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Picture Review: 8114 Chameleon Hunter

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After a three year run, Exo-force ended in the first half of 2008, with 7 new kits and a single online comic. For many lego fans, this did not come as much of a shock, but Exo-Force’s fans (including me) were upset that the theme ended without a third summer wave or a real conclusion to the story. Fortunately, Exo-force’s final year does did have some very interesting and creative sets, and every one featured the best gimmick of the entire series – “transforming” mini-robots that doubled as additions to the vehicle’s weapons. Today, I’ll be reviewing one of these kits, which I bought early this year.

Name – Chameleon Hunter

Set Number – 8114

Year – 2008

Pieces – 188

Minifigures – 1

Age Recommendation – 7-14 years

Price - $14.99 USD (19.99 at TRU) / Unknown EUR / Unknown GBP

The Box and Instructions:

The boxes for the Exo-force line have been excellent, and the Chameleon Hunter is no exception. The Exo-Force logo and a portrait of the pilot, Hikaru, are found at the top. Below that, Hikaru’s latest mech crashes out of the jungle, weapons at the ready.


The instructions have the same cover art as the box, which I no longer own.


Here’s a random page from the manual. It’s fairly easy to tell the grays from the black, and there is a piece callout on every page. The instructions have a nice blue sky background that really contrasts the kit’s colors well.


Oddly enough, the kit box also contained this sheet of paper, signaling a mistake in the instructions. What is strange is that the box art shares the same mistake! Now that I own a summer kit with two of the strange clip bricks shown in the error sheet, my guess is that the instruction and art designers accidentally used a piece that wasn’t supposed to be produced until later in the year. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me – and I doubt it will be the last.


The Pieces and Minifigures:

8114 Chameleon Hunter has a wide variety of pieces, coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Here’s a picture of them sorted by color. Counting them reveals that there are a total of 16 different shades contained within the model. That’s quite a lot for a 15 dollar kit!


Interesting pieces in 8114 include some green curved slopes, red bionicle claws and a firesword, two red Castle scythes, flexible lime spike pieces, cheese slopes with grills in them, pearly silver engine molds, one of the wonderful technic-tri axles first seen in 2007, and a nice helping of the bionicle/system fusion joints that also debuted in 2007. Many of these parts will certainly be useful in MOC’s, and others are just plain cool looking.


Beware however, for there is a serious problem with the Bionicle/system fusion pieces! As you can see in this picture, there are two kinds of the socket piece – one with angled sockets, and one with curved ones. The kind with smooth edges was the original, and the one with angled edges has replaced them this year. What is disappointing is that the newer kind is far more prone to breaking than the old one (one of the pieces snapped as I was making this review!). This problem is also shared with the Bionicle kits this year, and as a fan of the theme, I find this very unfortunate and cheap. I hope that TLC gets enough complaints that they will revert back to the old mold, otherwise lego fans may be in for a lot of trouble!


Chameleon Hunter includes only one minifig – a new version of Hikaru. He has reverted back to his original color scheme, but his uniform now has grey armor and an interesting camouflage pattern.


Here’s the Hikaru family, showing the evolution of his suit. Note that I couldn’t find my third Hikaru head, so I substituted a Genki head, which looks almost exactly the same (the only difference is the lack of the orange visor).


The Build:

To make this review extra special, I decided to take pictures of the building process. This is the first time I’ve ever done this, but I personally found it a blast to take pictures as I built (it helped me savor the building process a lot more than I usually do)

Let’s begin with the construction of the mini robot. First, you build his body, which is constructed on one of the technic bubble gears, as I call them.


After that, you add his head, shoulder armor, and weapons, and you have your minicon er, mini robot (transformers fans will get that joke). This little guys is a simple build, but the end result is worth it.


Unfortunately, in order to connect the mini robot to the main mech, the design utilizes a thin flagpole that sticks way out when it is deployed. I’m betting that that will restrict movement and combat a bit…


Now, onto the real meat of the kit! The construction of Hikaru’s mech begins with the cockpit, which is built on a large piece first introduced in the Starwars line.


Next come the shoulders, which, while relatively simple, are very cool.


Detail is added to the cockpit after that, utilizing slopes and a grill piece. You also put Hikaru inside at this point.


