BIONICLE (a portmanteau created from the words "biological" and "chronicle") is a constraction theme first released in 2001.
BIONICLE's first incarnation had a series of sets using TECHNIC pieces alongside ball and socket joints and a variety of specialized parts to depict the masks and armour worn by various characters and creatures. It was introduced in 2001 where it introduces the Toa Mata to the mysterious island of Mata Nui. BIONICLE concluded in 2010 with the BIONICLE Stars featuring characters and creatures which had appeared in the theme's assorted arcs. The focus was on different teams of warriors with elemental warriors called Toa as they protect Matoran villagers and try to foil Makuta's plot to overthrow the Great Spirit Mata Nui and take control of their universe.
The theme returned in 2015 after a hiatus of four and a half years. However, although it was scheduled to continue until at least 2017, it was discontinued after the release of the second wave in 2016 for unknown reasons.
Aside from being LEGO's first full fledged exploration of the possibilities of buildable action figures, BIONICLE is also notorious among the LEGO community for its overarching and complex story, especially compared to the vague backgrounds for a handful of characters and a couple of tie-in comics in LEGO Magazine most themes are relegated to. A strong plot and colourful heroes, sometimes even with elemental powers, is a component of modern Big Bang themes such as Ninjago, Legends of Chima, and Nexo Knights.
As well as the popular line of action figures, BIONICLE also launched a small spin-off theme featuring playsets and mini versions of the characters which lasted from 2005 until 2007. BIONICLE has also been the feature of a Netflix Original mini-series, numerous online games, chapter books, a series of comic books published by DC Comics, four direct-to-video/DVD movies, and various other tie-ins.
When it was introduced, BIONICLE was a hybrid of TECHNIC and the then recently created balls and ball cups. As the theme has evolved, the balls and sockets became more prominent, while TECHNIC became less common. The gear functions which were a part of most older figures were phased out nearly entirely near 2006.
Description[edit | edit source]
This section describes design tendencies and styles used by BIONICLE during its lifespan. For a list of sets, see List of BIONICLE sets.
Early years: 2001 - 2003[edit | edit source]
BIONICLE's initial wave consisted of a range of monsters called Rahi who, despite being more TECHNIC intensive than many other sets, still brandished hallmarks of the theme featuring specially moulded parts for claws and Kanohi Masks. Each Rahi set featured two beasts, usually of the same species and often with differing colourschemes. Through the use of TECHNIC functions, each Rahi could battle its partner or a creature from another set by lurching forward, punching, or some other action. The objective was to knock off an opponent's mask, which had storyline significance. The Rahi featured 8539 Manas, which held the title of most expensive BIONICLE set for years, also included a motorized function in addition to the crabs being able to attack with their claws.
The next wave of sets featured were "impulse buys" which featured the much smaller Turaga. The Turaga were humanoid and again featured mostly TECHNIC parts, though they still included Kanohi Masks, and special staffs. By pulling a lever on the Turaga's back, the model would raise its staff. They featured the same function as the Rahi in that their masks could be knocked off. Though each Turaga featured a similar build, they different in colour scheme, eye colour, mask and weapon, and subtle differences in the build such as neck position, arm length, and leg length. Every Turaga had a black torso and a two-toned colour scheme. The most prominent colour would be used by the mask, arms, and legs while the second would be used on the face, staff, and feet.
A collection of Tohunga (later renamed Matoran due to a lawsuit) villagers were released via a promotion with McDonald's. The six Matoran, sometimes nicknamed McToran, were all made from new parts introduced for the BIONICLE line, including two-toed feet, a torso, an arm for throwing disks, an arm poised downwards, a face, a mask, and a "bamboo" disk. Though each Matoran was identical in build, they again had unique colour schemes and different masks, making them easily identifiable. With the exception of 1390 Maku, they all featured the same Kanohi as the Toa from their respective tribe, but in a different colour. A seventh Matoran, Hafu, was made available with 8546 BIONICLE Power Pack.
The first collection of Toa, later specified as the Toa Mata, were released near year's end. The Toa dwarf the Matoran and Turaga in stature. They each feature variations on the same design with some deviating more than others. The set is built from a bulky torso which houses gear functions. Some Toa used their gear function for one or both arms, or in the case of 8531 Pohatu who used the torso piece upside down from the other Toa, for his legs. Though some of the Rahi did make usage of the new ball and socket system, the Toa due so more prominently and it is included to articulate their legs, feet, arms, and if it is not holding a weapon, their hands. Each Toa again has a two-toned colour scheme, which is the reverse of what the Turaga of their respective tribe has. The Toas' masks continued to feature a loose connection so that they could be knocked off in battle. 8532 Onua also featured a slight variation on the Toas' design in that his neck was placed at the front of the torso to give him a hunched over appearance.
The original colour schemes for each Toa and Turaga were:
- Fire: Bright red and bright orange
- Water: Bright blue and medium blue
- Earth: Black and dark grey
- Ice: White and light grey
- Air: Dark green and bright yellowish-green
- Stone: Earth orange and brick yellow
While some Matoran did stick to these colours, most deviated. For example, 1391 Jala adds bright yellow to the fire palette. Incidentally, Maku was the only one from the original run who matched her Toa's tones. Though there are exceptions, Matoran released after 2003 would generally use the same hues as whatever the Toa of their respective tribe happened to be in during that particular year.
Throughout the year, collectable Kanohi were released via 8525 Masks in the United States and parts of Europe and 8530 Masks in the rest of Europe. Each set would include two masks, the two parts required for making the head (one of which, used to simulate eye colour, could be one of six different colours), and an axle to attach the head to the top of a Toa's canister. Storywise, the Toa needed to collect six masks of power in their own colour, one of which they had when they washed ashore and is included in their respective set. The others, however, can be found only in these mask packs and the six shapes could be any of the five colours used by another Toa. The Turaga's masks could also be found in the mask packs in colours used by the Turaga.
2002 featured two breeds of mechanical creatures; the Bohrok and the Bohrok Va. Of the two, the Bohrok Va are simpler with bodies similar to the Turaga, but their bodies are hunched over and they have two-toed feet that rotate cannot swivel. Rather than a mask, the Bohrok Va feature articulated heads with a pair of long eyes and a shield repurposed from the Bohrok as a forehead. They do not have the mask knocking off feature, but can launch a rubbery Krana "brain" from their backs. The Krana are smaller than the masks and have a more organic appearance, but they can fit on a character/creature in place of their Kanohi and have the same loose connection so that they can be knocked off in battle.
The Bohrok themselves have a mechanical insectoid appearance with arched bodies and round heads, jagged eyes, and fanged under bites. The Bohrok introduced a number of new pieces for the arms/legs, feet, forehead, shields (which are shared by the Bohrok Va), eyes, functions, and more. Through the usage of gear systems and new pieces, the Bohrok's head will fly forward to attack. By pressing on their eyes, their Krana can also be revealed. Each Bohrok is armed with two shields and, as the Toa do, have arms and legs which can be posed via ball joints. The Bohrok are also able to roll up into balls by positioning their legs behind their heads and pulling their shields into the sides.
