Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review- (Decool) Toa Mata Nui Knockoff

Taken from original post on 07/02/2014 at BZPower Forums. Enjoy!
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So I did say I wanted to do this quite a while back, so here it is.

Decool is a China (I assume?) brand that produces knockoff Lego Sets. They have been at it for quite a number of years (no idea how long), but they have recently exploded and skyrocketed in prominence in my region (SEA, and yes, China). 

Recently (ok half a year ago |:X), I've gotten hold of a set from Shenzhen China, and it's none other than Toa Mata Nui himself. I was quite eleated when I got it, seeing how I've never seen the set in real life before (no idea why, but I've never seen it sold before here in SEA...) Here's a review of the set:

EDIT: WHOO! Thanks to Aanchir, images have been reloaded and are visible on forum! :D Thanks, Aanchir! :)

PACKAGE

The box itself is rather big (though I reckon smaller than the original) and quite prominent. Mata Nui stands in his usual pose as also seen on the original package.

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IMG_0032 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0034 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

Here's the front of the box, as well as a size comparison with a (legititmate!) Rocka.

I don't have the rest of the box with me, as I had to accommodate luggage space, but the back does not advertise the other legends, and it has a plastic handle on the top for you to carry the box around. Toa Mata Nui retains his name, but now comes under the brand "Star Soldier", and carries the description: "The strongest and most active hero of the elite team. His power is more than enough to defeat any bad guy." Cheesy, but at least the English is grammatically correct and makes sense.

CONTENTS

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IMG_0037 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
Opening the box up, here's what you get: a instruction manual, Bag 1 for the body, Bags 2 for the legs, Bag 3 for the hands, and the sword comes in a separate bag.

INSTRUCTION MANUAL

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IMG_0038 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

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IMG_0040 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0041 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0039 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
The manual is printed on glossy paper, and gives off the smell of a new magazine (sorry I smell stuff, that just how I am, lol). Cover shows off the exact same thing as the box front, and the back is an advertisement for "Hero 2 Star Soldier".

Yes, none other than Hero Factory 2.0

Instructions printed inside are clear and easy to follow, and is on par with Lego standards (actually I guess it was ripped out from Lego), except there's no arena backdrop as what we got in the original. It's quite interesting to note that although Decool did rip the instructions off Lego, it did take the effort to edit it when it came to original pieces. We'll come to that later.

BUILDING

Overall, building this set was quite fun, as I haven't built a Bionicle/ HF set in over a year. I do have qualms with the build however, and a kind of sloppiness on the designer's part showed through; but that isn't Decool's fault, it's Lego's.

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY LOOSE AXLE ENDS STICKING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE?!

*Ahem* Sorry.

On the quality of the build, I do have some issues. As with knockoffs, parts can come across tight and sometimes loose. The former is seen 90% of the time, especially with the cross pins. A hard surface comes in handy when trying to force in tight pins. So far, only about five loose pieces come into mind, but most are covered up and pose no major problem to the figure. And the nubs.

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IMG_0061 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
I've only snipped off those that pose a hindrance to the build or are enough of an eyesore for me to not want to see them. They might be everywhere, but unless you are really nick-picky, they don't pose much of a problem either.

The sockets will come across as sturdy and smooth in articulation and are almost on par with Lego's, but the piston rods seem a little soft to the point they bend slightly when I'm trying to pose the legs. A little bit of patience would help in posing this big guy. I did come across a ball with quite a huge hole though:

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IMG_0050 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

The finger pieces work fine, though one was a little loose. I swapped it with another extra piece and that did the job. Shield pincers, though, were horribly loose, and there aren't anything else to hold it tighter. This makes the shield pincers all too ready to open and close.

Body
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IMG_0043 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0044 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

Legs
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IMG_0052 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

Hands and Weapons
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IMG_0056 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0055 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
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IMG_0060 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

I'm not going to go through  the building experience of each part in detail, cause, they're about the same as the original.

HEIGHT COMPARISON
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IMG_0062 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

CHANGES FROM ORIGNAL

Despite being a knock/rip-off, it's heartening to see Decool change some elements of the set. Some of these changes work to the improvement of the set, while others not so much.

Good:
1) The most obvious modification of all is to the sword blade. It now comes with a HF logo (seriously?! Why?!) and it lights up. Yeah, it does. This functions similarly to any Inika Blade, and it glows a cool blue. Despite being there, the HF logo does not ruin the cohesiveness of the set as it's quite subtly moulded onto the blade. Depending on you, the light-up feature may be a pro or a con. It's a pro for me: who doesn't like additional features?



2) The shoulders (Hordika limbs) have been moulded in black and not grey, as was the original. This, in my opinion, helps the set, as they fit in better with the colour scheme than their grey counterparts.

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IMG_0066 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

3)Those yellow things on the pistons have been modified, such that there isn't any hole in their middle as the original had. Personally, I never did liked those holes...

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IMG_0065 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr


Bad:

1) This one urked me when I was building the body:
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IMG_0046 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

WHY OH WHY DECOOL DID YOU CHANGE THIS PIECE TO ANOTHER ONE?! 

It was supposed to be the flat foot piece, not the curved one. Thankfully, this did not hinder the set much as the surrounding pieces helped sandwich it securely into place. But still, it got me quite irritated when I was building it.

2) The thornax band has been changed from black to grey  its actually silver, i just realised. On one hand, it does make it look rather strange, but on the other, it does fit with the huge chunk of grey/ silver which is the shield/ shooter.

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IMG_0064 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
Besides the colour difference, the thornax is slightly less bouncy but still does the job in firing.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

First impression: This guy is HUGE. He makes Tuma look like a canister set, haha. Being a knockoff, the quality, build-wise, piece-wise and playability-wise, is satisfactory.  Beat that, he's incredible. From afar, this giant can almost come across as a legitimate Lego set. Adding on the light-up feature does add on to the epicness of the set. Would I recommend this set to anybody? Well, if you aren't too picky about quality, or about copyright issues, then yes, this guy can pose as a (much!) cheaper and worthy alternative; I've only gotten this guy for around RMB 130+ (USD 21.44+) Decool sure has come a long way in ripping-off (*cough*), and I can safely say they have been improving since I bought a set from them 6/7 years ago. 

Let's end this off with a fight!



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IMG_0070 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

TMN: ARRR!!! I'm the strongest there is in the Decool Universe!

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IMG_0072 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
Tuma: What's this? A rip-off? I'll defeat him in no time to make up for my loss to the real TMN!!!

TMN: You dare challenge me?!

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IMG_0073 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
*Epic swordfight ensues*

TMN: Enough! Time to end this!

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IMG_0074 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr

TMN: I'VE GOT THE POWERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuma: ?! What sorcery is this?!

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IMG_0078 by skipperhulajinks, on Flickr
TMN: 1 Tuma: 0

Hope you guys enjoyed this review!   It took me quite a while to type it out D:

1 comment:

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