BIONICLE had it all – the figures themselves, a website, comic books, novels… and a soundtrack?! Oh yes. Here’s the LEGO soundtrack that you might well have forgotten…
The arrival of BIONICLE canisters across the world in 2001 marked a fantastic time for LEGO fans – though things were looking grim for the LEGO Group itself. Finances were incredibly dire just a few years later as 2003 and 2004 were some of the company’s worst years in terms of profits. In 2003, BIONICLE was the company’s best-selling product category, followed perhaps surprisingly by LEGO Sports and not so surprisingly by LEGO Star Wars.
One of many reasons for the poor profits is that the LEGO Group, like many toy companies, had a shaky entrance into the tech world outside of Mindstorms robotics. It makes sense – they were famous around the world for their hands-on plastic bricks, and not for their electronic interactive sets (looking at you, 8316 Kek Powerizer). That’s why the inclusion of CDs in earlier BIONICLE sets was a simpler proposition and made a lot more sense in conveying the story. These included marketing videos, story pages, quizzes and even music makers.
8316 Kek Powerizer. Courtesy of Brickset.
Perhaps the most interesting of these sets is one that few know – 8546 BIONICLE Power Pack. As a bundled set, it featured an enhanced audio CD, a Hafu BIONICLE figure and a silver painted Kanohi Hau. Why did the LEGO Group create a bundled set centered around a music CD? We may never know, but this highly sought-after set is a little piece of 2001 LEGO BIONICLE that fans can still enjoy today. Here’s a look at what you’ll find if you choose to open up the box…
What was on the CD?
The enhanced audio CD from Universal Music contained three electronic music tracks.
Courtesy of Brickset.
- ‘The BIONICLE Music’ by Paul Hardcastle. This is the main BIONICLE theme that appears in the story-based interactive online game Mata Nui Online Game, though it’s actually a shorter version of Hardcastle’s track ‘Killing Machines’. Distinct for its guitar riffs and tribal chants, The BIONICLE music is legendary among fans, though like the other songs on this CD, it never garnered wide appeal.
- ‘Hura-Mafa Flow’, credited to Gali and programmed by Kopaka. It was named for a massive river that charged through Ga-Wahi, the wild domain of Toa Gali. Though Gali is also credited with vocals and guitar, the track also features a deep electronic voice that could be considered inaccurate for the Toa hero.
- ‘Kumo Rocks’, also credited to Gali and programmed by Kopaka. This track may be named after Mata Nui Online Game character Kumo, the best Le-Matoran disk maker in Le-Koro. It has a blazing guitar broken only by the words ‘Rock Your World’ and the occasional electronic beat.
When inserted into a computer, the CD also contains promotional software. Set in Po-Koro to match the included Hafu figure, it had a lot of features children may have found briefly engaging, including character information, a quiz and animations. The CD even features access to a competition to win a solid gold Kanohi Hau. Today, only the most nostalgic of adults would find the software contents on this CD worthy of their time.
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Who was Hafu? What’s so special about the silver Kanohi Hau?
When the music/software CD cracked from you playing it too much on your car radio and at birthday parties, the Hafu figure and silver painted Kanohi Hau were there to console you. Hafu in his original Matoran design is an exclusive figure, featuring a Kanohi Hau disk that Hafu could sling around. The Hafu character in the story is a proud, clever carver in Po-Koro known for proclaiming ‘Another Hafu creation!’ His tan torso, feet, and arms aren’t anything special, though his Kanohi mask is unique to the Power Pack and his rebuilt version from 2003, 8585 Hafu.
8585 Hafu, the remake of the Hafu figure included in this set. Courtesy of Brickset.
A much rarer Kanohi Hau is included here, covered in a coat of silver paint. The Hau was traditionally the Mask of Shielding, a powerful mask which allowed its wearer to create a force field that surrounds them and moves with them. However, the Kanohi Hau in this Power Pack represents the Kanohi Rua, a mask of even greater power that grants its user controlled levitation, water breathing, and X-Ray vision.
The CD’s manual also contained a small, folded map of Mata Nui with a picture of each Toa on the right. Interestingly, the island map contains measurements to help gauge the approximate size a real Mata Nui Island would be.
If you’re interested in the first generation of BIONICLE sets, there’s really not much set here, especially for the prices posted by third-party sellers online. That being said, it serves as a unique collectible and a fantastic piece of classic BIONICLE history. Even the three-song soundtrack album is a blast to jam to on your ‘vintage’ CD player or export to your phone. Of course, it’s highly recommended you listen while rebuilding your favourite LEGO BIONICLE sets!