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LEGO BIONICLE – set reviews & thoughts

by admin on February 14, 2015

in LEGO Bionicle

Now that the first wave of the re-launched LEGO BIONICLE sets are out, let’s talk about them a little bit more. Of course we have discussed the new BIONICLE sets and new story-line several times, but I thought it would be a good idea to look a bit deeper into the new sets. I was especially inspired by a video-review by JANGBRiCKS where he analyzes the new LEGO BIONICLE sets and parts compared to the original ones (I will share the video below with you as well). So let’s see what we got! 🙂

LEGO Bionicle Website

I would also like to add that besides the video I will share with you below, JANGBRiCKS also reviewed the new BIONICLE sets separately, and he has also done videos where he compares the old characters to the new ones. If you are an old LEGO BIONICLE fan who is not sure about how the new sets compare to the original ones, or if you are a fan of the recently retired LEGO Hero Factory line and consider moving over to BIONICLE, I highly recommend checking out the other review videos. Here we will only look at the ones with the overall view and thoughts on the new line.

One of the plusses of the new LEGO BIONICLE system is that it takes advantage of what LEGO calls the CCBS (Character and Creature Building System) that has been unifying all of LEGO’s large action figures in the past few years, including LEGO Super Hero, LEGO Legends of Chima and LEGO Hero Factory “constraction” (construction + action) figures. One of LEGO’s main strengths has always been that all of their elements fit into the same system – this allows parts from different LEGO themes, and even different time-periods to fit together perfectly. This systemization was always true for regular LEGO, however with large figures the company has gone in several different directions. To finally pull them all together into one carefully designed system made a lot of sense.

LEGO BIONICLE Review - Posing

Another great advantage of the new LEGO BIONICLE system is the pose-ability of the figures. The joints are easy to manipulate in any direction you wish, and the figures can hold pretty much any pose with good balance. I’m actually really impressed by this because I have some of the old LEGO Knights Kingdom large figures and they are absolutely a nightmare to put into any kind of pose; they can’t keep their balance well unless put into very specific poses and parts will be falling off all over the place as you try to manipulate the limbs. The gear at the back of the new BIONICLE figures to move the arms remotely for fighting action (as seen in the video) is a fun feature as well. Both the easy movement of the joints and the pose-ability makes these sets so much more kid-friendly!

LEGO BIONICLE Review - Protectors

Talking about kid-friendliness, the LEGO BIONICLE Protectors (which are the smaller figures in the new line-up) are all equipped with the new LEGO rapid-fire stud-shooters. As you will hear in the video Jang doesn’t like these very much, but I definitely do! Yeah, those little studs will be flying everywhere, but they are so much fun! LEGO has been adding these stud-shooters to other sets also, so you should end up with at least a few.

LEGO BIONICLE Review - Masks

The downside of having such a well-defined system is that it can get a little boring when the same pieces get reused over and over again. LEGO’s strategy to get around this has been to offer the same parts in different colors, printed parts, and also adding various weapons to hide the monotony of the figures. Also, the head-pieces are usually unique, which adds to the perception that the figures are different. I believe as LEGO ads a greater variety of parts to the system that allows customization of the figures will eliminate the issue of becoming too predictable and boring, however it is unlikely we will ever see the same amount of unique parts as with the original BIONICLE sets, as the whole idea of the upgrade has been to simplify.

LEGO BIONICLE Review - Sets

All in all it looks like the new LEGO BIONICLE sets have a winning design. Some original LEGO BIONICLE fans don’t agree with this, but I believe this new system is much more sustainable on the long term, and it is also more user-friendly, than the original sets. The newly released figures look good, the part are interesting, and the weapons and other accessories are super cool. While in this first wave we mainly got good-guys, in the second wave coming later this year, we will get more of the bad-guys, and I’m sure the line will continue to expand well into the future. You can check out the currently available LEGO BIONICLE sets at the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Bionicle

So what do you think? How do you like the new LEGO BIONICLE sets? And how do you think they compare to the original BIONICLE line? Which one do like better? And why? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Aanchir February 14, 2015 at 1:15 PM

I agree, the new BIONICLE sets have been fantastic! A lot of people are bothered by the lack of intricate detail and texture in the CCBS part designs, and the number of shared parts between sets, but I actually quite like it as it forces the designers to create variety through the actual BUILDS instead of just using different specialized molds for each character. These are probably the most diverse new Toa team ever, and the most complex by piece count! The Protectors are also quite nice, with really elaborate weapon designs and nice variety in their physiques.

