“So what about it? You yellow? Huh?” – Travis Brickley, Best of the Best
Please allow me to preface this review with a quick hello for manners’ sake. Hello! My name’s Wesitron and I’m new here. Since this is all new to me, I will likely experiment a bit with the style of my reviews in many ways and always encourage constructive criticism. Toy fans have to stick together; so don’t forget your manners, but always speak the truth. Thanks!
Some years ago, Lego decided it wanted a piece of the action figure market and developed Bionicle as a sort of build-and-play toy that could withstand the rigors of daily use. Many of their first pieces were monstrosities, little more than repurposed Technic pieces snapped together to vaguely form organic life-forms with cool masks. As time went on, Bionicles got more complex and more poseable, introducing new pieces that really brought the little guys to life. For whatever reason, Bionicle was apparently terminated and Hero Factory was brought up in its place. The second series, one of which is being reviewed here, tosses a radical change in the mix that is driving Bionicle and Hero Factory fans absolutely bananas. Change is good, right? Right?
So let me start by saying I’m an opener. I don’t care too much for packaging because once the toy is out of the box, it serves no further purpose to me. Luckily, Lego solved that years ago.
As you can see, The Hero Factory box is actually more like a Tupperware container. It’s re-sealable if you want to store your toy and stackable if you have limited space. If you don’t need the packaging for your toy, you can save it for bits and bobs.
The box art is very cool, with bright colors, fiery stuff, and additional characters in the background. The fonts are blocky and tech-y, it clearly states the age range and piece number, includes some vague information about internet connectivity, and even has an “actual size” Hero Factory logo so you can determine roughly what size the toy will be out of package. Say thank you, moms and dads of the world. In fact, I only have 2 gripes about the packaging at all.
The first one is a nitpicky thing and that is that while the art is all very cool, it’s all just art. There’s no window on the box, which is fine, but without any real pictures of the toy itself, you don’t really have a great sense of what’s going on inside. Once you’ve played with a Bionicle or Hero Factory, you start to get the idea, but for moms and dads or new fans I think seeing the toy would help to sell it. It’s just a preference thing, a lot of people love the digital art, and of course I do, too, being a nerd of many trades yet master of none. But I like to be able to see the toy I’m buying.
The other gripe is the generic nature of the box.
“But Wesitron,” you say familiarly, “you done said the box is cool and has ‘splodey stuff and colors and clearly labels this and that and whatnot.”
So I did, child of Appalachia. And it’s true, when compared to other toys. But when compared to Lego’s own line:
This was taken in a Target near your home. Very near. As you can see, all the box tops are the same color, which is a new thing with this series of figures. Also, the poses are all very similar and there are no individual character bios. They all have names, and indeed all have different personalities and roles, but all that info as far as I can tell is only listed on the Lego website.
Overall I think the packaging is great. For an adult it’s got storage and excellent presentation. For kids it’s got ‘splodey stuff and colors and this and that and whatnot.
To be clear, that stuff is cool.
The packaging says 6-12, but I’m thinking younger. My nephews could have put these together when they were three.
This is what you get.
The instructions are great with clear pictures and very precise directions. They show all the necessary pieces for the part you’re working on, and then how to assemble. You start off with the under-body or skeleton of the figure.
It sort of looks like an artist’s armature, huh? As you can see, most of the construction of this figure is ball-and-socket style. You see the ball, you see the socket, you jam the ball in the socket, and voila! Instant toy. I have a similar speech prepared for my future kids when they hit puberty, only more vague.
The ball-and-socket style building really ramps up the fun factor because it means parts changes are extraordinarily easy. In the old days, you’d have to pull off the armor connected to a pin and hope the pin came with it, because sometimes those things would latch into a limb and you’re pretty much boned unless you grab something to work it loose. There are no pins here, which is why a lot of Bionicle fans are apparently upset.
From what I’ve seen, they’re not really howling angrily at the internets per se, but a big part of building is M.O.C., or “my own creations.” Basically taking the parts you have and building something you designed yourself. Without any pinholes on any of the limbs or armor, MOCers are limited to standard attachment only in the torso, the feet, and the shields. The upside of course is that with the ball and socket system the armor plates are all completely interchangeable; they’re just a lot less buildable.
Personally, I think it’s a cool change and while it does make the build very simple, it makes the customization a lot of fun and very intuitive.
Evo took me about 5-7 minutes to build. Depending on your level, you might do it much faster, but even people who are brand new to the brand and building have access to the instructions and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
“Obviously.” – Tommy Lee, Best of the Best
This toy looks awesome.
One of the keys to a good piece of art is motion, making the eye continue to dart around the piece and one of the ways to do that is with lines. The lines in the kit are fantastic. They are smooth and both square to point and curved in shape, if that makes any sense.
…Aaaand the back is ugly. This can be rectified by attaching the armor of the legs sideways like it is on the arms. It doesn’t affect poseability too much and will close up the gaps so that only the back is exposed. The above picture is how Evo’s build is designed by Lego.
