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Prototype Sets


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#1 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 05:09 PM

Why are prototype sets often better than the finished product? Prototype Krika had launching spikes, prototype Chirox had a big jaw, prototype Hahli Inika had flippers, prototype Nuparu had a Metru-style mask, prototype Pohatu Phantoka was awesome, etc.
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#2 Offline The Dandy Automaton

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 05:27 PM

A vast multitude of reasons. For one thing, they could be too expensive to produce, requiring too many new molds or something along those lines. Or they could be considered too scary or dark to sell as Lego sets (Chirox prototype).
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#3 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 05:52 PM

Maybe the designers had other ideas.
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#4 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 06:29 PM

IMO, the final sets are almost invariably better than the prototypes. Prototypes by nature tend to look terribly unfinished. You can argue that if they were finalized, they would look better, and that's in fact true, hence why the actual finalized sets tend to look better.Some things, like the fact that the Toa Inika had auxiliary tools like flippers and jetpacks, were cool features that didn't make it to the final set. But for every example like that there's an example where an aspect of the prototype was terribly inferior to the final product. The prototype Chirox's face didn't look remotely like a mask. The prototype Toa Nuva had pathetic and often jumbled-looking weapons that lacked the awesome dual functions of the final Toa Nuva weapons.The prototype Toa Inika had cool-looking masks for the most part (with the exception of Hewkii, who just had Axonn's Kanohi Rode), but the masks were also often obvious mashups of existing parts. Plus, I really loved the final Toa Inika masks, including Toa Inika Hahli's Kanohi Elda, which IMO is the most feminine Kanohi design ever made. The prototype 2003 Matoran looked incredibly bland compared to the final design.Online, people tend to romanticize prototype designs, perhaps because of a desire to imagine that set designs they disliked would have been better had something not "gone wrong" in the design process. But in reality, set design tends to be a very deliberate process, and while some sacrifices have to be made for the sake of cutting costs or making sure parts are actually able to be produced with injection-molded plastic, often the things that change between the prototype phase and the final set are placeholder features that were never meant to stay the same in the first place, or were recognized as flaws before the designs were completed.
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#5 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 07:55 PM

IMO, the final sets are almost invariably better than the prototypes. Prototypes by nature tend to look terribly unfinished. You can argue that if they were finalized, they would look better, and that's in fact true, hence why the actual finalized sets tend to look better.Some things, like the fact that the Toa Inika had auxiliary tools like flippers and jetpacks, were cool features that didn't make it to the final set. But for every example like that there's an example where an aspect of the prototype was terribly inferior to the final product. The prototype Chirox's face didn't look remotely like a mask. The prototype Toa Nuva had pathetic and often jumbled-looking weapons that lacked the awesome dual functions of the final Toa Nuva weapons.The prototype Toa Inika had cool-looking masks for the most part (with the exception of Hewkii, who just had Axonn's Kanohi Rode), but the masks were also often obvious mashups of existing parts. Plus, I really loved the final Toa Inika masks, including Toa Inika Hahli's Kanohi Elda, which IMO is the most feminine Kanohi design ever made. The prototype 2003 Matoran looked incredibly bland compared to the final design.Online, people tend to romanticize prototype designs, perhaps because of a desire to imagine that set designs they disliked would have been better had something not "gone wrong" in the design process. But in reality, set design tends to be a very deliberate process, and while some sacrifices have to be made for the sake of cutting costs or making sure parts are actually able to be produced with injection-molded plastic, often the things that change between the prototype phase and the final set are placeholder features that were never meant to stay the same in the first place, or were recognized as flaws before the designs were completed.

Aanchir is right. Prototypes tend to have flaws.

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#6 Offline Damaracx The Mad Scientist

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 08:08 PM

A vast multitude of reasons. For one thing, they could be too expensive to produce, requiring too many new molds or something along those lines. Or they could be considered too scary or dark to sell as Lego sets (Chirox prototype).

Ya that Chrirox prototype was WICKED AWESOME!

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#7 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 09:38 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?
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#8 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 09:50 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?

