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Phantoka (p)review-- Part Two


Aanchir

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Now that we have good pics of the Makuta Phantoka, I feel fit to continue my review.

 

Vamprah looks to be rather awesome. His mask is nice (but I foresee it being a pain to draw in my new style), and his limbs are nice. The silver Takadox armor will be a MOCist's dream, at least once they make more of it. Limbs are nice. His wing/arm design is marvelously batlike, and I love the legs. Wing pieces leave something to be desired ("something" being practical pistons). I wonder why he has to have four of them, and where the two not on the hands are attached. That may determine whether he's a good or a bad set in my eyes. Oh, and also... Mata Blue... :drool:

 

Antroz's wings aren't nearly as well executed. Their attachment to the arms rather than the torso means that when you adjust the arms to pose him you'll have to adjust the wings to compensate-- an extra step I'd rather not have needed to take. The wing pieces themselves are lacking in the same way as Vamprah's. I also am wondering why LEGO even took the extra step to make so many wing pieces instead of spending their new piece budget on something more awesome, but what the heck. I'll find uses for them. Swords are awesome, especially if those pistons are practical *is hopeful*. The mask seems OK as well... I'm not too enthused about any of the masks as an MOCist, since I can hardly picture them on good guy MOCs, something even the Kraahkan had the potential for. I also may have trouble drawing this one in my style; only time will tell.

 

Chirox's tools look so unconventional that I can tell neither what they are nor whether they have pistons whatsoever; the small size of available (legitimate) pics fails to help. Are his wings the same as Vamprah's? Hard to tell. The new variation of Piraka feet is nice; I wish people would realize that the more similar a part is to an older version the more useable it will be on MOCs that intend to have stylistic consistency. The use of Nuparu Mahri armor is awkward in my opinion. The double elbows will also make him seem more awkward if one intends to place him in any normal humanoid poses. Metru chest armor is NEVER good when used in that manner, IMHO. Lastly, the mask scares me, and not in a good way. He's the Phantoka I'm least anxious for (though it's decided that our little bro's getting him, anyway).

 

Overall: The weapon looks promising. The torso and "ribcage" pieces are harder to judge. While stylistic consistency would appear to be present, there's a serious fault by my standards in that there are no practical pistons evident. In this lack of practical pistons throughout, the Makuta Phantoka remind me (not in a pleasant way) of the Rahkshi, but for them this makes more than a bit of sense, and will be convenient in my drawings (on which I remove or replace most pistons anyway). Sadly, I don't think I'll be able to draw these guys until Greg releases info on their personalities, or such information is acquired from a source like Amazon.de. Still, I expect to be able to put together awesome drawings of them, and this optimism means you can expect at least one once info has been released for me to work with.

 

Good Makuta? As with the Nuva, without a doubt. Good sets? As with the Nuva, that remains to be seen, and I'm not too optimistic. Still, the choice of parts seems superb with both in most cases, and the design of the new parts seems OK as well. Thanks for listening, please leave any comments you may have. Vale.

 

With all due respect,

:vahi: Aanchir: Rachira of Time.

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Funny, I think the Makuta Phantoka are the best bad guys since the Rahkshi. (As far as I've seen, people love the Rahkshi (knees!), but don't go discussing this point)

 

Anyway, I like these guys because they look so evil. The bat design gives them that look that strikes fear into you and just the thought of them sweeping from above is chilling.

 

Vamprah looks cool, though I don't understand his (why a he? IMO it's about time the blue bad guys were female.)...I don't understand his "feet." It doesn't seem conventional to crawl around spider/insect-like. But the blue mahri-toran blades make up for it. Does he come with black double joints that are the 5 stud long type? We need those.

 

If Antroz is normal red, I'll praise him. But overall he looks pretty cool. I don't think any of their wings are part of their back. I guess you have to worry about his positions for drawings. I wish he had some more red though. Like his legs. That's be nice to get away from all the black and not much red.

 

I also like Chirox. (He and Antroz being my favorites). Finally a bad guy in full black. (save the silver bits) Normally I don't like all the dark (I didn't like Kongu Inika's full dark scheme) but he looks great! His arms are weird, but I think it's creative. I also can't think of another way to do it. What I'm more worried about is his hands. I don't think Hordika skulls make good hands for bigger beings. It doesn't look like a hand. ("Hand" LOL) I like the variation on the feet, though I haven't used any piraka feet yet. I'm indifferent on the Nuparu Mahri armor too. Something else could go there but I'd like to see more of this armor used, but more creatively (like on the Toa MoLi). I've seen plenty of MOCists use the metru armor like that and I'd like to too, I think it works well. Better than nothing. And different than using Takadox armor as seen on Vamprah.

 

Can't say much about the ribcage. It's interesting, I guess it has a purpose, but looks kind of weird. I'd like to wait for a storyline reason.

 

So, how much do we agree and disagree?