My favorite of the new sets is Gali. She’s got a beautifully organized color scheme, a great physique, and awesome functionality.

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BLProductions February 14, 2015 at 2:00 PM

I didn’t know there were gears on their backs that move their arms… that certainly interests me. I will have to look into that, those functions are on the Toa, right? However I’m not a big fan of Bionicle, or constraction figures (but I do love mechs!), so I probably won’t be getting any of the sets. Although that Protector of Ice has one of those saw blades, and a rapid shooter, which would be the biggest reason I get it.
And speaking of constraction: http://brickset.com/article/14215/first-lego-star-wars-large-scale-buildable-figures-unveiled-at-new-york-toy-fair Great. As if there weren’t enough new Bionicle parts this year, now there’s Star Wars! Those lightsabers look sweet, though. 🙂

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BLProductions February 14, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Oh, wait, yeah, these too: http://brickset.com/article/14217/technic-and-bionicle
This is more on-topic than SW. More rapid shooters! I’ll never finish documenting all the new parts from today. 🙁 These look suitably imposing, and will be good against the Protectors (not the Fire Plane, though 😉 ). 🙂

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admin February 14, 2015 at 10:39 PM

I think the Technic Fire Plane looks excellent. And yeah, the BIONICLE badguys appear to be formidable enemies. Some really interesting parts there. 🙂

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BLProductions February 15, 2015 at 12:09 PM

On the topic of Technic, do you think the Crawler Crane and Mercedes Arocs 3245 will be released in the US with the Fire Plane? Huw mentioned that they were not on display in NY, which could mean they won’t be retailed here. I hope that isn’t true, I really want that Crawler Crane. 😕

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admin February 15, 2015 at 1:53 PM

That’s a good question. I was also surprised that they were not present at the NW Toy Fair. I do not have any official information on them, but it would be very unusual if they would not release such large sets to their largest market (the US). Perhaps the timing will be different, but I’m 99% sure they will be released here as well.

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admin February 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Yes, the gear for the movable arms are on the Toa only. And yeah, got the press-release for the SW bigfigs yesterday. We will talk about them next week as that was the earliest I could fit in an article. Vader looks fine, but Luke is really creepy. 😯

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OTigger February 14, 2015 at 5:03 PM

LOL…I agree with you about the older knights, I have two of them and they are super hard to put into a pose.

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Narrator_Bob February 14, 2015 at 5:50 PM

I agree with everything, but I don’t really like the new story.

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Håkan February 14, 2015 at 7:52 PM

I think the most interesting thing with the new system is probably the mid-joints, used for adding shieldings on the legs and arms, mostly. That could lead to some interesting connections, although I haven’t really seen that technique used much in practice.

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Håkan February 14, 2015 at 7:55 PM

In old constraction sets, there were only ball joints on the ends of a part, now there’s also a third one in the middle, it should lead to some interesting stuff when used creatively.

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admin February 14, 2015 at 10:43 PM

The mid-joints were also used in Hero Factory. It’s a very interesting system and it works well. It also has a lot of potential for upgrades and extensions.

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Dr. Inferno February 15, 2015 at 12:47 PM

I really think Lego outdid themselves with all of the old Bionicle sets all the way from 2001-1010(I think). I would have liked this new series much more if Lego had stuck to the old Bionicle joint system instead of integrating the newer Hero Factory system (Which I hate by the way). Honestly, I had no issues at all finding new ways to pose my original Bionicle figures and the simplicity was a part of how fun it was.

I hate to be a stick in the mud, but Bionicle was my childhood and I feel like it’s being ruined by this “better” building system.

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Grandma December 11, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Help! I am confused. My grandson wants a bionicle for Christmas. I must order. He is 5. What do you recommend? After reading your review, the new line looks best, but which one. I want a good guy, virtuous, a leader…

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admin December 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

The BIONICLE line has ben discontinued, however you might still find some of the sets in stores. Pretty much any of the sets would work for someone who liked the BIONICLE story. Even if you are not familiar with the characters, you can easily differentiate the good guys from the baddies just by the names and color-schemes. The badguys are evil looking orange and black, with names like Beast and Destroyer. As far as good guys, if you can still find the #71312 Mask Maker it would be one of the most coveted sets. But any of the other good guys are excellent as well, and they can also be combined. 🙂

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