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Since us old fogeys love to sit around and reminisce about the "good ol' days", I figure as one of the few still-active remnants of BZPower's glory days, I have a unique platform to keep the old BIONICLE flame alive, both just for fun and for future edification of fans born well after BIONICLE's start that may need some insight on what the theme was like in the early years of the 21st century. Today, I'll dive into the summer of 2005, the middle of a very convoluted year for BIONICLE. The first, in fact, if you ask me. The first big upset was, as a person living in the USA, only being able to obtain the Toa Hordika and Rahaga for the first half of the year. The Visorak, Roodaka, Sidorak, Keetongu, and the first BIONICLE playsets were all summer releases here. Lucky Europeans had been enjoying most of that (sans the playsets) since the year began. Feelings aside, this also created some storytelling difficulties, as in order to promote the Hordika in the USA, the magazines and comics couldn't really show off the Visorak or their masters. Unlike the case with the Vahki in 2004, there was no "substitute" enemy for the Toa to deal with until summer rolled around. Therefore, right out of the gate, we have the Hordika dealing with the Visorak and appearances of Roodaka, which was frustrating since there was no way to get the sets unless I wanted to buy foreign. So that set the stage for summer 2005. That year, I would spend the longest time away from home alone (to date) at a summer academy for math and science. That would begin in late June, so I hoped the Visorak at least would start making an appearance on Wal-Mart shelves by then. No such luck. But anyways, I had another important distraction! In 2004, I was one of the 50 first place winners of the LEGO Club Magazine Rahi Building Challenge. It was an amazing accomplishment for 15 year-old me, and it saved me a lot of money by having all six Vahki as my prize, along with a letter from the desk of Greg Farshtey himself congratulating me. Therefore, I hoped to have similar success in the Dark Hunter Building Challenge. By the start of summer vacation, I was just about done with him. I gave him no name, but after photography with my dad, he just christened him "Plasticman". My dad wasn't overly fond of my LEGO obsession, especially the BIONICLE component of it, but he humored me enough times, especially when it came to competitions like this. "Plasticman" was, in my opinion, a vast improvement over my Rahi from last year. Unlike my Rahi, he had a function! Instead of a left arm, he had a grafted wheel of assorted Kanohi Masks, pried from his fallen Toa foes (or other kinds of mask-wearing entities). By spinning a gear on his back, you could select the Kanohi he would use to augment his battle abilities. In this way, his species was able to utilize the power of the masks in a brutish way. In his remaining right hand, I gave him a "hunting staff", a probably remnant of his tribal upbringing before being recruited by the Dark Hunters. As you might guess from the attached picture, his whole look and design was born from looking at a Rahkshi spine and thinking, "Hmm, this would make one wicked mohawk". One Metru shoulder armor and two Bohrok teeth later, and I pretty much had his head. The torso was a bit of a puzzle, particularly integrating the gears for driving the mask selection spinner, but I finished it and quickly assembled his hips. The Hordika chest armor and Metruan silver chest piece made for a great "loincloth", fusing a tribal look in clothing with a "punk" sensibility to the coloring and "hair" style. With a week or so to spare before my departure for the North, I took my pictures of "Plasticman" with dad and mailed them to the LEGO Magazine. I wish I could remember the name and description I gave him, or even had a copy of the letter. But alas, that is lost to history, unless the LEGO Magazine keeps the photo and card in an archive somewhere. But the big news, of course, would be if I would win this time. