Review: Official Sets - Agori
We're on to 2009. And with that comes a transition from our old world and islands of Bionicle to the land of Bara Magna, which is where the Mask of Life crash landed after the events of 2008. To kick off this year of Bionicle are the Agori, which are essentially the citizens of Bara Magna following “The Shattering”, which was a cataclysmic event that broke the planet Spherus Magna apart. The Agori species organized themselves into a tribal system governed by the Great Beings. As opposed to the Bionicle standard of 6, there were 8 total tribes.
The packaging is done in the same style as the Av-Matoran where we have two plastic coverings on the ends of a cardboard insert. The front shows off the build in its natural environment along with identifying the age range and set number.
The back of the package shows a Glatorian Warrior next to the included Agori, along with a large amount of text.
Going in set number order first we’ll look at Atakus, who is our lone “villain” if you may as he is a servant to the Skrall. The main appeal to me with Atakus are the glow in the dark weapon pieces as well as the mask mold. The mask mold is very different from anything we’ve seen before with its long tail, I really like the intricate carving they implemented into it. Beneath the mask is a brand new face mold, which is a solid transparent color. I can’t help but feel like the face looks like ole Tony Stark. Atakus is also the first to introduce us to Bionicle hands. At first I thought I was going to hate this, but with every set that includes them it grows even more on me. It’s nice to see actual finger molds instead of just a socket piece.
Moving on to Raanu, the shield stands out the most to me with its vibrant red color and just overall awesome look. The mask has a really unique shine to it that looks incredible with the orange and red color gradient. The Vakama Hordika weapon sticks out a little too much to me. Sure it works with the concept of a fire Agori, but it’s a bit bizarre seeing the piece again instead of a new mold or color.
Clearly from the Jungle tribe is Tarduk, who we can see sits on all fours. His overall posture is very reminiscent of a primate. Tarduk is the first Agori so far to include 100% vibrant colors, and it looks great. Sets that leave out the gray and instead focus on a vibrant scheme look the best for Bionicle in my opinion. Think back to those early Bionicle days which captivated us. We were loaded with color, and this set absolutely goes back to those roots.
Moving on to the scavenger, Berix presents us with a very clear water tribe affiliation as well as a pretty unique mask. Typically in Bionicle the masks cover the entire face, but in this case Berix has more of a gladiator helmet, which not only fits the character and world, but helps establish that we’re in a new phase of Bionicle. While earlier with Raanu we saw the old mold fail, here Berix carries Tahu’s flame sword in light blue, but I really quite like it. Mainly because this is at least made in a color we’ve never seen before, not like they just had a ton laying around and decided to reuse it.
Next up is a literal snake, Metus, who is a disgrace to the colors Matoro once sported. The figure itself is actually pretty neat but morally this guy is a clown. Once again we have more of a helmet look than a mask, and the details worked into the mask mold are very high quality. And of course you can’t help but admire his ice shield. Him and Raanu need to get in a fight asap because they just look built for each other.
Unlike the previous sets, Zesk is a representation for an entire species which belongs to the Sand tribe. Clearly there was a lot of scorpion influence here, and personally I like that it offers a bit more diversity than just 6 mirrored warriors. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of restriction with head movement on this model, which is a shame because I really quite like the mask. I would have preferred that the black parts were brown just to round out the original Bionicle color schemes. Other than this we ditched the yellow and orange and have returned to the glory of early 2000’s Bionicle colors.
Current Pricing & Final Thoughts
When it comes to purchasing the Agori, the prices are rather affordable. In used condition they tend to hover just over their release price at $8-10. In brand new sealed condition however, that is going to bump up to around $40 each, give or take a little bi for each set. For these sets to be so affordable in used condition is a blessing in my opinion, I think they’re some pretty solid sets and you can essentially get all 6 for $50. Going brand new sealed is definitely something you can do, but I would reserve that for collectors.
As a whole, the Agori do a great job of introducing us to a new era of Bionicle and standing out from any previous sets to really establish that we are entering a new phase on a new planet. I don’t foresee these sets as being some that really stick in my mind when I think about Bionicle, but as someone who was very skeptical about leaving the precious story and characters for this new world, they were a very pleasant surprise and have gotten me to completely jump on board for this new storyline.