2002 also replaced the Rahi line with a collection of Titans, which would feature larger figures as well as the occasional Rahi. These included battle machines for the Matoran and Toa, respectively 8556 Boxor and 8557 Exo-Toa, which were naturally bigger than their pilots to accommodate them. The flagship of the year, however, was 8558 Cahdok and Gahdok, the twin queens of the Bohrok swarms. The queens are considerably larger than the Bohrok and resemble reptiles, but they use TECHNIC pieces to replicate the functions that the Bohrok's did with new pieces.
At the end of the year, the Toa Mata were upgraded into the Toa Nuva and received new sets to match. Their builds were mostly the same, but their chests were now outfitted with silver chest plates, shoulder pads, and larger, more versatile weapons which can serve a second purpose, such as being turned into a lava board, a pair of skis, or a ball to kick at opponents. Their new Kanohi Masks were more organic in appearance and they also received new pieces for their legs, which 8570 Gali Nuva also uses for her arms. The gear systems, colour schemes, and loose mask connections all remain consistent with their last appearances.
The collectable mask packs were also updated for the new story arc. 8559 Krana and 8569 Krana included two Masks of Power, one coloured gold and the other silver, plus three collectable Krana. The Krana could come in any of twelve colors used by the Bohrok or Bohrok Kal and eight shapes for a total of 96 Krana to collect. When the Toa were upgraded, the Mask packs released earlier that year were replaced by 8597 Krana Nuva and 8598 Krana Nuva. The metallic masks were replaced by shapes used by the Toa Nuva in six colours. Three Krana were still included per set.
This year also saw the first release of a collection of BIONICLE pieces released to make characters or creatures. This was the 10023 BIONICLE Master Builder Set which featured 113 pieces and instructions to create a total of 15 Rahi.
The Toa Nuva were not the only ones to receive upgrades, and the first wave of 2003 featured the Bohrok-Kal. They utilized the same build and functions as their predecessors, but received new, more detailed shields with silver colouring, silver feet, and silver foreheads with special printing. The collectables were also updated to 8599 Krana-Kal and 8600 Krana-Kal to include the new Krana-Kal in place of the Krana. There were eight shapes in six colours for 48 possibilities.
2003 also saw the return of the Matoran through store shelves (as opposed to Happy Meals) with new builds which used the Bohrok arms and a new torso piece. The Matoran not only had a wider range of motion for their arms, but their torso could rotate because of a new gear function. The six Matoran sets were not as tribally diverse as they had been previously, featuring six Matoran from only the ice, water, and stone tribes, but two more, Jaller and Takua, were included with Titan sets. All eight Matoran from 2003 included a Kolhii Stick and a "ball" (which is in actuality closer to a puck).
The Rahkshi were released in the second half of the year and included a new feature which would become the norm for BIONICLE sets in future years: bendable knees. Each Rahkshi was a spindly, hunched creature with a bug like head. They were differentiated by colour, spine type, and the heads used on their staffs. A Rahkshi's back could be opened up to launch their Kraata, a slug like creature which, in-story, control the warrior. The Kraata could connect of the faces of the other characters, though they are not as mask-like as the Krana. The Kraata became the subject of the collectables offered through 8580 Kraata, which included three randomly selected Kraata which had over 200 varieties. Additional "Shadow Kraata" were released in later copies of the Rahkshi sets.
This year's Titans included the aforementioned 8594 Jaller and Gukko and 8595 Takua and Pewku which included a Matoran riding a friendly Rahi. One of the other two Titans saw the manifestation of a set for Makuta, who had been the main villain since the theme began, in 8593 Makuta. The final Titan was the mysterious seventh Toa who was included alongside a vehicle made from pieces of the fallen Rahkshi in 8596 Takanuva. Takanuva featured the same build as the Toa Nuva did. A combiner set made from pieces of both 8593 and 8596 was released through 3287 Takutanuva which also boasted an exclusive version of Makuta's mask as it appeared in BIONICLE: Mask of Light. Both Makuta and Takanuva's masks ended the practice of using loose masks, replacing the dot with a longer axle.
Flashbacks and a redesign: 2004 - 2005[edit | edit source]
As the setting moves from the tropical island of Mata Nui to the sprawling city of Metru Nui in the past, the sets received a revamp. This year's Toa, the Toa Metru, implemented not only the concept of bendable knees from the Rahkshi, but also elbows. They also received thinner torsos than the Toa Nuva had with more discreet armour. The torso still held a gear system which could be used to swing the Toas' arms. This meant that their shoulders could only move back and forth and in relation with each other. Previous Toa sets had a limited range of motion in the arm, even though they could be swung. Though the Toa of Ice and the Toa of Earth retained their respective white and black colouring, the Toa of Stone had brown and the other three Toa Metru had darker colouring. All six were monochromatic, aside from structural parts which were dark stone grey, and nearly identical except for eye colour, mask, weapon, subtle build variations such as a longer neck, and the aforementioned colour schemes. The Toa's masks were new in design, featuring an axle and a return from the Nuvas' organic look. A new head was also moulded to accommodate neck articulation, and a new eye piece to fit into it. Despite the Toa Metru being younger versions of the Turaga, their eye colours are mostly inconsistent with the sets from 2001. All six Toa also feature new weapons which, like the Toa Nuva, could be refitted for a second purpose. For example, a pair of spiked clubs could become snowshoes or shovels could be combined to make a drill.
The Matoran also received an update with a taller form. They were all built around a new body plate piece in the colour of their respective Toa and had grey appendages. They reuse the Bohroks' feet, though in mostly new colours, and also the older head design. These Matoran also have the Turagas' masks, but with silver moulded onto their foreheads. Each Matoran carried a Kanoka Disk launcher (the same shape of disk previously used on the first wave of Matoran and with Slizer/Throwbot). The disks would glow in the dark and were printed with the symbol of each Matoran's city district. A silver disk launcher was also included. 2004's collectable was 8613 Kanoka Disk Launcher Pack which included a disk launcher in a different colour, two crossaxles, and two new disks.
The Toa Metru were pitted against the similarly sized Vahki, robots with disk launching mandibles, two staffs, and wide stances. The Vahki are the same colours as the Toa, but feature grey more prominently and have a striking splash of colour on their elongated heads. The Vahki did not have bendable elbows, but they did have gear functions to swing their upper body, similar to the Matoran of yesteryear. Later runs of the Vahki included the Kanoka Disk of Time and the golden Kanohi Mask of Time.
2004's Titans featured a new Turaga, Dume, with a build similar to the Matoran of the same year. 8621, the set which included Dume, was one of two sets that introduced new Rahi creatures for the year, also sporting his spying hawk, Nivawk. The other was 8811 Toa Lhikan and Kikanalo. Lhikan used the same build as the Toa Metru, but his colourscheme was diversified by golden mask, feet, and armour, while his hands and hips are also black. The other two Titans for the year were two members of the Dark Hunters; the spindly Nidhiki with spider-like legs and huge claws and his partner, Krekka, a bulky being clad in earth blue and white. Similar to Takutanuva, a combiner set using pieces from 8621, 8622, and 8623 was released in 10202 Ultimate Dume. The set was not actually the same character as Dume, but the name was given to retailers to hide the figure's true identity as Makuta Teridax. The combiner set also included another exclusive version of Makuta's mask, this time as it appeared in BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui.
A limited edition tub that included 702 parts for only 20 USD was released at Toys R Us as 8711 Master Accessory Kit.