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I was not selected even among the runners-up, and I lost again a chance to be a part of BIONICLE. You can look at the winners in the Official Dark Hunters Guide (if you own it; I don't). From what I've seen of them on BioSector01, I must admit I was a little out of my league. But I'll let you judge for yourself! Attached is my sole surviving photograph of my Dark Hunter. In all probability, I likely made a topic for him in the BBC Forum, but that was back in 2005 and is lost forever now. That pretty much wrapped up my summer as far as BIONICLE went! When I came back from the academy in August, I managed to spend the remainder of living expenses money on a Visorak (Keelerak, I think), along with Roodaka and Sidorak. At that point, they were old hat to me, but the "Web of Shadows" movie was still on the horizon for October. Fall would bring more surprises (and even more convolutions!) to the BIONICLE story. Stay tuned for further reminiscing!
Hi, guys! This year, 2020, is the 15th anniversary of Bionicle’s 2005 storyline. It takes place right after the events of the 2004 storyline and long before the 2001 storyline. After the Toa Metru defeated Makuta in the 2004 storyline, they went to rescue Matoran, who were imprisoned in Matoran Spheres by Makuta, but they got captured by Visorak, which turned them into monsters called Toa Hordika. Aided by the Rahaga, the Toa Hordika went to fight the Visorak and find a cure to their mutations. This storyline also explains how Makuta got out of his Toa Seal prison, how the Vahi was found from the sea in the past storyline, how the Mask of Light was found and kept in the island of Mata Nui, and how and why Nuju speak bird Rahi. I would love to have us celebrate this storyline’s 15th anniversary when I explain what it is about. The storyline is where Vakama was continuing telling the Toa Nuva and the Matoran of Mata Nui the story of him and his fellow Turaga as the Toa Metru. The storyline takes place after the Toa Metru defeated Makuta by imprisoning him in a Toa Seal at the end of the 2004 storyline. They discovered the island of Mata Nui, but they had to go back to Metru Nui to rescue Matoran, who were imprisoned in Matoran Spheres by Makuta. They first had to deal with a prototype of the Morbuzakh called the Karzahni, who was created Makuta long ago, but was rejected because the Karzahni was too powerful and willful, and wanted to have Energized Protodermis. After the Toa went through a perilous journey to get a little bit of the substance and then gave it to the plant, he tried to use it to get rid of the expiration date that Makuta gave him, but he was destined to be destroyed. Before he completely died, he told the Toa about Metru Nui changing and Makuta has to be killed. When the Toa arrived in Metru Nui, they discovered that the city was ruined and dominated by Visorak, which are an evil species of various giant spider Rahi with four legs, large mandibles, and natural guns on their backs called Rhotuka Launchers, which shoot magical spinners called Rhotuka with various powers. The spiders are led by two Titan villains, Sidorak, the red-armored King of the Visorak Army, and Roodaka, the female, reptilian, and black-armored Viceroy of the army, who were allies of Makuta. Vakama became arrogant after Makuta’s defeat, and then the Visorak paralyzed and captured the Toa. The spiders imprisoned them in cocoons and then used their magical venom called Hordika Venom to turn them into creatures called the Toa Hordika, which were half-Toa, half-Rahi. The cocoons were clipped while hanging in the air with webs attached to the buildings, so the Toa fell, but a group of flying dwarf-sized creatures with Rahkshi-like heads called the Rahaga saved them. The Toa were freaked out about their mutations, and one of the Toa, Matau, blamed Vakama for this. The Rahaga explained the Toa about what happened to them and a legendary Rahi named Keetongu being able to cure them of their mutations, otherwise if they couldn’t find him in time, they would be stuck being freaks forever. The Toa and Rahaga went to find some stuff that they could use to make Airships that could carry the Matoran to Mata Nui first. They had many adventures along the way, as they fought against the Visorak and rampaging Rahi, some are mutated. A shape-shifting Rahi from the 2004 storyline, who looked like a mix of all six Toa Metru and was forced by Roodaka to help her fight the Toa, came to help the Toa instead a little bit because she actually hates the Visorak for what they had done to her kind, which made her the last of her kind. The Rahaga taught the Toa on how to control their new forms and use their Rhotuka Launchers, which