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    Visorak's Gate: The Review
    ReviewTuesday, July 12th, 2005 at 12:01am by Matt, BZP Operations Manager

    Today, BZP presents an exclusive in-depth look at the only one of the four brand new Bionicle playsets we haven't already seen at Toy Fair. Visorak’s Gate (8769) retails for USD$39.99 and is currently exclusive to Toys ‘R’ Us. These playsets mark the first time Bionicle has blended Technic pieces with System pieces. The result is a more complex and challenging build than that of most current Bionicle sets. In fact, many of our seasoned MOCers will be familiar with this “fusion” style of building.

    We begin by taking a look at the box:

    Visorak Gate Playset

    Visorak Gate Playset Back

    The Visorak’s Gate box art gives the viewer a good idea of the set, displaying several action features. Miniature Visorak figures can be launched from a compartment above the giant Visorak head, and the walls on each side of the gate can be lifted to deploy a pair of fireballs. Far from helpless, the miniature Toa Hordika can fight back by commandeering a catapult and launching a fireball themselves.

    On the front of the box, we have quite a battle on our hands: Nokama fends off a bite-size Keelerak; Nuju fiddles with the menacing gate; Vakama, Whenua and Matau stand their ground; and poor Onewa is forgotten in the background, providing further firepower for those who feel that Bionicle’s brown-colored characters are constantly getting the short end of the Kolhii stick.

    The back box art features a second (and less chaotic) scene with the Hordika and Visorak, as well as a demonstration of the playset’s action features and, in classic LEGO fashion, an inspirational alternate model.

    Now, let’s see what kinds of pieces are included in this set:

    Visorak Gate Opened Box

    Visorak Gate Bricks

    This set contains a total of 325 pieces, almost all of which bear System’s signature studs. Notable Bionicle pieces include two staffs of light (first seen in the Takanuva set) and a pair of massive Vohtarak fangs. The set also features a decal sheet with which you can create the Visorak’s “face” and add Matoran writing to the walls. LEGO’s designers paid quite a bit of attention to detail in this set – they even included green “webbing” for these little guys:

    Visorak Gate Vissies

    These miniature Visorak figures are made of a soft, rubbery material; they come in all six Visorak varieties; and best of all, they glow in the dark.

    Of course, who could forget about our main protagonists, the Toa Hordika:

    Visorak Gate Hordika

    Unlike the Visorak, these tiny Toa consist of a hard, glossy plastic. Each figure is armed with a silver staff to combat their spidery adversaries.

    We conclude with images of the set under construction:

    Visorak Gate Int

    Visorak Gate Int2

    And the finished model:

    Visorak Gate Final Front

    Visorak Gate Final Back

    All in all, some might consider $40 a steep price for a rather small set. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the building process, and once the set was completed, I discovered that it bears a tremendous level of play value. I don’t believe I’ll ever get tired of propelling my incandescent little Visorak out of the gate and onto the battlefield. This entertaining and interactive set is a welcome addition to the Bionicle universe.

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