2005 transformed the Toa Metru into the beastly Toa Hordika. The Hordika are all hunched over with a silver Rhotuka Spinner poised on their back which could be flown upwards. Their colourschemes are less monochromatic because some of their armour is now silver and they all include two-toned weapons. The disk functions are removed from their torsos and moved to their arms. Turning the sprocket on their shoulder will cause their arm to move upward. This did not come at the cost of elbow articulation, though they could only move up and down, but it did return a range of motion in their shoulder and actually increase it from previous Toa. All six Toa Hordika included precisely 48 pieces.
The similarly sized enemies for the year were the four-legged spider-like Visorak which, again, all included 48 pieces, except for 8744 Oohnorak which had 47. The Visorak each have unique mandibles and heads, but other than the usual colour deviations, they are only differentiated by small nuances like the piece used for their forelegs. Each one has a Rhotuka on its back. The Visorak also bring back a two-toned colour scheme by using accent colours on their legs.
The small sets for the year were not Matoran, but the mutated Rahaga. Tiny Rahkshi headed characters who are bent over with a Rhotuka on their back. Each carried a staff, had orange eyes, and a colour corresponding to a Toa Hordika. This brought about Rahkshi heads in four new shades for collectors.
Titan sets for the year were all tall, bipedal characters. There were only three, those being 8755 Keetongu, 8756 Sidorak, and 8761 Roodaka. Special sets featuring two of the Toa Hahaga, the Rahagas' previous and conventionally heroic forms. Though they used the Metru style build, they did not adhere to the uniform look of the Toa Metru and reused other armour, leg, and arm parts plus metallic armour, staffs, and unique Rhotuka launching shields to make them unique. Additionally, 8762 Toa Iruini introduced a new mask piece, though 8763 Toa Norik reused Dume's in a new colour. Originally, these sets were going to be Nidhiki and Dume's forms as Toa, but they were changed to the Rahagas' for whatever reason.
2005 was also the year BIONICLE Playsets were introduced. The sets featured mini, nonposeable versions of the Toa Hordika and Visorak plus of a blend of BIONICLE and System pieces. Each set included a full team of six Toa and at least all of the Visorak.
The collectable for the year was the Rhotuka. Five randomly coloured Rhotuka could be found in 8748 Rhotuka Spinners.
Several more jars filled with BIONICLE parts were also released through the year, though there was nothing as extraneous as 702 elements for $20.
Another revamp: 2006 - 2008[edit | edit source]
As BIONICLE's story returned from the past to the present, the story took a quite noticeable darker turn, with characters sacrificing themselves to save the universe and enslaved Matoran falling into the lava of a volcano. Thus, 2006 - 2007 is known as the "Dark Years" by many fans. In addition, the sets received another creative overhaul pushing the system further from the Mata figures. The first release of 2006 were the Piraka who had gangly bodies, spiked spines, scowling faces with huge grimaces, and clawed or webbed feet. The Piraka did away with gear systems entirely and in the future they would become an anomaly among BIONICLE sets. They featured a new torso piece which was thinner than the previous ones and had ball joints built into it so arms could be snapped on. The Piraka came in the same shades as the Toa Metru and Hordika, except 8904 Avak, the brown Piraka, used the newer reddish brown. Each Piraka had an exclusive weapon which was designed to be versatile for a number of different situations or attacks. They also had a Zamor Sphere launcher.
Among the Piraka in the first wave were 2006's Matoran who were designed to have a patchwork design. Each Matoran had a unique build and used no new parts, reusing the Toa Metrus' masks and various older weapons. Of the six, only 8722 Kazi stood up straight.
The Toa Inika came in the second half of the year with a new torso piece similar to the Piraka one, but allowed larger pieces of armour to be connected to it. The Toa Inika are made less standardized than their predecessors by using two different chest plates and various pieces for forearms and forelegs, both new and introduced in previous waves. The Inika also introduced new pieces for shoulder pads. Every Inika had a unique "organic" Kanohi made from rubber which could only attach to a special headpiece exclusive to them. The Inika were armed with a sword which would light-up with a blue, red, or green streak and a Zamor Launcher with an attachment that would allow it to hold three extra spheres. The Toa's spheres were again either blue, red, or green to match the colour of their sword's light. The Inika used the same darker shades as the Metru, but most of the Inika made heavier use of secondary colours and did more experimentation; for example, the primarily earth blue Toa of Water, represented by 8728 Toa Hahli, used white as a secondary colour rather than dark grey or another shade of blue, as her predecessors had. 8729 Toa Nuparu, however, was almost entirely clad in black, though even he used medium stone grey bones instead of the dark ones the Metru did. The colour scheme of the Toa of Stone, included in 8730 Toa Hewkii, was again changed. This time his primary colour was metallic dark grey while he also used plenty of flame yellowish orange accents.
The four titans for the year were 8625 Umbra, 8733 Axonn, 8734 Brutaka, and 8764 Vezon and Fenrakk. Umbara, Axonn, and Brutaka were all large, mask-wearing warriors clad in a plethora of armour and with large weapons, but 8764 featured the seventh Piraka, Vezon, as a normal sized figure (though with a cape and no Zamor Launcher) as he rides on Fenrakk, a spindly four-legged "spider" with a toothy jaw. Two of the combiner models were also released as sets. 8626 Irnakk was made from the parts of 8900 Reidak, 8902 Vezok, and 8905 Thok, but included a golden version of Thok's face/spines piece and a bundle of extra green Zamor Spheres. 10204 Vezon and Kardas contained 8733, 8734, and 8764. The combiner model built Vezon with a shield in addition to his staff and the colossal Kardas Dragon.
Extra Zamor Spheres were available in 8719 Zamor Spheres which included a total of 10 spheres in gold, silver, and bronze. Unlike past collectable packs, they were not randomized. The final two accessory sets with jars filled with parts were also released this year. A few of simple "good guys" and "bad guys" were also given away as promotions. Some of them featured Rhotuka spinners and other pieces left over from the previous arc, while others did not even have masks.
The playsets line continued from 2005. The minifigures were remastered and now had moveable arms and heads, though their legs remained static. Each character had a unique piece for their head, and the Piraka also received tails. The mini Toa Inika and Piraka were also dispersed through several sets, rather than a full collection being included in each set.
2007's arc featured a setting under the sea in the region around Mahri Nui. The regular sized villains were the Barraki, mutated warlords with the features of marine wildlife. Though they have some unifying factors, such as the same silver mandibles and a crossbow-like weapon used to fire rubbery "vampire squids," the Barraki come in a wide variety of shapes and builds. The squids were either orange or yellow. 8934 Squid Ammo included seven bluish-green squids.
Only two Matoran were released as separate sets; one flame yellowish orange and one earth green. They both feature larger builds than the year before with the scaly Hordika armour as breastplates and recolours of the Toa Hagah masks. Both of them are armed with two short blades and a shoulder mounted Zamor Launcher, which fires a "solidified air bubble" (really an orange zamor sphere). Two small, quadrupedal Rahi called Hydruka with Rahkshi heads, jagged fangs, and a tail which ends in a Zamor Launcher were also released under the Matoran subtheme. An additional two Matoran, one dark red and one earth blue, were included in the Titan set 8940 Karzahni. Though they are similar to the two stand alone Matoran, they have larger feet, air tubes, and different weapons.
