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The Dor

Review: 7164 Preston Stormer

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Well, BIONICLE has ended. No more comics. No more sets. So, its responsibilities now lie on the shoulders of its successor: Hero Factory. To help introduce the new line, I bring you a review of the leader of the "Alpha 1" team of Heroes: Preston Stormer.

Name: 7164 Preston Stormer

Theme: Hero Factory

Pieces: 17

Price: USD$7.99

prestonstormer022.jpg

Packaging:

The packaging of Preston Stormer (as well as all of the Heroes of the Hero Factory line so far) consists of a large CG image of a close-up view of Stormer's (or the respective Hero's) upper body. With Stormer, most of this picture is composed of his large weapon. The upper left corner has his "signature", along the side is his last name in large print, and at the bottom is his name once again. It's pretty hard to misunderstand what his name is by this point. In the lower right corner, you will notice it has a small image reading: From the makers of BIONICLE characters". I think this little addition is unnecessary, as it's apparent that this is essentially BIONICLE with just some minute differences.

The back contains the usual legal text, as well as a translation of the BIONICLE reference. However, in a fashion similar to the Glatorian, Agori, Mistika, Phantoka, and Av-Matoran of BIONICLE, there is a small "battle scene" featuring Stormer and Von Nebula.

Also, it is noteworthy that Preston Stormer can be contained inside of the canister.

Pieces / Construction:

Stormer, as an impulse set, only contains 17 pieces, as shown below.

prestonstormer006.jpg

Now, these may not seem like a lot, but 12 of them are new. The new Hero Core, torso piece, feet, limbs, and leg armor are consistent throughout all of the Heroes. All the members of the Alpha 1 Team, Stormer, Stringer, and Bulk, have customized "weapon arms" as can be seen in the previous pictures.

Now, as should be expected from a set with such a small piece count, the construction is simple. The instruction packet is mostly for show, I assume, as I didn't even touch it until I started making this review. Mostly, it consists of attaching limbs, and then adding armor to them. Actually, that's ALL it is.

prestonstormer001.jpg

(Obligatory instruction image)

prestonstormer010.jpg

(As well as construction image)

The Completed Figure:

prestonstormer002.jpg

Preston Stormer looks great as a complete figure. He has a solid color scheme, great general aesthetic, and looks good from most angles. Even from behind.

Articulation wise, he's basically an Agori / Matoran / Stars set. Except for the lack of one hand. The new foot piece, along with the leg armor, creates a more realistic range of motion for his feet. The cuffs do limit side-to-side motions, but not very much. And the angle of the socket only allows it to point so far. But feet will no longer bend beyond physiological possibility.

Also of note is the fact that the joints seem to have been designed to absolutely avoid breakages. Very well. Like, incredibly well. I disassembled all of the Heroes fully TWICE, as well as tried some alterations, including removal and reattachment of the joints. Zero breakages, for the first time in almost two years of faulty BIONICLE joints.

However, there is one major design flaw. The inside of his weapon arm is completely hollow. However, this only rarely is visible and doesn't effect his appearance when viewed from the other side, or when he's in an action pose.

Overall:

This set is a great impulse buy. Better than the Stars. Better than the Agori. Better than the Av-Matoran. Better than any impulse BIONICLE set I can think of. And, at the same price as the Toa Mata, I think these are even better than the early canister sets (excluding the Bohrok, MAYBE). If the rest of Hero Factory is this great, well, I hope the rest of the BIONICLE community likes them as much as I do!

Edited by 3D Brickthing
Indexed!

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Thanks for the review, Dor. However, like the review of Jimi Stringer on Bzpower, it really hasn't changed my view at all. Seriously, I don't like these guys much at all.

I think what really kills the set for me is that, aside from the new armor pieces (which still don't look good at all from the back), there's really no innovation in set design with these guys. In fact, I'd say that the gun/arm piece is a step backwards in design - not to mention the ugliest and most obtrusive mold I have ever seen on a Bionicle-building-system kit. Seriously, even the squid launchers weren't this bad, as they could be easily taken off. In contrast, there's no way you can take off or replace this new piece without the kit looking incomplete, and its asymetricality and large amount of detail makes it basically useless for Mocing (unlike the squidlauncher, which I actually have seen used in a MOC).

