Onua 2015 Version Set Review
Posted by on February 10, 2015 at 06:26 PM CST:
Before I begin, I need to point out that this is my personal Onua set, I paid for him out of my pocket with no reimbursement from the site. I do not like using stickers on my own personal models, so Onua will not be shown in my pictures with them applied.
You may also want to read my review on the new Kopaka for some details I did not repeat with the Onua review.
Take a good look at the box though, the designs are interesting, and for stickers, they do a decent job tying the entire color scheme together. Also, notice how there are no visible edges from the stickers, it appears they have been edited out. Another detail I dislike, the box shows Onua's eyes as being gold or yellow, but like Pohatu and his box, all the transparent yellow parts are actually GREEN. Given, the original Onua's eyes are green, but when it comes to minor details like this and people who buy things to build with, these box differences can be very frustrating.
Onua, Master Of Earth
I think Onua is the most unique of the elemental masters, having a wider frame than the others and a significantly more complicated arm construction. When I had put him together I felt disappointed since he was not quite as massive as the box graphics seemed to suggest. He's about as tall as Kopaka if you stretch his neck up and straighten out his legs, but he's a good head shorter in a more natural stance.
His dual function tool is my favorite out of the new series. It starts out as a hammer, but pulls out and splits into halves to form digging claws. Part of the hammer's handle has to be removed from the right hand before using the claws, but they did think to include a spot on Onua's back to attach it when not in hand.
The lower handle can be removed and plugged into the hammer if you want, but unless you want to mimic the claw's clap attach shown in the mini comic on the back, it doesn't seem to be in the way. The clap attack requires holding the claws by the connector they otherwise plug into the hammer with, and bringing his fists together, they are just barley long enough to pull it off. I don't know if the set designers even intended this, there were no instructions for it and I discovered it was possible trying to disprove his stubby arms were long enough.
The mask details are very neat, though compared to the original pakari mask, it seems so tiny, and even smaller when he's wearing it compared to his massive torso. It's design was based on the original pakari mask, and I think of the six its one of the best reinterpretations. One of my favorite parts of the mask design is how they took advantage of the previous masks' design and stretched the sides out to hide the face grabbing tabs.
Focusing on his color scheme for a moment, the gold is there purely for blending in the color of his alternate mask, and I like the idea, but he's almost got too many colors going on. At the very least, I would have swapped the gold and purple colored armor plates with each other's color, and make all the skeleton parts that beautiful shade of transparent purple seen in his upper leg.
We also have the obligatory Skull Spider that each set includes, except for the villain set which is a spider. It functions as an out-of-the-box opponent so you don't need to improvise something for Onua to fight, and they are incredibly fun on their own. Onua comes matched with a pale green variation that seems ill suited for any custom creation. It does not glow in the dark, or under a black light as it's color might suggest.
Each new hero set has some amount of unique construction, not just the exterior armor plating and tools, but the gearbox as well. Onua's shoulder pads are slightly more complicated than I expected, and attach to a hordika neck (the angled ball joints) which itself attaches to a normal socket, which then attaches to the ball joints on middle part of skeleton's shoulders, just before where an arm would normally attach to this part. The big chest piece attaches to the ball joints on the end of the shoulders and hides all of the shoulderpad's unique construction. This sounds like overkill, but it lines up the big metal pads perfectly so they can hide the gap between the front torso plate and the arms/gearbox.
Because he is so much wider than the others, his arms had to be extended further out on the gearbox to compensate. The parts used to extend it are incredibly useful if you plan to scrap the set, and they appear engineered to stop any other parts from coming loose when the arm gets pulled off the gearbox.
Each of the elemental masters are designed to lock the arms in place for posing and etc, so they don't just swing loosely when not being played with. Onua takes this to a whole new level by using a ball joint and a socket to hold the arms in place, instead of the gears and friction pegs other new BIONICLE® sets are using. To top everything off, he has rubber grip extenders on his shoulders, giving him the strongest total arm strength of all the new heroes.
His arms are designed to swing back and forth when you turn the yellow cog on his back, with one arm going forward as the other goes backwards. The hammer is fun to swing around and looks like it would be satisfying to hit something with, but I think the claws complement the feature better, especially since the two claws give the free hand a reason to be moving. Between his stubby arms and wide chest piece, his range of arm movement is kind of limited.
Next to Lord Of Skull Spiders, I think Onua has the best set of parts among the January BIONICLE sets. Of course, Onua is much more fun than the giant spider, but the spider's particular set of parts (on top of being 5 bucks cheaper) are closer to what I tend to use. I've listed some of my favorite elements from Onua below:
Onua's chest piece is one of the most interesting elements. It only has two viable attachment points, and those only attach to ball joints. The advantage of having stickers over printed parts does make this black element much more compatible with a custom creation, and while I hate that it has no technic attachment points, the use of ball joints can allow it to act as a flip open panel to hide a feature or store something.
These eyehole bolts are one of my dream parts that Id like to get a few hundred of. They hold in tightly enough to build something sturdy out of, and I wouldn't know where to begin making suggestions on how to use them, I'll leave that to your imagination
Onua comes with four of these, two for his hammer/claws, two for the shoulder pads. They don't grip eachother without additional pieces the same way the new Kopaka/Tahu blades are capable of, but they have plenty of ways to be built into something. They fit together tightly enough to make a backpack for storing things like the tiles the protectors launch, and they have two spots at the front where specific elements like skullspider legs can attach. It would be great if they were released in other colors.
Onua's feet feel solid and have plenty of attachment points. The three clip attachment points between the toes can allow for clawed feet too. If only the ankle socket was removable so we could flip it around and scrap another Skullspider, it would make for some good classic Onua claws.
Its notable if only because its new to BIONICLE, but I think it originated from the Ben Ten constraction figures. It is sturdy and kind of cool looking. The only attachment point I see is the socket for the ball joint, as hallow as it is I think they could have fit in one or two other connectors.
These are the purple parts, seems like the LEGO Company is stingy on using them, but I'm glad to see they are responding to earlier suggestions to include the colors in my favorite theme. I'm not the best photographer so the colors don't look quite right. The purple armor plates take on a shade of lavender when photographed with my camera, and the transparent purple'ish dark blue pieces appear just to be plain transparent blue.
Something does feel lacking about Onua's latest incarnation, and while I feel he could have used some work on his colorscheme and more attention to his legs, he rounds out the Elemental Masters by adding more variety to the team. If the novelty of his design wears off and your feeling creative, he boasts a number of useful parts for custom creations.