The Toa Inika were rebranded as the Toa Mahri in the second half of the year and received more deep sea friendly designs and motifs. Their Kanohi implemented features such as visors and air tubes. Unlike the Inika and Hordika masks, these new ones were compatible with the Metru heads. Though they had not been phased out entirely, the Metru heads had been less prominent up to this point. The Mahri kept the same build features introduced in 2006, but they were further variegated with different types and amounts of armour. Some of them also reused torsos from the Hordika and Piraka. Most of their colour schemes continued to evolve, too, by replacing a secondary colour with another or including less of the primary shade. Each Toa had a Cordak Blaster, a rotating barrel that fires red darts. 8910 Kongu included a second blaster rather than a different weapon as his contemporaries did.
With a total of six, 2007 featured more Titans than any other wave. This included larger humanoids such as 8923 Hydraxon and 8924 Maxilos and Spinax, or to a lesser extent 8935 Nocturn, a four-armed figure with glow-in-the-dark elements who had much in common with the Barraki. 8923 and 8924 also deviated from the usual axle technique used in masks since the 2003 Titans. Their masks had an axle hole which would be connected to a Metru head via a separate red axle piece. 8939 Lesovikk included a bright yellowish-green Toa riding on a sled which could convert into a turret. The previously mentioned 8940 Karzahni included the titular figure as the centerpiece, plus two Matoran adversaries and a trap they had set for him. The most unconventional, however, was 8922 Gadunka, a creature with a huge head, spiky teeth, a tiny body, powerful legs, and thin arms ending in large claws.
The three playsets included mini Barraki and Toa Mahri used the same style as the previous year's sets. However, rather than each character having a unique head mould, each faction was relegated to three. Only five of the six Barraki were converted into minifigures; Carapar was excluded. The sets also moved from mostly being location based to centering around vehicles and mounts for the characters.
Poly bag sets in 2007 were 6944, 6945, and 6946.
2008 splits the six canister sets for the two halves of the year with three villains and three heroes in each, rather than a wave of heroes and a wave of villains. The first release, the Phantoka includes three skeletal Makuta with rib cages that burst open to launch transparent fluorescent reddish-orange Tridax Pods filled with rubber shadow leeches. These Makuta take inspiration from bats and all three include black and silver in their colour schemes. The Phantoka Toa are reintroductions of the Toa Nuva wearing adaptive armour. They are updated with the newer build style and pieces, as well as new masks. All three have their colour schemes modified, though 8685 Toa Kopaka only switches light grey out for dark stone grey. 8686 Toa Lewa uses bright yellowish-green, and 8687 Toa Pohatu alters the Stone colour yet again, this time to bright orange. Each of the three Toa have a mean of flying which is unique from the others, be it wings, jet packs, or rotors, and carries a Midak Skyblaster, a part which packs silver Zamor Spheres, this time referred to as balls of solid light, and shoots them back out.
The six Matoran released alongside the Phantoka are also split along the lines of good and evil. These Matoran are the largest yet, but they use new specialized moulds for their torsos, legs, arms, and head, giving them the smallest part counts since the original ones included in McDonald's Happy Meals. Each Matoran has a colour scheme and a mask which corresponds with a Toa or Makuta. While the good Matoran have jet packs and green eyes, the bad ones have bat wings and orange eyes. The Matoran are able to connect to the back of a Toa or Makuta to "team-up."
Mistika included the other half of the Toa Nuva and three more Makuta. These Makuta are insectoid with long, thin bodies and plenty of claws and some extra appendages. 8688 Toa Gali and 8689 Toa Tahu keep inline with the palette updates and swap their previous brighter shades for the darker earth blue and dark red, respectively. 8690 Toa Onua also adds bright red to his colour scheme as an accent. None of the three Toa have a unique propulsion system, but a combination of smaller jets and wings. While the Phantoka Toa used dark stone grey as a secondary colour, the Mistika use silver. All six Mistika figures carry a Nynrah Ghost Blaster, a pump which fires a dart. The Toa had grey pumps and metallic dark grey darts while the Makuta had red pumps with bright yellowish-green darts.
Four Titans were released in 2008, also two Toa and two Makuta. 8697 Toa Ignika consisted of a Toa styled similarly to the Phantoka with a colour scheme of flame yellowish orange, dark stone grey, and silver. It included the first issue of the Mask of Life, having only been available previously grafted to the back of Vezon's headpiece. 8697 also includes a sky board. Takanuva returns with the rest of the Toa Nuva in 8699 Takanuva at a larger size than before and with his gold replaced with metallic dark grey, the story explanation being that a shadow leech sucked out half of his light energy. Takanuva includes a three-pronged lance, a new version of the Mask of Light, and a Midak Skyblaster. 8952 Mutran and Vican includes a Makuta with bright yellowish green and black pieces and his matching Matoran partner. 8953 Makuta Icarax has a larger sized Makuta with a minimally different version of the Mask of Shaddows. Makuta Icarax uses gear functions minimally to make his shield spin.
The second half of 2008 launched the BIONICLE Vehicles subtheme with a collection of battle machines used by Toa, Makuta, and Matoran. 8698 Vultraz included a Matoran that was entirely red aside from some blending on the top of his exclusive mask and riding what is essentially an enlarged Midak Skyblaster with wings. 8954 Mazeka is a walking turret piloted by a white Matoran. 8941 Rockoh T3 and 8943 Axalara T9 are both rounded flying machines driven by a Toa variations of Pohatu and Lewa, respectively. 8942 Jetrax T6 is flatter than those two with a nose and engines on its wings. A cockpit is in the back where the pilot, an alternate version of the Makuta Antroz (who appeared in 8691 Antroz). 8942 was available both in its widely released colour scheme of bright blue and silver, or a special edition with bright yellow.
Poly bags and promotional sets included 6126, 6127, 6128, and 20005.
Glatorian, Stars, and the end: 2009 - 2010[edit | edit source]
In 2009, BIONICLE moved away from the Matoran universe to the barren and desolate world of Bara Magna. The Toa sized sets were the Glatorian in the first wave, and the Glatorian Legends in the second, and like 2008's sets, the different characters in each subtheme have varying allegiances. While the Glatorian do use the Inika build and related pieces, they also took further steps to differ colours among sets. The Glatorian also introduce a new head piece which attaches helmets and masks via the top of the head, not from an opened mouth. Another notable piece introduced here is a hand with moulded fingers. In story, the Glatorian have less mechanical parts than Toa, and the sets are designed to reflect that. Every Glatorian carries a Thornax Launcher which can be squeezed to propel a spiky ball called a Thornax Fruit.
The Agori released at the same time as the Glatorian follow similar design standards. While they mostly use the 2008 Matoran parts, they are generally more colourful.
The Glatorian Legends more or less followed the same style as the previous Glatorian. 8987 Kiina did innovate what is usually used as a lower arm/leg as a torso, to give her a more petite appearance than the dominantly male Glatorian.
As in 2008, the larger sets for 2009 were split between Titans and Vehicles. 8990 Fero and Skirmix featured an Agori-styled character called a Bone Hunter riding on a Rock Steed which has a pair of powerful hind legs and practically useless arms, causing it to pose like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. 8991 Tuma was comprised of a larger figure that is black with green highlights and carries a huge sword. 8998 Toa Mata Nui is a scaled up version of 8989 Mata Nui, but with different weapons. 8998 is the last appearance of the Metru head.