Potentially dangerous?

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#9 Offline Damaracx The Mad Scientist

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 10:03 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?

Potentially dangerous?

Probably....

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#10 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 11:04 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?

Potentially dangerous?

Probably....

Most likely. My theory is if the prototype Krika was released, he might be recalled.

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#11 Offline Damaracx The Mad Scientist

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 11:30 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?

Potentially dangerous?

Probably....

Most likely. My theory is if the prototype Krika was released, he might be recalled.

Recalled?

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#12 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 11:42 PM

But what was wrong with the Krika spikes?

Potentially dangerous?

Probably....

Most likely. My theory is if the prototype Krika was released, he might be recalled.

Recalled?

Basically taken out of the market for various reasons such as a malfunction.

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#13 Offline Artorias

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 03:28 AM

Am I the only one who prefers finalized Chirox to his prototype? Sure, that one would've looked cool as something else, like some sort of mutated Rahi created by Mutran or something.But if we had that, we wouldn't of gotten Chirox's amazing mask.Or am I the only one here who loves his mask that much? Though I must say, the chest design on his prototype looked pretty cool.Also, prototype Phantoka Pohatu was awesome in every way. Look at that torso... :drool:
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#14 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 09 2012 - 02:28 PM

I don't think the Krika prototype's function was eliminated because of potential hazards. After all, it's just an air-powered launcher like the final Nynrah Ghost Blaster. My guess is that it was decided that such a function would require too many specialized parts that couldn't easily be used in other sets, so he was just given a Nynrah Ghost Blaster instead. Additionally, it's possible that the function simply didn't work as well as intended, and it was difficult to make it launch all three spikes at once.I will see if it's possible to get an answer from the designer of that prototype, David Bird, and if he responds I will post his answer here.
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#15 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 10 2012 - 05:59 PM

The prototype 2003 Matoran looked incredibly bland compared to the final design.

Actually, only the chestplate is difrerent (And better, IMO), the only blandness comes from the lack of CGI effects.

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#16 Offline Akuna Toa of Sonics

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 12:05 AM

Prototypes tend to look too much like WIP's, but that doesn't necessarily mean they always are.I mean, prototype Inika and Jaller were cool, but their finalized versions are cooler. But the proto-Kikinalo looks just sick.
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#17 Offline giantpurplejerkface

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 12:59 AM

Usually the final sets are better, but this would have been nice to have. Also, I wouldn't have minded if Reidak actually got his third eye and if Avak retained his prototype spine/face.

Edited by Sky-Byte, Mar 11 2012 - 01:15 AM.

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#18 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 08:29 AM

The prototype 2003 Matoran looked incredibly bland compared to the final design.

Actually, only the chestplate is difrerent (And better, IMO), the only blandness comes from the lack of CGI effects.

Meh, I guess opinions differ. I think the finalized chest design for the 2003 Matoran looks a lot better than the prototype. The prototype just seems too simplistic to me.Anyway, I sent David Bird, the designer of Krika, an e-mail asking about the Krika prototype's function:

Hey Scott,Wow, thanks for the interest. I'd be glad to answer your question. There were three reasons. The first is that we needed a shooting function that would work for all six figures in that line. That feature would've worked well on all the badguys, but it would'be been a bit strange if the good guys had weird squishy air sacks with spikes. And safety. The squishy sack could shoot anything. So if a kid loaded it with something sharp and fired it at their brother, it might be really painful. The option we did only worked with the bionicle projectile and nothing else, so we know no one's gonna get hurt. And then the third reason - as if two wasn't enough - was that it would be difficult to manufacture. The rubber would have to be thick in some places and thin in other places, and it would be a real challenge to control those wall thicknesses. I'm sure we could've solved the issues and got it working, but we chose to go with the less risky option. Dave

So it turns out the reasons for the change were more numerous than I had even considered, and yes, as many people here suggested, safety was a factor. :)

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#19 Offline Electric Turahk

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 11:32 AM

...I don't remember the Krika, Hahli, or Nuparu prototypes you mentioned at all. Can we get some pictures of those?But anyways, I generally think the final products were better than what prototypes we have seen. I do like the final 2003 Matoran torso design more (it looks more natural), the prototype Kikanalo looks like it would have been far too rigid, the prototype Kongu Inika was atrocious...My only exception would be the Tower of Toa prototype, solely because of how incredible that Keetongu would have been to own.~|ET|~
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#20 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 05:24 PM

...I don't remember the Krika, Hahli, or Nuparu prototypes you mentioned at all. Can we get some pictures of those?But anyways, I generally think the final products were better than what prototypes we have seen. I do like the final 2003 Matoran torso design more (it looks more natural), the prototype Kikanalo looks like it would have been far too rigid, the prototype Kongu Inika was atrocious...My only exception would be the Tower of Toa prototype, solely because of how incredible that Keetongu would have been to own.~|ET|~

Here'sa Brickshelf gallery (not my own) that compiles a lot of prototype images. The Krika prototype can be seen here and here (more info on Krika's development, including concept sketches and a better photo of this prototype, can be seen here on the website of the designer David Bird).The Hahli prototype people keep raving about can be seen here (those flippers do look nice, although I prefer the harpoon, mask, and color scheme from the final version). The corresponding Nuparu prototype is here (again, the mask is OK but I prefer the masks and weapons of the final set) and the corresponding Jaller prototype is here. The Toa Inika from this stage of prototypes were all evidently going to have Toa Metru heads and "auxiliary tools" in addition to their main weapons (of these, only Nuparu's claws were kept, in a simpler form of course). It's a nice idea, though factors like the mask designs and color scheme are obviously still in a very early design phase and would have changed significantly for the final products.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Mar 12 2012 - 05:24 PM.

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#21 Offline Cosmic Titan

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 07:11 PM

Better is only perception.But I agree some prototype sets do look rather interesting.
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#22 Offline Toa Xemnas of Crystal

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Posted Mar 12 2012 - 09:04 PM

Looking at the Brickshelf folder Aanchir linked to, I personally think that the awesomeness of the prototypes varies: sometimes they're just meh (like the Rahaga prototype), and sometimes they're cool (like the Krika prototype). The Manas prototype looks cool, too.
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#23 Offline toatitan

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 09:18 AM

I think the final versions were muh better than the prototypes in the case of the inika.
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#24 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 10:45 AM

