Today for your viewing pleasure, I will be reviewing a long time favorite of mine, The Toa Metru.
Vakama- 8601 (48 pieces)
Nokama- 8602 (46 pieces)
Whenua- 8603 (49 pieces)
Onewa- 8604 (44 pieces)
Matau- 8605 (46 pieces)
Nuju- 8606 (48 pieces)
All were released in 2004 and costed $8.00
Continuing the tradition of years prior, the Toa Metru come in the classic cylindrical canisters we all knew and loved. The lid here is unique in that, if you have two, they can be combined to make the matoran sphere which is an awesome feature. The front displays the Metru in a very dynamic pose, demonstrating the articulation these guys have, whereas the back shows us a map of Metru Nui and their corresponding Toa.
The build of each Metru is pretty much the same, though there are some minute differences that set each apart
The feet are nothing special, but their design is a lot more appealing than the Mata/Nuva IMO. With the legs things start to get more interesting, not only is their design more involved than that of prior, but they are correctly proportioned and the right length in comparison to the body.
The torso is another highlight amongst these Toa because the lower torso piece can be changed to different heights, whether it be the tall and slender look of Nokama, or the more compact and stocky style of Whenua’s. These torsos also manage to hide up the gears so they aren’t exposed like said Mata and Nuva, which is a plus in my books.
Branching off the torso we have the arms, and they do branch off quite literally, in slender spacious sticks that link the shoulders with the body which is quite strange looking. However, like the legs, they are decently proportional. But what I really love is the way the shoulder piece is similar looking to the upper leg pieces, adding a nice, consistent flow.
Though their similar build is somewhat tedious, the little differences in their build make each stand out from one another while still maintaining a unified look. Nokama’s torso is heightened, giving her a more sleek and female appearance. Figures such a Vakama, Matau, and Onewa maintain a middle ground, which helps to balance out the team as opposed to just having six tall guys or six short guys. Whenua gets the short end of the stick, quite literally, though this is not a problem in the slightest. As a matter of fact, the compact nature is appropriate for an earth character.
Another minute detail worth noting is the white rod sticking out of the chest, considered a heart stone by some, which just goes to show the detail and care the designers put into these guys.
While their color schemes aren’t the most vibrant, one could imagine that the grey they sport is organic tissue whereas the main color is the mechanical stuff. Here once again we see a prime example of how much detail they put into these guys, trying to make them feel more like real Toa by paying attention to these small details.
Parts of interest (pretty much everything)
- Torso pieces
- Waist pieces
- Chest covers
- Knee armor
- Shoulder armor
- Lover arms
- Lower legs
- New Head
Each Metru's Kanohi is also unique and works well with their character and element. Vakama’s mask, bearing a sleek appearance and a single eyehole, fit in well with Metru Nui’s futuristic aesthetic, though the lower jaw reminds me of a gas mask, like pyro from TF2, which suits his control over fire. Nokama has a very aquatic esq mask, with the bubbles forming eyes and just the overall smooth watery look. Matau’s mask is swift back with slender eyes for a more aerodynamic vibe, which goes hand in hand with his ability to fly. Nuju’s mask is also fairly futuristic, though the scope-eye captures his role as a thinker. The slits on Onewa’s Komau give a sort of athletic vibe, and considering he Is the strongest, this makes sense, though something about its overall shape seems to suit him somehow but I can’t lay my finger on it. Lastly, Whenua’s mask has a somewhat eerie expression, as though he is a sort of deep , all wise thinker.
One of the most extraordinary parts about the Metru is the amount of articulation they introduced. While the Rahkshi introduced bending knees, the Metru brought the full package, allowing for some great poses to put these guys in. The only issue with posing is that the gear function somewhat interferes with the posing, and the lack of friction in the shoulders can ruin posing as well.
While to Toa Metru have a solid form, they also bring some unique and fluent functions that help deliver that perfect balance of form and function. Not only did they manage to bring back the gear function , but the angling of the shoulders means that the function doesn’t interfere with the legs like the Mata and Nuva. This allows for some great chopping action, though because Vakama has a disc launcher, the function seems a little impractical.
The Toa Metru’s weapons are also multipurpose like the Nuva’s, but instead of the weapons just going on their feet, the sets find some ingenious ways to use them in other ways.
Matau’s Aero Slicers can not only be stored on his back (another plus about the Metru), but they can be spread out like wings, which works much better than Lewa Nuva putting his swords on his butt and gliding.
Vakama has something similar going on, but instead of wings he has a jetpack. Also unlike the rest of the team, he has a launcher which looks very appropriate for him. Launcher function
Nuju, although having his weapons go on his feet, do make for some proper looking snow shoes .
Whenua’s Earthshock Drills can not only make for some effective shovels, but they can combine to form a single drill.
Nokama and Onewa on the other hand just get storage, which is still nice to have. Speaking of which, Nokama and Onewa’s both are very flexible which works for Nokama since one could just imagine her usung these as flippers, while Onewa’s can be flexed to make it look like he’s swinging them.
- Involved build
- Consistent, solid look
- Astounding parts selection
- Multipurpose weapons
- Little details help set each character apart, giving each a distinct look
- Accurate proportions
- Gear function doesn’t interfere with legs
- Appropriate color schemes
- Astounding posability
- Shoulders jut out, leaving two sticks to connect the arms to the body which looks awkward
- Similar build may be tedious for some
- Gear function can ruin posing somewhat
The Toa Metru were the definite peak of BIONICLE, not only perfecting issues of past Toa but demonstrating a near perfect balance of form and function that still holds up to this day.