Bionicle

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Bionicle
Bionicle logo.jpg
Availability 2001–2010
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 early 2001 in Europe and Australia and the following summer in North America and over the following decade became one of the Lego Groups's biggest-selling properties.

In 2009, The Lego Group closed down the production of future Bionicle sets due to a lack of new sales, and in its wake "replaced" the theme with a new contraction series called Hero Factory that carries Bionicle's legacy by featuring a similar building system. In 2014, an image for what appeared to be new Bionicle sets on a display stand was supposedly leaked, which has since lead to the speculation of the line returning in 2015.

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 more sets were released. While the main story was told through comic books, online games, films, etc, a number of serials and podcasts have been incorporated into the saga that explain current and other events from additional perspectives.

Between 2001 and 2003, the story was set on the fictional island of Mata Nui 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 to be his original homeland - as he attempts to find a way back to his old body.[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 reforming Spherus Magna; the plentiful planet 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]

The concept of Bionicle was proposed in 1999 by Lego with Danish advertising agency Advance after the company suffered a ten-year downturn, leading to the dismissal of over 1,000 members of staff in order to "stabilise [their] financial situation". Getting inspiration from two earlier themes - Slizer/Throwbots and RoboRiders - Lego incorporated several elements from Bionicle's predecessors, such as the use of tropical environments and characters based on classical elements, as well as using a similar "ball-and-socket" building system.

To accompany the sets, Lego worked with Advance to create a highly detailed story featuring red herrings and told on a vast multimedia scale that would grow and expand as the series continued. "Bionicle" is a portmanteau constructed from the words "biological chronicle".[2] 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 that 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 properties, reaching the #1 rated Lego product in 2003 and 2006 in terms of sales and popularity[3] and also accounted for nearly all of Lego's financial turnover from the previous decade. 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 of 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 line'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[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 cancelled due to the cancellation of future Bionicle sets.

Originally, the Bionicle story was set to feature at least seven different story arcs and plot developments, only four were ever carried out prior to the theme's cancellation. A general story-note is 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, six canisters washed ashore upon the beaches of the mysterious tropical island of Mata Nui, where they burst open to reveal six heroic beings; Tahu - Toa of Fire, Lewa - Toa of Air, Gali - Toa of Water, Kopaka - Toa of Ice, Onua - Toa of Earth, and Pohatu - Toa of Stone. Gifted with powerful tools, the ability to control their respective elements and donning great 'Kanohi' masks of power, each Toa remembers nothing beyond their names of their former life.[5] Before meeting each other, the Toa travel to one of the six villages on the island and learn that the inhabitants - the Matoran - have been facing relentless attacks from infected Rahi beasts (the wildlife of Mata Nui) under the influence of the Makuta - an evil being who put the Matoran's god-like entity Mata Nui to sleep - for as long as they can remember. The arrival of the Toa is the beginning of an ancient prophecy written in the stars, and set in motion by a Matoran outcast named Takua, who had brought six Toa stones to the centre of the island, and unwittingly triggered a beacon with them. The Toa soon join the war against the Rahi, and with the aid of the Matoran and their Turaga leaders, begin searching for powerful Kanohi masks of power that each possess a different ability. After a complete set of twelve masks had been collected by each Toa, they descend underground to face the Makuta himself. After forming two Toa Kaita beings and challenging Makuta's Manas crabs and 'Shadow Toa', the Toa confronted the Makuta. Although the villain appears in the form of an infected Matoran to trick the heroes with a sudden attack, the Toa defeat him by uniting their elemental powers before returning to the surface to celebrate their victory. However, Takua, having followed the Toa underground, finds a set of what appear to be nests 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, only to discover that he has launched a new threat to Mata Nui - the Bohrok; six breeds of robotic bug-like drones designed to "cleanse" the island to its former barren state.[6] The Bohrok begin to rampage across Mata Nui, tearing down the regions of each village and forcing the native 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 swarms and their Bohrok Va aiders, the Toa collect all 48 kinds of Krana while battling the swarms as best they can before descending underground to the Bohrok's nests. There, they place the Krana in niches found in each breed's nest, however, this doesn't stop the swarms for good. The Toa later discover powerful armor machines known as Exo-Toa, which after donning lead them to the chamber of the true swarm commanders; the Bahrag twins Cahdok and Gahdok. When in battle against the nest Queens, the Toa discover that the Exo-Toa hampered their access to their elemental powers. Only after taking them off were they able to trap the Bahrag in a cage of protodermis (a material created by all six Toa's elemental powers). Back on the surface, the Bohrok stop in mid-action. The Toa's victory is short-lived when the ground beneath them opens up and plunges them into a pool of energized protodermis, transforming them 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 returned to their villages and help the Matoran in the rebuilding process after the damage the swarms caused, using the Bohrok drones without Krana to aid them. 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 that grant them their elemental powers, leaving them greatly outmatched. Relying solely on their mask powers and combat skills, the Toa Nuva chase the Bohrok-Kal all over the island, but endure crushing defeats in almost every battle, while the Matoran witness the Bohrok returning to their nests without any instruction. Eventually, the Kal find the nest where the Bahrag are imprisoned and a final showdown occurs underground, as the Kal attempt to combine all six Nuva symbols to awake the Queens. In the last few moments, Tahu unleashes a secret weapon; he calls upon the Kanohi Vahi, the legendary Mask of Time to slow down time so the symbols can be retrieved. Although this ploy fails, it gives Gali time to conceive a new plan. The Toa Nuva use their connection to their symbols to feed energy to the Bohrok Kal, who come to believe their power alone will be able to cleanse Mata Nui. However, their powers soon run wild, and each Bohrok Kal suffers a terrible demise at the hands of their own element. The Toa Nuva retrieve their symbols, and after hiding them at locations known only to themselves, enjoy a new time of peace on the island.

