Bionicle

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Bionicle
Bionicle logo.jpg
Availability 2000–2010
Total sets (See List of Bionicle toys)
Characters (See List of Bionicle characters)

Bionicle (stylized as BIONICLE) was a line of construction toys created by the Lego Group marketed primarily for 5-to-16-year-olds. Originally a sub-theme of Lego's Technic series, the line was initially launched in 2000 in Europe and Australia and in 2001 in North America. Over the following decade, the line became one of the Lego Groups's biggest-selling properties, saving the company from its financial crisis of the late 1990s. Production of subsequent Bionicle sets was halted in late 2009 due to a lack of new sales and in its wake was "replaced" by a new contraction series called Hero Factory that carries Bionicle's legacy by featuring a similar building system.

The Bionicle story is set in a science fantasy universe featuring part-organic, part-machine sapient beings and was told on a vast multimedia scale that expanded as the theme continued. While the main story was told through comic books, online games, films, etc, a number of serials and pod casts have been incorporated into the saga that explain current and other events from additional perspectives.

Between 2001 and 2003, the story was set on a fictional tropical island where heroic beings called Toa (later Toa Nuva) defended the local populace known as Matoran against the threats of the evil Makuta (real name later revealed as Teridax). 2004-05 followed with a prequel storyline that explained how the Matoran came to live on the island, while 2006-08 focused on the quest for a legendary artefact known as the Mask of Life that could save Mata Nui (the god-like entity the Matoran worship) who was originally put to sleep by Makuta. Its conclusion revealed that Mata Nui was in fact a giant robotic humanoid vessel that housed the Toa and Matoran's homelands, while a further revelation revealed that the Makuta had taken over the body and ejected the Mask of Life, carrying Mata Nui's spirit, into outer-space.

2009 began what was originally intended to be a new saga in the Bionicle story, depicting Mata Nui's arrival on a barren world called Bara Magna - revealed as his original homeland - as he attempts to find a way back to his people.[1] After the announcement of Bionicle's cancellation, the storyline for 2010 was changed to the Makuta arriving on Bara Magna to battle Mata Nui as well as reform Spherus Magna (a plentiful world that used to be Bara Magna). This ended with Mata Nui retreating inside the Mask of Life and letting the inhabitants of both the Matoran Universe and Spherus Magna build a new society together without him.

Background[edit]

Concept[edit]

After suffering a ten-year downturn, the Lego Group thought that a Lego theme with a storyline would appeal to their target audience. Their first attempt was the Star Wars line, which became an instant success, but the required royalty payments to Lucasfilm cost Lego dearly. The company later decided that an original story created by the Lego Group itself would be more ideal on their behalf. Lego's first attempt at creating their own story resulted in the themes Slizer/Throwbots and RoboRiders released in 1998 and 1999 respectively. They incorporated elements from Lego's own Technic construction series such as the innovative 'ball-and-socket' joint never before used by Lego. Even though both themes were short-lived and ended after one year, certain elements from them would later be used in Bionicle.

While the Lego Group brain-stormed for ideas of a new theme with Danish advertising company Advance, the world "Bionicle" - a portmanteau constructed from the words "biological chronicle"[2] was coined in one of their meetings. An earlier concept name was "Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island", but Bionicle was favored overall. To accompany the sets, Lego worked with Advance to create a elaborate original storyline featuring red herrings, centring around bio-mechanical characters and telling it on a vast multimedia scale that would grow and expand as the series continued. The uses of tropical environments and characters based on classical elements were also taken from Bionicle's predecessor lines. Initially, the idea of Bionicle faced resistance from company traditionalists as Lego had no experience of creating a story-based brand of their own. The war-like appearance of the Bionicle characters also went against Lego's company values of the time of creating sets with no modern warfare or violence.[3]

Launch[edit]

Bionicle itself debuted in December 2000 as an online interactive game before the first sets were released worldwide in early 2001, reaching North American markets the following summer. New sets were released roughly every six months through to the theme's cancellation in 2010 and ranged from buildable action figures to constructive play sets and vehicles. A number of collectibles were also incorporated into the toy waves, examples being weapon ammo and the 'Kanohi' masks the characters wore, some of which became rare and valuable and withheld secret codes that when entered onto the official Bionicle website provided the user with "Kanoka Points", enabling them to access exclusive material and play online games.

