Bionicle

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Bionicle
BionicleLogo2015.jpg
Availability 2000–2010, 2015
Total sets (See List of Bionicle toys)
Characters (See List of Bionicle characters)
Official website

Bionicle (stylized as BIONICLE) is 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 2001 in North America. Over the following decade, it became one of the Lego Group's biggest-selling properties and helped play a part in saving the company from its financial crisis of the late 1990s. The theme was discontinued in 2010 and subsequently "replaced" by a successor toy line called Hero Factory, which featured a similar building system. Hero Factory ran up until 2014, when Lego announced that Bionicle would be relaunched as a rebooted franchise in January 2015.

To accompany the sets, Lego created an original story told on a vast multimedia scale that expanded as the theme continued. Set in a science fantasy universe featuring part-organic, part-machine sapient beings, the story's narrative chronicles the adventures of heroic beings called Toa as they fight against the many evils of their world in order to protect a widespread populace known as the Matoran. While the main story was told through common mediums such as comic books, online games and films, a number of additional serials were incorporated into the saga to help expand it. A reboot of the story is set to concur with the theme's relaunch in 2015.

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 based on the film series of the same name. It became an instant success, but the 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. Their first attempt of this resulted in the themes Slizer/Throwbots and RoboRiders released in 1999 and 2000 respectively. They incorporated elements from Lego's own Technic construction series such as the innovative 'ball-and-socket' joint that was new to the Lego building system. Even though both themes were short-lived, they proved to be popular, prompting the Lego Group to create a new storyline with the intention of the theme becoming a Lego product staple.

While the Lego Group brain-stormed for ideas of a new theme with Danish advertising company Advance, the word "Bionicle" - a portmanteau constructed from the words "biological chronicle"[1] 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 an elaborate original storyline featuring red herrings, centring around bio-mechanical characters and telling it on a vast multimedia scale that would grow as the series continued. The uses of tropical environments and characters based on classical elements were also taken from Bionicle's predecessor themes.

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.[2]

Launch[edit]

The first wave of Bionicle sets were initially launched in December 2000 in Europe and Australasia as a "test market" to predict how well the sets would sell in North America, an accompanying website was subsequently launched by Lego. After a positive reception, Bionicle was released in North America in mid-2001. New sets were released roughly every six months through to the theme's original cancellation in 2010 and ranged from buildable action figures to constructive play sets and vehicles while also increasing in size and flexibility. A number of collectibles were also incorporated into the toy waves, examples being weapon ammo and the 'Kanohi' masks characters such as the Toa and Matoran 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 membership material.

Bionicle's popularity rose and became one of Lego's biggest and successful properties. It was named as the #1 most-rated Lego product in 2003 and 2006 in terms of sales and popularity,[2] 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 (costumes, toiletries, fast-food restaurant collectibles, etc.).

Cancellation[edit]

By 2008, The Lego Group was the second-biggest toy manufacture in the world, but saw a loss in sales and new interest from Bionicle products. In November 2009, the company announced the halt of new Bionicle sets "for the foreseeable future" after a final wave was released in 2010, despite Lego's original decision to run the theme up until 2020. In the summer that followed, Lego launched a new construction series called Hero Factory that acted as a successor to Bionicle and featured a similar building system in its legacy.

At his request, long-term comic-book writer and story contributor Greg Farshtey was given permission by the Lego Group to continue the Bionicle storyline on his own, with chapters of new serials posted regularly on the website BionicleStory.com.[3] This was abruptly halted in mid-2011 due to Farshtey's other commitments, although an official announcement has not been made. The website was shut down in June 2013, and as of 2014, a number of new serials have been left on cliffhangers.

Relaunch[edit]

On September 19, 2014, Lego announced the relaunch of Bionicle for January 2015 with a reboot to the original story.[4] The first wave of sets and further storyline details were unveiled at the New York Comic Con on October 9, 2014.

Story[edit]

The Bionicle story is set in a science fantasy universe in a time pre-dating recorded history (dubbed in the narrative as "The Time Before Time") featuring part-organic, part-machine sapient beings. The original story was told on a multimedia platform developed by a team of eight Lego employees led by Bob Thompson[2] who decided which piece of media got which part of the story (e.g. comic books, online games, animation videos, 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 after Bionicle's cancellation.

The original Bionicle storyline was set to feature at least seven story arcs and plot developments, but only four were carried out prior to that incarnation'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.

