Review: Official Set - The Vahki
So far I’ve had a blast reviewing the 2004 Bionicle sets. The Matoran and Toa Metru were both great set lines, which means the Vahki have a lot to live up to.
Each of the Vahki sets contain 32 pieces and are recommended for a building age of 7+.
The packaging for the Vahki is an innovative canister shape which is a triangular shape with rounded edges. The front of each canister poses the Vahki in unique ways and provides a background of the Metru Nui skyline with an overcast color matching the color of that specific Vahki. I wish that we maybe got a little more differentiation in the backgrounds showing some more renders of Metru Nui, but this is still pretty nice.
Inside each canister is a bundle of pieces, the instructions, and a Kanoka card that was used as a promotional game in 2004.
After some really great sets to start off the 2004 line of Bionicle, I have to say I was a bit let down by the base models. They feel a little bit bare when compared to models such as the Toa Metru that have a lot of armor pieces. The new molds that are included with the Vahki sets look great, but areas that simply leave dark gray Technic connectors exposed just hit me the wrong way.
My favorite parts of these Vahki models are more or less centralized around the head. The head and eye pieces work excellent together, and certainly pull off a menacing look for the Vahki. The connection for the disk launcher is also well done as it meshes really well with the different shapes of the head and eyes. I couldn’t help but notice that the disk launchers for these sets work better than the ones included in the Metru Nui Matoran sets and Toa Vakama’s disk launcher. A little bit more force is required to shoot the disks, which results in a larger force pushing on the disk as it leaves the launcher, therefore giving it a greater speed.
Something else that bothered me with the base models was one of the play functions, specifically the gear mechanism that turns the torso back and forth. The gear is located in an inconvenient spot on the underside of the model when in the crawl configuration. It gets tough to reach your hand under the model to twist the gears, but for young kids they’ll probably have no issues.
The articulation for these base models is a positive though. The Vahki are able to pose their arms and legs in a variety of ways and include a lot of joints in the legs. They can even morph their display configuration between walking and crawling. This is achieved by rotating the head around, bending back each of the legs, and positioning the arms down to stabilize the front.
Each of the Vahki sets includes silver weapons that attach to their arms. These serve a very effective functional purpose by allowing the models to sit in their crawl configuration, but their look is something I have a slight issue with. The weapons molds look pretty standard across all 6 sets, and don’t do a great job of varying the design for the different models. When viewing from far away they can tend to look like they are actually just the same piece, however, when viewed up close you can tell that they all have different fine details.
The Vahki include two combination models, each of which represents a type of Vahki that was used in special situations such as containing a Rahi that escaped from the Metru Nui archives. The combination builds for me were the highlight of these sets. They both offer very unique concepts that fleshes out larger versions of the two Vahki display configurations. One model gives us a bulky standing up Vahki, while the other gives us an incredibly large Vahki in the crawl configuration. Both of these come off as more intimidating than the base models.
The articulation is very well compromised in different areas across these builds. Typically we get too much articulation in the combination models, but for the Vahki the designers appear to have taken a step back and focused really hard on just making the best models they can with the parts that are available, and not forcing themselves to use every single new part.
The new color schemes of green/red/black and blue/brown/white are quite effective for each of the builds, so count me in as a fan. I’m not sure how well they would translate to say a Kaita model, but for Rahi or villainous combinations I think they work great.
The only downside for these is a small one. The legs of the green/red/black model are a bit tough to snap together. Not so much a con, but rather a fair warning if you’ll be building them yourself.
As a whole, the Vahki are certainly not anything special, but they are still neat, functional sets that would be a good addition to your collection. The variants are pretty collectable and would definitely be fun to make a horde out of.
Luckily if you want these sets for yourself, their price is on the low-end when it comes to Bionicle sets. The average cost is right around $7 per Vahki in used condition, while a sealed set from this line typically costs around $25-$30. You can clearly get more for your money by opting for used sets, but if you really want the experience of a sealed Bionicle set, these are a rather inexpensive way to do that.
A pretty good set on a macro scale of Bionicle, but it simply falls short of competing with the other sets from 2004.
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