Set Review: 8986 Vastus
Saturday, September 19th, 2009 at 7:36pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Darth Vader]
Today is a day for another set review. One of our more prolific reviewers, Blog Assistant Darth Vader, checks out Vastus. How does this green Glatorian Legend stack up? Are those snakes as cool as they look? 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.
By now, we're all familiar with the Legends canisters. They kind of look like the Visorak canisters, have less interesting images than the winter line did, and have better back-of-the-canister images than the winter line. Vastus is no different. A bright lime lid lets you know that this is the Green Glatorian Legend. It's bright.
The back of the canister has the same chunk of text you won't read as they all do, and the same advertisments as the rest of the Legends. And as this is Glatorian Legend review number six, I won't bore you with the various details that you definitely know by now.
Instead, I'll just point out that on the front image, Vastus' right hand is posed backwards. His palm is out. It looks really awkward once you notice it.
It is also hilarious.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The instruction book, like always, looks just like the front of the canister, but in a very slightly different aspect ratio. Snicker at his still-backwards hand.
You might swear you've built this set before. Really, by now, we're all used to this, right? I tell you I think it's terribly boring how similar all the sets are, and half of you disagree in the Talkback thread. And that's okay. But there's nothing interesting here. There's an Inika thighpad on Vastus' tummy, and his Inika torso is backwards.
Not a lot going on 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.
One of the best parts of the re-used design is that sometimes it means we get a lot of new armour pieces (like Mata Nui), or old pieces in new colours (like Ackar).
Well, at least there are more new pieces than in Gelu... Vastus comes with four new pieces, and one old piece in new colours.
In new molds we get:
- Snake-themed Glatorian helmet
- Snake-themed Glatorian shoulderpads
- Snake-themed Glatorian scythe
- New long-double-socket piece with outward connections in Metru green
In new colours:
- Mahri breathing tube in transluscent plastic, with dark green plastic down the center
I have to say, the snake theme is neat. It kind of makes me wish we'd done animal-themed sets a long time ago. Almost.
The pieces are, at the very least, consistent. The snake tails on the shoulder pads match the tendrils coming off of the helmet, and I like that kind of consistency. The snake heads all match each other, and the green in the Mahri tube matches the green used in the set almost perfectly.
The shoulder pieces, though, are big. I'm not sure if anyone will find them very useful, especially since the snake theme makes them quite specialized. But I'm sure someone will do something with them, somewhere, and make it awesome.
The Mahri tube looks great. Would love to see these with other colours down the center. And I also want to see more of the long-double sockets with outward connections in all colours. Instead of just Keetorange, light blue, and dark green. Please TLG, I want some in black, white, and red.
Please and thanks.
The helmet is pretty neat. It reminds me of Spartan helmets with the opening and sharp edges in the front, but the snake theme takes over after that. I could do without the side snake-tails, for various reasons, but overall, this helmet has character. And I always love helmets/masks with character.
Now, for the build.
Vastus suffers from the same problems most sets I dislike suffer from. Really long arms, thin body, and goofy wide shoulders.
Without his weapons, Vastus looks quite stout. I blame the Inika shoulderpad on his tummy. It bulges out further than the rest of his body, and can give the illusion of a potbelly.
The Metru legs used as lower arms differ from the rest of the build thematically, and I wish TLG had used the Inika lower legs instead, just so the design would match. And I'd like them in dark green. For more thematic and colour consistency. I like consistency.
Speaking of that, I don't understand the silver viking horns plugged into the sides of the shoulderpads. They point down, and they're silver. They just seem really out of place.
I actually like the way the Inika body works when done backwards like this. At least, from the front. The design of the piece actually offers the illusion of depth because of the slanted directions, and that's good. The downside, of course, is that it leaves most of the neck area empty and exposed.
I have one other problem with this set, and I'm sure you can guess what it is.
I hate that TLG used Hordika legs on Vastus. They didn't work with the Hordika, and they look terrible here. Not to mention they make posing Vastus very difficult. There is no center of these pieces, when lined up, the ball joints on the ends are on different planes. This offers a lot of frustration and little joy. Rahkshi legs, Piraka legs, Inika legs, anything else would look better. These are pieces that are better forgotten and never used again.
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?
Vastus has the same points of articulation as all modern sets do. However, there is a drawback to all the pointy, snake-themed bits sticking out from his helmet and shoulders. Be prepared for all these tendrils to snag one another, and make posing Vastus a chore, as you have to make sure all the various sticking-out-things line up correctly, so as not to limit his head and shoulder movement.
The other point worth mentioning, is that Vastus cannot hold his full weapon one-handed. The design does not allow for the scythe to be held with the Mahri tube without the Thornax launcher bit on the bottom. You'll need to dig through your collection to find a connector to work around this.
And two-handed, there is quite the limit on cool poses Vastus can get into. And firing the Thornax launcher? Even more difficult.
Otherwise, there's the same as there is everywhere else lately. There's the SUPER ACTION FIGURE GAME. There's posing Vastus. There's setting him on a shelf to look almost kinda neat. And there's taking him apart for the pieces.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Recolours and new pieces are nice
- Helmet looks neat
- Snake theme is interesting
- Together these offer something that kind of looks new
What's not to like?
- Not thematically consistent
- Same old, same old
- Difficult to pose
- HORDIKA LEGS
- Tired of launchers
Overall? I'm just not thrilled with Vastus. And considering there are some actually great figures offered in the Legends line (Mata Nui, Ackar, Kiina), I just don't think Vastus is worth the price tag, which is still higher than feels necessary. If you have all of the other figures, Vastus might be worth your time. But overall, while I like the snake theme, I think it may prove to be more limiting after initial construction than it is beneficial. And as awesome as it is to see a scythe in BIONICLE (I haven't checked, but I'm sure someone has used this for a Toa Nidhiki MOC by now), the way it is all put together hinders the playability. I just don't think it's worth it, gang.
And that wraps it up for Vastus - I hope you found it enjoyable and informative. Be sure to thank DV in the Talkback as well as tell him how wrong he is. ;) Keep checking back, there's still a few more 2009 sets to be reviewed!
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