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Who is your favorite Toa?

 Tahu
 Kopaka
 Lewa
 Gali
 Onua
 Pohatu







Wings Of Darkness
Posted by Richard on December 19, 2007 at 01:45 PM CST:
Packaging

Antroz comes in the same style of canister and frame as the toa and other cannister sets that came out with him, with the exception of the color and stickers on the packaging of course. Unlike the Mahri sets who's plastic frame went around a disposable plastic blister, the frame goes around a less disposable cannister with a disposable lid that firmly secures the parts inside. The frame itself is held on primarily with tape, but will stay loosely in place if the disposable lid is left on the cannister, but once thats been trashed the frame pops off simple by holding one or the other and letting gravity pull the cannister from the frame. These cave window style frames do not have any plug ports like the mahri frame, and are mostly useless for MoCing, but could serve other purposes. For the most part they seem useless to me, except to help me spot them on the store shelves more clearly, which might possibly be their whole purpose after all.




Parts of interest

These "Makuta" creatures have an interesting assortment of new parts and old, for one the main torso piece that is comparable to the Toa Hordika torsos, the "Makuta bones" as I like to call them, which would be the rip cage parts. The right angle connector is new to these sets and serves the same purpose as the similar part on the toa, which is to mount their respective matoran onto their back. my three favorite new parts are the silver claw/blades, and his multicolored mask and matching wings. We also have what I think are called the tridax pods and the leech creatures that pop out of them.




Makuta Torso

I believe the design for this part was based on the Toa Hordika torso part, which it clearly resembles regardless if thats true or not. Thankfully they omitted using peg holes to attach arms to in favor of inbuilt ball joints. Most people hated how the hordika arms plugged into the hordika's torso, so it would have been a let down to bring back that feature. Though we do lose out on some customization compared to a hordika torso, if a hordika torso does the job better then why would we be using this part for the MoC anyway? The frame seems built bigger to accommodate the ribs and tridax pod and will surely be a very useful MoC element.




Makuta bones

The Makuta bones, referring to the silver teeth on his chest are a single piece that are made out of the harder plastic, but are molded to allow them to hinge at the center, the same way the barraki teeth hinge to let them bite closed, the main difference being that the left and right ribs are all one part rather than two separate sections, and once plugged into the new hordika-like torso, they lock into an open and closed position, primarily to secure and launch the tridax pods. When I first saw them I thought the pod was launched out by forcing it through the ribs like a zamor launcher, but instead you push the center piece of the makuta bones accessible from the back, which makes the ribs pop open and forces the pod out.




Claw blades

These are my favorite non functional tool element for the year so far. It's more of a short, wide dagger.For some reason it just looks good. Not much else for me to say on this part.




Tridax pods

These balls are composed of two halves with a plus peg hole running down it's center. Both halves are exactly the same and the sides that connect to each other aren't simply two circular edges, rather each side has two hills and two dips. The hills on one side fit into the dips on the other half while a tab on each half's dip grips the top of the hill on the other. Once together I don't think they form a perfect sphere, even if the edge around the plus peg hole was removed. While they can be used to store a variety of things they are intended to hold four leech creatures, and if you have an spares you may be able to barely squeeze six inside of it. These pods have a sort of veined texture and is made of a color that glows brightly under a black light. Im not entirely sure if they are new elements or just new to BIONICLE® since they could be used in a variety of playsets, but look organic enough to make an interesting "heart" for these characters, and an interesting weapon.




Shadow Leeches

These small little guys are made out of rubber and have a sort of cartoony face on one end, and a plus peg hole on the other. It has a total of eight fin things around it's edge, two big ones on the top lined up with the "eyes", two smaller ones right underneath the "teeth", and four micro ones that are there simply for detail. These little guys are made out of the same squishy material as the squid ammo form the barraki sets, and I suspect they will be used in MoCs for a few interesting ideas, but primarily be used as rubber stoppers for various creations to keep them from sliding off of the table. The various edges seem to help it bounce around after breaking free from the pod, while keeping it from rolling too far away from the landing site. We only get four of these, and I haven't heard anything of a




Wings

Antroz's wings pose a slight annoyance, being a mix of red and black, making you add some red or black into the rest of what your using them on, but otherwise they match Antroz and his mask if not much else. These are very nice despite the color issue, and larger than a number of other similar elements. Sadly it only has one plus peg and a nearby plug hole to build with.




