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The set releases of 2006 opened with the six Piraka, murderous thieves posing as heroic Toa. After being absent for the previous year, Matoran characters made a return; these Matoran had varying and unique builds, explained as alterations made by the overlord Karzahni. The six characters were the Voya Nui Resistance Team, fighting against the Piraka who had enslaved the rest of the population of Voya Nui. Unlike the small sets of the previous wave, these Matoran did not come with an action feature. Though part of the 2006 set wave, the Voya Nui Resistance Team was actually released in December of 2005, and in an offer for LEGO Magazine subscribers in the November-December 2005 issue.
The summer wave brought back Toa figures, absent for over a year in the U.S. The Toa Inika canisters were less spherical in shape than any previous wave, displaying their light-up weapons and Zamor ammunition. The newly designed heads of the Toa Inika were initially advertised as being glow-in-the-dark; however, the final product did not include this feature, and the advertisements were subsequently removed.
Debuting in the summer (though released earlier in some parts of the world) were also the large boxed sets. Axonn and Brutaka, members of the Order of Mata Nui, and Vezon & Fenrakk, a Piraka defector guarding the Mask of Life sought by all of the characters, each introduced a new piston-based style of building, and included Kanohi masks compatible with previous Toa.
There were also several special edition sets released: the standalone Umbra, guardian of the Mask of Life; the three titan combiner Vezon & Kardas, containing a modified Vezon and transformed Fenrakk (using parts from Axonn and Brutaka); and Irnakk, a combiner set of three Piraka (Thok, Vezok, and Reidak) that also included unique gold elements, who was released in between the main waves.
Playsets also made a return, with updated poseable minifigures and action features. Like the previous year, one of the playsets depicted a non-canon scene.
Due to changes in plastic composition, some weapon, mask, and armor pieces, most notably in transparent and pearlescent colors, looked different from previous years. Additionally, most sets during this year featured a lighter silver color from that of earlier and later years. However, due to production changes, this was not true for all releases of this year's sets.
The Piraka possessed no specific geared action feature, a departure from previous canister waves, and instead came with light-up eyes, dual-function weapons, and rubber spines covering glow-in-the-dark skulls. All six bore Zamor Launchers, which fired spherical ammunition pieces when pressed.
Like the Toa Hordika from the previous year, the Toa Inika utilized non-traditional Kanohi masks - large rubber pieces covering a blended green and white head. The Inika used the same Zamor as the Piraka, with an additional clip for ammunition storage.
The large box sets introduced a new LEGO design to use in BIONICLE sets - a piston feature utilizing a ball joint. These were typically used in the legs, to provide extra stability for larger characters, and were seen through the rest of BIONICLE's first generation of sets.
2006 was the first BIONICLE wave not to feature a dedicated collectible; the Zamor ammunition packs contained the same three colors with no random elements. However, there were several rare elements advertised, such as Vezon's head, which doubled as the first ever mold of the Mask of Life.
List of Sets
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