Weeks later, Matoran Takua and Jaller discover a great Kanohi mask hidden under their village of Ta-Koro. After the Kolhii 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. Jaller is sent as the herald of the owner while Takua tags along to chronicle his journey. Discovering this, Makuta unleashs six Rahkshi, robotic suits of armor powered by slug-like creates called Kraata created from the tyrant's very essence, to track down and kill the herald before the seventh Toa could be found. After a series of battles with the Toa Nuva leading to the levelling of the villages of Ta-Koro and Onu-Koro, the Rahkshi corner Jaller and Takua at Kini Nui; the heart of the island. The Toa Nuva appear and duel the Rahkshi, but Jaller is killed in the last moments of the battle. 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 Toa Nuva, Turaga and the Matoran populace, Takanuva battles Makuta before they both fall into a pool of energized protodermis and emerge as the fused being Takutanuva, who opens the gate to an underground city, allowing all the beings present through. Takutanuva then revives Jaller before getting crushed by the weight of the gate, leaving only the Avohkii from his demise. Using the mask, the Toa and Turaga manage to revive Takanuva. As the Matoran and Toa prepare for their journey to the underground city, the Turaga reveal its name as Metru Nui, the Matoran's original home which Makuta prevented them from returning to. This leads to the revelation 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 that they themselves were once Toa heroes. Turaga Vakama leads the tale depicting the island city in the last days of its golden age 1,000 years ago. Floating in a dome beneath the island of Mata Nui, Metru Nui was a busy city metropolis boasting state-of-the-art buildings and technology where the Matoran lived in peace under the leadership of Turaga Dume. However, the city's Toa guardians starting to mysteriously disappear, leaving team leader Toa Lhikan as its sole protector. Knowing there was something immoral occurring within the city, Lhikan sacrificed his power into six Toa stones and handed them out to six Matoran - Vakama, Nokama, Matau, Whenua, Onewa and Nuju - before getting captured himself by mercenaries known as The Dark Hunters. The chosen Matoran headed to the Great Temple in Ga-Metru, where using the stones transformed into the city's new heroes - the Toa Metru. Guided by the visions of Vakama, the Toa Metru set out to find the six Great Kanoka Discs and defeat the Morbuzakh plant menace. However, when the Toa arrive to proclaim their victory, the discs are disregarded by Turaga Dume, who discredits the Toa as the criminals responsible for the kidnapping of Toa Lhikan. One half of the team is imprisoned while Vakama, Nokama and Matau escape, now labelled as fugitives. After being chased across the city by two Dark Hunters and the Vahki (robotic law enforcers), the two halves find each other again and discover Lhikan, now a Turaga as a result of his sacrifice. The Toa also find the body of the true Turaga Dume in the Onu-Metru archives and learn that Makuta Teridax, an ancient being of immense power sent to watch over the city, has in fact been posing as Dume as part of his plan to put the Matoran in pods, wipe their memories and reawaken them as their new leader. As the Toa Metru confront Makuta, the Great Spirit Mata Nui is finally put to sleep by the tyrant, triggering an event known as the Great Cataclysm that devastated much of the Matoran universe. The Toa Metru flee from the city with as many Matoran pods as they can carry, heading for a gap in the Great Barrier created by the cataclysm, while Vakama uses the Great Discs to forge the Mask of Time. The Toa are then confronted Makuta who is after the mask, and after an fierce battle resulting in the death of Lhikan, the mask becomes lost to the protodermis sea, while the Toa seal Teridax in a crystallized protodermis prison by combining their elemental powers. The Toa continue their voyage, encountering many dangers along the way, before at last arriving at a mysterious island paradise. After preparing the island for the Matoran, and hiding Toa stones for the next generation of heroes, they begin the journey back to the City of Legends to collect the rest of the populace, who remained in a deep sleep.[8]

