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# Monday, February 1, 2010

I found Lego Ben 10 sets on display yesterday in local Toysrus, despite that it was the first time I ever noticed such theme, I purchased two sets to find out what this is all about. The first thing that came to my mind was: another Bionicle?

A quick check on the web revealed that it is indeed some sort of successor to the soon-to-be-discontinued Bionicle series, a new theme based on an American Cartoon licensed from a company called Cartoon Network, while I have absolutely no idea on what this Cartoon or Company is all about, I just see some sort of Bionicle feel in it. Another interesting find from the web are some rather negative remarks about this new product line.

The first box I opened is 8409 Spider Monkey, among the 6 sets on display yesterday, this seems to be a more interesting one, I was not surprised by the content, as there were already clues on the box, this is not a typical lego set, it is indeed a new twist, big parts that can be used to build a character probably in less than 5 minutes, quite un-lego in a way to me, even Bionicle sets would contain some smaller parts as well as regular lego bricks, but this one is totally different.

I guess I can understand why Lego makes such move, the traditional market segment, which probably includes you and me, may be kind of saturated, at this times where PSP, Wii and XBOX rule, Lego needs to identify new customer sources, and I think this Cartoon series very likely has a strong loyal supporter base that will sure purchase good related products. But here in Hong Kong, I think this product will meet cold response, for around 10 minutes in that crowded store, no one except me barely care to pick up a box to check, and there is so little discussion about this in local forum (well, I may try to test water with my Chinese review later).

So is the product really that bad for me? Honestly, as far as this 8409 is concerned, it is kind of interesting, the color is nice, and the creature can be played by making different postures with a lot of flexibility, I even would imagine using the parts on future MOCs, I think the parts are Technic compatible just like Bionicle.

The standard posture of Lego 8409 Spider Monkey

I tried turning this into a Spider-like posture and it works!

The torso can actually be further disassembed! The one with multiple connector may be useful in MOC design

The monkey head and tail

Overall, getting one or two good sets from this theme is fine, even it can be a little overpriced, at this price range it is tolerable, but it is definitely not something to feel excited about, at least not for me. In fact, this kind of design concept based on big parts is very unlike the built-from-details design philosophy that I see in Lego, I hope this type of design is limited to this theme and will not spread to other themes.

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