Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 7:39pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time for another set review, taking a look at some sets from our favorite line of collectible creatures. The Fang Gang Mixels are from Series 2 and feature 41512 Chomly, 41513 Gobba, and 41514 Jawg. Are these toothy little meatballs worth picking up, or should you keep them at arms-length to avoid being bitten? Continue 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.
Like all the other Mixels, the Fang Gang comes in plastic pouches that differ from normal polybags. In this case, they're all brown, indicating the primary color of the sets. They feature an image of the actual set front and center along with an animated version in the top right. We also get the appropriate LEGO, Mixels, and Cartoon Network logos.
The back of the bags show that the three Mixels can combine to form the Fang Gang Max and also show off all three of the Series 2 Mixels. Large amounts of legal text follow. Inside, there's a bag of parts and an instruction manual.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The builds are nothing crazy, the sets are only 57 to 68 pieces each, after all. They do manage to incorporate some SNOT techniques, but it's not going to blow your mind. The Fang Gang Max is pretty much the same thing, only bigger.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Brown is the primary color featured in the Fang Gang, both the standard shade as well as dark brown and dark orange. There's very few unique pieces here and also scant few of the new Mixel ball joints. There's a lot of brown, so if you're looking to beef up that part of your collection, you're in luck. Otherwise the selection is nothing special.
Chomly is a giant head with arms and legs. His Neanderthal brow and big eyes give him a lot of character, as does the gold tooth. The eyes are attached via Technic half-pins that allow them to spin around, giving him a variety of expressions. I like the use of the Exo-Force arms as his arms, with the interesting connection of the claw piece for his hands. I do wish they had some more articulation though. The same goes for the legs - they have a ball join hip, but because of the design the legs can't move forward. I think he's pretty cool to look at though and has a lot of personality.
Gobba is a squat little dude that follows the same head/arms/legs pattern as Chomly. While his eyes aren't quite as expressive, he does have a mouth full of teeth that opens and closes, ready to chomp down on any unsuspecting Nixels. His arms are poseable at the shoulder as well as two moveable fingers, which is nice. The legs are a bit odd, connecting via a Technic pin/axle combo allowing the hips to move around. The feet can also pivot a bit, but I would have preferred some Mixel joints to be used here. From a color perspective, I wish there was either more or less dark orange - what there is just stands out - and that there was less exposed red.
Finally, we've got Jawg, a giant mouth with legs and a tail (notice a pattern?). I like the head design with all the exposed teeth and the eyes that can easily spin, but again have to take some points off for the exposed red bricks. Also disappointing is the lack of any Mixel joints. Jawg's feet are attached via a single stud, so they can swivel, but that's it. The tail has two points of articulation and definitely helps flesh him out, resulting in what I feel looks like a very happy man-eating dog.
Next up we've got the Nixel that comes with Chomly. It's a very simple build, but thanks to his pivoting legs he has half as many points of articulation as the main set! He's cute in a mischievous, little, impish sort of way. Mainly though it's nice for the Mixels to have some sort of adversary.
Combine the three Mixels and you get the Fang Gang Max! The Max reminds me quite a bit of a rat, with its longish head, pointy ears and nose, and the long tail. I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't make use of all of the Mixel ball joints, especially with how few there are in the three sets as-is. The hands are cool though, featuring two fingers and a thumb that can move. Visually, I like the look, but the lack of limb articulation is a shame. It also suffers from the exposed red pieces that some of the individual Mixels do as well. Overall it's a pretty good model considering the designers were working with a very limited palette.
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?
Mixels, in general, are pretty adorable, and the Fang Gang are no exception. They're cool to put on your desk and pose, and throw in the Nixel and there's certainly some roleplay opportunities. Unfortunately, due the limited articulation of these three, the play value is a little less than it could be.
The same goes for the Fang Gang Max. You can have lots of fun playing around with him and the Nixel, but personally I think I prefer the individual three sets.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Good selection of brown, dark brown, and dark orange parts
Mixels have lots of character
Max model is well-designed
What's not to like?
Very few of the new Mixel joints
Exposed colors ruin the scheme a bit
If you're looking to bulk up your brown parts, these Mixels are probably a good buy. If you want a lot of the new Mixel joints though, you're better off looking elsewhere. If you want some cool creatures to sit on your desk, the Fang Gang can do the trick, but I think some of the other Mixels might be cooler - but that's definitely personal preference. Of course, if you have to collect them all, you've probably already snatched these off the shelves!
Thank you all for reading the review, I hope you found it informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave it in the Talkback topic. We've got plenty more reviews in the pipe, so keep checking back on BZPower for those and more Bionicle and LEGO news!