Release Date: August 2015
No. of pieces: 171
Build Time: 40 Minutes approx.
Begin the ultimate battle between good and evil with LEGO® BIONICLE® Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder! Join forces with Ekimu, the wise Mask Maker, to prevent Skull Grinder from taking the powerful Mask of Creation. Activate the battle arm functions and let combat commence! Evade the Mask Stealer Staff as the evil Lord of the Skulls tries to knock off Mask Maker’s special Protector Mask. Defend with the rotating saw shield and attack with the Hammer of Power’s rapid shooter. You must use all of theMask Maker’s magical skills to triumph over this evil foe!
LEGO Bionicle started off in 2001 and was one of the biggest selling properties for the brand. When the line was discontinued in 2010, fans were shocked and saddened at its demise. Whilst the downtime was only a period of 5 years, support for the range has been immense in the LEGO community, and 2015 finally saw the relaunch – and what a relaunch it was!
We kick off our series of Bionicle reviews with the ‘Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder ’ set. You get two buildable characters in this set; Ekiumu The Mask Maker (good) and Skull Grinder (evil). You also get the Mask of Creation, along with a plinth to rest it on.
Skull Grinder stands at 8” (21cm tall) and Mask Maker stands at 5” (14cm) tall. Poor Mask Maker is dwarfed by Skull Grinder, but it all adds to that good vs. evil theme, and having the odds against you.
As for weaponry, Skull Grinder comes with his Mask Stealer Staff with 3 axe blades and a sword. Both of these weapons slot into the cross-section hand holes and can move in an attack motion by rotating the yellow disc on his back.
Mask Maker comes armed with his Hammer of Power, which features a rapid shooting motion when you twist the blue dial at the back of the hammer. He also comes with a rotating saw shield. As with Skull Grinder, you can move the Hammer of Power by rotating the yellow disc at the back of Mask Maker. Unfortunately the left arm doesn’t move as there is no connectivity to the dial, but it does just hold a shield, so you can move this manually.
Both characters feature masks that have a pop-off trigger, and they each come with a cool metallic-effect chest decoration. During any battles, other bits of armour can be knocked off, adding realistic combat damage.
The colours used for the characters are quite striking; Skull Grinder’s black and orange give a fiery effect, and there’s no doubt he is the bad guy, here. Mask Maker has a piercing ‘good guy’ blue body, encased with snap-on gold armour.
Build time was around 45 minutes, and instructions were straight-forward and easy to follow. Snapping on the armour to the holding sockets was particularly enjoyable – kind of like that enjoyment you get when you pop bubble wrap! 🙂
Overall, we were incredibly impressed with the set. The figures are both fully articulated and you can have hours of fun – especially if you get the others in the range to build up your armies.