shoot Rhotuka that were based on their elemental powers. Their primary weapons that they are holding with their hands could charge up their Rhotuka. They couldn’t use their masks’ powers in their new forms, and these new forms had animalistic impulses, which made the Toa angry and impatient. The Rahaga were trying to tell the Toa to resist those impulses, which were hard to do. The Rahaga were once a Toa team called the Toa Hagah, who used to work for Makuta long ago. There were other Toa Hagah for other members of Makuta’s evil brotherhood that he led called the Brotherhood of Makuta, which were members of his species called Makuta. These guys were called the Makuta or some place in the Matoran Universe, as in titles, because they were assigned to watch over people in these places. Makuta, the villain that the Toa Metru fought, was called the Makuta of Metru Nui. The Makuta species have real names, so the leader’s real name was unknown. His Toa Hagah went rogue, defeated him in a fight, and ran away from him. They stole a magical mask called the Mask of Light from the late 2003 storyline. However, they got mutated by Roodaka long ago, but they kept the Mask. They hid it in Metru Nui, and then had the Toa Hordika get the Makoki Stones to get the Mask. One of the Toa Hordika, Onewa, encased the Mask in a stone. Vakama was so pressured about his guilt for his team being mutated that he went alone. He got captured by Visorak and then was taken by them to Roodaka. Roodaka tampered with Vakama’s animalistic side to convince him to join the Visorak army, so Vakama agreed to help the army. Vakama wasn’t acting like himself. Sidorak had Vakama be a new leader for the army. The other Toa Hordika and one of the Rahaga names Norik, who is the leader of the Rahaga, were shocked to witness this when Vakama captured the other Rahaga. They went to find Keetongu in Metru Nui. They found him hiding. He is very intelligent, like the shape-shifting Rahi. He didn’t want to cure the Toa because he didn’t think that they were worthy, but he did want to help the Toa fight the Visorak. The Toa, Norik, and Keetongu went to the Coliseum to fight the Visorak. The Toa were fighting against a large army of Visorak while Norik went to rescue his fellow Rahaga and Keetongu went to fight Sidorak and Roodaka. Matau went to find Vakama. They fought each other, but Matau apologized to Vakama for his criticisms and reminded him of the Matoran, so Vakama came to his senses. Vakama rejoined the Toa while he had a plan that could help the Toa defeat the army. Roodaka cruelly betrayed Sidorak while Sidorak knew that he couldn’t defeat Keetongu alone, but Keetongu smashed Sidorak on the head, killing him. Roodaka became the new queen of the Visorak and then got the Toa surrender. Vakama showed up and then tricked the Visorak into being free, so the Visorak leave the city. All the Toa except Vakama shot Rhotuka at Roodaka, but Roodaka had a piece of the Makuta of Metru Nui’s Toa Seal on her chest, so she let them hit it. When Vakama was preparing to fire his Rhotuka, Norik knew that if all six elements hit the piece, it could free Makuta, so he tried to warn Vakama not to do it, but it was too late because Vakama did it, anyway. When all six elements hit the piece, that freed Makuta, but hurt Roodaka so much that she fell unconscious. Makuta used his shadow powers to save her and then teleported her to safety, leaving only the piece behind. The Toa picked up the stone, keeping it as the Makuta Stone that they, as Turaga, would use as a way to tell the story about Makuta putting the Great Spirit Mata Nui to sleep. The heroes were worried about the Makuta, but Keetongu looked at the Toa as worthy to be cured because of their heroism, so he cured them back to their Toa Metru forms. After the whole ordeal of being a Toa Hordika, one of the Metru Nui named Nuju decided to speak flying Rahi because he doesn’t want to forget about the fall of Metru Nui and the Toa Metru’s arrogance, unless there is someone worth hearing or for emergencies or times of joy. That’s why he has this habit when he is a Turaga in the island of Mata Nui in 2001 (he did that in the Mata Nui Online Game in 2001). When the Toa brought the Matoran to the island of Mata Nui, Vakama thought about the Vahi, so he told his friends that he had to go get the mask alone. Karzahni revived himself by using his remaining king root