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Bionicle Comic Regional Variations

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Because I'm curious; and because, while I've been aware of these ever since I first read the comics online and realised they weren't completely the same as the ones I received in person, I've never seen anyone else discussing it.

Some BIONICLE comics, back in the day, were released differently based on region. I know this is true for a fact for at least some parts of the UK - I'll detail the changes I'm aware of further down the post - but I'm wondering if anyone else experienced this too. I'm not only referring to cases where sometimes two issues were compiled into a single double-length comic - although that did happen a couple of times for us in 2003 as well - but cases where content was cut, added, or changed within the comics themselves or in the format of their distribution in their original run. I assume that other countries got relevant language translated versions, but beyond that... were they otherwise the same as the US comics? Or did they have unexpected variations too?


To document my own experiences, from the UK:

  • Comic #1 was mostly the same; however my copy of it lacked one single text box that, to the best of my knowledge, has been in all subsequent reprints (at least, it was in the Saga of Takanuva graphic novel, Papercutz graphic novel, and the copy used in the Biological Chronicle compilation) - the "my new friend tries to flee. but a coating of ice beneath his feet will bring him sliding back to me" text box.
  • Comics #2 and #3 were amalgamated into a single slightly-longer-than-average issue. Four pages from comic #2 - the Turaga telling the legend, and the three pages from Gali finding the Miru to Lewa being knocked out of the sky - were stuck onto the beginning of comic #3, which had a later couple of pages - Tahu's encounter with the Nui-Rama in the battle - cut to make room for them. The comic #2 pages have the narration changed to be Makuta speaking, to match the rest of comic #3, and Lewa gets a couple of extra thought bubbles right before the Nui-Rama attacks him, where he anticipates telling his villagers about how he found his latest mask. In a couple of instances in comic #3, too, Makuta's narration has his word choice changed; in the UK version he says that the Toa will "be destroyed" and "perish" rather than the online (and presumably US) version's "be defeated" (p2) and "fall" (p4).
  • As a result of this amalgamation, comic #4 (the first Bohrok issue) was numbered as #3 in the UK.
  • Comic #6 was skipped over entirely, while very short excerpts from comics #5, #7, #8 and #9 were printed directly into different issues of Lego World Club magazine rather than being separate books distributed alongside it. On at least two occasions, speech bubbles were rearranged as well, sometimes understandably - adding the final "now and forever more we are... Toa Nuva!" to the page that first revealed their new forms, as it was the last page shown in that issue - and sometimes less so, changing which Toa said which line in their print of the full-page panel of comic #8 p5 (Tahu repeating his last sentence from the previous page, Lewa's speech bubble being given to Gali, and Gali's to Kopaka; the latter two also added the names of the Toa they were addressing as well).
  • By comic #10 we had returned to full separate comics, and the numbering corresponded with the US issues again. #10 and #11 were printed together in a single double-length book rather than being individual releases, and the same was later true for comics #13 and #14; whereas #12 got what appears to be a single release same as the US.
  • From 2004 on, comic distribution became sporadic at best; I don't know if that was the case for everyone in the UK or just that Lego was varying up who they sent comics to or not, but personally I only received comics #16, #19, #22 and #24 of the Metru Nui arc. Those are the only ones I see on the UK eBay site too, and Bricklink also doesn't list UK variants for any Metru Nui comics outside of three of those, so it seems like they may be the only ones that were distributed over here.
  • Ignition #1 was distributed as normal, but the UK version had three pages less: the Thok and Reidak scene was cut, although the rest remained unchanged.
  • While I continued receiving Lego Magazine for a while after that I never saw another Bionicle comic arrive with it here in the UK. Again, don't know if that was just me or if they stopped sending them out over here full stop.


I mostly just thought this was worth documenting for reference, since I've seen no other online source - not even BS01 - that mentions that differences like these exist. But I also became curious if it was only the UK that got changes like this made, or if any other countries' distribution of the comics had their own variations like this too. Feel free to share any such differences that you know of! ^_^

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi


"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

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Awesome observations!
I have been collecting Bionicle comics from different regions for years, and there are some subtle differences I’ve noticed in the ones I own, primarily between the American and Canadian editions.

  • The covers on the American editions are slightly thicker than the pages, while the Canadian covers are the same thickness as the pages.
  • The American comics have advertisements in the middle and at the end, whereas the Canadian editions only have ads at the end, which are the middle ads in the American editions.  This meant that Canadian readers rarely got the exciting “sneak peak” images on the back covers that teased the Rahkshi, the Toa Metru, the Bionicle Album, etc.
  • Another way to tell the difference is in the short code printed at the bottom of the inside cover of each comic.  For example, in Issue #15 “Unleash the Rahkshi,” the code based on region is as such:
    • Canada: (WORK#U-0790)
    • Canada (French): (WORK#U-0790)
    • USA: (WORK#U-0791)
    • UK: (WORK#U-0916)
  • The only example I know of where all of North America got the same comic was Ignition #7 where the one I got in the mail was the same price ($2.95) and code (WORK#U-4381) as the American edition.

The only thing I wish I had an answer to is why Issues 10 & 12 are so much smaller than every other comic.

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