Whereas 2008's vehicles were mostly fitted for battle in the skies, 2009's feature vehicles designed for the desert landscape with treads and large wheels. These included motorcycles, rollers, and a chariot. Between the three smaller vehicles, four more Agori were released, while the two larger vehicles had Glatorian pilots. 8996 Skopio XV-1 is a treaded roller which can transform into a four-legged walker. It ties with 8539 Manas as the most expensive BIONICLE set.
The sole poly bag was 20012, which included Click the Scarabax Beetle.
Every Glatorian, Glatorian Legend, 8990 Fero and Skirmix, and 8992 Cendox V1 had a wheel somewhere on their back called a life counter for playing a game where a hit on their canister from a Thornax causes them to lose one life, a direct hit reduces the counter by two, and wherever the Thornax lands is where the shooter must move. The larger Titans and Vehicles each had two.
2010 downsized from 30 sets to a measly six for the end of the theme. The BIONICLE Stars line included six characters - 7116 Tahu, 7117 Gresh, 7135 Takanuva, 7136 Skrall, 7137 Piraka, and 7138 Rahkshi - from various BIONICLE sets throughout the years. Each Star was stylized, using the 2008 Matoran torsos and limbs rather than a larger build. In canon, they are all the same size as usual. They all deviated from the original set which they most resemble, but storyline excuses were provided. However, new armour pieces were introduced to bulk up the bodies a little. Each set included a piece of golden armour which could be placed on the Tahu figure.
Hiatus: Late 2010 - 2014[edit | edit source]
As BIONICLE's last wave was considerably smaller than usual, it shared constraction shelves with a Ben 10: Alien Force theme which only lasted one wave. After new sets stopped going into production, BIONICLE was succeeded by Hero Factory. Hero Factory originally featured a style similar to the system used in BIONICLE sets and their canisters boasted logos featuring "From the makers of BIONICLE" before Hero Factory entered its second year and introduced a replacement for BIONICLE's TECHNIC integrated system, called the CCBS, which relies more heavily on ball joints. The "From the Makers of BIONICLE" tag also disappeared, and as Hero Factory began its third year, the canisters were also replaced by resealable bags. Other constraction lines released since 2011 have opted to use Hero Factory's newer system with versatile bones and snap on armour. Most of the LEGO elements used in BIONICLE have since been destroyed or remoulded because the ball joints are not as sturdy as the CCBS joints or new constraction sets simply do not require them.
Unlike its predecessor, Hero Factory does not feature an in depth story, but rather an episodic structure where a team of robotic heroes upgrade to battle a new villain in what is generally a new environment. However, though they are not as dark or convoluted as BIONICLE was, LEGO has since released several in-house themes which do feature ongoing stories that are more involved than Hero Factory in Ninjago and Legends of Chima. Legends of Chima itself has had two waves of constraction figures (Ultrabuilds) to compliment that year's system sets.
Reboot and Second Cancellation: 2015 - 2016[edit | edit source]
Part designer Erland Nielsen implied that the BIONICLE reintroduction will use the CCBS, the same system as Hero Factory, having said "CCBS is not going anywhere. Balls are the new black." A leaked image later proved this to be true, with the figures using a variety of older Hero Factory parts and newer ones. The colour schemes use mostly bright shades, with gold and transparent colours also in use on some figures. There were at least 13 sets released, including remakes of the six original Toa, with 70787 Tahu - Master of Fire, 70788 Kopaka - Master of Ice, and 70789 Onua - Master of Earth being somewhat larger than 70784 Lewa - Master of Jungle, 70785 Pohatu - Master of Stone, and 70786 Gali - Master of Water. Each Toa also includes a collectable golden Kanohi, in addition to one in their primary colour. The masks are updated versions of the ones from the original six sets. All six protectors, the smaller sets, have a colour scheme analogous to the Toa of their respective biome, and they share the same mask as the other five protectors, though in a different colour. Each protector also comes equipped with a new form of launcher, which can fire up to six studs at a time with the rotation of the element's rotatable portion. These launchers are used as weapons against the skull spiders packaged in their sets. According to an analysis of LEGO's reveal of the Mask of Creation, the Toas' and protectors' heads via clips, similar to a minifigure visor, as opposed to using an axle as in older BIONICLE sets, as well has Hero Factory sets. Each Toa and protector also includes a much more miniscule four-legged "spider" with what resembles a mask for a body. The sole dedicated villain set of the winter wave is 70790 Lord of Skull Spiders, which also includes a golden version of the piece used for the smaller spiders' body.
An image of an unidentified golden mask, pictured right, surfaced in September 2014, reportedly to be used as the icon for BIONICLE's product page on LEGO.com. On September 19, 2014, LEGO officially revealed the theme's revival, and included in the reveal was confirmation that the mask included was the Mask of Creation.
A list of set names relating to the summer 2015 wave of sets was leaked on Eurobricks on December 25th, 2014, which indicates the arrival of new skull-themed villains and a Mask Maker. In addition, the January 2015 LEGO Club Magazine featured a preview of an unknown mask to be released in one of the summer sets. This Mask ended up being the mask of the Skull Grinder.
The 2016 winter wave saw the release of the Toa's Uniter forms and elemental creatures. The Toa were built to be able to unite with the creatures for additional play features. The Elemental Creatures were smaller sets similar to 2015's protectors Also released was Umarak the Hunter, the main villain of the year. The summer wave saw the release of four elemental beasts, a Large Umarak the Destroyer, and Ekimu the Mask Marker, a Toa like build. These sets were not as mass produced as the other sets in the rebooted line. This would ultimately be a sign of the ending of BIONICLE a second time as it was cancelled in July 2016.
History[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
During the late 1990s The LEGO Company faced financial difficulties and sought new ways to stay afloat, such as beginning to pick up licenses for the first time in decades, with Star Wars being the first. Despite the success of Star Wars when it was introduced in 1999, it still required royalty fees so LEGO continued to explore new possibilities. Among these were "constraction" (constructable action) figures, which materialized with Slizer/Throwbot and RoboRiders. Though both themes were short lived, between them they did introduce pieces and concepts which would later reappear in BIONICLE including parts used for hands and arms, balls and ball cups, the throwing disks, canisters for packaging, and the concept of warriors who can control nature. Aside from licenses and constraction, LEGO also decided it would be beneficial if they could develop an original theme revolving around a story which could appeal to a target age range of 8 - 12. Other innovations following losses during the late 90s not directly related to the conception of BIONICLE are Clikits and Mindstorms.
The concept which would become BIONICLE was originally entitled Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island and went through other monikers such as VooDoo Heads and Doo-Heads  which was developed by LEGO and Advance. It would have featured wacky constraction characters packed in canisters, but an art director working for Advance, Christian Faber, was inspired by LEGO's success with Star Wars and the medicine he had to take for a brain tumor to begin sketching out a story featuring clearly defined heroes entering a giant robot - via pill-shaped canisters - to battle the illness which had besieged it. The robot was originally going to rise again following the end of the first year's story, but as the theme evolved into BIONICLE this was changed to accommodate more storyline potential. Bob Thompson, the leader of the BIONICLE story team, brought in freelance UK writer Alastair Swinnerton , who changed the protagonists' names from Axe, Blade, Flame, Kick, Hook, and Claw to Lewa, Kopaka, Tahu, Pohatu, Gali, and Onua, respectively. Working closely with Thompson, Swinnerton wrote the development bibles for the first three years of releases, as well as contributing to the story for the first movie.