to grow back. When Vakama found the mask, it was cracked and leaking super-dangerous Time energy that could destroy the Matoran Universe, so he had to patch it up to prevent the disaster from happening. Makuta was also looking for the mask, and he had Karzahni to help him get it, but had to fight against Keetongu, who got in the way, first. Keetongu is powerful enough to hold Makuta off, but Makuta ran away from him. He and Vakama found each other, but they also encountered an evil guy named the Shadowed One, who is the leader of the Dark Hunters. TSO was looking for Nidhiki and Krekka from the 2004 storyline, but found out that Makuta ate them, so he decided to fight Makuta and Vakama and get the Rahi from them. TSO brought some fellows with him, such as his bodyguard named Sentrakh and servant named Voporak, who was a hulking, powerful and mutated member of Sidorak’s species with time-based powers who could track down the Vahi. Voporak led TSO and their cronies to the mask in the first place. Vakama and Makuta had to work together to fight the Dark Hunters, and they won and defeated them. Karzahni got destroyed when its king root got destroyed by Makuta during the battle. TSO declared war on the Brotherhood of Makuta for all of this. Makuta tried to get the mask from Vakama, but Vakama stopped him by convincing him that he would destroy the Vahi if Makuta gets closer to it, so both of them agreed that Makuta would leave Vakama and his people alone for a year. Makuta teleported Vakama back to Mata Nui. That’s where the Toa Metru became Turaga in the 2004 storyline, and then Makuta attacked them and their people on the island with his infected Rahi in the 2001 storyline. The Toa Metru accidentally left behind a Matoran Sphere that contained Ahkmou, and when Makuta noticed it, he opened the sphere up, and then told to Ahkmou everything about the history of Metru Nui and lied to him that the Toa Metru betrayed and abandoned Ahkmou, so Ahkmou became Makuta’s new evil ally. That’s how Ahkmou caused problems in the island of Mata Nui in the Mata Nui Online Game in 2001. In the present, when Vakama finished telling his stories of the Toa Metru, their people moved back to Metru Nui and started rebuilding it. The End of the 2005 storyline. In fact, The End of the whole Metru Nui story arc (2004-2005). That’s the story. Now for the sets: Basically, all sets shoot spinners called Rhotuka, which have various magical powers. Each of the sets has a rip cord and a gun called a Rhotuka Launcher, and after you put the rip cord in the Launcher and the Rhotuka on top of the Launcher, you pull the rip cord out quickly, which can make the Rhotuka fly. For the medium-sized sets, there are the Toa Hordika and the Visorak, which are in canisters. The Toa Hordika look like hunchbacked and monstrous versions of the Toa Metru while their masks look like animals’ faces. They have uneven arms, as the right arm can bend with gears while the left arm is simply a Toa Mata leg piece from 2001. The right arm is also longer than the left. They have new foot pieces, bent-looking forelegs, torso pieces that have Rhotuka Launchers on the back, chest armor pieces, and the neck pieces. The neck pieces attach the mask and Bohrok eyes from 2002 to form the head. Each Toa Hordika have two dual-colored and flexible weapons, which can charge up their Rhotuka. The Toa look cool, even thought that the unevenness and bent-looking bodies look kind of weird on them. The Visorak are big spiders that have Rhotuka Launchers on their backs. They have huge and various heads and mandibles. They also have various legs and introduced long thigh pieces. You sneeze the body to make the mandibles pinch. They have Bohrok eyes. They look kind of cute. The small sets are the Rahaga, who look like Turaga-like versions of Rahkshi, as their heads and staffs look like Rahkshi’s. They have Rhotuka Launchers on their backs, too. They look cute. There are two special edition canister sets called the Toa Hagah, which are the original Toa forms of two of the Rahaga, Norik and Iruini. They look like Toa Metru and Toa Lhikan, but they use extra armor, spears, and Rhotuka Launching Shields that shoot Rhotuka and contain extra Rhotuka. They also have new masks. Originally, they were going to be Toa Dume and Toa Nidhiki, respectively, but they didn’t happen, so we wouldn’t see what these Toa look like. But, it does explain