Lego BIONICLE 8989: Mata Nui

Welcome back to Archivist Reviews with Stoax. Although I never made a review of this set in the early days of my YouTube channel , the term ‘archive’ could also be applied towards the fact that this is an older set.

Rambling aside, today I will be going over Mata Nui, featuring the mighty Tuna

Set Number: 8989
Piece Count: 52
Price: $13 (darn inflation. I SHALL HAVE YOUR HEAD ON A STAKE)
Released: Summer 2009

PACKAGING:
Now because I threw his canister away to make more space for other sets, I improvised and found some crap on the internet.


The canister itself is nothing spectacular, sporting a similar shape to the packaging we got with Bionicle since the Inika (excluding the Mahri and Barraki). The box art on the other hand looks wonderful, with the illuminated Skrall shield and Mata Nui’s stance adding a sense of power that catches the eye.


Turning it around you find what is normally seen on the back of a BIONICLE canister, all the Legends displayed, how to work some of the sets functions, how to store the set, etc.

BUILD:


While the legs do use the traditional Inika style, I applaud that LEGO tried to add some variation with the attachment of the Matoro Mahri armor pieces on his thighs and the addition of the shin guards (which wobble obnoxiously). One thing that does make the legs a little unusual looking though, is how disproportionate the lower legs are to the upper.


Not to mention, how these things stick out like a sore thumb.


Continuing on we have the torso, also build Inika style, though the configuring of the armor makes him stand out amongst the Legends.


That said, while it does give him more of a presence, there is this noticeable gap in the side here that, while fixable, is a little off putting at first glance.


The arms now are perhaps the weakest part of his build, despite the fact that the configuration of the armor is different than most Inika style sets, their overall construction gives him these overly long arms.

DESIGN:


While his proportions are a little strange and some design choices are a little questionable, Mata Nui’s overall look and aesthetic is very fitting. The addition of certain armor pieces and the generally bulky look he has makes it look like he is wearing actual armor, and the way he uses the Onua chestplate compliments this by having a sense of depth. I also love what they did with the shoulder armor, their very grandiose look adding a sense of power to him.

His color scheme of keetorange and black is spread consistently throughout and there are no color breaking pieces outside the red pins, but that is a very minor nitpick. I do wish he was gold though, as that would add a more grand look than the keetorange. One last thing I would also like to say about the color scheme is that the blue eyes work BEAUTIFULLY, really giving an almost supernatural vibe.


As for parts work noting on Mata Nui, there are several
- The UDD esq shoulder armor pieces
- The shin guards
- The Iron Ma- er- Glatorian head (not seen because I forgot to include it in the pic)
- The super awesome and hardcore game piece
- The Thornax ball


And then there is the remolded Kanohi Ignika. While the original mask had a swept back appearance that made it look more legendary, this one reduces that by rounding the sides and shortening the forehead, however it still does stay somewhat true to the original with the facial features. In the end, while it may be the latter of the two masks IMO, it still is a great Glatorian mask nevertheless.

POSABILITY


Since he uses the Inika build, articulation is nothing out of the ordinary on Mata Nui, featuring full movement in the feet, knees, hips, hands, elbows, shoulders, and head.


There is once thing, however, that make posability on Mata Nui stand out, that of which being that due to the way the shoulder plates are designed, it does make posing the arms inwards quite awkward since the plates will clash with each other. Aside from that, you can get this guy into some phenomenal poses and very intimidating stances.

FUNCTIONS


Mata Nui does offer several functions to the table that make playability all the more great. The first function is the thornaxx launcher, which is basically an simplified version of the Zamor Launcher, though it works by squeezing on the sides. Once thing that sets this function back though is that the Thronax is partially made of rubber, meaning it can break easily (like you can see).

Function demostration


Then there is his Scarabax ‘Shield’, emphasis being placed on the whole shield thing since, despite having a cool design, is very impractical since once could just slice off his knuckles easily.


Though the shield is slightly disappointing, there is the game piece on the back which comes into play when doing the “BIONICLE Action Figure Game (best frickin’ name ever!), of which the rules for the game can be found in Set Info here, or here depending on which Wiki you use. The inclusion of this single feature, makes playability all the more incredible.

OVERALL

Pros:
- Consistent color scheme
- Tons of playability
- Good articulation
- Solid profile
- Grandiose aesthetic pulled off well
- Lots of interesting parts
- Slight variation with Inika build

Cons:
- Gap in torso
- Shoulder plates interfere slightly with posing
- Awkwardly proportioned limbs
- Exposed balls on backs of upper legs
- Knuckles chopped off due to impractical shield

While he may not be nearly the legendary set we anticipated for 8/9 years, the cons are fairly minute and easily fixable. He stands up on his own fairly decently and is a worthy set to add to your LEGO collection.

15 Likes

I wish I had gotten this set, but I never saw it in any stores.

2 Likes

Perhaps it was one of the more rare of the six

i got all of them and i would recommend ackar or stronius or even gelu before this set. MN was super mediocre

1 Like

I found every single one except for Mata Nui and Gelu.

And those two where the only ones that I wanted. disappointed

3 Likes

The hand that holds the Scarabax Shield broke on mine cry

2 Likes

I got the set but I lost the Keetorange Ignika. sigh

2 Likes

solid review

I got this set, his upper legs are now super loose, thanks 09 joints

2 Likes

You should be happy. The sockets on mine completely snapped off. They are unusable.

2 Likes

I only got this set for the mask... stuck_out_tongue

I never knew that your chin was on your lower legs.

/s

Nice review!

3 Likes

Whoops, I meant to say shin

I figured as much.......

NOW! TO KICK HIM IN THE CHIN!

Aw man, I remember how I was so excited when I got him--especially the Mask of Life. At the time, Mata Nui was my favorite character......Sadly, I sold him last year at a garage sale. frowning

1 Like

YOU DID WHAT! YOU MONSTER!

No really...

2 Likes

I agree with those cons. Especially with the limbs.

I have one. It was the first legends set I got.

May want to rephrase that...

3 Likes

Always liked this guy more than titan Mata Nui. And those shin guards are amazing for mocs.