CAN WE TALK
I was reminded of these for the first time in a while owing to a comparison with the Chima energy pieces, and I nostalgia'd SO HARD. Mainly because I remember my eight-year-old self thinking they were the COOLEST THINGS EVER. Which they pretty well were. They were VEHICLES shaped like BUGS that had METALLIC CYBORG TYPES WITH WICKED HELMETS piloting them and WORKING MAGNETS to pick up ENERGY ORBS.
I owned all of the sets above (the first one was the second Lego set I ever got), and even looking back at them fourteen (oh wow) years later, I'm still struck by their singular aesthetic: the muted colors shot through with neon green, the crude imitation of organic forms with relatively industrial-looking pieces, the metallic circuitry and copper lightning bolts, and the distantly human echoes in the gray- and blue-skinned minifigures. Also, there was a robot in a clear helmet called Gigabot, which is hands-down the best name ever for a Lego minifigure.