Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The toys are posable, articulated robots and share some pieces with the LEGO Technic line. Characters in the toy line are based on the classical elements and Polynesian mythology. Usually divided into groups of six, the color schemes are matched to the power of the character:
Though the LEGO Corporation had previously created building sets based on George Lucas's Star Wars films, the Bionicle line was the first LEGO project to get a story developed in-house, and was the first in the company's history intended to last for over 2 or 3 years.
The Bionicle Legend
At the dawn of time the great spirit Mata Nui was sent down from paradise to care for all living things. He brought joy and light to the islanders now known as the Matoran. The Matoran thanked him by naming their island in his honor. The world was a joyful place, until Makuta, Mata Nui's spirit brother, secretly followed him from paradise. Makuta envied how the Matoran worshiped his brother's goodness, so after a mighty struggle he cast a spell, which made Mata Nui sink into an endless sleep. But still the Matoran would not worship Makuta. So Makuta brought dark places to the land where the Matoran dare not go for all the wicked beasts, which Makuta did truly rule.
While Mata Nui slept, the Matoran's powers and skills were weakened by Makuta's dark powers. But the Matoran kept faith in Mata Nui, and the Legends of the Bionicle, which told them six mighty heroes called the Toa would liberate them from Makuta's evil power.
The story goes more in-depth by telling of the search for the Kanohi, or Great Masks of Power, the fight with the Bohrok, the search for the Seventh Toa, and the recollections of what happened beforehand.
The range was initially attacked by various Maori groups including several Maori tribes represented by Maori lawyer Maui Solomon, and members of the Aotearoa Cafe who were offended by what they regarded as LEGO's appropriation of their language, imagery and folklore. LEGO agreed to change certain names or spellings to help set the toy line apart from the Maori legends. After LEGO agreed to the change, a popular BIONICLE fansite BZPower continued to promote the use of the contested words leading to Maori hackers launching their own attack on the webforum, resulting in it being offline for many weeks.
The Bionicle Franchise
Besides the toys, LEGO has also marketed a computer game, Bionicle: The Game, and two computer-animated movies, BIONICLE: Mask of Light and BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui, which were released to video and DVD on September 16, 2003 and October 19, 2004, respectively. A Bionicle comicbook is published by DC Comics and available free to members of the LEGO Club. There are also various other ancillary products available, such as watches, toothbrushes, and backpacks, as well as an online adventure game.
- The Official Bionicle website
- Mask of Destiny
- Bionicle Sector 01 Reference
- MNOnline V3
- The Visorak's Web
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