Set Review: 8728 Toa Hahli
Monday, July 24th, 2006 at 10:55pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In that case, BZPower Forum Assistant Toaraga brings you a sixty-three thousand word review of Toa Inika Hahli, and that doesn't even include the actual words! If you factor in the video too, at 60 frames per second... well, I could calculate it, but I'm sure you'd rather just get on with it and see what he has to say about the only female Inika. Read on to see!
NOTICE: I have said it numerous times, but that doesn't seem to have stopped you - we are NOT accepting ANY guest reviews.
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.
Good grief, is this a box or a canister? No, I'm not joking about the format of the review; rather, I'm talking about the size of this thing. When people said it's big, they weren't kidding. If you're expecting to find your typical medium-sized, cylindrical-shaped canister, you will be looking for the wrong thing. If you're not careful, you might even mistake these nine-inch tall things for box sets and overlook them.
My hand feels small compared to the size of the canister: my hand won't even go halfway around.
Okay, now that you've seen the size of the canister, what can you expect to see on the container? On the front, the new Toa of Water stands with her lit-up Energy Harpoon and glowing Zamor Launcher in each hand. Behind her, you'll notice lightning flashing (not literally, as the picture is hopefully stationary). Around her is the now-familiar torn chain link fence.
Turning the can to either side, you'll notice the "BIONICLE" logo with a little Voya Nui symbol adorned just above it.
Flipping it just once more will yield the side with all the drawn action a canister set can seem to handle. There's the typical warnings, which cover the bottom half of the back, but more interestingly are the simple directions that tell you how to operate Hahli's functions and store her, a small Voya Nui map, and miniature images of the other Toa's heads.
Also of note, is the fact that all Toa, respectively, have the same Kanoka code on the outside (ie., all Hahli sets have the same number); apparently, LEGO isn't focused as much on this part of the site as previous years. (As per policy, I've marked over the code anyway.)
If you notice the lid, you'll see Zamor Spheres and Hahli's Energy Harpoon in a makeshift cage with the ever-beckoning "Try Me" that seems to be this year's standard for canister sets. As always suggested, go for one in the back, if possible.
Atop the lid is the ever-present Voya Nui icon, matching the darkish blue color of the lid.
A couple things to note before I finally move on: you can easily tell whether a set has been tampered with, as the label is about the only thing that holds the lid to the canister, due to the fact that the lid can't twist onto something that's not rounded.
Finally, if you think the outside is huge, just take a look inside and see how deep it is.
Even just inside the lip, it would seem that small pieces might need to be shaken out.
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?
Okay, so the canister is very interesting to look at, but I haven't even gotten to the really good stuff. Inside, you'll find an assortment of old and new pieces, followed by the standard instruction manual... or is it?
There's something different about this instruction manual, but I can't quite- oh right, a quick glance will tell you that the image has been rotated from a horizontal pan shot to a close-up vertical image of the set you are about to build.
If you open the instruction manual, the first page is a bit unnecessary, if you're like me: it tells how to take out the tray; sadly, mine fell out on me when I took off the lid. So be warned!
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 interesting pieces that you will encounter.
So this set has several old and several new pieces, probably everyone of them can somehow be used creatively in MOCing.
As we're all pretty familiar (or should be) with the old, often necessary pieces, I won't really cover them. There are Vahki legs, a Toa Metru lower body, Zamor Launcher pieces, assorted axles, pins, and snowy white leg/arm pieces that are now basic. (One axle is missing in the picture: be careful where you dump your set!)
Sure the Zamor Spheres aren't new, but it's nice to have a display tray if you don't feel like throwing all your spares in a box or can; admittedly, only four fit on top.
As for the new pieces, there is quite a selection in a small variety of colors: dark blue, dark gray, and the blue, white tie-dye effect.
In dark blue, we have the crossbar body, two thigh guards, and the Kanohi Elda, which seems like something between rubber and plastic, giving it the more organic feel that is part of the storyline. At first glance, it looks like an ugly mustache, especially considering who wears the mask, but if you look harder, you'll see that it's some sort of hose... that looks like it ends with an exhaust valve.
The new pieces we have in dark gray are the armor, Zamor cage, and the Energy Harpoon.
While the armor and cage don't seem terribly interesting on their own, one of the highlights of this set, the harpoon, can bring quite a bit of entertainment. More on that later, but note the two directions in which the weapon can connect to other pieces.
Of course, there is the weird thing with a white, green gradient design; that would be the head: green is for the eyes, white for the mouth. Though I must say, the shape is reminiscent of a skull, so it makes some sense. If you don't know how the head works with the mask, I'll explain later; if you do know, I'll still explain later.
Next, we come to one of the more interesting pieces: a ball joint with a hole through it: some reason, it looks like an olive. Now I knew LEGO was going for more organic in the storyline, but who's idea was the olive-shaped piece? Don't get hungry on me: there's still more to cover.
Last of the pieces, though certainly the most creative in color, are the blue-and-white shoulder pads, legs, and feet.
Personally, I like the color swirl because the pieces that use the mixture don't seem to have similar designs. The designs on the endings of the legs even remind me of marbles.
What can you expect while putting this model together?
Building this set was actually pretty fun, as half or most of the pieces are new ones. For the most part, the instructions will be needed, though if you know your basics, you should be able to figure out where the arms, legs, and head go.
If you follow the instruction manual to build the set, you might be thrown off because of the aforementioned swirly design, as the pieces don't exactly match the pictures because of the color.
As promised, I'll explain the head. Basically, you slip the mask on, and when you hear a click, you're done. It's simple really. Though it's not compatible with past masks, it should prove to be a decent MOCing piece.
Being a canister set, not much can be said for the building process: it's simple and straightforward, and anyone that's built enough sets shouldn't have any real trouble.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
With so much articulation, it's easy to reenact your favorite scenes or create your own.
Of course, the piece-de-resistance: the harpoon.
When the button is pressed, the harpoon lights up for approximately ten seconds, is very bright, and shows up well in pictures. (I've included a short video demo at the end.)
The harpoon just adds to the fun as Hahli scratches her back...
Or raises her weapon to the heavens.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
Toa Hahli Inika stands nearly at nine inches...
That's almost as tall as her canister...
With the harpoon raised, it's over fourteen inches...
This is one of the tallest canister sets that LEGO has produced.
Okay, so you want to know whether this set is worth its price tag or not, but I can't say that everyone will agree with the seemingly high price, especially considering the price for bigger sets is only twice the price. All I ask is, "Can you say 'No' to this face?"
If you can, the darkness just may not be your friend.
Since you've made it this far, you've either enjoyed this review or were just really bored. Either way, for making it this far, you may enjoy this avatar and/or video demonstration:
Right-Click (Control-Click on a Mac) and Save-As
There you have it, one of our most picture-intensive reviews to date. I'm sure Toaraga's images and thoughts have given you some insight into what makes Toa Hahli tick. Be sure to thank him in the Talkback topic, and check back soon for more new set reviews!
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