LEWA: MASTER OF THE JUNGLE
I like Legos. This shouldn’t really be surprising, as I could hardly be a self-respecting toy fan if I didn’t like Legos, one of the most popular toys of all time. Legos are a lot of fun, whether it’s a specific set, designed to be one thing, or just a pile of standard bricks, ready to be anything.
Of course, I’m still primarily an Action Figure kinda guy, so they tend to be my focus. Back in 2000, Lego blurred the line between building toy and action figure for the first time with the introduction of Bionicle. I was a huge fan of Bionicle, especially the line’s first six “Toa.” I didn’t stick with the line super long, but I loved those first few figures immensely. The line went on a bit of a hiatus a few years ago, but 2015 marks the grand return of the line, bringing back those first six figure in new, updated forms. Let’s start things off with Lewa, Master of the Jungle (formerly Toa of Air), my personal favorite Toa.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Lewa was released as part of the first assortment of the new Bionicle line, released in January of 2015. The original Toa were all the same basic size and price point, but Lego is mixing things up this time, offering the characters in regular and deluxe releases. Lewa is one of the three “regular” releases. In his fully assembled form, Lewa stands roughly 8 inches tall, has 13 points of articulation, and is built from 85 pieces. Lewa’s design has been altered quite a bit for the new line. In general, he’s been made a bit more proportionate, looking more like an actual person. His color scheme has also been tweaked to add yellow and silver to his design, which takes the place of some of the lighter green on the original. Perhaps the biggest change is Lewa’s mask, which is much less boxy and square than the original. It seems to be an amalgam of the original design with his Nuva design. The end result is something not unlike Marvel Comics’ Ultron, which is certainly not a bad thing in my opinion. A straight “sculpt” review would be a bit difficult on a figure of this nature, however, I will say that this figure lives up to the Lego standard of exceptionally designed, implemented, and tooled parts. All of the pieces snap together like they should, and they stay together, allowing Lewa to serve as a proper action figure. For the most part, each of Lewa’s pieces is molded in the appropriate color, which means no paint. However, he does have a little bit of detailing on his chest plate, which is cleanly applied and adds a nice bit of variety to the final figure. During the transition to Nuva, Lewa went from a single axe to a pair of swords. Both are pretty equally associated with the character, so I’m sure it was tricky to pick which one would serve as the weapon for the re-design. Lego took an approach of “why not both?” and gave Lewa TWO axes, the handles of which also serve as swords. The axe heads can also serve as a set of glider wings, somewhat replicating the alt-mode of Lewa Nuva. In addition to the axes, Lewa also includes an extra mask, molded in gold, and a skull-spider thingy to fight. The mask can be swapped by using the “mask launch” feature, and either the gold mask or the skull-spider thingy can be placed on his face. The original Bionicle figures each had a gear driven action feature, and they’ve brought those back with these guys. When the gear on Lewa’s back is twisted, he swings his axes back and forth. It’s way cool.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This is all Tim’s fault. He texted me a few weeks ago telling me he was “trolling Targets for Nerf guns and Bionicles” and asked if I wanted to join. How can you say no to that? Anyway, we ended up finding all the Bionicle we were looking for. I got Lewa, as well as Pohatu and Onua, and Tim got Kopaka and Gali (No one got Tahu, because he’s just… the worst…). Lewa is my very favorite Toa, and I’m thrilled to see him back in the line. This figure takes the best elements of the original Lewa and Lewa Nuva and melds them with some pretty great updates, resulting in a really fun figure.