Saturday, December 29th, 2007 at 5:05pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Toa of Kenn]
It's not 2008 yet, but next year's sets are already available from a number of sources. Toa of Kenn found one such place, and has kindly reviewed one of the more interesting sets coming out, the Toa Ignika. Read on to see what he thinks of the Toa of Life.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
It's the usual titan sized box we all know and appreciate. The front shows the Toa Ignika riding its rocket-powered sky surfboard firing a Midak sphere. In the background the bizarrely-shaped stalactites carrying the Av-Matoran villages can be seen.
The back of the box shows the Toa Ignika set in another position not riding his surfboard. The bottom of the box shows the six Phantoka 'bundles' consisiting of Makuta or Toa plus Matoran. The top right corner pictures show how a Midak is actually shot (more info on this later in the review).
You can actual see this marvelous image of the Kanohi Ignika being eaten by bats in the background which looks just amazing.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
And this is what you get when you open the box. The Toa Ignika set actually has very little new pieces.
One particular piece gave me a mystery first, you can take a guess what this semi-sphere is good for.
Of course there are the usual building instructions that comes with the set. It makes building the set pretty easy. As a beginner you might have a small problem building the sky surfboard but the instruction really pictures the different steps clearly, so it is not an impossible job. Nothing special with the building instructions except that they show some new pictures of the other Phantoka sets when carrying the Matoran on their backs.
So let's get started with the Toa Ignika first. He is not a unique Toa design. Basically he is the logical evolution of the regular Toa Mahri build (like Jaller or Nuparu). Anybody who is quite familiar with Toa sets from 2006 on will be able to build the set within a couple of minutes. Here's a series of pictures how the Kanohi Ignika makes itself a body out of stray molecules. It starts with chaos...
...But the parts come together. I especially like the Nuparu-Mahri armor for the Ignika's legs and the shoulder pads and knives. The pads are fixed this time and don't wobble around like on Matoro Mahri.
Some impressions building the surfboard:
And here is the solution to what this strange piece I was referring to in the beginning is: it is the rocket blast pipe!
And here is the complete set Toa Ignika and sky surfboard.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Finally a hero comes to life. The Toa Ignika has a great color scheme: black, silver, and yellow make a good mix - better than one might have expected. However there are two things one could criticize:
Of course the Toa Ignika comes with tools and launchers. Toa Ignika wields a Midak Skyblaster and a really huge sword with an amazing design. It's funny that some members on BZP have criticized Lego for making ridiculously huge weapons which should be handled with both arms. Now you can do this with the sword and it looks great. (Although posability suffers from it.)
- The prominent blue rod in the chest plate, which kind of ruins the color scheme
- The general lack of chest armor. Legs and arms are greatly protected but the chest is exposed. In my eyes a solution like on the Toa Hagah with a Bohrok-Kal shield would help here.
Let's continue with the sky surfboard. It is of course a more technic-like build and to be honest I never really liked the type of set with a Toa and a vehicle (Takanuva, Lesovikk, etc). If you build the sky surfboard you instantly enjoy the way it is constructed. The solutions found here make you feel how much thought the set designers put into this vehicle. One thing I want to tell you straight away. Even if you don't like the sky surfboard, it is still a great source for MOCing. Look at what fabulous pieces you can get from it:
Brutaka's rotating blades, Jaller Mahri's Power Sword, Matoro Mahri's Twin cutter blades and Kopaka Nuva's wings.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Toa Ignika has the standard range of articulation which is enough to make almost any pose possible. A new innovation for this year is that the joints seem to be a bit stronger so they can hold the heavy-weight Midak blaster. The pieces on his back suggest that Toa Ignika is also able to carry a Matoran piggy-back to save them from the Makuta.
So since this is the first review of a 2008 set I would like to present you this year's new launcher. Here is a size comparison with the Cordak blaster from 2007:
As you can see they are almost the same size. I can tell you that firing a Midak when attached to the set is easier than a Cordak since you don't need to make huge pumping-movements. How is the Midak loaded at all and what is the ammunition like? If you are sarcastic you will say the Midak is a Zamor launcher that finally holds the spheres in place. Yes, the Midak ammo are just 2006-like silver Zamor spheres which is not such a bad thing since firing the Midak is really fun.
The Midak Skyblaster can store four Zamors (sorry, but it's just what they are). You will notice the silver three-spiked rotating piece on top of the Midak. Each of its curves can hold a sphere. So you place one in the right spot on the rotating piece with one hand and push the rotating piece 120 degrees so the sphere is pushed inside the blaster with your other hand. You will have to use a little bit more force with every sphere but it is really not that difficult.
To fire the Midak you place your finger on the rotating piece and pull it backwards. The Midak sphere will shoot out of the blaster and fly around 50 cm (20 in) if the blaster is in a parallel position to the ground. It is possible to fire the four spheres within a short time. One big plus of the Midak Skyblaster is accuracy. If you don't move it all four spheres will hit exactly the same spot.
In combination with the sky surfboard several cool poses are possible. It is however necessary to attach Toa Ignika with spread legs which limits the number of different poses. In this case a hip-joint would be great but you get an impression on how Toa Ignika rides his sky surfboard.
...and in pursuit of the Makuta.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Finally the Mask of Life in plastic
- Surfboard and Toa are a great team
- Many cool pieces for MOCing
What's not to like?
- Barely any new pieces, 'classic' Toa design
- No chest armor
- Midak are re-used Zamor spheres
Toa Ignika is a great set. I was skeptic about the sky surfboard first but its intelligent design and its size made me change my mind. The Toa itself is a neat piece of work, although the build is nothing special. The most worthy piece of the set is the Kanohi Ignika though, a mask we have been waiting for two years to come out in plastic. One should mention that the Ignika lacks (like Maxilos' face) the built-in plus rod. You have to place a red one in it to make the hero wear his mask. Nothing to really worry about though.
Playing with the set is real fun and you won't get tired of it. In case you should: I recommend to MOC the Toa with surfboard pieces and give your Toa Ignika new swords, wings, or more armor.
It is sad that the set contains nearly no new pieces. It is in my opinion the only real reason to say 'no' to this set, but if you are focused on having fun with a set and don't expect all new pieces, it is a great choice.
So this is Toa Ignika. What also makes this set attractive for fans is that we don't know much about the character itself. The personaility of the Toa Ignika, his powers and his significance are still a mystery. I hope you enjoyed this review. BZP wishes all of you nice holidays and a great year 2008. You may look back on the year 2007 and you will think of one particular hero who left us, but whose sacrifice made 2008 possible.
The last moments of a hero...
Be sure to thank Toa of Kenn for completing this review, taking the time out of his holiday season to bring us this peek at the Toa Ignika. Keep tuning in for more 2008 reviews, as well as a couple other 2007 reviews to be wrapped up.
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