Thursday, 20 February 2014

My Mixels Bring All the Boys to the Yard

Damn right, they're better than yours!  Well, actually, they're mass produced, so they're exactly the same as yours.


The first time I came across Lego's Mixels online, I thought they were neat.  Nothing all that fancy, but cool enough that I knew I would probably try one or two out.  THEN I saw pics of the next two series and knew there was a good chance I could end up getting hooked on these things.  So when the first series finally came out in stores…  I bought them all.

I like a nice collection of freaks, and I like when they don't break the bank either.  These guys run about $6 CAN, which ain't too shabby.  I had assumed they'd be around the size of the smaller Bionicles from a while back (what were they called?  Matoran, I think.).  There's a range of heights between the Mixels, and while the taller ones are Matoran sized, the average and shorter ones are, well, shorter.

Apparently there's a Mixels cartoon on the Cartoon Network, but I've never seen it.  Maybe it's coming soon?  Anyway, each Mixels character comes sealed in a simple plastic baggy, with a picture of their animated counterpart up in the corner.  I've seen a few of the cartoon shorts on the Mixels website, and they're pretty random and crazy.  I think I prefer the looks of the toys though.  The cartoons are cute, but the toys just look nuts.

Who better to start with than my favorite of the bunch?  There's a few characters with giant cycloptic eyeballs that you'd assume would be more my style, but there's just something about Shuff that jumps out at me the most.  He's described as a walking wrecking ball, and from what I learned on the website, the Mixels love to build things.  I don't know where having a walking wrecking ball would come in handy, but he certainly looks the part.  Maybe he demolishes things and they use the parts to make other stuff.

His design is pretty simple.  Well, I guess they all are, but Shuff's is extra simple.  He looks like a bug-eyed boulder with a chunk of crystallized rock on his head.  All of the characters have random, asymmetrical parts (not the best line if you have OCD), and he's got a basic amount of articulation.  He can move enough to go about his chunky little business anyway.

Oh yeah, I should mention that each series is made up of three tribes of three.  Each tribe revolves around a certain theme or element, and Shuff here is one of the rocky Cragsters.

Next up is a member of the Electroids tribe: Zaptor!  He also has a look that appealed to me early on.  He's like a walking, talking electrical tower.  He's tall, he's lanky, and he's got a face like a piranha.  Zaptor has a hinge on his head so you can move his zapper up and down, for whatever reason.  And of course his main feature is the two-toned electric bolts piece on the top of his head.  His design is one of the weirder ones, and I love it!  Apparently Zaptor is an adrenaline junky, but you'd never know from looking at him.  He looks more like the tall, awkward type.  You know the type.

Rounding out the tribes for series 1 are the fiery Infernites.  Zorch is the fastest member of his tribe, but I guess having flaming jets on your back will do that to you.  It would have been funnier if they were just slightly lower down, though.  I love the use of handlebars to make his eyebrows!  Turn them one way and he looks angry, and the other to look… innocent I guess.  You can also move them back and forth for other expressions.

Seismo is a shy and quiet Cragster.  Too bad his giant feet cause earthquakes wherever he goes.  So he's the shy, quiet, earthquakey type.  You know the type.  He doesn't look very shy, though!  He looks more like a grump.  I guess you can't judge a Mixel by his cover.  Seismo is the one I figure I should like the most since he's practically an eyeball head, but there's just something about him that doesn't quite "wow" me as much as it could.  He is a little plain, I guess.  I still like him, but there could have been a little more to him.

Now Volectro is a Mixel that has grown on me.  I liked his look the first time I saw him, but he's also a lot of fun in-hand.  Besides the crazy hair, he's got something that none of the other Mixels have: elbows.  Well, Krader has one, but Volectro has TWO!  Wow!

Volectro has been shocked a few too many times and now he emits loads of static electricity.  This static draws all sorts of strange things into his hair, so who knows what's hiding in there!

Vulk is dim-witted, but strong.  He can use his burning fingers to melt tunnels through rock or fight off Nixels.  Wait, what are Nixels?  Patience, the answer to that question is coming up!  Anyway, Vulk wasn't originally a character I was overly interested in, but he's pretty cool in-hand.  You can move each of his fingers individually, and he's one of the shortest Mixels in this series.  With his squat little body, he's almost like the apple to Zaptor's banana.

