Gormiti is an Italian toyline first released in 2005, intended for children around 7-10 years old, but still managing to find some popularity even among older fans. It had a lot of success and is currently being exported all over the world, especially in Spain.
The story takes place in a fictional universe called The Island of Gorm, populated by peaceful creatures called Gormiti (sing. Gormite) and protected by the mysterious Wise Old One. But one day, the evil sorcerer Magor awakened from his century-long slumber in Mount Volcano and created a group of evil, murderous Gormiti of Lava and Magma, who stormed upon Gorm and razed it mercilessly. The Wise Old One, powerless to do anything to stop Magor and his minions Lavion and Magmion, was forced to run away... but not before creating a new artifact, the Eye of Life, with which to repopulate the Island of Gorm when the time would be right. The Lava and Magma Gormiti, in their greed, ended up plundering so much that what was left was not enough to sustain them, and were forced to go back to Mount Volcano and wait until the island had recovered enough... and that was when the Wise Old One returned, giving birth to new Gormiti thanks to the Eye of Life. New tribes arose - the Gormiti of Air, Forest, Earth and Sea - and joined forces to fight against Magmion and Lavion, eventually managing to defeat the Lava and Magma Gormiti and seal them. But a wrathful Magor, in revenge, cursed the Gormiti into fighting each other for power and supremacy, ending the peace on Gorm...
A cartoon series inspired by this toyline, Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return, was created by Studio Marathon and lasted for three seasons between 2008 and 2011. After that, a first Continuity Reboot, Gormiti: Nature Unleashed, was created by Mondo TV and released in 2012. In 2018 a second reboot, Gormiti 2018, was released.
Timeline of the toyline
- Series 1 (2005): The original series. The main plot is the one described above.
- Mystica (2006): Included as part of the Series 2 blindbags, the Mystica characters are redecos of the Series 1 characters with gold and silver details. Lorewise not many things are known about them, except for a few short lines on booklets stating that they're reincarnations of the Series 1 characters born out from their sheer desire to win the war against the other tribes.
- Series 2 (2006): The first sequel series, featuring larger, bulkier characters that became the standard artstyle from the characters. The plot sees the four tribes of Earth, Forest, Air and Sea forming a peace treaty after discovering the truth about how Magor cursed them.
- Atomic (2006): Line formed of Series 2 redecos, with gimmicks such as glow in the dark paint, color change and clear parts. The plot features the Air Tribe becoming bad guys after their lord was tricked by Magor into attacking his friends for a power boost, urging the other tribes to get their own powerups.
- Series 3 (2007): Introduces two new tribes, Light and Darkness. The plot justifies this as the lord of Light is summoned by the sorrowful tears of the old lords, while the lord of Darkness is summoned as a countermeasure by Magor.
- Mythos (2007): Similar to Atomic, this line is formed of redecos of the Series 3 characters with similar gimmicks. Lorewise, these are powerups to prepare the various tribes to a big war.
- Energheia (2007): Included in the Mythos blindbags, this line features new mold versions of the Series 1 characters, now done in the bulkier character design seen from Series 2 beyond. The plot states that they were resurrected to enlarge both sides of the aforemented conflict. These molds were sold as "Series 1" in most foreign countries.
- Final Evolution (2008): The last pre-cartoon series. A burst of energy shocks the entirety of Gorm and powers up its inhabitants: the Series 3 characters get upgraded to new tribes (Diamond, Burning Forest, Ice, Fossils, Metal, Sun and Moon), while the Energheia characters get the Atomic powerup.
- The Lords of Nature Return! (2008): First series based on the cartoon. Features the main heroes and villains from the cartoon, plus some of the Series 1 and 2 characters that appear in the first season.
- Elemental Fusion (2009): Non-canonical spinoff from the cartoon series. The lords are upgraded versions of the ones from the series before, while all the others are new. As a gimmick, all the characters have a chip under a foot that allows them to be attached to an add-on to make them speak.
- Supreme Eclipse (2009): Features the cast of the cartoon's second season, The Supreme Eclipse Age. The Light and Darkness tribes come back after a brief pause. The talking gimmick from Elemental Fusion makes a comeback.
- Titanium (2010): Second (and last) non-canonical spinoff of the cartoon, featuring upgraded versions of all the Supreme Eclipse characters. The main gimmick of the line gives all the characters swivel joints in their arms and legs, plus a secret slot in their chests holding some kind of extra (rubber rings that can be worn, doubloons and gems to stick in holes on the characters to represent them charging up and buildable weapons to complete each people's lords).
- Neorganic (2010): Features the cast of the cartoon's third season, The Neorganic Evolution. Introduces for the first time actual figures of characters that have been Toyless Toyline Characters until that point, such as the Old Sage, Magor and each tribe's generic soldiers. As a gimmick, the secret power number on each character isn't placed under their feet as it was until that point, but it's hidden under a coat of heat-sensitive paint on their chests.
- Morphogenesis (2011): First prequel series, set before Series 1. Main gimmick of the series is an upgrade of the Titanium one: ditching the secret slots, the characters now have removable heads and limbs, plus an additional slot on their backs, allowing to mix and match different characters and combining multiple figures to make larger characters known as "Gorgolems".
- Luxion (2011): The last series before the reboots is another prequel, featuring the earliest tribes of Gormiti that ever existed. The main gimmick of the series is that everyone is cast in glow in the dark plastic.
The lore and the promotional shorts feature examples of:
- Back from the Dead: The Energheia Gormiti are explicitly mentioned as being resurrected forms of the long deceased Series 1 characters. In a smaller form, the Mystica Gormiti are mentioned being reincarnations of the same characters
- Bizarro Elements: The Final Evolution series introduced new tribes, among them were the tribe of Burning Forest and the tribe of Fossils.
- Body of Bodies: A few Sea Gormiti, like Series 2's Multiplop or Series 3's Nobilmantis, are referred to be formed of multiple sea creatures with a single hivemind (the latter is clearly formed by five squids in a human-like shape, while the second haves a manta ray on his back and an electric eel on his right arm).
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Atomic story arc introduces Roscalion and Tentaclion as the guardians Kolossus and Carrapax must defeat to allow their tribes to get the Atomic powers. Cue the Mythos arc, it's revealed that they're just two of a team of Ancient Guardians of the elements.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The original Series 1 lore never mentioned Magor as a character. Magmion was claimed to be the main Big Bad of the franchise instead. Magor was properly introduced in Series 2 and a comic remake of the Series 1 backstory was released to retcon him in the plot.
- The promotional short for Series 1 also haves its weirdness: while all the subsequent promotional shorts were made entirely in CGI, the first one used it only for a few establishing shots while using limited 2D animation for the most of the time (including promotional artwork edited with animated mouths and red lights over the eyes).
- Elemental Nation: The Gormiti live in tribes, each centered around a single element.
- FaceHeel Turn: The events of the Atomic series are kicked off by the Air Tribe betraying the other good tribes to join forces with the Volcano Tribe.
- Later Installment Weirdness: Luxion is not set on Gorm Island like all the other series, but on Earth. The thing is also made weirder by the fact that chronologically wise it's the first series.
- Unseen No More: Magor appeared as just a disembodied voice up until Series 3, where he decided to come out from Mount Volcano and show himself to his followers.
The toyline features examples of:
- Blind Bag Collectables: At least in Italy, Gormiti was the franchise that kickstarted the entire trend of such collectibles.
- The Board Game: Multiple have been released in the early days of the franchise, with examples such as a Risk clone set on Gorm Island.
- Collectible Card Game: Three were released early one. One covered the first two series and their recolor upgrades, the second one focused on the Mythos and Energheia lines and the third one was based entirely on Final Evolution. Another one came out only in France and was based on the cartoon series.
