Set Review Rebuttal: 8989 Mata Nui
Saturday, July 25th, 2009 at 11:36am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
I think it's safe to say that Mata Nui is the most important character of this year's story, as he had been to some degree since Bionicle began. But this year we get to see him molded in wonderful ABS. Mata Nui was the first summer set we reviewed this year, and today we're taking a second look at this set. BZPower Forum Mentor Gatanui is bringing us a rebuttal of the earlier review, sharing his own thoughts on this set. Read on to see what he has to say!
A couple things about Rebuttals and how they work:
- Rebuttals will be posted within one month of the original review's posting date.
- The rebuttal format will have the same sections as the normal review.
- If the person doing the rebuttal has no disagreements on a particular section of the review, that section will be excluded.
- The final section, instead of having 'Pros' and 'Cons' will be called 'Why I Agree' and 'Why I Disagree,' directed at the original review.
- Pictures are not required, but can be used if desired.
- Only one rebuttal will be done per set.
A final note, taken from the Talkback of our first Rebuttal:
The point of a BZPower Set Review (I'm not talking about any other type of review anywhere else) is this: The review is designed to inform members about the set, what it does, how it's made, what it looks like, how many new parts there are, and other facts about the set. In addition, it is a space for the reviewer to share their thoughts and opinions on the set, what parts they liked about it, what parts they didn't like about it, and their overall feeling as to whether or not it is a good set to buy. This last part is JUST AN OPINION and is not a fact, nor does it mean everyone else on BZPower should agree with them. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to share their own opinions about a set in the review Talkback and also in the member set reviews in the Sets forum.
A BZPower Set Review Rebuttal looks at just the opinion part of that review and notes where the second reviewer's thoughts differ. It is not meant to be a full-fledged set review. The goal of a rebuttal is to give a second and separate review from a different perspective.
And here goes our rebuttal review of Mata Nui! Don't forget to check DV's original review before reading this.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
And after three whole years, we get to see the summer sets standing without any action at all once again, but at least in better poses than the Toa Inika.
So what else do we get to make the sets look more exciting? We have a neat glowing Skrall-shield pattern in the background, although too bright in my and DV's opinion. But at least it is better than the prototype from ToyFair, with the whole background related to the character's environment and not just the right side. If you don't know what I mean, check this.
Like DV said, the lid is similar to the Visorak's, but I think it is supposed to look like the Arena Magna. Note the two elevations on the sides like the Arena Magna has it.
I agree with everything else DV said, although I didn't hate those CG images as much. However, the CGI images on the front side of the winter sets were significantly more likable. What also catches my eye is that the DVD cover is a prototype, like it was for past movies. I also wonder if the DVD itself will indeed have a Skrall pattern on it like shown here.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
I have to disagree on DV's statement that Mata Nui's shield is not at all practical. While it does not serve well to dodge Thornax, for example, it can dodge certain sword attacks in melee combat. Or it (Click) can perhaps snap in the movie, as you could tell from the mechanical elements on the shield. We'll have to wait and see.
I have noticed the Ignika's borders are very rough, so be careful when holding it to pull it off the head. I also wonder why LEGO has deepened the ridge to imply a mouth, like DV said, although Mata Nui has a mouthhole in the movie. That was probably a decision taken by the movie makers later while producing the movie. Besides the fact that we know that 8998 Toa Mata Nui has a gold Ignnika, I agree on all other statements regarding the mask.
As to why the designers haven't swapped the sockets on the arms - the shoulder armor could not have been connected that way without the use of system elements. The arms are indeed too long, but it could have been worse like on Hewkii Mahri (a plain ugly set in my opinion).
About the gap in Mata Nui's build when looked at from the side - that can be fixed. I apologize for having no photos, but I do have instructions on how to fix it: Simply move the BIONICLE Toa Metru hips/lower torso one stud upwards. That makes Mata Nui's proportions even worse, but he really looks better that way. Perhaps I will try to get pics to post in the Talkback.
I do also agree with DV that the hands do look kind of out of proportion, depending on the angle of viewing, of course. Still, they are almost ridicously long, which is really a shame on such a nice canister set. I have to emphasize the words "canister set," since, actually, the disproportions caused by the strange hands seem more obvious on the large canister sets than on the smaller Agori. Probably, that is due to the fact that the Agori are disproportioned anyway, while the larger canister sets have overall more human proportions, making one look at more and smaller details. Furthermore, for example, I have noticed that the thumb is actually situated in the centre of the hand. While I had already noticed this on Raanu, I had never really been aware of that. Plus, if you look closely, you will also notice that the thumb hardly reacesh the other fingers, which makes the fists look even more unnatural.
Still, Mata Nui is a great set and simply beautiful to look at.
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?
I do mainly agree with DV here as well. However, the ankle guards appear to be significantly less hindering than DV puts it, in my opinion. The fact that they do swing around all the time does not seem as disappointing as I thought at first, either, but does merely prevent a further hindering of Mata Nui's poseability, as they do automatically adapt to the corresponding pose.
The Thornax Launcher, although being nothing new in the Summer sets, is not the best launcher ever, but definitely not the worst either. I would even dare to say that the Thornax launching system is the best one after the Zamor launching system. The bumpy Thornax fruits are quite fun and nice to look at, and the launcher itself looks original (Yes, I am looking at you, Midak Skyblaster), is not too big or heavy (see above) and not too complex either, which would be unsuitable storywise.
The BIONICLE ACTION FIGURE GAME is not that bad either. It is not very complex, but you have to take into consideration that it is for younger children, after all. Even I have played and found it quite entertaining.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Why I Agree
What aspects of the original review did you agree with?
- New Ignika is nice, yet less cool than the 2008 version (not the colour, though!)
- Many new and/or recoloured parts!
- Arms are too long.
- Everything else DV likes about Mata Nui.
Why I Disagree
What aspects of the original review did you disagree with?
- Launcher is good.
- Shoulder armor is alright.
- Shield is not that bad and unpractical.
- Ankle guards are very good!
Overall, Mata Nui is a great set, and when I look at past yellow sets (Hewkii Mahri) they seem pretty ugly to me. Actually, Mata Nui is quite possibly my favourite yellow canister set ever. Mata Nui is definitely a must-buy! After all, he is the Great Spirit, kind of THE BIONICLE set, don't you agree? Share your thoughts in the Talkback!
Big thanks to Gatanui for sharing his thoughts on Mata Nui. Hopefully you found his insights helpful. We have more reviews and rebuttals planned, so keep checking back for them and all the latest Bionicle news!
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