why Iruini’s mask is shaped like Nidhiki’s Dark Hunter head and Norik’s mask looks like Dume’s. Anyway, the Toa Hagah look very cool with their weapons and their gold and silver armor. Too bad that we don’t see what the other Rahaga look like as Toa Hagah. Now, for the Titans. There are three of them, and they are Sidorak, Roodaka, and Keetongu. Sidorak is the red and black guy with the ram-like head who has a clawed right hand with a Rhotuka Launcher in it and a blade on his left arm. The blade juts out for battle while his claws contain his Rhotuka for storage. Roodaka is a female black and silver reptilian lady who looks feminine who has a Rhotuka Launcher on her right arm and a weapon called the Catcher Claw on her left. The Catcher Claw can spin around. Keetongu is a one-eyed yellow and bulky Rahi who has a Bohrok head shell on his head who has a blade on his arm and a spinning weapon similar to Roodaka’s on the other, which with shield pieces rather than claws. You can open his chest to reveal his Rhotuka Launcher in there. The titans look cool, but they have uneven-looking arms that don’t have actual hands. There is a combo Titan set that is a mix of all three of the titans, and that is Voporak. He’s a big and bulky guy with four arms, and he carried two spinning weapons similar to Roodaka’s and Keetongu’s and a Rhotuka Launcher. This guy is awesome, and I like his design. However, his double-jointed upper arms look kind of weird, and his lower arms don’t have hands. The Rhotuka are used to show codes for you to use to unlock some stuff in the Bionicle website. There is also an extra Rhotuka pack. The Launchers and Rhotuka are cool, and the Launchers can shoot them and the spinners fly very high. I believe you may need better storage for the spinners, though. There is also four Lego system playsets in 2005. I’m not a playset fan, to be honest, but they look very cool. I like the elite Visorak in them, and it is interesting that there is one that has a golden version of Makuta’s Mask of Shadows for a head while there is one that is bulkier than a normal Visorak set. The glow-in-the-dark Visorak are cool. I like the giant mask pieces that shoot Rhotuka, and they’re so big that you can wear them. Lol. The Toa Hordika look silly, though. I mean, they are one-piece statues that don’t pose. Now for the combo sets. We have a lot of them. There is one for each three of the Rahaga, each two of the Toa Hordika, three of the Toa Hordika, two of the Visorak, three, and all six. All of them are Rahi, but the one with the blue and white Visorak is an elite kind of Visorak while the one with Vakama, Matau, and Whenua is a monster called a Protocrain that is made of Matoran who got combined by the Energized Protodermis in the story. There are three combiners for the titans, which are one for Keetongu and Sidorak named Sentrakh, one for Keetongu and Roodaka called the Shadowed One, and of course Voporak. Sentrakh is a Dark Hunter who serves as the Shadowed One’s bodyguard. The combiners in general look decent, but some of them are weird because of their uneven parts on here and there. I wish there are a combiner for all six Toa Hordika and one for Roodaka and Sidorak. Now, for the media. The storyline is told by many things. There are six comic issues, which tell the Toa Hordika’s quest to build the Airships, and there is one that was never published completely. There is the third direct-to-video movie called Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows in October 2005. There are six online animations that tell the Toa Hordika’s quest for the Mask of Light, four to five chapter books called Bionicle Adventures (if you count Maze of Shadows), a guide book called Rahi Beasts, where it shows Rahi of any kind, including the ones from a Lego-building contest in 2004, and the Bionicle Encyclopedia, where it tells the story of how Nidhiki turned from Toa to Dark Hunter. The Dark Hunters convinced him to betray his team, he joined the Dark Hunters, he trained and was partnered with Krekka, and Roodaka turned Nidhiki into an insect-like monster. This also presents Zamor Launchers, which were the main guns in the 2006 storyline, as the books and the sixth comic issue previews that storyline. There are two music videos and several non-canon online games. There was also a contest to build a Toa named Krakua, who is a Toa of Sonics from the future who