Bionicle



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Poll
Who is your favorite Toa?

 Tahu
 Kopaka
 Lewa
 Gali
 Onua
 Pohatu







A Cold Wind Approaches...
Posted by Richard on December 15, 2007 at 12:28 AM CST:
Special thanks

First off, Im very happy with how quickly and efficiently the Tysons Corner LEGO® store managed to ship my Phantoka sets. They mentioned it would be about three to five days to receive them if I recall correctly, but it seems like it only took two. I do live about an hour and a half drive away from the store so that could be why, but even there with Christmas approaching and all the business they were getting (It was so busy I could here the mob of people in the store talking in the background of the phone) I never expected my order to have been processed and arrive at my house in this time-frame And I'd also like to thank Daikunus again, if he hadn't tipped me off I wouldn't have had this first look up today.

First look, Kopaka

The original Kopaka set was my first BIONICLE set, so as usual I always start with the ice elemental toa or villain characters, only this time Ill be starting with the new incarnation of the same set that started that tradition for me, ladies and gentlemen, I give you our first in hand look at Toa Kopaka Phantoka #8685



Packaging

This year marks the return of the cannisters! I was expecting by the pictures we would be getting plastic-framed blisters like the Mahri, but instead we get cannisters with a fancy cave like seal taped over-top. To remove the frame you must peel tape off of the two ends, but if you might prefer to cut away the tape and throw away the excess since it seems impossible to remove completely without ripping the sticker on the back. After cutting it away you can pull out the cannister which loosly clicks in and out of place from the frame. After the frame's removal, you can remove the cannister's lid, which unfortunately is disposable, though no parts will be escaping this cannister before you purchase it thankfully. The lid does hold up pretty well and could likely survive the years but I see it more as trash and would have liked a hard plastic lid, especially when the frame doe not click into place without it, and stored parts can easily escape. Sadly, the frame has NO plug holes to be used as an element in construction like the Marhi frames, though it's uneven holes and having the word BIONICLE® scripted into it's top would make it tricky to work with.



Parts of interest

We get an interesting variety of new parts and some old parts in new colors. To the best of my memory the piece that you will see on Kopaka's back in the pictures is only new to BIONICLE, but you wont even notice that part when you first open the cannisters since you will probably be: a, looking at the massive Midak Sky Blaster, b, looking at Kopaka's mask, c, looking at the massive wings, or d, your one of those Kopaka fans still admiring the packaging in your hands remembering when our favorite toa first came out, otherwise your probably complaining about how they used the same Inika body type for, what is it now? Three, four toa generations?



Midak Sky Blaster

The first new part I believe everyones attention will be on is the Midak Sky Blaster, which has now obsoleted my prototype six shot forward advancing pump action zamor cannon...Its pretty cool and everyone will probably just be looking at it for the first couple minutes. It also renders the old zamor launchers obsolete except for MoCing purposes. Like with the mahri, it stores four zamors and while you cant reload as easily, its easier to use in about every other aspect. It's spring loaded silver ammo clip feeds the additional zamor spheres while giving the first shot of the four loaded spheres an additional boost when fired, the second an third getting a slightly less powerful boost as the force from the spring is released and weakened with each zamor fired. The last sphere to be fired gets no boost since the spring doesn't reach into the launch chamber. The trigger itself is a sort of wheel with three rounded sections cut out. The loading instructions tell you to push this trigger inwards as you load the zamors while you pull it the opposite direction to expel your munitions. With each firing the wheel rotates and allows the next zamor to roll into place, while at the same time the zamor holds the trigger in place, keeping it taught in the firing position while it rolls freely when not loaded. The Midak has two plus peg holes on the top, one underneath and one at the very but of the ammo holder, giving you several spots to help you build the Midak into your MoCs and contraptions more easily than with the older zamor launchers. When looking at the device more carefully, you can see where the firing chamber and trigger click into place with the silver ammo holder in the back, and though they aren't intended to be separated from eachother, it looks as though you could disconnect the chamber/trigger from the ammo clip itself without breaking it, but I have not tested this myself, nor would I suggest you do it without putting some thought into it

