Monday, February 27, 2012

REVIEW: Lego Hero Factory - Waspix

Produced by Lego | Released Summer 2011

“Attention heroes! The beast they call Waspix has been spotted in your vicinity. It may use its wings to attack from above so keep your eyes peeled! It has three stingers and two corrupted Quaza spikes, installed by Witch Doctor, to control it. This pesky pest is no pushover!” 

Hero Factory Waspix
Released in the Summer of 2011, Waspix is - unlike the previous Hero Factory figures we've looked at - one of the Hero Factory's ''mid-sized'' releases. Whereas the ''entry level'' hero kits (such as Bulk 3.0) feature around 30 parts, come in plastic canisters and retail for under $10, Waspix - and most of the other villains in Wave 3.0 - features additional pieces (in Waspix's case, 48), comes in a cardboard box and is priced at around $12 (unless you can - as I did - find him at a discount outlet such as Ross: Dress for Less.)

So do the additional parts justify the increased price? Read on and find out...

As previously mentioned, Waspix comes in a cardboard box, rather than the canister used by the Wave 3.0 hero figures. Whilst the box is eye-catching and provides clear information as to its content, I do have to admit I prefer the canister/tube packaging, as that seems to give the line more of an identity over the slightly generic packaging used here.

The other minor issue is that these boxes can be damaged more easily than the canisters. As anybody who's ever browsed the shelves at something like a Ross: Dress for Less will tell you, the toys there do often take a battering from over-eager - and usually unsupervised - children looking through the wares on offer... Indeed, my Waspix's box was slightly crushed, but thankfully the contents were intact.

Within the packaging you'll find all of the figure's parts (as seen above) sealed in plastic bags, along with the instructions.

Sculpt and Design
Despite the complex look (and the addition of extra limbs and parts over a regular Hero Factory figure), Waspix is surprisingly simple to build and it's only a matter of minutes before you'll have your figure assembled.

The basic look of Waspix is a superb example of the way Lego's designers - much like Hasbro does with its GI Joe toys - can take a few standard pieces and by switching them around and adding a few new parts, create a completely new look. And if you're a fan of the mechanical-style characters of the Hero Factory line then you'll love the look of this toy, as it builds upon that visual style but adds a superb sense of the bio-mechanical to proceedings.

As you've probably already spotted, Waspix has six - not four - limbs. The addition of the two extra arms give him a unique, very alien look but add to this the wings, elongated head and tail-mounted stinger and things get very alien indeed. The fact that his legs are double-jointed just adds an extra dimension of ''wrongness'' that gives him such a unique look. I keep using the word ''alien'' but it's the only way I can really describe how different he is when compared to the other figures we've looked at. 

One thing I especially like about Waspix is that he has a more ''complete'' look when compared to the bare-bones aesthetic of the Hero Factory heroes. Don't get me wrong, I like that they look mechanical and somewhat Spartan but Waspix benefits from a more ''solid'' look, which I really dig. I especially like that the back features two semi-transparent wings that cover the basic skeleton upon which the figures are built. It just helps give a more overall, ''finished'' look to the toy.

Is Waspix's design perfect? Not quite. Although the head sculpt is very cool, the open mandibles look makes him look a little incomplete, especially when posed face-on, something that seems to be in opposition to the more ''complete'' look of the body. Similarly the wing-mounted spikes seem to be a little out of place and, whilst they don't ruin it, they do detract from the sleekness of the design. But there are minor points, really, as Waspix's design not only looks great but is superbly executed.

Articulation is another area where Waspix scores well. Each limb is mobile, with a wide range of movement (thanks to the use of ball-and-socket joints) and although the wings are pretty much restricted to vertical movement only, there's not much you can imagine pose-wise that Waspix can't do - so long as that pose doesn't include any form of waist-swivel. Although with Waspix's four-armed set-up, it's really not something you notice the lack of, so it's all good.

The addition of an extra piece at the neck is particularly cool and allows you to do some very weird, tilted-head posing. Add to this the hands and feet that feature a wide range of expressive movement and you've a figure that's a lot of fun to pose and play with.

Waspix's core parts are cast from black and yellow plastic, with additional clear-yellow wings and silver/metal wrist-mounted spines and a tail stinger. In addition, his head and forearms feature a mottled/patterned tampo transfer effect in black, yellow and silver.

The application of each tampo is flawless and - combined with the black and yellow part colouring - give Waspix a colour-scheme that's part dangerous insect, part construction vehicle. I know that sounds odd but it works fantastically.

Sadly, Waspix's head piece is cast from a slightly different shade of plastic than the body parts (my guess is that the colour mismatch is due to it being cast from a softer plastic) and although it's not massively obvious on a casual inspection you will notice it if you spend some time playing with the toy. But this is the only real flaw in what is otherwise an excellent colourway.

Extras and Accessories
Like most Hero Factory figures, Waspix doesn't really include and gear or equipment. I did find some additional spines/spikes in my set - at least, given that they weren't mentioned in the instructions, I'm presuming they were additional parts. But beyond that - and an instruction manual - there's nothing really of note in the Extras department.

Final Thoughts
I've only been collecting the Hero Factory toys for about a week but in that time I've amassed a small collection of 8 or so toys, so it's probably too early to really make such a bold statement but I have to say that - so far - Waspix is my pick of the line. This is an absolute must-have figure if you're a collector of the line and if you're not into Hero Factory and were wondering what all the fuss was about, this is the toy that you need to buy to be convinced.

The utterly weird, alien look is superb, it's execution is near-flawless, the design and construction is simple but effective, the articulation and poseability is superb and - best of all - Waspix just looks so weirdly-awesome (or awesomely-weird) that I don't see how anybody could pass on him, especially if you're a fan of robots or aliens or you dig the bio-mechanical vibe of toys like Micronauts or Microman.

A fantastic example of the Hero Factory line at its best.

Sculpt and DesignA
Extras and Accessories N/A
Final ScoreA

Image Gallery


  1. Nice post and review, I love Lego, i was a Lego Exo-Force collector myself, Its a Shame they stopped that line.

    1. Thanks - glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, I recall seeing those toys and thinking they looked awesome but never got around to scoring any of them.


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