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The year 2005 featured the traditional waves of villains and heroes. However, the release dates for each varied by region; in North American territories, the Toa Hordika were the first sets released in the winter, whereas in European and Asian countries, the Visorak were released first. The small sets for the year were the Rahaga, released at the beginning of the year.
Larger sets were still released in the summer, alongside a new type of BIONICLE set: playsets, which used more traditional LEGO System building with bricks and studs. Each playset contained a variety of minifigures based on the Toa Hordika and the Visorak, as well as larger Technic-built characters. A Target-exclusive playset was also released, though the scene depicted does not appear anywhere in the canon. The playsets had the Toa Hordika wielding Combat Staffs in place of their regular tools. These were intended for use in a training arena playset, however plans for the set were dropped.
An exclusive combiner set depicting the character Voporak was also released toward the end of the year. Additionally, two exclusive Toa sets (the original forms of two of the Rahaga, Norik and Iruini) were made available, celebrating the 50th anniversary of LEGO System-in-Play. In the United States, Norik was only released as an inclusion in a special combo pack.
- See also: Collectibles § 2005
2005 departed from BIONICLE precedent by discontinuing the use of Kanohi for the majority of the sets in the year. Each Toa character instead sported a brand new head mold, representing a mutated form of their original mask, which combined with several other Technic pieces to become a whole head. Kanohi did make a return, however; once as a structural piece in one of the playsets, and new special edition masks released in the Toa Hagah sets.
All sets (excluding one of the playsets) utilized the new action feature of the year, Rhotuka spinners, which were small tops that could be launched through the air after pulling a ripcord. Packs of spinners were sold separately as well, with colors of spinners not available in sets, though they marked the shift away from "collectibles" to ammunition reloads.
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