Review: 71301 Ketar - Creature of Stone
Apparently Pohatu doesn't hate scorpions that badly, since he's partnered up with one for 2016! Is lil' buddy Ketar a helpful ally, or just extra weight?
It's always interesting to me to see how much space gets taken up on the boxes. Sometimes sets leave a lot of room for background stuff going on (especially the case with the Masters last year), but I feel like the sets have slowly been taking up more and more room.
Zoom in. Enhance.
Despite being one of the smaller sets, Ketar still has a lot to his name, and some interesting new pieces too. He's one of the few creatures to get the crystal armor add-on, but more than that, he gets the new blade piece; two, no less, which is one more than Pohatu got.
Speaking of things Pohatu didn't get... there's a lone dark tan Skrall armor piece in the mix. Seeing this just makes Pohatu's choice of silver shoulder pauldrons even more disappointing. Though aside from that, Ketar doesn't actually have anything in that color. He does, however, have the beast claws in regular brown, along with your burnt orange "straight Hordika necks" that came with Pohatu.
Also, of extreme note: no CCBS shells. Aside from the mask/headpiece, the only CCBS bits are limbs.
This Shadow Trap shall be known as... Ackbar. Happy Star Wars Episode VII day everyone! (spoil it for me and I will hunt you down)
Ackbar has some nifty robot arm pieces as legs, as well as a spiked tail. This tail chain makes more sense than Trappy's, from Uxar, since it has a bit of a finish to it.
Ooh, balljoint. That's new. Also, the "unity" armor piece in gunmetal. Only after seeing it here did I realize it was otherwise present in gold and silver forms, and not the dark grey. A welcome addition to the color rotation.
With the way the piece is attached, though, it has an unfortunate tendency to be a bit floppy. Not super noticeable in the final model, but odd enough during construction.
Woah, halfgear. Haven't seen you in a while. Ketar's function is notably different than most of the other beasts, as we'll see in a moment. It was a little tricky getting the gearaxle piece (which is an awesome piece, and as we see here, versatile) to align perfectly with the halfgear and the axle running through it.
Add in a y-joint, and the function itself is complete. Spin one side, one arm goes down and the other goes up, and obviously vice-versa.
Ketar gets some limbs, more than I can say for some of the other creatures; in fact, he breaks the curse of "all arachnids can only have one set of joints to hold their frames" from last year.
The y-joint may be the base of the function, but there's actual a whole tail left to build that will plug into it. Not a huge fan of the tail; feels pretty amateurish in construction, and the browns are wasted, since the part comes in other colors. Rather than using it as an accent, it seems included just to fulfill a brown quota that they don't really care about in the first place. The dark tan Vorox shell is nice, but again, without that color present anywhere else, it just seems pointless.
But he (she? it?)'s not actually done yet; there's still some arms for the gear function. Using two half-system pins, the crystal armor is grafted onto the blade. I'm not a huge fan of this, even though it was inevitable at some point. If you've gotten to that point (and really, no CCBS shells in here at all?) where it's your only option for armor attachment, you've done something wrong somewhere.
If you were hoping for some sort of redemption by attaching Ketar to Pohatu, you're out of luck here. Ketar is just jammed on the back. No finesse, no clever integration, just some weird scorpion back hugging. The limbs are splayed out all of the place, and the sword-claws just stick straight up in the air.
The one bright spot is the helmet combination. Usually I don't dig the "silver on gold" match, but maybe due to the overall coloring of both guys, it looks better here.
The Brass Tacks
|Should I get this set?
| Good for people who like:|
*Interesting gear design - Ketar goes out there for his gear feature, which ends up being pretty interesting, if hard to control.
*Parts - Even lacking in brown shades, Ketar's got a lot of fun bits to utilize, especially at his price.
| Not for those looking for:|
*CCBS aesthetic - Ketar has nary an actual CCBS shell to be found, leading to a rough, patchwork appearance
*Unified unity - Ketar is slapped on Pohatu's back without much thought for form or function.
*Cool construction - When I say Ketar looks like a MoC, that's not a compliment.
| Other Comments:|
Parts value? Yeah. Play value? Nope. --Dorek
Ketar is a really rough set. While I like the idea they were going for with the gear function (and this bodes well for other creatures) the rest of his construction feels slipshod and rushed. The tail has a lot of unnecessary colors, the various armor pieces are just lazily attached, and in the end, he's not even good as an augment to Pohatu. Thankfully he has some good parts included (like two of those blades) but it's not enough to recommend picking him up. The stone buddies get the short end of the stick this year, but hopefully they don't take it as a sign to abandon the color entirely.
|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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