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    Discuss This Story
    Set Review: Hero Factory 44017 Stormer Freeze Machine
    ReviewMonday, December 2nd, 2013 at 2:04pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter

    It's time for another 2014 Hero Factory set review, provided by the LEGO Group! Today we see the Stormer Freeze Machine, an icy mech for Stormer to blast away these bug creatures. What kind of new pieces does this Invasion from Below set come with? Do robot Heroes even need bigger robots? Read on to find out!

    To quote Black Six, “Before we dive in, there's a couple things to go over. First, the LEGO CEE Team kindly shared with us that these sets will not be available in North America until March 1st, while they should be on store shelves everywhere else starting January 1st. They're aware this is not going to go over well with the community and have already passed it on. The decision has been made, and that's how it'll be. That said, I think we all know that these dates rarely prove solid, so you can probably expect to see the sets in the US by February sometime.”

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

    Bag front Bag back Inside the bag

    The front of the bag is the usual action shot with the necessary information. However, it should be noted that this bag, from Europe, does not contain a piece count like American sets do. On the back we see some cool play features including the spinning ice-lightning weapon and the jumping ability of the bug monsters. Call them Kaiju, call them Visorak cousins, call them whatever you want, just don't mess with these nasty beasts unless you have one of these robots included in this bag.

    Speaking of in the bag, the pieces come in several poly bags along with instructions and a sticker sheet. The sticker sheet will not be applied to my set.

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

    Skeleton Bug collecting backpack Some armor

    Being a giant robot, one would hope these HF sets have a different look and feel during and after the build. And that would be half-right. There is certainly some piece use here not often seen in the standard Heroes, like the shoulder armor behind the cockpit or some extra layering around the knees. And Stormer's feet are huge! Something that would be ridiculous on a character's build.

    Getting built up Ready to go

    Also different is the shorter right arm with the weapon attachment and a cord connecting it to the arm, presumably for power. The backpack containment unit also fits right in with the theme, whereas it would be clunky and awkward on a Hero. The minifig Hero Stormer fits right into the cockpit which completes this change of pace for Hero Factory. More on the overall look below.

    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.

    Cool pieces

    There are some neat new pieces and some notable interesting pieces that come with this set. There are obviously the orange and red bodies (and black heads) of the Visorak cousins and the armor for Stormer's minifig. The windshield seems new too, among the rest of the obviously new pieces. A nice selection for expanding your constraction collection past the basic parts.

    front Left side Back Right side Cockpit

    Viewed from all angles, the Stormer Freeze Machine is stocky but falls short in a few areas. The arms aren't nearly long enough as one would hope, nor is the armor adequate for a proper mech. It just feels like a basic HF set with a cockpit for a minifig. This cockpit sticks out of the body quite a ways, but it's decent. Stormer fits in through a peg on his armor into the back.

    Figs Back of figs Fig comparison Armor Visorak cousins

    A change from HF sets, we have a minifig! Similar to the Voya Nui minifigs and unlike the Metru Nui figs, Stomer has moving arms and legs all resting behind a minifig skeleton torso protected by new armor and a cool helmet. What makes Stormer stand out is only he and Evo have the arm display. Why a robot needs a display when their computer-brains work just fine is beyond me, but it is pretty cool.

    Stormer stands tall beside a normal minifig (Kevin Hinkle being anything but normal). Luckily the armor fits a minifig just fine, which should prove nice for MOCing.

    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.

    Om nom nom In ya go Take this back to the lab

    One Visorak cousin fits into the containment unit backpack at a time, but the giant fist is big enough to grab the other one until reinforcements come. The spinning ice-lightning weapon is pretty neat too and is sure to be formidable against such beasts.

    Press down Jump! Welcome to Fight Club

    The Visorak cousins have their own jumping mechanic, like their predecessors from Metru Nui. It is quite fun. This set comes with two so Stormer can get a workout fighting them off.

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

    Pros
    What's to like?

    • New and neat pieces
    • HF minifig
    • Playability
    • Visorak cousins are cool

    Cons
    What's not to like?

    • Mech isn't armored enough
    • Arms are too short.

    And that is how Hero Stormer fights off Visorak cousins while watching Pacific Rim on his arm display. The mech story is a nice twist from the usual HF story, despite some building flaws. The features are neat and the build is sturdy. Since I don't know the price nor piece count, you'll just have to wait and decide on your own if this set is worth it to you.

    Two awesome mechs

    Up next will be the other half of Stormer's combo build, Rocka! If you're curious to see what they'll become after that, check out the combo instructions found here.

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