Since its introduction, Bionicle was something of an odd toy line and a firm reminder of how a kid and how a collector embraces an action figure. Back in the 1980s, parents were bewildered with trucks that turned into robots through a series of complicated flips and turns, and, as an added bonus, they had big names like "Optimus Prime" which added to the confusion. Hasbro's marketing department rammed the names into the kids with commercials, cartoons, and comic books. With Bionicle, LEGO did pretty much the same thing-- if you embraced the marketing materials, names like Tahnok would enter kids' vocabulary via a popular comic book and an online video game.
In the early 2000s, LEGO experimented heavily with packaging, the first series of Bionicle toys got canisters instead of boxes. Tahnok (and the five other differently colored Bohrok toys) were the first bad guys in the line to get canister packaging, and much like the earlier toys, they could interact with their boxes after assembly. Special pieces were included so the balled-up figure could hang from the ceiling, like a bat or some weird alien spore creature. It's neat, it's a little eerie, and it certainly helped to give the toy a little personality.
Tahnok's hands are little flame icons, and each one of the Bohrok toys have some sort of claw to match their theme-- in this case, fire. The toy is loaded with articulation thanks to the construction system which gives him ball-jointed ankles, hips, shoulders, and more. He can even flick his head forward in a sort of an attack.
Not content to merely reinvent constructable action figures, LEGO also included a collectible component. These toys had clear plastic heads which can flip open, revealing a brain of sorts called a "Krana." These were also sculpted to fit over the hero figures which were sold at the time, effectively "controlling" them as bad guys. It's an interesting play feature, and they feel a little bit like erasers.
The whole idea of canned action figures was insanely appealing to me when these came out, although I didn't see much reason to collect all six just because of the color change. They're neat little toys, and while not as popular as the Toa, they were LEGO's first attempt to make bad guys in the Bionicle line at the sub-$10 price point. I think you could call them a success, as the entire range continued until 2010. Today, this guy should set you back about $10-$15, and if the seller doesn't have the box I suggest you not buy it. You're going to want the box, even if you open these things.
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