Sunday, December 20th, 2015 at 2:07am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's time for another 2016 Bionicle set review. Today BZPower Reporter Xccj glides into the rain forest to check out 71300: Uxar, Creature of Jungle. Is this winged creature worth venturing through the foliage to find, or should he be left to wither on the forest floor? 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 front of the package shows Uxar flying over the jungle region and attacking a Shadow Trap with vine legs. In addition to being a cool background, it also features Lewa and his golden mask, to give you a hint that these two characters team up. The top also has the Bionicle logo with Makuta's Mask of Control, which seems to be this year's iconic mask.
The back of the box has an image of the Lewa and Uxar combiner / uniter model, the action features on both Uxar and the Shadow Trap, and a 1:1 shot of Uxar's helmet. The top of the box also calls back to classic Bionicle with the inclusion of Lewa's Nuva symbol, as well as a symbol that represents the creatures.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Uxar's not too complicated, but it's still a nice build. You basically build his wing function over a small body piece, and then add the limbs. The gear design is simple but works nicely.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Uxar comes with 89 pieces, plus a few extras. There are a fair amount of uncommon elements here, including some new recolors like the silver Vorox armor piece, the dark grey spike element, the trans bright green limb piece, and the trans bright green system wing piece. Some other uncommon parts are the yellow 5L axle, the silver chain, the green spike vine, and the bright green technic connector. The technic connector is also the only piece in this set that is solid green, with the rest of the green elements being either transparent or multi colored.
We do get a bunch of new elements as well. The sword piece is the only new weapon mold we get this year, but it's still a cool design with the crystal-like colored blade. Many other Toa and creatures come with this weapon, but only Uxar and Lewa have it in green. Likewise, all the creature sets come with the Shadow Trap jaw pieces, which clamp together nicely and have a fair amount of connection points. You also get the new armor piece in silver, which has only technic connections and designs that harken back to classic Bionicle armor. Most of the 2016 Bionicle sets have at least one of this piece, and it's used to connect the Toa and creatures together. You also get a new gear element, which has an axle on one end. It reminds me of some of the specialized gear elements from the Bohrok, and it looks like it'll be a part of many cool action features.
Of course, the only truly unique piece in Uxar is his helmet. All the creatures share the same mold, like how all the Protectors had the same mask design last year, but Uxar is the only one that has it in silver and trans bright green. There's a lot of amazing detailing on the head, including a symbol on the forehead that resembled the same symbol on the top of the box. He does have eyes, but they're molded into the silver bit and kind of blend in. The top of the head starts to look crystal like as it tappers off into trans bright green. Although it's dual colored, there are some trans green parts near the bottom of the mask, making me think it's entirely trans bright green with the silver painted on.
While all the creature sets this year include a Shadow Trap enemy, they all have slight variations that make them unique. The jungle Shadow Trap has the vine legs and the chain tail, which I imagine it can use as a sort of spider web to hang down off the trees and wait for its prey. It includes two click hinges that allow the jaw to open and close, and it fits together nicely. Although when it's completely closed, it can take some extra effort to get it opened again. Still, it's a step up from the Skull Spiders of last year, in my opinion.
I'll start off by saying Uxar is big. Like, far larger than I expected. It's all thanks to his wings; their span makes him wider than most other canister Bionicle sets. On one hand, it's impressive that a smaller set can take up this much space and still look good. On the other hand, it makes him harder to display, because his wings need a lot of room. He does have some articulation with his four legs and neck, which allows him to get into a few different positions, and they also make it so he doesn't look too flat. The colors also look nice, as the trans bright green contracts well over the dark grey bits, with a few yellow highlights added in. Based on this appearance, I would say that Uxar is supposed to be some sort of bug. (And a classic Bionicle insect too, since he does only have four legs.)
That doesn't mean he's without some flaws. For example, the design on the tail means that the spike is only connected via a pin, so it can swing back and forth when I would prefer it to be fixed down. The system wings are also attached via pin, so they can rotate into undesirable positions on the wings. His head is also fairly flat, since it's hollow on the inside and that shows at certain angles. I would've preferred if he included a lower jaw like the Kaiju from the Invasion from Below Hero Factor sets, but the helmet design is meant to fit over the Toa's masks when they unite, so unfortunately it just has to be that way, and Uxar and all the creatures suffer from it.
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 on Unax is definitely his wings. There's a technic heavy gear contraption on his back, and when you lift his tail, his wings also flap up. This is a simple but effective function, and the wing movement looks natural. It is slightly problematic that the wings, in general, can't be held in the up position. They could've easily attached the wings to ball joints to allow for more motion, but I'm glad they went the extra mile and designed a useful function for the smaller set, even if articulation suffers a bit. It's one of my favorite creature functions out of the 2016 wave. (And if you don't want to flap the wings, you could grip the tail and swoosh him around. He may be a creature of jungle, but he can easily take to the air.)
Better yet, you can set him against the jungle Shadow Trap and see who comes out ahead. The Shadow Trap is still puny compared to Uxar, but you can still use the clamps to latch onto one of his wings. Furthermore, Uxar can combine with 71305 Lewa, Uniter of Jungle and form a pretty cool character. I'll cover the United Uxar and Lewa when I review the Toa, so stay tuned.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Good amount of rare pieces
Great technic action feature on the wings
The wings make him look big!
Cool color scheme
The overall bug-like appearance works!
Shadow Trap an okay opponent
What's not to like?
Tail and wings attached to pins, move easily
Large wings can make it difficult to put on display
He makes for a cool combo character, but then you need to buy Lewa too
Uxar makes for an excellent creature, especially for his price of $9.99 USD. The wings have a great action feature to make them flap, and their size also makes Uxar look huge! There are a few minor issues, like his hollow head, but overall I think he turns into a fun creature that can be flown around with ease. Definitely a creature to keep in mind if you're looking to buy some of the 2016 Bionicle sets when they come out in January.
Thanks again for watching and / or reading another BZPower set review! A big shout out to LEGO for sending these to us to get you an early review; thanks again! Make sure to like and subscribe to the BZPower Youtube Channel, and keep an eye out for the rest of the Bionicle 2016 set reviews, including 71305 Lewa, Uniter of Jungle.