Bionicle's popularity rose and became one of Lego's biggest and successful properties, reaching the #1 rated Lego product in 2003 and 2006 in terms of sales and popularity,[3] also accounting for nearly all of Lego's financial turnover from the previous decade. No other Lego theme at the time came close to the amount of profits generated by Bionicle. Its popularity led to web traffic on its official website, averaging more than a million page views per month, and further kinds of merchandise outside the Lego building system (e.g. costumes, toiletries, fast-food restaurant collectibles).

Cancellation[edit]

By 2008, The Lego Group was the second-biggest toy manufacture in the world, but saw a loss in sales from Bionicle. The company later announced the halt of any future Bionicle sets "for the foreseeable future" in November 2009, before releasing six final sets in 2010. In the summer that followed, Lego launched a new construction series called Hero Factory that acts as a successor to Bionicle and in its legacy features a similar building system.

At his request, long-term comic-book writer and story contributor Greg Farshtey was given permission by the Lego Group to continue the theme's story on his own, with chapters of new serials scheduled to be posted regularly on the website BionicleStory.com.[4] This was abruptly halted in mid-2011 due to Farshtey's other commitments for Lego, although an official announcement has not been made. The website was shut down along with the official Bionicle website in June 2013, and as of 2014 a number of new serials have been left on cliffhangers.

Story[edit]

The Bionicle story is set in a science fantasy universe in a time pre-dating recorded history and features part-organic, part-machine sapient beings. It was told on a multimedia platform and was developed by a team of eight Lego employees led by Bob Thompson[3] who decided which piece of media got which part of the story (e.g. comic books, online games, short animation movies, etc). Four direct-to-DVD films were also released between 2003-2005 and 2009 respectively. Two more were set for release in the fall periods of 2010 and 2011 but were scrapped due to the cancellation of future Bionicle sets.

Originally, the Bionicle story was set to feature at least seven story arcs and plot developments, but only four were ever carried out prior to the theme's cancellation. A general story-note is that characters such as the Toa and Matoran are divided into tribes based on six elements; Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Ice and Stone. Other elements were later introduced as the story continued.

2001 – Quest for the Masks[edit]

In the time before time, on the mysterious island paradise of Mata Nui, villages known as Matoran live in fear of an all-powerful evil being called the Makuta who has taken control of the island's Rahi wildlife that now relentlessly attack their villages. One Matoran, Takua - banished from his village due to his lack of work ethic - now travels the island looking for adventure. He finds six ancient stones and brings them to Kini Nui; the heart of the island. There, he joins them together which unknown to him triggers a beacon for six canisters floating in the ocean to wash up on Mata Nui. Once ashore on the island's beaches, the canisters burst open to reveal six heroic beings; Tahu - Toa of Fire, Lewa - Toa of Air, Gali - Toa of Water, Onua - Toa of Earth, Kopaka - Toa of Ice and Pohatu - Toa of Stone. Donning great 'Kanohi' masks of power, powerful tools and the ability to control their respective elements, the Toa remember nothing of their former life except their names.[5] Before meeting each other, they travel to one of the six villages on the island and learn of the Matoran's war against the Rahi. The Toa soon join the war, and with the aid of the Matoran and their Turaga leaders, begin searching for powerful Kanohi masks that each possess a different ability. After a complete set of twelve masks had been collected by each Toa, they descended underground to face the Makuta himself. They form two Toa Kaita beings to challenge the Makuta's Manas crabs before battling 'Shadow Toa' (dark manifestations of themselves) and arriving at the villain's lair. The Toa confront the Makuta who appears in the form of a Matoran to trick them. A battle soon ignites between them and the Toa defeat Makuta by uniting and blasting their elemental powers toward him, before returning to the surface to celebrate their victory. However, Takua, having followed the Toa down, finds what appear to be nests hidden away from the battle site, revealing a new threat to the island of Mata Nui. As the nests begin to hatch, he escapes back to the surface before he can learn more.

