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
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.
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.
(Obligatory instruction image)
(As well as construction image)
The Completed Figure:
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.
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, 22 June 2010 - 06:57 AM.