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    OpinionFriday, May 31st, 2002 at 12:56am by Kelly, BZPower Co-Owner

    So many people have asked how the existing Toa fit into the Exo-Toa that I've shot pictures of the rest of the Toa, in the best position I could find for each.

    Well, 4 out of 6 isn't bad, I suppose.

    Using Tahu, the recommended Exo-Toa companion, as a baseline, here are short synopses of how the rest of the gang can utilize the Exo.

    Exo Lewa

    First, Lewa. He truly fits well. In fact, he was the model for the Toy Fair showing of the Exo. His feet rest firmly on the footrest, and the chest armor snaps tightly around his torso. As good a fit as Tahu.

    Exo Gali

    Next comes Gali. Her arm hooks don't even get in the way. Her feet are firmly planted, and the chest armor, while a bit of a squeeze to snap shut, also closes tightly. She's a bit snug, and rambunctious play might pop the front armor open.

    Exo Kopaka

    Kopaka is no dwarf, but he seemed to have a hard time reaching those footstands. He looks as if he's standing on tippy-toe. After checking the "official" way to build Kopaka, it turns out my son put Kopaka's leg sockets in the wrong hole, so his legs were slightly shorter than they should be. He fit fine after the problem was corrected. I would've retaken the picture but the camera battery decided to die, so we're stuck with Kopaka en pointe. Mea culpa (Latin for "my bad").

    Exo Onua

    So far, no problems with compatibility. Pity it didn't last. The next victim is Onua, whose lowered cranium and Kanohi obstructed the torso armor from closing. I took his head off and the chest plate snapped in fine, but who wants to play with a Toa from Sleepy Hollow? I tried jamming his head back on but the curve of the front plate kept knocking his Pakari off. I suppose, if you are really keen on having Onua take the Exo out for a drive in the country, you could add a longer (6x at least) bar to make his head extend above the chest cover. I actually tried that but he looked extraordinarily weird, like he had a periscope. The easiest solution was to simply leave the chest armor down (it's around knee-level in this photo).

    Exo Pohatu

    Finally, Pohatu the problem child. No way, no how, does he fit into the Exo. His inverted torso places his kicking gear smack up against the orange "seat" the rest of the Toa use. This image shows him balanced precariously inside the Exo, like Kopaka en pointe. His arms don't fit under the shoulder armor, and there doesn't seem to be an easy or straightforward way to adjust his design so he can use the Exo. Any change to make him fit would be a radical redesign. Which, by the way, it looks as if those changes were made in the Pohatu Nuva model, if the publicity photos are any indication.

    What's really interesting is that this flaw shows there was not a lot of anticipation of putting the Toa into a standard vehicle of any kind. In fact, it may even be possible that the design of the Exo prompted the development of the Nuva as more standard kits, and how they are worked into the storyline.

    Despite these flaws, the Exo remains one of my favorite Bionicle sets, rivalled only by the original Star Wars Technic Battle Droid for design and elegance. The Toa Nuva, assuming they fit properly (and there's no reason to assume they won't), would be worthwhile to buy simply as additions to the Exo.

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