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What Is BIONICLE™?
Posted by Purple_Dave on July 8, 2001 at 12:31 PM CST:
A few years ago LEGO® produced a line called THROWBOTS™, which consisted of small robots that had arms designed to fling small frisbee-like discs at each other. This line then evolved into ROBORIDERS™, which consisted of robotic motorycycles that each had a special 'attack' action built in, but didn't actually throw anything. Riding a wave of success, the folks at LEGO® decided to take the robot design up a notch, and BIONICLE™ was born.

The first thing of note is that this is supposed to be the first LEGO® line that is built from the story up, not counting licensed products. The story itself has the feel of a Polynesian-style mythology, though it has nothing at all to do with Earth. It is set on a planet that is basically a giant ball of water with a small island poking through the surface. This island is home to the TOHUNGA villagers and their TURAGA leaders. It is also home to the RAHI, which are creatures that are being controlled by INFECTED MASKS. The island is named MATA NUI after the good supernatural being who befriended the TOHUNGA. MAKUTA, his evil brother, tried to force them to worship him by causing MATA NUI to fall into a deep sleep from which he has not awakened. The TOHUNGA refused to worship him, so he started creating places of darkness and turning the RAHI into creatures of evil by attaching INFECTED MASKS to them. Recently, six TOA arrived, as was told in ancient prophecy, and their job is to basically clean the place up and cause MAKUTA's defeat. To do so, each of them must collect six GREAT MASKS and six NOBLE MASKS. This leads to the next significant difference between this LEGO® line and all the rest.

Each TOA comes with a GREAT MASK and each TURAGA comes with a NOBLE MASK. There is also a KANOHI 2-pack (#8525) which comes with two random MASKS and a random TOA head. Each of the twelve different GREAT and NOBLE MASKS have been produced in six different colors, one for each element, and the result is a field of 72 basic MASKS that you can try to collect. The TOA heads are designed to mount to the caps of the cans that the TOA are packaged in, so you can display your MASKS as you collect them.

Beyond the actual construction sets, there are quite a few multimedia items to be found. A 3-part comic miniseries has already been released, and a collectible card game and music CDs are also scheduled. Around September of '01, we should see video games for PCs and Nintendo® Gameboy™, and McDonald's® will be running a set of promotional items consisting of six TOHUNGA construction sets. More stuff will probably be produced based on the success of the line, so we'll just have to wait and see...



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Bionicle