I wanted to review the Exo Suit from Lego Ideas for a while, especially after the hassle it took for me to get it. But alas, Black Six beat me to the punch and posted his review. (And to be fair, I didn't really vocalize my desire to review this, cause I've been busy with other stuff.) So instead this will get the less-than-stellar treatment of a blog review! Yay!
To start off, I should probably give my history on this model, or rather lack thereof. I was not familiar with Peter's Exo Suit before Cuusoo, nor did I really vote for it (because it looked way too specialized and fragile, didn't think it would translate well into a set.) I guess the main thing that won me over was the green space men/women. But I'm approaching this review more from a constraction MOCist point of view, and not a nostalgic Lego space fan. Heck, I'm not even a classic space fan; that was before me time, and I guess some of the space themes of the late 90s were a little too "out there" for classic space fans or something?
(Pictures to come when Majhost stops being stupid and comes back online)
A lot of nice pieces here, including those T bars, the plunger piece in light gray, and the round 2x2 tiles with holes in the center. Most of it is light or dark grey, but I like the splashes of trans yellow, and the green space figs are lovely as ever. I can't really compare them based on the nostalgia factor, because aside from Benny, these are the first classic space figs I've ever owned. But GREEN! I like colored suits, and my favorite color is green. Therefore, MUST HAVE. I also appreciate that we get a male and female. And while we're on the extras, the little turtle bot is a great, compact design.
And here's the Exo Suit. I am glad it's not mono-colored like the original; a little shading is a good thing. The design does seem to be a bit different than the original, to make it legal by Lego's standard, which was a given. Of the ten main articulation points, eight are ball joints, which I think help land this mech in constraction territory.
The body design is quite decent, with lots of SNOT all over the place. (SNOT= studs not on top, just to be clear.) I especially like how the extensions from the legs use the nozzle piece to connect to the cockpit; that was a connection that caught me by surprise and probably goes a long way in adding stability. There's room for a minifig to stand inside... as long as they don't move their arms forward. It's a little tight in there, but I suppose it works.
The limbs... um, yeah. The legs are a basic design that uses liftarms and socket pieces and ball joints to create a leg with a knee. I think it's kind of a simple and lackluster design; I say this because it's a concept I utilize a lot in MOCs, so clearly it must be underwhelming. There's some greeble added on, but it feel just like that: slapped on. There's no real function to it; it's just there to add "flair" or whatever. And it still leaves some gaps that would get mocked in the BBC. To be fair, I guess it's not supposed organic like Bionicle, but that's just how I view constraction / technic limbs.
The feel have a lovely, compact but technical design. The problem is that they attach to the legs via a friction pin. This is bad. For a brand new piece, it serves to hold the model up, and I know with time that will weaken. Since the base of the foot is only 1 stud wide, I don't know how this could be fixed. My solution would be to make the foot 2 studs wide, and use a brick with an axle hole for a firm connection. But alas, that's not what's going on here. It can balance on one leg, but just barely.
The arm design is kind of cool, because instead of a balljoint at the elbow, it uses a rod, and makes excellent use of the 2x2 round tiles with a hole in the center to fill out the space. I know lots of people complained about the barrels, but combined with the two plunger pieces, I think they make a great arm. The hand concept is okay, but one we've seen before, both officially and unofficially. But the shoulder armor... ugh, worst part of the set. The old space arm element has always been weak, but I feel like mine were pre-worn, because they could hardly stay on a stud new out of box. It's just something with the design of the piece. If they had a bar to go through them to help stabilize them, then maybe. But as it, this piece of armor shatters with ease, which takes away any "cool" factor it could possibly have.
In conclusion, this model has it's ups and downs. Sometimes they've used real innovative methods to connect things, and other times they've used techniques that seem rather odd or downright dumb. The greeble on the body and feet is excellent, but it does not translate over to the limbs quite as well. It has decent mobility, but the fragile armor and weak ankle hurt it. I suppose it makes for an impressive display piece, which is what a bunch of people are probably after. And really, why worry about what the kids think when playing with it: based on the sales history, none of those kids will probably ever get their hands on it, and the entire inventory will remain with adult collectors, nostalgic for the theme from decades past.
So, honestly, while it's a nice set, it's not a must have. Unless you want green space men and women. Then IT MUST BE BOUGHT! Oh, and robo space turtle is cool too. It has good parts as well, although it's a little much to be considered purely a parts pack.
And really, at this point, if you wanted it, you already bought it, and if you haven't, you're out of luck (until the next release, anyway. I swear they underestimated the response to their "it will be a 1 production run only" comment.)
Now to build the female scientist Research Institute, which I did vote for and have expectations that will probably not be met either!