Didn't I say that I didn't have enough money to afford the Phantoka until they went on sale?
Just ignore that part and I'll put off eating for a day to compensate.
Now for a picturefied review!
Well, well, well. Here I am with the last Toa Phantoka, and the team leader, Kopaka. Does me meet up to his counterparts from previous years?
Kopaka Mata was super WIN. Not my favorite Mata, but still an excellent and unique design (with the shield and all). Anyway, I spent two months searching through retails stores in 01 looking for him... whenever my mom went somewhere they might sell Lego sets, I went too, but he was just never there!
Kopaka Nuva was okay, but overly bulky. So far with the Phantoka, I must say the new sets do look better than the Nuva, but not the Mata. Just so I have that cleared up.
The most disappointing thing about Kopaka is his Inika-ness. His basic design is almost identical to the Inika, with only a few minor changed. Sure, he does look okay, but I won't truly say that Lego's moved away from clonism. I remember somebody saying in a blog review that they have seen Lego move away from the clones, and now they want them back. I laughed at the time, but they're right. Even if the sets are semi-clones, if they're decent sets like the Bohrok, Rahkshi, or Piraka, they'll probably do well. The Kal were a problem because they weren't just clones of each other, but clones of the previous villain line of Bohrok. I hate to say this, but Kopaka just looks like a clone of the Inika. If Lego started making cloned sets again, then they would be able to afford to make new limb and torso designs for just one set of canister sets. I thought the Inika were okay, but now I'm just bored down the line. (Although bonesiii did point out that there's not much they can do to improve on the mobility of the set, so why change a good thing?)
'll talk about the limbs for a moment... they consist primarily of Piraka leg pieces. While they do make excellent lower legs... and I'm fine with Kopaka's legs... they make horrid lower arms. First, having the same piece for the arms and legs is bad. The arms should be shorter or thinner, preferably both. The Mata all work, as do most of the Nuva, and Kongu and Jaller Inika can pass as well. But the same pieces for arms and legs blow the proportions. Gali Nuva wasn't amazing when it came to arm pieces, and I said the same thing with a majority of the Inika, and Kopaka as well. Worst, with the shoulder armor, it's impossible for Kopaka's shoulder to go into a 90 degree angle because the arm piece and shoulder armor collide. It's irksome, and I might switch out Kopaka's arms later on for something better (like Rahkshi leg pieces, I think I might have a few of those in Metru grey). And, while I'm on the limbs, I will say I like the white Inika feet. They be cool.
The major new thing that Kopaka has that the Inika don't are the wings. The design for them is somewhat basic but effective. The airplane wings do work for Kopaka, in my opinion. Kopaka's always had a super technologic look about him... something to do with a mask with lenses in it. Plain and effective airplane wings would suit him fine, much better than propellers or jetpacks would. And dragon wings... no, I don't see that for a Toa of ice. The wings do look a bit awkward if positioned incorrectly. They aren't meant for flapping, after all. The best position is to push them in until they're blocked by the back piece that's made to hold Solek. (BTW, I said earlier that Lewa's connection piece was a unique design compared to Pohatu... but I guess Kopaka has the exact same design. Oh well, it still works, and is better than the Makuta's.) Anyway, the wings make for great potential MOCing pieces... much better than either the jetpack pieces or Pohatu's propellers.
The weapon... unfortunately, Kopaka is mostly limited to a Midak blaster with a scope. I prefer him to hold the blaster in one hand, but they leave the other hand feeling empty. But when he's holding onto it with both hands, the pose-ability (understandably) goes down. Oh well, maybe I can fit a custom shield in his spare hand. I've already gone over the Midak... excellent shooter that holds the spheres pretty well, but bulky. Bu I truly do like Kopaka's scope. It's what Lego's Matoran need more of; smaller silver weapons. I really hope that it is used again in smaller sets of years to come. because it is a nice piece. For Kopaka, it makes a rather puny melee weapon, but for my custom Matoran, it's ideal.But... I thought you were dead!
Moving onto the New Akaku, it's a interesting mask. I think mine may be slightly deformed, because it has trouble being placed on the Metru head... there's some overlap in the plastic that doesn't quite fit until the mask is all the way on, and it makes that process tricky. (Has this happened to just me, or is it a common trait for the new mask?) I think this ne is more of a merger between the great Ruru (Whenua's mask) and great Matatu (Nuju's mask). It no longer holds the "roundish" shape of the original Akaku, but it sure makes Kopaka look dead serious about everything he's doing. Of the new Phantoka masks, this one probably best matches his earlier styles... and hey, it's been a while since we've seen a mask with a scope, right? The red laser is a bit tacky... a good piece, but why would you want that sticking out of your eye. I found a much better use for it.I stick my tongue out in your general direction, Makuta!
And, just for fun, I tried out a new weapon design that allows Kopaka to more easily handle his Midak blaster with both hands. Of course, I disassembled his back connection piece and had to rearrange some of his armor, but it's kind cool with him pointing this new massive Midak.
Seriously, Lego, don't take this for inspiration. If I saw this weapon as a set, I'd break down and cry at the horribleness of it. But since this is a total amateur design with limited pieces... I can hold back my tears.
Color wise, Kopaka disappoints, but that's to be expected. Like Pohatu, his main white pieces are his armor, feet, and mask. Kopaka gets the extra boost by also having his body pieces be white, but who really cares about those. The armor and limb pieces are all an ugly dark grey... the armor especially. Don't you remember, Lego, that Kopaka came with light gray? But I guess it goes with all the other Phantoka Nuva, who also have grey as their secondary color. I really wish that the chest armor hadn't come in gunmetal gray, but silver. Yes, Silver works well with white... get over it, all you silver haters. And since Kopaka has silver wings and weaponry, a silver Inika chest piece would've have killed, right? Oh well, the contrast isn't too bad.
Overall, Kopaka has a lot of pieces to offer. I like his wings and scope, and the mask is okay. The limb pieces are good for MOCing, but together they don't work too well and are far to reminiscent of sets of the past. Of the three Toa Phantoka, I must say that Kopaka is my least favorite, behind Lewa (2nd) and Pohatu (1st). But he's cool enough, the the trio look great. Besides, I'm planning to make this my last big set collection year, and I will probably honor Lego by getting most of the Nuva in their third form. (Except maybe Gali).
So, what I'm trying to say is, Kopaka's good for a few pieces and if you like white (and grey), as well as those nostalgic fans. But if you only want one Phantoka Nuva... I might be temped to point out the other two first.