2002 – The Bohrok Swarms[edit]

After their battle with the Makuta, the Toa emerge from his lair victorious. They later discover that the villain has launched a new threat to their island home - the Bohrok Swarms; six breeds of robotic bug-like drones designed to "cleanse" Mata Nui to its former barren state.[6] The Bohrok begin to rampage across Mata Nui, tearing down the regions of each village and forcing the Matoran to flee, leaving the Toa struggling to understand the swarms' destructive motives. As the Turaga and Matoran find new ways to retaliate against the Bohrok and their Bohrok Va aiders, the Toa collect all eight varieties of Krana (the Bohrok's 'brain') from the six breeds while battling them as best they can, before descending underground to the swarms' nests. There, they place the Krana in niches found in each breed's hive, but this alone doesn't stop the swarms. The Toa later discover powerful battle machine armor called Exo-Toa, which after donning lead them to the chamber of the true swarm commanders; the Bahrag twins Cahdok and Gahdok. Battling the nest Queens, the Toa discover that the Exo-Toa hamper their elemental powers. Only after taking them off were they able to access them and trap the Bahrag in a cage of solid protodermis (a material created by all six Toa's elemental powers). On the surface, the swarms stop in mid-action and the Matoran begin the rebuilding process of their villages across Mata Nui, using the Bohrok drones to help now that their Krana are powerless. The Toa's victory is short-lived when the ground beneath them opens up and plunges them into a pool of energized protodermis, transforming the heroes into more powerful beings with new armor, masks and weapons and creating the end result - the Toa Nuva.[6]

2003 – The Bohrok-Kal Strike / Mask of Light[edit]

Following the defeat of the Bahrag Queens, the Toa Nuva return to their villages and help the Matoran in the rebuilding process after the damage the swarms caused. However, six new elite Bohrok, the Bohrok-Kal, have arrived on Mata Nui with the intention of releasing the Bahrag from their prison so they can unleash the swarms once again. The Kal each steal the Toa's Nuva symbol tablets which grant them their elemental powers, leaving them greatly outmatched. Relying solely on their mask powers and combat skills, the Toa chase and battle the Bohrok-Kal all over the island. Eventually, the Kal find the lair where the Bahrag are imprisoned and a final underground showdown ensues. After defeating the Exo-Toa, the Kal attempt to combine all six Nuva symbols to awake the Queens. Before the tablets join, Tahu unleashes a secret weapon; the Kanohi Vahi - the legendary Mask of Time - to slow down time so the Toa can retrieve their tablets. Although this fails to defeat the Kal, the Toa Nuva use their connection to their symbols to feed energy into the elite bug-like drones. Believing their power alone can cleanse Mata Nui, the Bohrok-Kal's powers soon run wild and destroy them. The Toa Nuva retrieve their symbols, and after hiding them at secret locations, enjoy a new time of peace on Mata Nui.

Weeks later, Takua and fellow Ta-Matoran Jaller discover a great Kanohi mask hidden under their village of Ta-Koro. After the playing in the Kohlii Tournament (a popular sport played by Matoran), they take it to the Turaga who confirm it is the Kanohi Avohkii - the Mask of Light - prophesied to be worn by a seventh Toa 'of Light' able to defeat the Makuta for good and begin the process of awakening Mata Nui. Learning Jaller and Takua have been sent to find the seventh Toa, Makuta unleashes six Rahkshi - robotic suits of armor powered by slug-like 'Kraata' creatures created from his essence - to track them down and kill the mask's herald before the seventh Toa can be found. The Toa Nuva battle the Rahkshi all over Mata Nui, levelling the villages of Ta-Koro and Onu-Koro as they search for the herald. They later find Jaller and Takua at Kini Nui as a final battle between the Toa and Rahkshi endues, killing Jaller in its last moments. The death of his friend convinces Takua that he is the true herald. Donning the Avohkii, he transforms into Takanuva; the Toa of Light, and travels underground to Makuta's lair. Followed by the populace of Mata Nui, Takanuva battles the Makuta before they both fall into a pool of energized protodermis and re-emerge as the fused being Takutanuva who opens the gate to an underground city before reviving Jaller and getting crushed by the weight of the gate after the Toa, Turaga and Matoran enter, leaving only the Avohkii from his demise. Using the mask, the Toa and Turaga revive Takanuva, whereas the Makuta's fate is unknown. Preparing to journey to the city, the Turaga reveal its name as Metru Nui, the Matoran's original home, and go on to reveal that the Toa Nuva are not the first Toa.[7]