Cancellations and reintroduction[edit | edit source]
Originally, BIONICLE had been planned to continue in 2010 with a story about Mata Nui, Kiina, and Ackar journeying North to the Valley of the Maze where they meet new Glatorian and battle the Element Lords as they uncover new mysteries about Mata Nui and Bara Magna. The story would have been accompanied by a fifth movie which would end with Mata Nui and his friends being transported to the moon of Bota Magna and encountering biomechanical dinosaurs. Though some elements were worked in to the final story, they were heavily altered and condensed to keep the theme from ending on a cliffhanger.
FBTB.net broke the news that BIONICLE was being cancelled after the Stars series, receiving this email:
This is a description taken from FBTB.net. Please do not modify it. (visit this item's product page) Dear BIONICLE Fans,
In reviewing the business across all of its play patterns and properties, the LEGO Group faced a tough question: should we take on a new creative challenge in the world of buildable figures that we pioneered in 2001?
BIONICLE re-invented the way consumers think of and play with the LEGO system. Through many chapters of compelling story and innovative product development, BIONICLE became a very strong property and an important part of The LEGO Group’s business. We think there is a significant opportunity to grow the buildable figure category, but it will take a more flexible platform that appeals to a wider range of ages through a variety of different entry points than BIONICLE has proven to deliver.
The easy decision would be to stick with a known entity in BIONICLE; but as history has proven, The LEGO Group achieves its greatest success by embracing the uncertainty that innovation brings. After all, BIONICLE almost never launched because it was such a big risk to the company’s way of doing business.
Because you have been such an important part of building the BIONICLE franchise and have been among its most valued fans, we are writing to tell you that the six BIONICLE Stars launching in January will be the last BIONICLE sets for the foreseeable future. Beginning in summer 2010, The LEGO Group will debut a new, more flexible buildable figure property created by the same people who brought you BIONICLE. At the same time, we are also expanding the category to appeal to a younger audience through an established third-party property, starting in January.
Since its beginning, BIONICLE has reflected the union of great product and a compelling story. Although there presently are no plans for more sets, the BIONICLE story is not ending. BIONICLEstory.com will remain an active site, with new story content updated by long-time BIONICLE writer Greg Farshtey. In addition, LEGO Group hopes to work with you, the fans, to continue to grow and expand the BIONICLE story universe.
This was an extremely difficult decision for all involved. But as seen in the tales of the Toa, striving for success in any mission requires imagination, new ways of thinking, and the willingness to take risks. We hope you will share the same level of enthusiasm we have for our plans for the buildable figure category.
We invite you to remain a part of the BIONICLE universe—a universe you have helped to build, and that we are confident that you will continue to build—in the future. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the BIONICLE and LEGO brands.
With our very best regards,
Jan Faltum, Global BIONICLE Director
Lincoln Armstrong, Senior Brand Manager, BIONICLE Team Member since 2002
Though Greg Farshtey did continue the mythos on BIONICLEstory.com for about a year, he stopped in 2011 due to family issues, leaving many of the new serials unfinished. He did, however, reveal some information from the incomplete serials and podcasts, such that Velika is a Great Being disguised as a Matoran. Both BIONICLEstory.com and the BIONICLE subsite on LEGO.com were taken down in 2013 within a few days of one another.
However, as Faltum and Armstrong did say in their email, "[T]he six BIONICLE Stars launching in January will be the last BIONICLE sets for the foreseeable future[...]." As such, following a grainy image with questionable authenticity leaking online, exoforce.ru, a Russian shopping website, revealed a new range of products for 2015 featuring new versions of the original Toa (dubbed "Masters" in the set names), six smaller Protectors, and a new villain, Lord of Skull Spiders. Sometime after this, LEGO confirmed the rumours to be true on their Facebook page, and final images of the Lord of Skull Spiders and five of the Toa leaked before officially being shared with the Protectors and sixth Toa. In an interview with Fortune, LEGO's US vice president of marketing Mike Moynihan confirmed that LEGO had already intended to resurrect BIONICLE, and hopes to bring new life to the constraction toyline with its reintroduction.
This is a description taken from Facebook.com. Please do not modify it. (visit this item's product page) It is told that there exists a mask that will grant its bearer unspeakable power. Made from raw magic and solid gold, it is an artifact crafted with absolute precision and timeless skill – it is known as the Mask of Creation.
Welcome to the World of LEGO® BIONICLE®
We are ready to take you on an epic quest to find the Masks of Power. It will be a journey you will never forget. Stay tuned #BIONICLE2015
In 2016, BIONICLE received an animated mini-series on Netflix titled BIONICLE: The Journey to One. However a few months later on July 29th, after speculations in the fan community of poor sales and a story failing to connect with kids, LEGO announced that its three year plan for BIONICLE's reintroduction had been cut short and that it would be cancelled without confirming the rumours, but thanking the fans for making BIONICLE great. As a final farewell The Art of BIONICLE, a book featuring preliminary art and unused concepts of reboot characters and locales, was released as a PDF so that it could be readily available to fans. It can be viewed on the BIONICLEsector01 wiki here. A contest was also held on Rebrick to design the main villain Makuta, as the line was ended before he could be released.
Māori Lawsuit[edit | edit source]
Many of the characters and concepts in BIONICLE included names derived from Māori words. This upset the Māori people of New Zealand who took legal action against The LEGO Company for commercializing their culture. LEGO spokeswoman Eva Lykkegaard countered the accusations by arguing that LEGO had not trademarked any Māori words and that only the name of the theme itself had been copyrighted. LEGO agreed to change the names of several things following a meeting with a Māori representative.
In story the name changes were explained as part of a Naming Day Ceremony, where brave Matoran receive a lengthier spelling of their name. For example, Maku was changed to Macku. The Tohunga villagers were also retconned into being called Matoran. Various Maori words continued to be used in the theme for characters and concepts introduced early on, such as "Kanohi" and "Toa" as well as names like Kopaka. However, characters introduced later in the storyline would use words with roots from languages such as English, Latin, or Russian.
Background[edit | edit source]
Original chronicles (2001 - 2011)[edit | edit source]
Six amnesic warriors with masks that grant them superpowers - Tahu, Kopaka, Gali, Pohatu, Lewa, and Onua - called the Toa Mata wash on the shores of the island of Mata Nui which has been plagued by the beasts of a dark being known as Makuta for a millennia. The Matoran villagers and their Turaga elders send the Toa on a quest to each retrieve five great masks of power so that they can use them to defeat Makuta and reawaken the sleeping Great Spirit named Mata Nui. The six Toa band together as they go about their adventure while battling Rahi and defending Matoran. Eventually they all enter Makuta's lair and defeat him.
