For the better part of a decade, Lego fans the world over followed the toys and storyline of an intricate sci-fi universe set on a planet of organic technology and mystical beings, based to varying degrees on Polynesian mythology, Lego’s own previous Technic sets with pieces like ball and socket joints, and sci-fi influences from Transformers to Alien. This was Bionicle, one of the most popular lines of Lego in its time (and of all time), with its own cultishly devoted fan base and massively sprawling body of stories and lore.
In 2010, Lego pulled the plug on the Bionicle line, the success of which had pulled the company through hard financial times, to focus on other sets. Replacing it as a line of buildable action figures came Hero Factory, based on superheroes and set in a futuristic version of the real world, which didn’t receive nearly as much attention or acclaim as Bionicle. Still, Lego seemed to be doing fine anyway, so it looked like Bionicle was gone for good. But now, Lego has announced, the series is due to be back in 2015, which has longtime fans positively agog.
The new Bionicle storyline appears to be a reboot – the basic outline presented focuses on a version of the very first story arc from 2001, with the original protagonists, the six Toa, questing for the powers of the six magical elements of fire, water, air, earth, stone, and ice, in opposition of the corruption brought by the devilish god Makuta. All of the familiar design elements – color-coded masks, highly articulated joints, the works – look to be returning. But there are also quite a few new things, like a villainous army of “Skull Spiders.”
Further details, beyond what was teased this past convention season, are as of yet unknown. But Bionicle is a beloved property, and one that Lego is sure to handle with care. Since the story is starting fresh, Lego’s design decisions needn’t be freighted with all of the previous Bionicle line’s complicated fictional history. Rest assured we’ll be getting everything old made new again – Color-coded teams of heroes and villains, collectible masks, action feature gimmicks, and a heck of a lot of building fun.
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