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Set Review: 44000 Furno XL


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#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 08:08 PM

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Today we take a look at another Hero Factory set - 44000 Furno XL. BZPower Forum Leader Makaru has picked up this larger set from 2013 and has decided to share his thoughts with you all. Should you add this extra-large hero to your squad, or is he better left warming a peg in the store? Read on to find out!

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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It was a night unlike any other. We find our factory district covered in a dense green fog - almost of pea soup. It is most eerie to the common man. Suddenly, in the shadows, a large shape skitters by! The fog chokes out anything definitive. What is this mysterious creature? Will our streets be safe again? And what of this tall, brash looking fellow!

Furno is this year's lottery pick for the XL Hero treatment. Instead of a large box, however, Bill is packaged in the bags we've come to know of our small and medium Hero Factory builds. The creepy, b-movie-esque BRAIN ATTACK logo adorns the upper margin on the front of the package, the Hero Factory banner on the left, and the usual Lego Legal on the bottom left. Bill is prominently featured front and center in all his BURNING JUSTICE.

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When we flip that package turn-wise, we get a sight not seen in many a year! Instead of just being a page hidden in the instruction manual, we see Bill and his combiner buddy Pyrox. I missed the combo builds, so this is a welcome sight for me. And better yet, from the looks of the sets this year, each combo build has been colour-coordinated. I think it's a nice touch, and makes the result just a tad bit more palpable.

We also see a little picture center left that shows Bill's flip visor in action. And of course we get the reminder that those Hero Cores contain more than just the sum power and mind of our heroes, but also a code to use online. Bill's core is worth a whopping 1000 points. We are also given a little logo reminding us of Lego's Brain Attack app available from Apple. Check it out if you wanna see yourself get Brainificated.

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The instruction manual for the most part is the same as always, but with one little gem I had not seen before since the days of Fabuland; there is a blurb about sorting your pieces for easy building, as shown by one of the happiest LEGO men I have ever seen. Look at that guy! He's having the time of his life putting Bill Furno together, even if he's doing it entirely wrong with only half the pieces.

Go get 'em, little guy!

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

When I first saw the image of Bill online, I was underwhelmed. For being a Hero XL, he looked... simple. Unfinished. Basically, just a taller version of the garden variety hero. Putting him together, he's...

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...well, the torso is actually quite a bit more detailed than I had guessed. It's actually fairly well shaped. There's quite a bit of cool piece interaction that gives him substantial torso bulk. His arms did not connect in any way I would have anticipated, instead mounting behind the normal ball joints. These joints are used for his nifty chest armour.

The problem is he falls rather flat on the legs. While they do boast a whopping three ball socket extenders per leg, the legs are built exactly like every hero leg since 2.0. There's no innovation. There's no style or flair. There's just the same legs we've been getting for years now.

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I can't help but consider Bill XL to be a subtle nod to our favourite firespitter, Tahu. Carrying not one, but two of his iconic weapons. The fire shield is comprised of two halves with some decent flame deco adorning the sides. The fire sword is more of the same. Both bring a great deal of style and colour to the set.

Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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Bill features an interesting assortment of new set pieces. As we've seen in previous reviews, the "skull" is an entirely new mold, reminiscent of the featureless Inika heads, straying away from a "face under the mask" approach. The helmet/mask is also a new mold, which quite clearly harkens from Bill's previous designs. The visor is a printed piece, and fits perfectly over the mask as you would imagine.

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The shield and sword pieces are also new for this year. The shield pieces are identical to each other. Unfortunately, both Furnos I purchased suffer from the unfortunate "curved" blade defect that we had with the Ninjago line of swords. It's not too pronounced, but it is there. Bill also comes with three of these amazing new "BLAZING" fire pieces. These are pretty much the best fire pieces we have gotten of this size since Tahu's original fire sword.

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Bill also comes with this SWEET CAPE. Unlike capes of the past, this cape uses two peg holes instead of one "neck" hole. I can see this being used quite well in the MOCs of the future. One side of the cape is very soft, and the other side is quite a bit shinier, almost as if it is laminated.

Like I mentioned above, Bill's design pretty much peaks in the torso. There are a lot of cool shapes and designs that make him look strong and intimidating. The weapons are also decently thought out, and give Bill a sort of regal knighted look. The arms and legs, I think, do a disservice to the rest of the build by being vanilla.

I want to take a bit of time to say I appreciate the effort that went into the Masks this year. Seeing a remade character is nothing new to to fans of Bionicle, who have seen many iterations of some their favourite characters. But outside of Takanuva, I can't quite recall any redesigns that harken as much back to their predecessors as the Hero Factory sets this year do. Some of them may not be the best designs, but I think the thought really does count.