Generation 1[edit]

2001 – Quest for the Masks[edit]

On the island paradise of Mata Nui, a shadow has fallen over the land. The villagers known as Matoran live in fear of The Makuta; an all-powerful being alleged to have cast the Great Spirit Mata Nui (the Matoran's god-like entity of which the island is named after) into a deep slumber. Now, Makuta has taken control the Rahi - the island's fauna - to serve him and attack the Matoran and their villagers. One Matoran, Takua, banished from his village due to his lack of work ethic, travels the island looking for stories to tell, earning him the nickname "The Chronicler". On one journey, Takua finds six ancient stones and brings them to Kini Nui (the heart of Mata Nui) where he joins them together and unknowingly triggers a beacon for six canisters floating in the ocean to wash up on the island's beaches. Once ashore, the canisters burst open to reveal six powerful 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. Carrying formidable tools to channel their elemental energies and donning great "Kanohi" masks of power, the Toa remember nothing of their former lives except their names.[5] Prior to meeting each other, they rebuild themselves on the seashores and 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 conflict, and with the aid of the Matoran and their Turaga leaders, begin searching for more Kanohi masks; each of which possess a different ability. Collecting six each, they exchange their masks for Golden Kanohi and descend underground to face Makuta. Prior to arriving at the villain's lair, the Toa form two Toa Kaita (giant beings created when Toa fuse together) to challenge the Makuta's Manas crabs, and battle dark manifestations of themselves dubbed 'Shadow Toa'. When the Toa arrive, the Makuta appears in the form of a Matoran in order to trick them, before transforming into a swirling vortex of tentacles and rusty machine parts. The Toa battle and defeat Makuta by combining their elemental powers on him. Triumphant, the heroes return to the surface, but Takua, having followed the Toa down, discovers a large hive of insect-like nests hidden away from the battle site, revealing a new threat to Mata Nui. He sees the nests begin to hatch, but quickly 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 a new threat to the island of Mata Nui: the Bohrok Swarms; six breeds of robotic bug-like drones designed to "cleanse" the island to its former barren state.[6] The Bohrok rampage across Mata Nui and begin tearing down the regions of each village, forcing the Turaga and Matoran to flee. And while many Matoran are driven under the influence of the Bohrok's brain-like Krana substances, others find new ways to retaliate against the swarms. The Toa begin to collect all eight varieties of Krana from each breed while engaging in combat with them and later reunite to travel down to the Bohrok's underground nests. There, they place the Krana in niches located in each breed's hive, but this alone fails to stop the swarms. The Toa later discover and don powerful, sentient robotic battle armor called Exo-Toa which lead them to the chamber of the true swarm commanders; the Bahrag twins Cahdok and Gahdok. In their battle against the nest Queens, the Toa learn that the Exo-Toa are hampering their elemental powers and so take them off in order to re-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 process of rebuilding their villages, using the Bohrok drones now that their Krana are powerless. The Toa's victory is short-lived when the ground beneath them opens up and plunges each of them into tubes filled with energized protodermis, transforming the heroes into more powerful beings with new armor, masks and weapons and creating the Toa Nuva.[6] At the same time, a set of new Kanohi masks are placed in secret hiding places all over Mata Nui for the Toa Nuva to find, six Nuva symbol plagues that contain the Toa's elemental powers appear in each village, and a cube that can fit all the plaques together is formed near the Bahrag's prison. Emerging from the tubes and returning to the surface, the Toa Nuva engage in battle against each other in order to test their new powers. Their actions lead to anger among them and all think it best to go their separate ways.

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

Following the defeat of the Bahrag Queens and the Bohrok's return to their hives, the Toa Nuva return to their villages to 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 Nuva's symbol plagues, leaving the heroes greatly outmatched. Relying solely on their mask powers and combat skills, the Toa chase the Bohrok-Kal all over Mata Nui and eventually find them in the Bahrag's underground nest. The Kal defeat the Exo-Toa guards with ease before attempting to fit all six plagues on the Nuva cube to re-awake the Queens from their prison. But before the tablets join, Tahu unleashes a secret weapon; the Kanohi Vahi - the legendary Mask of Time - to slow down time around them so the Toa can retrieve their tablets. The Toa Nuva then use their connections to their plagues to feed energy into the elite Bohrok, making them believe that their power alone can cleanse Mata Nui. However, the Kal's powers run wild and eventually destroy them. The Toa Nuva exit the nest, and after hiding their retrieved tablets at secret locations, enjoy a new time of peace on Mata Nui.

