Thursday, December 24th, 2015 at 3:31pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
We're getting close to wrapping up our reviews of the first wave of 2016 Bionicle sets. To get us one step closer, today Ta-metru_defender takes a look at 71306 Pohatu - Uniter of Stone, one of the smaller Toa in this wave. Does he stand strong and tall - setting himself apart from the crowd? Or his he just another Toa to add to your collection when on sale? Check out our review - in both text and video form - to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Man. It's still pretty wild that we're getting new new Bionicle. And more Pohatu at that. Who's (mostly) brown again (again). Enough preamble, more set talking.
Like Ketar's (and the other '16 sets') box, this one's a hexagon and sturdy. Which is great if you're buying a box, but you're (probably) buying a Bionicle set. That Bionicle set is, as is made splendidly clear by aforementioned and over-discussed box, Pohatu: Uniter of Stone. He's stabbing his spear at a blurry Shadow Trap over his gold mask of goldenness. Ketar's also off in the distance fending off two more Shadow Traps. Do note, Pohatu has no Shadow Traps and Ketar only has one.
In any case, the box is eye grabby and all. The back shows off much of the same art as was on Ketar's. So it's action features, uniting, and comic strip showing the uniting thing.
Also like Ketar's top-of-box, there's the Nuva symbol and what I'm told is the creature symbol.
Enough cardboard! More plastic!
Bags, a loose sword, an instruction manual with a comic and a baffled minifig. Let's move on.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
ZOMG POHATU HAS CUSTOM
His upper arms, that is. His upper arms don't use any CCBS bone piece but are built from a few pieces each. Custom-like. This is in addition to his shoulders which are built on top of the new torso part. All this makes for a fun build that's far from cut and dry.
Not that it's hard. But hey.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Pohatu's got new pieces. Because he's a new set. From a new year. So let's feast our eyes on this plethora of brown!
Sorry, I lied, there's not much brownish-brown on Pohatu besides his mask and the horizontal-Hordika-necks (which are new in this color), the closest we get is the abundance of tan. Everything else is silver and trans-neon-green. Which isn't the worst (and it is sorta his new color scheme), I guess I could've done with more brown.
But new parts!
There's his mask, obviously, because this is Bionicle and Bionicle means masks. Or Biological Chronicle. Jury's out. But anyway, the new Mask of Stone (Mask of Stone Uniting?) looks a lot like the the prior one, which means it looks like the classic Kakama. Which is a win in my book. It's sleek and has a bunch of runes on it, including Pohatu's Nuva symbol, that makes it all work together nicely.
The gradients are cool, I guess; I'm just not really excited about them. I do really like the way the gold fades to trans-neon-green though, more so than the Metruan-esque 'normal' mask.
In other new parts we have the new torso combo, of which much has been written by people more versed in the ways of constraction-sets than I, so I'll just say that it means a lot of potential for interesting MOCing, if you're willing to go with the hip design given to you.
The chest armor is... Well, the printing is gorgeous. The Nuva symbol shows up again front and center and I like the pixellated brown detailing and the design on his abs. But the mold. It's big and it's detailed. Like, really detailed. More detailed than it's gotta be. With a whopping twenty-one pistons, it's got a lot more going on than any other part of Pohatu. I'm ambivalent about it and honestly wouldn't have minded a return to the Hero Factory style.
There's also the new eye stalk, which means less accidental mask-popping. Pohatu's eyes are now green, by the way. We've got silver Glatorian armor, that new armor piece that was in Ketar, the new swords that were in Ketar, and the new crystal-metal piece that was in Ketar. And there's the Kolhii ball too.
When you put all these things together you get Pohatu: Uniter of Stone.
He is, frankly, a little hit and miss. There's a lot I like, mind you. The his calves look like boots with the consistent silver color scheme and the rising crystal armor. That is honestly one of my favorite parts of his design.
I'm also, surprisingly, a fan of his arms. I like the custom going on, it makes him a little different from the other Toa and doesn't really hinder movement all that much: he can fold his arms! They also don't look bad, in my opinion. I could do with less silver there, or maybe more brown elsewhere, but they aren't the low point of the set's design.
The spear is cool - in concept. The dangling Kohlii ball is my favorite part, because it's fanservice, but is the first problem. I also don't really think Pohatu should have a spear. In my mind he's always been one of the more dynamic Toa (him and Lewa) so something that didn't hinder his arms or something would be better in my mind.
His torso look's less awful on his body. Still busy, yes, but hey. One thing I don't like though is how his neck sometimes seems awkwardly long. But that may just be me.
Where Pohatu's iffy design comes out is in the sum of his parts. He doesn't look special. In 2015 all the Toa had very different silhouettes, this time around they all have a similar vaguely heroic action figure build. I wish Lego had given him something more to make him feel different. And also a little more brown would be nice, but whatever.
Now let's play with this toy!
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?
Ah, play features. They're back, seemingly to stay. Pohatu has a somewhat-awkwardly placed gear on his back that if you twist it makes him spin at the waist. Or shimmy. It's Rahkshi-like, especially with the spear-staff, though the dangling Kohlii ball does smack your hand.
I wouldn't say it's as fun as swinging arms, but it's cool to see Lego taking a step in a different direction. So I'm all for it.
He's posable, as all CCBS sets are these days, and his custom shoulders/upper-arms give him some extra flexibility. He's also extraordinarily well balanced so you can pose him in all sorts of great poses (if you free up his arms without his staff - which you can attach to his back).
But Pohatu is no longer a mere Master. Now he is a Uniter! And if you own Ketar (like I do) you can UNITE them for UNITED POWER!!!
Okay. So it's a bit of bummer. Ketar's non stinging tail is even less useful as Pohatu's backpack, the creature of stone's legs don't go anywhere neat, and the claw blades are very much just there. There is the creature-helmet feature which is nifty, but I sorta wish it locked in more, right now it's really easy for it to come askew.
Something that may be unique to Pohatu is that, if positioned right, the helmet can go all the way down and cover most of the mask. Kinda like a blast shield.
However, this is LEGO. And you can take LEGO pieces apart (who knew, right?). If you lengthen Ketar's tail with all his extra bone bits, give Pohatu Ketar's swords, and make Ketar's leg into a spiffy spiky backpack of sorts, and you've got a not half-bad united Uniter of Stone. Just wish it was actually the official model.
(For more on my custom united Pohatu, check out the video!)
(I say, with shameless self-promotion.)
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Yay Pohatu!
- Cool build
- Looks decent
- Them boots.
- Kohlii ball
What's not to like?
- Needs more brown
- Jumbled united mode
- Why's he got a staff?
- Lacks personality
I'm partial to Pohatu, always have been, and I think the set's decent (it's miles better than, say, Pohatu Phantoka). But compared to 2015's line, he doesn't have as much personality. Even when combined with Ketar, he doesn't look that much better (unlike some of the other Uniters). That said, you can LEGO it up and customize him and he looks all the better for it.
How much you like Pohatu kinda depends on, well, how much you like him. No, I'm not running for Tautology Club Leadership, more his overall feel is a matter of personal preference. I like him on my desk. He may not be the best, uniquest, or brownest Pohatu, but he's the Toa of Stone nonetheless. I'll take it.
Thank you all for reading and watching, and thank you to Ta-metru_defender for putting this review together! We'd love to hear your feedback on the review, so please let us know what you think in the Talkback along with any questions you might have. There's one more Bionicle 2016 set for us to review, so keep checking back here on BZPower for that and all the latest LEGO news!
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