One last thing; the colour scheme. This is some of the best balancing in colours I've seen Lego do for a Hero Factory set of this size. The silver core, the red armour and the iron accents; it all looks evenly distributed and it's very pleasing to the eye.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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While the simplicity of the legs take away from the overall look of the set, they come back in full for poseability. The limb extenders are notoriously stiff, but in a set as big as Furno, it makes him sturdy and reliable. You can put him in all matters of poses.

But aside from the flippy visor and the wide range of motion, Bill doesn't really have much going for him. Yeah, I'm glad we've gone a year without the ball shooters. But is nothing really the only option we have? Give me a disc shooter. Gimme a brain remover. Gimme something INTERESTING to do.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

Pros
What's to like?

  • BURNING JUSTICE
  • Colour scheme is very balanced.
  • Great for posing
  • Wealth of new and interesting pieces

Cons
What's not to like?

  • Vanilla Hero build from the waist down
  • Aside from posing, not much to do with him

This is one of my favourite sets from the Hero Factory line, despite his flaws. Bill looks good. He's filled with BURNING JUSTICE. Hahli Husky told me to use a bunch of Japanese words to describe him, but I forgot them all. Kawaii? Is that a thing he is? Of course she's offline while I'm writing this.

Yeah, let's go with that. Bill Furno is super happy fire robot kawaii. *Thumbs!*

And there you have it - everything you ever wanted to know about Furno XL but were afraid to ask. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to thank Makaru in the Talkback as well as ask any questions you may have. Don't forget to keep checking BZPower for more LEGO reviews and news!

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#2 Offline Twi

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 10:21 PM

Um...where's the full article? :(


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#3 Offline Cadper

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 10:26 PM

Um...where's the full article? :(

 

[color=#4b0082;][font="'lucida sans unicode', 'lucida grande', sans-serif;"]It's there. You have to read between the lines[/color][/font].  


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#4 Offline avak5

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 10:29 PM

Is this a problem or is it just me? Not Authorized

You are not authorized to view the page you have attempted to load. Please make a selection from the QuickNav bar above, or visit one of our three main sections:


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#5 Offline Watcher on the Walls

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 10:32 PM

It's been like that for a while, someone hacked the site in February and messed up the whole front page. I'll redirect you to the tracker issue.

Edited by Takua Dragonstar7, Apr 09 2013 - 10:35 PM.

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#6 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 09 2013 - 11:23 PM

Shame. It was the best review to grace BZP. You are all missing out on enlightenment.
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#7 Offline Aiwendil

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 12:07 AM

dang. it isn't up yet. but when it does....:evilgrin: I was considering buying the set, and I when I can see the review of it, it'll probably influence whether I buy it or not.


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#8 Offline Phovos

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 03:34 AM

That was a lovely review!


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#9 Offline Black Six

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 04:43 AM

Sorry guys, sometimes sleep gets in the way of BZP.
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#10 Offline Mohamed Marei

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 06:24 AM

I've actually had him since Valentine's day but I never really got the appeal to put the set together...I am a MOCer, you see :P

Ever since 2012 I've been getting sets just for the pieces; I hadn't built any of 11 HF sets I bought at once. But I have to admit, this guy is like an absolute jackpot when it comes to pieces!!

:tohu:


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#11 Offline Indigogeek

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 09:44 AM

I'm not a big fan of HF, but the cape and stuff brings back memories of vezon. :)


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#12 Offline archivist_66

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 01:32 PM

So, he's a little more massive than I had imagined. Good review!


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#13 Offline Takanuinuva

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 01:38 PM

This is my favorite of the winter Brain attack sets. But I do have one thing I'd like to say about the set.

 

(One last thing; the colour scheme. This is some of the best balancing in colours I've seen Lego do for a Hero Factory set of this size. The silver core, the red armour and the iron accents; it all looks evenly distributed and it's very pleasing to the eye.)

 

I disagree on this. I think that the colors could have been done better. Most of the silver could have been swapped for gunmetal gray. And the back construction uses Black Light Grey and Dark Grey parts. It could have just been done with Black Parts.

 

Also Furno is the only Hero set of the entire Brain Attack wave to only have one hand. They could have designed the shield piece to fit in a normal 2.0 hand rather than giving Furno a shield arm.

 

Still a great set. I would recommend him instantly.


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#14 Offline Makuta Almanax

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 02:03 PM

I got this guy a few months back. He was perhaps the best hero of the Brain Attack line, mostly since all the others feel like they've been 'downgraded' since last year (seriously, compare last year's Breeze to the Brain Attack one...she seems to have become a Cyberman).  The helmet is interesting, but weird and a bit too...cue-ball-ish for my liking. 

