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Review: 71300 Uxar - Creature of Jungle
Though I called Lewa the initiator into BIONICLE's 2016 wave, the first numbered set is actually Uxar, Creature of Jungle. These lil' beasties are called the "great elemental creatures", so can they live up to that moniker?
I need to find eleven different ways to describe these boxes? Hooboy. As I mentioned earlier, the added thickness to the cardboard used for the box is much appreciated. Especially with the smaller sets, which are meant to be impulse purchases (i.e. snatched from the shelves) it'll make present giving a lot easier.
Although, like Melum before him, Uxar's exact species is a bit mysterious. The closest thing I would guess is some kind of insect, perhaps a moth or a mosquito. Either way, not something you'd want to meet at that size!
Fewer new pieces apparent here, since Uxar rests at a lower price point. But one of the real stars is actually a returning bit, the transparent green wing pieces. I believe this specific version of the design comes from those Exo-Force sets, although they have predecessors in some earlier sets. But the color is something else on this one.
Shadow Trap! I'll call him... Trappy. Yes, all shadow traps will have names. Deal with it.
Also deal with the fact that in this one, I used the wrong color for the hinge initially. I'll rant about this more later. The build itself is genius in simplicity, and the trap parts are super wicked looking. I actually thought at first that the traps would have eyes on both sides (since the perspective was always from the trap "mouth") but I actually like that it only has one eye. Sells the "evil robot organism" look better.
Trappy is complete with a few detailed legs. Very much in the "jungle" motif, although I can't quite understand what the "tail" chain is for. It's nice to see those links back, but what do they do? Does Umarak swing them around, or are they just for enhancing the "imprisonment" theme?
Uxar starts off less Technic-y, like most of the sets so far, but soon incorporates a neat backpack that will form the basis of his function. Also, yellow axles. Did I mention those for Lewa? I love 'em. Give us more axle colors, LEGO.
Looks like a wing moving mechanism. Should I call him... Flappy?
Okay, okay. Using the slick new Gearaxle, Uxar has a neat wing flapping function, and the mechanism itself is given some armor to help it feel less out there than some others. One of the interesting things about the gearaxle is that the teeth don't align perfectly, so they're always pointing either up or slightly down. Not a problem for an EXPERIENCED BUILDER such as myself, but I can see kids having a bit of difficulty with it. Also I may or may not have gotten it wrong the first time.
Flappy Uxar doesn't have any arms, so I can't make any bad arm jokes. What he does have are some nice talons, which I'm just going to pretend are insect appendages. What he also has is a large facemaskthing. I didn't talk about this at length with Melum, but this is easily the biggest mask piece you'll find in nu-BIONICLE thus far, which has otherwise made a solid effort to trim down on excessive mask size. It's a really intricate piece with a lot of detailing, and has even more connection points than I thought originally. The one downside is pre-molded eyes, which rob it of some personality.
We had the wing function, now we get the wings themselves. Six wing bits total, two being the new blade pieces, and the other four the aforementioned Exo-Force wings.
Here's where the hinge rant comes into play. All of these four "male" hinges for the wings are dark grey. The same molded hinge on the shadow trap is light grey. The corresponding "female" hinge on the shadow trap is dark grey. How does that make sense?? Why wouldn't you make all five male hinges the same color, and make the female hinge easier to find by having it in the lighter grey? I can only imagine that the parts don't exist in the color and they were just reusing stock, but still.
Regardless of building woes, the final result is pretty neat looking. Uxar definitely seems insectoid-ish in hand, and the moving wings add to the otherwise lacking poseability of the set. Uxar is also a bit short on overall playability, since he needs most of his legs just for balance. In the air, though, he's definitely got the advantage. Swooshability, what's up.
Of course, one of the main reasons for getting the set at all is to add him to Lewa (assuming you have Lewa). Overall, the Unity look is a good fit for Lewa; it makes his blades slightly more fitting with the rest of his new, edged look, and Uxar's bulk definitely helps flesh everything out. That said.. unbalanced. Literally. I know I use that more to describe colors and designs in these reviews, but in this case, posing Lewa can be a definite chore since he's so back-heavy now. The lack of a gold mask is also a bit weird when combined with Lewa's gold mask, which is the intent.
The Brass Tacks
As a solo creature, Uxar is okay. Great coloring, and a neat design (even if I can't tell what exactly it's supposed to be). Throw in a Shadow Trap, which are leagues better than the Skull Spiders, and you have yourself a solid set. Top it all off with the combining feature, and there's a lot of good to be found, enough to look past the fact Uxar by himself doesn't offer much in play value.
|2016 Set Reviews (1HY)|
|Review #1||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek|
|Review #2||By SPIRIT||By Cholie||By SPIRIT||By Swert||By SPIRIT||By KZN02|
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