The most successful LEGO in-house IP, Bionicle, was rebooted this year after a five year hiatus. In January new Toa and Protectors, the good guys, were released, followed a couple of months ago by a range of antagonists, who are under the spell of the evil Lord of Skull Spiders.
70792 Skull Slicer
"Patrol the ruins of the ancient arena with the menacing Skull Slicer! This ancient champion has been animated by the dark magic of the Skull Spider Mask, fusing him with his razor-sharp hook blades."
I have been buying Bionicle sets, usually just one or two of each series, since 2001 and one thing that fascinates me is the evolution of their design and the new parts that are introduced each year.
This year's Bionicle sets were the first to be made using the new Character and Creature Building System (CCBS) so everything about the January releases was different to those produced in the 2000s. For the summer sets a number of new CCBS parts have been produced or made in new colours, as shown in the picture below. The most significant, from a CCBS point of view, is the silver 'limb extender' at the bottom. You can see the full inventory of its 71 parts here.
Here's the Skull Slicer, who stands about 18cm head-to-toe. He's equipped with 4 arms, 3 wielding skull-slicing swords, the other a mask grabber attached by a very cool florescent orange chain, unique to this set.
I'm not keen on his asymmetry, I would have liked 'shoulder pads' for both upper arms. I don't care much for the chest plate either if I'm honest, it looks a little out of place and covers up the more impressive rib cage piece beneath it.
There's quite a complex (for Bionicle) mechanism at the back which enables all four arms to be moved by twisting the yellow gear. A blue friction pin in the gear assembly enables poses to held.
He wears a silver Skull Spider mask because he's under the influence of the Lord of Skull Spiders.
The set contains Lewa's Golden Jungle Mask, being drained of its power, depicted by casting it in gold and florescent green which looks very cool.
70794 Skull Scorpio
"This evil creation of Skull Grinder is a fierce enemy for anyone who gets in its way."
Unlike the other villains Skull Scorpio is a 6-legged insect-like creature armed with fierce pincers and a sting in its tail.
Its legs, Leg 8M With Cross Axle/Ø3.2 Shaft have, until now, only been available in trans light blue.
Construction of the body and legs is straightforward. Many of the 107 parts go into making the tail appendage mechanism that, when operated, lunges the blades forward towards any unsuspecting Toa that happen to be in the way.
It's a fearsome looking beast!
The set contains Pohatu's Golden Mask of Stone, being drained of its elemental power.
I enjoyed building these mainly from a 'Bionicle evolution' point of view. The completed models look suitably fearsome and kids will have great fun battling them against the Toas.
If you're not a Bionicle fan already they are unlikely to convert you to one but I suspect if you build one for yourself you will have fun doing so and may also gain an appreciation of the CCBS system.
Thanks to Brickipedia for providing some of the background information.
If you want to see how the mechanisms work, check out the videos below by JangBRiCKS, the leading provider of video reviews of LEGO on YouTube: