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    OpinionSaturday, April 6th, 2002 at 10:34pm by Rich, BZPower Administrator

    The Misprints are perhaps the most coveted and desired masks in the Bionicle line. The 14 masks, which were only available in first edition mask packs in Europe, have been known to fetch prices ranging from $10 all the way to $60 per mask on eBay or Bricklink. That is a seller's dream, however for most Bionicle collectors those prices make it hard to get a complete collection of masks.

    The story of the misprints goes all the way back to the very early days of Bionicle. I heard from a Lego source, that the people who were actually producing the masks got their wires crossed with the people who were actually writing the story. The writers in the USA and Europe were working on one Kanohi plan, while the molders and producers of the masks had that plan mixed up. This mix-up led to the creation of the most valuable mass produced Kanohi created thus far.

    The issue at hand is whether or not release of the misprints was a good move by the LEGO Company. I take the position that the misprints were not only a good move, but also their distribution and production helped the popularity of the Bionicle line. The connection may not be easy to see at first, but an in-depth study of the Kanohi marketing technique reveals the positive aspects of misprint production.

    In the standard Kanohi packs, there are 73 masks that are randomly distributed. This theoretically makes each mask just as easy to find as any other mask, so a big piece of the collectable aspect of the Kanohi mask collecting is lost. Had there been mystery masks, and had those masks been very rare, it would have been a good move. However, such rare masks were not added, and that left a void in the Kanohi collecting concept.

    That void was easily filled by an accidental source – the misprints. The misprints allowed Kanohi collectors to dish out some extra cash and obtain super rare masks for their collection. Such an opportunity allowed those Kanohi collectors to have a better opportunity to really get into the mad collecting mindset, which strengthened the Bionicle line as a whole.

    Perhaps the most brilliant move Lego made by letting the misprints out was the fact that they actually serve no purpose besides for collectability. For example, Gali does not need a blue Ruru in order to have night vision, because she can use Nokama’s Ruru. This allows those who cannot afford the misprints to have the same play value as those who do have them, while allowing the mad collectors to have some rare masks to show off.

    Do you agree? Do you think that the release of the misprints was a good idea, or do you think it was a bad move? Express your opinion in the poll on the KP homepage, or in the News Forum at

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