2004 – Legends of Metru Nui[edit]

As the Matoran prepare to journey back to Metru Nui, the Turaga reveal their tales of how they themselves were once Toa 1,000 years ago. Floating in a dome beneath the island of Mata Nui, Metru Nui is a city metropolis where the Matoran lived in peace under the leadership of Turaga Dume. However, the city's Toa guardians started to mysteriously disappear, leaving team leader Lhikan as its sole protector. Knowing there was something immoral occurring, Lhikan sacrificed his power into six Toa stones and handed them out to six Matoran - Vakama, Nokama, Matau, Whenua, Onewa and Nuju - before mercenaries known as The Dark Hunters captured him. The chosen Matoran headed to the Great Temple in Ga-Metru, where using the stones, transformed into Toa. Guided by strange visions from Vakama, the Toa Metru set out to gather six Great Kanoka discs that could defeat the Morbuzakh plant menace. However, when the Toa proclaimed their victory, Turaga Dume discredited them as criminals. While Whenua, Onewa and Nuju were imprisoned, Vakama, Nokama and Matau escaped as fugitives. After being chased across Metru Nui by two Dark Hunters and Vahki law enforces, the Toa found each other again as well as Lhikan, now a Turaga as a result of his sacrifice. They also discovered the sleeping body of the true Turaga Dume and learnt that Makuta Teridax, a being of immense power sent to watch over Metru Nui, had been posing as Dume as part of his diabolical plan. The Toa Metru confronted the Makuta, who had already placed the Matoran in stasis pods and erased their memory so he could re-awake them as their new leader. He subsequently revealed he had cast the Great Spirit Mata Nui into a deep slumber, triggering an event known as the Great Cataclysm that devastated much of the Matoran Universe. The Toa fled with as many Matoran pods as they could carry and headed towards a gap in Metru Nui's dome created by the cataclysm. After Vakama forged the Mask of Time out of the great discs, Teridax confronted him in a fierce battle that ended with Lhikan's death and the loss of the mask. The Toa later combined their elemental powers to seal the Makuta in a prison of crystallized protodermis before continuing on their journey. After encountering new dangers, the Toa arrived on a mysterious island that they saw fit as the Matoran's new home. After preparing it, they began the journey back to Metru Nui to collect the rest of the Matoran, who remained in a deep sleep.[8]

2005 – Web of Shadows[edit]

Upon the Toa Metru's return to Metru Nui, they found the city in ruins. In their absence, vicious spider-like creatures called Visorak, under the command of their king Sidorak and his viceroy Roodaka, had overrun the city, creating poisonous webs and mutating Rahi while holding the sleeping Matoran captive. The Visorak captured and mutated the Toa into half-Toa half-Rahi creatures dubbed 'Toa Hordika' and were quickly rescued by Rahaga, six small beings once Toa themselves, who explained that if they wished to return to their original forms, they must seek out the legendary Keetongu; a Rahi rumored to be an expert with poisons and antidotes. Putting their own problems aside, the Toa built airships to transport the Matoran out of the city and retrieved the Kanohi Mask of Light. However, a guilt-ridden Vakama succumbed to his Rahi impulses and betrayed his fellow Toa by joining Sidorak and Roodaka, who made him leader of the Visorak hordes. The remaining Toa and Rahaga changed priorities and searched for Keetongu. After finding and enlisting the Rahi's help, they attacked the Visorak at the Coliseum. While Matau convinced Vakama to re-join this team-mates, Roodaka abandoned Sidorak in a battle against Keetongu, leaving the horde king to die at the hands of the Rahi. Roodaka confronted the Toa and demanded their elemental powers. They fired their Rhotuka spinners at her, but the action had little effect. Vakama revealed his rejuvenation and after dispersing the Visorak, also fired a Rhotuka spinner at her. This knocked Roodaka unconscious and unknowingly released the Makuta from his protodermis prison that she had been carrying a shard of in her armor, before Teridax teleported her away.[9] Keetongu restored the Toa to their original forms who journeyed with the Matoran-loaded airships to the island above Metru Nui. On the voyage, Vakama retrieved the Mask of Time from the protodermis sea during a battle between Teridax and The Shadowed One; leader of The Dark Hunters, ending with Vakama blackmailing the Makuta into giving the Matoran one year of peace. Returning with his fellow Toa to the island, they sacrificed their power to awaken the Matoran. Now Turaga, they christened the island "Mata Nui" after the Great Spirit and directed the amnesiac Matoran to building new homes, knowing Teridax would return and that new prophesied Toa will arrive to fight him.[10]

