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The year 2004 represents a major shift for Bionicle. Taking place in Metru Nui, the City of Legends, the storyline is a prequel to the previous one. It centers on the six Turaga released in 2001, when they were the Toa-Metru.

LEGO has already released the six Toa Metru as well as six Matorans. Coming up are three box sets as well as another batch of canister-based figures, the Vahki.

In addition to the upcoming sets, LEGO had the new trailer for the upcoming Bionicle film Legends of Metru Nui. The trailer includes numerous shots of Vahki, The Toa Metru and the evil Nidhiki.

The Vahki are the enforcers of the peace on Metru Nui. It's their job to make sure order prevails, even if they have to use their stun staffs to make sure it happens. Dwelling in hives in the six metru, they swarm out when there is trouble, chase down the offending Matoran, and make sure they fall back into line. Although they may come across as cold and robotic, many Vahki actually seem to enjoy their job a little too much.

Each Vahki has two modes -- a four-legged form that can scuttle and a bipedal mode that gives them full access to their stun staffs. Each Vahki also posses a disk launcher in its head. Each one will sell for $8.99 in the US and $9.99 in Canada.

The Vahki were in a few scenes in the Legends of Metru Nui trailer. In the footage, an entire swarm of Rorzakh are seen.

The six Vahki types are:

Nuurakh (Red): The Nuurakh of Ta-Metru are the fastest of all the Vahki -- one minute all is quiet, the next they are everywhere. Nuurakh prefer to surround their targets, rather than chase them down, but they are easily frustrated. When things don't go their way, they can turn on each other. Nuurakh stun staffs fill the target's mind with one overriding command, which the affected Matoran will then obey to the exclusion of all else until the stun wears off.

Zadakh (Brown): Zadakh are ideally suited for the open spaces of Po-Metru, as they are fastest when running in a straight line and do not handle changes of direction well. They are huge, strong, always the first ones into a scrap and the last ones standing. Zadakh stun staffs leave a target very suggestible, and for a brief period of time the Matoran will take orders from virtually anyone.

Bordakh (Blue): The Bordakh of Ga-Metru are tactically the most cunning of the Vahki, usually working in small, high mobile groups. They like to get the job done with a minimum of fuss and risk, but they do enjoy the chase. An old Matoran saying goes, "Bordakh like things that run." Their stun staffs make the targeted Matoran so enthusiastic about the ideas of order and security that he will actively look for "troublemakers" to turn into the Vahki.

Vorzakh (Green): The Vorzakh have little patience for games of "chase and hide." If they need to find someone, they will just level everything in their path until that Matoran appears. (Le-Metru Matoran spend much of their time repairing the damage done by the Vorzakh.) Their stun staffs are incredibly potent, one touch reducing a Matoran to little more then a mindless, dim-eyed zombie for a brief period of time. Le-Matoran have grown used to seeing these unfortunates, called "shamblers," wandering through the metru.

Keerakh (White): The Keerakh of Ko-Metru are a perfect fit for a metru devoted to seeing the future. Keerakh are always one step ahead of whoever they are pursuing -- it does no good to hide from them, because they will probably be waiting at your hiding place when you get there. Keerakh stun staffs scramble a Matoran's sense of time and place, disorienting them enough that they can not cause any trouble. It's not unusual to see confused Ko-Metru Matoran walking aimlessly through other metru, unsure where they are or what day it is.

Rorzakh (Black): The Rorzakh of Onu-Metru are relentless. Though not the fastest or strongest Vahki, they never give up on a chase. Run anywhere, they will pursue, no matter how far or how long it takes. Their preferred tactic is to wait for their target to grow exhausted and then do their job. Rorzakh stun staffs have the longest lasting effects, allowing the Vahki to see and hear whatever the affected Matoran does without the Matoran being aware of it.

Boxed sets
Three boxed sets are planned for the year as well. They are the two Dark Hunters, Nidhiki and Krekka, as well as the Dume, the Turaga of Metru Nui who comes with the Rahi Nivawk. All sets are planned to sell for $19.99 in the US and $29.99 in Canada.

Turaga Dume and Nivawk: The elder of Metru Nui commands the forces of the Vahki and maintains order in the city. His giant Rahi hawk Nivawk, serves as his eyes and ears in the shadowy corners of the metropolis. But what fate does Dume have in mind for the Matoran, and how will it affect the Toa Metru? The Turaga Dume can fit in the Nivawk figure for transport.

Nidhiki: One of a pair of powerful Dark Hunters, Nidhiki is a four-legged nightmare with an evil cunning and a hatred for Toa. He will track the Toa Metru to the ends of Metru Nui to see them captured and helpless. If his energy bursts don't do the job, Nidhiki can rely on his Kanoka disk. One Toa will fall before Nidhiki's power -- can the rest hope to defeat him? Includes Kanoka disk.

Krekka: What this Dark Hunter may lack in intelligence, he makes up for in brute strength. His energy nets are strong enough to snare even a Toa Metru, and his shoulder-mounted disk launcher makes sure they stay defeated. Paired with Nidhiki's dark, twisted intelligence, Krekka is a menace to every Toa. Includes Kanoka disk.

It looks like LEGO has a great year in store for Bionicle fans. But enough of reading this, go look at the pictures!

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