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Review: 71308 Tahu - Uniter of Fire
Some things change, some things stay the same. Tahu is still the de facto leader of the Toa, and one of the most popular to boot. Is he lucky enough to have another good set two years running?
As you can see, poor Tahu's box didn't quite survive the trip over. Even with the increased box strength, it's still no match for international shipping.
The usual CGI work adorns the front. Tahu's actually is probably the least interesting of the Toa. Whereas the other ones show off some kind of action pose (and Kopaka has the benefit of including Melum) Tahu is just kind of... flying at you. Like somebody shot him out of a cannon. Hopefully this doesn't bode ill for the set itself.
Like Lewa, Tahu gets the goods. All sorts of fun new stuff to play around with. There's even some gears in there beyond the one for the torso, so that'll be fun. A returning bit of armor in the form of the Skull Creature armor piece from the previous year. Fun as it is to see new pieces, I always like to see returning ones too, to show that they aren't forgotten. The new color makes it even better.
Of course, that new color... well, there's a lot of it. If you thought Tahu overdid it with the gold last year, Uniter is looking to be downright gaudy in comparison. Also, not a lot of red, despite him being, y'know, the red-armored one. I'm not inherently against this yet; some sets can pull off only having a few pieces in their primary color (2015 Pohatu, despite his other flaws), but some can't (2015 Gali, despite everything else she does well).
The waist bone's connected to the... spine bone? Ouch. I guess that's anatomically correct, though. I'm still loving the waist articulation. Especially when posing to take pictures, it allows for the weight to be distributed in new ways, which makes for good photos (and compensates for restricted ankles in some of the Toa's leg designs).
Tahu's core is almost identical to Lewa's. Kopaka's was similar, but hopefully this isn't an indicator of clone builds.
Whoops, spoke to soon. Most Toa thus far have used interesting custom arms and shoulders to achieve a more free-flowing look. Tahu says screw all that nonsense, and uses balljoints (first time I've seen them in the 2016 sets!) to achieve a more standard shoulder design. This is more what I've been expecting from sets with the new torso; the ones I've built so far have all been sort of quirky and different, but this standard feature is how I initially envisioned things. It's a little basic, but more effective because of it.
There's also some Bohrok eyes to achieve a sort of layered armor effect. It's interesting; probably could have done with some better colors (oh but I haven't even STARTED on that) but I like the overall look.
Funny note, the way the 5L stopaxles connect with "unity piece" (as the S@H page calls it) and collide with the torso actually leaves a tiny bit of free space with the axle. Not an illegal connection by any means, but it stands out enough to notice. Probably could have benefited from some 2x1 liftarms, if possible.
This is where the color scheme both starts and ends. For his legs, Tahu uses no fewer than four different colors, including a grey. In fact, as "red" goes, this is it. These 6m shells are all we get for Tahu, aside from his multi-colored mask and printed chest plate. The red is also completely obscured by the new crystal armor (which, granted, looks pretty snazzy in gold/trans orange). If you liked the color combination of last year's Tahu, well, I guess LEGO thinks you'll like it this year. Like eating candy for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And elevensies.
Side note, give us more friction extenders in different colors!
As if realizing halfway through that Tahu looks like he was vomited up by a rainbow mixed with a volcano, LEGO decided to add a bit of color accenting to Tahu, in this case some blue. It's actually a really nice touch, if perhaps too little too late. It offsets the orange nicely, and complements his eyes (which are blue, like every Uniter this year; minus points for that one).
And, for some reason, we have an overly complex sword. I liked this, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The construction doesn't make sense, has a bunch of liftarms sticking out awkwardly, and does very little... but looks really cool and spices up the otherwise typical blade piece that you find. If nothing else, it livens up posing by giving you a few more options. I can't figure out why two out of the three pinaxles were non-friction, but that's probably why I'm not a designer. Also there's an 4L axle sticking out of one, but not the other, and I genuinely can't figure out why. I haven't seen any pictures advertising his swords connecting, and the creature connection is focused on the back. So... mysteries.
Add the mask, and we're complete. I like the design of the mask a lot; despite the spiky hair motif that's apparent on all the Toa this year, they all manage to make it look a little bit unique, which is fun. Tahu's "hair" is, of course, silver. Because he needed another color, apparently. The design itself, too, is nice. Not quite the "Hau" we got last year, but with some similar features, and recognizable enough.
Though he looks a lot better with the golden mask, when all is said and done. Yeah, it's MORE gold, but it fits.
The Brass Tacks
I'll be honest, I went into Tahu completely expecting to give him a negative review. And yeah, there's a lot wrong with him. His color scheme is an abomination, there's a dearth of what absolutely should have been and could have been his primary color, and he makes a lot of bizarre design choices that I can't wrap my head around. But when all is said and done, he's still got a lot of fun action features (including some nifty weapons), and pulls of both playing and posing better than some other sets I've seen so far.
I liken Tahu to Michael Bay's Transformer movies; loud, dumb, and probably unnecessary, but still stupidly entertaining in spite of all these things. Turn your brain off when it comes to the colors, and you have a good set.
|2016 Set Reviews (1HY)|
|Review #1||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek||By Dorek|
|Review #2||By SPIRIT||By Cholie||By SPIRIT||By Swert||By SPIRIT||By KZN02|
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