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    Set Review: 8624 Race For the Mask of Life
    ReviewTuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 11:00am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
    [Source: Bioran23]

    It's been a little while since our last review, so I thought a good way to kickstart them again would be with one of the new playsets! So today BS01 Wiki staff Bioran23 brings you a review of the Race For the Mask of Life playset. As one of the largest sets this year, it's definitely a good idea to find out what makes this set go and see if you should pick it up. So read the review and make a decision of your own!

    Hello there. Today I bring you a review of the set Race for the Mask of Life, the non-canonical and limited edition playset.

    Race for the Mask of Life 01

    THE BOX
    The the most superficial part of any LEGO product, but the one that often determines whether or not the set is a success or failure.

    The box itself is huge. It's the size of about two of the titan boxes put together side by side or five Toa Inika canisters, as shown in the picture below:

    Race for the Mask of Life 02

    The box also features a new way of opening, which is unlike last yearís playsets, because you lift up the cover rather than opening from the side. You could, however, try to open it from the sides, but you will end up with a broken box.

    So how do you exactly open the box, you ask? The answer is pretty straight forward. On both sides of the box, you will notice a picture which tells you how to do it. Just follow it and you will be fine.

    Race for the Mask of Life 03

    The art of the box itself is very eye-catching. It features the two "vessels" apparently racing towards the goal (hence the name), with what seems to be the ending point slightly behind them. It also has a new header with a Voya Nui logo and the name of the set besides it, which is the most eye-catching bit of the box, as its black and lime color scheme stands out from the other LEGO and BIONICLE boxes which have more of a slivery appearance.

    Race for the Mask of Life 04

    The art work on the back of the box features all the functions in the set and pictures of the new mini-figures, but more on those two later.

    Race for the Mask of Life 05

    WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
    So you've bought it and taken it home (or at least made it to the car), punched the perforated tabs and dump out the contents.  What do you get for your money?

    The set includes five packets that are numbered as "1," which are the packets needed for what I call "Vessel 1" (the Toa Inikaís "Ship"). It has another five packets numbered "2" which are needed for "Vessel 2" (the Pirakaís "Ship") and three packets for the ending point. Unfortunately, I cannot provide an image because there are just too many packets.

    THE BRICKS
    Here's where we start to cut to the heart of the matter.  You didn't buy this box for all the glossy booklets & creative artwork.  You want to know about the LEGO bricks & bits that are included, and what (if any) new & interesting parts you'll find inside.  Here's also where I'll talk about any new and/or interesing pieces that you will encounter.

    The set itself has no new pieces (other than the new mini-figures) like the normal playsets. "Vessel 2" and the start point mostly consist of basic LEGO bricks, with occasional appearances by Technic pieces for the functions.

    Now, donít start mourning for the lack of your beloved Technic pieces. "Vessel 1" is basically made up entriely of Technic pieces, the occurrence of LEGO bricks is only at the bottom of the structure.

    Race for the Mask of Life 06

    The set also comes with six Zamor Spheres: two blue ones and four green ones. Interestingly, the instruction booklet says that "Vessel 1" is supposed to have the green Zamor while "Vessel 2" has the blue ones, but on the cover, it is the other way around. "Vessel 1" also has the ability to store Zamor Spheres, but more on that later.

    And now, the moment you have all bean waiting for...
    Introducing... the brand new, 2006 playsetís Mini-Figures!!!

    Race for the Mask of Life 07

    Race for the Mask of Life 08

    Yes, it is those little figures which you all were complaining about last year for their immobility. Well, guess what; those times are over, because this yearís mini-figures are completely movable, posable, and breakable (kidding)! This yearís mini-figures are way better than last year's. The only problems with these mini-figures is that they seem to have too much detail, make some of the characters look "gluey." As an additional point, there are unfortunately only 4 Toa Inika (Jaller, Hahli, Nuparu and Hewkii) and 4 Piraka (Zaktan, Hakann, Reidak and Thok) but for some funny reasons, there is a complete set of 12 tools.

    Apart from Zamor Spheres, the set also comes with two Kanohi Olmak. These two masks are installed onto the "Ending Point" and "Vessel 2."

    Now, letís move onto the "Ending Point." The ending point is basically mixed up as far as its pieces go. The base at the bottom is unfortunately pre-built. The point itself is made of both Technic and LEGO bricks, a perfect combination.

    Race for the Mask of Life 10

    BUILDING EXPERIENCE
    What can you expect while putting this model together?

    Generally, the set was not too difficult to build. Parts of it are somewhat complex, especially the functions, but you can get through it with little difficulty.

    As I mentioned before, "Vessel 1" has the ability to store Zamor Spheres, as shown below:

    Race for the Mask of Life 09

    But still, the "Storage Area" is not perfect. On either side of it, there is a gap big enough for all of the spheres to fall out, so I recommend that you just keep them in a box instead of keeping them there.

    The set itself has three Zamor Launchers, all of which can be rotated 360 degrees, definitely a great tool to use when it comes to shooting the crew members on your ship.

    PLAYING EXPERIENCE
    So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?

    As I have mentioned before, this set includes many functions, so why donít we take a closer look?

    As you can see, "Vessel 1" has the rather cool feature of an elevated platform, which gives a feeling of pride and success. But I have to say, other than that, there is not much else.

    Race for the Mask of Life 11

    In my opinion, "Vessel 1" has much better durability than "Vessel 2" due to the fact that it is made with Technic pieces (which gives it a stronger structure), that in this case prevents the set from being smashed into pieces when you collide it into a wall or something, unlike "Vessel 2."

    Comparing the functionality, "Vessel 2" will definitely win. The vessel has a claw function which allows the player to move the claws via a piece on the back. It also has a 360 degree rotation Zamor Launcher, which is, again, very useful when it comes to attacking the members of the crew on the vessel itself.

    Race for the Mask of Life 12

    So how do you move them? Just look at the back of the vessel. For the Zamor Launcher, you simply rotate the piece provided, and as for the claws, you just wiggle the black piece back and forth.

    Race for the Mask of Life 13

    The ending point has far by the most functions, with a closable gate and an axe which could be used to behead an intruder. Unfortunately, the gate canít reach the bottom of the entrance.

    Race for the Mask of Life 14

    Race for the Mask of Life 15

    The set itself is very playable and functional and is a great choice when you have some friends over at your house and have nothing to play with.

    OVERALL
    Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.

    Whether or not you like BIONICLE sets, this playset is definitely a great set to buy for a gift. For only USD 59.99, this set is a must for all BIONICLE playset fans. Unfortunately, this is a limited edition set, meaning that not everyone can get it. If you can, then you should pick it up; if not, then try to order it off LEGOís Shop @ Home.

    I hope you enjoyed my review. If you have any questions, just drop them in this reviewís Talkback thread, and I shall answer them for you.

    In addition to his request for questions, make sure you thank Bioran23 for writing this review for you guys. I expect it's shed some light on this playset and helped you decide whether or not to get it yourself (or maybe put it on your birthday list). Keep checking back for the rest of the 2006 set reviews!

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