Weeks later, Takua and fellow Matoran Jaller discover a great Kanohi mask hidden under their village of Ta-Koro. After playing in the Kohlii Tournament (a popular Matoran sport), 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 with the elemental power of Light who can defeat the Makuta for good and begin the process of reawakening Mata Nui. Learning of Takua and Jaller's mission to find the seventh Toa, Makuta unleashes his "sons"; six Rahkshi - robotic suits of armor powered by slug-like Kraata created from his essence - to track down and kill the herald before the seventh Toa can be found, despite Takua's belief of not being the true herald. The Toa Nuva battle the Rahkshi all over Mata Nui, who level the villages of Ta-Koro and Onu-Koro in their search for the Ta-Matoran. The Rahkishi find the two Matoran in Kini Nui, as a final confrontation between the Makuta sons and the Toa ensues, 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 - Toa of Light - and travels underground to face Makuta in his lair. Followed by the rest of the Mata Nui populace, Takanuva confronts Makuta and the pair clash before they both fall into a pool of energized protodermis and re-emerge as the fused being Takutanuva, who manages to lift the gate to an underground city - letting the Toa, Turaga and Matoran through - and revive Jaller, before the weight of the gate crushes him. The Turaga retrieve the intact Avohkii from his demise and use it to 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 in fact the first Toa.[7]

2004 – Legends of Metru Nui[edit]

As the Matoran prepare for the journey back to Metru Nui, the Turaga reveal age-old tales of how they themselves were Toa in the last days of the city's golden age 1,000 years ago and brought the Matoran to the island of Mata Nui. Floating in a dome beneath Mata Nui, Metru Nui was a busy 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 danger, Lhikan sacrificed his Toa 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 the powerful Toa Metru. Guided by strange visions from Vakama, the Toa gathered six Great Kanoka discs that could be used to defeat the Morbuzakh plant menace that threatened the city. However, when the Toa proclaimed their victory, Turaga Dume discredited them as criminals. Whenua, Onewa and Nuju were imprisoned, while Vakama, Nokama and Matau escaped as fugitives. After being chased across Metru Nui by two Dark Hunters and Vahki law enforcers, the Toa were reunited and learnt that Lhikan was a now a Turaga as a result of his sacrifice. The Toa also discovered the true Turaga Dume asleep in a stasis pod and learnt that Teridax - the leader of a corrupt organization known as The Brotherhood of Makuta - had been posing as Dume as part of his diabolical plan to overthrow the Great Spirit and become the Matoran's new leader. At the Coliseum, the Toa Metru confronted Teridax, who had already placed the Matoran in stasis pods and erased their memories. He subsequently cast Mata Nui into a deep slumber, triggering an event known as the Great Cataclysm that damaged much of the Matoran Universe. The Toa fled with as many Matoran pods as they could carry, towards a crack in Metru Nui's dome created by the cataclysm. Teridax confronted them with the intention of obtaining the Mask of Time that Vakama had forged out of the Kanoka discs. The Toa of Fire clashed with the Makuta in a battle that ended with the loss of the mask and Lhikan's death. The Toa Metru eventually combined their elemental powers to seal Teridax in a prison of crystallized protodermis and continued on their journey. Encountering new dangers, they arrived on a mysterious island that they saw fit as the Matoran's new home. Preparing it, the Toa began the journey back to Metru Nui in order to collect the rest of the Matoran, who remained in a deep sleep.[8]

2005 – Web of Shadows[edit]

The Turaga continue their tale of how they rescued the Matoran from the City of Legends. Upon the Toa Metru's return to Metru Nui, they found the city in ruins. In their absence, vicious spider-like Rahi called Visorak had overrun the city by creating poisonous webs and mutating various other Rahi, all while holding the sleeping Matoran captive. Under the command of their king, Sidorak, and his viceroy, Roodaka, the spiders captured and mutated the Toa into half-Toa, half-Rahi creatures nicknamed "Toa Hordika", before being rescued by the Rahaga; six small beings once Toa themselves, who explained that if the Hordika wished to be Toa again, they must seek the legendary Keetongu; a Rahi said to be an expert with poisons and antidotes. Putting their own problems aside, the Hordika built airships to transport the Matoran out of the Metru Nui and retrieved the Kanohi Mask of Light. However, a guilt-ridden Vakama succumbed to his Rahi impulses and betrayed his team-mates by joining Sidorak and Roodaka, who made him leader of the Visorak hordes after he kidnapped five of the Rahaga. The remaining Toa and Rahaga changed priorities and searched for Keetongu. Finding the Rahi in Ko-Metru, the group enlisted his help in a battle against the Visorak at the Coliseum. During the conflict, Roodaka abandoned Sidorak in a fight against Keetongu and left the horde king to die at the hands of the Rahi. Roodaka then confronted the Toa Hordika and demanded their elemental powers. They fired their Rhotuka spinners at her, but the action had little effect. After dispersing the Visorak, a rejuvenated Vakama also fired a spinner. This knocked Roodaka unconscious and unknowingly released Teridax from his protodermis prison that she had been carrying a shard of in her armor, before he teleported her away to safety.[9] Seeing that the Hordika had made peace with their animal sides, Keetongu restored them to their original forms. The Toa Metru then bid the Rahaga and Keetongu farewell and set off with the Matoran pod-loaded airships for the island above Metru Nui. On the voyage, Vakama attempted to retrieve the Mask of Time from the protodermis sea, only to be caught in a battle between the revived Makuta and The Shadowed One, leader of the Dark Hunters. Spiriting the Mask of Time away from the duel, Vakama blackmailed Teridax into giving the Matoran one year of peace, before travelling on with his fellow Toa. Once on the island, the Toa Metru sacrificed their powers 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 the Makuta would return and that new prophesied Toa would, in time, arrive to fight him.[10]

