|Sub‑themes||Hero Recon Team|
Hero Factory (stylized as HERO FACTORY) was a line of construction toys created by the Lego Group marketed primarily at 6-to-16-year-olds. Premiering in the summer of 2010, the theme was created in response to the decision to close down production of the formerly-popular Lego construction theme Bionicle and acted as a successor. It its legacy, Hero Factory utilized the building system implemented into Bionicle before going on to create its own. Hero Factory was discontinued in late 2014 in favor of reviving Bionicle for the following year.
Story-wise, Hero Factory revolves around a team of robotic heroes (specifically the Alpha 1 Team) constructed in a factory of the same name that's objective is to fight crime across the galaxy and protect a similarly robotic populace. Hero Factory is based in a towering skyscraper in the fictional Makuhero City, located on a terraformed asteroid, where new Heroes are constructed in the dozens and trained from the ground up for the latest job. Each Hero is unique thanks to their Quaza Core, which provide them with their own distinct personalities and equipment.
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Set information
- 4 Adaptations
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
2010 – Rise of the Rookies
Von Nebula was once the rookie Hero Von Ness, though he defected the organization after fleeing during an important mission. Von Nebula, seeking to take revenge over the wrongs he believed were inflicted upon him, recruited a number of infamous criminals to his cause. XPlode and his maniacal ally, Rotor, attack a shipment of explosives. The Alpha 1 Team is dispatched to guard the shipment, with Furno observing. XPlode abandons Rotor when the battle goes in the Heroes' favor. Stormer then states that it's Furno's job to chain up Rotor. However, due to his inexperience, the criminal manages to escape. The failure of the mission and Stormer's words make Furno train very hard to become a better Hero. Eventually, XPlode and Rotor strike an explosives plant, and when Stormer is felled, Furno manages to apprehend Rotor. Bulk, Stringer and Surge are caught in a fight against the vicious Corroder. While Corroder traps Bulk under a load of girders meant for Surge, Breez is transporting injured construction workers to a medibot station and Furno and Stormer are waiting for core recharges. Corroder has easily gained the upper hand. The Heroes realize the best idea is to form a Hero Cell to protect themselves using their Hero Cores. The energy of their Hero Cores is near depletion, but they all agree it's a chance worth taking. No sooner does the shield go down due to lack of energy does Furno crash his Hero Pod into Corroder. However, he takes everyone by surprise when he appears unharmed, stating he used the ejector seat to get out before the ship crashed. Meanwhile, Breez has returned with an empty cargo ship, and Furno uses this to his advantage: he bluffs to Corroder and says that a squad of heroes is contained in Breez's ship. Corroder uses his acid weapons to create a smokescreen and escape.
Weeks later, a distress call comes in from Mekron City, where Stormer knows the Drax, the police chief. However, Chief Drax is acting strangely, and Meltdown appears, spraying Stormer with sludge. He is eventually corrupted by some nanobots inside the sludge and, after a fight with Stringer, Bulk and Furno, escapes the Hero Factory. Four of the Heroes then travel to a remote planet to acquire an antidote, while Furno finds Stormer and duels him. Furno makes Stormer realize his actions are wrong by comparing him to a rookie that went rogue, Von Ness, and Stormer shuts down. The Heroes finally cure him, and Stormer deduces that someone is plotting against them. The Alpha 1 Team is sent to investigate a strange disaster, and Stormer realizes it's a trap when Thunder and Corroder arrive. Stormer appears to be downed, and the rookies are sent in with new tools. As they arrive, so do XPlode and Meltdown. A black hole opens in the sky, and Furno and Stormer jump in to combat the villain they now know to be pulling the strings - a rookie Hero known formerly as Von Ness, now a villain Von Nebula. Von Nebula goes after Stormer, believing him to be the bigger threat, but Furno destroys the black hole and Von Nebula is sucked into his own Black Hole Orb Staff. Meanwhile, the remaining Heroes take out Von Nebula's thugs with their new tools. After returning to Makuhero City, the team is cornered by a reporter, and Stormer surprises everyone by referring to Furno by his name, something he had previously refused to do. The criminals were later imprisoned, and Von Nebula's Black Hole Orb Staff is put under heavy guard.
