Pros: great design and fun to play with
Cons: more expensive this year
The Gahlok are slippery customers -- you never really know where you stand with them. Just when you think you've got their methods figured out, they change them. They will never react the same way twice and they will never strike the same place twice.
Gahlok, the Bohrok of Water, is part of Lego's Bionicle line. For more basic information on the world of Bionicles, read my essay on this series at http://www.epinions.com/content_2532089988
I'm a huge Bionicle fan, so I was understandably pleased when Lego released some new, affordable villains for the Toa to fight. I started by collecting the opposite numbers of the three Toa I had--Ice, Stone, and Water.
There is less variation between the different Bohrok than there was between the Toa--in fact, the construction is exactly the same for each: a hemi-circular body, sloped head, and ball joints at the shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. Their colors are different, of course, as are the weapon/shields that are their hands. Gahlok is two-tone blue, with translucent orange eyes. He has webbed hands, and his krana is orange. Hunched over as he is, he stands about 4" tall.
The krana is a tiny living creature which lives in symbiosis with the Bohrok. Acting as a sort of brain, it makes the beasts more dangerous while giving them a rank and position within the hive. It also gives them their full names: Gahlok came packaged with the Yo mask, which pegged him as a tunneler and thus made him Gahlok Yo. I got a Za squad leader krana from a mask pack, and so now he's Gahlok Za and has the power of telepathy.
The ball-jointed limbs give Gahlok quite a range of motion, and you can quite easily pose him as if he were swimming. I think the Bohrok shape really gives itself over to movement in water, given their long, sleek heads and the ability to roll into a sphere.
Actually, that sphere is one of the cooler points shared between Gahlok and the rest of his species: tuck in the arms and legs, and the Bohrok are in hibernation, ready to be hung in a display from the lid of their canister. This is really a great feature, in that it makes cleaning up all the pieces a part of the game.
With a winning combination of playability, price, and design, Gahlok is a great toy to have. I love how it looks posed and ready to fight the Toa, and it's well worth the pricetag.