Still, if we're going solely on looks, Preston Stormer isn't that bad (from certain angles, anyway). What I'm really upset about is that these guys replaced Bionicle while not even taking it in a new and bold direction. Hero Factory seems more like a step sideways than anything, and in some cases it's even a step backwards IMO. I honestly think there could have been just as much, if not more innovation, if the original plans for Bionicle 2010 had gone through. The sets of 2009 were already awesome, as they really innovated in terms of piece design and elemental flavoring. Imagine much more they could have progressed in those areas if we had gotten the Element Lords!

Ah well, it's not as if I can really change anything. I'm just not understanding people who are praising Hero Factory so much - my personal belief is that it's more about "Bionicle was getting so terrible that I'll take anything else over this crap," and not as much about "wow, I liked Bionicle, but this is truly even better!" I know it sounds strange, but with how some people were so vehemently opposed to the direction Bionicle was going in, I wouldn't rule this out at all.

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I'm probably still not going to buy these, but you've done them some justice, Dor. :thumbup:

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I think what really kills the set for me is that, aside from the new armor pieces (which still don't look good at all from the back), there's really no innovation in set design with these guys.

There really is almost nothing new with these sets- I agree. I find the Hero Cores interesting, and reminiscent of the Kanohi of BIONICLE to a small degree. But I don't think that the sets are supposed to be that innovative, other than in aesthetic, which I feel is incredibly innovative. BIONICLE was simplistic- 6 basic elements, 6 basic colors, and pieces that could be used anywhere. These sets have more individualized pieces, and more detail in each. I think that makes them look better than some of the simple designs (not necessarily all, simplistic beauty is still beauty after all).

In fact, I'd say that the gun/arm piece is a step backwards in design - not to mention the ugliest and most obtrusive mold I have ever seen on a Bionicle-building-system kit. Seriously, even the squid launchers weren't this bad, as they could be easily taken off. In contrast, there's no way you can take off or replace this new piece without the kit looking incomplete, and its asymetricality and large amount of detail makes it basically useless for Mocing (unlike the squidlauncher, which I actually have seen used in a MOC).

The weapon arm really is a drawback as far as MoC potential is concerned, but it contributes to the overall appearance of Stormer so much, it practically defines him. Having a great amount of detail sacrifices customization in order to create a better individual figure- and that's what these excel at.

Still, if we're going solely on looks, Preston Stormer isn't that bad (from certain angles, anyway). What I'm really upset about is that these guys replaced Bionicle while not even taking it in a new and bold direction. Hero Factory seems more like a step sideways than anything, and in some cases it's even a step backwards IMO.

Well, if it is a step backwards in some cases (which I agree with), it is also a step forward. I have Tarduk and Stars Gresh here next to Stormer- and I can tell which will sell the best. These sets look like what they are: constructable action figures. Tarduk and Gresh both look like they were only looking for something that can be built and still look decent, while Stormer is designed to be a toy that makes legitimately great shelf candy. I think that the aesthetic appeal should not be so easily thrown aside.

I honestly think there could have been just as much, if not more innovation, if the original plans for Bionicle 2010 had gone through. The sets of 2009 were already awesome, as they really innovated in terms of piece design and elemental flavoring. Imagine much more they could have progressed in those areas if we had gotten the Element Lords!

When looking at Stormer, no, ANY of the Heroes, there is PLENTY of "elemental" flavoring and great piece design. Simply because they are not BIONICLE elements does not mean they aren't as good. What piece design of the Glatorian Legends or Stars was more innovative in comparison to the rest of BIONICLE than the new Hero Cores or the impressive weaponry of the Alpha 1 team? If BIONICLE had continued on it's same path- it would have ended up looking like this except with an emphasis on the mystical and fantastic as opposed to the more technical (or pseudo-technical, as is the case with the Heroes so far).

