Set Review: 2235 Fire Lord
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 at 3:28pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: DeeVee and Sisen]
Today it's time for another Hero Factory 2.0 review, and it's not your normal look at a set. DeeVee and Sisen have teamed up to take a look at Fire Lord, the largest Hero Factory set announced for 2011 so far. Read on to see what this villain is made of and how the new Hero Factory building system translates to a larger scale.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
DV: Fire Lord is truly evil. You know how you can tell? He's standing in front of a blazing fire, and he's not looking behind him, he's gearing up to send out some more fire balls. He's not worried about the fire behind him, he's not worried about his servos getting melty or his metal getting hot and brittle. No sir.
The back of the box features Fire Lord attacking both Evo and Stormer, much in the same way the original Hero Factory Big Bad Von Nebby had him facing off against Stormer and somebody else less-important-who-was-replaced-this-wave. The box is larger than need be, but it'll stand out as the only large boxed set this wave on shelves. So that'll be helpful for you looking for him. There are legal disclaimers somewhere, but we had a fight so they didn't want to be in the pictures, so they moved to a different part of the box. :(
SISEN: Code Red Alert: A new dastardly villain has emerged! This evil mastermind and his lackeys are going to leave an inferno of trouble in their wake.
Subject Name: Fire Lord
Fire Lord looks pretty flashy on his box with exploding and flaming background, but looks can be deceiving. There really isn't much to say here unless you enjoy your flesh being seared.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
DV: Building Fire Lord is a weird experience. You see, he uses the New Building Style, with the New Pieces and the New Connection Points, but he also uses the more traditional Technic/Bionicle build that we're familiar with. This makes for an interesting - if not awkward at points - build. You can tell that the designers are thrilled to be doing something new with the Fire Lord, but the terrible newness of it all is something they haven't entirely grasped yet. Fire Lord's build starts off simple and familiar, but the end result tries to hard to be both something more akin to Bionicle and something new. I'm not too terribly certain the New Building Style was designed with these type of larger builds in mind, and I think that shows here. However, I am willing and able to see what we get in the way of larger figures next wave, because I know the set designers have to be enjoying playing and coming up with new ways to use these pieces for these purposes - because I know I am.
The build utilizes a lot of ball and socket connections, which is standard for this new style of build. You'll be clicking and snapping a lot here. But as mentioned, there are indeed axles and pins here as well. So do not fret, TLG is not moving entirely out of the Technic style connection points with their constraction figures. And at least, if they had planned on it, they haven't yet.
It starts with the torso like most large figures do, and moves down to the legs, and then the arms, and lastly the head. With his antlers.
SISEN: The set offers an interesting build to start. You start off with some new pieces like the t-torso and return to some old favorites. This set actually has connection pins! There is even some axle connection going on. It is not quite obvious what you are building at first, even with the pictures and similarities. It looks like the Fire Lord is going to have four arms. Everything works out in the end and the Fire Lord comes out with two arms and two legs.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
DV: Fire Lord comes with lots and lots and lots of new and amazing parts. This is why he would be worth purchasing. This, right here. Oh man.
First, he has all these neat new joint pieces. Arranged in the above image from smallest to largest, these are the new socket pieces contained in Fire Lord. He has a neat new small socket with a ball on the end instead of another rod connection (actually, this one is absent -any- axle connections which makes it much less useful). The double socket with a ball in the center instead of a pinhole. The same socket and ball joints from the heroes. Then these two ridiculously long double sockets with the ends going opposite directions. These pieces alone make the Fire Lord worthwhile, but wait! There's more.
Fire Lord also includes at least one of every new limb armour mold. From the small ones he's going to use on his shoulders, to the longest one, to that weird shaped one Evo and Breez have. He of course also has the hero torso armour piece in silver, and I suppose that could have been in that photo too, but I didn't put it there, so there.
Fire Lord's helmet - wait, wrong face.
There we go. Fire Lord's helmet has Drilldozer's face on the back of it. I'm not a fan of the dual-helmet idea when implemented like this versus the way the Bara Magna sets did it, because these become much larger, bulkier, and harder to use effectively when MOCing. I wish they hadn't've done this. Like that double contraction, it's just awkward and ugh.
