First Look: Onua, Uniter Of Earth
Posted by on February 8, 2016 at 10:41 PM CST:
The thumbnails can be clicked to see a larger picture. I recommend checking out my review of Kopaka and Melum which may cover some details on shared features I didn't want to repeat. If there is anything you want to know more about, you can ask on our forums or send an email, and I'll try to respond directly and update this post with the requested details.
Onua's packaging makes an admirable attempt to represent the details of the figure's front, letting you see most of the tricky angles and even the majority of the drill/hammer's construction. The back shows off the action features, but seems dedicated to advertising Onua's Creature Of Stone companion. Kopaka is the Only Unitor who comes with his creature, so you will be expecting to pay extra for Onua's companion.
The box provides a bad representation of the Gold mask's trans-purple. The mask you actually get shares the same shade of purple as the rest of the dark blue'ish purple you see on Onua, but the box represents it as being more of a true purple. The box also hides a construction issue similar to Kopaka's, which Ill explain in better detail later.
Inside The Box
The Finished Model
Onua comes by himself this time around, other than a few small spare parts and a gold variant of his new mask.
Onua, Uniter Of Earth
Onua's Hammer/Drill/Gun pivots on a friction peg, and it's hard to find a position that doesn't look good. Being part hammer and drill, its probably going to get knocked out of alignment when attacking an enemy, especially with the longer drill end up front. The drill itself is the knob you turn to fire the studs on the other side, and I keep firing it by accident as a result. I wonder if the swiveling hammer end is just for convenience, or if it's also there to make a kid less likely to shoot himself in the eye when attacking a target? If you don't want it to swivel loosely, it looks like a single black peg and a size 3 axel is all you need to fix it in place without much difference in appearance.
Onua's armor plating has plenty of gaps, but the placement is perfect. Onua only needs to worry about being photographed from behind. He has very good articulation, though you may need to detach the ammo wheel from his leg if you want to get the most out of posing him. Thankfully his ankle is a good alternative to clip the wheel, or even his back if you don't plan to attach one of the elemental creatures to him. Just a bit of warning, it snaps in snugly, so be sure to brace whatever piece our removing it from.
The articulation is further improved by the use of swiveling pieces in the hammer's handle. I was able to pose the hammer in any position I wanted without difficulty. You could rig the hammer to be a one hand weapon too, and if you leave the swivels in place, it still looks pretty good. However, if you use the gear on his back to swing him left and right, the hammer's weight tends to pull his arm down since he needs two hands to hold the hammer's weight properly.
If I could ask the set designers one question, I would ask about the thought process that went into the design of Onua's new mask. Its been bulked up quite a bit, and almost appears to give him a double chin. While the other masks were designed to look like cooler versions of the previous year, Onua's was clearly designed to help him look bigger.
Onua's Questionable Construction
Onua unfortunately shares a similar design flaw to that of Kopaka, in which the shoulders are poorly attached to the torso. In Onua's case, his torso armor actually helps keep the arms from popping out as easily, and you can reinforce the construction more easily than Kopaka's design allows. Without some proper reinforcement, the pieces that hold the arms on will inevitably wear out and crack faster.
Skinnier, But Still Onua
While last year's Onua was one of my favorites, I have to admit he was just a bit too wide and awkward to play with. While he's no taller than the other Toa, the new Onua's designer tweaked him just a bit to give him the illusion of some extra bulk. In particular, his wide feet and shoulder pads, not to mention his shoulders are farther out than the other Uniters. While other Toa have some added parts to reduce the gappy look from the back, his extra armor is added to his sides to bulk him up from the front just a bit more.
Onua's Uniter Form
If you paid the extra $9.99 USD for Onua's matching Creature Of Earth, you can snap him right onto his back for the Uniter form. He doesn't look bad either. If you plan to buy any of the snap-on companions, they are designed to work with any Toa, regardless of the color coordination.
Onua looks good, has great articulation, and wields what I find to be the coolest weapon of the Uniters. His arms are poorly connected to the torso, but if you can forgive that then he is worth the price.
Black Stud Shooter
Black probably goes better with a larger part of MOCs, so I'm very happy to see this in a more appropriate color. Even the spinner in the center that launches the studs is a lovely light gray compared to the obnoxious yellow of the year before.
Nuva Chest Plate
Ill have to upload a new photo of this, the camera messed up the colors and I didn't realize it until now. Onua's chest piece is a lovely combination of gold, black and purple. The patterns on his chest are all printed on, and possibly my favorite pattern of all the Toa. It continues the theme of being painted on, once more I presume by the villagers of the earth tribe (who are clearly better artists if you ask me). Onua's Nuva symbol is a bit easier to see than most of the other Toa, coming in second to Lewa who is clearly proud to be a Jungle elemental.
Gold Uniter Armor
Onua only comes with one of these, but I'm glad to have more than one color of this part to work with. If you need more of these then Tahu is your best bet since he comes with three.
Trans Gold/Clear Crystal Plates
Onua and his respective Creature each come with two of these gold crystal plates. It is mostly gold but with clear plastic at the tip. I find this to be an odd choice since every other Toa and Creature's crystal plates have a colored tip to match their respective character's transparent pieces. Gold and purple clearly look good together, but I guess the designers wanted MOCers to have a neutral version to work with, or just plain ran out of budget to make the purple version?
This has actually been around for years, but this is the first time I think its been in a BIONICLE set. Its a personal favorite of mine.
I always want more purple parts. Even the tiny studs for ammo are transparent this time around. There are a couple MOCs I cant make until I get the right pieces in purple, and it looks like one day Ill be able to make them after all.