Hero Factory

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Hero Factory is a line of constractible figures produced by the LEGO Group. The successor to BIONICLE, Hero Factory continues the theme of buildable action figures, with an episodic story to support the line.

Development

The Hero Factory line was conceived by the LEGO Group in 2009 prior to the cancellation of the BIONICLE series as a way to attract younger children to the constructible action figure line and renew interest. The Hero Factory sets were designed to be smaller and simpler than the previous BIONICLE ones, and the story was made into an episodic format, with single stories not connected to one another. Releases were planned for every six months in order to avoid drawing out the story, a perceived failure of the BIONICLE line. Sets in the Hero Factory line, while simpler than previous BIONICLE ones, utilize similar pieces and styles to BIONICLE.

Release

Hero Factory was officially released in the second half of 2010. Each Hero Factory set in the first wave was marked with an emblem reading "From the Makers of BIONICLE Characters" as a way to keep the line familiar to BIONICLE fans. The line breaks the traditional BIONICLE set release structure, with smaller hero sets released concurrently with larger villain sets rather than as separate waves of similarly-sized sets. The Heroes, the primary focus of the line, were made more affordable in order to increase sales.

The Hero Factory website was first released on May 10, 2010, helmed by BIONICLE.com webmaster Kelly McKiernan. Later that year, the website was finalized when a full update was released in July.

In early 2011, a new wave of Hero Factory sets premiered, with a new design and new structural parts emphasizing a building system based on ball and socket joints. In April the Hero Recon Team website was launched, allowing users to design and purchase Heroes with this new building system as part of the LEGO Design byME service. LEGO Design byME also added a Hero Factory category of parts and four Hero Factory-based starter models to the LEGO Design byME mode of LEGO Digital Designer.

The third wave of Hero Factory sets was released in mid-2011, further expanding the new building system.

Story

Hero Factory is set in a place known as Makuhero City. Here, Heroes are built in the Hero Factory and sent on missions around the universe, dealing with a variety of galactic problems such as alien infestations, natural disasters, and criminals. A gang of space villains, led by the evil Von Nebula, are some of the most feared beings in the galaxy, and are the main antagonists of the story for 2010.

In the first half of 2011, a new antagonist arises, known as Fire Lord. Fire Lord, along with his minions, attacks an area known as Tanker Station 22 in search of fuel and energy. The Alpha 1 Team attempts to intervene, but is soundly defeated, necessitating a risky upgrade into stronger forms to help combat the new threat.

In the second half of 2011, the Alpha 1 Team is upgraded once more, in the hopes that their new forms will aid them in their mission on the planet Quatros. There they must fight alongside their newest member Rocka and defeat the techno-organic minions of the evil Witch Doctor.

Hero Factory Recon Team

A facet of the Hero Factory storyline is the Hero Factory Recon Team, based around a web application that allows users to design products using LEGO's Design byME service. The Recon team was founded shortly after the inception of the Hero Factory, with one of the Factory's top Heroes, Merrick Fortis assigned as its head. The intention of the organization, as envisioned by founder Mr. Makuro, was to study the criminals of the galaxy and gather intelligence in order to gain an understanding of them.

List of Sets

2010

Heroes

  • 7164 Preston Stormer
  • 7165 Natalie Breez
  • 7167 William Furno
  • 7168 Dunkan Bulk
  • 7169 Mark Surge
  • 7170 Jimi Stringer

Villains

  • 7145 Von Nebula
  • 7147 XPlode
  • 7148 Meltdown
  • 7156 Corroder
  • 7157 Thunder
  • 7162 Rotor

Vehicles

  • 7158 Furno Bike
  • 7160 Drop Ship

Exclusives

  • 7179 Bulk & Vapour

2011

Heroes

  • 2063 Stormer 2.0
  • 2065 Furno 2.0
  • 2067 Evo 2.0
  • 2068 Nex 2.0
  • 2141 Surge 2.0
  • 2142 Breez 2.0
  • 2143 Rocka 3.0
  • 2144 Nex 3.0
  • 2145 Stormer 3.0
  • 2182 Bulk 3.0
  • 2183 Stringer 3.0
  • 2191 Furno 3.0
  • 2282 Rocka XL

Villains

  • 2192 Drilldozer
  • 2193 Jetbug
  • 2194 Nitroblast
  • 2231 Waspix
  • 2232 Raw-Jaw
  • 2233 Fangz
  • 2235 Fire Lord
  • 2236 Scorpio
  • 2283 Witch Doctor

Other

  • 853083 Hero Factory Mission Log Book

Combiner Models

As with BIONICLE, Hero Factory parts from multiple sets can be used together to create new models. In 2010, there was one combiner model, depicting a character named Lucas Valor. Instructions for Valor, who is built out of the Stormer, Furno, and Breez sets, were released in the September-October 2010 LEGO BrickMaster magazine.

The 2011 heroes feature a combiner model on the back of their canisters. In the 2.0 wave Stormer combines with Breez, Furno with Evo, and Nex with Surge. Combiners also feature in the 3.0 wave, where Stringer combines with Nex, Stormer with Rocka, and Furno with Bulk. Instructions for these five models can be located on HeroFactory.LEGO.com.