Review: Official Set 8953 - Makuta Icarax
Moving on to the second of the Limited Edition sets from 2008, Makuta Icarax enters the spotlight. Makuta Icarax was assigned to the region of Karzahni and was known as the best warrior of the Brotherhood of Makuta despite not being the strongest physically. He makes some brief appearances throughout the 2008 comics. During the chaos that was the Toa’s escape from the Codrex, Icarax was killed by a few of the other Makuta, rest in pieces.
Taking a look at the packaging, it feels very reminiscent of the original 2003 Makuta set’s packaging. There’s a blown up image of the set on the front of the box with a very large Mask of Shadows taking up the background.
The back of the box highlights the different play functions of this set and gives some shoutouts to the Toa Ignika and the Phantoka.
Initially I couldn’t quite figure out the size of this build based on the box art. But I’m very pleasantly surprised with how big this set turned out to be. Allegedly it’s the same height as the 2003 Makuta set, but it feels larger to me because of the slimmer body parts.
The look absolutely captures the feeling of this Makuta being a much more nimble and slicing fighter rather than someone who would overpower with great force. He’s pretty stable and includes some extra reinforcement at the hips to ensure the legs don’t slip out. This inadvertently helps with the broken pieces, which I had a few of in this set, by maintaining the ability to pose even if one of your socket joints fails.
The wings are my favorite part of this set, they contribute very heavily to the intimidation factor of this set. They’re extremely posable and allow for virtually any option while setting this set up for display. Just be wary that you’ll knock them around a decent amount if you were to play with this model due to their location and presence of ball joints.
Icarax is loaded up on his left hand with some pretty intense claws and a spear. I’m actually not sure if the parts on his hand are supposed to be claws or not, but in the comic image Icarax looks to have normal hands, so they may be a part of the weapon. The right arm seems to be a little bit bare, but includes a play function where you can twist a light gray axle connector to spin his shield. It’s a pretty neat play function, but tends to feel like a lesser version of Keetongu’s shield function from 2005.
A tridax pod full of shadow leeches is included in this set as well. We’ve covered it plenty of times throughout the 2008 villain sets, so no need to really get into it again.
The mask included in this set is identical to the 2003 Mask of Shadows. It works well and it makes sense that they didn’t change the design of a mask they previously released, but for anyone who doesn’t know the deep lore of Bionicle, I’m sure it can make things a little bit confusing character-wise.
Current Pricing & Final Thoughts
In terms of pricing, it’s no surprise that as a limited edition set Makuta Icarax also carries a hefty price tag. In used condition, this set typically runs for around $120, and in brand new sealed condition you can expect to spend at least $275, which is a lot. The only benefit I could see to going brand new is to guarantee no previous cracks in your parts. But to be honest, you’ll likely create a few while you’re assembling the set yourself, so I would only recommend the sealed set for collectors and investors for resale down the line.
All in all, this is a pretty solid villain set. The articulation and stability is there, it feels quite imposing, and it does the Mask of Shadows justice. Where it falls short though is the shield play function and a little bit of movement restriction at the right hand. And while not a knock on this set because it can be said for all 2008 Bionicle sets, there are some fragile parts that will absolutely impact its longevity if you’re looking for a play model.
If you’ve got the budget for it, go ahead and get this set now before it gets even more expensive. But if it’s a bit too pricey for you, don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything spectacular, there’s plenty of other sets out there.
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