2006 – Island of Doom[edit]

Upon the Matoran's return to Metru Nui, they begin to reconstruct the city from the damage caused by the Visorak invasion 1,000 years before. Meanwhile, 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 retrieve 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. Realizing that the Toa Nuva are missing, Jaller suspects the Turaga of harbouring more secrets and gets the Matoran to go on strike until their elders reveal their protectors' whereabouts, they refuse. In secret, Nokama discloses the Toa's location to the Ta-Matoran and their mission to save Mata Nui. Believing they need assistance, Jaller gathers five of the bravest Matoran he knows - Hahli, Kongu, Nuparu, Hewkii and Matoro - and with Takanuva, they prepare to travel to Voya Nui. But after Takanuva is forced to turn back, the Matoran arrive in the realm of the ancient tyrant Karzahni, where they are forced to wear organic masks in replacement of their own. The party eventually escape via Toa canisters heading to Voya Nui, but prior to arriving on the island, bolts of lighting from an object called the Red Star that orbits the planet transform the Matoran into 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 has fused itself to and his spider-like steed Fenrakk. After the Inika defeat the duo, Vezon re-arises riding a Kardas Dragon. Another immense battle climaxes with the pair getting trapped in a stasis field. But as Matoro retrieves the Ignika, the Toa's 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 sea.

2007 – Sea of Darkness[edit]

The Toa Inika and the revived Piraka chase after the Mask of Life, which eventually plunges into the bay 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, which 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 the Barraki; six 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. But 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, the Barraki battle the recently arrived Toa Mahri and gamble for possession of the Ignika. Matoro is later imprisoned in the Pit by a robotic Maxilos guard that reveals itself as Makuta Teridax, who possessed the robot after his essence followed the Toa through the stone cord. He informs Matoro that Mata Nui only can be saved if the Toa shatter the cord, and although not trustful in the villan's words, Matoro relays the information to his team-mates. They agree and begin evacuating Matoran from both locations before proceeding to destroy the cord, sending Voya Nui plummeting into the ocean towards its original position and demolishing Mahri Nui in the process. But by the time the Toa Mahri retrieve the Ignika, Mata Nui dies. Believing there's still hope, the Toa battle the Barraki's aquatic armies while Matoro races towards a hole in the seabed with the mask before Voya Nui descends to close it. Once in, Matoro falls through a waterfall. He dons the Mask of Life and uses its powers to teleport the Toa Mahri to Metru Nui and turn them back into air-breathers, before the mask turns his body into pure energy that saves the Great Spirit. Meanwhile, the Maxilos body that Teridax inhabited is found badly damaged after a ferocious battle with the Barraki's armies, and is so presumed dead. Mata Nui has been saved, but remains asleep.

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 from the Brotherhood of Makuta acting on orders from Teridax to stop them resurrecting Mata Nui, the heroes split into two teams; Kopaka, Lewa and Pohatu remain in the skies to protect the Matoran villages, while 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 (Matoran of Light) and a manifestation of the Mask of Life calling itself 'Toa Ignika' 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 keystones that act as a key to open it. Inside, the Toa discover powerful battle vehicles amongst ancient technology as well as their origins to who they were before arriving on Mata Nui island. The heroes use the vehicles against the Makuta in a final all-out battle and receive help from a half-light drained Takanuva[12] who also manages to turn the Shadow Matoran back into their former states. Later, the Toa Ignika sacrifices itself to awaken Mata Nui, causing an energy storm that the Toa and Av-Matoran narrowly escape. The Makuta, however, realizing Teridax had in fact sent them to their deaths, are obliterated by the storm. As the cyclone increases, the whole universe begins to tremble as the true form of Mata Nui is resurrected from beneath the Endless Ocean for the first time in 1,000 years, destroying Mata Nui island in the process. The Toa Nuva and Takanuva arrive back in Metru Nui and join the celebrations of Mata Nui's reawakening with the Matoran and Turaga. But in the midst of the festivity, Teridax's laughter is heard throughout the city. The Makuta, thought to be long since dead, reveals that he has taken over Mata Nui's body - the giant robotic humanoid vessel that houses the entire Matoran Universe - before Mata Nui's spirit could return. 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 to an unknown destination.[13]

