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I’ve always thought that the Legends of Chima theme won’t appeal to the AFOL in me considering it is primarily targeted to kids, but surprisingly one new set in the second wave of this theme suddenly captured my interest – the new 70008 Gorzan’s Gorilla Striker. We’ve seen lions, crocodiles, eagles, ravens, and wolves before, and now the second chapter of the Legends of Chima introduces us to the newest tribe in the world of Chima – the Gorillas. For some reason I find these new Gorilla characters/minifigs really appealing, they look so adorably ‘brute and cute’. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the set includes a great-looking gorilla mech – probably one of, if not, the best Chima vehicles released. So let’s take a closer look at this set with this review… Set Information Set Name: Gorzan's Gorilla Striker Set Number: 70008 Theme: Legends of Chima Year: 2013 Pieces: 505 Minifigures: 4 Price: US$49.99 Links: Brickset | Bricklink (not yet listed) | LEGO Shop@Home (not yet listed) The Box One of the best aspects about the Chima sets is their ‘customized boxarts’ depicting the main character each set, in this case it’s Gorzan’s face prominently displayed in the upper right corner beside the LEGO and Chima logos. The main boxart presents the set with a battle scene between the Gorilla tribe with their Gorilla Striker mech versus their lone Raven opponent. One minor nitpick with the graphics is the way the mini-tree build was photoshopped in the background looks ‘a bit off’, it’s as if it was just plastered directly on top of the trees. The back shows the obligatory play features of the set, on an slightly more organized layout than usual (the panels are properly aligned compared to more random placement in other themes’ set boxes). Another unusual detail are the text describing the play features in all the panels (in six different languages), which we don’t normally see with other sets. An image showing the face-off between Gorzan and Rizzo on the upper right corner gives a nice touch to the relatively subdued blue background. There is an ad on the lower right corner for the LEGO Chima Game online, which provides another interactive play platform for Chima fans. I haven’t played the game, nor I have the intention to, but it’s good to see TLG adapting to the current age of mobile online technology, as evidence by the iPad/tablet graphic on top. The top of the box displays the minifigures of the set and the 1:1 panel. The box is so long that there are lots of unoccupied background space. The minifig display at the top of the box has full body action shots of the minifigs while the one in front of the box shows the ID profile shots with the respective character names. I like this variation in presentation unlike in other themes (i.e. the Lone Ranger) where both minifig line-ups have the same poses. The main character of this set, Gorzan, is shown in the 1:1 inset. The Contents Four numbered bags of LEGO, three loose pieces, an instruction booklet, and a small sticker sheet are what we get from this set. The Instruction Booklet The instruction booklet has the same coverart and horizontal orientation as the box, though the booklet is meant to be read vertically inside. The instructions have a conservative plain light bluish background and lack the faint images detailing on the pages that other themes’ instruction booklets have. I also noticed some pages have a lot of steps like the one pictured above, dividing the page into two sections. AFOLs probably won’t have problems with this, but younger kids may have to be careful when reading the instructions so as not to miss any step. Click the image for hi-res version I was a bit surprised that there was an ad midway through the booklet (first time I encountered one) and I thought that I may have gotten an incomplete instruction booklet. But it was just a centerfold (that is meant to be taken out of the booklet if one wishes to) showcasing all the Chima character minifigs including the new ones from the second wave. The Sticker Sheet A small sheet of stickers for added decorative detail on the set is included. The Pieces Bag #1 All the minifig parts are contained in the first bag, along with the pieces needed to build the Raven tree/vehicle contraption. Love the dark red foliage pieces. A brick separator is included too. Bag #2 The medium azure pieces stand out among the sea of the usual blacks, greys, and browns. Bag #3 There are a lot of interesting parts on Bag #3: a. Bananas! You get 7 of ‘em. Yum-yum! b. There are several huge pieces in this bag, particularly those 3x3 and 6x6 quarter circle round corner bricks (first time in black) and the medium azure octagon plates. c. Lots of multiple pieces in this bag! (17 x brown round plates, 8 x black round bricks, 8 