Review:71311 by KZN02

From BIONICLEsector01


BS01 Reviews



71311 Kopaka and Melum - Unity set


By KZN02 (View Gallery)

Review: 71311 Kopaka and Melum Unity Set

What better way to emphasize the unity theme this year than a combo set of a character, known in a previous generation to be a lone wolf, and his Elemental Creature partner? How will this dynamic duo fare, in the cool or out in the cold?

The Box

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Like last year, this set comes in hexagonal packaging. Pretty basic on the front and back featuring the sets, actual sizes, features, and a comic (which has a couple of coloring and mirror issues, but that's not really crucial to discuss on this review). One neat addition for the sets in the winter wave this year are the symbols on the top of the packaging; the Toa's Nuva Symbol and a symbol that is most likely the Elemental Creatures'.

Given how LEGO is proudly claiming to be more eco-friendly, having a combo set like this would save a lot compared to packaging Kopaka and Melum separately.

Contents

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Quite a number of bags to hold the pieces for Kopaka and Melum. I'm actually a bit surprised how few white pieces there were for an Ice character set, even with the Elemental Creature. Otherwise, I'm pretty satisfied with the other contents.

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Funny story about the sticker sheet, when I took the photo of all the packaging contents as seen above, I wasn't able to find the sticker sheet initially. Once I started opening the building instructions booklet did I find it inbetween some pages.

New and Recolored Pieces

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11 new pieces in this set, such as

  • The torso skeleton, now divided into the upper body and lower pelvis. Compared to the torso skeletons prior, this upper body one lacks ball joints for the arms.
  • The Elemental Creature's head, which comes in gold and trans-blue here
  • The "piece of unity", which that is used on the Elemental Creature's torso and the Toa's back, along with being placed as shin or thigh armor
  • A crystalline piece in gold and trans-blue that can be attached to armor shells
  • A gear-pin combination
  • A piece that can hold minifig-sized objects (which I believe is also used in the Gali Uniter of Water and Kylo Ren sets).

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The new blade piece is silver and light blue, and it does a good job indicating what the user's elemental power is.

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The new eyestalk piece is significantly shorter than the previous year's. The mask-popping feature is still there, but it isn't as easy to press on.

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The new torso piece is now a single piece compared to last year's two pieces. It is a bit longer and a bit narrower as well. Unique to every set is the printed Nuva Symbol on the chest.

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Finally, we see Kopaka's new mask for this year in two variants; white and silver on one and gold and trans-blue on the other, as well as a Nuva Symbol printed on top of them. As you can see, it now has lost the top right scope but still has a hole for the right eye to look through like last year's. Also of note is that a stud piece can be placed on where one of the remaining eyepieces is. This has great potential for MOCing were you can attach different colored studs or any appropriate system piece to it (cue enhance and zoom features). I do feel that eyepiece is a bit low, but it will make more sense later.

Compared with the 2002 and 2008 Akaku masks, this year's mask does seem similar to those regarding a prominent eyepiece and the fact you can attach the appropriate LEGO system pieces onto it. (though I find having a stud attached to the mask is more preferable than a long stick)

Regarding the colors, I find it interesting one of the mask is white and silver, which reminds me of the first half of 2003 where the Toa lose their elemental powers due to the Bohrok-Kal stealing their Nuva Symbols. According to this year's storyline, the Toa must unite with the Elemental Creatures to further enhance their Elemental Powers. For the gold and trans-blue mask, it's just like the Mask of Ice that came packaged with the Skull Warrior set, but it doesn't seem to imply it has been drained of Elemental Power like the year before.

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Only 2 new recolored pieces here; a long shell piece in Earth Blue and an armor piece from 2009 in silver.

The Build

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Melum

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Melum is a short Elemental Creature, even shorter than last year's Protector of Ice set, with large claws with 2 talons on each and gold and trans-blue crystals on them. He has 10 points of articulation on his body.

It seems that last year's gearbox function went from the Toa to the Elemental Creatures now. With the before-mentioned gear-pin pieces, turning a lever on Melum's back with activate his bearhugging function. It's a nifty little ability, and you can make him clap with proper positioning of the claws. Since these arms need a custom build for the mechanism, the small torso skeleton's arm ball joints are left unused and exposed, but I guess that can be just ignored.

