My First 2009 Sets!
First, however, let me make a generalized statement. Their joints were the firmest I've ever seen in a set. They are definitely not floppy. I like that.
Second, the Iron Man heads. They are definitely like Iron Man's helmet, and they are definitely cool looking heads. The way the helmets connect does not bother me, and I think that even the heads on their own, if on a well proportioned body like Raanu, look good on their own. They have the Bionicle look, and they also have extra plus-rod insertion points, so they could potentially be a useful MOCing piece. They are also quite small, the smallest heads we've ever had, I believe. I'll make that out to be a good thing, especially because it means that less plastic needs to be used on production. Vey to go! On top of all that, it's my second favorite head piece of all time.
Third, the hands. Let me get this straight with you: I like them. Perhaps they are not as useful as the old hands, but they definitely look good. The whole business with the thumb isn't a concern to me. Some people find it awkward, but they just don't know how to count their blessings. This is still more realistic looking than the previous hands. Besides, you have to be looking closely in order to notice it. However, even then, I don't think that it hurts the look of the hands that much.
Fourth, the Thornax launchers, while perhaps not having the perfect name in my opinion, are the best projectile and launcher I've seen since the Rhotuka. They are long, simple, lean, and sharp looking. I like the look, especially on Skrall and Malum, as you will read later.
Tarduk was an interesting set, the first one I put together. I loved his pure color scheme, which definitely gave him a solid character, and how his Iron Man head added flair to it. Even if his eyes were green, I would have liked the orange better. Besides, I'm somewhat sick of green eyes at this point. It's going to take me a while to recover.
I gave some observation to his mask. Although it does have those odd prongs protruding, I really like the front. It reminded me of the style of the 2001 Bionicle. It had this thing in front of the mouth that made it bear a similarity to a noble Huna, although the face has the overall shape of the noble Ruru. Overall, I liked it.
His design was like a cross between a gorilla and plant life. All of those things extending from him, from the shoulder blades to the head prongs, actually help his look because if you pose him right, he reminds me of a tropical bush, although by no means looks like a politician. Okay, I'd say that he looks more like a fern, for a more accurate comparison. Either way, he looks like a type of jungle plant life, so he definitely looks his element.
Metus was interesting. I'm glad to say that he has a shield, staying true to the old ways of the Ice set. No less, the shield is in the shape of a...well, it's cool. I liked his helmet more than I thought I would, and I enjoyed the Iron Man head in ice blue.
I think that the sword looks right with him. Not all the sets need to be completely devoid of the color of steel. Hey, it's a weapon, I'll cut him some slack. At least it doesn't take up any of his body. The sord seems to be the right size and proportion for him. Very good.
Finally, when he stands in a simple pose, he looks like an unseemly cross between a bandit and a Ko-Koro guard. I kind of like that, since it brings back memories of good old MNOG.
Atakus has a fine color scheme by me. He has some gray, but it's evenly balanced with his black. On the whole, you can tell that he's a black set without any question. The gray just prevents him from being monotone and is an understandable secondary color.
I liked the helmet more than I thought I would. It reminded me somewhat of the Great Ruru, due to its cheeks, but that wasn't why I liked it. I think that overall they made it very cool. I remember a review saying that it looked rocky, and I didn't know what they meant until now. The pictures don't do this helmet justice. Yes, it definitely has a rocky look to it. It looks like it was carved out of stone. I always wanted something like this. To tell you exactly what this means to me, this was what I was expecting of Onua for his return.
He had the most mixed color scheme, but it was understandable. Fire Matoran in MNOG II occasionally had a very similar color scheme. I am not bothered by the gray body because it reminds me of soot, smoke, and ashes. In other words, he definitely looks volcanic.
I like his shield. Perhaps it is not the best, but it uses a recolor not yet seen in Bionicle, although it has made an appearance in that one other LEGO branch. However, their name exceeds me at the moment. Anyways, I am glad to have the new pieces. They would certainly be useful for MOCing if I ever decided that I felt like having him with only a melee weapon for a while.
One of the things that I found worth noting about Raanu once I got him was that he looked just as good with the helmet off as he does with it on.The head seems to be the right proportion for his body, both in terms of his height and his shoulder width. It seems appropriate.