2006 – Island of Doom[edit]

Upon the Matoran's return to Metru Nui, the Toa Nuva learn that Mata Nui is not only asleep, but dying. To save him, they're told to venture to the island of Voya Nui and seek the Kanohi Ignika - the legendary Mask of Life.[11] However, when the heroes arrive, they are quickly overpowered by the Piraka; a group of former Dark Hunters of the Skakdi species, who after raiding Makuta Teridax's lair beneath the island of Mata Nui travelled to Voya Nui in search of the Ignika themselves. The Piraka posed as Toa on the island before enslaving nearly all of the native Matoran. When the Toa Nuva fail to return to Metru Nui, Ta-Matoran Jaller gathers five of the bravest Matoran he knows - Hahli, Kongu, Nuparu, Hewkii and Matoro - and with Takanuva prepare to travel to Voya Nui in search of their missing Toa. But after Takanuva is forced to turn back, the Matoran arrive in the realm of the ancient tyrant Karzahni before eventually escaping via Toa canisters heading to Voya Nui. Prior to arriving on the island, bolts of lighting from the Red Star that orbits their planet transform the Matoran into the Toa Inika; Toa with entwined lightning powers. With help from a small Matoran resistance force and the ancient being Axonn, the Inika battle the many guardians and challenges of the Ignika and chase the Piraka underground to the Chamber of the Mask of Life. Upon arriving, the Toa find the Skakdi already defeated by the mask's final guardians; the insane seventh Piraka Vezon that the Ignika had fused itself to and his spider-like steed Fenrakk. After the Inika defeat the duo, Vezon re-arises now riding a Kardas Dragon. Another immense battle climaxes with the pair getting trapped in a stasis field, but as Matoro retrieves the Ignika, their adversaries unfreeze and the Kardas Dragon fires an energy blast that knocks the mask out of Matoro's hands and out of the chamber, heading towards the ocean surrounding Voya Nui.

2007 – Sea of Darkness[edit]

The Toa Inika and the revived Piraka chase after the Mask of Life which eventually plunges into the sea encompassing Voya Nui. After receiving a clue about a city beneath the ocean and conversing with the recently freed Toa Nuva, the Inika descend through the stone cord that keeps Voya Nui afloat in the hope of reclaiming the Ignika. The mask later transforms the heroes into the water-breathing Toa Mahri, complete with new masks and weapons. The Ignika's descent ends in the underwater city of Mahri Nui, where it becomes a beacon of hope for the Matoran villagers as well as six former warlords known as the Barraki who were sent to the Pit (a prison that sits on the lip of Mahri Nui) after their crimes as part of the League of Six Kingdoms. After the Pit was damaged in the Great Cataclysm, they escaped into the ocean and were permanently mutated by its waters. Believing the mask can change them back into their original forms so they can rule the Kingdoms once again, an all-out battle between them and the recently-arrived Toa Mahri commences, with possession of the Ignika getting gambled throughout. Matoro is later imprisoned in the Pit by a robotic Maxilos guard that reveals itself as Makuta Teridax after his essence followed the Toa through the cord and possessed the robot. He informs Matoro that Mata Nui only can be saved if the Toa shatter the stone cord that holds Voya Nui afloat. Not trustful in the Makuta's words, Matoro relays the information to his team-mates who agree and with Axonn evacuate Matoran from both locations before destroying the Cord, returning Voya Nui to its original position and demolishing Mahri Nui in the process. But by the time the Toa retrieve the Ignika, Mata Nui dies. Believing there's still hope, the Toa battle the Barraki's aquatic armies to buy Matoro time. He races towards a hole in the seabed before Voya Nui descends to close it. Once in, Matoro falls through a waterfall. Donning the Mask of Life, he uses its powers to teleport the Toa Mahri back to Metru Nui and turn them back into air-breathers before the mask turns his body into pure energy that saves the Great Spirit, who now remains in a deep sleep. Meanwhile, the Maxilos body that Teridax inhabited is found badly damaged after a battle with the Barraki's armies, and is so presumed dead.

