71308 Tahu - Uniter of Fire
The six Toa Mata are definitely the most established characters in BIONICLE, but the first to come to mind is usually Tahu. So, how does this Tahu set hold up following a line of many former Tahu sets?
The box is fairly large, perhaps to accommodate for the amount of parts, or just to differentiate this $20 set from the $15 sets. The box displays all features and still includes the comic! It's always a nice touch.
If you want gold armor plates, this set has you covered with 12 gold-colored pieces and 3 gold/translucent orange blended pieces. there's a lot of Technic parts to go around, which are certainly useful, though not unique to this set.
It may be worth noting that most of the limb pieces in this set are translucent orange, as well as the hands. Thankfully these are just as durable as the other parts, so there's no need to worry about easily cracked joints. Hero Factory and BIONICLE have done a great job with quality parts in recent years, though the issues of the past left me skeptical at first. Fortunately, all parts are stronger than their predecessors!
I also want to bring to attention these torso pieces. Unlike the Hero Factory torsos that BIONICLE adopted, these include a separate hip piece that connects with a unique pin connection. Unlike last year's sets, which had arms moved by gears, these sets have gears at the hips, allowing some great articulation not seen before in Toa sets.
The build starts off differently from last year's Toa. The torso does not have predefined shoulders, so they are built with Technic axles and ball joints. This allows plenty of spare room to add in armor and other parts to improve the body.
The gears at the hip don't take up much space at all, it's just a single gear and a dial to turn. The gearboxes were cool, but this setup is much less blocky and leaves more room for creative building.
The rest of the body is the same as usual. The weapons, on the other hand, require more building than usual. Each one consists of a blade, a fire piece, and a few Technic beams. The beams can be shifted to make the blades extend or retract. It's neat, but also field a bit like a forced gimmick. Still, I appreciate that it's more than oversized silver parts.
The complete set is rather large. If you have any of the $15 toa sets, you can clearly see the size difference. The articulation of this set is on point. Despite being heavily armored, Tahu's limbs can be moved freely without anything getting in the way. The new hip joint is also has a very firm connection (with the back gears), so there's no need to worry about the torso swaying under its own weight.
The compatibility with Ikir also adds so much more to both sets. Ikir's wings fit expertly onto Tahu's back, as though they are one set. If you can get both, do it!
The Brass Tacks
|Did we like this set?
| What We Liked:|
*Consistent color scheme (with gold mask)
| What We Didn't Like:|
*Two-tone silver mask seems out of place
| Other Comments:|
If you have the $20, it's well-spent on Tahu. This set gets a lot of features right and makes for a great set overall. --Cholie