 

As for the cape, it is a lovley piece I re-used on my 'Maverick' Breeze (so, Breeze gone rogue) MOC. The holes are just the right size for O connectors as well as the + connectors it was intended for, and the two holes make it feel better-distributed than Vezon's cape.

 

I would also agree that the legs are a let-down, but I'd say the feet are also the problem. I'd rather have seen a new foot mold in the vein of last year's Breeze (again, good set with the most originality of the year). But the legs themselves would be tricky to redesign without abandoning the 2.0 body build. But then again, we need to get rid of the 2.0 body build and try going back to a more technic-style (or should I say, Bionicle-style) design that's got more creative freedom than just pallete swaps. 

 

The new pieces were also good, like the funny-looking 'triple-O' things with a ball joint in the middle. That tripped me up when I intended to make a second XL of Breeze to fight alongside Furno since, well, they're new so they are the only ones I had.

The head, on the other hand, I despise. They're faceless, which isn't in itself bad compared to the Iron Man faces we've had, but the positioning of the axle on the 'front' makes them quite less compatible with Kanohi masks which again limits them. They only 'masks' that really work with them are the current villains, but their faces are downright horrible, brain or no brain.

 

The combiner model is also very disappointing. It just felt like Furno XL with a slightly different weapon and one or two extra bits of armour on it.


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#15 Offline Watcher on the Walls

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 02:07 PM

Not a big fan of HF, but I've always wondered what Furno XL looked like and how the set was. Thanks Makaru ;).
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#16 Offline Obsessionist

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 03:40 PM

I'm actually tempted to buy this to have as a set- something I haven't wanted in a while.  All those cool new pieces!  Honestly, the parts probably aren't worth the price, but that cool figure!  Also, I love cape elements, so there's that.


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#17 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 03:51 PM

Also Furno is the only Hero set of the entire Brain Attack wave to only have one hand. They could have designed the shield piece to fit in a normal 2.0 hand rather than giving Furno a shield arm.

I can sort of see why they didn't. The way the flame pieces are attached to his shield requires the use of all three axle holes in the Y-joint: the shield pieces themselves attach to the base of the "Y", while the Technic connectors for the flames attach to the sides. So yes, the shield piece could have been designed to work with the regular Hero hand piece, but it wouldn't have allowed for the flames to attach unless the shield molds were made much more complex (and arguably much less versatile, since it would no longer be able to be flat).

I got this guy a few months back. He was perhaps the best hero of the Brain Attack line, mostly since all the others feel like they've been 'downgraded' since last year (seriously, compare last year's Breeze to the Brain Attack one...she seems to have become a Cyberman).  The helmet is interesting, but weird and a bit too...cue-ball-ish for my liking.

A lot of people would argue that the new Breez looks a lot more feminine than the Breakout one, and I think her helmet is also very nicely designed. In terms of build, she's far simpler, but of course she's also a "small set" rather than a "medium set" this time.I agree that Furno XL's helmet is somewhat awkward without a visor. It kind of makes me wonder if these helmets will ever be reused. The other ones could conceivably be made to look new by adding different helmet attachments to the rear handle, perhaps accessories like the 2.0 helmet gizmos. But Furno's doesn't really work too well without the visor providing added height to the head, and is awfully wide for anything but an XL set anyway. I feel like if these helmets don't get reused in 2014 it will be a bit of a missed opportunity, but a tasteful helmet redesign wouldn't bother me too much, ESPECIALLY in Furno's case.

I would also agree that the legs are a let-down, but I'd say the feet are also the problem. I'd rather have seen a new foot mold in the vein of last year's Breeze (again, good set with the most originality of the year). But the legs themselves would be tricky to redesign without abandoning the 2.0 body build. But then again, we need to get rid of the 2.0 body build and try going back to a more technic-style (or should I say, Bionicle-style) design that's got more creative freedom than just pallete swaps.