2005 – Web of Shadows[edit]

Upon the Toa Metru's return to Metru Nui to rescue the remaining Matoran, they find the city in ruins. In their absence, vicious spider-like creatures called Visorak have overrun the city, creating poisonous webs and mutating various Rahi. Led by two agents of the Makuta, their king Sidorak and his viceroy Roodaka who hold the sleeping Matoran in their custody, the Visorak capture and mutate the Toa into half-Toa half-Rahi creatures called Toa Hordika. They are quickly rescued by the Rahaga, six small beings once Toa themselves, who explain that if the Toa wish to be returned to their original forms, they must seek out the legendary Keetongu, a Rahi rumored to be an expert with venoms and cures. The Toa put aside their problems and begin building airships to transport the Matoran out of the city as well as retrieve the great Kanohi Mask of Light hidden by the Rahaga from the Visorak. However, a guilt-ridden Vakama succumbs to his Rahi impulses and betrays his fellow Toa by joining Sidorak and Roodaka, who make him leader of the Visorak hordes. The remaining Toa and Rahaga change priorities and journey to discover Keetongu and after enlisting the Rahi's help, join him in a great battle against the Visorak at the Coliseum. While Matau attempts to convince Vakama to re-join this team-mates, Sidorak is abandoned by Roodaka in their battle against Keetongu, and the horde king dies at the hands of the Rahi. Roodaka confronts the Toa Hordika and demands they give her their elemental powers. They in return fire their Rhotuka spinners at her, but the action has little effect on her due to the Toa not being fully united. Vakama reveals his rejuvenation and after dispersing the Visorak, also fires his Rhotuka at Roodaka. This knocks her unconscious and unknowingly releases the Makuta from his protodermis prison that she had been carrying a shard of in her armor, before Teridax himself teleports her away.[9] After Keetongu restores the Toa to their original forms, the heroes journey with the airships loaded with the Matoran to the island paradise above Metru Nui. On the journey, Vakama retrieves the Mask of Time from the protodermis sea, and after a crippling battle between the Makuta and the leader of the Dark Hunters known as The Shadowed One occurs, he blackmails Teridax into giving the Matoran one year of peace. He returns to his fellow Toa on the island where they awaken the Matoran from their sleep by sacrificing their Toa power, like Lhikan before them. Now Turaga, they christen the island "Mata Nui" after the Great Spirit and direct the amnesiac Matoran to building new homes, knowing the Makuta will one day 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. Once they arrived, the Piraka posed as Toa before enslaving nearly all of the island's 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 the missing Toa. But after Takanuva is forced to turn back, the Matoran arrive in the realm of the ancient tyrant Karzahni, eventually escaping via Toa canisters heading to Voya Nui. Prior to arriving on the island, bolts of lighting from the Red Star transform the Matoran into Toa Inika; Toa with entwined lightning powers. With help from a Matoran resistance force and the ancient being Axonn, the Inika battled the many guardians and challenges of the Ignika and chased 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 the chamber and 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 surrounding 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 Inika 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 and the Barraki; six mutated former warlords 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, who believe the mask can change them back to their original forms so they can rule the Kingdoms once again. When the Toa Mahri arrive, an all-out battle between the two groups begins, 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 fully trustful in the Makuta's words, Matoro relays the information to his team-mates who agree and with Axonn begin evacuating Matoran from both locations and destroy 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, Matoro races towards a hole in the seabed before Voya Nui descends to close it, while the other Toa buy him time by battling the Barraki's aquatic armies. Once in, Matoro falls through a waterfall and in his last moments dons the Mask of Life, using 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 Mata Nui, who remains asleep. Meanwhile, the Maxilos body that Teridax inhabited is found badly damaged after a battle with the Barraki and their armies, and is so presumed dead.

