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---Vertea---

Review: 8995 Thornatus V9

On a scale of 1 to 5   7 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you rate this set?

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30 posts in this topic

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A lone Zesk sniffs the desert air, hoping for the scent of dinner. A slight noise echoes in the distance... But the creature ignores it. As the Zesk wanders on, the noise grows ever louder, sending tiny tremors through the desert. The primal villager turn its head to see what all the ruckus is about and sees... a sandstorm. Way off in the distant heat-and slowly approaching. With utter ignorance, the creature brushes the bother off and goes on its merry way.

Then, without warning, a blur whooshes past the confused mutant agori leaving a cloud of sand and debris.

The cause is a vehicle both quick and deadly. Armed with spikes, a Thornax turret, and Force Blaster Canons, and piloted by the Glatorian Perditus, this machine is unstoppable. Armored with tan elements to hide itself in the desert, you never know just when it will strike next.

Set Name- Thornatus V9

Set Theme- Bionicle

Type- Vehicle w/ one pilot

Year-2009

Set number-8995

Price: $59.99 US

piece count- 438

Today, fellow reviewers, I shall be critiquing one of 2009's larger Bionicle sets.

When we first caught our glimpse of this years summer set at the beginning of February, the general thoughts were:

"YES! TAN PARTS!"

"OOOH! SILVER KRIKA HEAD!"

But most notably:

"Crap- a Jetrax with wheels... *sad face*"

For those of you wondering, Jetrax was a 2008 vehicle set with a slightly similar shape. So similar, in fact, that many believed the Thornatus wasn't anything more than a recolor that could roll. But was this really the case? Was this nothing more than a clone set not worth one's money? I suppose the only way to find out is to read on...

We will start with THE BOX

The box or container is the first thing anyone outside of the LEGO company sees when they go shopping. And as such, the box must present it's contents well, and must promote them, while not making false claims.

The Thornatus box, aside from being dreadfully large, is no different.

Front

01.jpg

As you can see, the front displays the set in question with a really beautiful background. This is a welcome change, since Bionicle has been a tad lacking in the backdrop art department recently...

Back

02.jpg

The back shows the rider and his vehicle separately, as well as the various functions included. There's also some advertisement for the other large vehicle sets as well as the BIO code. Do not ask me what it is, please :)

Side

03.jpg

The side features some screenshots from the upcoming Bionicle: The Legend Reborn. This one is one I find particularly interesting. Run, Mata Nui, run!

And now that we have that covered, lets move on to

THE PARTS

The parts are the bones and meat of the set, as well as incentive to purchase, if one is part- inclined.

Ah... the pieces... So many fans were lured by the presence of tan( an uncommon color in Bionicle). But there's more, too! Oh, yes... so much more... Have a look!

Paneling

030.jpg

This piece is new, I think. It's a sort of pointy paneling that really looks great lots of connection points.

Shield

031.jpg

The bitil wing/Onua shield. This has now appeared in Mata red, Yellow, silver, gunmetal, and tan. I se much potential for this recolor.

Wheel

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032.jpg

The mega wheel. This has appeared in several sets before I think- definitely in the ExoForce line. I never had any idea just how big it was until now! Just look at that comparison! This is VERY welcome in my collection!

Scope

034.jpg

The Scope. This part first appeared in the Gali Mistika set last year. I hated the set so never picked it up, though I really wanted this part. Now I do! It's a nice touch and has much potential for mecha-type MOCs

Krika Mask

036.jpg

The Krika mask. Now this is a piece I will want in any color-regardless. Awesome design, and not only is it in silver in this set- there's two!!

Helmet

038.jpg

Perditus' helmet. Not the best, bu I'm glad to have something new. Wish it was reversible like the other Vehicle rider masks(Except Sahmad- he has the same mask in orange)

But why not see what that helmet goes to...

THE FIGURE

The figure, when present is normally the focus of everything, bu in the case of the vehicles, they usually are more of an accessory.

Unfortunately, we have reached a down for the set. The driver is neither innovative, nor exciting. He has no cool colors or any new parts, aside from his helmet and upper arms. He stinks. But at least it's something. More often than not, though, I think many fans will just as soon make a new driver or use another canister-sized set in place. A surprising lack of creativity for LEGO here.

Driver

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Metru red, black and.. gray? not cool in my opinion. I dislike the use of gray hands all over the place this year. Black would have really saved the driver a point, but unfortunately, the lame color scheme is docking him down to just about zero.

And now that we're good and hopeless, let's see if the rest of this set can make up for the pilot...

First off, THE BUILD

I was pleasantly surprised by the build of this set. It was interesting, and there was little repeating steps throughout. There was lots of innovative techniques, and even some asymmetry in the build! Wasn't expecting that! Even the function was a mystery until I completed it! This set will keep you going for a good hour or so.

The basic front

04.jpg

This is the very beginnig of what will be the opening/closing function. The long tan section with the nose is actually loosely held in for now.