His helmet, of course, is something to be interested in. Like all the other sets this year, his helmet is unique and attractive. It definitely looks like a helmet, too. He has eye holes and four square openings upon the top of his head, which reminds me somewhat of Jaller Inika's Kanohi. I like how it has a simplicity about it, likea smith from Volcanus wanted to make a helmet, yet wanted to imbue it with elements of his culture. It is a very pleasing helmet.
I want a Skrall!
I want a Skrall!
I want a Skrall!
And I want it now!
Well, I finally got the Skrall I wanted. Let me see, where to start off...
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the color scheme. The red and black really works well for him. Of course, this works well for his about any set. However, what I mean is that it doesn't disrupt his rock tribe appearance. I say that it's a reasonable color scheme, and with the shield, it looks like a decoration. Perhaps it could represent their vanity. Perhaps it is just meant to make them look more threatening. For whatever reason, though, it definitely gives him a personality.
Here are some things that he reminds me of. First of all, I'll give you he one that makes more sense. He reminds me of a Xenomorph from the Alien and AVP series. Like I said, it makes sense. He's black and has a long head. Plus, the red parts give him a futuristic look, especially on his three different blades.
The second thing he reminds me of is a dragon. Perhaps this isn't quite as obvious as the Alien comparison, but it still is understandable. He's tall and has those things on the shoulders. He looks intimidating, powerful, and dark. He looks like he's a member of a superior race, which is not too hard to imagine because he is. In a lot of literature, dragons are a superior race. Since I bought him, I have referred to him several times as both "Red Dragon" and Black Dragon".
Now, the third thing he reminds me of is, for some reason, Hannibal Lecter. Whoa, that was random! Yet, yes, that is my official nickname for this particular Skrall. To me, he looks like a Hannibal.
Now, I must say that I liked the sword. It looks very cool as a combination between a gun and a sword. It looks like a high-tech weapon, which kind of matches his alien-like look. Of all the Glatorian, the Black Dragon looks the most high tech. The red in the blade looks like it could be some sourt of energy. Of course, this is definitely promoted by adding the Thornax launcher onto it. When was the last time you saw a sword that shot explosives? His weapon is very unique.
Okay, I liked his helmet. Perhaps it is rather large, but the designers put that extra plastic to good use. Hannibal has a cool, long head. I am reminded of when I once said "I think it would be cool if Bionicle made sets based off of Xenomorphs". I sort of got my wish with this helmet. I always thought it would be cool, and now that I have it, I am proud to say that my opinion hasn't changed. My opinion on Bionicle doesn't change too much over time. What I also like about the helmet is that once again I have come across a pattern like course rock. How very pleasing it is. Overall, the helmet is unique and very cool.
I didn't put the life counter on his foot, no. I will eventually visit my mother's house and get pieces so I can add it onto his torso instead in a way that works. However, for now it shall remain off so that Hannibal doesn't look like he's wearing a pace counter. The last thing that I'd like to say about the life counter is that I am very happy to finally have a black Metru chest piece. I have several gray ones and a golden chest piece, but I am glad to have a black one to add to my MOCing collection, especially since I find black one of the most useful colors for MOCing.
Vorox had a few surprises for me. I, for one, had no idea that he had a double jointed neck. Although I'm not a fan of double jointed necks, I think that it comes to use with him on occasions. I can foresee its uses in making him look like an animal. For now, I have him hunched over as far as he can go, and whenever he looks to one direction I tend to move the next a little bit as well from left to right or vise versa. I suppose that if he was posed as leaning over or something like that, the neck could be lifted up and he could do a better job of looking up. Basically, I move the neck with the head.
Once again, I am glad to have a recolored Metru chest plate, this time tan. Like Hannibal, I did not make any effort to attach his life counter to the foot.
I enjoy his armor. It definitely feels like something that could be used in MOCing.
I liked the tail. For a while, I worried that it would be useless for posing because I wondered if it could reach over his shoulders without having to use too many pieces. Fortunately, his tail worked and it definitely looks right on him. It is perhaps one of his most defining traits.
