I threatened earlier this summer to post about Bionicles if I ran out of other material here in Canada, away from the majority of my collection, and that time has come. Today we present 8763 Toa Norik.
Norik, Lugnet informs me, was released in 2005. He was a special, "backstory" character of the current Bionicle chapter (the "Hordika" events involving the third Bionicle movie--as an aside, I thought the first three Bionicle movies were rather good. The fourth I have not seen, but am told is rather more juvenile). "Regular" Norik is a Rahaga--a wizened animal (Rahi) elder (Turaga) (therefore, Rahaga). This Toa version is Norik a long, long time ago, before he was Rahagafied (probably not a real word).
I did not get Norik when he came out. I'd passed out of my Bionicle years by then and wasn't buying a lot of LEGO at that time anyway. Instead, I got him off Bricklink two or three years later when I had an impulse to continue collecting all the red Bionicles (we divvied them up by colour in my family, and as the eldest, its somewhat natural that I got red). This impulse would fail again before the last couple years of Bionicle, but it did result in Toa Norik making it into the collection.
Because the Hordika story was essentially "Metru Nui: Part II," it comes as no surprise that Toa Norik has the same basic structure/parts as the 2004 Toa Metru. This is my favourite Toa design, offering the most articulation without the massive (and ugly) oversized appearance of the later, post-Metru Nui Toa.
Norik also comes with a brand-new mask, one that has only made a very few appearances. It's not quite "classic Bionicle" in my mind, but it's still rather stately. His armour is a bit cumbersome, and I'm not a fan of the spinners, but the silver/dark red combination is rather attractive. Although the change from primary LEGO colours to their "dark" versions is something I generally prefer to avoid having exclusively, I have to admit that I find dark red a far nobler colour than regular LEGO red.