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Avoid NeoShifters

January 20th, 2009 (11:12 am)
Tags: ,

current mood: frustrated

Arthur got a NeoShifters set for his birthday. It's a Bionicles knockoff, from Mega Bloks (which has a niche making Lego knockoffs). Their shtick is that every character can be transformed into something else. This particular set has two creatures, which can be turned into vehicles.

Now, as action figures, they seem to be OK; Arthur likes them well enough. But, as building toys, they're about as successful as My First Hate-Filled Mockery Of Life (Lightning Bolt Not Included). Arthur got very little done before getting stumped; I came over to help him, and wound up having to do the whole thing myself.

The design is much too complicated; they've got pieces that are gratuitously similar, pieces that are gratuitously different, and pieces that are gratuitously asymmetric. Figuring out which piece the instructions are calling for is an exercise in spatial geometry (made worse because the manual is cheaply printed, with slightly blurry pictures and bad color registration).

Then, when you've got the pieces picked out, you find out they're badly made, and don't fit together well; they have to be forced. Arthur just wasn't strong enough.

Then, when you're all finished building the vehicle forms (which took me an hour and a half), it turns out the instructions for the creature forms aren't in the manual; they're online. Plus, despite the "Shifter" tag, they don't tell you how to shift from one form to another; instead, they tell you to take the whole thing apart and start from scratch.

And they're not even that much cheaper than Bionicles. I've told Arthur that, if he buys any on his own, I won't help him put them together.


Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: January 20th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)

That's why I pay the premium for Lego, yes.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: January 20th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)

It was a gift from a good friend of his, who introduced him to Bionicles. I wonder if that family has actually tried this line?

Posted by: lauradi7 (lauradi7)
Posted at: January 20th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)

But if he switched to Legos he could have his own inauguration tableau

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: January 21st, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)

With the exception of the new Neo-whatevers, we are a Lego household through and through.

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