The Legend Reborn: LEGO designers Nick Vás and George Gilliatt share product concepts for the new Bionicle set [Feature]

LEGO brings Bionicle back! Or, sort of. The new 40581 Tahu and Takua GWP (gift with purchase) set is coming to LEGO’s online shop on January 27th, and will be available with any purchase of the US $100, £90, or €100. And even if you are not a fan of the theme, we bet you’ve noticed that the new edition of arguably LEGO’s most iconic characters doesn’t look exactly how we remember them from 20 years ago. To help all the fans understand the new designs better, the set designers Nick Vás and George Gilliatt share on Twitter some pretty cool details and pictures right from their work desk.

Right off the bat Nick confesses, he still has no idea how the set became possible. Originally, Bionicle theme ran from 2001 till 2010, to return later for 2015-2016 production cycle. We wonder how many people within LEGO could have predicted another Bionicle set in 2023?

Considering both Nick and George saw the start of the theme as kids, no wonder, their creativity and shared passion for the original sets made it all possible. It looks like the team never stopped building Bionicle characters; each of the prototypes shared reveals different building techniques and elements introduced by LEGO in the recent years:

A collection of brick-build portraits of masks of the original Toa could have become a massive hit among the fans. Still, the team preferred posable figures, which are almost as functional as the original sets.

According to George, the first pitch included not one, but six models, the whole Toa Mata team:

They felt very BIONICLE to me because they used the same Technic elements for their limbs as the original Turaga!

Despite some other Toa being proposed by Nick and George, the final choice was obvious: nothing beats the iconic Toa of fire:

The journey started when the Retail Promotions team wondered if it would be possible to make a BIONICLE GWP in a similar vein as the Anniversary sets from 2022. We pitched some concepts and it was decided to go with Tahu & Takua as an iconic duo, reimagined in a brickbuilt style.

One of the most arguable part of the new designs is, of course, the masks. Back in 2001, it was the most precious and fascinating part of each Bionicle set. But today, with the old production lines retired, the team had to reinvent this key element. In his tweet, Nick thanks the community for inspiration:

We spent a lot of time exploring how the masks could look – in this new system the mechanical shapes are now blocky and smooth. We took inspiration from #BIONICLE web animations, comics and community art.

We don’t know whether the new GWP set will win fans’ hearts or not, one thing is certain: it’s already gave the community a massive boost for creativity. And although the set comes out under LEGO Bionicle brand, it would perfectly fit LEGO Creator theme, too. Nick proves that it’s actually a fantastic collection of pieces for freestyle building:

How do you like the new Bionicle GWP set? Is it a must have item or is it not good enough for your collection?

3 comments on “The Legend Reborn: LEGO designers Nick Vás and George Gilliatt share product concepts for the new Bionicle set [Feature]

  1. elephantcaptain

    Honestly? All the the prototypes are awesome. the group of all 6 especially. That Takanuva is quite cool as well. As a Bionicle fan, I am super happy with what we got, but I would have been equally as happy with any of the other images as shown. They all have their specific charm.

  2. Ryan

    For me the models look great, but the masks look too lazy. The charm of Bionicle laid in the Masks, each were different and had that mysterious and iconic look. I have peeked through the backs of them to experience what it’s like to be that character countless times. This way, that charm is gone.

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