2008 – The Final Battle[edit]

After completing several tasks in preparation for Mata Nui's awakening, the Toa Nuva, equipped with new adaptive armor and weapons, are teleported to Karda Nui; the core of the universe. There, they find members of the Brotherhood of Makuta acting on orders from Teridax to stop them from achieving their destiny. 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. While fighting blind Makuta and their Shadow Matoran servants (Matoran who had their light drained), Kopaka's team receive support from three Av-Matoran and 'Toa Ignika', a manifestation of the Mask of Life. Meanwhile, Tahu's group is threatened by three more Maktua, mutated by the waters of the swamp. Unaware that the Ignika has created a body for itself and aiding the battle in the sky, the Toa below search for six illusive key stones that open the Codrex - a giant sphere that sits at the centre of the swamp. With fights ensured at both ends of Karda Nui, the Toa Nuva reunite in the swamp and with help from a half-light-drained Takanuva,[12] find all six key stones and open the Codrex, where inside they find powerful battle-vehicles as well as their own origins to how they arrived on the island of Mata Nui. After Takanuva gathered the Av-Matoran and turned the Shadow Matoran back to their previous states, the Toa Ignika sacrificed its new body to awaken Mata Nui on behalf of the Toa Nuva. All seven Toa manage to flee Karda Nui with the Av-Matoran before the energy storm caused by Mata Nui's awakeneing could destroy them. The Makuta, however, realizing that Teridax had actually sent them to their deaths, are obliterated by the storm. Arriving back in Metru Nui, the Toa Nuva and Takanuva join in the celebration of Mata Nui's awakening. But as Turaga Dume begins his victory speech, the stars above rearrange themselves into the shape of the unforgettable Mask of Shadows previously worn by Teridax. The evil Makuta's laughter is then heard throughout the city, who reveals he has taken over Mata Nui's body; a giant robotic humanoid vessel that houses the homelands of all beings in the Matoran universe. As Teridax's reign of terror begins, he 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]