The face and mask has a ton of personality. Evo is my second Hero Factory 2.0 figure and trumps Furno completely when it comes to looks. I love the goggle-eyed Ghostbuster looks of Furno, but look at the picture above. Do you know how B.A. you have to be to have intakes and exhaust pipes ON YOUR FACE?!?
The helmet design is shared across the heroes of this wave, with the faceplates and colors being the only differences. Unfortunately this means you can’t put on the helmet without the masky bits, but hey it’s the most important piece of giving these guys personality, so I can’t fault Lego for that.
The colors are fantastically bright and the primary reason I bought this set over any others.
“Aw shucks, Wesitron! You done gone and been one o them thar Los Angeleees Lakers fans, ain’t cha?”
Gosh, there’s a lot of hill people out today.
The reason I chose this figure over any other is because of the awesome resemblance to my old G2 Dr. Mindbender figure, when fanny packs and neon colors were hotter than slap bracelets and the world was so colorful that GI Joes could run around in day-glo purple and yellow and still be considered “camouflaged.”
“And now for something completely different.” – Monty Python, And Now for Something Completely Different
You remember when I said that this guy has all ball-and-socket construction? Well that includes every joint on this guy. His playability is through the roof, and his ability to stand easily also skyrockets because all you ever need do is give his body a firm press and his feet flatten to the surface. Awesome for ramming with cars or knocking over with missile launchers!
Add to that fact that he’s still incredibly light and has huge, caricature-like feet, and you’ve got a toy that can balance on one foot, crouch realistically, or strike up kung-fu action poses. The ball joints can bend deeply and if any of the armor gets in the way of the pose, you can just pull off the piece and rearrange it. I’m not joking when I say this guy has almost Revoltech-like poseability. He has ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and feet. The only thing holding him back is the lack of a torso ball.
Ignore the Genesis controllers; they’re really on planet Livinruhm Kahpet having a trade dispute.
And Evo is off! But Spinax is a dangerous adversary! Will this be the end of our hero???
I say the nay! In a daring move that could not be captured (posed) by mere human technology, our man Evo will live to fight another day! “Order something from the menu? What am I, a farmer?” he called into the night.
Sigh, I really need to vacuum.
All of his parts are the ones seen on him, which I think is a good thing. Because the parts attach so well, you’re only really in danger of losing a piece if you take it off and don’t reattach it somewhere else.
Since you could sort of include the armor, weapon, and even helmet in this category as well, I think I’ll just leave it as “not applicable” to this toy. He stands perfectly as he is, and too many accessories would weigh down his simplicity.
This is a big one for me, because to me value is probably the number one factor in determining whether or not I buy a toy. Die-cast Gurren Lagann is freaking awesome, but for 250 bucks I think I’m going to have to settle for the Revoltech.
Luckily, this guy shines. You get the canister, the toy, but most importantly you get the fun. You know that awesome armor? Bored? Change it up!
Now he’s Left Arm Shield Stocky Legs Man!
Or how about No Left Hand Shoulder-Feet Man?
There’s no paint on this figure. Not a drop. Everything is molded in the color it’s intended to be. The only piece any different is his thigh piece which has a tampograph of his name and some cool motocross-looking designs on it. I don’t think this hurts the value at all, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re a stickler for paint.
There is also a code inside the box that allows you to log on to Lego’s Hero Factory website and unlock games, pictures, downloads, etc. with Evo 2.0 as the main theme. You can customize your CP, build a Hero, play a side-scrolling game, post your own MOCs, and read up on the characters and their weapons. Apparently, Evo’s weapon is a double-barreled ice cannon. Who knew? Five years ago I would have said this was worthless, but seeing my nephews on the internet and how much they love interacting with their Avatar toys, I think this is an awesome addition to an already great toy.
At $7.99, this guy is running way above average for good toys in the 6-inch range. Most of his brethren on the toy shelves are getting up to 10-12 dollars for less poseability, and as much as 15-17 dollars for not-quite-as-good-but-close poseability. Consider that the last wave of Hero Factory had no elbow or knee articulation and were the same price and you’ve got yourself a heckuva deal.
Packaging: Adults – 8, Kids – 7
Build: Adults – 7, Kids – 8
Sculpting: Adults – 8, Kids – 9
Articulation: Adults – 9, Kids – 9
Value: Adults – 9, Kids 10
Overall: Adults – 8.2, Kids – 8.6
Evo 2.0 represents everything Lego’s Hero Factory hopes to achieve. It’s a fun and easy build with tons of playability and customization at a great price for adults and kids alike. If you have 2, customization and building start to become even more fun and if you ever get bored you can also log on to the Hero Factory site and play games or share pictures of your very own creations with other kids and adults.
Bottom line, if you have a kid who wants something fun to build and play with, or have a desk that’s missing that certain something that’s fun to pose but you’re not worried about your co-workers stealing because you sold your cat to make payments for it on Amazon just because you got free 2-day shipping for being a student or a mom, then you’re going to want to pick up Evo 2.0 or one of his brothers or sister (the green one’s a girl) and have some fun.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.