It's pretty easy to think, because finalized sets always have so many flaws once they are built and scrutinized in 3D, that the prototypes were the unattainable goal of perfection, a gift from the LEGO gods themselves which, once turned over to the meddling hands of the set designers, were horribly modified beyond the bounds of reasonability, thus unleashing onto the world a set which had tons of problems that, in the minds of the fans, could so easily be tweaked to a perfect set.That's a bit of an exaggeration, isn't it?It's also pretty easy to assume that the prototypes are prototypes for a reason, that the set designers must inherently know what they are doing, and that they are as close to perfect at their job as any human being can ever hope to be, so we should never question their judgement and praise the final, released fruits of their collective labors.That's also an exaggeration. Like many things, I've found the truth to be a gray area in the middle.Let's look at some of the prototypes that are specifically being discussed in this topic in a little further and more scrutinizing detail, shall we?First up, Krika. Obviously, the head was made from a Bordahk staff. Can you even begin to imagine the sheer outrage that would have erupted amongst the fanbase if that head had gone into production? Bordahk staffs were some of the most overused of all the weapons.That's not even going near the rest of the prototype. On the whole, it looks pretty good - especially next to the final version of Krika. But further, more detailed observing of the prototype pictures that we have access to reveals that, were there not as many tweaks, Krika would have been a terrible set instead of a mediocre one.Prototype Hahli was stuck in a catch-22. For one thing, the prototype set looks pretty darn good - especially the color layering, which is the most overlooked aspect of both MOCing and set design. But, again, further dissection of the set reveals that there were basically two new molds - the weapons and (awesome) flippers. Her mask appears to be MacGyvered from a Nokama Hordika head and what may be a Whenua Hordika weapon, and there is absolutely no way that that mask could have gone into production. The fact that prototype Hahli looks like she might have featured Mata blue (it's hard to tell from the pictures) makes the prototype even more tantalizing.But again - what if this set, or something close to it, was released as a set?It looks much more like Hahli Mahri than Hahli Inika to me. Story-wise, it doesn't make too much sense (flippers? I thought Voya Nui water was corrosive), and while MOCists might rejoice over the possibly-Mata Blue parts, the swirls on the final set looked really nice. I'll never understand why she had "facial hair" on her much-joked-about Inika form, but I guess it evolved from this prototype. Nuparu really doesn't look much different than his final form. His mask appears to be the epitome of ABS awesome - until you realize that it'd never be put into production, as it appears to be a modified Kiril. He also has this vestigial Fu Manchu mustache.Other than that, I prefer the final set ... save those claws. It looks like they resurrected the general shape of the actual "claw" part of the hands a few years later for use in 2008, though I wouldn't have minded having them in 2006.Prototype Jaller ... gee, I don't know where I can possibly start. For one thing, though his joints appear to be translucent (albeit not the same hue as the final set contained), I can't tell for certain if they are or not. The hand is, at least. Whether the mask is better as prototype or Arthron is up for debate, and truly is in the eye of the beholder.I really would love to have that sword. It doesn't really work on Jaller - heck, it's not even practical as a sword - but it looks cool. Also, do I spy a jetpack ... ? I would have loved for that to stay.The prototype multi-shot Zamor launcher attachment looks like it's made from bones dipped in blood. Not really nice-looking, if you asked me. I'm glad they changed it.(I also just wanted to point out that I don't think that the 2003 Matoran prototype up above looks bad. The torso's a little funky, but other than that, I don't spot much difference between prototype and final set.)I've probably typed for far too long here, but I just wanted to get this main point across: all prototypes are not created equal. The worth of a prototype should always be in relation and comparison to the final, released version of a set - and everyone's going to have a different opinion.
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#25 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 04:29 PM

Good observations, but a few things I'd like to note. For one thing, whether the prototypes would fit the story is generally irrelevant since the story for each year tends to be based around the set designs, not the other way around. If the prototype Toa Inika Hahli had indeed kept the flippers all the way to the final design, then either Voya Nui's waters wouldn't have been corrosive or some storyline explanation would be provided for how she can swim without the waters harming her. And presumably she'd do a lot more swimming in the story.BTW, I definitely agree that the breathing tube (which never looked much like facial hair to me; I think that was entirely overblown from day one) on the final mask was possibly inspired by that prototype. Or both versions of the mask could have simply been inspired by the fact that she's a Toa of Water. I agree of course that the quality of prototype sets is a matter of opinion, though I do think some people romanticize prototypes a bit, looking past obvious flaws that they would never look past so easily on a finished set. For instance, many people complained a great deal that the finalized Mistika masks didn't look like Kanohi to them, and that problem is so much more evident in the melty texture of Krika and Chirox's preliminary masks.
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#26 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 05:20 PM

that problem is so much more evident in the melty texture of Krika and Chirox's preliminary masks.

Could be because it was sculpey.

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#27 Offline Peach 00

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Posted Mar 19 2012 - 01:34 PM

Maybe the designers had other ideas.

Agreed.

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#28 Offline Liopleurodon

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 08:09 PM

Interesting... I always thought that the Chirox prototype was Gorast's. :PAnd I like the mini-Keetongu prototype!Edit: Anyone know what this prototype set is?

Edited by Liopleurodon, Mar 22 2012 - 08:15 PM.

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#29 Offline Gatanui

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 06:19 PM

Interesting... I always thought that the Chirox prototype was Gorast's. :PAnd I like the mini-Keetongu prototype!Edit: Anyone know what this prototype set is?

That´s a Mistika prototype, I just don´t know which one. Maybe it´s not even a prototype of a specific set but rather just a concept that was eventually dismissed.~Gata. ;)

Edited by Gatanui, Mar 23 2012 - 06:19 PM.