2008 – The Final Battle[edit]

After completing several tasks in preparation of Mata Nui's reawakening, the Toa Nuva, equipped with new adaptive armor and weapons, are teleported to Karda Nui; the core of the Matoran Universe. Finding members of the Brotherhood of Makuta acting on orders from Teridax to destroy them, the heroes split into two teams. While Kopaka, Lewa and Pohatu remain in the skies to protect the Av-Matoran (Matoran of light), Tahu, Gali and Onua descend to the Swamp of Secrets to retrieve the Mask of Life, previously worn by Matoro to save the Great Spirit. Kopaka's team receive support from three Av-Matoran and 'Toa Ignika', a manifestation of the Mask of Life, while fighting a band of blind bat-like Makuta and their Shadow Matoran servants. Tahu's group, unaware that the Ignika is aiding the battle above, are threatened by three more Makuta mutated by the waters of the swamp. Both groups reunite outside the Codrex - a giant metal sphere that sits at the swamp's centre - after retrieving six allusive keystones which when connected together open the sphere. Inside, the Toa discover powerful battle machines amongst ancient technology as well as their origins to who they were before arriving on Mata Nui island. Using the vehicles to fight the Makuta in a final all-out battle, the Toa Nuva receive help from a half-light drained Takanuva[12] who also manages to turn the Shadow Matoran back to their previous states. The Toa Ignika later sacrifices itself to awaken Mata Nui, causing an energy storm that the Toa and Av-Matoran narrowly escape. However, the Makuta, realizing Teridax had in fact sent them to their deaths, are obliterated by the storm. Arriving back in Metru Nui, the Toa Nuva and Takanuva join the celebrations of Mata Nui's reawakening with the rest of the Matoran and Turaga. But in the midst of the festivity, Teridax's laughter is heard throughout the city and reveals he has taken over Mata Nui's body; a giant robotic humanoid vessel that houses the homelands that all beings in the Matoran Universe reside on. As his reign of terror begins, Teridax seals his victory by placing Mata Nui's spirit inside the Mask of Life and ejecting it into outer-space, taking the former Great Spirit on a journey whose destination no-one can know.[13]

2009 – The Legend Reborn[edit]