Distant from the Matoran universe, Bara Magna is home to the Agori villagers, who living the harsh conditions of the planet with little resources, pitch their warriors known as Glatorian against once another in arena matches to settle disputes. While the Fire, Water, Jungle and Ice tribes live in amity, the arrival of the Rock tribe and their 'Skrall' warriors threatens to destroy the peace as they win every arena match they participate in. The Glatorian and Agori also face attacks from a tribe of nomads named the Bone Hunters who hunt down Agori and Vorox (members of the former Sand Tribe who regressed into beasts) for sport. Sometime after their arrival, the Skrall attacked Arena Magna - the oldest arena on Bara Magna - during the Great Tournament. Those who escaped knew that they couldn't defeat the Skrall alone and hoped that help would come. Months later, the Mask of Life - carrying the consciousness of Mata Nui - crash-lands in the wastelands of Bara Magna where it creates a new, smaller body for the former Great Spirit. After narrowly escaping a Vorox attack, Mata Nui befriends the Glatorian and Agori and with their help begins a journey to find a way to travel back to his homeland to save the Matoran from Teridax's rule. But as he gets caught up in the problems of the inhabitants and with rumors of a traitor amongst the tribes, Mata Nui is trained how to fight by the Glatorians Acker, Kiina and Gresh, and in return grants them new weapons and elemental powers, similar to that of Toa. Mata Nui later convinces the Agori that in order to fight their enemies they must abandon the Area System and unite. Afterwards, Kiina and the Agori Berix are kidnapped by the Bone Hunters. Mata Nui travels to the Rock tribe's village of Roxtus to combat Tuma; leader of the Skrall, in exchange for his friends' freedom. After defeating the leader, Mata Nui discovers that Metus, an Agori of the Ice tribe, is the traitor who brought the Skrall and Bone Hunters together and sold the other tribes out to them. An army of Glatorian and Agori later arrive to battle the unified enemies, driving both the Skrall and Bone Hunters out of Roxtus. Mata Nui uses the Ignika to transform Metus into snake-like creature as his punishment. After the battle, the Agori assemble the structures of all five villages together to create a new 'Mega-Village' to reside in. Mata Nui notices how parts from each village link up to form a giant robotic body, similar to his former body. And upon discovering a map that could help him return to his people, announces to his new friends that their quest has begun.

2010 – Journey's End[edit]

Upon discovering that the structures of the Agori's new mega-village are in fact parts of a giant robot that exploded centuries ago, Mata Nui begins his quest to return to his universe to take back his old body from Teridax. He learns that Bara Magna and its accompanying moons Bota Magna and Aqua Magna were once all one planet, Spherus Magna; home of the Great Beings, who after discovering that their planet was set to explode due to the leakage of Energized Protodermis from its core (also triggering the Core War), created Mata Nui and the Matoran Universe to learn about cultures on other planets before returning to make Spherus Magna whole once more. However, a prototype robot was created earlier, but exploded across Bara Magna and formed the Agori's villages. Following the Agori Tarduk, Mata Nui journeyed through a maze occupied with traps and riddles. At its centre, he found an unstable power source suitable for powering up the robot.[14] After convincing Raanu, the elder of the mega-village, to let him use the prototype robot, Mata Nui made his goodbyes to his friends before sacrificing his new body so that his spirit could inhabit the robot. As Mata Nui begins to draw Bara Magna's moons back towards the planet, Makuta Teridax - in Mata Nui's original body - touches down on Bara Magna, and an all-out battle between the two robots begins. On the ground, the Glatorian are met with a fight of their own as Makuta's Rahkishi and Skakdi legions exit the Matoran universe from the Makuta's heel and invade Bara Magna. Tahu and Takanuva follow behind, as the Mask of Life reduces Tahu back into his original Toa Mata form so he can wear the Golden Armor, an ancient weapon originally devised to destroy the Makuta species in the event of their betrayal.[15] Makuta, seeing the armor, fires a blast at the pieces and scatters them across the battle scene.