Wait, that wasn't supposed to sound weird…

Anyway, what are Nixels?

This is a Nixel.  Where the Mixels love building and creating new things, the Nixels love to take things apart.  Because of this, Mixels and Nixels don't really get along.  I knew there were Nixels coming in the later waves, but none of the pictures I could find for series 1 had anything to do with them (and the packages don't advertise them either).  Well, imagine my surprise when I went to build Vulk and I found the little Nixel face in the bag!  They're simple little things, but they're a nice bonus character to add to your collection.  They also look like delightfully evil tiny monsters.  They might be dwarfed by the Mixels, but I can't see anyone having a problem with these guys getting smacked around.

Teslo is the lookout for the Electroids, and he's also afraid of heights.  I don't know how useful a lookout that's afraid of heights is, but he's probably only looking out for Nixels.  With their size, Teslo probably spends most of his time standing on the ground, looking down.

Teslo's most prominent feature is his tail, which shares the same bolts piece that adorns Zaptor's head.  It's a pretty cool feature, but it does tend to pop off a little too easily for my liking.  I suppose he should also get some marks for looking the most like his cartoon counterpart, not that that matters much to me.  And now that I think of it, my boy Shuff looks even more like his cartoon, so I guess that's out.

Teslo also comes with a Nixel, though this one is my least favorite so far.  I just don't like the way his feet sit.  Either they're always pointing at random angles, or they sit side by side and look less like feet and more like a skirt or something.  Still, Nixels travel in large packs, so more Nixel toys are better than less.

Even though Shuff is my favorite Mixel from series 1, if you were only going to get one of them, I would recommend Krader.  He's just fun to play with!  The top half of his body is connected to a disk in the middle, so you can spin him around and around, letting that giant fist of his fly.  His eyes can also  rotate pretty easily, giving him a "googly eyed" appearance.  I guess he hasn't gotten used to spinning around all the time.

Krader can smash through rock and dig traps to catch Nixels.  And as luck would have it, he also comes with a Nixel.

Remember Ninji from the Mario Bros. games?  This Nixel (and the one that comes with Vulk) reminds me of them.  That just proves how evil they are!  They probably take apart all of the Mixels' hard work, all while jumping up and down on the spot (while some run back and forth, jumping up and down).

Finishing up series 1 is Flain, who is described as the leader (though it doesn't say if he's the leader of his tribe or all Mixels) as well as the smartest.  The only problem is that if he thinks too hard, his brain has been known to… burst into flames.

I don't know why, but Flain is my least favorite Mixel so far.  He looks the least like his animated version, but there's something more than that.  Maybe it's that it feels like he's being pushed to be the most popular?  He seems to get singled out in pictures and advertisements more than the others.  He's not terrible, just not great.  I do like his big ol' flaming head, and the flame pieces look like they could be made of gummy candy.  You can't go wrong with gummy.  Except that these aren't actually gummy, so you could go very wrong.

So to sum it all up, Mixels are pretty cool!  I'd recommend trying out at least one, but this is one of those lines where the toys are each built up by having the other ones around.  One Mixel is fun, but a group of them is better!  You can also combine the three members of each tribe into a bigger "MAX" creature, which I haven't gotten around to building yet.  Actually, I might even buy another set to make the MAX forms, so I can leave the regular Mixels as they are.  Lego's pretty smart that way.  Sure, you can take the Mixels apart and combine them however you like, but you could also buy more so you can have all the different combinations at once!

High five, Lego.  High five.

If you want to check out the Mixels website, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I certainly like the idea here! Can't say they super interest me, but I'm certainly gona get a few, at least. Are those tiny ball joints new? I don't think I've seen those before.

    Oh, and the cartoon (so far as I can tell) is comprised of these super-shorts that are appearing during Adventure Time and other shows. They keep getting recorded along with the Adventure Time episodes, anyway. Dunno if they're also doing a full cartoon.

    All in all: I'm wondering what demographic they're shooting for. It's not their usual thing, but that's always cool. I'm glad when a company mixes it up (PUN!). It's like they're trying to create a brand new type of Lego character set that isn't minifigures or Bionicle-types (like Hero Factory).