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"They're called Toa canisters, for want of a better name. They are a means of transport. Quite remarkable, from what I've been told."
— Toa Mata Kopaka, Swamp of Secrets
Toa Canisters are cylindrical vessels used to transport Toa to various locations.
In the early years of the Matoran Universe, Matoran built Toa Canisters and placed them throughout the universe so that Toa could use them as necessary. Canisters were built in groups of six, representing the six Toa Mata. As a result of this symbolism, it became a common belief that only Toa or beings of equal or greater power could survive passage in a Toa Canister. According to one Matoran who built them, the number of Toa Canisters was never greater than six because the presence of a seventh would have hinted at the coming of darkness and thus the need for a Toa of Light.[BL2]
Six canisters were stored in the Codrex for the Toa Mata; the Toa entered the canisters during the Energy Storms and remained comatose inside for thousands of years.[BL10] After the Great Cataclysm, the canisters were launched from the Codrex, but due to a malfunction, they drifted in the Endless Ocean for one thousand years.[BW] At last, Takua accidentally summoned them to the island of Mata Nui by assembling six Toa Stones in the Amaja-Nui.[QftT] Several months later, after the island had been abandoned, the Piraka found the Toa Mata's six Toa Canisters and used them to travel to Voya Nui.[BL1] These six canisters were demolished and used by Piraka Avak as materials to construct seven Zamor Launchers.
Prior to the Toa Mata's arrival on Mata Nui, an Order of Mata Nui agent traveled to the island by Toa Canister; however, he was killed by Makuta Teridax. The rogue Piraka Vezon later used this canister to reach Voya Nui.[OGD: Sep 13 2006, 09:11 AM]
Six Toa Canisters representing the six Toa Mata were also hidden in the realm of Karzahni. Jaller and his rescue team used these canisters to escape the realm despite warnings that they, being Matoran, might not survive the journey. Upon arriving on Voya Nui, lightning from the Red Star struck the canisters and transformed their occupants into the Toa Inika.[BL2]
Toa Canisters are sleek, cylindrical vehicles. They have the ability to turn intangible, allowing their occupants passage through otherwise impassible surroundings.[BL2]
Due to the great forces that Toa Canisters experience on their journeys, travel by canister is said to be dangerous for anybody with strength less than that of a Toa.[BL2]
A Toa Canister is equipped with sensory monitors that feed into the vessel, allowing the user to know where they are traveling. There is also space within the canister for storing weapons and other items.[BL1]
Toa Canisters are capable of placing their users into suspended animation, reducing occupants' need for food or energy. This feature is useful for extended travel.[BL10]
The packages of the six Toa Mata sets were designed to resemble Toa Canisters. A plastic "sleeve" containing the packaging art could be rotated to show set and story details on the canister through transparent windows in the sleeve.
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