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    Discuss This Story
    Set Review: 7147 Xplode
    ReviewSunday, September 26th, 2010 at 5:11pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter

    We've been looking at some of the Hero Factory sets, and today we're going to get red-hot and take a look at Xplode. He is one of the villains released this year to combat the Hero Factory warriors, but how is he as a set? I, Xccj, will review him and see if I can answer that question.

    First of all, I have to speak about Xplodes character. Most of the villain sets this year are henchmen of Von Nebula, but not Xplode. Heís a villain for hire; his own boss and master. Or so I assume from his Bio. That makes him Xtra cool. Plus, his name starts with an X, a concept that I am personally a fan of.

    Presentation
    From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

    Front of Box

    Although Xplode is technically a larger canister set (on par with the Glatorian both set wise and price wise) he no longer comes in a canister. Instead, you have to pick up Xplode in a box. And the image on the front really does explode out at you. Seriously, it looks like a big explosion is going off directly behind him. (No doubt he was responsible for it.) On the front is the usual stuff: Hero Factory logo, set information, a warning label, and the Lego logo. Thereís also a neat ďFrom the Makers of Bionicle CharactersĒ sign, so that the Bionicle legacy can live on a while longer.

    Back of Box

    The back of the box features Xplode confronting Bulk in a fight-to-end-all-fights. I donít know who to root for, because Xplode looks much fiercer than Bulk. Also included are some stats for Xplode, as well as a diagram showing how to use the launcher. (In case you werenít around last year to play with the Thornax.)

    Building
    Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

    Content of Box

    Now that the larger buildable figures come in boxes, the pieces are held within plastic bags. Xplode comes with two bags holding the larger and smaller pieces, while some of the larger spikes and torso piece just fall out on their own. Thereís also a short instruction manual and (strangely) a piece of paper again warning of the choking hazard associated with Lego pieces. I donít know why it was included, but maybe since this was one of the first sets purchased from S@H, they forgot to print an additional page in the instructions, so they included it in the box separately.

    Building Part 1 Building Part 2 Building Part 3 Building Part 4

    While the build for Xplode is much nicer than those of the Hero canister sets, Bionicle Stars sets, and even the Ben 10 sets, it is still relatively bland if youíve built a canister set in the past few years. He has some interesting connections for his spikes (note: interesting doesnít mean I like them, but Iíll get to that soon) but everything else is rather commonplace. But itís nothing Xceptional.

    Set Design
    Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

    The Pieces

    Xplode comes with a nice selection of parts, but there are some inconsistencies that bug me. First of all, the main colors are clearly Mata red and black. (And these colors do go great together.) But then there are some Metru red pieces mixed in (leg connectors and Vorox armor piece) and grey pieces (which wouldíve been better in black). The colors donít clash too badly, but I still wouldíve preferred more conformity.

    Then there are the pieces themselves. Xplode comes with a fair amount of good pieces, but few of them are brand new. This is slightly disappointing, especially after all the new molds the Hero canister sets got. The new molds include the body piece (seen on all the Hero Factory sets this year, I presume), the spikes (also seen on Von Nebula), and Xplodeís helmet (of course).

    There are some nice recolors, such as the red Toa Metru limbs, the black Thornax launchers, and the wicked Krika spikes. And there are some other nice pieces like the Slizer arms and tri axle connectors. The selection could be better, but itís still not bad for a larger buildable figure set.

    Special Pieces

    The three pieces pictured above are the coolest in this set, in my opinion. The recolored Krika blade is amazing; doesn't quite give the same flaming effect as Tahuís swords, but it still looks pretty deadly, especially in the new colors. The spikes are also a lovely new piece. The bulk of the body is Mata red, but the spikes shoot out and gradate to yellow, which adds an explosive feel to them. The spikes are also rubbery, so they look cool without posing a great risk to those who might step on them. And the head just completes Xplodeís look. Personally, it reminds me of the Piraka heads, with the spikes and wicked grin. Heíd fit right in with Von Nebulaís crowd.

    Front of Xplode Back of Xplode

    As for the actual set designÖ well, it leaves something to be desired. The hunched head design is nice, filling out a bit of his torso where he lacks real armor and giving him a, well, a hunched shape. And the back spike connecting is intriguing. Itís a new idea and more mobile than previous spikes-on-the-back designs, but it still leaves some gaps if you look at it too closely.

    But where this set is really lacking is in the arms. First of all, thereís the use of the Slizer arm piece. Yes, again, itís a new idea, but one that just doesnít seem to work. Only a few angles really look natural, and most of the time it seems that Xplode has some really lopsided and lengthy arms. The Slizer arms work fine as one-piece arms, but not so much when you try to connect them with other joint pieces.

    And then thereís the spiked armor. Itís attached to the socket piece via a tri axle connector, so itís hanging off the arm at an angle. And it looks AWFUL. There is far too much empty space between the spike and the arm. I have tried to find some good reason for having such a design, but I cannot think of one. Granted, the spike piece has no easy way to attach to the arm, but the method used just does not work. And this is what ruins the set.

    And one last thing to mention: although the arms are horrible, the weapons help make up for it by being awesome. I donít think I need to describe how cool the recolored Krika blade is; thatís obvious. The new launcher setup is also nice, as it comes with old molds in new colors. I was Xspecially fearful that the zamor piece would be lime green like it was for all the Piraka sets. But no, this Xplode came with a darker shade of green. While it does clash with the general color scheme of Xplode, I can still appreciate it.

    Playability
    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?

    Bend Those Arms

    Xplode is as playable as any canister set from the last couple of years. You can pose him, you can roleplay with him, and you can even shoot his launcher. But thatís about it. Xplodeís arms do allow for some funky and unnatural posing. But what heís best at is roleplaying. Despite any of the set flaws, Xplode has character. The helmet and arm spikes add to this, making his design stand out. So he was fun to pose with other characters.

    Xplode vs Stringer

    And I must say, something about Xplode reminds me of something else. Maybe itís the red and black color scheme? Maybe itís the hunchback with flames leaping from his body. Or maybe itís just the Slizer arms.

    Xplode and Torch

    They may have been released ten years apart, but you can still tell that theyíre brothers!

    Final Thoughts
    Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

    Pros
    What's to like?

    • Spike pieces with lots of potential
    • Recolored Krika blade
    • Lots of other cool pieces
    • And a green zamor (as opposed to a lime one)
    • A good overall color scheme
    • Lots of character

    Cons
    What's not to like?

    • OH MY GOSH THE ARMS!
    • Standard build
    • Use of Slizer arm pieces in his arms
    • Design for connecting the spike pieces to the arms
    • Too much dark red and grey
    • No, seriously, the arms just about ruin the set

    I think Xplode had more character than some of the other villain sets. And if you are looking for some good pieces, heís not too bad. But the overall set design just has too many gaps in it, which is a major drawback. So I guess it depends on what you Xpect from your set.

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