2009 – The Legend Reborn[edit]

Far away from the Matoran Universe is the desert world of Bara Magna. In order to survive the harsh conditions of the planet, the villagers known as Agori pitch their best 'Glatorian' warriors against one another in arena matches as part of a social order to settle disputes. But while most of the tribes live in amity, the recent arrival of the Rock Tribe and their 'Skrall' warriors threatens to destroy the peace as they appear to win every arena match they participate in. Despite this, all the tribes fear attacks from a group of nomads called Bone Hunters, who stalk the wastelands and hunt Agori for sport. 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 spirit of Mata Nui - crash-lands in the wastelands of Bara Magna and creates a new, smaller body for the former Great Spirit. Mata Nui eventually befriends a group of Glatorian and Agori, and with their help, begins to find a way back to his own universe. But with rumors of a traitor amongst the tribes, Mata Nui gets caught up in the war against the Skrall and their recently discovered alliance with the Bone Hunters and is taught how to fight. He later convinces the Agori and Glatorian that they must unite in order to fight their enemies, but after the Bone Hunters kidnap the Glatorian Kiina and Agori Berix, Mata Nui travels to the Rock Tribe's village of Roxtus to combat Tuma; leader of the Skrall, in exchange for their freedom. Upon 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 and drive the Skrall and Bone Hunters out of Roxtus, while Mata Nui uses the Ignika to turn Metus into a rattle snake as his punishment. After the battle, the Agori assemble the structures of their villages together to create a new 'mega-village'. Mata Nui notices how the structures link up to form a vast robotic body - similar to his old one - and after discovering a map of an unknown location, begins a quest to return to his people.

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. He begins his quest by travelling through a maze occupied with booby-traps (using the map he found as a guide) where he uncovers an unstable power source. Convincing the Glatorian and Agori to let him use the prototype robot, Mata Nui places the power source, the Mask of Life and his spirit inside it, and as the vessel, begins the process of reuniting Bara Magna with its satellites. Later, Makuta Teridax - in Mata Nui's old 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 start 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. Makuta's forces are soon joined by the Skrall, who together, battle the Glatorian and Agori. Meanwhile, 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 is unleashed that incinerates all the Kraata powering the Rahkshi armor, leaving the Skakdi and Skrall greatly outnumbered, who retreat into the desert. Mata Nui notices Teridax's hesitation in sensing the loss of his Rahkshi and sees a 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 great 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 as a final wish while deciding to remain dormant inside the Ignika. The Toa, Matoran, Glatorian, Agori and all other beings from both worlds now begin a new life on Spherus Magna.[16]

Generation 2[edit]

2015 – Masks of Power[edit]

On the mythical island of Okoto, two brothers (Ekimu - wearer of the Mask of Creation, and Makuta - wearer of the Mask of Control) created many masks of elemental power for the island's villagers, however, Ekimu's were the most treasured. Jealous of his brother's craftsmanship, Makuta broke an ancient vow in order to forge the Mask of Ultimate Power. The Mask corrupted Makuta as soon as he put it on and its power began to destroy the island. Ekimu confronted Makuta and knocked the mask from his brother's face, creating a shock wave that sent both Mask Makers into an endless sleep and scattered all three Masks of Power across Okoto, leaving the island in terrible danger. Just as the inhabitants begin to lose hope, six heroes, the Toa - each masters of a sacred element - crash-land on the island and are enlisted to help the villagers confront the army of Skull Spiders that crawl the island. The Toa - Tahu, Kopaka, Lewa, Onua, Gali and Pohatu - must embark on a quest to collect the ancient Masks of Power that are the key to unlock their full elemental abilities. But only when they are united do they stand a chance of combating the forces of evil and saving Okoto.

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" meaning "Ice"[22] were not changed. Since this controversy, Lego has attempted to significantly reduce the number of names used in its lines that are drawn directly from living real-world languages.[citation needed]

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] the latter serving as the theme of Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows. 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. ^ Official Greg Discussion p. 198 on BZPower forums, post #5922
  2. ^ a b c Widdicombe, Rupert (2004-04-29). "Building blocks for the future". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "An Important Announcement Regarding Bionicle". Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  4. ^ https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1510717302502681&set=vb.1472651449642600&type=2&theater
  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]