BrickList: Action Figure "Ball-joint System" - The New Constraction
Action Figure "Ball-joint System" - The New Constraction
This completely ball-joint system started, for the demise of a long age of Technic figures (even though Technic was resistent at its recent years, barely appearing in the last Titan sets), now Technic is finally the excession and not the rule. That means no more advanced vehicles, functional creatures and good gaming with action figures.
Now it's just fast build, play, and customize the few you can with those new bland pieces. More new molds, always replacing the old ones. Instead of planning different buildings, the Lego action figures now are all about making new molds, that absolutely don't live up in level of detail and don't make justice with the tradition started with Throwbots.
But still, playability is at a high point - in fact it's as fun to un-build the figure while playing with it as just playing with the final set. The resistance of the pieces received an improvement in quality and an immensurable decrease in detail and compatibility. So here in this list, I try to cover the most complex or different sets that brought up some possibilities explored by the set designers in the 2011-2013 run on this system.
Check the GUIDE to Technic Action Figures: http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?2583
Or catch the history of the big sets by its start at:
http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?3445 - Part 1
http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?3449 - Part 2
http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?5130 - Part 3
The Titan and Warrior sets are quite interesting, they push up on building styles more often than the canisters. The innovations they bring in building sometimes grant different canisters in the next seasons or just come to be in one set, because of their uniqueness. This list, however, comes to be the excession of this. Check the links to see why.
Created by Gus263. Last updated on 22 Aug 2013.
1. 2283: Witch Doctor
Witch Doctor is the apex of this building system. Not only he passed all the Bionicle sets with this price (30 USD) in piece quantity (with 331 pieces, plus 30 in comparison with 2008's Mazeka ), he's also the most different and complex HF Figure, bringing up tons of red ball-joints and new connectors. It's a big source of pieces.
But still, he has clear additive design. He's by no means functional and his legs, even though inventive, are somewhat disappointing in playability, with an entire section/junction blocked backwards. His height is impressive compared to other HF sets, but he still suffers of the T-rex arms' problems. His weapons are just too small, and it ends up that his "staff" seems much more like a rattle (maybe it was intentional, for a voodoo wizard). The arms as well draw its form from the mainstream Fire-Lord/Rocka XL build. Just a normal arm with an extension to the back to add more armor.
In the end, it is the most far the designers got with the system. Of course it has major flaws (and no eyes...) but nothing that requires too much additional pieces to fix it. Completely worth the price, something quite rare telling of today.
|622 members own this set||302 members want this set|
2. 6203: Black Phantom
If you got Fire Lord or Rocka XL, this is completely no news. The feet of the figure is disastrous, and remember that hell is full of good intentions. While the thig is an extended skeleton of the new system, the shin is a combination of two of those and armors in the vertical. That compromises the movement of the feet and is nothing but additive design. Just like all the "Gadunka system" over used in 2008 ownards, this seem to be a simplification of the possibilities brought with this new system.
Making padron shapes is extremely bad when you are trying to promote a new building system, even more when you do this from the start. The arms are exactly following the same structure as of Witch Doctor and the other sets already mentioned. The difference between Rocka XL, Black Phantom and Fire-Lord can be associated with their themes. They even have small sections on the back for no reason at all (Fire lord had jetpacks, then Rocka had his spikes and Black Phantom has... something).
I have chosen Black Phantom to represent this because he has the most coherent colors, even though Rocka is my fave.
|585 members own this set||266 members want this set|
3. 44000: FURNO XL
It's quite offensive that this amount of 100 pieces costs 20 USD and comes in a bag.
Of course it's not as offensive as 6230 (Stormer XL), with 89 pieces, costing 25 dollars.
But still, they are the proof that Canister and Titan sets are blurred definitions that need to be re-written.
So this is Furno - a canister set with large connectors, cover coming from his armpits (luckily he's just a robot), armors on the place of the main body's balljoints for the arms and arms coming from extensions on the back, making his spread absurd and un-proportional.
His legs are somewhat fun. They move too freely, as the balljoint is limited on the sides and not on the front/back on his knees.
All in all, nothing you couldn't do by buying anything from other HF lines. Furno and Stormer are XL ripoffs, so stay alert. XL here stands for extra large rip-off.
|388 members own this set||217 members want this set||
4. 6231: Speeda Demon
LOOK! The new system still offer vehicles to the figures! What a complexity, huh? Just for saying, the bike of this figure is already a juniorized version of Furno Bike (which held the title of junior bike back then), and the building follow pretty much the same structure. Some liftarms placed all on the same orientation, plus holes and pins to make the frontal part move. Nothing but the obvious build.
