Review:70788 by Dorek

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BS01 Reviews

70788 Kopaka – Master of Ice

By Dorek View Gallery

Review: 70788 Kopaka – Master of Ice

Cool, calm, and collected, the unflappable Kopaka is... well, he's mostly the same. If you believe he didn't slip, that is. His set incarnation has certainly gotten some meat on his bones since the past generation, but does all that armor protect him from the cold winds of our criticism? Let's find out.

The Box

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I've probably given these boxes enough of a beating... but not as much as the mail did! Get it? Anyway, these cardboard boxes remain one of my least favorite things about the new wave, and something I hope they abolish for 2016. They're just too flimsy, which is almost doubly disappointing when you consider the phenomenal CG'd backgrounds. Kopaka stands tall and proud in a battle pose, golden armor glinting in the... reflected sun off the snow? Something like that. Compared to some other poses, his is a little unexciting, but it fits his stoic personality.

The Bits

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Thought you had seen the last of the stickers with Onua, eh? WRONG. Kopaka has some for his 6M shells that serve as thigh armor. A bit of an odd choice, both considering the general nature of stickers (why here?) and also taking into account the slightly odd shape of the 6M shell. But, stickers regardless.

The rest of the piece count shows a healthy mixture of gold, trans-blue, and white parts. Aside from the stickers, the most eyecatching piece is the two large blades. The same blades came in Tahu's set, which is a bit disappointing to see reused, but they're recolored, which is a nice touch.

The Build

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I've gushed about the gearbox enough, but I'll again point it out here. These things are just the best. It's the perfect amount of old BIONICLE translated into new, and I hope that they don't abandon the concept or the piece, even if it sees use as something different in the future. For Kopaka, this is actually one of the simplest usages of the gearboxes, which is a bit interesting considering that he's one of the largest Toa. A single minigear for added friction doesn't necessarily seem like it would be much good for holding up weapons.

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Unlike many of the smaller sets, Kopaka definitely did not skip leg day. Not content to let Tahu have freakishly wide shins, Kopaka decides to develop some disturbingly deep calf muscles. The end result is mixed; it's certainly a very mechanical aesthetic, and the armor pieces complement one another well, but it doesn't match the rest of the build, and ends up being just some fat lower legs.

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As the final build coalesces, you get a sense of what Kopaka will finally be... and it's pretty cool. The color layering, despite being strangely inverted at times, actually works. It prevents any one color (generally gold or white) from being overpowering, and allows the accent colors to do their job properly.

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And here I was worried there weren't enough gear redundancies. All Kopaka needs is to hold up his Spear/Ski Pole, which is light enough that the one minigear can do it properly. The other weapon is actually a shield, formed out of the two large blades mentioned earlier. More of a shield in theory, since there's a lot of gaps in that defense (something the story writers wisely compensated for by giving him an energy shield). However, perhaps not by design but regardless, the pins used in Adrenaline Mode stopper it effectively and make it usable as another sort of bladed/prodding weapon.

Speaking of Adrenaline Mode... it's okay. Certainly not the best of them, though the homage to Kopaka Nuva's secondary weapon mode plays well enough. The way the skis are positioned, though, make Kopaka look more like a five year old on the bunny slopes than a professional mountaineer. The spear, too, is a rather boring weapon, although it actually becomes more fun when you realize it's supposed to be a ski pole.

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And finally, the Skull Spider and the Golden Mask. The mask itself is easily one of the most iconic and recognizable from the original line, and they have done a great job of recreating that look, moreso than any of the other masks. The gold complements Kopaka's design well enough too, and adds to the exclusive feel. The Skull Spider isn't much of a threat against the mighty Kopaka, though.

The Brass Tacks

Did we like this set?


  What We Liked:

*Good color blending and layering
*Design throwback while still being fresh
*Bulky without being cumbersome
  What We Didn't Like:

*Weapons individually are underwhelming
*Questionable armor placement
  Other Comments:

I can see him convincing people he didn't slip. Who's going to argue? --Dorek

All the large Toa have easily proven their value with their size and their builds, and Kopaka is no exception. He makes a few odd design choices (bulky legs, overly adjustable shoulder parts), but ultimately is a very fun set to both play and pose with, which is fitting for his size classification. Plus, despite the size difference, he's definitely the Kopaka we all know and love, and it's good to see the designers respect that while also carving out a very new style.

2015 Set Reviews (1HY)
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