Mask

Antroz's makuta mask is my favorite so far, the black and red go together well, and looks like a nice transition between a mask and a face, rather than the other two makuta out where it looks more like ts a part of them. On the other hand It would have been a nice touch if one or two of the masks could be flipped around like the dual sided mask from the character Makuta.




Construction/articulation

Antroz is for the most part another toa style character, the only thing setting him apart would be the wings and torso. The majority of parts are recycled so we didn't get any new armor or limbs, unless you consider that all the sockets are the new and improved ones which are easier to attach. He and every other makuta suffer from a wobbly neck, more so than previous characters. The neck is held in place with a size three rod, but the socket lacks a good surface to sit against and has a slight bit of extra room on both sides. So, left unmodified you will always have his head sitting at a slightly odd angle since it always leans one way or the other. Antroz, as posed in the manual seems to walk on all fours, and his frontal claws act as the feet when in the pose, though I wish they had used the piraka tool arm here to make it look more of a leg and give the claws a wider range of motion in that direction, though the shape of the arms and legs they did use look good. On his back you will see the right angled bar with the connectors, which is used to plug the "eviltoran" onto his back in a kind of horseback rider position. The Eviltoran is sold separately. This connector takes up two of the four available to otherwise connect the waist, and while I don't know for sure maybe if the connector was attached differently, the free slots would be used to put one more plug in to keep th waist from popping off so easily. He has a good range of motion in the legs but lacks in the arms. The head can pivot upward for looking forward when on all fours where the wings on his back become more noticeable than on two legs. The wings, standing on two hordika neck parts have a great range of motion, though I suspect I may have taken these pictures when one of the wings was improperly attached.




Mechanism

All of the makuta characters share the same mechanism, the makuta bones hinge open by either being pulled open from the front, or being forced open from the hole in the back by pushing the exposed the hinge foward. Free swiveling plugs hold the bones in place and are secured by squeezing the bones together a bit and attaching them from underneath where the arms and neck attach. Vamprah buyers will probably appreciate knowing not to attach his silver armor plate to the waist until after plugging the rib structure in. It can be done with it in place but its much easier if you do it afterwards. Once your ready to fire the pod, pushing the hinge from the back forces open the ribs while pushing the pod out. You cannot get the kind of distance that you can with a zamor sphere, but you can launch it a decent enough distance with a good push, just don't expect to get it very far unless you can make it roll without popping open when it hits the ground. Rather than trying to aim and fire at a target, Antroz has wings. Unless your trying to accomplish hitting something from a distance, this mechanism is best suited for dumping the pod overtop an enemy while "in flight". Once deployed, the pod doesn't seem to pop open unless it hits a hard surface, so missing your target if his sitting on a cushion means its not likely to pop open. When it does pop open, the force spreads out the little leeches who bounce and tumble around thanks to their squishy ad bouncy consistency. Thankfully the earlier mentioned fins on the leeches prevent them from rolling off, but being small and rubbery their trajectory could still land them in some hard to retrieve place, and can have a wide spread. So it's like a cluster bomb of sorts.

Tridax Launch




Colorscheme and Appearance

Antroz is black and red, with a slight bit of silver coming from the chest and tools. The mask, wings, and feet are a mix of two colors, with the red on the wings starting at the top where they attach and turn black right at the spot where the blade of the wing comes out from the base. The front of his mask is red but towards the back turns black around the edges, while the feet are red with a dark grey tip. The choice of parts and their colorscheme is decent, and make him look more muscular. On the other hand he lacks any new armor or legs, and I honestly think they should have at least given him the black/red mix armor from Barraki Kalmah, which looks a bit more cool and is in more demand than the piraka armor. The last downfall is more of shared issue, all of the villains out so far share the same colored tridax pod, it would be nice for MoCing purposes if they each had their own color, but at least when you need just that part in that color you don't have to stock up on one specific villain.


Overall

It's not a bad set, we get an interesting new torso mechanism and some decent new parts, though much if it is nothing new. Any casual BIONICLE fan would appreciate to have at least one of these villains. If you could only get one, Antroz has some attributes, parts, and storyline value that might make make him more valuable than the other villains out there, but unless he specifically appeals to you I see no reason to say he's a must have over any other villain. Collectors and MoCers on the other hand would want one of each villain, while MoCers will be able to get plenty of the new sockets along with the wings, mask and tools but be stuck with a few already available parts.

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