However, the Toa's victory is short lived as Makuta unleashes the Bohrok swarms; mechanical creatures controlled by Krana brains intent on clearing the island. The Toa, Turaga, and Matoran battle the creatures to defend their homes as they collect the different types of Krana so the Toa can face the Bahrag Queens and successfully imprison them. At the end of the fight, the Toa fall into Energized Protodermis and are transformed into the Toa Nuva with improved weapons, tools, armour, masks, and greater power. A group of six Bohrok evolve into Bohrok-Kal and attempt to free their Queens, though they are defeated by the Toa Nuva through usage of the Mask of Time before they complete their mission.
The Matoran Chronicler Takua discovers the Mask of Light and he and his friend Jaller are sent on a quest across the island of Mata Nui to find the owner of the mask, the seventh Toa who controls the element of light. To stop Takua and Jaller, Makuta unleashes six Rahkshi. After one of the Rahkshi kills Jaller, Takua recognizes it is his destiny to become the seventh Toa and places the Mask of Light on his face, transforming into Takanuva. Takanuva confronts Makuta alone and in a hard fought battle witnessed by all of the island's inhabitants, Takanuva and Makuta both fall into a vat of Energized Protodermis and merge into a single being named Takutanuva. As Makuta's lair begins to crumble, Takutanuva helps the Matoran to escape through a passage and uses his vast powers to resurrect Jaller. Takutanuva seems to die, but the Mask of Light is salvaged. At the end of the route leading from Makuta's lair, the Turga place the Mask on a place symbolizing destiny while Jaller steps into a location representing duty and Hahli unity. While this brings Takanuva back to life, it also opens the gate to the long lost Metropolis of Metru Nui.
The Turaga explain that the Toa Nuva were not the only Toa and that the Turaga themselves had once been the Toa Metru. In the last days before Mata Nui was put to sleep, the Toa Metru raced to uncover plots threatening the destruction of the city and to rescue Matoran who had been imprisoned by Makuta, whose real name is revealed as Teridax, in pods that erased their memories. The Toa Metru discover an island which they name after the Great Spirit and evacuate the amnesic Matoran to it. The Toa Metru then return to Metru Nui alone to find that it has been overrun by the spiderlike Visorak. The Visorak capture the Toa and transform them into the bestial Toa Hordika. With help from the Rahaga, another set mutated Toa who had once been Teridax' bodyguards, the Hordika search for the Rahi Keetongu to find a cure for their condition. The Queen of the Visorak hordes, Roodaka, manages to manipulate the Toa Hordika into freeing Teridax. Keetongu cures the Toa and they return to Mata Nui where they give up their power to awake the Matoran, transforming themselves into Turaga.
As the former inhabitants of Mata Nui reassimilate into Metru Nui, the Turaga learn that Mata Nui is not only asleep, but also slowly dying. They send to the Toa Nuva to Voya Nui in search of the Mask of Life. The island of Voya Nui has been conquered by a group of six Skakdi criminals called the Piraka and they defeat the Toa Nuva. A group of brave Matoran from Metru Nui - Jaller, Hahli, Matoro, Nuparu, Kongu, and Hewkii - travel through the hellish realm of Karzahni to Voya Nui where a strike of lightning from the Red Star transforms them into the Toa Inika. The Inika free the Toa Nuva and then battle the Piraka for the Mask of Life. After battling the Mask's guardians and removing it from Vezon's head, the Mask flies away into the ocean.
Various creatures on the seafloor battle for the Mask of Life which transforms the Toa Inika into the water-breathing Toa Mahri so they can come to the sunken city of Mahri Nui to rescue it. While underwater, Matoro learns that Takanuva had only destroyed Teridax' body and that his spirit is still alive and has possessed a robot meant to keep inmates of the undersea prison known as the Pit from escaping. The Toa Mahri destroy the cord which connects Voya Nui to Mahri Nui while Matoro races to use the Mask of Life to prevent Mata Nui from dying. Matoro is too late, but places the mask on his face anyway and his able to resurrect Mata Nui at the cost of his own life. The Mask of Life falls from under Voya Nui to Karda Nui, the centre of the universe, while the five remaining Toa Mahri are made amphibious so they can return to Metru Nui.
After being freed by the Toa Inika, the Toa Nuva received a list of things which must be done before Mata Nui can rise again. To complete their tasks, they are given adaptive armour and head to Karda Nui so they can fulfill their destiny by raising the Great Spirit. They find that Karda Nui has already been invaded by the other members of Teridax' species, also called Makuta. Joined by a Makuta resistance made by Matoran of Light, Takanuva, and Toa Ignika, a Toa body the Mask of Life has created for himself, the Toa Nuva battle the Makuta in the skies of Karda Nui and the swamps below. Following Matoro's example, Toa Ignika sacrifices himself to repower Mata Nui while the Toa Nuva evacuate Karda Nui. Successful at last, the Toa return to Metru Nui only for Makuta to reveal to them that he has possessed Mata Nui's massive robotic body which makes up the Matoran universe and imprisoned Mata Nui's mind in the Mask of Life, which he has banished into deep space.
The Mask of Life lands on the dying planet of Bara Magna and creates a new body for Mata Nui from the sand it lands in. Mata Nui meets the Glatorian warriors and Agori villagers who populate the planet and leads them in a rebellion against the Skrall who are taking all of their valuable resources. Using the Mask of Life, Mata Nui is able to grant several Glatorian elemental powers and dubs them Toa.
After the defeat of the Skrall, Mata Nui and his new friends go on a quest to find a way to defeat Teridax. They realize that the Agori villages are all centered around parts of a destroyed robot comparable to the one now inhabited by Teridax, and graft them together. After saying goodbye to his friends, Mata Nui takes control of the robot. As Makuta lands on Bara Magna for the final battle, the Matoran universe is evacuated onto the planet. Tahu is instructed by the Mask of Life to collect six pieces of golden armour so he can harness enough raw power to end the battle. As the Glatorian, Toa, Matoran, Agori, and other heroic species band together to battle the Rahkshi, Skrall, and Skakdi led by Nektann, Tahu searches for the golden armour with help from Takanuva and the young Glatorian Gresh. Once Tahu dons the armour, all of the Rahkshi on the planet are destroyed. As the Rahkshi are created by Makuta's essence, Teridax feels their loss and in his moment of shock, Mata Nui is able to kill Makuta by pushing him into one of the oncoming moons hurdling towards Bara Magna. The jungle moon Bota Magna and water moon of Aqua Magna merge with Bara Magna to reform the once shattered planet of Spherus Magna. Mata Nui's robot is destroyed as he uses its power to make the merging as seamless as possible. His spirit returns to the Mask of Life and he promises that he may return one day should they need him, but for now he intends for the Toa, Matoran, Turaga, Glatorian, Agori and other inhabitants of the various worlds to create a new society without him.
Okoto era (2015 - 2016)[edit | edit source]
Two brothers, Makuta and Ekimu, create masks of power for the inhabitants of the island of Okoto. Makuta wears the Mask of Control, and Ekimu the Mask of Creation. Makuta eventually grows jealous of Ekimu, and attempts to forge the Mask of Ultimate Power. When Makuta puts it on, it takes control of him and causes Okoto to shake and crumble. Ekimu knocks the mask off of Makuta's face, an event that sends shock waves through Okoto. Both Ekimu and Makuta fall into a slumber, and the masks are scattered throughout Okoto. Six Toa heroes with elemental powers - Tahu, Kopaka, Gali, Pohatu, Lewa, and Onua - are summoned to Okoto by the leaders of each village through the Temple of Time. Once the Toa land, they are instructed to search for the Mask of Creation and the Golden Masks of Power to protect the island of Okoto from a coming darkness.