The windshield is added next. This trans piece has been around since the original A-wing and B-wing from the Starwars Line, and I’ve always liked it.


Then, you build a small structure that will serve as the connection point for the legs.


Speaking of which, the legs begin rather simply, utilizing two different kinds of joints and car bumpers.


Green parts are added for detail. Note that I’ve already applied the stickers – I always do that the first time I build a kit.


Ooh, it’s lime green slope time again! This color scheme is among my favorites in the Exo-Force line.


Now it’s time to build the feet. The mechs of 2008 have far more interesting foot designs than the previous two years, since they are built up of small slopes and bricks.


Here’s where we utilize the pearly engine parts. Now that the feet are done, it’s time to…


… connect them to the legs! As I warned a while ago, be careful when snapping together the Bionicle/System fusion pieces.


The legs are now added onto the body. Hm, I wonder what’s next?


Ah yes - weapons! The claw on the left arm starts off with this simple construction.


A technic rod is then placed through the hole, and more pieces are added on.


Then, you attach the claws…


…and you attach the entire assembly onto the mech. This goes through a technic hole in the plates used in the shoulders.


The flamethrower is next. Again, it starts off simply, using another technic bubble gear.


Two flagpoles are inserted through the holes in the bubble gear, and detail pieces and the Bionicle flame sword are added on.


This assembly attaches to the other shoulder. We’re almost done!


The lasts steps simply involve adding the necessary antennas and rockets to the mech. Then, you place the Mini robot on the flamethrower, and you’re done!


The Finished Set:

Here’s a side view of the mech. As you can see, the finished model is very pointy and angled.


However, there is a slight problem with the armor - or lack of it. Right away, you notice that there are holes in the side of the cockpit!


Even worse, the back also has a huge hole. It’s like Hikaru is inviting the robots to fire a round of lasers up his behind or something!


And if that was not enough, the legs have holes in them as well! This is very disapointing, considering that all of these holes can easily be filled up with basic bricks and slopes. Bad TLC!


Despite the holes, the cockpit is decent. It’s very roomy in there, although it doesn’t have any instructions. At least the canopy covers the entire top this time!


Close-up of the flamethrower. The mini robot actually looks pretty good on it, especially if you move his joints a bit.


Here’s a shot of the flame gun without the mini robot attached. It’s pretty thin and bare, but I like how they used a minifig jackhammer to add detail.


Closeup of the claw. Seriously, this thing is huge!


It also can close very nicely, as you can see in this picture.


The Model in Action:

The best thing about Chameleon Hunter is that, like all the Exo-force mechs, it’s incredibly poseable. Here’s a random cool position that I came up with on the spot. Man, imagine if these things were real!


Tired of being treated horribly by Hikaru, the mini robot has decided to show his master what it feels like to be attached to a giant gun – upside down! Heh, looks like Hikaru is not happy about this.



Presentation – 9/10 (one point off for the mistake in the instructions)

Pieces – 8/10 (there’s a wide variety of awesome pieces, but the breaking joints are really bad)

Minifigs – 7/10

Model – 7/10 (Hate the gaps. Hate them!)

Playability – 9/10

Price – 9/10

Overall Rating – 8.2/10

Chameleon Hunter is not perfect, by any standards. The gaps in the model are super annoying, and the easily broken joints are even more so. Despite this, 8114 is still an excellent kit, and one of the better Exo-Force mechs overall. The wide variety of interesting pieces is also a big bonus, and the price is superb as well. So, if you want a fairly inexpensive lego kit with lots of great elements and playability, I highly recommend you pick Chameleon hunter up. Hurry though, as they won’t be in stores for much longer!

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Thanks for a very well written and detailed review.

I'd like to see more reviews of the Exo-force line, especially if they are as well done as this one.

Thanks again,


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As a Exo-fan I thank you very much for this detailed review.

I modified the cockpit myself, adding small bricks closing the holes on the sides and on the back of the cockpit.

Remember to go to and ask for replacement parts for your ball joints which failed.

They will probably send you some extra to make sure another failure will not stop you from moc'ing.


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Well that is pretty scary about the ball joints breaking.

I've always thought the bionicle joint pieces were made of a slightly more flexy plastic than normal bricks; so if these new hybrid ball joints are using the usual System plastic it may be a problem...

Anyone know more about plastic who can explain?

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