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Review LOZ Pokemon Pikachu Diamond BlockS

pikachu and pokeball 1

This is the best replica of a Pikachu I’ve seen this month, especially when compared to its counterparts. The eyes, ears, mouth, tail, cheeks, etc. are all instantly recognizable and distinct, and it’s much cuter than anything other model featured before. So I’ve decided to make a very review for one of the best Loz’s products. 

Review LOZ Pokemon Pikachu Diamond Blocks for every single detail

The back even keeps the stripes and tail colors, as well as a tail that is the most accurately shaped as Pikachu’s tail.

pikachu's backUnfortunately, the size of the tail makes the figure a little backheavy, making it more frustrating that, as far as I can tell, there are no base plates made for these bricks…

And I just said that I’m impressed with how well they constructed Pikachu’s face, especially since they were working with more pieces than the other sets utilized, but with how they designed the face… We are working with high levels of “derp” here. Oh, that’s even better.

pikachu's face
Not as good as it trying to find its nose though. Or its “punched in the stomach” face. I guess that looks normal. …Though we now have a very sarcastic-looking Pikachu. And now Pikachu’s just seen what Professor Oak does with all those Bulbasaur that starting trainers don’t take… Eh, heck with it… Let’s create a derp gif for future reviews so I don’t have to steal other peoples’.

And the mouth… …I don’t know why they bothered to make an actual mouth as opposed to a small smile or something… but thank you for making it as goofy and ill-fitting as possible. I want to say it reminds me of a really early computer-animated independent short I saw one time where the characters’ mouths moved in a diamond pattern, but it’s not coming to mind.

pikachu's button noseActually, is anyone else getting a Far Side feel from this? Especially with the fat kid whose mouth turns into a trumpet when he’s excited? Like what Strong Sad dressed up as in that Homestar Runner cartoon? …No? …Just me?

The cheeks are nice, though, especially since they could afford to round these. Maybe they look a little big, but Pikachu are known for their large cheek patches that generate electricity, so I can’t fault the design for that.It even has a cute little button nose! …Which is offset somewhat by the close-up shot of the lifeless pupils staring at me…

pikachu's cheekThey built the top of the head to give it a much more spherical and natural look, so we’re not dealing with the cube-heads of Nanoblocks or the creepy Ionix mask stolen from the Happy Mask Salesman.

pikachu's top of headGuess this Pikachu has avoided meeting with a terrible fate. …Still gotta save the world from the moon, though…

However, I’m strangely put off by the shape of the ears. On the one hand, I’m glad they matched the shape of the ears so well, since Pikachu does have rod-like ears, but on the other hand, since most of the figure is so blocky, they don’t quite match the design.

pikachu's earsMaybe I wouldn’t be so concerned with the design if they kept the cylindrical shape, but the little triangles on the top don’t match the smoothness of the rest of the ear. Why couldn’t they have used cones for the tips and kept it smooth all the way up? …Still, it’s a minor nitpick at best, one that only people with too much time on their hands would bother to point out and complain about. …Anyway…

I LOVE the design of the arms. They’re just the right shape and size and actually look like arms as opposed to claws or tiny brick mounds. I even love the little claw at the end, since that just perfectly represents how tiny Pikachu’s little fingers are and just makes it all the more cute.

pikachu's armsNot as much detail was put into the feet, but they did make them look like feet and not little blocks or The Tramp’s comically oversized shoes. It would have been nice to have some semblance of toes, but they keep him standing, so can’t complain.

pikachu's tiny fingers

The tail is very nicely shaped, given what they had to work with. I would have liked it if they made the tail more slanted and lightning-shaped, but I don’t know how they would have pulled that off without using an excessive amount of bricks that probably would have made the design more fragile.

pikachu's tail 3

I especially love their use of headlight bricks to build a slant on the backside of the tail and make it look less “blocky.” …Though I’m wondering if those crevices left between the bricks can be filled in with something?

pikachu's backside of tailBut the best part about this figure? The thing that causes it to excel far beyond anything else we’ve seen this month? It’s articulated!
Yes, it actually has hinged arms and ears, allowing for roughly 90° of movement with the arms and 45° with the ears. Ok, it’s not minifigure-level, or possibly Wall-E level, but when you have a figure built out of standard building bricks, you take what you can get. And now you can reenact that Paffendorf meme that was briefly(and I mean BRIEFLY) popular a few years ago.

Even the tail has a wide angle of movement, so you can get it to adorably wag its tail. …It’s too bad the arms don’t pivot forwards, or we could get it to reenact Leek Spin in addition to Paffendorf. …My mind’s strangely centered on ancient memes today, isn’t it?