Through Ekimu's link to their golden masks, the Toa are able to find him in the abandoned city where he had lived. Facing the Skull Villains, the Toa reach and awaken Ekimu, but are defeated by Kulta who is wearing the Mask of Creation. Ekimu manages to beat Kulta himself, reclaim his mask, and heal the Toa.
Sometime later, Ekimu upgrades the Toa with new armour so that they can embark on a quest to find the Elemental Creatures and unlock the Labyrinth of Control to find Makuta's missing mask before the evil shadow hunter Umarak. While each Toa bonds with his or her respective creature, Pohatu is made uncomfortable by the fact that Ketar the Creature of Stone is a scorpion, an animal he is afraid of. While the Toa and Creatures venture into the Labyrinth of Control to find Makuta's mask, Umarak takes advantage of Pohatu's reluctance to capture Ketar and gain the Mask of Control for himself. Donning it, Umarak is transformed into the monstrous Destroyer.
With his new power, Umarak begins to create Elemental Beasts while collecting shards of the Mask of Ultimate Power so that he can free Makuta. As the Toa battle Makuta's forces, Ekimu summons a seventh Elemental Creature with the power of Light and transforms into a Toa-like figure. Using the Mask of Ultimate Power, Umarak opens a portal to the Shadow Realm where Makuta and the rest of his forces have been trapped since his confrontation with Ekimu. While Ekimu and the Toa are captured, Gali breaks free and attempts to stop the portal, but is sucked into it instead. There, she finds Makuta rallying his minions and discovers that the Toa can only stop Makuta from escaping by combining their elements, even though it will come at a great cost. The Toa agree, and after defeating Makuta, they are returned to the stars which they originally came from.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Alongside Star Wars and Harry Potter, BIONICLE is recognized as one of LEGO's largest successes from the first ten years of the 21st century. Since BIONICLE did not require large royalty payments to other companies, unlike Star Wars and Harry Potter, it was able to keep LEGO afloat despite poor results in other areas during the time it was introduced. BIONICLE was also able to appeal to children who were apathetic to the classic building blocks. Even though its sales had peaked in 2002, BIONICLE remained lucrative nonetheless. It made up approximately 25% of LEGO's sales in 2003 and, due to the company losing large sums of money, it generated the vast majority of LEGO's profit, over 100%.
BIONICLE was popular all over the globe. Statistics from Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Toy Industry indicate that in 2004, the BIONICLE mini-site on LEGO.com had a million page views per month on average, a BIONICLE toy was sold every 1.4 seconds, 85% of American boys in the target age group were aware of the brand while 45% owned at least one set, BIONICLE books were frequent bestsellers, and the tie-in comics published by DC were at one point the most read in the world. More than 190 million sets had been sold around the world by the time the theme was retired in 2010.
Reception to the reboot was more mixed. While the sleeker CCBS system and less reliance on TECHNIC was divisive to some fans, others criticized Okoto's worldbuilding and story for being shallower and less immersive than what came before.
Crossovers[edit | edit source]
Though BIONICLE's story was largely self-contained and taking place far away from other LEGO themes, if it even exists in the same universe as any of them itself, it has been referenced a few times in other themes and media.
In the online game Backlot, an actor named George dressed as Takua appears in the otherwise empty coffeehouse reading a script for BIONICLE: The Swarm, presumably based on the 2002 Bohrok arc.
A feature on the original incarnation of the Hero Factory mini-site included a call center where supposed threats from around the universe were sent in to the website by fans. Among these was a distress signal from Bara Magna, the desert planet where the majority of the 2009 and 2010 story lines took place. Despite this, BIONICLE's longtime writer Greg Farshtey has refuted any story connection between BIONICLE and Hero Factory, saying, "No, Hero Factory and BIONICLE officially have no story connection. The idea of a connection was suggested when HF was first created, but a decision was made not to do that."
The LEGO Movie features various worlds based on LEGO themes separated by walls erected by Lord Business to prevent them from mingling. An image of the Toa Mata appears during a rapid montage when Wyldstyle finishes her explanation of how the universe works to Emmet as one of, "a bunch of other ones (realms) we don't need to mention."
Though the comic books published by DC Comics from BIONICLE's beginning until its end have had not been confirmed as a part of the broader DC Universe, the Toa Mata did make a cameo appearance in an issue of 2004's Green Lantern: Rebirth as one of the worlds which Hal Jordan visited in his time as The Spectre. A scan of the page in question with a callout of the Toa can be seen here.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The first BIONICLE movie was one of the ten most popular direct-to-video movies of 2003.
- BIONICLE's traditional logo did not appear during the course of 2006 or 2007.
- With the coming of the 2009 Bara Magna saga, My LEGO Network added BIONICLE characters to the networker list, creating the largest mini-rank in My LEGO Network.
- After BIONICLE was discontinued in 2010, most pieces used in the line were also retired from being manufactured. A very small amount remain in production, and even less have been remoulded for Hero Factory or other constraction sets with an upgraded, more durable ball cup.
List of BIONICLE sets and products[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
A City construction worker digging out the Mask of Creation
References[edit | edit source]
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 THE CONCLUSION OF “THE JOURNEY TO ONE” MARKS THE END FOR LEGO® BIONICLE® GENERATION 2 - News Board - Bionicle LEGO.com
- ↑ 2015 Rumors & Discussion, reply 159 - Eurobricks
- ↑ BIONICLE Confirmed for 2015 - BZPower
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ The History of LEGO BIONICLE at BZPower.com
- ↑ Building blocks for the future - theguardian
- ↑ BIONICLE: The Early Years at Papercutz blog archive
- ↑ Prototype models, some of which would later be adapted as BIONICLE sets, can bee seen in a video here
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Brick By Brick - pgs 151 - Google Books
- ↑ 
- ↑ Bob Thompson at BIONICLE Sector 01 Wiki
- ↑ Bionicle #5 Treatment - BZPower
- ↑ Lego brings back an old hit from its toy box - Fortune
- ↑ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1362435.stm Lego game irks Maoris - BBC News
- ↑ Lego agrees to stop using Maori names - BBC News
- ↑ BIONICLE NYCC Video
- ↑ Goodbye Mata Nui, Meet Okoto' - BZPower
- ↑ 'Chat with Greg Farshtey' - page 5 on the LEGO Message Boards
- ↑ BIONICLE: Mask of Light (movie) on The Bionicle Wiki
See also[edit | edit source]
External links[edit | edit source]
- The Official BIONICLE website – BIONICLE's new website at LEGO.com.
- BIONICLEsector01 Wiki – An external wiki dedicated to BIONICLE's lore
- The BioMedia Project – The base of a project collecting BIONICLE games, music, animations, etc.
- BZPower – A forum about BIONICLE
- The Official BIONICLE Website – Archive of the BIONICLE website
- bioniclestory.com archive – Archive of BIONICLEstory.com
- Faber Files – A blog by Christian Faber, an artist who was an important part in BIONICLE's conception. The blog features some concept art and other elements of the theme's development.