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    Set Review: 8946 Photok
    ReviewSaturday, April 19th, 2008 at 8:12pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
    [Source: ToM Dracone]

    It's been a while since our last review, but fear not, they've not been forgotten! Today ToM Dracone reviews yet another set (his fourth for the year). This time it's the Matoran Photok. How does the orange color scheme work on this villager, and is it worth your money? Read on to find out!

    TN 8946 Photok Review 01

    Presentation
    From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 02

    Unlike Tanma’s, Photok’s box image has nothing dramatic about it. It’s a fine pose for the set, with some interesting lighting going on, but it’s not eye-catching in any way.

    But then, it doesn’t need to be, since the rest of the box is bright orange.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 03

    I don’t even need to tell you what’s on the back by now, so I won’t. Or at least, no more than commenting that the Photok-Pohatu combined pose looks exceedingly strange.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 04

    Inside the box, we find more orange, some less interesting colors, and the folded-up instructions. And, like all the other Avotoran, only Bionicle pieces, not even a single Technic axle or pin.

    Building
    Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

    TN 8946 Photok Review 05

    Again, with only 14 pieces, there is nothing at all to mention about the building process except that it’s far too simple to merit a $6 USD price tag, and also too simple for the bulk that the completed Photok has...

    So, moving right along...

    Set Design
    Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 06

    Structurally, there’s still nothing to say about him, because he’s entirely ball-and-socket joints. With his mask, swords, and jetpack plugging into axle holes. And that’s it.

    No, the area where Photok is most interesting is in his pieces. He both has an excessive amount of new molds and is the only Avotoran who actually has a recolored old piece:

    TN 8946 Photok Review 07
    ORANGE TOA FEET.

    Those two absolutely glorious pieces are the most important reason to buy Photok. I’ve been wanting orange Toa feet since 2003, when I learned Vakama would be a Toa the next year. And now, four and a half years later, they exist, and I couldn’t be happier about them.

    They aren’t quite worth $6 by themselves, but if a sale arises, get Photok. Just for them. Please?

    TN 8946 Photok Review 08

    I’ve heard people say that Photok and Pohatu Phantoka’s orange is slightly different from the ’01-’07 color, but for the life of me I can’t tell them apart, which means it can’t be a big deal.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 09

    Back to the actual design of the set, Photok has the larger and wider of the two Avotoran torsos. I’ve long thought this piece is quintessentially Onu- or Po-Matoran, given the wide shoulders and hunch achieved by a low neck. Photok’s whole build just looks Po-Matoran, really: wide shoulders, long, bulky arms, hunch… and there’s something about his mask that makes him look like an engineer.

    He also has the Chronicler’s Staffs, yet again.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 10

    Out of the three good Avotoran’s masks, Photok’s is the most blatantly based on his Toa’s, thanks to the circular mouth, triangle around it, and two little cylinders borrowed directly from the Kakama Phantoka. The whole mask has this indefinable sense of Kakama-ness to it – a result, I think, of the wider lower half and the eyeholes in the same shape as the original Kakama.

    All of which makes me wish Pohatu had Photok’s mask, since I’ve never found the Kakama Phantoka overtly Kakama-like. Pohatu actually does look pretty good in Photok’s mask, too, but I’m afraid I didn’t get a picture of that.

    Playability
    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?

    But while we’re on the subject of Pohatu, I actually have both Pohatu and Photok, so you may experience the joyous delight of seeing a pair combined for once (well, it’s the second time now) in a BZP review.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 11

    Of course, they’re nothing special with Photok just draped over Pohatu’s back. The combination, though in a far better place than the Makuta, makes Pohatu top- and back-heavy and prone to falling over.

    But when you put them in a flying pose, heads forward and Pohatu’s propeller-claws extended...

    TN 8946 Photok Review 12

    The result is almost, but not quite, as glorious as orange Toa feet. Mostly because Pohatu Phantoka was meant to be flying (I’ve always thought he looked awkward just standing around), and Photok looks pretty swell on his back, too.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 13 TN 8946 Photok Review 14

    The two are far too good together not to take a lot of pictures from multiple angles.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 15

    But aside from that bit of excellence, Photok is little different from any of the other Avotoran in terms of play value. His pre-bent limbs again constrain him to certain types of poses; although his arms look more relaxed, his right-angled legs look more like a combat-type stance. His shoulders, too, are high, but I haven’t found that this impedes his head movement.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 16

    As you can see, he’s about the same height as Dekar and Ahkmou – just marginally shorter, to be precise. So, unlike Tanma, Photok can be displayed unobtrusively with other Po-Matoran just as well as with the Phantoka. Unless for some reason you decide to juxtapose him with Huki from 2001.

    TN 8946 Photok Review 17 TN 8946 Photok Review 18

    Final Thoughts
    Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

    Pros
    What's to like?

    • ORANGE TOA FEET (have I mentioned them enough yet?)
    • looks splendid riding on Pohatu
    • Kakama-like mask

    Cons
    What's not to like?

    • color scheme is a bit awkwardly distributed (but the orange Toa feet more than make up for it)
    • large, bulky, and pricey with few pieces
    • far too simple for a small box set and his price

    Again, I don’t think Photok’s worth $6 USD (and certainly not worth $8 CAD), but the orange Toa feet are quite enough to make one want to buy him. Unless you want to get him in order to combine with Pohatu and look spiffier than you might think they’d be together. Either way, it might be more in your interest to wait a while and pick him up on sale.

    Depends on how badly you want those feet, I suppose. Or his other pieces, most of which are unique to him anyway.

    Orange Toa feet and all, there you have Photok. Be sure to thank ToM Dracone for yet another review and keep checking back on BZPower for more reviews and all the latest Bionicle news.

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