Far away from the Matoran Universe is the desert world of Bara Magna; home to tribes of villagers known as Agori, who living in the planet's harsh conditions with little resources pitch their best 'Glatorian' warriors against once another in arena matches to settle disputes. While most of the tribes live in amity and only worry about attacks from Vorox (a former tribe that regressed into beasts) and a group of nomads known as Bone Hunters, the arrival of the Rock Tribe's 'Skrall' warriors threatens to destroy the peace as they win every arena match they participate in. The Skrall later attack Arena Magna - the oldest arena on Bara Magna - during the Great Tournament. The Glatorian and Agori who escaped knew they couldn't defeat the Skrall alone and hoped that help would come. Months later, the Mask of Life - carrying the conciousness of Mata Nui - crash-lands in the wastelands of Bara Magna and creates a new, smaller body for the former Great Spirit. Narrowly escaping a Vorox attack, Mata Nui befriends the Glatorians Ackar, Kiina and Gresh and Agori Berix and with their help, begins to find a way back to his universe. But with rumors of a traitor amongst the tribes, Mata Nui gets caught up in their war against the Skrall and is taught how to fight, granting the Glatorians new weapons and elemental powers to show his gratitude. He later convinces the Agori that they must unite in order to fight their enemies, but after the Bone Hunters kidnap Kiina and Berix, Mata Nui travels to the Rock Tribe's village of Roxtus to combat Tuma; leader of the Skrall, in exchange for their freedom. After defeating Tuma, Mata Nui discovers the Ice Tribe Agori Metus is the traitor who brought the Skrall and Bone Hunters together. The Glatorian and Agori later arrive to combat their unified enemies, driving the Skrall and Bone Hunters out of Roxtus, while Mata Nui uses the Ignika to punish Metus by turning him into a rattle snake. After the battle, the Agori assemble the structures of all five villages together to create a new 'mega-village'. Mata Nui notices how the structures link up to form a giant robotic body, similar to his old one. And after discovering a map of an unknown location, he announces to his new friends that their quest has begun.

2010 – Journey's End[edit]

Discovering the Agori's mega-village are in fact parts of a giant robot that exploded aeons ago, Mata Nui learns of Bara Magna's past, the Great Beings, and his destiny to reunite the planet with its moons Aqua Magna and Bota Magna to recreate the once-plentiful Spherus Magna. In the northern region of Bara Magna, Mata Nui travels through a maze occupied with booby-traps and uncovers an unstable power source. After convincing the Glatorian and Agori to let him use the prototype vessel, he places both the power source, the Mask of Life and his spirit inside it and as the robot, begins the process of reuniting Bara Magna with its satellites. Later, Makuta Teridax - in Mata Nui's old, larger body - touches down on Bara Magna. Planning to conquer the planet and eventually the rest of the universe, the Makuta offers his brother the chance to join him. Mata Nui refuses, and the two massive robots begin blasting destructive energies at each other. On the ground, several Rahkshi and Skakdi under Teridax's command exit the Matoran Universe via his heel, followed by Tahu, Takanuva and other Toa. As Makuta's forces (now joined by the Skrall) battle the Glatorian, the Mask of Life reduces Tahu into his original Toa Mata form so he can don the Golden Armor; a weapon originally devised to destroy the Makuta species if they were to ever betray Mata Nui.[14] Teridax notices and scatters the armor across the desert with an energy blast. With the Glatorian Gresh, Tahu and Takanuva retrieve the armor back from their enemies. When Tahu bestows it, a wave of energy unleashes that incinerates all the Kraata powering the Rahkshi armor, leaving the Skakdi and Skrall greatly outnumbered. The Makuta hesitates sensing the loss of his Rahkshi, giving Mata Nui the chance to swing his body into the oncoming path of a rock fragment from Aqua Magna[15] that crashes into Teridax's head and damages the robot's core processor, killing the Makuta for good. Mata Nui completes his destiny of reforming Spherus Magna, but the strain is too much as his body plummets to the ground. The Toa and Glatorian arrive at the crash-site to find Mata Nui speaking from inside the undamaged Mask of Life. He tells them to seek out the Great Beings while deciding to remain dormant inside the Ignika. The Toa, Glatorian, Matoran, Agori and all other beings from both worlds now begin a new life on Spherus Magna.[16]

Reception[edit]

The Bionicle franchise was well received over its venture and became one of the Lego Group's biggest-selling properties. At the time of its launch, one reviewer described the sets as "A good combination of assembly and action figure".[17] and first-year sales of £100 million ($161.7 million).[18] Bionicle later received a Toy of the Year Award for Most Innovative Toy in 2001 from the Toy Industry Association.[19]

Bionicle's rapid success has also had a major impact on the Lego Company. Stephanie Lawrence, the global director of licensing for Lego, stated "We've created an evergreen franchise to complement the many event-based properties on the children's market. An increasing number of category manufacturers want to tap into the power of the Bionicle universe, and the key for us now is to manage the excitement to stay true to the brand and the lifestyle of our core consumer."[20]