As Makuta battles Mata Nui in his more powerful, larger body, he claims he plans to conquer Bara Magna, before beginning a journey to eventually rule the entire multi-verse. With help from the Glatorian Gresh, Tahu and Takanuva retrieve all six pieces of armor from their enemies, now joined by an avenged Skrall army. Tahu dons the Golden Armor which sends out a blast that incinerates all the Kraata powering the Rahkishi armour suits, leaving the Skakdi and Skrall greatly outnumbered. Claiming that he will destroy Bara Magna with gravitational energy if he can't rule it, Teridax senses the loss of his Rahkshi. His hesitation gives Mata Nui the chance to force the blast towards the moons before swinging the Makuta up into a falling fragment from Aqua Magna,[16] the impact destroys the robot's core processor, killing Makuta for good. Using the Ignika and the last of his strength, Mata Nui completes his destiny of reforming Spherus Magna and letting vegetation flourish on the planet once more, before the strain on the power source destroys the prototype robot. The Toa and Glatorian arrive at its ruins and find the Mask of Life undamaged, from which Mata Nui speaks to them, telling them that the future is theirs to build while he plans to remain dormant in the mask. The Toa, Glatorian, Matoran, Agori and all other beings then begin a new life on Spherus Magna.[17]

Reception[edit]

The Bionicle franchise has been well received, with one reviewer describing the sets as "good combination of assembly and action figure"[18] and first-year sales of £100 million ($161.7 million).[19] Bionicle had received a Toy of the Year Award for Most Innovative Toy in 2001 from the Toy Industry Association.[20]

The rapid success of Bionicle had a major impact on the Lego company. According to Stephanie Lawrence, the global director of licensing for Lego, "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."[21] According to one source, Bionicle has changed the way children think of, and play with, Lego products by combining "the best of Lego building with the story telling and adventure of an action figure line," and that 85% of American boys age 6–12 know of the Bionicle brand and 45% own the toys.[21]

BIONICLE even has many popular fan sites. One such site is Mask of Destiny [22], which had existed since BIONICLE's creation in 2001

Māori language controversy[edit]

In 2001, several Māori tribal groups from New Zealand threatened legal action against Lego for allegedly trademarking Māori words used in naming the Bionicle product range.[23][24] In response, a Lego spokesperson stated that only the term "Bionicle" had been trademarked.[23] Lego agreed to stop commercial use of the Māori language after sending an executive to meet with Māori representatives in New Zealand.[25] Some Māori terms used by Lego were changed, such as "Tohunga", which was changed to "Matoran".[24] Within the fictional Bionicle universe, these changes were explained by the introduction of a "Naming Day" holiday, in which characters who have done heroic deeds for their village are honored by having the spelling of their name changed (though the pronunciation remains the same).[26] However, a number of Māori terms such as "Toa", which means "warrior", "Kanohi", which means "face",[24] and "Kōpaka", which means "ice", were not changed. Since this controversy, Lego has not made any more names that are common terms in other living languages (with the exception of some names that are real names in some languages, for example: Tahu).

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".[27] 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, like "Crashed" by Daughtry and "Move Along" by 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: Journey's End
  15. ^ Bionicle Glatorian #06: All That Glitters
  16. ^ http://www.bzpower.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=335541
  17. ^ Bionicle Glatorian #07: Rebirth
  18. ^ Doug Cornelius. "The end of LEGO Bionicle". Wired. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  19. ^ Telegraph (2009-12-17). "Lego: play it again". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ http://www.maskofdestiny.com
  23. ^ a b "Lego game irks Maoris". London: BBC News. 2005-05-31. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  24. ^ a b c Griggs, Kim (2002-11-21). "Lego Site Irks Maori Sympathizer". Wired News. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  25. ^ "Lego agrees to stop using Maori names". London: BBC News. 2001-10-30. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  26. ^ Bionicle Encyclopedia, Scholastic 2007
  27. ^ Insane Kids All Insane Kids, www.last.fm

External links[edit]