Lego Exo-Force
Sub‑themesDeep Jungle and Golden City
SubjectMecha
Licensed fromThe Lego Group
Availability2006–2008
Total sets38[1]
CharactersHikaru, Takeshi, Ryo, Ha-Ya-To, Keiken and Hitomi

LEGO Exo-Force was a Lego theme that was launched in 2006 and discontinued in 2008. It focused on a team of elite pilots that used robotic mechanical machines (mecha) to protect their home against attacking robots. The backstory for the toy sets was detailed in associated media, including an online comic and a series of story books.

Overview

Exo-Force was the first Lego theme to focus on robotic mechanical machines controlled by humans (mecha). This concept often referenced Japanese manga and anime. Previous Lego Space themes had included elements of this, such as Spyrius in 1994 and Roboforce in 1997, but Exo-Force was the first theme to be driven by a detailed storyline. The toy line was produced in waves from 2006 to 2008 and was accompanied by a series of story books and 40 issues of the Exo-Force online comic, which was released between November 2005 and March 2008. Exo-Force centred on a group of elite human pilots that were tasked with defending their home from drone machines that were under the control of a robot named Meca One. Each member of the group piloted unique mecha weapons to battle the robots and then travelled to the enemy base to rescue their leader.[2]

Development

The concept for Exo-Force was developed at a time following a period of financial problems for The Lego Group in the early 2000s. As part of the financial recovery, the company aimed to create original themes that would appeal to children and adults. Due to the rising public interest in Japanese anime during this period, which was driven by shows like Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, The Lego Group made the decision to create an original anime-inspired theme.[3]

Release

The Exo-Force theme launched in 2006 with the first wave of toy sets. The first wave of sets sold well enough in the first year to continue the theme with a second and third wave. However, after three years Exo-Force was discontinued and the storyline was never completed. Lego Community Development Manager Jan Beyer explained, "Regarding the low sales of the Exo-Force line, the decision was made to stop the line at the end of 2008. The sales were good in 2006 but in 2007 the sales did not meet the expectations and the expectation was that even an expensive marketing campaign could not get the sales to the expected level."[3]

Story

On Sentai Mountain, a peaceful civilization exists where advanced robots and the ancient way of life go hand in hand. But one day, a golden robot named Meca One leads the robots to revolt against the humans. Fights between the humans and robots break out, unleashing uncontrollable energies that divide the mountain in two. The humans eventually overcome the robots and cast them into the gorge.

The humans build bridges to link the two halves of the mountain. The most important bridge they build is the Tenchi (天地 "heaven & earth") Bridge. Some humans, including Sensei Keiken, fear that the robots might come back someday so Sensei Keiken promptly begins to construct armored battle machines for defense. But before the humans' preparations are complete, the robot legions, armed with battle machines of their own, catch the humans by surprise and quickly seize control of the southern half of the mountain. More powerful than ever, their primary aim is to completely drive humanity from Sentai Mountain. Sensei Keiken hurriedly recruits new pilots to man the battle machines and Exo-Force is born.

The Exo-Force storyline for 2006 culminates in the Battle of Sentai Fortress when Meca One unleashes an all-out assault on the humans. After a narrow victory, Keiken decides that Exo-Force is too vulnerable in the Sentai Fortress and that they need an "edge" to defeat the robots.

The 2007 storyline centers around Exo-Force's discovery of the legendary Golden City at the top of Sentai Mountain and mysterious secret codes therein which could be used to unlock powerful technology. Keiken's hope is that this technology will provide the crucial key to defeating the robots.

In the 2008 storyline, the northern side of the mountain begins to be conquered by the robots and many Exo-Force pilots are held captive. Among the lot, Sensei Keiken is captured, and is being held captive by the robots in the jungle at the base of Sentai Mountain. The remaining Exo-Force pilots must rescue their leader in this hostile jungle environment that holds the secret to what gave the robots life and the will to destroy. This plot was not resolved and the theme was discontinued after a single online comic.

Main characters

Humans

Robots

Construction sets

According to Bricklink, The Lego Group released a total of 38 Lego sets as part of the Lego Exo-Force theme.[1] It was discontinued by the end of 2008.[7] In 2006, the theme released a variety of individual battle machines, such as Grand Titan and Mobile Defence Tank, and robot machines, such as Thunder Fury. The largest sets were Striking Venom, the robot's battle station, and Sentai Fortress. In 2007, the story was set in the Golden City, with the Fight for the Golden Tower set at its centre. The Exo-Force also had newly designed mecha. In 2008, the story moved to the jungle, which introduced new toy vehicles, such as Storm Lasher and Hybrid Rescue Tank.[2] The minifigures in this theme were created with a unique style that included cartoon-style hair pieces and anime-style faces.[4]

Original sets

The motto for Exo-Force in 2006 was "Time to Power Up!". 16 sets was released on 2006.

Golden City sets

15 sets was released on 2007.

