Saturday, July 29th, 2006 at 8:48pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we finish our Voya Nui Matoran reviews. Forum Assistant InnerRayg has kindly reviewed Dalu for your reading pleasure. So read on to learn about this set, and to see what sets it apart from the other Matoran.
The the most superficial part of any LEGO product, but the one that often determines whether or not the set is a success or failure.
So have you decided if the Voyatoran are for you or not yet? Still maybe on the fence about Dalu? Perhaps this review will help. When you first catch sight of this blue beauty, you'll notice immediately how different this box is for Bionicle. As ar back as can be remember, boxes have been dark, black, some deep color. Not so here. It's a white expanse all around-I believe some have described it as snowy, but I don't get that impression at all. the background is sparse, with just a few rocks at the bottom to show this isn't just a white backdrop, but methinks it doesn't really represent any place on Metru-Nui, rather just something to put the model on. As for the model itself...Dalu looks shiny, and like she wants to hit you with that staff. The picture makes the legs look dangly, but no Lego image is ever perfect. What stood out to me is the highly contrasted, very artistic silhoutte in blue and black in the upper right hand corner. They've repeated this idea on the Piraka and Inika, and I gotta admit, I -like- it. The top of the box is blue to help differentiate the different matoran, each with their own natural color on their respective boxes.
And of course, the back of the box, which is identical on all six Matoran. The image of Voya-Nui is very prominent, it's deep colors blast everything else into obscurity. The matoran are tiny and a little hard to distinguish, but you can tell by the color which is which. Matoran is incorrectly plural-ized as "Matorans", but this has already been gone over so much I just won't even bother boring you with more of it. It's interesting to note that the image of Voya-Nui is actually a full-color version of the black and green zamor-like image we've seen in so many other places. The sphere is, instead of green, grey, but you still get the idea.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
So you've bought it and taken it home (or at least made it to the car), punched the perforated tabs and dump out the contents. What do you get for your money?
ToM noted in his review that these boxes are big. Real big. At least compared to past year's small sets. There's a lot of goodies though, so it's understandable. The little baggies of parts we've all come to know and love is pretty standard fare, but the staffs and the mask that are loose in the box are very shocking when you first see them. It's almost as if I had forgetten how big Kanohi are when the tabs had been punched, but I soon was over it. The silver is quite striking, being of a lighter shade then past Protodermic colored parts. Unlike the other Matoran of 2006, Dalu does not use her main color for her body.
Here's where we start to cut to the heart of the matter. You didn't buy this box for all the glossy booklets & creative artwork. You want to know about the LEGO bricks & bits that are included, and what (if any) new & interesting parts you'll find inside. Here's also where I'll talk about any new and/or interesing pieces that you will encounter.
So, not surprisingly, most of what you get in this package are old parts. Me? I like old parts. Others don't. You've got some Bohrok arms in blue, which is a nice change from the grey Metruan arms all the other Matoran sport. Some Hip Joints in Metru-Blue, which are very striking, and some dark blue Bohrok eyes not seen since Tahnok Kal. Then three or so Silver Bohrok Feet, the mask and weapons, a Toa Metru head, and the various bits and bobs that together make this Matoran.
What can you expect while putting this model together?
Dalu is pretty simple. There's really not any challenge here for someone experienced in building, but it does prove entertaining in a way that constructing with Lego always does. These small sets are great if you want to "start" someone on Lego, because the build is simple enough that anyone could get it, but it still inspires that spark of creativity the bricks offer.
The medley of extra parts offered are good for spares if you are of the MoCing sort-they are not used in teh combiner's construction, but can be nice if you needed a few more of these peices. They supplement tubs nicely, if you get enough of them.
One thing you'll notice about this girl is her rather lacking back structure. That is to say, it's completely flat. We've had numerous sets now with this abhorrant drawback in them (Metruan, Inika, Pretty much all the 2006 series, with the Spines of the Piraka the only thing holding them back from being included) Also, the way her legs are connected create an odd gap between the torso and what would be the thighs on a person. We should be used to our figures having holes in them by now, but it still seems odd when compared to something like Piruk's construction, whome I think is probably the best example of the Doomtoran, and who I would suggest most of all if you can only chose one.
In a related note, there are many wondering if the Rau Dalu wears varies from the one Nokama wears. I compared the two, and while no significant difference can be made out, I think a slight change in the plastic is verifiable. However, this has more to do with production then a conscious decision to change her mask's color.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
Like most of the other Matoran for this year, Dalu sports many points of articulation and is more poseable then some canister sets have been in the past. This makes it great to put her in several poses, and although the way she holds her weapons seems awkward it often works out well, making her look all the more striking. But the actual play aspect of this toy is questionable. Yes, she is great for role-playing, and it is easy to use a Piraka adversary against her, shooting down the nearly defenseless Matoran with a Zamor, but against say, another Matoran, it's not so much. Unlike past series of toys, no action feature is present. I need not explain what a hot-button topic this has been, with both sides waging war on the other in the debate for or against action. I am generally an advocate for the gears, and their subsequent action, but in these smaller sets I think the lack of it actually helps. The size of these sets means all features are doomed to be quick and slightly gimmick-y. She works much better as a standalone action figure, letting the imagination rather then the features doing the work.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
So, basically, she is a great figure for posing, so if you are that sort of collector feel free to buy her up and put her on your shelf. Despite some people's beliefs the 2006 Matoran actually look great when standing next to the Toa Nuva, facing down the Piraka (I can say nothing yet of the Inika, not possessing one of my own yet.) The darker colors look great next to the lighter shades of yester-year.
The figures also are good looking for standalone peices. If you are tight on cash and can only buy a certian number of these fellows, then perhaps Dalu would not be the first on your list, but she is definately one you might consider including. Her unique limbs and body-color make her stand out against the rest of the team, in a good way. I of course also suggest Piruk, and if you are just looking to pose them, Kazi. Garan and Velika are acceptable, but since the construction is identical you need not buy both.
Balta I have some problems with, mainly due to the oddly placed silver bohrok teeth and floppy arm support (Although this can actually lend to a cool pose if you do it right.)
Of course, you might not be a fan of these Matoran, or perhaps they just do not appeal to you. In that case, I have an alternate suggestion.
Buy them for the combiners. I can say honestly they are some of the best I've seen in a long time. It's almost as if they were concieved before the Matoran.
The Dagger Spider, made from Dalu, Kazi, and Garan, is a fearsome beast nearly bigger then a Visorak, with a great color scheme. Its fangs move with a simple mechanism, and the legs are all well articulate for great poses.
This is a scary beast, but it looks great against other Rahi, although the amount of silver is a bit more then what we are used to (expect perhaps in Nivawk.) It is a shame the creature has not had more impact on the story, because I am personally in love with it. Heck, if you have the money I would suggest buying two copies of all the Matoran as I am doing, just to build these great combiners. After the Hordika and Piraka...creatures...these are a nice change.
And that concludes this portion of our 2006 reviews. We still have a bunch of other sets to cover, and we'll get to them all in good time. I hope you enjoyed the Dalu review; be sure to thank InnerRayg for writing it for you guys!
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