 

-CF

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Funny, I think the Makuta Phantoka are the best bad guys since the Rahkshi. (As far as I've seen, people love the Rahkshi (knees!), but don't go discussing this point)

I thought I made it clear that the similarities to the Rahkshi are what worry me. They'll make drawing more fun, but the lack of practical pistons in the Rahkshi tools annoyed me, and I'm glad Antroz does not replicate that flaw. Also, the Rahkshi had not one piece of frame (Toa Mata/Metru torso motif) armor. These guys also are better than them in that respect, at least by my standards. By now you realize I'm very much about the pieces in my judging of new sets (mostly new masks and practical pistons).

 

Anyway, I like these guys because they look so evil. The bat design gives them that look that strikes fear into you and just the thought of them sweeping from above is chilling.

The batlike appearance was carried out nicely, and I'm glad to see they can base three sets off the same thing without making them complete clones. Thank you, LEGO! *wonders what the summer villains will be like*

 

Vamprah looks cool, though I don't understand his (why a he? IMO it's about time the blue bad guys were female.)...I don't understand his "feet." It doesn't seem conventional to crawl around spider/insect-like. But the blue mahri-toran blades make up for it. Does he come with black double joints that are the 5 stud long type? We need those.

Who says he's going to crawl? Not sure if you're familiar with the Pokemon Crobat, but for the longest time I didn't realize it had legs. Why? Because it's almost ALWAYS flying! Its feet are the tiniest little things, and aren't even visible on most front-view pics! That's what I envisioned for this (though a news article linked to in the 2008 sets topic shows a way I can picture this guy walking, and it's rather nice). Are those black parts the 5 stud variety? *goes to check* Yes, they are! Of course, they're the new variety of socket that looks more like the 7 stud version in style. Hope it holds up better.

 

If Antroz is normal red, I'll praise him. But overall he looks pretty cool. I don't think any of their wings are part of their back. I guess you have to worry about his positions for drawings. I wish he had some more red though. Like his legs. That's be nice to get away from all the black and not much red.

At first I was skeptical of the fact that these were normal blue and red. It seemed to me that the pics would just make it look like that, as many pics almost did in the past. But now with the high-quality canister photos available, it seems incredibly likely that these are the older varieties of red and blue! I suppose LEGO did that to provide contrast from the black "skeleton." Pity, though... if they had been dark red and blue it would have supported my theory I had begun to form that the new Nuva would all be bright colors... meaning we'd have a normal red Tahu (though since I ended up liking most of the new Nuva so far, LEGO may again pleasantly surprise me-- Prior to the coming of new Nuva pics I didn't think it would be possible to evoke Pohatu's feel without brown, and I feel they managed anyway).

 

I also like Chirox. (He and Antroz being my favorites). Finally a bad guy in full black. (save the silver bits) Normally I don't like all the dark (I didn't like Kongu Inika's full dark scheme) but he looks great! His arms are weird, but I think it's creative. I also can't think of another way to do it. What I'm more worried about is his hands. I don't think Hordika skulls make good hands for bigger beings. It doesn't look like a hand. ("Hand" LOL) I like the variation on the feet, though I haven't used any piraka feet yet. I'm indifferent on the Nuparu Mahri armor too. Something else could go there but I'd like to see more of this armor used, but more creatively (like on the Toa MoLi). I've seen plenty of MOCists use the metru armor like that and I'd like to too, I think it works well. Better than nothing. And different than using Takadox armor as seen on Vamprah.

Kongu Inika's scheme was a bit unbearable; Kongu Mahri felt a mild relief. But anyway, we're discussing Chirox. I don't like him too much. I like Vamprah and maybe Antroz (especially if practical pistons become evident in Antroz's tool...). I don't mind the Hordika skull-hands as such, though the reason he needs them (the oversized arms) makes me uneasy (is the hand thing an inside joke or something?). And the new Piraka feet please me, since they may make it easier to use the Piraka foot on an MOC with stylistic consistency (which is another priority I have for sets and MOCs). The Nuparu Mahri armor just looks weird in that manner to me... maybe it will look better in the set; I should test that out with the parts I have to see. And the use of Toa Metru armor on the groin displeases me because it's hard to draw (cf. Sidorak), and because it doesn't make it look like that area is covered (though I suppose it's as sufficient as Matoro Inika armor, even if it doesn't look it). The variety and contrast with Vamprah is nevertheless welcome.

 

Can't say much about the ribcage. It's interesting, I guess it has a purpose, but looks kind of weird. I'd like to wait for a storyline reason.

I think it's wonderful in appearance, and probably similarly good in function. It will also be simple enough to draw as long as it's an actual part of their bodies (Working in HSB, I stylize the body parts anyway). And storyline reason? They're shapeshifters; that's been established since '01! Sure, it's annoying, but at least it lets them make Makuta that look different from the original without much distress.

 

I'd say we disagree quite a bit, but at least I can understand your views. No matter how much I disagree with people like you and ToM about new sets, I always love getting a good discussion started so I can understand how other people judge sets. Can't wait for Matoran pics/reviews to become available so I can post my opinions on them as well.

 

EDIT: I now have confirmation that Chirox has practical pistons on his tools, courtesy of an image on BS01! :happydance:

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