Review: Official Set 8994 - Baranus V7
The Baranus is a 4-wheeled chariot wagon built by the Rock Tribe Agori during the Core War. Originally the wagons were pulled by Sand Stalkers, but later on Spikit were used to pull the chariot as they were fierce creatures capable of protecting the wagon from damage.
Sahmad is easily my favorite of the drivers we’ve gotten so far in the 2009 Battle Vehicle sets. The color scheme is unlike anything I’ve seen before in Bionicle. The black and orange is a fantastic color choice and makes him feel unique. The mask is a mold which we haven’t seen so far, although it will show up again next week.
He’s also loaded up with weapons in each hand. In his left he’s got a large tentacle piece which serves as a whip. In his right hand is a souped up Thornax Launcher which just looks so cool. On his back is one of the Life Counters, but it’s pretty nicely blended in with an overlapping black piece.
The Chariot model is a bit hit and miss with me. I absolutely love the cage they’re built around the front. The curvature and thick-armored look is fantastic at this area, but unfortunately this amount of detail doesn’t make its way around the rest of the model. The majority of the Chariot is bare with even just single technic liftarms being present at one area. The only detail effort aside from the cage is the rear wheels, which add in home hubcaps of some sort.
The wheels work surprisingly in unison, and make a pretty unique sound on hard surfaces thanks to the piece they used as the tires. Across the front of the Chariot is a dangling chain, which will be used shortly.
The Spikit looks pretty solid, it’s good enough but nothing spectacular. I do wish there were some more green integrated to give it some more life. The rest of the model is composed of shiny elements and black parts.
The mask pieces are great, they have a nice gradient on them and serve well as menacing beast masks. There is a lot of opportunity for movement at each of the limbs and the heads. This really allows you to display the model however you want to and can really customize your setup.
By taking the longer stand on the back of the Spikit and snapping it into the center of the chain on the chariot, you create the full vehicle with the Spikit pulling the chariot. Sahmad is snapped into the chariot through one pinhole on each foot. With his feet connected Sahmad still has plenty of room to move around, which certainly would serve well in a battle. The overall length of the entire thing caught me by surprise, it's a really big set. The green and orange don’t clash at all and it makes for a very cohesive display.
Current Pricing & Final Thoughts
If you’re looking to pick this set up for yourself, you can expect to pay around $70 in used condition and $160 in brand new sealed condition. The price in used condition actually feels quite fair. Like I said earlier, it’s like getting 3 models in one set. I’m not sure if there are any delicate parts in this set, but if so that’d be the only reason to consider purchasing the set in sealed condition, unless you’re a collector of course.
I really like this set. It’s bringing a new type of vehicle into Bionicle and gives us one of the larger spread out displays. But this set definitely could have benefited from an extra 20-30 pieces. A little bit of extra detail and this set is a home run for me.