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Review: BrickWarriors katar dagger

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Review: BrickWarriors katar dagger

Postby AmperZand » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:40 am

One of the quintessentially Indian subcontinental weapons is the katar dagger, or simply, katar. Unlike most other daggers, the long axis of the blade is perpendicular to the hilt and attached to it by two backward-facing extensions of the guard. As such, the katar falls within the family of push/punch-daggers. Though historically a South Asian weapon of war or ceremony, in fantasy, it is often portrayed as an assassin's instrument of murder. LEGO doesn't produce one perhaps because of its sinister reputation. To my knowledge, no third party maker of minifigure accessories does either... until now.    

BrickWarriors (BW) have started selling them. For the time being, you can only get them in steel with the Human Assassin custom minifigure ( ). But for the forthcoming 2017 holiday season, they should be available individually in three colours: steel, black and pearl gold. I have obtained samples of each and have reviewed them below on 8 criteria.

1. Compatibility. The katar fits perfectly in a minifigure's hand and is scaled appropriately too. It could easily have been too long or short, but it's exactly the right size compared to other minifigure weapons.

The blade has a historically accurate fuller that adds detail without drawing undue attention to the weapon. The katar is well proportioned and instantly recognisable for what it is.  Its grip is cleverly angled so that the length of the blade continues the straight line of the minifigure's forearm - just as it should.

Image of two minifigure assassins armed with katars:

2. Material. The katar is made of the same plastic, ABS, that LEGO uses. The lustre is the same as LEGO and the pearl gold one is a perfect match with some of LEGO's pieces in this colour (LEGO's 'pearl gold' being several different shades under one label). The black is not exactly the same as LEGO's, but rather a subtly very dark grey/metallic colour that offers just enough contrast from a black minifigure's hand to tell the hand and weapon apart. The steel does not match any LEGO colour as far as I know but is identical to other BW parts in this colour.   

3. Manufacture. The katar is made to a very high standard. There are no mould lines and only a tiny partition burr on the tip of the guard which is no worse than that found on LEGO parts and easily removed with a fingernail. 

4. Variety. The katar is only available in one style but that should be more than adequate. After all, how many different designs of katar does one need? It doesn't have any printing. BW don't do dual-moulded weapons, but if they did, katars with different blade and hilt colours would look great and be historically accurate. Hopefully, this is something BW will do in future. 

Image of BW's katars and how they can be used:

5. Usefulness. If you are seeking to arm a South Asian army or just some assassins, this weapon gives your minifigures added authenticity. Could you substitute ordinary daggers instead? Sure you could, but your minifigures would not be the same.

The katar can also be used as a right-angle blade to represent a mech's or brick-built monster's teeth or claws (pictured above), or as an architectural feature such as spikes across the top of a wall.     

6. Originality. The BW katar is unique. LEGO doesn't make one and neither do any third parties that I know of. I would be surprised if LEGO ever did. 

7. Service. BW's service is top class. They ship very promptly with reasonable P&P charges and parts well protected in padded envelopes. Communicating with BW has always been a pleasure: they're fast, super friendly and helpful.   

8. Value. The katars will retail for $1 each which is reasonable value and unlikely to be an issue unless you are arming a vast Indian force. 

Overall, I'm very pleased with the BW katar. They have done a great job of capturing this classic Indian subcontinental/assassin's weapon.  

Disclosure: The katars were provided by BrickWarriors. The views above are entirely my own.

Photographs by AmperZand.
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