Set Review Rebuttal: 8977 Zesk
Friday, February 6th, 2009 at 7:00pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Less than a week ago, Kohaku reviewed Zesk, sharing his observations, thoughts, and opinions. Today, Forum Assistant Takuta-Nui does a second-take on this tan little guy, and shares with you his own thoughts. Keep in mind that these are just opinions, so read on and enjoy!
A couple things about Rebuttals and how they work:
- Rebuttals will be posted within one month of the original review's posting date.
- The rebuttal format will have the same sections as the normal review.
- If the person doing the rebuttal has no disagreements on a particular section of the review, that section will be excluded.
- The final section, instead of having 'Pros' and 'Cons' will be called 'Why I Agree' and 'Why I Disagree,' directed at the original review.
- Pictures are not required, but can be used if desired.
- Only one rebuttal will be done per set.
A final note, taken from the Talkback of our first Rebuttal:
The point of a BZPower Set Review (I'm not talking about any other type of review anywhere else) is this: The review is designed to inform members about the set, what it does, how it's made, what it looks like, how many new parts there are, and other facts about the set. In addition, it is a space for the reviewer to share their thoughts and opinions on the set, what parts they liked about it, what parts they didn't like about it, and their overall feeling as to whether or not it is a good set to buy. This last part is JUST AN OPINION and is not a fact, nor does it mean everyone else on BZPower should agree with them. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to share their own opinions about a set in the review Talkback and also in the member set reviews in the Sets forum.
A BZPower Set Review Rebuttal looks at just the opinion part of that review and notes where the second reviewer's thoughts differ. It is not meant to be a full-fledged set review. The goal of a rebuttal is to give a second and separate review from a different perspective.
And now back to our set review rebuttal.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The only thing I disagreed with the reviewer about regarding the box/canister was the supposedly excessive plastic caps. It may be true that without them, we would have more plastic going into the sets and thus more pieces, new or not.
However, I've always seen this as the appeal of the small sets of this year and last. The extra plastic on the container makes it stand out all the more, so it provides great opportunity for a posing background for display purposes. Before the Av-Matoran, I had never posed my small sets with their boxes since those always got ripped or bent - but no longer. Now when I'm not fiddling around with Zesk, I can plunk him in front of his wonderfully intact container and instantly create a cool juxtaposition between the image on the front and the set itself.
It is true, though, that without all that plastic on the container we might have a slightly cooler line-up of smalls sets, but I personally would prefer to see most of the plastic go toward the larger canister sets. They are the major moneymakers of BIONICLE, after all. In my opinion, it's always been slightly unfair to expect canister quality from a small set. So that's all I wanted to point out here — having such containers is not necessarily an unmixed letdown.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
While it is true that Zesk's innovative building leaves some to be desired, I still thought that the use of the Av-Matoran-to-Toa connector piece was a welcome innovation. It connects to the Vahki leg piece, which then connects to the tail and stinger. While being a minor structural difference, it does make a huge visual difference and instantly sets him away from the other Agori. This does tread into the Set Design section, but I think it's worth pointing out that small differences in the building can make a big difference in the final product.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
One thing here that I think should have been mentioned is the fact that Zesk's torso, while rather unsightly from the side as seen in the review's last picture in this section, can very easily be changed by simply taking the torso apart:
1) Flip the torso so the side previously facing up is now facing down.
2) Flip the Vahki leg piece likewise.
3) Fit them back together with the Av-Matoran connector piece.
The end result appears vastly superior to the method that the instructions recommend, and I honestly don't know why the set designers didn't do it like this. It covers more of the gap between the Vahki leg piece and the torso so it looks more like part of Zesk's body than a bizarre backpack. I do think that it would have been even better either way if the Av-Matoran connector piece had come in black instead of gray, which exists nowhere else on the set.
Another thing I thought should be mentioned is the surprisingly convenient solution for Zesk's limited head movement. The answer is simply to move Zesk's head onto the Vahki ball joint itself.
Granted, in its original position, it hid the upper ball joint, and as is obvious here, the ball joint on the torso sticks out awkwardly. Still, this is an alternative worthy of consideration.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Why I Agree
What aspects of the original review did you agree with?
- The review certainly is correct about the shudder-worthy posing of Zesk on the back of the container.
- Despite the modifications to the torso, Zesk's head is still severely limited in movement because of the protruding ball joint on the Vahki leg piece.
Why I Disagree
What aspects of the original review did you disagree with?
- An attractive container coupled with a relatively decent set is hardly a terrible thing.
- Small, unique innovations in the building can produce awesome results.
- This is LEGO BIONICLE – nothing stopping you from disobeying the instructions!
The reviewer's level of satisfaction with the set is something that can't be right or wrong, but I am quite satisfied with the unique and original appearance of this set, and the tan pieces and mask are more than enough to make up for the lack of new pieces. If you've budgeted for only one small set, this is the one I would recommend out of all the others.
Hopefully you enjoyed this second look at Zesk. Of course, you're free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the Talkback, just do so politely. Keep checking back for more reviews, the latest Bionicle news, and next weekend, Toy Fair coverage!
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