The finished front

05.jpg

The completed front half is epic. Almost enough to be it's own vehicle! The only bother was the repetition of the wheel attachment, but other than that, the build was nice. The Takanuva blades seem a bit slapped-on, though...

The inner workings of the back half

07.jpg

This is the skeleton that will later house the wheel quite nicely. LOTS of angling with the Technic beams. Another thing to note is that the beam lengths are well-separated by either color or bag, so there's little confusion.

Some Thornax Turret detail

08.jpg

Not a very clear pic, but I thought this part was really neat. Angled for a tapered look, I suppose, depending on how one uses it. The Thornax turret has VERY good movement.

Finished side

09.jpg

Ah... that's hot. The use of the paneling, Force Blasters, and piping really complete the back. The pipes are actually crucial, because without them, the whole thing just looks... wrong. This side actually gave me a bit of trouble, since I had put one of the rods a stud back and completely screwed myself up. Beware! Know the stud distances between pins!!!

As I said before, the build was very entertaining and gratifying. The finished result was always nice to look at, and I was never bored or annoyed (except when I mis-spaced my pins)

So what have we now?

Complete Set

14.jpg

Ah... the finished product... It seemed like only last hour I was putting the first pin into it's respective socket... *snif*

But now we come to another VERY crucial part of the review:

PLAYABILITY

After the build is done, we immediately get out our other figures and start playing. But is this set playable- or is it just an item for the collector's shelf?

On the playability I can safely say that this is a very good set. This is rated(for vehicles) by a how 'swooshable' it is, and the Thornatus rates a solid 8.5/10. The whole thing, despite it's size, is very fast, and looks very cool while moving. On top of that, there's the Thornax turret(which can double as a seatbelt) and the "Force Blasters" which one can use to shoot other sets, pets, people, or anything else. Unfortunately, unless you have wood, tile, or concrete, turning is a real pain. Carpet is the ultimate in hindrance, though it's still possible. The attack mode function is pretty nice too, though it's also hard to do on a cloth surface.

A cool thing I noticed was that when the side things are in attack position, ramming into a wall will trigger the thing to shut. Don't worry, kids- it doesn't damage the set in the least.

And for those of you like me who really don't like the current designated driver, I have some good news for you!

Other Glatorian sized sets fit, too!!!!

mats.jpg

That would be Toa Mata Nui driving while Perditus hangs on for dear life.

And now that we've explored each individual aspect, let's see

WHAT IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO

This is the part of a review where we really look at the set and see if it was really worth it.

While I've heard many different opinions on the set in question, I must say, first off, that having it in hand is VASTLY different than seeing pictures. For one, I noticed that aside from shape, the Thornatus is NOTHING like the Jetrax set. Another note-worthy thing is that the set is GIGANTIC. You don't really think about it until you finish and realize you might need both hands to pick it up.

I liked this set- a lot, and I think that even the good reviews do it little justice. The color scheme is great, the build is fun, the design is almost perfect, and it is very much swooshable like a good vehicular should be.

But there ARE still problems.

For one, the Takanuva olda blades look really out-of-place and should have been replaced with more paneling, or something tan. For another, while the back of the vehicle is solid and has dimension, the front seems very flat in comparison. Another thing that bugs me is the windshield that looks far too big and makes the front half seem short. And, of course the rider.

FRONT was nice enough to listen to our nagging in the Bionicle subforum and is suggesting some changes in future sets, so I can only hope that the next riders we get are at least colored interestingly, if not completely cool. I have my fingers crossed.

Overall, I think you can see that the complaints are few and far between and nothing in comparison to the great amount of awesome packaged in the set.

Design:9/10

Color:9/10

Driver:0.5/10( the mask is still kinda neat)

Playability: 8/10

Price: 9/10

Build:9/10

Overall, the score is 44.5/60. If the driver weren't present, the score would be much higher, so one might just ignore that aspect and see that for sixty bucks plus tax, this set is worth it. I personally recommend it to anyone who has the money.

And with that, and a very good feeling in my heart, I go off to run over Stronius with a Mata Nui piloted Thornatus.

Until next time,

---VERTEA---

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Nice review. I think this might be my favorite vehicle of the year. Also, I do like the driver. The color scheme is sort of appealing to me.

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nice review!

how much was the set? I forgot.

$60.00 US $63 with tax.

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Does Metus fit? (Berix will do though :wink: ) And how well can Mata Nui hang of the side?

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Looks like a great set. Even though it's appearance is rickety and less than sleek, I think it fits the setting perfectly. After all, it's 100,000 years old or so. =P

I hope to get it at some point...

~Bunda

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You have just solidified my love for the Thornatus. And the driver appeals to me because of the new joints in black, and the helmet. Thats why he gets a 5/10 in my book. :P

But anyway, thanks for the wonderful review. MUCH better than the scarce few that have been on BZP. =/

-Mesonak

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What do I like?

-AWESOME Back, with the Huge wheels and such.

