It’s been a while since I’ve written up one of these, hopefully I’ve still got it in me~.
Anyways, I recently received the new soft mold so i figured it would be a good time to write up a review on the pieces.
First off, here’s an overview of all the new pieces in all of the colors:
There are seven new items (Top to bottom: One sided Pauldron, Shawl, Cape, Waist Cape, Two sided Pauldron, Loin cloth, and hood) in four different colors (Left to right: Reddish Brown, Black, White, and Dark Red). Now before we discuss anything, let’s go ahead and get price out of the way. Each of these pieces ranges from $1.00 USD to $2.00 USD. Here’s a quick list of prices:
- Loin Cloth : $1.00
- One-Sided Pauldron : $1.50
- Two-Sided Pauldron : $1.50
- Shawl : $1.50
- Hood : $1.50
- Waist Cape : $1.50
- Cape : $2.00
As I said earlier, these are soft pieces. They are made of soft plastic as opposed to rubber so the finish is much shinier than the soft pieces that Lego produces.
Comparison of Lego’s soft pieces and arealight’s soft pieces
The pieces are also quite durable and flexible. The flexibility is great since it will allow you to use the pieces and not have to worry too much about them getting in the way or impeding movement.
So what about the colors? I personally feel the current palette of colors is a pretty good starting point. Hopefully there will be more variety in the future though. Over all they are pretty good matches.
The Dark Red is a very close match. It’s just very very slightly darker, but it still works very well.
The reddish brown is basically exactly the same. Although it sometimes seems a bit darker when compared to some pieces. But I believe that’s just my eyes.
The white is very close as well, the only difference is that it seems a bit more vibrant than the Lego white.Black is an exact match to the regular ABS Lego pieces.
Over all, the material is fantastic. It is both flexible and durable, which means you won’t have to worry too much about it breaking. The color matches are almost perfect and beyond that, it is also soft so it cuts easily if you want to modify the pieces (even plain old scissors will cut through the pieces with ease). I, for one, am excited to see the future applications of the material. As for printing onto the pieces, I believe Arealight is currently sorting that out as I write this review.
So then, you’re probably thinking “cool plastic, what about the actual parts?”
Well~ I feel the actual parts are fantastic. We’ll start off with an old favorite: the cape.
For any long time Arealight fans, these capes are about the same design. They are, for all intents and purposes, the same. They are still the same beautifully designed piece with that flowing in the wind look that we all loved.
The cape itself is useable with a variety of hoods and head gears due to its flexibility and snugly fits on the top of the torso due to a small indentation on the underside of the cape.
Next up we have the shawl:
The shawl is another piece based off of cloth. It has the same fabric like design that the cape has and fits with a variety of headgears, just like the cape.
Just like the cape, it fits snugly over the torso.I personally think this piece has tons of potential applications and am really excited to see what the minifigure customization community uses it for. Something to note is that if you want to put a cloth piece underneath it, the cloth piece must be modified slightly.
Staying with our theme of “cloth”, next up we have the loin cloth.
Each loin cloth is double sided so that you can choice which side you want. Since the plastic is soft, if you really want, you can also cut off the side you don’t want. As for the design, Arealight did a fantastic job of showing the folds in the cloth on the more flowing side and the reverse side has a much more official look about it. This is another piece I’m quite fond of for the possible applications. The fact that you can easily overlay it onto cloth pieces easily opens so many options.
If the loin cloth is a little bit too risque for you, Arealight is also releasing a waist cape with this mold:
The waist cape is a personal favorite of mine just because of the sheer number of possibilities and the fact it fits in so many themes. And just like the regular cape, Arealight also gave it that “flowing” look. One of the things I really really love about this piece though is the fact that it is very low profile and adds very little bulk around the waist.
Our next piece is another “cloth” piece.
This hood works quite well with Arealight’s shawl and cape. It is also a bit more tight fitting than most hoods and sits closer to the face, rather than cover it.
The hood also has a small area that goes down below the minifigure’s neckline to give the illusion of it being attached closer to the bones rather than at the neck.
I’m not as big of a fan of the hood as other parts in this mold, but I still really love the cloth folds that Arealight gave it. It is also still a fantastic part.
Finally we have some pieces that aren’t usually considered “cloth”
These two parts are two different versions of the Pauldron. One is two sided and the other is one sided. As for the parts themselves, I feel it is a pretty good representation of the reference material. It may be extremely simplified, but I personally like that about it.
That wraps it up for the pieces. As for my final thoughts on this mold, I personally love it. The material it is molded in is phenomenal, the parts are beautifully designed and as a customizer, I like how easy the pieces are to modify (should you want to) and the fact that they can be used in such a broad range of themes even if you don’t want to modify them.