A relatively short-lived (1999-2001) range of LEGO Technic figures, Spiritual Successor of the Slizers and forerunner of BIONICLE. Sandwiched in between these two considerably more popular lines, many people consider Robo Riders to be a failure, although that's not to say it doesn't have something of a fanbase of its own.
The sets were, essentially, Cool Bikes with Elemental Powers that came in six distinct colorations, based on those elements. Each figure had a set of varied weapons, but the main gimmick was that their front wheels could be used as projectiles.
Wait, you say, doesn't this render the bikes useless every time they fire at something? It gets better than that. Just wait until you hear the story explanation for it!
According to the backstory, there once lived a race of unnamed, advanced beings in Cyberspace, divided into six regions (LEGO was fond of using this type of setting). An evil might cast a dangerous Computer Virus over them, so the inhabitants of this world crafted wheel-shaped armor for themselves, along with six motorcycle-shaped Humongous Mecha to ride in. And when we say "ride in", we mean that the pilots were the wheels. And they used themselves as projectiles!
And so they defeated the virus.
There were seven kinds of RoboRider vehicles (Swamp, Lava, Frost, Power, Onyx, Dust, and "The Boss"), and 16 rider characters (or "Wheels") altogether◊ (Axer, Blazooka, Chain-Saw, Driller, Dynamite, Flame, Fuel, Grab, Laser, Ninja, Rope, Scout, Skeleton, Stunner, Toxic and Twin Saw).
But as LEGO wanted to be done with the line, it was never revealed who that evildoer was that released the virus in the first place. Some speculate it was "The Boss", the last figure to be released and who also had no official bio, but others say he was the leader of the RoboRiders instead.
As it's been said, the line wasn't a great success. For one, it mostly did away with the ball-joint system introduced in Slizers, and as you may have guessed, firing wheels don't quite make for long-lasting play sessions. But aside from these, the backstory was way better thought-out than that of its predecessor, the line introduced the canistersnote and many other, now-common LEGO pieces which Bionicle and other Technic lines made great use of. There were also collectible items, namely the Wheels. Finally, four smaller promotional sets were also released, but they never appeared in the story.
Robo Riders provided examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: The Wheels, who are, of course, the pilots themselves
- All There in the Manual
- An Axe to Grind: Axer
- An Ice Person: Frost RoboRider and Ice Explorer (AKA Frost Flyer)
- Arm Cannon: Several of the Wheels
- Awesome, but Impractical: The entire concept, sadly
- BFG: Blazooka, Laser and Skeleton have these
- Big Bad: Either The Boss, or some unseen figure
- Built with LEGO: But not with the classic Bricks
- Chainsaw Good: Chain-Saw and Twin Saw
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Save for The Boss. Good luck trying to guess what his element may be. His terrain isn't much of a help, as he is seen transversing two regions.
- Combining Mecha
- Cool Bike: The main aspect. Every standard RoboRider set was this, plus Dirt Bike (AKA Power Bike)
- Cool Mask: Interestingly, the bikes actually had these strange "faces" on them.
- Detachment Combat: In one of his forms, The Boss could separate into three bikes. In his other configuration, he could be a bike and some flier
- Dual Wielding: Like half of the riders
- Elemental Embodiment: Carried over from Slizers. The elemental regions all had their specialized hazards, in the form of elemental monsters.
- Swamp-Realm: evil water-bubbles
- Rock-Realm: rock-monsters and falling boulders
- Ice-Realm: Spikes of Doom and ice monsters
- Magma-Realm: fire monsters and raining lava
- Desert-Realm: sand storms and sand-pits (imagine a Sarlacc, but with grasping hands)
- City-Realm: acid rain, fumes, as well as evil cranes with evil wrecking balls
- Elemental Nation: Doubling as Video Game Settings
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Lazer
- Green Thumb: Swamp RoboRider and Swamp Craft
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Again, the elemental monsters taken from Slizers
- Fusion Dance: Combined forms
- Future Copter: Ice Explorer, also sold as Frost Flyer
- Hungry Jungle
- Meaningful Name: Everybody. The Boss is either "the final boss", or "the leader"
- Mini-Mecha: The four adorable promo-sets
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Blazooka? Chain-Saw? Axer? As a subversion, they're all the good guys.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Everybody. But especially the pilot called Ninja, who is also robot and a projectile too.
- Playing with Fire: Lava RoboRider and Flame
- Rock Steady: Onyx RoboRider
- Rule of Cool: The entire line ran on this, but it could never outshine Slizers
- Schizo Tech
- Shock and Awe: Stunner
- SkeleBot 9000: Skeleton's right half
- This Is a Drill: Driller
- Transforming Mecha: The Boss could either turn into three motorcycles, or a bike and a bird/plane thingy.
- Two-Faced: Skeleton, although in his case, his entire body is split in two.