Tag Archives: Bionicle

Bionicle was a line of sets that grew out of the LEGO Technic line that LEGO produced between 2001 and 2010, succeeded by Hero Factory. Bionicle had an incredibly complex storyline that accompanied the sets, and most of the elements didn’t integrate well with traditional SYSTEM bricks. As a result, long-time adult fans like the contributors here on The Brothers Brick never quite appreciated what Bionicle had to offer, so most of the LEGO models we feature here on The Brothers Brick are built from traditional SYSTEM bricks. Nevertheless, we do appreciate a great Bionicle creation from time to time.

Glowing in the deep

For my taste, we don’t see nearly enough horrific LEGO monsters here on the Brothers Brick. That’s why I’m so happy to write about the Luminescent Levviathan by Marko Petrušić. This creepy creature is based around a lot of hard-to-find Bionicle sets from 2007. In particular, it uses unique glow-in-the-dark pieces from Nocturn, Takadox, and Gadunka. These key elements are mixed with armor plating from the same sets to extend the shapes even further. The best bit, though, is that tail. The fins are made from Batmobile wings and an inverted use of glowing spines from the Nocturn set.

Luminescent Leviathan

From the side, you can better see the build isn’t all black and blue. There’s a bit of brown on the underbelly, giving this an even more natural look. If, you know, nature was really pissed at us. Looking outside, maybe it is. At least this thing appears to be aquatic. If Marko makes a murder hornet version, I might never venture outside again.

Luminescent Leviathan - Side

Spread your crazy Bionicle wings and fly

I don’t know much about Bionicle, but I know what I like and I really like this incredibly colorful LEGO figure by Patrick Biggs. Bionicle builders are a special breed. They have a mastery of the human figure and how to create realistically articulated joints. This is not a skill I possess myself so I am often in awe of these builders’ work. The story here is that the characters of Tahu and Ikir have united their powers to bring an end to Makuta’s plans for the Mask of Control. Yes, Bionicle lore is incredibly deep.

The first thing you see when you view this figure is the fantastic color scheme. The limited palette of red, gold, and dark azure is quite striking and draws you in immediately. Interestingly the figure is somehow both bulky and yet extremely elegant at the same time. The wings are stunning and have a pseudo-Art Deco/Egyptian feel to them. The pose is full of action and the downward-pointing swords create a nice balance to the upward-pointing wings. Speaking of balance, the symmetry at work here is terrific and the raised knee adds that perfect bit of asymmetry to keep it from becoming too much of the same thing. It’s exceptionally well done and transcends the Bionicle form to give us something you might see hanging in an art gallery.

Tahu Uniter

Beware of the ‘borg

If you haven’t seen Treasure Planet, you must. It’s one of Disney’s most underrated films. And if you have watched it, you can probably pick this guy out from a mile away. John Silver is a partially cyborg version of the classic Long John Silver character from the famous Treasure Island stories, and this LEGO version by Jayfa is an excellent recreation. Using balloon elements to create a rum belly is top-notch parts usage. He also wouldn’t be the same without his little space-goo buddy, Morph.

John Silver

We’ve featured Jayfa many times on TBB. If you’d like to see more of his exceptional work, check out our archives.

Microscale Mata Nui

After writing about LEGO for nearly a decade, it’s rare that I see a mashup that’s new, let alone one that’s done excellently. But this build by Mansur Soeleman brought me that rare delight in the form of a Bionicle creation made of system pieces and done in microscale. The lush green island is Kini Nui, the temple at the heart of Mata Nui in the Bionicle universe, and it evokes the verdant foliage of the island’s jungle well. The build is loaded with brand new elements which I’m excited to see put to such great use, such as the white 1x8x3 slopes for the four pillars on the temple.

Kini Nui

Side note: I’m feeling an urge to play Halo now, for some reason…

A shockingly cool Bionicle build

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.

Valkyrie: Toa of Lightning

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.

A texture to make your skin crawl off

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.

Cancer

LEGO’s saviours rise once again

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.

LEGO Bionicle brick-built versions

The amethyst bonsai

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.

The Infernal Dictionary has no word for this

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”.

King Asmodeus

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.

One horseman of the apocalypse

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.

Kumamoto Castle Samurai

A Toa rises again, only to crush you beneath her heavy boots

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.

Tuyet - The Tyrant

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.

The Demon’s price seems reasonable — he only wants your soul

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…

LEGO Bionicle Winged Demon Balrog