During the early 2000’s, Lego released a toy like no other that it had produced at the time. The Toy was story based and revolved around certain characters and the adventures they went on. The toy was more like a set of constructible action figures than construction based sets and used a new form of construction too. Next to that, the toy was also a far cry to Lego’s previous creations as it was against their passive beliefs from when the company first started. This new toy was very experimental and originally released under the Lego Technic brand before going out on its own and as a result became one of Lego’s biggest and best-selling franchises spinning off into other forms of media and merchandise including Video Games and a Movie (way before the 2014 film) and as a result was the kick-start Lego needed to get out of the financial troubles they suffered in the 1990’s. While this toy has since stopped being produced and replaced, recent news has given me cause for excitement with the announcement that Bionicle is making a comeback.
Back in the early 2000’s, for me, Lego was still something I enjoyed, but something I didn’t play with all that much, and the only Lego I really used was my brothers old Lego Bricks from a couple of boxes in my room. Then I spotted Bionicle, and I was interested. I liked the fantasy look about it, the almost superhero like element about it, and that it looked a lot like Lego Technic. Lego Technic was a more grown up variety (at least to me) of Lego but the kits and sets were really expensive, and I didn’t have enough pocket money at the time to afford them. Lego Bionicle though really did interest me, and I kept my eyes on it. Eventually, round about the time of the release of the Bohrok sets, I began to get them. The Bohrok were the first things I got. These alien like, bi-pedal bugs with vicious looking teeth came in these cylindrical jars, like containment tubes. The idea was, you could construct them, then hang them in the jars. They could both stand on two legs, but the design meant they could be rolled up into balls too. The sets also had motion too where you would push down on a little lever at the nape of the neck and it would make the heads jump out forward. In the end I collected three Bohrok sets; a black one (NUHVOK) a brown one (PAHRAK) and a more especially themed blue one (GAHLOK-KAL). One of the things that made Bionicle stand out was that he sets of figures such as the Bohrok could be combined together to make bigger models. I however, didn’t collect the right sets to make a big one. I only collected three Bohrok, The brown and the black one does combine together, but the third colour was red. While I could substitute the pieces of the blue one, part of me still liked keeping the models separate and for many years (until at the time of writing this) inside their tubes.
To begin with, I just collected the Bohrok and a few little models here and there. The sort of little packs which went for £5 or less. Eventually though, I did buy my first hero figure, that of the blue, axe wielding Gali Nuva. I liked the fact the character carried an Axe, it was different and the picture on the box looked Awesome. After that I got the green, sword wielding Lewa Nuva. Like before however, I did not collect all the right sets to build the full large one. In this case it was Kopaka Nuva I needed to complete the set and make the bigger version. But in the end I only bought the blue and green one and then, a whole new set of Bionicle was released and I was unable to buy it.
As my enjoyment of Bionicle continued, I also became interested in two things announced for the franchise. One was the video game for the GameCube, which I did not play in the end; and the direct to video Bionicle Movie, which I did see. I remember waiting and waiting for it, and then going to Blockbuster (remember them?) the day it was released to see that it was not there. My Dad very kindly bought it for me though and so I watched it the following day after school; and really enjoyed it. I watched it again the following Christmas too. The film used CGI and gave the characters voices, one of which sounded like Wolverine from X-Men Evolution, but the story was still pretty interesting.
Eventually though, my interest began to wane, around about the time the sets appeared to change completely, it was like the old stories and characters had just disappeared. For me, I began to get more interested in other things. But every now and then, I would look at Bionicle to see what was happening with it. To this day I still have my collected sets including the Bohrok and main action figures, although Gali Nuva has lost the ability of their right leg as the joint at the hip is broken. A couple of years ago I did begin to plan an idea for a single frame comedy series using my Bionicle sets as the main characters and have a possible story arch. The stories though would revolve around one of them being serious, and the other not so serious and a bit daft. I didn’t get round to doing them though. Then back in 2011, 2012, after receiving some money from my Granddad, I decided, instead of using the money on DVDs or Videogames, I decided to spend it on some Lego. I hadn’t bought any Lego in years, and kind of really wanted some. The first thing I looked up was Bionicle, which I discovered, almost to my horror, but not quite horror, that the sets had been discontinued. I was quite sad at this. The idea that Bionicle had been stopped being produced. I had so much fun in the past with them. The news was close to heart-breaking. I did discover that the series had been replaced though with Lego Hero Factory, which didn’t look as good as Bionicle, but I bought a character from this set, and a Lego flatbed with excavator set, all part of the Lego City range. Since then though I have become interested in a new Lego series; Lego Mixels. I first spotted them on a day out with a friend, and liked the fact that the individual sets only cost £3. So I bought a set, then the following week another, and then when in the paying queue at Argos, I bought another. The sets work a lot like Bionicle in the idea that certain sets can join together to create larger models. At the moment though I have three sets, each a different colour. For me though I like the amount of excitement they bring. It may only be three pounds worth of Lego, but it gives me a lot of enjoyment.
When I went to see The Lego Movie in April, I noticed there was a brief mention of Bionicle, but I thought it wasn’t enough. It was one of Lego’s bestselling toys during its production, and as such it should have had more of a part. But this sighting made me wonder. A few months ago while looking online I heard rumours of a possible return of Bionicle, but no concrete details were available at the time. Then last week, I looked it up, and was directed to the Lego Website, an official page for a new Lego Bionicle series. First I was sort of sceptical, but excited enough to do some further research. I looked on Amazon to no luck, but then I looked on Wikipedia, and discovered that Bionicle is indeed being re-launched in 2015. I was really happy at this news. Further research showed that the sets will be combine-able too, so maybe I might complete a set at long last. While I have yet to discover an actual release date for the sets, I am really excited by this news and am looking forward to seeing what the new series looks like. While it has been a few years since Bionicle has been seen, from first impressions of the new sets, I am really excited to the new releases and simply the announcement that the franchise is set to make a comeback, has got me pumped up and ready for the day it finally gets released. Lego Bionicle has returned.
GENEPOOL (Let’s hope Lego bring back the Bohrok too).