- Combining Mecha: While not mechs, the Morphogenesis Gorgolems work exactly like that, combining together multiple characters to make a larger one.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Series 1 designs are very different from what came afterwards, as a remnant of when the line was supposed to be Series 4 of the already extabilished Exogini franchise, which was already a bunch of foreign toylines Gig imported and treated as multiple installments of the same series: in fact, the lords have bulky proportions and seem to wear trunks as to blend together with the designs and wrestling theme of the Kinnikuman keshigomu figures that were released as Exogini series 1, while the skinny frames of the other characters and the "random number under the foot" fighting gimmick are taken straight from Fistful of Aliens (which was released as Series 3 of Exogini).
- As another oddity, the series features two Volcano tribes (marked as "Volcano-Magma" and "Volcano-Lava"), something that wasn't repeated in later series except for the series that featured the return of Series 1 characters.
- The franchise had for years a "secret value" gimmick where every character haves a random value between 1 and 9 under its left foot that boosts the regular power level on the card, but for some reason a commercial for the first series implied that the complete collection required to own nine copies of each character, one for each value.
- Later Installment Weirdness:
- From Neorganic onwards, the tribes of Volcano and Darkness get fused together into a single "People of Evil", that lacks the individual themes of the two tribes to replace them with one based on pollution.
- The last two series lack the powerup value gimmick that has been part of the franchise since its birth.
- Mix and Match: A recurring gimmick seen in extra releases is figures with swappable limbs, either with pegs or magnets. The Titanium toyline was also promoted as such in some countries, while the Morphogenesis line is focused entirely on the gimmick, alongside with the ability of combining characters into larger ones.
- Oddball in the Series: All the series in the last two years in the franchise had some form of deviation to the base formula.
- Titanium featured figures with swiveled limbs and a secret compartment gimmick that included accessories with the characters. Also, while having powered up versions of older characters wasn't a new thing for the franchise, this is the only time they also get new names.
- Neorganic comes back to static figures, but also introduces stuff such as heat-sensitive paint to hide the powerup number of the figures, adds generic army builder characters to each people in form of the Gorbattlers and gives some characters an additional gimmick in form of a heat-sensitive circle on their cards revealing one of four possible power levels. Also it's the first time the concept of a single "People of Evil" tribe appears.
- Morphogenesis features a mix-and-match gimmick that allows to fuse and combine the characters together, and as a result their designs are more standardized, with all the characters being even sized and sharing all the same body type. The articulations seen in Titanium also come back, with the addition of swiveled heads (and wings for those who have them) and elbow joints. Lorewise is also the first prequel in the franchise, albeit it's not clear exactly when it's set.
- Luxion comes back to static figures once again and comes back to simpler gimmicks, except it's the same one for all the characters (glowing in the dark). It also changes the names of the four tribes of good for the first time (Earth becomes Rock, Forest becomes Woods, Sea becomes Water and Air becomes Wind), and it's another prequel that messes a lot with the lore.
- Palette Swap: As said before, many times new series were just recolors of older ones, but also there have been standalone recolors of characters released as bonus figures with other material, including fully gold or silver versions or characters with the color schemes from subsequent series.
- Power Creep: Originally the power levels started from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 10, and went higher and higher as time passed. It's nothing to say that, when the original characters came back in the Energheia line, they all got their power levels increased by 8 to get even with the Series 3/Mythos ones.
- Toyless Toyline Character: The Old Sage and Magor were part of the plot since the beginning, but never got figures until 2010.
- Virtual Pet: Series 3 had the Digigorm pets, based on Forest Lord Mightytrunk and Volcano Lord Armageddon.
- You Don't Look Like You:
- Series 1 had a pair of examples of this.
- The main logo features Noctis, Lord of Air, with a completely different face than the actual figure (which looks like an eagle, while the proper design haves him look more like a barn owl with a falcon beak).
- Tasarau, Lord of Forest, is supposed to be a Cyclops. This was somehow misinterpreted by the modelers, who instead depicted him as a two-eyed creature missing his left eye. His later depictions gave him a single eye as intended.
- The Final Evolution designs often change the Series 3 character designs in ways that make them almost impossible to recognize. One example is Magic Owl, whose Final Evolution design is less an owl and more a giant fly with tornadoes for limbs.
- Series 1 had a pair of examples of this.