LEGO’s 90th anniversary sets will include BIONICLE after all

The new 90th anniversary LEGO Classic set includes a BIONICLE reference, albeit not the one we were expecting.

11021 90 Years of Play has just been unveiled, and is one of the first references to the LEGO Group’s 90th anniversary. Like similar anniversary sets it pays tribute to LEGO sets from the toy company’s broader history, with references to a diverse selection of LEGO products. Old favourites like the wooden duck and the Black Seas Barracuda are obvious inclusions, but lesser-known themes like Fabuland also receive nods.

In a surprise twist, a tribute is paid to the earliest days of the BIONICLE line. A simple, brick-built version of Tahu – one of the theme’s heroes – can be seen on the back of the box art, in the bottom left-hand corner. His distinctive red, orange and black colour scheme is instantly apparent, as is his iconic flaming sword. A version of his Kanohi mask (a common feature of the BIONICLE line) has also been attempted here.

LEGO Classic 11021 90 Years of Play 2

It’s a valiant effort, but – given the distinctive appearance of BIONICLE characters – it’s more a showcase for LEGO’s limits than its potential. It’s also something of a bitter pill for BIONICLE fans, as there was a possibility of a better BIONICLE set for this celebration.

In the run up to the 90th anniversary, the LEGO Group conducted a fan vote to gather ideas for a 90th anniversary LEGO set. The vote was topped by BIONICLE, Classic Space and Pirates, but the second round of voting also added Castle to the mix. This was because several subthemes of Castle (like Black Falcons, Forestmen and so on) were available to pick, splitting the vote and skewing the results.

The rumours of a new, massive LEGO castle seem to confirm that a new, major BIONICLE release is now off the table. When we consider the unusual nature of that theme it’s perhaps to be expected, but it’s still disappointing when victory was apparently within reach.

11021 90 Years of Play will is expected to release in May. With the LEGO Group’s anniversary falling on August 10, expect a few more announcements before then. We wouldn’t hold your breath for BIONICLE at this point, however.

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3 thoughts on “LEGO’s 90th anniversary sets will include BIONICLE after all

  • 02/04/2022 at 20:50
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    This is so dumb that it’s looped back around to being amazing.

    Reply
  • 26/03/2022 at 18:20
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    What a pathetic homage. I’d rather they pretend Bionicle didn’t win than release this uninspired garbage. Shameful!

    Reply

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