Review:70791 by Dorek

From BIONICLEsector01

BS01 Reviews

70791 Skull Warrior

By Dorek View Gallery

Review: 70791 Skull Warrior

Summer is here! BIONICLE keeps the ball rolling with some scary skeletons. The first in the wave is Skull Warrior; does this set rise from the grave, or is it better left six feet under?

The Box

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The Skull sets continue the trend of the cardboard boxes used as the containers. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in this particular trend, but I imagine it's some kind of cost-cutting measure on the part of the marketing people. Plus, it's partially outweighed by the amazing graphic designs that are showcased on the box. I haven't talked too much about the box comics, but they are a wonderful addition, and help give a brief snippet of story that can serve as an introduction to the lore.

The Bits

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Even moreso than sets from the winter wave, Skull Warrior is a glorious treasure trove of transparent parts. In fact, there's seemingly no dominant color at all, with a peculiar blend of silvers, greys, oranges and blues. In terms of volume the edge probably goes to the blue, despite ostensibly being a secondary color.

Some nifty new parts in there, chief among them the skeleton armor add-on piece, which isn't exactly what I'd call skeletal, but will have to suffice as a descriptor for the time being. One of the bigger pieces is also the new hook blade, which is wicked and intricate in design, and really hearkens back to the overly specialized pieces of BIONICLE's heyday.

The Build

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Right off the bat, Skull Warrior is different from most sets by being asymmetrical. I'll be frank and say that I have always adored asymmetry regardless of the form; it always adds to the sense of realism, and especially fitting here for undead warriors. The skeleton-specific bone piece is also a fun new addition, though a little limiting in terms of future usage; I leave it to the set designers to incorporate it in novel ways in the future.

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The gearbox, of course, adds a fun layer to Skull Warrior's otherwise straightforward design. Clearly they don't expect him to do much heavy lifting, since they only add one minigear for the added friction support, when there were otherwise spots (as we've seen with some of the other sets) that could have accommodated some extra help.

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Add in the new torso plate and the specially printed chest element. It's always very refreshing to see a new torso plate, since we've only had a few different ones since CCBS's inception. Like much of the design, one does give off a very skeletal appearance, though possibly also at the cost of being too specialized for its own good. Something that's always been one of BIONICLE's biggest strengths AND weaknesses, so it's fitting.

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And the final design materializes. As noted before, the coloring is rather bizarre, although not necessarily in a bad way; the colors are at times competing for attention, but there's a difference between clashing and not matching. Rather than disagree with one another, they're all just out there, and waiting for you to pick which part is most attractive.

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A big weapon for a... well, medium-sized boy. The spinning gun bow has a lot of rotating parts, some of which seem unnecessary to a degree, especially if you want the set itself to be doing the firing. However, the gatling gun piece itself has been a delight, and it's fun to see it incorporated onto something larger than a small-sized set.

Somehow, though, we're not finished, since there's TWO weapons to be had! At this point, I'm going to say the hook blade is overkill. Not only is it incredibly awkward switching weapons (since the frictionless pinaxles will never be in the place you want) but keeping one off to the side is always a pain, and hampers left arm movement. I know BIONICLE is known for it's unique and personality-filled armory, but giving an extra weapon to someone who already has a two-handed one just doesn't work.

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I threw in a battle scene for good measure, since Kopaka was our last review; the transferrence of power is fitting, no? Skull Warrior has an included Mask of Power (beyond his own Skull Mask, the true purpose of which has yet to be revealed) meant to represent a power-drained Mask of Ice. It's an interesting choice for the summer sets, to very specifically (and literally) accept the hand off from the winter ones. The gold on the mask doesn't look as out of place as you might think, though this is likely due to the overabundance of colors anyway.

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The Brass Tacks

Should I get this set?

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  Good for people who like:

*Transparent colors - Skull Warrior is chock full of them
*Overly specialized pieces and unnecessary weapons - AKA "BIONICLE 1.0"
*Unique, themed designs - Although a bit on the generic side in terms of build, Skull Warrior fits the wave perfectly
  Not for those looking for:

*Streamlined sets - asymmetry aside, there's a lot of fluff to Skull Warrior
*Cohesive color schemes - it may not be offensive, but it is wild
  Other Comments:

Again with acronyms I can't use without confusing or offending people. Is that just a thing? --Dorek

For an introduction to the summer wave, Skull Warrior is solid. That said, he's also probably the most basic of any of the villains, which is why it seems he's been relegated to platoon status in the summer animations. However, what he lacks in uniqueness, he makes up for in being so typically and quintessentially "BIONICLE" that it's hard not to love him. Crazy colors, but with a lot of silver and big weapons. The boys are back in town.

2015 Set Reviews (2HY)
70791 70792 70793 70794 70795
Review #1 By Dorek By Dorek By Dorek By Dorek By Dorek
Review #2 By KZN02 By SPIRIT By SPIRIT By Cholie By Swert