Altered States Magazine - July 2002


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    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication


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    LEGO Bionicle: Toa Nuva

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    The mighty Toa, elemental heroes of the island of Mata Nui, are about to be transformed.


    Mata Nui

    At the beginning of this year's Bionicle storyline, Mata Nui was invaded by swarms of fierce insect-like creatures called Bohrok. Controlled by mask-like creatures known as krana, the Bohrok destroyed much of the island on their mysterious mission.

    Defeating Bohrok and collecting their krana, the Toa made their way underground to the creatures' nest. There they discovered battlesuits called Exo-Toa and battled Cahdok and Gahdok, the twin guardians of the Bohrok hive. Combining their powers of fire, water, air, earth, ice and stone, the Toa defeated the Bahrag twins and found themselves transformed by the unleashed elemental energies.

    Meet the Toa Nuva.

    Upgraded versions of the original six Toa, the Toa Nuva have been enhanced with new masks, armor and tools. Each Toa Nuva features multiple configurations in keeping with his or her elemental power: Tahu Nuva's twin swords combine to form a lava surfboard, Gali Nuva's axes become flippers, Pohatu Nuva's claws merge into a stone-smashing sphere, Lewa Nuva's bush blades can be converted into gliding wings, and Kopaka Nuva's double-bladed sword turns into a pair of ice skates.


    Tahu Nuva and Gali Nuva


    Pohatu Nuva and Lewa Nuva

    Kopaka Nuva

    The Toa Nuva come packaged in transparent cylinders with a wraparound label featuring computer generated (CG) images of the character in its two configurations. The tops of the canisters are color-coded: red for Tahu, blue for Gali,black for Onua, etc. There are six spots around the edge of the lid to hold the Toa Nuva's collected Kanohi masks (which, like the 2001 masks and 2002 krana, will likely be sold in randomly-assorted boxes), but the Toa face in the middle has been replaced by a pair of connector holes to hold each Toa Nuva's signature tools or weapons.



    The Onua Nuva Packaging

    Inside the canister are the parts of the Toa Nuva figure, as well as a detailed CG instruction booklet and a small pack-in comic that depicts, sans dialogue, the origin of the Toa Nuva. The last page is an advertisement for "Bionicle: The Album", featuring music by Cold, Kenna, Rob Zombie and Woven, with a plug for www.bioniclethealbum.com. Since the Toa Nuva are not yet out in stores, the album website currently redirects visitors to the main LEGO page.



    What's Inside

    ASM received a canister containing Onua Nuva, the Toa Nuva of Earth. In Onua's previous incarnation, he was equipped with three-fingered claws for tunnelling beneath the ground. Onua Nuva has replaced these talons with a pair of intimidating-looking "earth mover" chainsaws. He retains the hunchbacked look of the original but stands slightly taller, as his head is now attached to his chest armor rather than the middle of his torso (with the added bonus of allowing him to cock his head from side to side). The new chestplate and shoulder guards give Onua Nuva a more powerful appearance, enhanced by his wide-set hips and new leg elements. Onua Nuva's new mask is much larger than his original one and has a more ornate and organic design, very much in keeping with Bionicle's techno-mystical theme.


    The Onuas compared, and the Onua Mask



    Onua Nuva

    Like all of the Toa, Onua Nuva has a geared action: turn the large gear behind his shoulders and his arms move, swinging his chainsaws in alternate directions. His ball-jointed limbs are very stable and can hold most poses solidly, but LEGO has provided some extra pieces and an alternate construction for those who like to pose their Toa and display them on a shelf: the axle and gear for one of Onua Nuva's arms can be removed and replaced with a rotating friction peg, then plugged into his back to lock the large arm-turning gear in place. Onua Nuva also comes with a black sphere, found on the chests of several of the original Toa, which is shown mounted on the back-gear in this "solid pose" mode.

    Onua Nuva Unmaksed and Onua Nuva in Static Pose

    Onua Nuva in the Exo Toa

    Onua's Nuva's "transport mode" involves removing his chainsaws and, by means of an axle stored in his heels, attaching them to his feet as all-terrain rollerblades.


    The Onua Nuva on Rollerblades

    The last portion of Onua Nuva's instructions show one-third of the steps to combine him with Tahu and Pohatu Nuva into a larger Toa character. Although its new name is not yet known, the original version of this combined Toa was the Toa Kaita Akamai, counterpart to the Toa Kaita Wairuha formed by Lewa, Gali and Kopaka. "Akamai Nuva" has a different construction from the original super-Toa and likely incorporates the extra pieces used for Onua Nuva's solid-pose mode.


    Kaita Nuva

    Bionicle continues to impress with its characters and multi-year storyline, and we're looking forward to the direct-to-video movie "Bionicle: The Mask of Light", due for release late in 2003. As always, you can check out the unfolding story on www.bionicle.com.


     

      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication