Review: Hero Factory 2011 (First wave) A recap and final thoughts

After about ten years of Bionicle TLG decided a refresh was needed, and ]Hero Factory was founded. But I must confess that as the Heroes went I was very unimpressed.

I bought most of the 2010 Hero Factory Villains as to me they were interesting, varied and good value. (I especially like Corroder.) But the 2010 Heroes were made of too few parts, had no elbow or knee movement making them look rather stiff when being posed, and were made up of over specialised elements. As many said they were much like the Stars line, which I personalty only bought one of… and felt a bit ripped off over it too.

In the end the only Hero I ended up with was the simplified Furno who came with the

Furno Bike set. But thankfully I’m not talking about that line! This new line is very deserving of the “2.0” title; it’s a complete rethink in terms on construction technique. It’s also a much better value line, and even TLG seem to think so as in some catalogs they are saying “Up to 50% more elements in each can”!

he emphasis on pins/axles has shifted to ball joints; many of the heroes have none at all, and the others have just one or two. (The Villains are not as drastic as this, but more on this later.) A whole new line of ball-jointed panels was made just for this line. The variety is quite impressive, and I intend to try to find uses for them in non-HF MOCs.

It’s very nice to see a return to true elbows and knees. It’s been a on/off feature for years, and as a V2 line goes, the 2.0 heroes are far superior an upgrade than, for example the Toas to Toa Nuvas.

It’s interesting to compare XPlode and Nitroblast. Nitroblast for one has more pieces (57 to 45), but he also looks more substantial, especially in the arms. The Villains so far seem to have more pins/axles in them and I thought at first that it was because they were assembled first (some sets have old pieces) but when I noticed this part…

…it became clear that TLG don’t intend to make pins “illegal” HF parts. (Studs still seem to be though.) It’s going to be interesting seeing the pin/axle count of the next line.

Getting back to looks, it’s less clear who looks better from the rear. XPlode’s back looks better but his arms look odd.

Gundam Virtue! What’s he doing here you ask? Well it’s interesting to…

…compare joint techniques. Notice the holes? Since adding these holes to reduce joint shock is nothing revolutionary, it does make you wonder why they took so long to add them. I believe this feature first appeared on the first HF line with one small hole on each ball joint.

Final thoughts:

No score this time, but it is nice to say I like this new direction. My interest in the Bionicle waned in 2005 when the mechanical/Technic link started to decline and, while I have loved some since (like Thok from 2006), for the most part I haven’t bought much since. Hero Factory (and Von) re-sparked my interest and with this new line it could stay that way. With a new focus on the ball joints and other connections Hero Factory can stand alone on it’s own merits. Long live LEGO Action Figures, long live Hero Factory!

…and now as an extra bonus here’s some behind-the-scenes footage from the making of these reviews!

Preston: Hey look guys, I’m the tallest!

Natalie: Yeah, but I bet you can’t dance!

Furno: This is going to kill my new image.

Von: I… must…. resist…

Von: Stuff it.

Von: [Scuffle scuffle scuffle…]

Natalie: Don’t move or I’ll start doing the moonwalk right here.

Von: I’m back!

Von: I’m Going!

Von: You guys are so hot right now.

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