When they use technic, they make it blandly and clear to don't confuse (and incite joy on building) young children. A total let down coming from Lego. The figure can be snapped on the motor bike given his ball-joint on the lower extremity. His four arms, as well, are but additive design.
What this system has of complexity is still being engendered, or has to usher, because until now, even the sets that are sold by 35 dollars come with few pieces and few building, it seems that Lego is abandoning the action figure band-wagon.
This is completely sad for a fan that's been looking when it came to fruition with the Throwbots. Of course Millenium  seemed both a rip-off and a must-have back in 2000, but it included alternative building (that DIDN't require additional sets and did make sense - differently of the freaks included in today's combiners) and even though it costed 20 dollars for 125 pieces, it didn't cost 35 for 192.
|331 members own this set||247 members want this set|
5. 4527: The Joker
"What a mess" would define the Joker. Not his build, that's quite repetitive, but his colors. He's my choice to represent these sets costing 15 USD because his additive design is so characteristic and sums up all that is done to aggregate value in sets so randomly made without anything special on its own.
The over-usage of Ben 10 tails (in this set to make his cloth, but end up making tails/tentacles) is still nothing compared to Batman's  flappy wings, with near to zero articulation. To refresh the failure of the SuperHero sets and the sameness of the HF which costs 13 dollars, there would come a year later the Legends of Chima, which just 2 or 3 sets stand up on their own.
|900 members own this set||280 members want this set|
6. 70202: CHI Gorzan
CHI Gorzan is the newest of these figures of the HF system with as much arm spread from shoulder to shoulder as an Inika body. And he suffers from the same problem of Furno XL, given extensions on his back for the arms and a heavy armor covering the two ball-joints of the body (from the left and rigth). This sort of building was replicated from Stormer XL  (with exception that this had near 17 studs from shoulder to shoulder) and the Hulk  (who shares with Gorzan the problem of the excessively short legs covered with long armors).
The Chima figures have a variety of near 3 or 4 different builds, or takes on a single structure. Eris and Razar (my fave) have additional sections to make actual wings (that seems like tentacles with feathers, but actually move differently of last year's Batman); Cragger has a tail and a long neck just like a crocodile, and then we have Gorzan with all I have said.
He also has a characteristic point in common with the most random Chima figures, Worriz and Laval. His hands comes out from the middle of the arm and can't actually hold anything. The apex of additive design, with no function at all. At least he has the complete set of fingers, differently of Ogrum , who had a finger cut off. Poor ogrum.
|142 members own this set||200 members want this set||
7. 44009: DRAGON BOLT
Functional? Ja. Complex? Nein. Not in a million years.
The main structure is of a quadrupedal set (like Thornraxx  or shark inspired Jawblade ), using most balljoints possible to armors, additions and such. Interesting is that the head needs plus a body and it requires two sections to keep still (like in Chi Cragger ).
The main function are the flapping wings, they have a quite simple structure on the back of this serpentine dragon (I say so because its paws and body pales in comparison of size to its own neck and tail), and all you need to do once you built it is to pull the pin (a red one, Lego likes to scrap the color scheme to point out to children the functions with a screaming color). The wings flap vertically and the scales/sections move horizontally. Quite swift, because it works in very similar fashion to Titan sets from 2003/2005 (the 2nd part of the list). Dragon Bolt's brain and electrifying power are a bright light at the end of the tunnel, or would be so. It's too small for a titan set, despite having a common to small piece count (149) for 19 USD sets. Too bad it comes in a bag, it doesn't make any justice to the figures.
There are many other different sets or ways to explore the new system, but those are the main different or individual ones that stand up on the multitude of sameness. The future for these figures are uncertain. As you can check on my other lists, this system started like a boom, with a promise. But Lego never explores it in full potential, and it ends up just like a padron, a boring repetition.
It's been 5 years that the Inika building (and it's newest and junior brother, the "Avgori") lasted, and 2013 marks the 3rd of this system. To me, it's as boring as if there was already a decade of sets. Will it last more and bring anything new? As we can see by the years the quantity of sets drop too often (22 sets in 2011; 24 sets in 2012; 21 sets in 2013). Is Lego taking any interest in Action Figures these days?
|189 members own this set||174 members want this set||