Ah well, it's not as if I can really change anything. I'm just not understanding people who are praising Hero Factory so much - my personal belief is that it's more about "Bionicle was getting so terrible that I'll take anything else over this crap," and not as much about "wow, I liked Bionicle, but this is truly even better!" I know it sounds strange, but with how some people were so vehemently opposed to the direction Bionicle was going in, I wouldn't rule this out at all.

BIONICLE was by far my favorite LEGO theme (until now :3). The Glatorian Legends were possibly the best of the sets, as far as I'm concerned. I think the issue is caused by what YOU want in a set, as opposed to what someone else does. I like a good looking figure, one that has good articulation and a great overall appearance. I'm not much for creating my own characters, as you apparently are. The greater detail really does make these characters pop- and when used with other HF parts, they will eventually be able to look good on any of the figures (assuming stylistic consistency, at least as much as BIONICLE was- compare a Bohrok to a Glatorian).

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These new guys look very cool, I can't wait to get them all.

My one problem with this series is the terrible weapon arms... but I get the feeling they'll be gone from the next batch of Heroes. LEGO wouldn't keep releasing terrible molds like that, would they? :cry_sad:

Thanks for the review and the pictures of Stormer. Man, that helmet is awesome.

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Thanks For the review,

Amongst playing around with the six heros, I must say this guy is my least favorite. His mask design is quite boring and looks doofy to me. The weapon arm is a joke, and I can't stand it at all. I will admit though that I like his chestpiece the best of the six figures. As The Dor said, the joints are very strong, I noticed this on all of the heros. Though I'm not sure if it is a smaller ball joint or a larger socket, I did not test it with another part from a Bionicle set. Honestly though, I feel that Lego is really walking on thin water. I mean, sure, the set as a good amount of new pieces. But not only are they very large pieces with somelimited uses(the leg armor, for instance,) but they arent too spectacular(I'm looking at you, weapon arm) And why would I want to buy one of these figures for the Price I could have bought a Toa mata or Bohrohk or any other set of this price tag? They hadpins and great MOCing abilities. These, well,are very limited in what they can do for MOCists.

Bad things aside, I am glad that Lego kept a good icy feel with this guy. Breeze is still my favorite though.

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Now, these may not seem like a lot, but 15 of them are new.

*12(?)

my personal belief is that it's more about "Bionicle was getting so terrible that I'll take anything else over this crap," and not as much about "wow, I liked Bionicle, but this is truly even better!"

My thoughts are "OMG lots of new parts/recolors!"

Oh, I forgot to ask: can the weapon arm fit over the normal blue arm piece? Its hollowness makes it look like it could.

Edited by Bfahome

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Edit - it seems as though I lost some of my original post, thanks to a glitch in the forums. I'll retype the rest of it later, but one of the key points was that I feel like Hero Factory is basically a step away from what made Bionicle still feel like lego.

There really is almost nothing new with these sets- I agree. I find the Hero Cores interesting, and reminiscent of the Kanohi of BIONICLE to a small degree. But I don't think that the sets are supposed to be that innovative, other than in aesthetic, which I feel is incredibly innovative. BIONICLE was simplistic- 6 basic elements, 6 basic colors, and pieces that could be used anywhere. These sets have more individualized pieces, and more detail in each. I think that makes them look better than some of the simple designs (not necessarily all, simplistic beauty is still beauty after all).

Well, the problem is that the press release about Bionicle's end made it seem like they would be very innovative. Remember the line about the new line being "much more flexible than Bionicle" or something along those lines? That made me, as well as other people, think that Hero Factory would be a step up from Bionicle in areas like poseability. Instaed, what we got was sets that were Bionicle in practically every way except name. And really disapointed me, even more than the canceling of my favorite line already had.

The weapon arm really is a drawback as far as MoC potential is concerned, but it contributes to the overall appearance of Stormer so much, it practically defines him. Having a great amount of detail sacrifices customization in order to create a better individual figure- and that's what these excel at.

