Review: Official Set - Matoran of Voya Nui
We’re on to 2006. Kicking off this new year of Bionicle, and the island of Voya Nui are the Matoran of Voya Nui. These Matoran managed to stay hidden from the Piraka while they enslaved other Matoran as a means to get to their treasure. They formed the Voya Nui Resistance team and became scouts that learned the dark secrets behind the rulers of Voya Nui.
Each of the six sets on average contains 22 pieces and is recommended for ages 7-16.
A new year and island means we get our hands on a brand-new packaging theme. The front of each box shows a Matoran in an action stance in front of a white background. There are a few small elements below them that emphasize what region they’re from, along with a silhouette of Voya Nui in the background. There is a banner up top and on the left side of the box that showcases the name of each Matoran along with an additional look at their masks.
The back o the box keeps it simple, including images off all six of the Matoran of Voya Nui along with a map graphic of the island, which is essential for bringing us into this new world.
Each Matoran of Voya Nui includes a bag of parts, weapon pieces, and some instructions.
Base Model Review
The six builds took me a total of 19 minutes, which to be honest was a little bit longer than I had expected it would take. The thing that I enjoyed most about these sets were the very unique constructions. Typically when we get smaller sets, we end up with the “clone effect” of six builds that are essentially clones in their construction, but with different colors, weapons, and masks. The Matoran of Voya Nui flip that script and give us six very unique and original constructions that keep the build fresh and enjoyable all throughout the assembly process.
The color variations are also quite nice in the way that they use transparent eyepieces to create a lot of contrast in each model, and the occasional bright part such as the bright light orange pieces seen in Balta. While they stick to the main colors we are accustomed to seeing in a wave of Bionicle sets, they still manage to feel fresh.
I must say that the articulation we get with these Matoran is certainly the best we’ve seen so far in a wave of Matoran Sets. Ball joints are very prevalent in the arms, legs, and head, which create endless possibilities for posing these sets. That being said, they do teeter with the line of containing too much articulation. When small models such as these have a lot of articulation, it can become a little bit tougher to practically use the model.
Unfortunately, the positives end there. A glaring issue I noticed before I even opened a single box was the mask selection. The masks are simply lazy. They’re identical to the ones we received with the Toa Metru in 2004, both in the molds and color. I don’t have an issue with reusing a mask mold (although I do think the 2001 masks were a lot better for creating various color options), my issue is that they’re the exact same color. It’s lazy to the point of LEGO® potentially looking at these parts and saying, “hey let’s get some extra use out of these before we have to throw them out”.
Another thing that may not be considered a big issue, but nonetheless is a flaw, is the fact that there are no mechanisms included in these sets. They have a ton of articulation, but not a single dynamic function like the ones we’ve seen in Matoran sets from 2001, 2003, and 2004.
The biggest problem that I have with these sets revolves around the part usage. We get now new part molds or colors in these sets. These sets are supposed to be introducing us to a brand-new island and a new story, but fail to pull that of at all because they simply look like some extra Metru Nui sets.
These are some cool looking sets, but the thing is that they abysmally fail at introducing us to Voya Nui and establishing a brand-new island. I genuinely do not recommend these sets simply for the fact that you could likely build them by yourself so long as you have access to some Bionicle parts and the Toa Metru masks.
If you’d like to purchase this set for yourself, thankfully they’re not very expensive. In used condition you’ll find each of them to go for around $7, and in brand-new condition this set generally is priced around $20-$25 each. You can get them for a good value, especially in new condition if you’re a collector, but there’s no benefit as a builder to getting these sets in new condition, no parts here that look like they could be an issue in used condition.
Definitely a terrible introduction to a new line and island of Bionicle and leaves us with no satisfaction. I’ll be looking at the Piraka next week to be the real introduction to Voya Nui.