet, thigh claws, and especially the wings only add frosting to the cake. (Plus, an extra black Vahki head never hurts either.)
If, however, you are not quite the MOCist (hereís some inspiration then: Toa of Lightning) Bitil will appear ravening and frightful as he and your other Makuta surround your good guys. Perhaps best, though, to wait for a sale before dishing out the cash to add another character to your playing.
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