Review:70789 by Dorek

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BS01 Reviews

70789 Onua – Master of Earth

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: 70789 Onua – Master of Earth

Our good buddy Onya Onua has put on a few pounds since we last saw him! Compared to his fellow Toa, he's a beast of a figure. But is bigger necessarily better? Read on to find out!

The Box

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I haven't been the greatest fan of this round of BIONICLE's packaging. While the design is aesthetically pleasing, the actual box the sets come in is incredibly flimsy - as you can probably tell from the pictures, Onua's box bore the brunt of the shipping damage. Though they are easily compactable, they don't offer much else.

The boxart, conversely, is much more interesting than I've come to expect from latter-day constraction sets; rather than just striking a generic pose, the characters actually feel integrated with the CGI scenery, and it certainly stands out from its shelfmates. Onua's in particular highlights his colorful attributes, of which there are more at first glance than you would expect.

The Bits

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Yeah I build on carpets get used to it

As is the case with (I belive don't quote me on that seriously don't) all Master sets from the winter wave, Onua contains 8 pieces brand new to the wave, along with a recolor of his Mask of Power.

One of the largest sets, both in terms of size and piece count, Onua's pile'o'pieces is a hefty stack of bricks, with the largest CCBS shell serving as his torso, and four nifty weapons pieces, which look like they could be used in all sorts of ways; indeed, as you will read, they do!

However, accompanying these pieces are... STICKERS! Dun dun dun. Your mileage will vary on the appreciation of stickers; I'm not partial to them one way or the other, although for larger pieces (which they will be used on) it usually makes more sense than printing.

The Build

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Each CCBS build starts off fairly typically; a foot type, limb pieces, and then the armor. While this new modular type of building can get boring after repeated instances, it's the presentation that will set it apart. Onua has the benefit of transparent colored limbs to make him immediately interesting; it's been a long time since we've had some purple (Joker Ultrabuild notwithstanding), and Onua has two kinds to brighten up an otherwise drab color scheme.

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One of my favorite parts about the new BIONICLE gearbox is the variety in which they can adapt it to fit the individual style of the set in question. For Onua, one the largest sets, this necessitates creating an extra amount of friction to support his frame, which they cleverly accomplish with the addition of balljoints (as compared to the typical minigears), so he can heft his weapon without worrying about some arm droopage.

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And what a weapon! Another fantastic thing about the new BIONICLE wave is the desire to bring out the personalities of these characters; while the original Onua has never wielded anything remotely resembling a hammer in any of his original incarnations, here it just fits. Short-handled for easy smashing power, Onua's hammer makes great use of the weapon pieces we saw earlier.

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Speaking of those weapons pieces, they show their versatility here by being shoulder pauldrons for the armored tank that is Onua. This particular bit of construction was one of my favorite parts of the whole set, and indeed of the wave overall; I was never quite sure how the pieces would attach to create the armor, and while the final result can be a bit gappy, it was a true pleasure to build and see it coalesce into something quintessentially "BIONICLE".

Your preference on stickers, of course, may hamper the experience, but the final look really solidifies the "titan" impression that is otherwise lacking from this year.

The rest of Onua's build is equally as good, although there's not much more left to it. The blend of gold, purple, black, and silver can occasionally be distracting, but ultimately works out well enough; the solitary trans-purple pieces are a bit disappointing, but only because trans-purple is amazing and there always needs to be more of it.

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Why, there's the tunneling Onua we all know and love! The weapon pieces deftly transform into claws to hearken back to his Toa Mata days.

I say "deftly" with all due sarcasm, of course. While the construction of the hammer is solid, taking it apart proves to be less than intuitive, and then attaching the miscellaneous bits left behind leaves Onua with a weird protrusion on his back, as well as an out of place hammer grip in his hands (which only serves to highlight how ridiculous the specialized hand pieces can look compared to the olden days of a simple ball cup). "Adrenaline Mode" has proved to be a mixed bag in terms of functionality, and while the design thought is appreciated, the execution isn't always flawless. Still, Onua's certainly looks interesting enough, and is far from the worst example of the feature.

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Now that the build is over and done with, how does he play? Very, very well, if you couldn't have guessed. Onua's build was carefully engineered to not be too unstable, given his top-heavy nature, and the final product is the right amount of imposing in look and solid in play. The extra bits, as always, provide a new sheen to the figure; unlike most of the other sets in the wave, Onua can actually wear a Skull Spider without any trouble, and the golden mask matches his scheme perfectly, since the gold wasn't too overpowering in the build. And of course, as mentioned, his hammer-smashing ability is top-notch.

The Brass Tacks

Did we like this set?


  What We Liked:

*Solid and enjoyable construction
*Fun colors
*Great design
*Versatile playability
  What We Didn't Like:

*Adrenaline Mode could be better
*Color scheme not perfect
  Other Comments:

Absolutely get this set. He will tunnel his way into your heart. --Dorek

Onua is the best set of the winter wave, claws down. Perhaps incidentally or not, he's also one that diverges the most from his original design, and yet somehow still embodies the character perfectly; this is the Onua you never knew you loved. If you're looking for that "titan" building experience, like Axonn from the previous generation, Onua will hit your fix. If you're looking for a durable, playable figure, Onua's your guy. He will definitely... grab your attention! #terriblelewa

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