x black dome heads, 8 x mechanical arms, etc…) Bag #4 The are still multiple pieces in this bag but not as much as in the third bag. The colors are consistent with the black-brown-grey-medium azure general motif of the pieces. Interesting Pieces Since this set is not yet listed in Bricklink I don’t have the exact piece names, but these are the ones that was interesting for me: The black technic part, the 1x2 curved slope, the hammer head piece and knuckle hand accessory. The 2x3 curved slope also seems to be a new part (first time I’ve seen it). The Minifigures The highlight of the minifig line-up is obviously the new Gorilla characters: Gorzan, Grimloo, and G’loona. I like the fact that despite being part of the same animal tribe they have unique colors and detailing (just like the other tribes). The Rizzo Raven minifig isn’t new and has been released in two previous sets before. Gorzan The main gorilla character of Legends of Chima is Gorzan, a black gorilla and a great warrior of his tribe. He is armed with a giant hammer and sports a battle armor with a Chi crystal. There is a slight discrepancy with the head markings from the TV show character, but I presume this minifig is the “battle version” of Gorzan having different “war face markings”. Gorzan’s fierce expression is fit for a great warrior of the Gorilla Tribe. The light green war face paints goes well with his black skin/hair color. Removing the armor the full print details of both the front and back torsos can be clearly seen. Gorzan has a double-sided head showing a battle-raged angry face on one side and a happy and relieved expression on the other. Grumlo Having a lighter grey skin/hair tone, Grumlo looks less fierce than Gorzan with his more laid-back mouth expression in his gorilla head. The white hair on the cheeks indicate that he’s probably one of the older Gorilla tribesmen(?). Grumlo has the same laid-back facial expression on both sides of his head. Also, gotta love those two bananas tuck in his waist at the back! G’loona A young female brown gorilla, G’loona can’t be anymore ‘girlier’ with all the floral decorations on her head and body. She has a child-like expression on her gorilla headpiece emphasized with her buck teeth and pimpled cheeks. Her weapon of choice is a pair of “giant clobbering fists” (for lack of a better term). She has a similar expression in her head like the one in the headpiece, while the other side has a slightly pissed-off look. The printing of her front and back torso are consistent showing her leaf brassiere with flower decors. Rizzo The scavenger of the Raven Clan, Rizzo sports his signature metal eyepatch and pegleg and armed with his dual-purpose blaster-axe. His overall appearance is the stereotypical “black villain look”. Like the rest of the Chima minifigs he has a double-sided head having an angry evil look and a surprised/scared alternate expression. Minifig Weapons Rizzo’s dual-function blaster-axe, Gorzan’s and Grumlo’s battering sledgehammers, and G’loona’s clobbering fists. The Build Bag #1 Build First to be built are all the minifigures and the tree-catapult contraption. I’ve been used to sets with the multiple minifigs not built from one bag, so this is something I haven’t seen in a quite some time. Bag #2 Build This is the starting point of building the Gorilla Striker mech. A gear mechanism inside will provide an important functionality which we’ll see later. The main body/torso of the mech is semi-finished at this point. Note the prominent use of brackets – this will be essential in the SNOT design of the mech. Bag #3 Build This stage of the build is where it gets repetitive as there are quite a number of multiple builds, like 8 x fingers, 2 x arms, 2 x shoulders. Kids may need more patience to get through this stage. An interesting part of build is the banana cannon weapon. Needless to say, the concept behind this cannon using banana as ammunition is crazy genius! We get a half-mech after the third bag build. From this you’ll already expect what would be the last part of the build is… Bag #4 Build The finishing touches are built from the last bag, namely the waist and leg parts. Attaching these to the main body and we now have the finished mech! I’d like to show the ‘segmented’ style of the build with this image – the whole build process is systematically designed to build the separate body parts and attached together in the end. The Completed Set Leftover Pieces Lots of the usual 1x1 spare parts, though I fear I might’ve missed a step after seeing that 2x2 round plate. The Set Features Gorzan’s Gorilla Striker As the ‘star of the set’, the Gorilla Striker mech is one huge, bulky, and imposing build. The overall black color scheme with medium azure highlights is based on Gorzan’s own skin/hair tone combo. The mech having long arms and short legs approximates