(Written by fikko3107)
It was a couple of months ago when rumors of the 2014 LEGO sets first started popping up. We will gradually cover all of them here as now we also have pictures, but one set list in particular stood out and puzzled LEGO fans worldwide; the 2014 LEGO Hero Factory sets. It went something like this: #44015 EVO Walker, #44016 Jaw Beast vs. Stormer, #44017 STORMER Freezer Machine, #44018 FURNO Jet Machine, #44019 ROCKA Stealth Machine, #44020 FLYER Beast vs. BREEZ, #44021 SPLITTER Beast vs. FURNO & EVO, and #44022 EVO XL Machine. 🙂
If you are familiar with LEGO Hero Factory, you know that this was completely unheard of and unusual in the LEGO Hero Factory line. Any LEGO Hero Factory fan could tell you the overall layout of previous years sets: heroes and villains coming in four different sizes (small, medium, large, and extra/vehicle large), with only the largest size coming in a box and others in bags. Usually, the winter wave of LEGO Hero Factory sets consist of some small sets, one less medium sets, and one large set. The summer wave of LEGO Hero Factory sets is quite similar, but steps up one of the medium sets to a large set, and one of the large sets to an extra/vehicle large. (Though 2013 was slightly different with an added vehicle large set instead of a step-up.) Each hero set corresponds to a villain/creature set that that hero handles – being able to combine with said villain.
However the 2014 LEGO Hero Factory line-up is completely different – as you can see on the list above. They’re all either “machine” sets, or they’re “vs.” sets! What could “machine” sets be? – LEGO fans wondered. Could they be large vehicle sized sets such as the #44014 LEGO Hero Factory Jet Rocka? But surely, a whole line of LEGO products can’t consist of sets so large! Especially when we know that LEGO has been producing more small and medium sets due to the slumping economy. And what could the “vs.” sets be? Are they perhaps bundles; like the #7179 LEGO Hero Factory Dunkan Bulk & Vapour? Surely, a line can’t contain solely of those type of sets. And how about that #44021 SPLITTER Beast vs. FURNO & EVO? Is that going to be like the #8940 LEGO Bionicle Karzahni? So yes, LEGO Hero Factory fans were confused!
And then some members at Eurobricks started to theorize (you can watch this forum thread for developments) that LEGO Hero Factory might be including minifig-size characters (like some Bionicle sets in ’05-’07 – I miss Bionicle…), or that the “machine” sets are transformers, and there was also one outlandish theory (which wasn’t serious, surely?) that Hero Factory is going to use LEGO Friends mini-dolls! Finally, Eurobricks member Corydoras came to the rescue and dissipated a lot of the confusion and doubts as he had a chance to see the 2014 LEGO Retailer Catalog.
In summary, the creatures this time are giants coming from deep below – hence the subtheme of “Invasion from Below”. I actually prefer the new logo compared to the one for the LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack sets. The heroes will be minifig-size to really make it feel like the creatures are giant monsters compared to them – or Kaiju, if you prefer.
All the “vs.” sets are really villain sets, with the tiny heroes combating them, which ensures conflict in the sets. And here’s where the fun part comes in; the “machine” sets are actually hero sets, where the minifig-size heroes are piloting mechas – ala LEGO Exo-Force! To make sure that the hero sets also have conflict, LEGO added a few little monster goons – in the size to just be dangerous enough for the minifigure heroes. They’re are like the little Visorak piece, minus the pincers. In relation to the giant creatures they remind me of the Kaiju Skin Lice and Cloverfield Monster Parasites. And aesthetically they are like the Arachnids from Starship Troopers. All it all they give the vibe of my second favorite movie; Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
After clarifying all of that we didn’t have to wait much longer to get official pictures (thanks to Wal-Mart who listed the sets early by accident… again). So after all this build-up let’s take a look at what we are getting! 😀
➡ #44017 LEGO Hero Factory STORMER Freeze Machine – You can see that this is really a mecha not a bio-organic creature. Observe the legs for example, and the lack of a lower right arm. Of course Stormer carries the two must-haves in action themes; the Galaxy Patrol’s blaster piece and flick-missiles!
➡ #44018 LEGO Hero Factory FURNO Jet Machine – The fire-blades make a comeback, again! The turbine pads remind me of Furno’s 2012 incarnation (set #6293.) and of the #8111 LEGO Exo-Force River Dragon. He also have the space-guns, but hey, at least no flick-missiles! I wonder though; what is he doing with that fire-extinguisher? 😕
➡ #44019 LEGO Hero Factory ROCKA Stealth Machine – I’m not sure how a gigantic mech-suit with transparent, fluorescent colors supposed to be stealthy, but anyway. The first thing I thought when I saw this set – claws aside – is that of an inverted golden Samus Aran! I can’t help it; when I see arm-cannons, I immediately think “Samus”! And I don’t even play Metroid! Rocka also has a gun; it seems to be a hero standard issue.
➡ #44020 LEGO Hero Factory FLYER Beast vs. BREEZ – Here Breez is not carrying a gun, but a length of chain. I suppose it is to be used for defeating the monster in the most violent way? I sure hope not, but that’s what the package-art seems to depict. I’ll just think of it as trying to reign it. I like the fact that FLYER Beast is carrying a girder – it just shows he/she/it is really colossal.
➡ #44021 LEGO Hero Factory SPLITTER Beast vs. FURNO & EVO – At this point we can’t be sure if the Beast could actually split, but let’s assume so. The heroes look so cute as they (vainly) try to trip a hulking behemoth with the length of a chain. I think the heroes have been watching Star Wars V, and they think its worth a shot to try to take down the rampaging monsters like how the Snowspeeders took down the AT-STs. Evo brings a gun, but Furno carries a sword… is that a new mold or something we’ve seen before? I think it’s new. Splitter Beast carries a street-light – a rather oversized one at that – and is using in like a mace, jus to show how huge, powerful and mean he is. 😈
➡ #44022 LEGO Hero Factory EVO XL Machine -Evo totally deserved an XL make-over – sadly, he himself doesn’t change (I feel for you, Evo). He looks powerful nonetheless, and surely more than a match for Splitter Beast. He has an (un)healthy amount of zee flick-missiles. Also, I just noticed that all the hero mechas have tanks, which I suppose is for containing the little monsters. And don’t see a space blaster in sight… 🙄
The 2014 LEGO Hero Factory sets we don’t yet have pictures for are the #44015 LEGO Hero Factory EVO Walker and the #44016 LEGO Hero Factory Jaw Beast vs. Stormer. I think it’s sort of unfair Evo gets two machines, but oh, well. Evo’s walker looks like a yellow, smaller, extremely stripped down version of #8954 LEGO Bionicle Mazeka, a set from 2008. It has exposed socket-joints, so some people are theorizing it could perhaps be combined with a larger set to become some kind of add-on – EVO XL, maybe? Jaw Beast looks like the runt of the group; more aquatic than the others, almost shark-ish in design. However, there are some interesting light-blue Hero Factory skeleton joints to be obtained from this set…
And that wraps up the 2014 LEGO Hero Factory sets. (For current LEGO Hero Factory sets you can check out the Online LEGO Shop.) So what do you think? How do you like the upcoming wave of LEGO Hero Factory sets? And what are your thoughts on the minifig-size characters? Personally I believe this is going to be a good year for LEGO Hero Factory, but I would love to hear your thoughts on it too! Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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