2011 – Ordeal of Fire / Savage Planet
When Tanker Station 22 is attacked by the Fire villains, the workers send a message to Hero Factory. Concurrently, new heroes Nex and Evo are being presented by Mr. Makuro, who cautions that the upgrade process used to make the two Heroes is not ready to apply to existing Heroes yet. Alpha 1 arrive at the station and begin to fight with the attackers. Furno is ordered to go on reconnaissance, and discovers that the villains are drawing power from the fuel. Breez manages to save the workers by transporting them via Drop Ship while Fire Lord is distracted by Stormer and Furno. Stormer orders the team to retreat, but they are blocked off from the Hero Craft by the villains. Surge breaks away from the others and the villains chase after him. Back at the Hero Factory, Alpha 1 convince Makuro to upgrade them, and head back to the refueling station. During the fight, Furno requests back up from Zib, who sends Nex and Evo. Nitroblast and Drilldozer are subdued, but Fire Lord flees to absorb more fuel. As the Heroes close in, a ship ejects Jetbug and knocks Fire Lord away. Stormer apprehends Fire Lord, and Surge jumps out of the ship, telling the others how he took control of the ship. When they return to Hero Factory, Surge is upgraded and commended for his actions.
In the summer storyline, new rookie Hero Rocka is sent to find civilian Aldous Witch, who has crash-landed on Quatros. Rocka arrives on the planet, but he cannot find Witch. Rocka is confronted by a Fangz, but is incapable of defeating it and is knocked unconscious. When Rocka is reported missing, the Alpha 1 Team is equipped with animal-based equipment and sent to find him. The team discovers that Aldous Witch has turned into the Witch Doctor and has taken Rocka hostage. The Heroes, with the information given by Professor Zib, conclude that the excessive mining of the Quaza has made the planet unstable, destroying it from its core. They find an ancient transportation unit that could be used to instantly transport them to the central mine that leads to the core of the planet. Nex concludes that it would only be able to transport three Heroes. Stormer, Rocka, and Bulk enter the teleport, but are shrunken in size. Furno, Nex, Stringer go through the jungle but are attacked by Scorpio on the trek. As they are being attacked, Witch watches through his staff and revels in his certain victory.
Rocka's group arrived at the central mine via the transportation unit, where Witch Doctor had been mining the Quaza. They notice that Raw-Jaw is a slave worker for Witch, collecting the Quaza that is mined. Witch abuses the beast and controls his mind with his Skull Staff and the corrupted Quaza spike. Witch Doctor finds the Heroes and traps Bulk and Rocka in the box he was using to carry the Quaza stones. They begin by freeing the enslaved Raw-Jaw from the corrupted Quaza and Witch Doctor. Rocka, who has since received a modification giving him larger, more resilient armor and a stronger double-claw combo tool, approaches Witch. The two duel with seemingly even power, but Witch Doctor downs Rocka. As Aldous prepares to finish off Rocka, Stormer breaks his Skull Staff, rendering his powers useless. Furno and Bulk successfully return the Quaza to the core of the planet, restoring it to its former state.
2012 – Breakout
An unprecedented jailbreak occurs in the Hero Factory, releasing every known captive villain into the world, leaving them spreading chaos and destruction all across the galaxy. It is revealed that the villainous Black Phantom is behind the prison break, and that it was merely a distraction for the Heroes, so he could attempt to destroy Hero Factory's Assembly Tower while they were recapturing the escapees. Evo, Surge, Furno, Stringer and Stormer are sent on missions to catch and cuff the villains, while Rocka remains at Hero Factory to stop Black Phantom, who already has the mission managers neutralized.
The situation worsens in various other star systems, where the Heroes are getting defeated. However, they all manage to capture and cuff the escaped villains. Rocka is told of the situation by Zib before Black Phantom deactivates all the mission managers. Managing to down the failsafe shields Black Phantom put around Hero Factory, Rocka joins the returned heroes to combat Black Phantom. Catching him in the Assembly Tower, Rocka overloads Black Phantom's systems, allowing them to capture him. With order restored in Hero Factory, Zib informs Alpha 1 and Makuro that Black Phantom sent the building's structural plans to an unknown source.
Later into the recapture effort, Alpha 1 was reunited for a secret mission, which ended with the apparent death of escapee Core Hunter. Breez eventually captured Thornaxx in a tough fight, bringing him to Hero Factory. Major criminals have been captured and Furno and Bulk have improved the prison defenses. Minor criminals continue to be captured by law enforcement.
2013 – Brain Attack
Brains, launched by an unknown mastermind, are sent to the Makuhero planet, where they infect and possess numerous native creatures. These creatures band together to form an invading army, and launch an attack on Makuhero City. The Heroes, in the midst of a publicity event celebrating their accomplishments for Mission: Catch 'Em and Cuff 'Em, are sent to the Factory to receive upgrades. Furno is made commander for the mission, and directs numerous teams in an attempt to defeat the brains. Rocka takes on an enormous dragon using a new jetpack, while Surge is possessed by a brain, and uses the Assembly Tower to create an army of soulless Hero drones. Working together, Alpha 1 manage to release all the creatures and Surge from control of the brains, and defeat the drones. In the cleanup of the battle, more brains are discovered to be lurking underneath the Factory in the tunnels created by Dragon Bolt's infiltration.