I agree some new feet would be ideal for sets like this. It's just his ankles that bother me. If the 2.0 feet had the ankle joint one module lower it would work fine with a friction joint in a set like this, but as it is his ankles are ridiculously far from the ground.I don't think abandoning the 2.0 body build for a Technic-style or BIONICLE-style body build would be a good thing at all. Frankly, I'm quite glad the HF building system has been designed around the ball joint the way it has. It makes the whole system feel a lot more like its own cohesive system like Technic itself and less like an awkward Technic spin-off. I do think a torso design with an additional ball joint that allows for waist articulation in small- and medium-sized sets would be a great step forward. But a more Technic-style torso would be somewhat pointless IMO, especially since larger, more custom figures are perfectly possible by either using Technic to expand the torso like this set does for its shoulders or using the Hero Factory building system to build up the torso like this MOC by BIONICLE and Hero Factory veteran set designer Christoffer Raundahl, which uses two torso beams within a completely custom torso construction.I disagree with the criticism that Hero Factory figures are limited to just palette swaps. This applied just as much to BIONICLE. Every BIONICLE canister set series from 2001-2006 was made up of palette swaps, with occasional exceptions like Pohatu who toyed around with the standardized build for that series. Where do you think the term "Toamod" came from? In 2007, BIONICLE broke away from palette swaps, but most canister sets still used a fairly standardized build based on the Inika frame, with armor variations to maintain variety in each series. So, more or less how villain sets have been treated since the new Hero Factory building system debuted.

The new pieces were also good, like the funny-looking 'triple-O' things with a ball joint in the middle. That tripped me up when I intended to make a second XL of Breeze to fight alongside Furno since, well, they're new so they are the only ones I had.

Those were actually in last year's Stormer XL and Speeda Demon sets. Great little pieces. They're on Pick-A-Brick if you want more of them without waiting to get another set that contains them.

The head, on the other hand, I despise. They're faceless, which isn't in itself bad compared to the Iron Man faces we've had, but the positioning of the axle on the 'front' makes them quite less compatible with Kanohi masks which again limits them. They only 'masks' that really work with them are the current villains, but their faces are downright horrible, brain or no brain.

I was also somewhat disappointed that Kanohi didn't work well with the new heads, but it's somewhat understandable why this was done. Keeping the axle holes gridded to the face how they are means that a lot of helmets work just as well with the head in either the upright or forward configuration, which I consider a plus. And anyway, while they're not perfectly backwards-compatible, I think they're still great pieces in their own right and a great improvement over the Glatorian head in terms of versatility.Backwards-compatibility can be a real limitation sometimes. Consider what I said earlier about a torso design with waist articulation. The ideal place on such a torso to put the waist joint would be right about where the current torso design has a ball joint, but if this were done then it would be near-impossible to make it compatible with current torso shells (and even if they were compatible, they'd work poorly on such a torso since the upper and lower torso armor couldn't move independently). Yet I still think that eventually that's the direction that Hero Factory torsos should move in.Similarly, here, Kanohi could have been made to attach to the new helmet, and the front of the face could have been kept even with front of a Glatorian face so that older helmets would still have the eyes visible from all directions. But this would have made the geometries a lot less friendly, because there would be awkward half-modules mucking things up and reducing its versatility as a basic building element/Technic connector as well as complicating the ability to use new helmets in either the upright or forward configurations. At some point it becomes better to throw in the towel and design a piece for maximum versatility in the future rather than limit that with excessive hindsight.

The combiner model is also very disappointing. It just felt like Furno XL with a slightly different weapon and one or two extra bits of armour on it.

That's basically what it's supposed to be (Furno XL with enhanced armor). But I get your point. I think perhaps TLG tried to keep the combi models rather plain after the combi models from 2012 (which WERE all unique, complex creature designs rather than just upgraded versions of the characters) did not prove to be especially popular. Personally, I preferred the 2012 combi models, other than of course their color schemes which were mismatched by the nature of the sets they were made from.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Apr 11 2013 - 06:55 AM.

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#18 Offline TheFMAlchemist63

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 04:10 PM

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Bill Furno is super happy fire robot kawaii. *Thumbs!*[/color]

You pretty much called Bill a cute super happy fire robot.

 

I've had this set for a while and I agree wholeheartedly with your review. The legs and arms seemed so blank compared to the torso.


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#19 Offline Shadow Destroyer

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 04:16 PM

Cape is actually a recolor. I have a gray one just like it that came with a Knights of Moria set way back when those were out. (I believe it was the king set...)


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#20 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 04:30 PM

I was tempted to get this set, but the lack of aesthetics threw me off - that face just looks ugly. I refuse to buy a set just for a cape. :P


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#21 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 05:11 PM

Cape is actually a recolor. I have a gray one just like it that came with a Knights of Moria set way back when those were out. (I believe it was the king set...)

Unless there's some other set I don't know about, King Jayko came with a dark grey cape that had only one hole for the neck. It is also remarkably smaller.

 

EDIT: KING MATTHIAS TOTALLY ACTUALLY HAD THIS CAPE MY BAD


Edited by Makaru, Apr 10 2013 - 05:16 PM.