told Toa Vakama through a vision given by a creature in the tenth chapter about what would happen in the future, including the Toa Inika from the 2006 storyline. That’s foreshadowing. The comics and books are good. The movie is also good, but it’s not the best because I am kind of not fond of how the Toa Hordika and Rahaga were animated, and I don’t like Vakama’s behavioral issues, how Sidorak was scared of Keetongu, and the Toa Hordika freed Makuta. It felt sort of rushed. I am also sad that there were not any more Miramax films after this (but we did get Bionicle: The Legend Reborn in 2009, but it was made by a different company. I wish there are films for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 storylines, as well as 2001, 2002, and early 2003). Of course, there is a handheld role play video game called Bionicle: Maze of Shadows, where the Toa Metru’s adventure to get some Energized Protodermis is told. There was also a contest for Dark Hunters. Now, for the story. Well, it’s okay, but not the best, and the sets in there weren’t the best either. I mean, the Rhotuka Launchers did make some things complicated. I am not fond of how Vakama betrayed his team, Sidorak acting like a whiny baby, and the Toa Hordika freeing Makuta. I mean, they unleashed the madman who will take over the world. It’s their fault. Plus, the Dark Hunters should have had a larger role in this, like Roodaka hiring them to get the Toa Hordika. It’s interesting that Roodaka admires Makuta, even though that he doesn’t socialize with her often. Some of the 2005 pieces were used in the later storylines, like Umbra in 2006 using a Rhotuka Launcher. So, how would you celebrate the storyline’s 15th anniversary? What are your best moments and memories for the storyline? What are your favorite sets and characters? What medium reminds you of the storyline? Well, I could watch the movie again and read some of the Bionicle stuff. I do like the movie, comics and chapter books the most. My favorite characters are Vakama, Matau, Norik, Sidorak, and Keetongu. Matau is funny as always. My favorite sets are Whenua (the Thumpers are cool), the red Visorak, Keetongu, and Voporak. The things in the media that remind me of the storyline are: DC Comics - villains playing with animal-based mutations. Roodaka is like Harley Quinn while the Joker is like Makuta, who doesn’t socialize with her often, despite her dedication, servitude, and admiration for him Marvel - villains playing with animal-based mutations. Mystique is like Roodaka while Magneto is like Makuta. The Visorak are like monster counterparts to Spider-Man. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - villains playing with animal-based mutations. Transformers - In Transformers: Animated, there is a Decepticon called Blackarchnia, who was once an Autobot named Elita One who got mutated by giant alien spiders to became a twisted monster. Ninjago - Ninja fighting giant spiders. Plus, there are spinner sets that fly. Harumi is like Roodaka while Garmadon is like Makuta. In one episode in Season 9, how the Oni Titan sits is like Keetongu in Webs of Shadows Legends of Chima - big spiders. Hero Factory - the Brains are kind of like the Visorak because they look kind of like spiders and how they mutate their victims. Bionicle 2015-2016 - the Skull Spiders are kind of like the Visorak. Sonic the Hedgehog - Amy is like Roodaka and Sonic is like Makuta for how Amy tries to show her admiration to Sonic, but Sonic is not interested, despite Amy showing her dedication and loyalty to Sonic. Ben 10 - Dr. Animo likes to play with animal-based mutations. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy - there is a TV movie where there are giant spiders invading a school. Thor: Ragnarok - Hela is sort of like Roodaka. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Anakin is like Vakama when he was manipulated by a conniving and selfish villain to become evil.
Okay, I have another conundrum. Can anybody in the US (lol) tell me why some of the Toa Hordika appear to have light gray canisters (much like the ones in Europe), while others have darker, more metallic-looking canisters (similar to gunmetal), which stand about a millimeter higher than the other type? Are the darker variants an earlier production run or is this a matter of different locales? I don't really know if any canisters were produced in the US in 2005. Thanks.