Review: Official Set 8594 - Jaller & Gukko
After powering through the smaller models from 2003, we’re now on to the Titans line released during that year for Bionicle. First up is set 8594 the Jaller Expansion, I mean, the Jaller & Gukko set. This set provides us with an additional Matoran that was not available for purchase like the other Matoran from that year, along with a model build that was featured in the movie: Bionicle The Mask of Light. The Gukko Bird only appears for a brief sequence but it’s still an interesting creature that I’m excited to build.
This set contains a grand total of 221 and is marketed for ages 8 and up.
The front of the box gives us our first look at the 2003 Titan packaging style. There’s a dark blue background behind the grand image of the featured set. In the background are images of both the mask of light and the mask of shadows, which sit behind a glowing silhouette of the island of Mata Nui. On the back of the box there’s a ton of imagery here, the main focus being the different functions that can be performed with this set. It shows how the wings can flap and fold, as well as Jaller’s ability to play Kohlii. There is also a sneak peak of the combination model for the Titan sets in the bottom left corner. On the left side of the box there are images of all four of the Titan sets released in 2003. And lastly on the top of the box there is an advertisement for Bionicle’s website, which advertises Mata Nui Online Game I for some reason because at this point in time I’m pretty sure that Mata Nui Online Game II was released.
Contents of this set include 2 numbered bags along with the instructions and a rather thick advertisement book. The instructions I got were rather bent, but unless 18-year-old return receipts work I’m out of luck.
The build was pretty short and didn’t really have anything that blew my mind in terms of new techniques or part usage. Some parts such as the wings were actually a little bit difficult to attach to the main body of the Gukko Bird. The color variation is the first thing that stands out to me about this set. The dark orange is a great contrast along the model, and the red-yellow color scheme of Jaller fits in with this warm palette seamlessly. We’re also back to using silver sparingly after the Bohrok-Kal abused the color and caused it to lose its magnificence.
The Gukko Bird offers you the opportunity to place two Matoran on its back to go for a ride through the skies above Mata Nui. Only one Matoran is included in this set though, so to achieve that your going to have to shell out a little bit more than just the money for this set.
The play functions of this model in my opinion are the most fun we’ve seen so far in Bionicle aside from the Manas. Being a bird that can flap its wings, naturally I just had to fly it around as if it were actually soaring through the sky with Matoran on its back. The stability for the Matoran is great. I was twisting and tilting the Gukko Bird all over the place and had zero issues with them falling off at all.
The only thing that bugged me about this set was the head of the Gukko Bird. It feels a bit lacking, and I think the designers really could have spent some extra time on this area to create a had that more closely resembled a bird, especially the one shown in the movie.
As a whole, the Jaller & Gukko set is a good one. The main draw for me is still the Jaller Matoran, so in my eyes it’s a Matoran that happens to come with a Gukko Bird. Genius move by LEGO® to do this because it was a more expensive set and Jaller was one of the main characters from The Mask of Light.
If you want this set nowadays, be prepared to shell out a little bit of money. In used condition this set currently sells for around $60, and brand-new it sits around the $80 mark. I see no reason to buy this set brand-new, and to be quite honest I would actually just find an incomplete one as long as it included all the parts for Jaller.
The Jaller & Gukko set provides a neat look at a creature from Mata Nui, but I can’t help but feel like it comes as a more expensive Matoran set that happens to include a bird that was only shown in a very short sequence of the movie it’s from.