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#22 Online Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 05:51 PM

This is one the best looking HF sets I've seen in a while. If I didn't know better, I'd say he was a bad guy in the storyline. :P

 

But anyway, this set does look really cool. Thanks for the review!


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#23 Online Dual Matrix

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 06:03 PM

Cape is actually a recolor. I have a gray one just like it that came with a Knights of Moria set way back when those were out. (I believe it was the king set...)

Unless there's some other set I don't know about, King Jayko came with a dark grey cape that had only one hole for the neck. It is also remarkably smaller. EDIT: KING MATTHIAS TOTALLY ACTUALLY HAD THIS CAPE MY BAD
I disagree upon researching I found out the King Mattias Cape, had, like Vezon's a big hole in the center and not two small holes.

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#24 Offline AdaptingChaos

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 06:44 PM

 

Cape is actually a recolor. I have a gray one just like it that came with a Knights of Moria set way back when those were out. (I believe it was the king set...)

Unless there's some other set I don't know about, King Jayko came with a dark grey cape that had only one hole for the neck. It is also remarkably smaller. EDIT: KING MATTHIAS TOTALLY ACTUALLY HAD THIS CAPE MY BAD
I disagree upon researching I found out the King Mattias Cape, had, like Vezon's a big hole in the center and not two small holes.

Sorry dude, I just searched up Bircklink and saw that King Mattias cape has the two small holes. If you search up for the inventory on Bricklink, you can see that the cape has two holes on the sides. However Furno's cape isnt a recolor because the cape is full near the neck, King Mattias had a little curve near the neck and it appears to be smaller than Furno's cape. 

Now thoughts on this set; I might buy at least a couple of Furno XL mainly for the pieces :)


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#25 Offline Flux: The Explorer

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for the review. Furno doesn't look too bad and he come with some great pieces. My only complaint is that he feels a bit thin on his arms and legs.
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#26 Offline Damaracx Caratas Xarian

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Posted Apr 10 2013 - 10:00 PM

[color=#ff0000;]I'm buy'n  it.  I mean...just look at him in all of his...his....[/color][color=#cc0000;]B[/color][color=#cc3300;]U[/color][color=#cc6600;]R[/color][color=#cc9900;]N[/color][color=#ffcc00;]I[/color][color=#ffff00;]NG[/color][color=#ff0000;] JUSTICE.  Though his build is kind of reverse my idea to do with the HF bones... still I guess that makes his legs more flexible.[/color]


Edited by Damaracx 7.0, Apr 10 2013 - 10:00 PM.

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#27 Offline Nidhiki of the Shadows

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Posted Apr 12 2013 - 06:14 PM

[color=#008000;]Woah! Looks like a cool set. Great design for sure. I really like the cape - Furno XL probably is the best looking set so far this year in the Hero Factory line. Actually I like most of the XL guys, it's an interesting concept. [/color]

 

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#28 Offline Skrade

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Posted Apr 12 2013 - 10:13 PM

As I start collecting again, I'll be sure to make this one of my first sets. It's quite basic, being a medium-scale set, but it packs some awesome details and I love Furno's sword. The torso certainly brings the whole figure together, in my opinion.

 

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Edited by Skrade, Apr 12 2013 - 10:14 PM.

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#29 Offline InnerRayg

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Posted Apr 15 2013 - 06:05 AM

Well that was delightful. This set looks infinitely less dumb than what I originally perceived. It's darn right...cool.
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#30 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Apr 15 2013 - 11:06 AM

Well that was delightful. This set looks infinitely less dumb than what I originally perceived. It's darn right...cool.

It certainly has flaws, but it masks them quite well. I imagine a large consideration in the use of the cape was to cover the back without having to use a large number of parts to do so, as well as to obscure any gaps in the armor. And while this could be perceived as cutting corners, I prefer to think of it as an innovative solution to a design problem.And, of course, Furno's weapons in this set are really awesome. The sword feels like what I always felt Tahu Nuva's Magma Blades should have been like, with a silver blade but the same colorful fire from his previous weapon.


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#31 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 15 2013 - 12:33 PM

I think throwing a cape over a messy back is single-handedly one of the best ways Lego can cut corners.

 

Capes are sweet.


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#32 Offline KanohiCelt

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Posted Apr 15 2013 - 06:50 PM

Nicely done.  Thanks for an inside look.  :)


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#33 Offline The Manga Maniac Named Zac

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Posted Apr 16 2013 - 03:54 PM

Yes, Furno is super kawaii, the most adorable Hero Factory set ever XD

 

All jokes aside, finally a GOOD and appealing set from Hero Factory. Definitely buying this set whenever I can.


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