I’ve been a fan of LEGO’s Bionicle for a long time. I came out of my dark age just as the theme was launching in the US back in 2001, and they were some of the first sets I bought. When the line came to an end a decade later, LEGO fans kept the theme going strong with tons of unique creations. Anthony Wilson is among those builders, and their latest offering, Valkyrie: Toa of Lightning, is breathtaking. The base figure has a strong color theme in white and purple, with a brick-built mask. Quality building techniques are at play throughout the model, my favorite being the small offsets created in the armor on the thighs. (The unique shaping of headlight bricks allows for the gap.) There is also a lot of great part usage, including tricycle frames in the hips, worm gears on the legs and forearms, and even a zip-line handle in the chest. As impressive as the base figure is, what made me want to write about this model are the lightning effects. A couple of minifigure-accessory magic sparks hint at the awesome discharge happening on the Toa’s right arm. Made up of layers of hero factory armor and weapons, the angular electric effects have an almost liquid quality to them.
The build on the Valkyrie is probably several levels above what LEGO would have released for a kid-friendly set had the line continued. So maybe, just maybe, Bionicle is better off left in the hands of the fans. Oh, who am I kidding. They need to bring this theme back, and soon.
While I have no discernable ability to build a Bionicle creation myself (though I always dream of one day building one), I’m a great admirer of the amazing creations Bionicle builders come up with. There is just so much more that’s possible than with bricks and plates alone. Take Moko’s Cancer for example. While it would be terrifying to encounter such a thing in reality, as a LEGO creation it’s really quite beautiful. The texture is what I’m really drawn to. Bionicle offers pieces in so many shapes, curved and flowing together that when paired together they give the appearance of a figure missing its skin, like Lord Zedd from the Power Rangers or perhaps something more alien, such as Marvel Comics’ Carnage.
Originally hitting store shelves in Europe in 2000, and then rolled out to North America in 2001, the LEGO Bionicle theme played a key role in hauling the company out of its financial woes of the late 1990s and helped to build the foundation of the all-conquering toy company LEGO has become. Aaron Newman pays tribute to the original lineup of figures released under the theme, but he’s done it with a twist — these are all built with classic System bricks. The six Toa Knight figures are nicely done, immediately recognisable to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the originals. Kopaka, the Toa of Ice, was always my favourite, and I love how Aaron has captured his iconic mask. The presentation of the models is spot-on too, well-photographed and then just a touch of special effects to give a hint of the elemental powers at play.
Purple treeze all in the ground. Don’t know if they’re growing up or down. Is it crystal or purple ice? Whatever it is, Duncan Lindbo built a tree that’s nice. Queue Jimi Hendrix guitar solo – Duncan’s magical-looking tree is constructed from transparent purple Bionicle elements, which are lit throughout to give it a sparkly, crystalline appearance. If something could be grown from a shard of the Dark Crystal I’d imagine this would be it!
If you’d like to see more of Duncan’s work in purple, be sure to check out his loathsome worm we featured back in September.
Builder [VB] and his friends have built an entire royal family of odd creatures such as this King Asmodeus. The kicker is the only description they left for us is written in some crazy, arcane, completely indecipherable moon language. They state; “Aucun avant n’a songe de réunir un pandémonium d’aberrations et de porteurs de malheur sous une seule entité surnommée le Dictionnaire Infernal”.
I just wish there was some sort of online translator to make heads or tails of this muck. It would be like Googling something except, instead of looking up photos or articles, you could plug the indecipherable gibberish into one section and it would spit up a translation in English, or whatever your native language happens to be. But we’re probably like fifty years from having such technology, which is a shame really. Oh, well. Here’s a prior time the same builder totally delighted us with Uranus.
Who needs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse when you have this Kumamoto Castle Samurai, who can do more ass-kicking and raise more holy hell than four horseman combined. Or, at the very least, he would ruin your 日本の宴会. DanielBrickSon is a master of building with Bionicle and this is some amazing feat. To give some perspective to the massive scale of this, the flag is a sail from the 70618 Destiny’s Bounty set. The flag topper is a minifig-scale horse battle helmet. So just imagine your minifig horse wearing it next to this beast and you’ll get a feel for what it might be like to do battle with this awe-inspiring samurai. While masterful build techniques abound, the 2×4 plates facing studs-out along the base are an excellent touch. This would look to be right at home as a centerpiece sculpture in any Asian art museum.