2014 – Invasion from Below
In the city of Antropolis, a drill of a Metro Line project reveals strange creatures from within the planet that abduct the crew. Hero Factory sends in Evo to investigate, which leads to an attack on the city by giant beasts. Their objective: capture the civilians to feed them to their queen. Alpha Team is flown in to stop the monsters by building giant mechs. Breez discovers that the monsters communicate with each other, while Stormer and Furno get kidnapped. The remaining heroes build more mechs to explore the underground tunnel. After much exploration, they arrive to the center and discover the queen monster, which proceeds to call more monsters to her aid. Surrounded, Breez talks to the queen and convinces her to free the other heroes and let them all leave. They escape to the surface and the tunnel is resealed, keeping the monsters inside.
- William Furno - Once a reckless and ambitious rookie Hero assigned to Alpha 1, now a valuable team member.
- Preston Stormer - The no-nonsense Alpha 1 Team leader, plagued by his failure in a past mission, and demanding in his expectations of all team members.
- Dunkan Bulk - A physically imposing, powerful senior Alpha 1 member, whose impressive strength belies a growing intelligence.
- Jimi Stringer - A Philosophical, laid-back, and musically inclined veteran of the team, who incorporates sound-based functions into his weaponry.
- Mark Surge - One of Team Alpha 1's youngest, a temperamental hot-head working to overcome a secret insecurity.
- Natalie Breez - The sole female member of Alpha 1, brash in her dealings with her teammates, but with a connection to nature.
- Nathan Evo - An introspective rookie Hero working with the team, who emphasizes heavy artillery use in his missions.
- Julius Nex - Socially nuanced and technologically gifted head of Hero Outreach and a rookie on Alpha 1, with a love for gadgetry.
- Rocka - The headstrong new rookie of the team, also covertly a member of the Hero Recon Team.
Von Nebula´s Gang
Legion of Darkness
Comics and books
In July 2010 Lego Group and DC Comics released the first Lego Hero Factory comic on the Hero Factory website only. Entitled The Trials of Furno, it was released for free download at Lego.com, and follows the story of the rookie hero William Furno on his first mission, to battle against Xplode and Rotor. A second issue, entitled Core Crisis was released in September 2010. In 2012, a new series of books tied in with the Hero Factory story and toyline began being released, written by Bionicle writer Greg Farshtey. So far, one DK Reader-level 3 book has been released and four chapter books were released in September (The Doom Box) and October (Legion of Darkness) 2012, then in January (Collision Course), March (Robot Rampage), and April (Mirror World) 2013. They are published by Scholastic.
Animated television series
To accompany the Hero Factory sets and storyline, a TV series of the same name, produced by Threshold Animation Studios, was commissioned by Lego in 2010. Starting off as a four-part mini-series on September 20, 2010 on Cartoon Network, further episodes followed portraying subsequent storylines from the toy line. As of 2013 Threshold have produced ten Hero Factory episodes. An eleventh episode, instead produced by Lego partners Advance and Ghost, premiered online as part of the game of the same name on January 9, 2014.
The first four episodes of the series were released as a direct-to-DVD film entitled Hero Factory: Rise of the Rookies on November 22, 2010, it was released in Region 2 on October 21, 2011. The second assortment of episodes, including "Ordeal of Fire and "Savage Planet" (Parts One and Two), were also released as a direct-to-DVD film on October 4, 2011 entitled Hero Factory: Savage Planet and received a Region 2 release on November 5, 2012.
Toybuzz stated that the simplicity of the Hero sets were great for people who like the actual playing experience, but not so good for Lego fans who prefer the enjoyment of the build. Toybuzz praised the sturdyness of the figures and wrote that "the best feature was that the weapons were actually one of their arms", as you do not have to spend time on putting the weapon back on. Toybuzz also praised the packaging that the Hero sets come with, stating that the plastic tubes are great for organization and for keeping the sets tidy.
- "An Important Announcement Regarding Bionicle". Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Lego Hero Factory: All Hero Factory Sets". Brickset. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- "LEGO Hero Factory Comic – Trials of Furno". Toys N Bricks. 2010-07-26. Archived from the original on 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "Hero Factory Comic 1 Online". Lego Group. Archived from the original on 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "Hero Factory Comics". Lego Group. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "Hero Factory Issue Two". Lego Group. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "Books in Hero Factory media". HEROsector1. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "New Hero Factory books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "TV-guide". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2010-08-09. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- "Lego Hero Factory – Review". Toybuzz. 2010-08-17. Archived from the original on 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- LEGO: Hero Factory products
- Nicktoons: Hero Factory: Four Night Mini-Series
- HEROsector01, An external wiki