Since its launch, toy critics have said that Bionicle has changed the way children think and play with Lego products by combining "The best of Lego building with the story telling and adventure of an action figure". Toy statics have revealed that 85% of American boys aged 6–12 have heard of Bionicle while 45% own the sets.[20]

Māori language controversy[edit]

In 2002, several Māori tribal groups from New Zealand were angered by Lego's lack of respect for some of their words which were used to name certain characters, locations and objects in the Bionicle storyline.[21][22] The people sued the Lego Group and won the case. While the word "Bionicle" itself was trademarked by Lego, the company agreed to change the names of certain story elements (e.g. the villagers originally known as "Tohunga" was changed to "Matoran")[22] and met with an agreement with the Māori people to still use a small minority of their words.[23]

In the story, the reason for certain name changes was dubbed as a Naming Ceremony for certain Matoran after doing heroic deeds (though the pronunciations remained the same, an example being the name change of 'Huki' to 'Hewkii').[24] Other names such as "Toa" meaning "Warrior", "Kanohi" meaning "Face" and "Kōpaka" which means "Ice"[22] were not changed. Since this controversy, Lego has not created any more names from existing languages.

Music[edit]

Paul Hardcastle and Simon Fuller produced the first soundtracks for Bionicle's commercials used in 2001 to 2003. Music for the first three Bionicle films featured a more classical tune, rather than the techno-like beats used in the ads and animations, composed by Nathan Furst. In 2005, the first official Bionicle songs were released. LEGO contracted the rock band All Insane Kids to produce the songs "Hero" and "Caught In A Dream".[25] Further down Bionicle's history, more songs were used to help advertise their sets, most of which were produced by Danish band Cryoshell, as well as songs by other artists such as Daughtry and The All-American Rejects.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bionicle: The Legend Reborn
  2. ^ Official Greg Discussion p. 198 on BZPower forums, post #5922
  3. ^ a b c Widdicombe, Rupert (2004-04-29). "Building blocks for the future". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "An Important Announcement Regarding Bionicle". Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  5. ^ C.A. Hapka, Bionicle Chronicles #1: Tale of the Toa
  6. ^ a b C.A. Hapka, Bionicle Chronicles #2: Beware the Bohrok
  7. ^ Greg Farshtey, Bionicle Adventures #1: Mystery of Metru Nui
  8. ^ Greg Farshtey, Bionicle Adventures #5: Voyage of Fear
  9. ^ Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows
  10. ^ Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui
  11. ^ Greg Farshtey, Bionicle Legends #1: Island of Doom
  12. ^ Greg Farshtey, Bionicle Legends #10: Swamp of Secrets
  13. ^ Greg Farshtey, Bionicle Legends #11: The Final Battle-Epilogue
  14. ^ Bionicle Glatorian #06: All That Glitters
  15. ^ http://www.bzpower.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=335541
  16. ^ Bionicle Glatorian #07: Rebirth
  17. ^ Doug Cornelius. "The end of LEGO Bionicle". Wired. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  18. ^ Telegraph (2009-12-17). "Lego: play it again". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  19. ^ Business Wire (2002-04-16). "LEGO Company to Channel Strong 2001 Performance into Aggressive Growth Strategy for North America; World leader in construction toys aims to double its Canadian business by 2005". Business Wire. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  20. ^ a b Business Wire (2004-06-07). "BIONICLE Fever Heats, Blazes Into New Categories; Key Players in Five Children's Merchandise Categories Jump on BIONICLE Bandwagon". Business Wire. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  21. ^ "Lego game irks Maoris". London: BBC News. 2005-05-31. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  22. ^ a b c Griggs, Kim (2002-11-21). "Lego Site Irks Maori Sympathizer". Wired News. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  23. ^ "Lego agrees to stop using Maori names". London: BBC News. 2001-10-30. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  24. ^ Bionicle Encyclopedia, Scholastic 2007
  25. ^ Insane Kids All Insane Kids, www.last.fm

External links[edit]