those of real-world gorillas. And if by any chance you haven’t noticed it, the details of the “body” are actually parts of the face of a gorilla (see the eyes, nose, and two sharp teeth?). Quite clever design isn’t it? The back is less covered compared to the front, which actually provides unobstructed access to the various play mechanisms. Prominently seen on the side views are the wide curved shoulders of the mech – which is my one of my favourite aspects of the design as it gives the mech an imposing muscular brute appearance. There are also a pair of tubes on both sides going to and from the hand and shoulders, whose function I assume is a fuel link that provides power to those huge arms (yeah, I just made that stuff out ). There is however an noticeable flaw in the design – one of the drawbacks of having a large and heavy body and small stubby legs is there is instability in making the mech stand up. The mech has tendency to fall back when stood up straight, so one has to stoop it down a bit to stabilize the center of gravity (as evidenced in both images). Mech Movement If my count is correct there are 20 different points of articulation which allows for various movements of the mech’s limbs. These movements are mostly for play purposes, and due to the aforementioned instability of the mech, action poses are somewhat limited. The main action movement of the mech are the synchronized pounding of its huge arms controlled by a rotating knob at the back (remember the gear mechanism at the start of the build?). Here’s a video showing how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilZTZ5O-idk I really like this function! So simple yet so playable. I’m sure kids would enjoy this feature of the mech. Left: The mech seats one pilot at the top, but the space is very limited and there is some difficulty putting the Gorzan inside because of his battle armor. The banana cannon also sits atop the right shoulder of the mech, Iron Patriot-style. Right: There is a clip at the back to put Gorzan’s hammer while he’s operating the mech. A couple of studs in the shoulders allow both G’loona and Grumlo to hitch a ride on the Gorilla Striker. Flick-fire Missiles Flick-fire Missile lovers would surely enjoy this mech as it is equipped with not one, not two, not three… but SIX flick-fire missile hidden inside the mech’s body! There is an option to open only two flick-fire hatches, or you could go all-out with six missiles and destroy the opponent by opening the whole body cover. All flick-fires are fired by push-levers at the back. There is also a hidden crystal inside the body compartment. Rizzo’s Tree Catapult This build is composed of a tree catapult and a vehicle on top. This catapult works like any catapult would, or does it really? Well, I tried (look below): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYLaW9MdUms I guess you have to press the lever on the sides for it to work properly. Dumb Kiel There is also a miniature catapult beside the tree, where Rizzo could fire away anti-gorilla mech blackberry bombs. Here's a comparison of the Gorilla Striker with other LEGO Mechs: Click image for hi-res version LXF sources: 6862 - Tontus, 9448 - Zarkan, 60008 - CMS4, 8970 - prateek, 70500, 70505, 70704 - penguinz, 70708 - KDM Rating the Set Design – 9/10 I am absolutely impressed with the overall design of the mech – from the aesthetics, color scheme, functionality, etc. The only minor criticism for me is the instability of the mech for action posing purposes, but that wouldn’t be much of an issue for children I suppose. Parts – 9/10 It’s great to get a good combination of new parts, new colors of existing pieces, and a nice variation of colors from the usual blacks, greys and browns to colorful medium azure. The multiple number of several pieces will also be useful for future MOCs. Build – 8/10 While there are some several repetitive steps, there are a number of interesting building techniques particularly those involving SNOT. Minifigs – 10/10 What can I say I really love the new Gorilla minifigures – they’re colourfully unique and highly detailed. Even the villain Rizzo minifig ain’t bad either (no pun intended). Playability – 10/10 There will definitely no shortage of playability with this set – from the mech’s arm-stomping action, flick-fire missiles, banana cannon, tree catapult – kids will spend countless enjoyable hours of playtime! Price – 9/10 The price slightly lower than the 10 cents/parts ratio (9.899c), even with the large parts the $50 price tag is more than justified IMO. Overall: 92% This set is definitely worth the purchase – from the new gorilla minifigs to the Gorilla Striker mech itself – I recommend it to anyone who would like to try our the Legends of Chima theme. Parting Shot Thanks for your time reading the review! C&C’s are always welcome. :monkey: