Set Review: 8729 Toa Nuparu
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 at 1:07pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Kopaka's Ice Engineering]
Well it's that time again. Time for another set review! Today long-time Forum Leader Kopaka's Ice Engineering brings you his thoughts on Toa Inika Nuparu, from a very unique perspective. To find out what exactly that means, and whether or not you should get Nuparu, you'll have to read on!
Good day to you, BZPower. This is my first set review, so the going may get a little rough. I’m here today to review 8729 Toa Nuparu.
Wait, I know what you’re thinking: "Why Nuparu? I thought you said white was your favorite color! Isn’t 'ice' in your name?" Well, valid points as these may be, I am also an engineer (though not fully licensed yet) in real life, just like Nuparu. And I am an engineer before I am ice.
That, and ToM Dracone had dibs on Matoro.
With that out of the way, I give you Nuparu!
Uh, let’s try that again…Nuparu!
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.
I might not have mentioned that this is the first set I've purchased since early 2002. Between my own gripe about the Mäori lawsuit fallout, the direction the storyline took, several moves and job changes, and a couple of major hurricanes just last year, I'd kind of fallen out with BIONICLE. But when I heard that the engineer was now a Toa, I had to pick this up.
And wow was I surprised at this canister.
While perspective may not help, I could not get over how tall this was. The laser drill and Zamor are easily visible, and you’ve no doubt already seen how to take them out.
Visible are the lightning, busted hurricane fence (or chain-link fence, but they're called hurricane fences here), hero with the dramatic weapon pose...
Of course, the back has the image of Voya Nui, the other 5 Inika, cautions against submerging the electric items in water, another dramatic pose, UPC label, demonstration of light-up feature, and the obligatory choking warning and Ralphie Parker caution.
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?
Lest anyone need the refresher course, the very first page of the instruction booklet demonstrates the extrication of the Zamor and drill.
That done, it's time to let them scatter. And without interior bagging, boy did they scatter.
Don’t dump onto smooth-top desks.
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 interesing pieces that you will encounter.
The bulk of your pieces are black, as would be expected in an earth-element set.
I regret not purchasing the Makuta set a few years back, because I’m told this might be considered gunmetal-grey, but I have nothing to compare it with.
You also have some grey Technic joints and pieces, and some axles, a split-through ball joint, and some axle and friction pins. And some stud pins for good measure.
Yes, there are blue axle pins. They look out of place now, but they’re well hidden when complete.
Then, there are the silver accent pieces.
The claws are quite a statement, but I find them, like everything else, and in-stream upgrade. Claws, just like a previous hero of earth...
Hey, remember me?
Next, the Kanohi Kadin, the Mask of Flight.
Like three other Matoran, Nuparu's mask changed color during the trip to Voya Nui. Gone is the orange Pakari, replaced with a black Kadin. The mask itself is made of a stiff, Krana-esque rubber, and although it is pliable, those spikes do not crush readily. In other words, don't step on it with a bare foot: you’ll be hopping on the other foot for half an hour
That’s where I left my helmet for the Raiders game!
Continuing on, the laser drill.
This appears to be the most gun-looking weapon I've ever seen in a LEGO set. However, it doesn’t seem that far away from the other five Inika weapons. Advanced, yes, but I’d expect nothing less from the Onu-Matoran that invented the Boxor.
Finally, the Zamor spheres.
Unlike the package and booklet artwork, Nuparu does not have four red spheres: he has 3 yellow and an almost-red sphere. They roll around quite easily. Nifty little projectiles.
I had a picture of the lime-white headpiece, but the camera ate it. You’ve seen it before, though.
What can you expect while putting this model together?
Earth Toa/Turaga tend to be the shortest out of a group. That said, I simply could not get over how tall this set was shaping up to be. I mean, the leg alone was as tall as some heroes!
The chest seems more solid, if not thinner, when built from multiple pieces. One thing I noticed was how difficult it was to bring Nuparu’s arms close to his body:
I also have beefs with how unstable his knees can be beyond one critical point...made for difficult picture posing. Click joints are probably what I want here, but I have no idea how to integrate them myself. That said, I can't complain.
Ah, but what you've seen thus far is not all there is of Nuparu: the Zamor launcher.
Nuparu has the distinction of being the only Inika with a shoulder-mounted Zamor launcher. It's a rather ingenious setup over the right shoulder, again, nothing less than what I'd expect from an engineer.
All that, and I had one extra piece:
But what to do with it? Well, finding an open spot on his back made for a decent spot to stow a drill when both hands are needed free:
I should note: it had been too long since I put any LEGO bricks together. I thoroughly enjoyed building Nuparu.
So you've got the model together, but is it more like playing with a block of wood or an interactive toy?
It's a Toa, all right. Nuparu, when not falling to his knees, can make quite a few active poses. Or perhaps, that is the point…needing to have knees and feet set before firing such a powerful ranged weapon or delicate drill.
And lest we forget, the Zamor launcher puts Pohatu’s kick almost to shame.
I should know…I got about 5 times the range on a Zamor than I did the Koli ball that came with Pohatu Olda. Ten dollars well spent in any case.
Here's where it all boils down to whether the model is worth your money and time or not.
Toa Nuparu is far larger than he was in a former life:
...and larger than his patron hero from years back:
While one could say "get him to round out the collection" or "the laser drill looks like a rifle" or "I'm an Oakland fan," I'm not going to say any of those things. For one, I'm only a Saints fan by proximity, and two, this set shows so much ingenuity. Heck, the shoulder-mounted Zamor launcher alone should be enough to justify his purchase.
I hope you enjoyed the review. I will certainly be following the TalkBack topic for feedback, as, like I said, I’m a rookie at this.
And that wraps up this Toa of Earth and engineering whiz. Hopefully you enjoyed the review and found it very informative. Be sure to thank Kopaka's Ice Engineering for taking the time out of his busy schedule (and engineers are very busy, especially in Louisiana!) to do this review. We have one more Inika left to review, and then a few others before 2006 is finished, so keep checking back!
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