Review: Official Set 8734 - Brutaka
At long last we are at Brutaka. One of the great things that have come out of these Bionicle reviews has been seeing everyone get excited as we neared their favorite sets. Brutaka in particular stood out to me the most as the most hyped up Bionicle set. This giant warrior was a member of the Order of Mata Nui and hopped into the main Bionicle timeline just in time to help the Piraka, who had shown him antidermis’s ability to heighten his already incredible power.
Brutaka as a set contains 193 pieces and is recommended for ages 8 to 16 (why the upper limit LEGO®?).
The packaging matches the overall theme that we’ve been introduced to in other Voya Nui sets: a great action shot with a white/light gray background that contains a silhouette of the Island of Voya Nui. Also on the front of the box is a really interesting font and logo specifically for Brutaka. This matches what we saw with Axonn a week ago, and is just one of the many things that the LEGO® team stepped up for the 2006 Titans.
The back of the box gives us additional looks at the finished build, focusing on the main elements that make this set stand out from the rest. The largest image depicts Brutaka bent over as he holds a glowing object in his hand, while the smaller ones highlight the mask, back tubing, and piston pieces in the ankles. At the bottom we get a preview of the combination model that can be built using parts from both Axonn and Brutaka. In the corner of the box there’s a shadowed figure, which is actually Axonn. Axonn’s packaging utilized the same gimmick, only with the shadowed figure being Brutaka.
I bought this set in used condition, so I received merely a large bag of parts, but if you were to buy this set sealed you would receive three numbered bags along with the instructions and advertisement material from 2006.
The build ended up taking 26 minutes, which is pretty typical for Titan sets. It was an enjoyable build thanks to the fun building techniques spread throughout the assembly. Funny enough this build actually felt like it was several hundred pieces larger than it was for some reason, perhaps due to the large amount of detail pieces.
What I am absolutely thrilled to say is that this set does in fact live up to the hype. Brutaka is a massive model, quite a bit bigger than Axonn, and is packed full of a ton of detail. A lot of small parts come together, especially the gold tooth pieces (these are my favorite), to create a very smooth finished build that really makes Brutaka come to life.
Something that may be taken for granted, the color scheme, really shines to me in this set. There was a great balance between the dark blue, gold, and black parts that didn’t make one of the colors feel too prominent than any of the others and kept the gold parts feeling prestigious rather than overused.
One area that we see a lot of extra detail is the back. The back makes use of two articulating dagger parts to create extra detail in the upper back as well as a neat articulating asset. There are also two golden tubes that form Brutaka’s traps, and contribute to his overall muscular, athletic appearance.
The legs and feet were some of my favorite assembly sections of the build. At their core, the feet are simply Piraka parts, but there are a ton of added smaller parts that build this base out into a really impressive design.
Another area that deserves a lot of praise is the mask. Brutaka gives us a mask that is without a doubt something that sets him far apart from any other Bionicle set. The mask is much larger than any other one we’ve gotten before, and the detail is still there. It’s really a unique look that makes this set very memorable.
Of course, we have some excellent articulation when it comes to Brutaka, but that’s nothing new for Titans at this stage of the game. The new piston pieces that are in his ankles are a saving grace to this set. They add the necessary additional friction to pose this model all over the place without falling over and are one of my favorite elements to this set.
The only issue I could find with this set is perhaps a bit nitpicky, but nonetheless is still there. The arms are simply disappointing compared to the remainder of the model. They have a few small detail pieces that elevate them above the lackluster arms seen on the 2005 Titans, but they still are basic assemblies that really leave you desiring more.
Overall, this set lives up to the hype and then some. It masterfully includes details and creates a menacing silhouette that at times can fool you that it’s an action figure rather than a Bionicle. Several areas throughout the assembly scream to you that this set was designed with incredible passion and care for the result.
The downside to this set being so good is that it’s also one of the most expensive. In used condition you can grab Brutaka for around $100, and that prices jumps all the way up to over $300 for sealed condition. I don’t see a valid reason to buy this set used unless you’re a collector, in that case you’ll be very thankful when that sealed price continues to skyrocket but you got it for cheaper.
It’s safe to say that this set will stand as one of the best sets of this theme when it’s all said and done.