Deep Jungle sets

7 sets was released on 2008.

Combined models

One of the features of the Exo-Force toy line was that two or more battle machines could be combined to make a super battle machine.[2]

Promotional sets

These promotional sets were released in Europe (e.g. packaged with Donald Duck magazine in Denmark) and are not part of the main toy line.

Original

Golden City

Comics

The Exo-Force story was told through a series of online comics on the Lego website. A new comic was released approximately every month. Below is a list of the titles and release date of each episode.

# Name Release date
0 The First Battle November 15, 2005
1 Stealth Hunter vs. Fire Vulture January 5, 2006
2 Takeshi and Hikaru Continue the Battle January 18, 2006
3 Hikaru's Mission February 1, 2006
4 A Fierce Fight February 16, 2006
5 Ryo's Experiment March 2, 2006
6 Training Day March 16, 2006
7 Dark Storm Rising March 29, 2006
8 Assault on the Gate April 12, 2006
9 The Blaze of Battle April 26, 2006
10 A Desperate Plan May 10, 2006
11 The Rescue May 24, 2006
12 All-Out Attack June 12, 2006
13 Assault on Robot H.Q. June 22, 2006
14 Uplink Alone July 4, 2006
15 Mobile Defense Tank in Action July 18, 2006
16 Into the Mountain August 1, 2006
17 Bridge Walker vs. White Lightning August 16, 2006
18 Beginning of the End August 29, 2006
19 Secret Strike September 12, 2006
20 The Fall of Takeshi September 26, 2006
21 Battle in the Sky October 10, 2006
22 Origin of Exo-Force October 24, 2006
23 Sensei's Secret November 7, 2006
24 Eyes of the Enemy November 26, 2006
25 The Final Battle December 4, 2006
26 Epilogue December 20, 2006
27 Quest for the Golden City January 26, 2007
28 Mystery of the Codes February 28, 2007
29 A New Battle Begins March 27, 2007
30 Destination: Golden City April 15, 2007
31 Golden City Under Siege May 13, 2007
32 Battle for the Golden Tower June 27, 2007
33 A Trap is Sprung July 29, 2007
34 In the Blaze of Battle September 6, 2007
35 Aero Assault September 26, 2007
36 Betrayal October 17, 2007
37 Chaos in the Golden City November 20, 2007
38 Devastation December 3, 2007
39 Jungle Mission March 26, 2008

Books

Chapter books

Between 2006 and 2008, a series of Exo-Force chapter books written by Greg Farshtey was published by Scholastic.[8] This chapter book series was cancelled in late 2007 apparently because of poor sales, thus the last two books on the list below were never released.

# Name ISBN Release date
1 Escape From Sentai Mountain ISBN 978-0439828086 September 2006
2 Attack of the Robots ISBN 978-0439828093 December 2006
3 Search for the Golden City ISBN 978-1435236912 March 2007
4 Ghost of the Past ISBN 978-0439923262 June 2007
5 Race to the Golden City ISBN 978-0439923286 September 2007
6 The Golden Doom ISBN 978-0545007115 Unreleased
7 Jungle of Danger ISBN 978-0545007030 Unreleased

Other

Name ISBN Release Date
Play-Along Sticker Storybook ISBN 978-0439828109 September 1, 2006
Collector's Guide ISBN 978-0439828116 March 1, 2007
Activity Book ISBN 978-0439923279 June 1, 2007
Action Manual ISBN 978-0439923293 September 2007

Television commercials

The Lego Group developed a series of long-format commercials composed of two-minute episodes that aired on Nickelodeon and NickToons during late January 2006.[9]

Title Airdate
Legend of Sentai Mountain January 23, 2006
Best of Human Exo-Force! January 24, 2006
Harsh Training of Exo-Force?! January 25, 2006
Failure of Exo-Force! January 26, 2006
War Starts...! January 27, 2006

Games

The following are the Exo-Force games previously available at the official LEGO website:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Herman, Sarah (2012-07-09). Building a History: The Lego Group. Grub Street Publishers. pp. 216–218. ISBN 978-1-78340-804-7.
  2. ^ a b "That Time LEGO Launched An Anime-Inspired Universe". Kotaku. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Farshtey, Gregory; Lipkowitz, Daniel; Hugo, Simon (2020-10-01). LEGO® Minifigure A Visual History New Edition. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-241-50202-0.
  4. ^ Dolan, Hannah (2020-10-13). LEGO Minifigure Handbook. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-241-45823-5.
  5. ^ a b Farshtey, Gregory; Lipkowitz, Daniel; Hugo, Simon (2020-10-01). LEGO® Minifigure A Visual History New Edition. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-241-50202-0.
  6. ^ "Exo-Force LEGO Sets". BrickEconomy. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  7. ^ "Greg Farshtey's Exo-force books in order". www.fantasticfiction.com. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  8. ^ "LEGO Exo-Force Powers Up With a New Line of Mecha". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-08-05.