Fire Lord's helmeted face has bars across his mouth, and his helmet is actually far less intimidating and character-possessing than Drilldozer's on the other side. Which is too bad.
He also has these new flame pieces Arpy covered in his Jetbug review, though I think they look more like flaming animal claws/paws.
He has these weird jetpack pieces that have too much detail and look out of place with the otherwise smooth HF aesthetic, and then his red antler pieces.
SISEN: One good thing you can say about the Fire Lord is the sum of his parts is greater than them combined. There are a few old pieces that are really great to have, but there are a lot more new pieces. You get a lot of gunmetal armor pieces which is nice. If you wanted a matching set of gunmetal armor without Hero Factory prints here is your chance. Fire Lord also possesses four large black armor pieces with a flame print. I can only imagine what the creative building community will do with those.
DV: Fire Lord, when completed, is an awkward set. His upper legs are almost bare, and when you get to his lower legs they suddenly become bulky and it's a really jarring difference. His shoulders have very, very, very little movement, and they don't allow for almost any cool posing opportunities. Which is quite, quite, quite disappointing. The jetpacks are connected in a way that they are hard to find a nice pose that looks well. Overall, this is a very awkward and not super interesting set. And he has these weird feet that look like they're just begging for two more small armour pieces to cover the other ball joints, and give him these neat three-toed feet. I'm sure it was to reduce costs, but why wasn't this done???
Oh, and those antlers look silly.
SISEN: The silver pieces included in Fire Lord are nice to have, but they clash with the rest of the colors. You have orange, silver, red, gunmetal, and black. I like the silver hands and chest armor but they don't really fit Fire Lord. He also uses Bill's (aka Funo 1.0) weapon. While I think he might use the weapon better than the Hero predecessor, the implementation isn't there. There is only a small amount of leeway with the elbow positioning. But hey! Fire Lord is one of the first sets to have an opposable toe on each foot. His upper legs lack any armor which is a bit odd. There is not any armor and you just see his barebones structure.
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?
DV: Fire Lord can do some posing, but again, his shoulders make that very difficult. His arms can't move up, can barely move sideways, and you're stuck with very little mobility. He can fire a lava ball (?) from a Thornax launcher, and it is a very pretty Zamor sphere. He can standoff against the new Heroes, who maybe upgraded just to fight him? I don't know, I haven't seen the show yet.
Really, as I mentioned in my Bill 2.0 review, the hard part with these new sets is going to be using their parts with the old ones, because they -seem- less compatible then they should be, and Fire Lord seems to do his best to prove that point. I know better can be done, and I'm going to be looking to the BBC forum to see proof.
SISEN: The fun of all sets is eventually taking them apart to build with their pieces. Fire Lord is probably going to be one of the sets you get for the parts and don't play with much. I'm not saying he's not fun to play with, his parts are just better for other things. You've got a lot of potential if you want to act out fight scenes with Heroes and other villains. Just be careful with this hothead! He likes to pop apart occasionally.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- New pieces galore
- Attempts to merge the old with new
- Cool fiery parts
- The new pieces
- The new pieces
- And some oldie but goody pieces
What's not to like?
- Ugh, colours are too many
- Those legs!
- Those arms!
- Those antlers!
- Lack of color coordination
- Awkward build structure
DV: I don't like it. It is awkward, looks bad, and has an inconsistent aesthetic. But man, Fire Lord is a steal when it comes to his parts. So many amazing and new parts in this set, and some of which are found mostly in this set only. I'm sure we'll see some of them later, but for now, if you want some of these, this is your only chance. And I'd take it if I were you.
SISEN: Fire Lord is interesting: he uses a lot of the new pieces we witnessed on Heroes 2.0. The assemblage of all the different pieces is great, what they make up is peculiar in a good way. He was not a must buy on my list, but if you're looking for some flaming fun or new pieces he should be on yours. Thanks again to LEGO for providing us with the sets.
So that's Fire Lord - hope you enjoyed our review. Be sure to thank DeeVee and Sisen in the Talkback, as well as ask any questions or comments there too. Hopefully we'll have more reviews coming up soon, so be sure to keep checking back here on BZPower for those and all the latest Bionicle, Hero Factory, and LEGO news.
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