I’m afraid I missed out on Bionicle almost entirely, as it started getting big right as I faded into my dark ages, and was mostly gone when I came back out of them. It’s a shame, really, since they had some incredible parts and a wide range of colors for those parts. That being said, I have always been a classic LEGO System guy, largely eschewing Technic and the ball-joint-based Constraction style for the old-fashioned stud connections. I usually scroll through photos of LEGO creations and skip past anything Bionicle-related, in fact. But sometimes a creation of that sort is so good, so perfectly balanced and detailed, that I cannot help but admire it. Such is this Toa by Anthony Wilson. The colors pop with the trans-pink in both the crystalline base and the accents of the figure, and the pose as she strides across the base exudes confidence and swagger.
Sweet Mayhem’s starship’s windscreen makes for an excellent shield, ready to deflect any attacks from an enemy. The glinting pink eyes shine out from behind the Matatu mask in a menacing manner that befits her name, Tuyet the Tyrant. The textures of the base, with the spaced-out 2×2 tiles and the greebles beneath, complements the presentation perfectly, but the highlight of the whole build for me is the midriff, so sleekly captured with the shoulder armor piece. It evokes the exposed stomach of so many heroines of nerdy fantasy games and comic books, yet in a way that still says that she’d kill you without a second thought, and easily, too.
Demons stalk the night. Or at least they do in Jayfa‘s world. This LEGO Bionicle creation is a wonderfully dark and brooding character, put together using a prototype mask and custom-designed wing membranes. The pose is excellent, powerful and intimidating, and the colour scheme is spot-on — those splashes of trans-blue work brilliantly with the pearl gold against all the black. Inexperienced warlocks beware, this probably wasn’t the low-level denizen of the Netherworld you meant to summon…
Japanese mecha builder Moko has been charming the world with his LEGO creations for more than a decade, but this latest character takes a darker turn. Moko’s “Hell Warrior” is an evil cyborg that uses mostly black Bionicle and Hero Factory (or “Constraction”) pieces, accentuated by an undead, half-hidden face built from several Krana masks. The overall effect is truly diabolical.
Dehydration is serious business. It can cause headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, brain fog, dizzy spells, seizures, bladder stones-or even cause you to totally become a sun-bleached desert skeleton like this poor animal here. While the condition is unfortunate, the execution of this piece presented by Toa Aparu is totally awesome. Nearly equal measures of Bionicle and system parts meld together to create a neat cattle skull and the sandy terrain is an excellent touch. The whole composition acts as a stark reminder to always make sure you drink plenty of water, dear readers. Also a daily dose of The Brothers Brick couldn’t hurt either.
There are certain LEGO building systems that are tailored to different themes and motives. Technic is most suitable for mechanization, System tends to be best for buildings, vehicles, landscapes and similar motives. Bionicle (character & creature building system, or Constraction, or whatever you may call it) was obviously intended to be used to build characters and creatures and not volcanoes! But LEGO fans love to use parts in unique ways and chubbybots‘ latest build is a prime example.
The build mostly consists of armor shells, probably connected on their intended limb pieces (or possibly in a different way, but we can not really see the inner structure). There are a few trans-neon orange chains for thinner lava flows and some round plates and bricks as smoke. But that is it. Such simple techniques were used in a unique way with a good sense of shape and topped off with good photography, resulting in a very memorable creation.
The only things I could readily glean from Cameron’s write-up was that this was built from plenty of Bionicle parts and it was inspired by the moon. The rest of the description, even the title, is written in some crazy moon-language. But is it Morse code, Hexadecimal, Dewey Decimal, or the ravings of some crazed lunatic? The world may never know. Add to this mystery the fact that this seems to be the first thing he has built since 2016 and you have a quandary that proposes more questions than answers. Was he replaced by a robot? Is he some sort of patron weirdo saint? Has he been affected by the tides or some monolithic alien presence? Your guess is as good as mine. Will the readers at home have better luck deciphering this mystery? If not, here’s some video instructions on how to build your own doggie desk buddy.