Sunday, June 28th, 2015 at 9:17pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's time for another BZPower Bionicle set review. Today, BZPower Reporter Xccj takes a look at the new summer villain set 70792 Skull Slicer. Is this a set you'd rise from the grave to get, or would you rather slice and dice it apart? Read on or watch the video review to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The Skull Slicer is still in the same angled card board boxes that the medium-priced winter sets came in. The front shows off the character slicing through the air with his three swords, and his chain has grabbed onto the Mask of Jungle and yanked it away from Lewa, whose hands can presumably be seen in the lower right corner. The background is pretty neat and features the wreckage of the city.
The back of the box shows off an alternate view of Skull Slicer, as well as some of his action features. As with the winter wave of Bionicle sets, there is a small comic on the back which showcases Skull Slicer's encounter with the Toa. Furthermore, there's an advertisement for an alternate build between Skull Slicer, Skull Warrior, and Skull Basher. Upon opening the box, you get two bags of parts, the body piece, and the instruction booklet. The first page of the instructions has a higher resolution print of the comic, and the back has an advertisement for all the summer sets and a closer look at the alternate build. The sets are expected to be out on store shelves in August.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Skull Slicer isn't an overly complex build, especially if you've used CCBS elements before, although constructing the gearbox was kind of fun, with a little more complexity than usual.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Skull Slicer has some interesting pieces. There are 71 of them, including a few spares. The ones that jump out the most are the trans bright green bits, including the limb piece, which is new in that color, and you get six of them. The other piece is the new skeleton rib cage armor, which is nicely detailed and has a socket attachment on the back with a pin attachment on the front. It's basically a new, stylized torso armor piece.
Among the other new pieces included with this set are the armor attachment piece, the bone pieces, and the sword. You only get one of the big armor attachment pieces in black, which is also nicely detailed. The new bone joint pieces are interesting; they're more streamline and hollow, which looks okay for a skeleton creation, but seems a little lacking for other MOCs, especially since it doesn't have any further attachment points on it. All the same, you get six in this set, which is the most out of any of the summer Bionicle sets, I believe. Finally, you get three of the new sword elements (again, the most you can get from one of the summer Bionicle sets.) It's an interesting mold, however despite its slotted design, two of the swords don't fit together like the kind used with Tahu and Kopaka.
But we're not done yet; there are a few other fairly exclusive pieces that come in this set! We get to see the new Bionicle eye piece in trans neon orange, and also get two Skull Spider legs in that color too, as well as a trans neon orange chain. The body piece also appears in silver for the first time, and you get a custom printed torso armor bit too for Skull Slicer.
Finally, this set comes with two masks, a silver Skull Spider mask and a half trans bright green / half gold Mask of Jungle. It is a bit disappointing that the Skull Slicer is the only summer Bionicle set that doesn't come with one of the new mask molds, and instead reuses the Skull Spider mask that was previously available in the ice and water sets from the winter wave. The Mask of Jungle's new color scheme is really cool and makes for a nice collectible for the hero to add to this set. I'm not sure what the storyline significance of it will be; has Lewa's mask been infected, or was it powered up just before the Skull Slicer knocked it off his face. Either way, it looks pretty good on Lewa, fitting right in with his color scheme.
Skull Slicer comes together to be an interesting four-armed villain. I do like how they pulled off the color scheme; the trans bright green pieces are mostly exposed and add a splash of color to his otherwise silver complexion. The trans neon orange bits do stand out oddly, so I'm curious as to why they didn't make them in green too, but I suppose the set designers wanted stark contrast. Or perhaps the green is his "natural" undead color, and the orange signifies his new weapons?
The most interesting part of the design, in my opinion, was putting together the gearbox. I expected there to be two large gears at the top for each set of arms, as we saw with some of the Toa. However, instead the one big gear rotates the upper left arm, which uses two smaller gears to rotate the lower left arm in the opposite direction. But then that arm has an axle that extends to the lower right arm, which then uses three gears to rotate the upper right arm in the same direction. So, in summary, when you swing the upper left arm backwards, the lower left arm swings forward, and both right arms also swing forward. It's a bit more technical than some of the Toa's gearboxes, and I'm quite pleased with how they worked it out. Or maybe I'm just a fan of good gear usage!
Skull Slicer does look a little top heavy, since he has a lot going on with his four arms, but not a lot with his legs, which seem rather spindly in comparison. I wish they had beefed up the legs more to give him a little bit better balance in the set.
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?
The main feature that Skull Slicer has to offer is, of course, the geared arms. All four of them do move, and when in action, it does look intimidating to see his three swords cutting through the air! However, as with most four-armed constraction characters, his arms can get tangled up a bit, especially when flailing about with the gear function. In particular, his trans neon orange chain tends to get tangled up around his arms when he swings them too hard, which is probably counterproductive. Although I was impressed that his armor on his upper shoulders doesn't hinder his movements too much, but the big armor piece does have a tendency of falling off. In some ways, it's more fun and unique than the arm functions of the Toa. But in other ways, it's a little too messy.
Skull Slicer has 19 points of ball joint articulation, in addition to his geared shoulders. That allows for him to make a fair amount of poses with his arms, but it can get a little cumbersome since he has so many. And, since he is top-heavy, he is a little hard to balance for a pose. In fact, his feet have lift-arm extensions to help them balance more, and even then he's still a little unsteady. It is possible to get him to do a one leg stand, but it's a precarious position and it takes some patience to get him there.
He also has the same mask-pop-off function that the Toa and Protectors has, where if you strike his eyestalk then his Skull Spider mask will fall off. But Skull Slicer also makes use of that function of the Toa to knock of Lewa's mask and snag it with the claws at the end of his chain. This adds a decent amount of role play opportunity if you can bring in a Toa and have the two fight it out.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
A lot of decent pieces, especially new molds and recolors
Nice gearbox design, which works into a nice arm function
Decent color scheme; the trans bright green really stands out over the silver
Trans bright green / gold Mask of Jungle
What's not to like?
Top heavy, hard to balance
Chain gets wrapped around arms when swinging
Reuse of silver Skull Spider mask (and no new mask molds)
Skull Slicer is indeed an interesting villain, but not the most intimidating to ever go against the Toa. His gear function is fun, up to the point where he gets wrapped up in his own chains. But if you can avoid that, then his three swords will slice through the air in a very satisfactorily way. As a parts pack, he does come with a lot of great pieces, like the new bone limbs, swords, and trans bright green limbs. The trans bright green / gold Mask of Jungle is a great addition, although I wouldn't say the same about the reused silver Skull Spider mask. If you enjoy the pieces or the function, then he'll be worth it. Otherwise, some of the other summer villains might be more to your taste.
Thanks again for reading and/or watching this set review. Like and subscribe to our Youtube channel, and stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO set reviews, including the rest of the summer Bionicle sets! Additionally, a big thanks to LEGO for providing these sets for us to review!