← Back to Sets § 2008
The year 2008 marked a return to the typical release schedule for small sets, with six Matoran corresponding to the six canister sets released for the winter; for the first time, the Matoran packaging used more than cardboard, mixing it with plastic stalagmite/stalactite pieces.
Unlike previous years, the canister sets for the winter wave featured both the heroes and the villains, with three Toa (half of the returning Toa Nuva) facing off against three Makuta, all marketed under the same banner of "Phantoka". A large boxed set also saw wide release, depicting the "Toa" Ignika riding a Skyboard.
Two special-edition large box sets were also released in the winter, both of them villain characters: Icarax, with a geared action-feature arm, and Mutran & Vican, a Makuta with a Matoran that could be connected together like the standard canister and small sets.
In the summer, the canister sets contained the same hero/villain divide, with the other three Toa Nuva returning to face off against three more Makuta, this time known collectively as "Mistika". Like in the winter wave, the Matoran sets were advertised to connect to the canister sets, although with no story significance.
Though playsets did not make a return, the summer box sets featured large battle vehicles, each with a canister-sized figure riding it. Three vehicles - Vultraz, a Matoran figure and his included Skyfighter, Jetrax T6, and Axalara T9 - each included a Midak Skyblaster; another set, Rockoh T3, came with a repurposed Zamor Launcher. The last of the wide-release Titan sets depicted Takanuva in an enlarged form, and came with a Skyblaster and a new Kanohi Avohkii mold.
Two special-edition box sets were additionally released in the summer. The first was a brand-new model depicting the Matoran Mazeka and his turret vehicle, the Swamp Strider, which utilized a Zamor Launcher with multiple clips of ammunition. The second model was a recolor of the Jetrax T6 set, with yellow elements replacing the blue and silver ones.
2008 saw the largest increase of price in sets (the cost of the canister sets rose from $9.99 USD to $12.99 USD during the year) since the line began. While the U.S. typically had the lowest prices of LEGO worldwide, rising costs of oil and plastic contributed to the cost change.
All of the Matoran used larger, prebuilt pieces (resulting in fewer parts overall), and utilized new head pieces for their Kanohi masks. Each Matoran could physically connect to one of the canister sets (both winter and summer) with an included pin piece.
The summer Makuta all carried Nynrah Ghost Blasters, whereas the Toa Nuva carried Adaptive Weapons that had slight differences in-story, but set-wise were functionally identical to the Nynrah Ghost Blasters. These launchers had a pump that could be compressed to launch plastic dart ammunition.
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