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#30 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 06:51 PM

Interesting... I always thought that the Chirox prototype was Gorast's. :PAnd I like the mini-Keetongu prototype!Edit: Anyone know what this prototype set is?

Bitil?

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#31 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 24 2012 - 04:13 PM

Interesting... I always thought that the Chirox prototype was Gorast's. :PAnd I like the mini-Keetongu prototype!Edit: Anyone know what this prototype set is?

That´s a Mistika prototype, I just don´t know which one. Maybe it´s not even a prototype of a specific set but rather just a concept that was eventually dismissed.~Gata. ;)

Darn... That spiky part looks so cool...

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#32 Offline Prodigal

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Posted Mar 25 2012 - 01:06 PM

Reading through this topic, I have to agree some prototypes deserved to be made into an actual set, while others are kinda... meh.Speaking of deserving a set, what is this awesome mecha-thingie? : http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=3715157
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#33 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Mar 25 2012 - 03:18 PM

Reading through this topic, I have to agree some prototypes deserved to be made into an actual set, while others are kinda... meh.Speaking of deserving a set, what is this awesome mecha-thingie? : http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=3715157

I think it's a Rahaga. Yeah, not too much resemblance there.

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#34 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Mar 25 2012 - 08:58 PM

Reading through this topic, I have to agree some prototypes deserved to be made into an actual set, while others are kinda... meh.Speaking of deserving a set, what is this awesome mecha-thingie? : http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=3715157

I think it's a Rahaga. Yeah, not too much resemblance there.

It's obviously something from 2005. Might be a Rahaga, indeed.

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#35 Offline Wrinkledlion X

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Posted Mar 26 2012 - 12:20 AM

With the exception of the Kikanalo and Avak's face, I can't say I ever really preferred a prototype to a final model. I mean, this could've been Pohatu: Posted Image
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#36 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Mar 26 2012 - 07:14 AM

Interesting... I always thought that the Chirox prototype was Gorast's. :PAnd I like the mini-Keetongu prototype!Edit: Anyone know what this prototype set is?

That´s a Mistika prototype, I just don´t know which one. Maybe it´s not even a prototype of a specific set but rather just a concept that was eventually dismissed.~Gata. ;)

Darn... That spiky part looks so cool...

Well, it looks like a modified version of this existing part, although obviously more useful for BIONICLE building both because it has BIONICLE-style ball joints and because it has more connection points than the actual piece it's made from.

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#37 Offline Guurahk Entertainer

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Posted Mar 26 2012 - 05:51 PM

Maybe they just looked good, but 0 playability
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#38 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 30 2012 - 09:03 AM

All the prototypes I have seen seem...mutated. Even the good guys. Like eldritch abominations. The prototype Inika were basically monochromatic. Prototypes do look cool, but at the same time...wrong. I can see nightmares being given to kids if the prototypes were released or worse, animated in a video and posted on the Bionicle site. Still, I look at prototypes every chance I get for shock value. They entertain me in a sick way.(Apologies for sounding overdramatic, I don't mean any drama at all. But, I do get that feeling when I see them.)
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#39 Offline Ballom

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Posted Apr 02 2012 - 10:34 PM

I agree that the final sets are pretty much always superior to the prototypes. However, a few minor pieces, such a Nuparu Inika's initial claws, do look really cool as well.~B~
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#40 Offline T3CHn0-LAz0oRZ

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Posted Apr 03 2012 - 05:59 AM

Reading through this topic, I have to agree some prototypes deserved to be made into an actual set, while others are kinda... meh.Speaking of deserving a set, what is this awesome mecha-thingie? : http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=3715157

I think it's a Rahaga. Yeah, not too much resemblance there.

It's obviously something from 2005. Might be a Rahaga, indeed.

looking at the image name, "prahaga", it's pretty obvious that it is a prototype rahaga

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so...this is...my sig...
i'll put some stuff here soon...
don't really know why i'm typing this...
i'm so pathetic...
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props to Xidash for the sig, got it from the epig sigpet shop!




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