Review: Official Set 10023 - Master Builder Set
2002 has been a great year of Bionicle builds so far, and today we round out the line for that year (I know not all of the blogs for 2002 are published at this time but they’ll be up in the near future). And to do so, we’ll be reviewing what is a pretty hard to come by set, the Master Builder Set. This set advertises that in just this single set, there are 15 unique and original Rahi builds that you have the pieces to build. Of course, you can’t build them all at the same time, but certainly you would be able to build more than one at the same time, right?
The Master Builder Set contains 112 pieces and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Back again on the packaging is our incredibly familiar Po-Koro background. Considering that a lot of the models in this set are foretold to come from the Ta-Wahi region, why in the name of Mata Nui did they go with the typical sand background for this set? And to think we had hope after the packaging for the Exo-Toa and Cahdok & Gahdok…
The contents of this set are limited to a single bag of pieces along with one instruction manual. The instruction manual is quite thick because it contains so many different build options that make up a few pages each.
There’s a lot of Rahi in this set (duh), and most of them are nicely done. Almost every one of the Rahi introduce unique building techniques and stray away from one another. A lot of them fit the feeling of Bionicle in my eyes and just add so much life to what we already have.
If I could have changed anything about the models it would be to come up with some more original creations. It’s very apparent that most of these Rahi are modeled off of animals that populate Earth, which on occasion pulls me away from that entrancement of everything being Bionicle. Every now and then I would look at a model and think something like, “Hey that’s a cool Bionicle ____” rather than being fascinated by the new organism that the designers came up with.
Something that stuck with me while I was building all of these models was the consistent thought of if these were fan designs.
I know that down the road in the theme fan contests were a bigger thing, but with some models I couldn’t help but feel like what I was building was incomplete in a sense. There were some lackluster areas of some models that seemed to me like a LEGO® Designer was not the one behind the design.
I really enjoyed the build and functions of most of these models, but unfortunately my thoughts on the set stray elsewhere. The set advertises that you can build 15 different models, but probably should have mentioned that it doesn’t include enough parts to build more than one at the same time. I mean seriously LEGO® what’s the point of this set if you’re just going to require builders to choose one to build that they have to take apart in order to build another?
When it comes to price what you’re going to find for the Master Builder Set is that in used condition it runs for around $50, and for brand-new it will set you back over $150. If you ask me don’t even think about buying this set new unless you’re trying to beef up a sealed collection with a pretty rare set. What I would do is make parts lists of the Rahi you want to build and then buy the parts through Bricklink. Not only will it save you money, but it’ll also allow you too customize the colors of each Rahi.
The Master Builder Set was an enormous letdown as a set although it contains some really neat builds. It’s a shame to end a consistent 2002 year with such a sour note. We're on to 2003.