- Disclaimer: Due to an untimely data loss, some of my original review pictures were deleted. Certain elements (such as the plastic container bags, or completely separated pieces) may be missing from the recreation.
Review: 70779 Protector of Stone
Generation 1 gave us the Turaga to accompany and support the mighty Toa. Now, fifteen years later, Generation 2 gives us the Protectors. Today we look at the Protector of Stone; does this shortstuff have the stuff, or is he better left unturned?
The boxes of the new wave have been challenging to like. If nothing else, the graphic designers deserve the lion's share of the praise, because they have made the 2015 wave one to remember. The backgrounds are dynamic and eyecatching. Even a boring landscape like the desert becomes a fierce battleground you can reenact. I imagine kids excitedly grabbing these things off the shelf (or not, since the last time I saw the sets at my local store they were at my arm height, and I'm 6'1"!), only to discover the box easily crumples in their overeager hands. The packaging is flimsy and lacking in much purpose, although I'm sure it's eco-friendly in some way or another.
The Protectors definitely don't look like small sets with the pieces you get from the box. Lots of interesting parts and variety are found here. The Protector of Stone has an interesting mix of silver, trans-neon green, and the semi-returning brown, colors you might not think go together, but actually don't clash as bad as can be expected. The brown parts, however, are rather lacking in diversity; I could easily have done with something besides just shells and the mask in the color.
Much like their larger counterparts, the Protectors are impressively different despite having similar core builds. Protector of Stone plays it perhaps the most straightforward of all the Protectors; all four limbs are built the same way with the same color distribution, all tacked on to a torso and topped off with some armor.
The armor placement on the legs creates one of the Protector of Stone's biggest flaws; with the shells facing forward on the tiny torso, they cannot come together in an upright standing pose, forcing the Protector to hunch over and making posing somewhat difficult (Perhaps the 2015 Online Animations narrator will voice him with a cowboy inflection). His boxart clearly shows that the designers were aware of this, and the added spikes on his feet that wouldn't be there if he could pose properly all but confirm it, so it's a bit of a shame they couldn't have just rotated the shells. He wasn't winning any originality awards in the first place, so this particular quirk just sticks out even more.
A decent amount of the parts are designated for what is arguably the main attraction, the Elemental Sandstone/Sandstorm/Sandstwhatever Blaster. The new click blaster is definitely one of the more interesting constraction projectiles in recent memory, taking the novelty of last year's click guns from Hero Factory and amping it up for something more sizable. Studs are, of course, extremely prone to getting lost, but they give you a solid supply to work with. I actually like taking the extra set of studs and adding it to the first ones, which gives them an extra bit of oomph and makes it harder to lose them once shot.
The weapon also lends itself to a lot of neat poses, since it can be both a single-handed or two-handed weapon to wield. I prefer the one-handed configuration, since as mentioned, he doesn't stand so great. It's also able to hold in three of the four angles (even the fourth if you push it a bit!) on his hand, which is probably the most adaptable weapon I've seen since they introduced the hand joints.
And, of course, the Skull Spider! I like the inclusion of an enemy to fight with, even if they can be a little dopey sometimes. In this case, there's the added benefit of having a (BEWARE MY) stinger tail for a greater threat, and the size disparity is lessened in the Protectors, making it seem like a fairer fight.
The Skull Spider doesn't fit very well, that said, but it rarely does, so you learn to live with it.
The Brass Tacks
The Protectors may be small, but they often make up for it with heart and wit. In this case, the Protector of Stone remains remarkable poker-faced about the whole situation. He knows his body design is boring (and even annoying at times), but he also knows that he has a super cool weapon and a striking color scheme, and so is content with that. If you're looking for a shelf-warmer, he's probably not your guy. But there's some silver lining beyond his yawn-inducing silver parts, and his actionability make him a set worth picking up.
|2015 Set Reviews (1HY)|
|Review #1||By Cholie||By SPIRIT||By Dorek||By SPIRIT||By Dorek||By SPIRIT||By KZN02||By SPIRIT||By Swert||By SPIRIT||By Swert||By SPIRIT||By Cholie|
|Review #2||By Swert||By Dorek||By Swert||By Dorek||By Swert||By Swert||By Cholie||By Dorek||By Dorek||By KZN02||By Dorek||By Dorek||By SPIRIT|
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