I'd have to disagree with this, as I honestly find the one pice weapon arms to be rather unappealing in looks. The reason is that they are molded mostly in one color, which contrasts with the two-colored arm on the other side (and not in a good way). In addition, what your review didn't show was that the weapon arms are also hollow on the other side, which limits poseability even more. So, I wouldn't really say it adds to his appearance at all, IMO - I'd much rather have a more standard weapon.

Well, if it is a step backwards in some cases (which I agree with), it is also a step forward. I have Tarduk and Stars Gresh here next to Stormer- and I can tell which will sell the best. These sets look like what they are: constructable action figures. Tarduk and Gresh both look like they were only looking for something that can be built and still look decent, while Stormer is designed to be a toy that makes legitimately great shelf candy. I think that the aesthetic appeal should not be so easily thrown aside.

And see, this is exactly the problem I have with Hero Factory - the hero sets honestly don't seem very lego like, even compared to Bionicle. The one-piece weapon arms and giant armor plates honestly remind me more of Galidor than Bionicle, as they sacrifice MOCing potential in order to make them look better.

Edited by Grevious

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*12(?)

Thanks for pointing that out, just a typo on my part. Sorry about that.

Oh, I forgot to ask: can the weapon arm fit over the normal blue arm piece? Its hollowness makes it look like it could.

It is frustratingly close. The hollow cavity isn't the right shape, and the "arm" part is actually shorter than a regular arm.

Well, the problem is that the press release about Bionicle's end made it seem like they would be very innovative. Remember the line about the new line being "much more flexible than Bionicle" or something along those lines? That made me, as well as other people, think that Hero Factory would be a step up from Bionicle in areas like poseability. Instaed, what we got was sets that were Bionicle in practically every way except name. And really disapointed me, even more than the canceling of my favorite line already had.

Flexible as far as the story goes. The line itself IS much more flexible- no real set of rules like BIONICLE had.

I'd have to disagree with this, as I honestly find the one pice weapon arms to be rather unappealing in looks. The reason is that they are molded mostly in one color, which contrasts with the two-colored arm on the other side (and not in a good way). In addition, what your review didn't show was that the weapon arms are also hollow on the other side, which limits poseability even more. So, I wouldn't really say it adds to his appearance at all, IMO - I'd much rather have a more standard weapon.

... What do you mean also hollow on the other side? The hollowness was one of the main problems I pointed out with the set, what other part is hollow?

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It is frustratingly close. The hollow cavity isn't the right shape, and the "arm" part is actually shorter than a regular arm.

Bummer. Maybe it'd work on the others…

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Bummer. Maybe it'd work on the others…

The only one that works on without modification is Stringer. However, both Bulk and Stormer can have it attached to their arms using two of these to separate it from the arm a little.

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Flexible as far as the story goes. The line itself IS much more flexible- no real set of rules like BIONICLE had.

Well, we know that now, but it wouldn't have hurt TLC to be a little more specific in their first press release, instead of getting our hopes up falsely.

... What do you mean also hollow on the other side? The hollowness was one of the main problems I pointed out with the set, what other part is hollow?

Whoops, looks like I missed that part of the review. I was mainly paying attention to the text that went with direct-linked pictures, although I did read the entire review a bit before I made that post. Regardless, it looks just as bad as ever.

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I really like Stormer's look, but the weapon arm is kind of disappointing.

Aside from that, I have discovered that for once I may actually feel good about spending 8 dollars on a small set. It's actually worth it now. Stormer's halmet looks almost skull-like... it would make a great villain mask.

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Well, we know that now, but it wouldn't have hurt TLC to be a little more specific in their first press release, instead of getting our hopes up falsely.

Yeah, there were a lot of people that seemed to have misunderstood that. It really wasn't very clear, but it did get clarified repeatedly afterward :)

Whoops, looks like I missed that part of the review. I was mainly paying attention to the text that went with direct-linked pictures, although I did read the entire review a bit before I made that post. Regardless, it looks just as bad as ever.

It does, that is the major problem with the set, as far as I'm concerned. Thankfully it's easy to hide the hollowness.

I really like Stormer's look, but the weapon arm is kind of disappointing.

Aside from that, I have discovered that for once I may actually feel good about spending 8 dollars on a small set. It's actually worth it now. Stormer's halmet looks almost skull-like... it would make a great villain mask.

The Heroes are certainly worth it, definitely more so than the Stars. Stormer certainly is my least favorite of the Alpha 1 Team, both Bulk and Stringer are better, IMO.

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Meh. I liked Bionicle better. As Grevious said, these Hero Factory sets lack any innovation whatsoever. Plus, a lot of these parts are just huge pieces of plastic that have one use. Take the arm for example. What else can you do with that piece other than use it as an arm?

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I noticed that there is a peg hole at the chest of the armor for the Hero core.... does that fit the lego beams and such?

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imho This is better than the stars, agori and av-matoran. Cost-wise not better than any other impulse set. As for early canister sets, I don't know MAYBE better than the Hordika (did not get any hordika yet so I don't know) but as of the other early canisters I don't really think so. Specifically a Bohrok would eat this set in basically every aspect from aesthetics to piece count to construction to functionality. And all of this putting cost aside...

At least they are better than the agori-stars, but that's not really a great accomplishment. I actually think this set turned out slightly better than I originally thought, just wish the arm was a complete arm and that the trans part of the weapon was a separate part. Honestly, the right arm is enough of a reason for me not to take it seriously set-wise. Sure some parts are going to be useful but buying this set for the parts would give LEGO the impression that it is fine to make such arm thing and people will still buy them... Another thing I am not a fan of is the single leg-foot decoration. I'll use my 2010 set money in other sets. I am not saying they will fail or that they are worse than Bionicle , just my personal opinion+decision of what I'll get this time. Hopefully the villains will be better than my first impressions and not have any issue like those..

Anyway, great review, very informative.

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I noticed that there is a peg hole at the chest of the armor for the Hero core.... does that fit the lego beams and such?

Sure does.

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Hmm. Doesn't seem too bad, but again, those oversized special parts are a bit annoying. Reminds me too much of Megabloks, but it might be permissible here.

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Thanks for the review 'The Dor' - I'm not really in to these action figure sets, but what I do see is a follow through more like Ben10 then Bionicle - I have heard of children building monster Bionicles to do battle. So do we see this in Hero Factory - only time will tell, Ben10 is a slow seller, Lego are even try to sell them in Woolworths supermarkets to boost sales, could the same happen to Hero Factory.

This one does look like fun to play with, but like 'Prateek' said like about the arm with weapons all over it, not much use you can that for other than an arm on this figure.

I'm a conformist! ! :sweet:

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There really is almost nothing new with these sets- I agree. I find the Hero Cores interesting, and reminiscent of the Kanohi of BIONICLE to a small degree. But I don't think that the sets are supposed to be that innovative, other than in aesthetic, which I feel is incredibly innovative. BIONICLE was simplistic- 6 basic elements, 6 basic colors, and pieces that could be used anywhere. These sets have more individualized pieces, and more detail in each. I think that makes them look better than some of the simple designs (not necessarily all, simplistic beauty is still beauty after all).

Or perhaps they're kind of a transaction between Bionicle and Hero Factory.

I doubt we've even come close to see what they have in mind with Hero Factory.

Give it a year or so and you'll probalby experience that Hero Factory is nothing like Bionicle was.

I guess it's all about not scaring away the customers and therefore Hero Factory resembles Bionicle a lot in the start-up phase.

But hey, this is just me guessing :grin:

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Not bad, not bad at all. Actually, overall Stormer looks pretty cool, figuratively cool because of the white-ice blue color scheme.

And thanks for the good review 'The Dor'.

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I will take that weapon arm and use it on a MOC. Just to spite you guys.

Stormer is my second fave of the heroes, behind Bulk. I think their smooth, V-shape torso are what bring me in compared to Stringer and the Rookies' top heavy T-shape torsos.

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It is not even about MoCs any more. That arm ought to make stormer look ugly in any pose other than the 'normal' one.

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