Review:70785 by Dorek

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BS01 Reviews

70785 Pohatu – Master of Stone

By Dorek View Gallery

  • Disclaimer: Due to an untimely data loss, some of my original review pictures were deleted. Certain elements (such as the plastic container bags, or completely separated pieces) may be missing from the recreation.

Review: 70785 Pohatu – Master of Stone

It's been a long time since we've seen a brown BIONICLE set, and while this isn't the same brown you grew up with (sorry, Huki!), the return to form with Pohatu is a welcome sign that LEGO isn't afraid to take some risks. Comparisons to the new and old are inevitable, but will this Master prove his own worth? Let's find out.

The Box

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In a departure from many previous CCBS sets, but more reminiscent of older BIONICLE ones, Pohatu's box art features a striking, graphics-heavy scene. It runs the risk of being distracting, but in the case of our Toa of Stone, it (mostly) manages to work. The box itself, however, leaves something to be desired; the cardboard packaging is simple, but non-functional in terms of usability or storage, unlike the canisters of old, or even the plastic bags of Hero Factory.

The Bits

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Forgive my cardinal sin of building on a carpet! Old habits, etc.

Not something I noticed on first build, but Pohatu's piece count is actually fairly low, compared to many of the other sets in the wave. The parts mix is appropriate; some silver, some brown, and some... trans-neon green? In one of the more deceptive bits of advertising, Pohatu's apparently trans-yellow elements take on a more greenish tinge out of box. It ultimately doesn't detract from the final model, which is good, but one can't help wonder what could have been.

Pohatu has a total of eight new bits exclusive to the new wave, as well as four recolors of old ones. All of this is on top of an exclusive Golden Mask of Power, which Pohatu can swap out for.

The Build

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While Pohatu's build starts off as your basic CCBS skeleton, it quickly becomes something quite new and wonderful altogether. The gearbox was a stroke of genius on the part of the set designers, a purely Technic invention that meshes together with CCBS to create a brand new and unique aesthetic.

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That said, Pohatu often feels like he doesn't take full advantage of the new build. He has one moveable arm, and the final torso doesn't cover up the errant flaws, such as exposed balljoints. However, compared to certain other Masters (LEWA), his full range of articulation with no distracting additions is actually passable.

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The Stormerangs make for interesting weapons; decently sized, and with a cool feature. However, this feature can be its undoing, and while I personally have yet to experience any overt "floppiness", the criticism is understandable, and hopefully something they will address in future usages. The dagger, on the other hand, is a bizarre choice of weapon; the need to include a Rahkshi stave twice in the new wave is puzzling, and in the case of Pohatu, makes for an uninteresting "adrenaline mode" tool. Its attachment to Pohatu is also disappointing; while most Masters sets found novel and fun ways to integrate the spare tools into the build of the set, Pohatu's is limply attached by a friction pin, and has a bit too much range of motion to recommend leaving attached for heavy play.

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The asymmetry of Pohatu's build is a mixed bag; while I normally like a lack of uniformity, and the colors actually mesh better than they should, it distracts from the overall look, and makes you wish the brown had been included for both arms.

That said, major props to LEGO for finally swapping out the locked elbow joints for the standard ones to allow for more realistic and playable range of motion. Realistically this was a budget constraint more than anything else (to not have to recolor the locked joints in the trans-neon green) but this is a design choice that they should seriously consider favoring in future sets.

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I'd be remiss if I didn't discuss the new masks, which have been designed to resemble the Kanohi of days past. This is one area where the reverence of the old line really shines through; these masks are easily removable, and are action-feature based. Some say the masks actually pop-off too easily, though I haven't found this to be the case myself. Including a second Golden Mask was also a great idea, and it breathes new life into the set, especially in contrast to the brown.

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And, finally, the Skull Spider! These adorable little critters make for a nifty addition to the sets without subtracting extensively from the piece count. They look menacing, and can even attach to the face, hearkening back to the days of old with Infected Kanohi and Krana However, some extra care probably could have been taken into using them as masks; many of the sets can't even fit the Skull on properly, let alone allow for a full range of head motion. Pohatu is no exception; the Skull can be jammed on, and aside from looking up a few degrees, nothing else can be done, which negates the action feature idea.

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The Brass Tacks

Did we like this set?


  What We Liked:

*Design based on actionability and posing
*Good parts value
  What We Didn't Like:

*Gearbox feels wasted
*Sporadic colors don't always work
*Skull Spider doesn't fit properly
*Dagger is both boring and a hindrance
  Other Comments:

I was more divided on Pohatu than any other figure. If you want to get a brown set for the first time in nearly a decade, go for it! He's certainly not the worst G2 set you'll spend money on, though far from the best. --Dorek

Pohatu is a curious set in this wave of BIONICLE figures. He exemplifies the dual goals optimism and nostalgia that the designers are aiming for, but often gets burdened by new ideas that just can't quite fit on him, looking more like a hand-me-down shirt than a new style unto himself. The gearbox design is awesome, but doesn't quite work for his build, while his colors come together surprisingly well, but in awkward proportions.

By himself, he is a fun set, and takes the right steps. Compared to the majority of the other Toa of the wave, however, and he falls short in most of the categories he would otherwise succeed in, and makes you question his overall value. As one of the mid-size sets, his price justifies the content, but not the quality.

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