According to the wiki here, Melum is a combiation of a rhino and an ape. The white horn on Melum's nose does imply the first part, and I guess the arm action and the claws somehow imply the second, somehow. Also to note is that Stormer 3.0 from Hero Factory back in 2011 was based on a white rhino. I wonder if that was any influence?

Kopaka

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This Kopaka is less armored but taller compared to last year. His back isn't covered by an armor shell piece like last year, but with the use of the "piece of unity" and bohrok eyepieces do make sufficient coverage. Like Melum, there aren't a lot of white used, but the torso shell piece mainly in white does fill in a lot at the center. The Earth Blue armor pieces on the arms would be sort of out of place visually if not for the same shade of blue on the torso piece. The gold and trans-blue crystal pieces on the thighs kind of feel out of place, but works a bit better if Kopaka is wearing his golden mask and/or is united with Melum.

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Kopaka has the usual 13 points of articulation, though due to the custom build of the shoulders, there are some limitations there as seen in the picture.

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In lieu of the gearbox mechanism from last year, this year's Toa sets have waist articulation, which can be adjusted by a turning a knob behind the pelvis piece. There's a good amount of articulation there and gives much more posing options. If I recall correctly, this sort of mechanism may have been on the Evo XL Machine from Hero Factory back in 2014, though even futher back to 2007, Pridak had a ball joint waist.

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One of the most significant addition to this year's sets is the Nuva Symbol on the mask and torso shell pieces. It's an phenomenonal callback to 2002, along with how this year's Toa sets do sort of invoke their Toa Nuva counterparts.

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Kopaka now wields a larger melee weapon and a smaller shield with a rapid shooter on it. Kind of unusual that Kopaka is now holding his shield on his right hand instead of his left, but that's minor nitpick on my end.

Kopaka's new sword is double-edge using the new blade pieces, kind of invoking the Ice Sword from 2001. It also has a hilt using a new piece and has cow horns attached to it.

Kopaka's new shield is smaller and has a rapid shooter on it, which can be fired by turning the gear on the back. The shield part requires stickers be applied on it and has some cool designs on them. Hopefully Kopaka doesn't have to worry about blocking huge attacks with this sort of shield.

Kopaka also has a circular clip of studs attached to his left thigh, which is a great way of storing extra bullets without leaving them off the set like with the Protector sets last year.

Unity

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As the main theme for this year, the Toa can unite with Elemental Creatures. Here, attached to Kopaka's back, Melum rests his head on top of the Kopaka's head and places his giant claws on top of Kopaka's shoulders (which does feel familiar to last year's Kopaka's shoulder armor). From this position, Melum's bearhugging action can't be used, so all he can do is serve as sort of an armored animal pelt for Kopaka visually. Still, the color scheme altogether works nicely with the gold on Melum's head and claws and Kopaka's mask and thighs.

Back to the point regarding Kopaka's mask earlier, it seems the reason why Kopaka is lacking an eyepiece on his new mask is so that Melum's head can rest snuggily on top of it.

With the way Melum is attached, there is no hinderance whatsoever to the waist articulation and with Melum's neck ball joint, he can move his head along with Kopaka's. There is also no issue with back-heaviness, so you probably don't have to worry about Kopaka falling backwards on top of Melum.

Attaching and separating the two can be done with little to no difficulty, and it is a much better combination model than last year's "Protector gives Toa his/her weapons" since it makes full use of both Toa and Elemental Creature.

Final Review

Should I get this set?

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Yes


  Good for people who like:

*2-in-1 set allows for the Unity feature to be done right out of the box after assembly.
*Combination model that doesn't leave anything out.
*Nostalgic return of the Nuva Symbols.
  Not for those looking for:

*A combo set that doesn't seem worth its current price. (I guess you can wait for a sale?)
*Sticker applying.
*Characters who have assymetrical masks.
  Other Comments:

Kopaka really has a mirror problem as you can see on the packaging, both front and back. And why did LEGO choose Kopaka out of all the Toa to be in a combo set with Melum? -- KZN02

If you like to get both Toa and Elemental Creature at once for the Unity feature, Kopaka and Melum are great for that need. The combination model works great and the two look completely chill together and separately.

Now that Kopaka has a partner, I wonder if Melum has a better sense of direction than he does?

2016 Set Reviews (1HY)
71300 71301 71302 71303 71304 71305 71306 71307 71308 71309 71310 71311
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