Monday, July 4, 2011

8536 Kopaka

One of the unfortunate things, from a blogging standpoint, about being back in Alberta for the summer is that I no longer have access to the majority of my LEGO collection, and of the LEGO I *do* have here, the vast majority is Bionicles.

Yes, you read that right: Bionicles. Although I would not consider myself a huge Bionicle fan--and, indeed, I've been considered a traitor to the canon by my younger, more knowledgeable brothers for changing things around in "Formy Nui" from the "way they're supposed to be"--I do have a good-sized collection, mostly of the early years, with an emphasis on the red Bionicles.

While I don't want to turn this into a "Bioni-blog," I do want to look at a few sets this summer. They've been around long enough now (10 years since they first burst onto the LEGO scene, shocking some and saving the brand during its most off-kilter years) that I think the hating should be secondary to a general sense of "well, I don't use them, but I've seen some cool stuff."

The first set then that I want to look at is 8536 Kopaka. He was one of the original six Toa (oversized heroes) released in 2001, and was the first one to feature in the Bionicle comic that was included along with the Mania Magazine. As that was my introduction to the Bionicles, Kopaka has a special place in my memories as the "first" Bionicle. Mind you, all the original Bionicles have a special fondness for me in the light of some of things that came later. The farther away the writers/marketeers got from the original island of Mata Nui, the less interested I became (and I don't think it was all because I was 14 when they came out and in my early 20s when the line finally died).

Kopaka was the Toa of Ice (the Bionicles were rather neatly divided into six colour-coded elemental camps; ice, of course, was white), and had the mask of X-ray vision, a sword (that could shoot ice, at least in our variations), and a rather holey shield. I never actually acquired him back in 2001 or so, but got him in a box of used LEGO parts for Christmas in 2009. This was intentional: the eldest of my younger brothers and I divvied up the six elements, and Ice White was one of his, not mine. Of the original six Toa, Kopaka was the one that was "not mine" that I was most envious of.

By the way, I should (and do) apologize for the baseplate-stripe background. It was an experiment, but a poorly thought-out one. Had I used a 32 x 32 it might have worked (though my 32 x 32s are all in Boston), but as it is, it looks a bit tacky.

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