Top 5 functions in LEGO BIONICLE sets

LEGO BIONICLE might be known for amazingly constructed characters, but there are some amazing functions within the theme too. Blocks is picking out five of the finest.

Jaws and claws feature in most LEGO BIONICLE sets, but amazing technical features are rare. These beloved biomechanical beings are usually all bark and no bite, yet a few stand out for their signature gear, elastic, and flexible tube functions. Here is our list of the top five BIONICLE mechanical functions.

5. 71310 Umarak the Hunter perfects the six shooter

Darkness is rising, Toa. You cannot stop it.’

The first function on our list is something we’ve seen in several other sets, though perhaps not as well disguised or functional as seen here. As 71310 Umarak the Hunter stalks the jungles of Okoto for his prey, he can launch six bolts of energy from his bow to subdue his foes. In other words, by spinning the rod behind his bow, you rotate the six-shooter to launch all six studs. That’s one stud for each Protector. It’s smooth and well-implemented, defining the figure alongside his massive antlers.

4. 8558 Cahdok and Gahdok’s lunge and bite is royalty

‘Now Mata Nui will be as it was in the Before-Time! All that does not belong will be removed … beginning with you!’

The signature action function from 8558 Cahdok and Gahdok is a blast to play with, even if the ‘disarming’ feature leaves a little to be desired. Powered by elastics and gears, each Bahrag Queen’s neck extends in a lunge, and then its open jaws snap shut with great force. It’s fairly fluid and smooth. Both Bahrag Queens’ attacks can be disarmed by tearing out the front panel of their chest, but grabbing onto the axles that extended from each side of the panel can be difficult. It’s made even more frustrating when the monsters’ fingers can be used to block the axles.

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3. 8621 Turaga Dume and Nivawk’s wings grant air superiority

I’ll see this city reduced to rubble … with not even two bricks still together … before I let your kind take root here.’

The Metru Nui era in the first generation of BIONICLE sets was home to some of the most iconic Titan sets ever released. Perhaps most overlooked was 8621 Turaga Dume and Nivawk, the wicked pair of Makuta Teridax in disguise and his faithful vulture-like servant and transport. Its massive, spindly wings could extend using the compression of flexible hoses, letting it soar above the factories and Metru Nui Colosseum with ease. It makes it an exciting play or display model. There’s even a harness that also uses flexible hoses on its front to hold Turaga Dume himself.

2. 8538 Muaka and Kane-Ra’s snapping jaws will scare the brave

‘Hunting Muaka? Don’t. Odds are the whole time you think you are stalking it, it is stalking you – and it’s a lot better at the job.’

The very first year of BIONICLE brought us ample play features with creatures that could grab, sting, whip, and punch, but none had more bite than 8538 Muaka and Kane-Ra. Much like Cahdok and Gahdok, this set uses a lunging function, though this one is even smoother, faster, and more literally ‘disarming’. By grabbing hold of the Kanohi Mask assemblies at the sides of each beast and pulling them out, you can remove each monster’s front limbs in a satisfying fashion. It has a similar technical function as 8257 Cyber Strikers from LEGO Technic Competition minus the eyesore of a design.

1. The original Toa team leads the charge

‘Where wisdom and valor fail, all that remains is faith. And it can overcome all.’

Our list is topped by the simplest functions in the entire ten-year run of LEGO BIONICLE sets. Unlike many of the later Toa in Generation One and all the Toa in Generation Two, each of the six Toa Mata exhibited slightly differing functions and weaponry. Miraculously, every function was powered by two or three simple gears located in the torso element – from 8534 Tahu’s swinging sword to 8531 Pohatu’s kicking leg. These six Toa are far simpler than the other four entries on this list, yet that’s part of the charm – and the reason so many school yards saw these LEGO BIONICLE figures putting up a fight. These simple yet iconic characters were very inexpensive as well, launching them to the top of our list.

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