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Toa Nuva in retrospect


Aanchir

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Can we talk for a minute about how awesome the Toa Nuva's double-function weapons were? Looking back I think that might have been one of the coolest features they brought to the table. Swords that turn into a surfboard! Blades that turn into ice skates! Axes that turn into flippers! Chainsaws that turn into caterpillar tracks!

 

You saw a bit of this with the Toa Metru designs as well (Vakama's launcher/jetpack, Nuju's spikes/snowshoes, and Matau's swords/wings), but I don't know if it was quite as elegant as with the Toa Nuva weapons since some of the weapons had to be a rather peculiar shape for that dual functionality to work. I can't even quite tell what Nuju's crystal spikes are supposed to resemble in weapon form, unlike the Toa Nuva where the function of the weapons was fairly clear in both forms.

 

After that, BIONICLE didn't do a lot with dual-function weapons again, which is kind of disappointing. The Hero Factory rookies from 2010 sorta-kinda did this, but it wasn't very heavily advertised, and wasn't quite as dynamic a transformation. Furno could use his dual fire shooters either together or separately, or attach them to the back of his arms to act as jet propulsion. Surge could use his lightning shooters as two shooters, one dual shooter, two swords, or one dual sword. Breez could either throw her boomerangs or use them as harpoon guns. None of these transformations were nearly as radical as the Toa Nuva's tools.

 

After that, it seems like the LEGO Group has adopted a much different design philosophy with weapon pieces, creating them with designs less specific to a particular character or tool, and while I appreciate that as a designer and as a MOCist, it does mean the closest thing we've seen to a Nuva-style dual-function weapon was Stringer's BRILLIANT guitar/sonic cannon in 2012.

 

I guess it makes sense. The most versatile of the Toa Nuva weapons, after all, was also the one with the least dramatic transformation Lewa's Air Katanas, which only vaguely resembled wings when he held them a particular way. But at the same time, this remains one of the features of the Toa Nuva that feels incredibly special to those sets, even in hindsight when other special features they boasted like silver weapons and sturdy plate armor are no longer so unique or revolutionary.

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For multi-weapons, don't forget about the Piraka. They weren't as elegant as the Nuva or the Metru but each one definitely had two functions. Which as actually more than we can say for the Metru where only three of the sets had alternate weapon configurations with a recognizable function.

 

But, yeah, the duel functionality of the Nuva weapons is part of why I love them so much as sets. I thought they were elegantly integrated and added lots of fun playability, with the exception of Pohatu. I still have no idea what his alternate thing was supposed to be.

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For multi-weapons, don't forget about the Piraka. They weren't as elegant as the Nuva or the Metru but each one definitely had two functions. Which as actually more than we can say for the Metru where only three of the sets had alternate weapon configurations with a recognizable function.

 

But, yeah, the duel functionality of the Nuva weapons is part of why I love them so much as sets. I thought they were elegantly integrated and added lots of fun playability, with the exception of Pohatu. I still have no idea what his alternate thing was supposed to be.

Yeah, I had forgotten about the Piraka, though really I like those even less than the Toa Metru because it was less like one tool that performed two functions and more like two tools mashed together into one larger and more awkward tool. When Hakann's tool was in claw mode, the launcher might as well not have been there, and vice-versa. Whereas with the Toa Nuva and Toa Metru tools, the exact same shapes that made them effective for one function also made them effective for their alternate function.

 

 

Though technically, four out of the six Toa Metru tools had a dual functionality. Don't forget that Vakama's disk launcher could act as a jetpack. This might seem sort of out-of-nowhere compared to Whenua's jackhammer, Matau's wings, or Nuju's ice spikes, but honestly the flaring sides with flames shooting out of them make far more sense in "jetpack mode" than they do as a launcher — at least, if you have it aligned with the flames facing down. The comics had it aligned with the flames pointing upwards, but I'd almost certainly chalk that up to an error on the part of the artist since the actual set's instructions show it the other way.

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Though technically, four out of the six Toa Metru tools had a dual functionality. Don't forget that Vakama's disk launcher could act as a jetpack. This might seem sort of out-of-nowhere compared to Whenua's jackhammer, Matau's wings, or Nuju's ice spikes

 

 

The three I referenced as obvious where Vakama's jetpack, Matau's wings and Nuju's snowshoes. I had no idea what Whenua's where supposed to be. I thought they were a 'jaws of life' of some sort, and this is the first I've heard of them being a jackhammer. It was a very poorly designed tool in my opinion, in both configurations. Nokama and Onewa didn't even have alternate weapon uses, just back storage.

 

And for what it's worth, I actually really liked the flames on Vakama's disk launcher. Even when it's not acting as a jetpack it gives it a really nice aesthetic that makes it look like it belongs to a Toa of fire.

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Though technically, four out of the six Toa Metru tools had a dual functionality. Don't forget that Vakama's disk launcher could act as a jetpack. This might seem sort of out-of-nowhere compared to Whenua's jackhammer, Matau's wings, or Nuju's ice spikes

The three I referenced as obvious where Vakama's jetpack, Matau's wings and Nuju's snowshoes. I had no idea what Whenua's where supposed to be. I thought they were a 'jaws of life' of some sort, and this is the first I've heard of them being a jackhammer. It was a very poorly designed tool in my opinion, in both configurations. Nokama and Onewa didn't even have alternate weapon uses, just back storage.

 

And for what it's worth, I actually really liked the flames on Vakama's disk launcher. Even when it's not acting as a jetpack it gives it a really nice aesthetic that makes it look like it belongs to a Toa of fire.

 

Yeah, Whenua's tools are claws or shovels individually, but there are some Technic pieces that let you snap them together into... something (as can be seen in step 13 of his instructions). I always assumed it was a weirdly-designed jackhammer or drill (they're officially called "Earthshock Drills", so the latter might be more likely than it might seem from their design), but looking back, that's not at all how he uses the tool in his promotional video. He just sticks them together and then uses them to wedge away some rocks that are evidently so loose he might as well have just used his hands. :???:

 

And yeah, I also like the flames on Vakama's tool. I was honestly rather disappointed when Toa Mahri Jaller and Mistika Toa Tahu didn't have flame motifs on their tools, and was quite glad when elemental motifs came back with a vengeance in the 2009 sets.

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Don't you diss Lewa's katana.

 

Lewa's katana were amazing.

 

Also, did I miss something or are we not talking about Lhikan's dual swords which turned into a shield which could be used as a hoverboard?

 

Dualception.

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I never understood how Lhikans hoverboard was suppised to work... I could never figure out it it was meant to just hold together with him on top of it or if he was supposed to twist his foot awkwardly so it could stay togethef but make him look awkward...

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