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2016 Summer Wave



Where are the honkles?


So, we've seen the Summer Wave and I had to delete my last entry pertaining to my thoughts on them as they were still leaked info at that time - we'd only got names, not pictures, and I was talking as if I'd seen pictures. I'll speak no more of them, because even though we've seen the summer sets, the actual images I saw are still leaks - that doesn't change just because we saw then in non-leaks.


I'll start with Umarak the Destroyer. As a fan of Umarak the Hunter... I think the summer incarnation loses too much of Umarak. I don't get why the antlers had to go when they were one of Umarak's most defining features. Instead, they're replaced with horns that are all too common, used in sets like Pyrox and Skull Basher. It also bugs me his upper legs are shorter than they were in Hunter, and yet they made the lower legs longer by using longer beams, so these shorter upper legs negate the presumed point of the lower legs, which I assume was to make Umarak the Destroyer taller than Umarak the Hunter. If there's one colour that I like more than other people seem to, it's the transparent neon green, but here, for once, I don't really agree with it. Transparent Neon Green doesn't look anywhere near as good as the Transparent Green Umarak, Uxar, and Protector of Jungle us. Also, why does he have such a thin, spindly neck without articulation?


Let's move on to Lava Beast. Lava Beast, I think, looks decent. It's pretty clear it's a beat, but I think Lava Beast is a bit too humanoid and the lower legs could probably have been replaced with one 3m or 4m bone and a 5m bone with hinge, if you know what I mean. I like the weapons, and I like the lower arms, but I don't agree with the crystal shell add-ons being transparent black when Lava Beast has no other transparent black pieces. I like the attempt at giving his head variety by giving him a shadow trap half to give him a 'crest' of sorts.


Storm Beast would look so much better if the transparent blue was replaced with transparent dark blue. Also, the hands could do with being hands instead of feet. And I'm not too sure what the function is supposed to be, except it looks extremely limiting and clunky - it looks like the tail can't move where it's connected but the tail has articulation in the middle - like Ketar. Actually, that might be it - Storm Beast has Ketar's function, in which case, expect Storm Beast's arms to fall down and be hard to pose.


Quake Beast... uhhhh. What's with the random transparent neon green disc-thing and the random shell and blades on the shoulder? They look extremely out of place, and the shoulder shadow-trap doesn't look good nor would it have much functional use being there at all. And it appears that Quake Beast, much like Protector of Earth, suffers from having only half a spiky thing. Quake Beast also doesn't pull off the asymmetry as well as Skull Warrior did last year, nor does the combination of transparent purple and transparent neon green look good.


Ekimu: I think Ekimu is the best lower-priced set of the wave. But I wouldn't mind Ekimu being replaced with another beast. He's like the Toa, except with a gearbox instead of a piece of unification. He appears to be doing something similar to Tahu and Gali last year, where they had shells over the shoulders, except for some reason it's connected to the torso here when it's probably better-looking to connect them to the shoulders where the arms attach, like Tahu and Gali last year. Easy fix to make, so it's nothing too major. I'm glad the Mask of Creation isn't a gold and transparent blue blend, because just look at the shape of the Mask of Creation: even if it was blended, it really wouldn't look too good - the 'spikes' on the top of the mask are too tall. I guess Ekimu is the new Takanuva. The hammer also looks really good, though I don't understand how the shield is attached. It would be nicer if Umarak's mask was black and transparent-neon-green instead of gunmetal and transparent orange, though.


Also, the reason why the Beasts are not as good as the Skeletons?


Bpooky Bcary Beasts doesn't quite have the same ring to it.


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The 2015 summer wave is fantastic! My favorite set is definitely Ragana's Magic Shadow Castle. Oh wait... were we talking about Bionicle?

I definitely disagree with a lot of your judgments on Umarak the Destroyer. I think the Trans. Fluor. Green does work as an "energized" version of his previous color scheme, and while his color scheme is less interesting than Umarak the Destroyer I'd chalk that up more to the lack of a contrasting accent color like the previous version's Dark Red spikes. And while horns are nothing new, they make sense as a mutated version of the Mask of Control, whereas I doubt they could make both horns AND antlers work. Besides, the curve of these horns is quite different from either of the other horned sets you mentioned, thanks to the Technic connectors (which, admittedly, might have been cooler in gold or even brown). All-in-all, I think he has quite a few of Umarak's features and is a good evolution of the original design.

Lava Beast is my least favorite of the beasts. He's just so mundane, and I don't like his color scheme, which lacks the Trans. Fluor. Green accents that tie the other Beasts together. The Trans. Brown shells on his arms aren't bad, and I think they work as a transparent equivalent to the Titanium Metallic parts used elsewhere in his build, but I hate the use of the Dark Orange parts on his legs, which are a much less natural fit.

Storm Beast's function is actually significantly different from Ketar's, because it doesn't use gears. EDIT 2: Just realized I forgot to mention the key advantage of it not using gears. Unlike a gear function, it can raise and lower each arm independently or together, by swinging the tail from side to side or raising and lowering it, respectively. In that sense, it's sort of like Skull Basher's function, using an atypical function that offers abilities that typical gear functions lack. I haven't tried it in real life to see if the arms flop around, but because of the way his shoulder are built I'd bet that several of the joints use friction pins to prevent that. EDIT: I just did try it in real life, and it does not seem to use friction pins. That said, unlike Ketar the arms themselves are attached to ball joints, meaning that posing him should not be any trouble. Also, modifying it to use friction pins is not hard. Trans. Dark Blue may have looked neat (and given us the skeleton torso shell in that color finally), but I don't think the Trans. Light Blue looks bad at all. Altogether, he's my favorite of the Beasts, with a fantastic color scheme, a unique build, and a great overall look.

Quake Beast's function is also fairly novel, with a sideways 2015 gearbox. Apart from that, I really love his color scheme, and I'm not going to judge the look of the blades and things until I have a better idea of what they look like posed well, as opposed to the atrocious job of posing the sets we typically see at Toy Fair.

Finally, Ekimu... he doesn't look all that bad, but he also is the least interesting set of the bunch. Both of his weapons are way too similar to last year's, and downgraded to boot, since his hammer no longer shoots and his shield no longer spins freely. And I feel like his Trans. Light Blue shells hardly provide enough coverage, making him look even MORE lanky and awkward compared to the solid, stocky, and dwarflike build he had last year. Ultimately, I dislike him for hardly doing anything new aside from having his color scheme shifting around and getting an unnecessary growth spurt—I probably would have preferred another small Ekimu that used different sorts of weapons and armor, instead of a large one that doesn't offer much in the way of innovation at all.

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