Review: Official Set 8556 - Boxor
Up to this point the Matoran have been pretty helpless when it comes to fighting off enemies on their own. Aside from the one major battle that took place during the 2001 storyline, the Matoran have more or less been unable to hold their ground without help from the Toa.
That is until an Onu-Koro engineer made the most out of a sticky situation. Stuck in a cave with no escape, Nuparu made a machine out of spare Bohrok parts and called it the Boxor. This machine gave them a fighting chance against the swarms.
The Boxor set contains 157 pieces and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
The front of the box shows off the Boxor storming through a Po-Koro scenery. I feel like they need to change it up soon in terms of the background. It seems like every single box art takes place in a desert for the larger sets. On the back of the box there’s a few different images of the two model variations you can build using the pieces included with this set. There’s also some smaller images showing off the different play functions.
Inside there are two bags, but with a twist. The bags are not numbered, they’re just clear bags. I’m not certain if this is a packaging mistake I happened to stumble upon or if all Boxor sets were bagged like this. Along with the parts are two instruction manuals, one for each of the included model variations, and advertisement material from 2002.
Model 1, which is what I’m calling the first variation, was a really enjoyable build and the result is great as well. This is the version that has become rather iconic for the Boxor, it’s the original model that Nuparu made in the cave. This version is really compact and turned out to be smaller than I imagined it would be.
The play functions here are the result of a really impressive mechanism that relies on the mech pushing down on its feet to punch its arms forward. Much like the Tarakava, the two arms are not synced together which allows users to really shake things up with the punches that are being thrown.
The Matoran sits snug inside of the mech thanks to a clamp that is held down by a Matoran arm on the back of the mech. Not to be gruesome, but if this was made out of parts in a cave, does that mean Nuparu used a dead Matoran’s arm to finish his mech?
I will say though, the only thing I wasn’t a big fan of here was the speed of the punches. The punches are pretty explosive going forward, but pulling back they don’t feel nearly strong enough to rip off a Bohrok’s facemask.
The second variation definitely hits the mark in terms of feeling like it comes from the same family/designer of the first one, all while shaking things up enough to be new and fresh compared to the original one.
The play functions for this model variation don’t live up to the genius mechanism of the first one. This version includes twistable knobs that cause the arms to flop up and down. My issue with this is that this really doesn’t seem to be effective against the Bohrok. I imagine that this version is more useful for attacking Bohrok Va and bopping them on the head or dishing out concussions to enemies it cannot destroy.
Looking over the set as a whole, the Boxor certainly impressed. It introduced some new pieces and color-schemes along with original mechanisms. It feels like a great army builder to me if you’re looking to build a cavalry of Matoran that can do more than just fling disks.
Pricewise what we’re looking at for the Boxor is generally around $50-60 for a used set and $80-100 for a brand new one. I don’t see much of a reason to go brand new for this set though unless you’re building up a sealed collection.
The Boxor is one of those sets that I wouldn’t put way up on the priority list, but it was definitely a really good set that struck home with me and is another iconic one for the Bionicle line.