And now let’s look at the Pokéball that came with this figure. …Strange that a Pikachu would be paired with a Pokéball, as anyone who’s even slightly familiar with the show or game would know, but I guess if you’re illegally producing knock-offs of other franchises and you don’t know if you’ll get away with any more, it’s best to include as much as possible in your first release.

pokeball 1Besides that, the faux-round shape and how the red and white bricks don’t properly layer on the black middle makes it look mechanical and avant garde, more like paper cutout origami than a proper ball. …In fact, do you know what this design reminds me of?

Still, I guess it’s not terrible and it’s impressive they could make one with the limited amount of bricks they had. I guess we’ll just pretend Giant Pikachu is so powerful, it can rip the heads off Daleks and paint them red and white.

pikachu and pokeballAnd that’s your LOZ Mini Blocks Pikachu set! A strange yet welcome addition to the new trend of creating figures out of regular building bricks. And since it’s not made out of Nanoblocks, I don’t have to superglue it together to keep it intact, nor spend 2 hours getting the first layer of bricks positioned. Heck, since there are more Mini Blocks in the range, I might just have to look at some more and see what this is compatible with.

Review LOZ Pokemon Pikachu Diamond Blocks in main factors

Quality: The quality is very high, even higher than their Nanoblock bricks since I couldn’t find any “problem” bricks that were melted or molded incorrectly. The plastic quality actually feels even higher than most other mainstream companies, since they’re made with that “Lego”-feeling plastic that franchises like Mega Bloks and K’Nex don’t even have. The colors are vibrant and the bricks molded quite nicely, with a uniformity not many obscure building brick companies have. There were a few bricks that felt loose or didn’t quite click together smoothly, as was expected with LOZ, but overall, the high quality for the relatively low price point of this item is extremely commendable.

Design: This is the best Pikachu model I’ve seen so far. It legitimately looks like what I’d imagine a Pikachu to look like if Lego ever decided to make a Pokémon figure in the same style as their Wall-E set. The proportions aren’t perfect and it looks quite blocky in some areas, especially around the torso, but I would probably expect this of any building brick company that decided to take a stab at this character. And the fact that they made it articulated and more than just a statuette REALLY helps up the fun factor to be had with this set. I guess my only legitimate complaints are with the derpy eyes and the undetailed feet, and maybe the diamond mouth, but since they made this with standard Lego brick shapes, I’m impressed with the amount of detail they were able to accomplish. If Lego DID make this, most of the detail would have probably been through stickers, and I’ve already made my opinion of stickers clear in my Lite Brix review… As for the Pokéball, it’s ok. It’s a very bulky, strangely cubist version that looks like if Pablo Picasso was hired to design a brick set, but it’s recognizable and sturdy and does fit the strangeness of the Pikachu design.

Creativity: As it’s a Pikachu most likely produced without a license from The Pokémon Company, there’s not much creativity in the idea of building a Pikachu or a Pokéball. However, the fact that they managed to build this out of standard brick shapes with no custom bricks is impressive, especially in areas where they flipped the bricks on their sides to give the design a bit of a slope. And again, the fact that they included articulation does make it feel like a legitimate toy and not just a model to assemble and stick on a shelf.

Readability: The instructions are done in the standard “single sheet” and “multiple steps in one” styles we’ve seen so far from Diamond Blocks and other Nanoblock companies. However, since these bricks are a bit bigger and there’s more of a variety with the shapes, it’s much easier to follow along with than regular Nanoblocks. I’m much more of a booklet-type of person, but I didn’t lose my place or start on another layer before I finished the first, so it also has that going for it over Nanoblock instructions. Overall, if it was just printed in a booklet, I would have no complaints.

Packaging: I LOVE this box. It gets the product information across without seeming too cluttered or overly detailed. It’s just the assembled product against a white background, but the small details they added did catch my eye and heightened my interest in the product. It’s obviously trying to trick you into thinking it has something to do with Lego Ideas with its “LOZ Ideas Classic Creator Series” declaration, but it backs it up with Pikachu sitting on a piece of paper covered in sketches, which really does give it the appearance of an “indie” fan creation. And the small windows on the back featuring the figure’s articulation really help to sell this item. So even though it’s not the Engrishy type of box like the Jie Star boxes are, it’s professionally made and slightly humorous that they’re trying to pass this set off as legit.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with Lego Nanoblocks

Overall for my first review LOZ Pokemon Pikachu Diamond Blocks:

If it was compatible with other building brick lines, it would have been a 5/5. I LOVE this figure and the packaging that came with it. It’s fun, it’s stylish, it’s professional, and it perfectly represents the cartoony nature of Pokémon. If Lego or some other company was to include Pokémon in their line of figures built with standard bricks, LOZ has set a standard that might be tricky for them to match. If you can find this set, whether you’re a huge or passive fan of Pokémon, I highly recommend it. It’s truly the best building brick set featuring Pokémon I’ve ever seen…

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