-TAN

-Silver Krika Bits

-Neat details like the tubes.

What I don't Like?

-Front seems weird compared to the back.

-Still to Jetrax-y for me

-GRAY HANDS ON PETRI(petridus? petri-dish? pete fish?) AND NOT BLACK! :cry_sad:

-That is the most awkward looking mask ever.

Other than that, I like it okay.

Thanks for the review. :thumbup:

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A nice review you've put together, thank you.

I've had the chance to build it too, as we needed some sets for an exhibition in our cantina, showing off the new summer-sets and promoting the movie. Though I don't have the set anymore. Built Skopio too for the same reason, a bigger but also more tedious build, with four exactly similar legs.

I enjoyed building this set, just as you described you did too. And I've done all the big and recent technic sets. So I really think the build is fine. The vehicle is big too, a bit skinny, but really bigger than I thought it would be when I started out. I like the colours of the set, but would like the driver having matching colours.

And yes, I forewarded the discussions here on EB about poor drivers, to the design managers of Bionicle. Personally I'm fine with a simple driver build, as long as the driver could be in a more matching colour scheme, in relation to the vehicles.

Front

Edited by Front

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And yes, I forewarded the discussions here on EB about poor drivers, to the design managers of Bionicle.

We love you, Front. icon12.gif

~Bunda

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We love you, Front. icon12.gif

~Bunda

I second that emotion! You're the greatest, Front!

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We love you, Front. icon12.gif

~Bunda

Seconded. Interesting drivers on par with canister/Agori-size sets (aside from weapons) would make vehicles so much more complete. :wub:

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Gah, too bad I have no chance of getting a set like this ever. Which is a shame because I rather like this

If it had been a flying vehicle... this next sentence would have been a "DO A BARREL ROLL" joke

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Now I'm starting to like this set. He looks cool as design and I like the tan pieces.

The driver needs a better colour scheme and a better mask. What about weapons that you could take off from the vehicle and then add them to the driver? :classic:

Thanks for your great review! :thumbup:

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I really wouldn't count Periditus in. He's just there so if you have no other figures, you can use him.

But yeah, looks like a great set! Although I would rather get Skopio, thats something that seems worth investing money on... Loving the build!

-ZotS

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Now I'm starting to like this set. He looks cool as design and I like the tan pieces.

The driver needs a better colour scheme and a better mask. What about weapons that you could take off from the vehicle and then add them to the driver? :classic:

Thanks for your great review! :thumbup:

Actually, I'm wondering if one isn't supposed to use the Force Blasters....

You see, in the build, the instructions say to put red number three rods in the tops of the top two force blasters... almost like they should be held by something... they're even slapped on with an easy disconnection.

But it doesn't work with the glatorian hands...

maybe they're for holding other figures on...

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Actually, I'm wondering if one isn't supposed to use the Force Blasters....

You see, in the build, the instructions say to put red number three rods in the tops of the top two force blasters... almost like they should be held by something... they're even slapped on with an easy disconnection.

But it doesn't work with the glatorian hands...

maybe they're for holding other figures on...

Red... #3?

*looks at pictures*

Oh, you mean #2. Whew. For a second there I was worried they'd changed the #3 colors again.

~Bunda

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Red... #3?

*looks at pictures*

Oh, you mean #2. Whew. For a second there I was worried they'd changed the #3 colors again.

~Bunda

oops! sorry. But yes... Though I would like to see some rods and pins in other colors- just not as default.

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I really wouldn't count Periditus in. He's just there so if you have no other figures, you can use him.

But yeah, looks like a great set! Although I would rather get Skopio, thats something that seems worth investing money on... Loving the build!

-ZotS

You might wanna look at the Skopio review. That set seems rather bland and flawed. I'd rather get the Thornatus. I think for me the vehicles go:

1. Tie between Cendox and Thornatus

2. Kaxium

3. Skopio

100. Baranus...

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Tan pieces and SILVER Krika mask..You are making me want this...

I guess i have to rebuild Vorox to pilot this. :laugh:

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Love the review. I wonder if Agori sets can fit in this thing?

Yes, they can. Metus works quite nicely.

You might wanna look at the Skopio review. That set seems rather bland and flawed. I'd rather get the Thornatus. I think for me the vehicles go:

1. Tie between Cendox and Thornatus

2. Kaxium

3. Skopio

100. Baranus...

I agree. Design-wise, the Cendox and Thornatus are the least flawed.

Kaxium has huge gaps, Skopio is repetitive and bare, and the Baranus is... lame. Cendox is compact with unique sterring and a great color choice, and Thornatus' only issue is that the front could be a little beefed up.

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when i get the thornatus i hope to put it in an episode of random crap. the clip would start off with vican walking then in the distance you see the thornatus being piloted by kiina with mata nui and ackar on the sides and mata nui ays to ram the green bugger. then the vehicle runs over vican and after a few secounds he twitches and says his catchphrase "duurrrrrrr!"

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