Review:70786 by Dorek

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BS01 Reviews

70786 Gali - Master of Water

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: 70786 Gali - Master of Water

Some things change, and some things stay the same. Gali, the Toa of Water, is still the lone female on the team, but is here now in a bigger, CCBS-ier form. Does the new Gali have as much spirit as the old one, or is she all washed up?

The Box

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I've expressed my displeasure at the overall flimsyness of the current wave of boxes, but the physical design does deserve some props; weirdly but enticingly hexagonal, slightly tapered, and very much intended to show of the fantastic box art. Gali's pose is perhaps less dynamic and action-y than some of the other Toa, but the peaceful look suits her. Water is a soothing element... until trifled with.

The Bits

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One of the first things you note when opening the set, much like Pohatu, is that some of the colors appear slightly differently than they do on the box. In Gali's case, the solid blues are a bit lighter, despite ostensibly being "dark azure". And in the case of the Skull Spider, they just flat out added some extra color to him on the box that isn't present on the piece itself, which is a shame.

Lots of transparent colors to be found, and in a good variety too. The actual azure piece count is disappointingly low and lacking in any sort of diversity, which will later feed into one of my biggest criticisms of the set. But for now, let's get building.

The Build

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A typical CCBS build to start; the foot bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the hip bone, etc. You know the drill by now. In terms of the armor, LEGO has been digging the spikes lately, or maybe they just had a surplus of the grey long spikes that they needed to get rid of. Either way, it's a bit out of place, but not as distracting as it is on some other sets.

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The gearbox is where things start to get fun. This has hands down been my favorite feature of new BIONICLE; it's so classic, and yet at the same time employs so many modern stylings, and is the perfect addition to these Toa. The versatility is astounding; almost no two characters have theirs designed the same way, and each feels tailored to the set. Gali's seems uninteresting and possibly impractical at first, until it connects with the torso, and only then does it get completed.

And a bit of back armor to top it off, I guess? It's less ridiculous than Pohatu's dagger, that's for sure, although perhaps not are flowing as Tahu's armor.

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More arm bones with some armor. This is as good a time as any to tackle this set's biggest issue: coloring. I'm certainly going to get a lot of flack for this, but the color scheme is a complete mess. Transparents, greys, silvers, blues, all hodge-podge thrown onto whatever bone piece was there at the time. Even the limbs can't get it right; the closest we get to any kind of consistency is the shins and the forearms using the same pairing, which is obfuscated by the contrast to the other limb parts and the extra bits previously mentioned. The set could easily have benefited from being trimmed a color (my vote would have gone to the gunmetal, personally), or at least some more continuity with the limbs and the plating than what we got.

This in turn highlights another problem, which is the disappointing underutilization of what arguably should be the sets primary color, the dark azure. More than halfway through the set, and it currently only appears as thigh armor. Clearly they didn't want to produce any additional shell sizes in the new color, but unlike Pohatu (and the Protector of Stone), it's a much more glaring oversight on this one when used the way it is.

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Now that I'm done ranting about the colors, back to the build itself. These shoulder pauldrons weren't my favorite at first; especially in comparison to the similarly utilized ones on Tahu, these seemed a lot more out of place. However, I do have to admit that they've grown on me. They lend themselves to the sleeker body type that Gali has, and while they don't look all that great when you're moving the gearbox, they look just dandy in photos.

Despite how much I dislike Gali's primary color scheme, there is a bright spot (literally and figuratively) in the accenting yellow. Rather than just have a gear or two as yellow and leave at that, as is the case with most of the other sets, the set designers took every possible small piece they could as yellow and created a subtle, but welcoming sub-color. They even colored some of the chest plate patterns in that yellow, which is an incredibly nice touch. It reminds me a lot of the Slizer/Throwbot Scuba, who remains one of the best underwater themed constraction sets LEGO has produced to this day.

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And speaking of underwater themes, Gali's starts to show when you finally include her weapons. Though these too, suffer from a bit of an awkward integration that doesn't lend itself to much play value, they match and enhance the overall water aesthetic that was being aimed for.

The adrenaline mode, likewise, isn't very intuitive (Tahu's is the best, as an aside, Kopaka's second, while the rest are forgettable), despite looking good and emulating her old Toa Nuva weapons.

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Final mentions to the supplementary pieces, the Skull Spider and the Golden Mask. The Skull Spider, as I've talked about before, doesn't integrate smoothly with many sets, and is bland silver to boot in this one. The Golden Mask looks very cool on Gali; though it doesn't necessarily match as well as, say, Pohatu's, it surprisingly doesn't clash with the yellow accents. Unfortunately, though, Gali's head isn't super mobile with the way the mask is designed, and tends to knock itself off on the chin.

The Brass Tacks

Did we like this set?


  What We Liked:

*Underwater motif
*Smart accenting colors and piece usage
*A final design that values her ability to pose...
  What We Didn't Like:

*... but not her ability to play
*Chaotic and disorganized color scheme
*Underutilization of what should be the main color
  Other Comments:

I was also pretty torn on Gali, and she was close to being a no, but there's a lot of good in her. --Dorek

Ultimately, Gali's more a looker than a player. She poses ridiculously well and has a great style. But that design sensibility comes at a cost of not being very play-heavy; the weapon is too cumbersome even for the gearbox, and the armor and bits can get in the way of the way one holds the set. Her color scheme, too, is disappointingly messy, and feels like it could have been a lot more than what it was. That said, I'm a sucker for underwater themed sets, and Gali does that very well, so she gets the thumbs up from me.

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