Because the tail called for an altered torso, the result left me very pleased with the side effect. Vorox's body is of just the right thickness. His Inika torso is backwards for a change. I think it definitely makes him a bit different and gives the front of his body a good look without the use of a big, generic armor piece. Speaking of which, because he lacks armor around that area, it makes him look more beastly. Since when was the last time you saw a primitive half-beast wear armor instead of its bear chest?
For me, the most distinguishing feature of this set was the helmet. I absolutely adore it. It is one of the best masks I've seen since 2001, and that's saying something. I like its cruel design. I also like how you can see his head under it, reminding you that it's just a helmet. Sometimes you need that with the masks in Bionicle, you know? The helmet is both complex and simple, but the key word that I used a little while ago was that it was cruel. That's how I would describe the curves and the spikes of this helmet. Nothing is overly drastic. The claws protruding from it truly make him look awesome. The picture on the front of the canister does not do this helmet justice. It truly looks like it was designed to look like a horrifying beast. Because it looks clearly like a helmet, I was reminded of how primitive tribesmen would put on masks of frightening creatures to intimidate their enemies. That is what I see in Vorox's helmet. Frankly, if I met a person in a dark ally way wearing something like this, I would be scared out of my wits and run away.
I. AM. MALUM MAN!
Come on, there was no way I was possibly going to forget to sing that while I put him together. I went crazy over this set! The sheer about of satisfaction that came once I could finally hold him in my hands was overwhelming. Although he bears more resemblance to Marvel's villain Juggernaut, which is just as fitting, I'm still addicted to the song. ("I am Malum Man!" he fiercely raved.")
I've wanted to say this for a long time, but I never put the time to put it down into text. Malum's name is perfect. It is one of the best names Bionicle has ever had. I would put it up in the top five. The name flows in perfect harmony with the set. I looked Malum up on dictionary.com. It said, quite simply, "An evil". That was the most blunt definition I have ever received. The name also sound like "maul" and "malice". I look at the set and I think that he looks like a Malum.
Despite what some people might think about his general build, I like it. I like how everything about his bulked up and blunt (does the word "maul" come to mind?). He looks incredibly strong and tough. I'll just go out and say that he looks like a tank. Perhaps the shoulder armor might have some restrictions on his flexibility, but the posed that he is incapable of are nor poses that you would use with him anyways.
What I thought added to this look perfectly was the claws. Perhaps the have fire on them, which I appreciate, but that is not the main reason I like them. They are big and tough looking. We have five week little fingers on each hand, controlled by tendons connected to several individual muscles in the forearm. However, he only has two on each hand, and they are both very thick. The hands look very strong and also very deadly. What's more, they are even hooked, ready readied in appearance, and looking like their ready to become can openers, and a tank would be the can. Once again, he looks like a tank.
Okay, they have the color gray. However, I didn't mind, because it was like with the Metru because all the gray was covered up. Meanwhile, it doesn't look incredibly out of place. It still looks smokey. At least, that's the way I have trained myself to see things.
Of all the Glatorian, Malum has the best use of the projectile launcher. The launcher looks awesome sticking out as a cannon on his shoulder, and I usually have it sticking straight out. It looks good no matter how you position it. Of all the times Bionicle has tried the whole "put the missile on the shoulder because there's no room in the hands" technique, this was their best so far.
It must be mentioned that Malum looks awesome in any, and I mean any, pose. Make him look like he's about to give you a bear hug and watch as he morphs into another type of awesomeness. Make it look like he's about to slam dunk and you get another kind of awesomeness. Either way, whatever pose I give him, they're all awesome.
I also went gaga over the helmet. It looks perfect. It looks unique and yet it is completely practical. It looks like something to be expected of a gladiator. The right amount of his face of revealed, whereas the rest is protected. There's style to it, but nothing is overdone. The helmet is round and blunt. There aren't any long prongs or pony tails attached to it. It looks just right for Malum. Yet, despite all of its bluntness, it still somehow manages to look incredibly awesome, almost as much as the Hau Nuva and the 2001 Kanohi.
Vey to go!
By the way, I think you all know what nickname this guy deserves. Let me sing the last verse from my little song...
I AM MALUM MAN!
I can rip you up like a small tin can!
Once banned from my clan
I'm still loved by Bionicle fans!
It was awesome.