Mask, Wings, Blue Three-Stud Long Pegs, Short eyes

Kopaka's mask is interesting, but I just don't like how it turned out. It looks too much like Onewa's mask from the Toa Metru, and seems to lack the sharp the sort of cold robotic half evil and style that helped display his character in the other two versions of his mask. Many of the angles seem softer as well. The only hint of that dark look is in the masks sharp angled eye hole. Though considering Onewa's mask was also a vision based mask, the masks might actually resemble eachother for that reason. You will find that you have to plug in a skinny transparent red part into his left eye hole to complete the mask, at which point you will also no longer complain that Toa Nuju's telescoping eye sticks out too far. Not that anyone would actually approach Kopaka face to face, but eventually he WILL put someone's eye out! I would have preferred a wider eye hole that let you plug in one of those old transparent circular parts, or maybe one of the red barraki eyes. Its not a bad mask but its not spectacular either. The wings are nice, not much to say really but they are very airplane/glider like, but they don't quite match Kopaka. They do the job though, and the plus peg and regular peg hole at the base will certainly make them versatile, and Ill add they probably will be seen in a bunch of other LEGO sets, I dare say I expect to see them on at least two exoforce sets in the next year and a half. Another new part is the bayonet on the end of Kopaka's midak blaster. Fairly simple, it has the plug on one end, then a peg hole, on top of which sits a "slim hole" like the one on his mask. We also have the blue three long pegs, not sure if they are the same as the black pegs or if they any better. He also has one of the new and much appreciated shorter eye piece, more on that in construction.



Sockets

And of course, many of you have noticed this, the sockets (commonly the hands on the toa) and double sockets are all new parts. they have the same function but have been refined. The new sockets are more rounded and smoother, and have a flatter tip that makes plugging the ball joints much easier than before.Those of you who have connected bunches of the sockets into eachother to make one long part may find that it is harder to accomplish this, I couldn't manage to properly test it but I suspect it could break the part to attempt it, but if it holds up I think the edge that normally gets damaged when this is done has been removed. Other than the rounded edges and some refinement in the shape, I don't see anything particularly interesting in the new sockets.



Construction/articulation

Sadly, I had hoped for something more...impressive with the return of our beloved Toa Nuva, each toa seems to boast an interesting feature which I like over basic clones, but for the most part we've got another inika style torso, when I would like something with a mechanism in it, either some more anatomically accurate waste movement like Maxilos and his pistons, only scaled down to toa proportions, or maybe just something as simple as a storage panel in the chest for a collectible or something. The only new construction in the toa is basically what holds the wings and the mount for the Matoran rider on the back, which is basically a pair of plugs on Inika shoulder armor. The choice of arms and shoulder armor limits the movement considerably, especially when it comes to posing the Midak blaster, its hard to get a good angle except when you've got him posed for flight. I think silver Inika shoulder armor or something new resembling the old Nuva armor would have allowed more articulation, look, and function better since it's practically bolted on while his current armor keeps popping off and wont even let them bend to a ninety degree angle. We might also appreciate a holster of sorts for the Midak, and while not intended for this purpose the peg hole on the bayonet can allow the sky blaster to plug into his back when not in use. The plugs on his back are primarily for the matoran rider, who I do not yet have to demonstrate the feature. It can be removed rather conveniently and I imagine it will not be a pain to detach the rider. Kopaka having wings that would make him glide horizontally, he makes use of the short eye piece so his head can bend backwards where the longer eye would restrict him from seeing his surroundings better.

Colorscheme and Appearance

The gray and white seems to suit him pretty well and is balanced out. Its hard to tell if he's gray with white or white with grey which I like, while the silver parts are limited to his tools and aid the illusion that those components aren't apart of him so much as they are worn equipment I think that they chose these shades based on his original incarnations but some details, such as the black hands and sockets were left out, for the reason that if they made the colorscheme too accurate to the originals, all the original toa having the black sockets we would wind up with fewer of the part in other colors. But I could be wrong since Kopaka's eye color was changed from blue to green in this version.

Overall

I cant help but be disapointed, Kopaka being one of my favorite characters, to see that this is his latest incarnation, especially with the same basic torso the past couple years along with recycled parts can only make me desire more, though I am glad to have an updated version of him to set with the rest of my collection. Im probably just asking for too much and letting that overshadow the majority of his good traits, and I especially like the strategy the LEGO company went with, posing the matoran and eviltoran (as I call em) as side-kicks to keep with the toa and villains, even going so far as to give them better packaging and whole new parts. Then rather than give use the toa now and the villains halfway into the year and make us wait to see the new stuff, they gave us half the heros and half the villains. So I suspect as the year goes by and as the story is unveiled ill see this set with more respect.

Forum link.
Stories Related To This Story
January 2, 2008  First look, Chirox
December 17, 2007  First look, Toa Ignika




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