LEGO Bionicle: Toa Nuva
By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor
The mighty Toa, elemental heroes of the island of Mata Nui, are about to be
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
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randomly-assorted boxes), but the Toa face in the middle has been
replaced by a pair of connector holes to hold each Toa Nuva's signature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.
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
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
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.
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