Slizer, also known as Throwbots in the United States, was a line of LEGO Technic toys, sold between 1999 and 2000. Despite how short-lived it was, the line proved to be surprisingly influential, since its new building system, consisting of ball joints and sockets, would be reused famously in its successor, BIONICLE, and on a grander scale in Hero Factory. Also, it gathered something of a fan following, because of how cool the whole theme was.
While not nearly as complex as that of BIONICLE, or even Hero Factory, it did have a story, told through different media such as set catalogs and promotional comics, though it was often contradictory and infamously unfinished due to Cancellation. What more, Europe and the US detailed two completely different stories and settings, a patchwork planet setting and several single biome planets respectively. Nevertheless, the former version seems to be the more "official" one.
They fought weird-looking wildlife and each other with energy discs and Elemental Powers, then competed in an arena located at the planet's North Pole. Initially, there were eight (types of?) Slizers, all of them ruling over their own portion of the planet. Some think four were good guys and the other four evil, but LEGO never really explained this. They were:
- Jet/Judge - yellow flyer, possible leader, resided in the arena
- Torch/Fire - red user of fire
- Scuba/Sub - blue diver
- Ski/Ice - white skier
- Electro/Energy - purple electric "bug"
- Granite/Rock - tan-colored hiker
- Amazon/Jungle - green jungle warrior
- Turbo/City - teal "car"
Then, on December 31, a meteorite struck the planet, destroying half of its mass in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Only half of the Slizers survived (Torch, Ski, Scuba and Turbo), but the meteor also gave rise to several new, "mutant" Slizers:
- Blaster - a huge robot, possibly the fusion of Jet and Amazon
- Flare - a flock of orange-colored bird-like Slizers
- Spark - purple-colored warrior
However, just before the meteorite struck, a mysterious, ancient warrior called Millennia/Millennium appeared out of nowhere. He challenged Blaster to a fight that would be called "Battle of the Big Bots", the ultimate clash that would decide over the fate of the planet...
LEGO's finishing lines still echo inside the minds of its followers: Yes, the Slizers/Throwbots had gone. We have seen the last of them. But one day, when the LEGO world is in great danger, the sound of throwing discs will be heard once again as the Slizers/Throwbots awaken and battle the enemy. Well, the disk piece did get to be re-used later in BIONICLE...
- Aerith and Bob: There's a fan-created but official character named Mike.
- All There in the Manual: What little story material there was only appeared in promotional materials and comic books.
- An Ice Person: Ski is a snow/ice-based character.
- Apocalypse How: A less severe case of Class X, in that half of the planet stays intact.
- Barrier Warrior: Granite
- Built with LEGO: But not with the classic Bricks.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Although some, like the yellow Blaster or the red/black/gold Millennia, didn't fit into any pre-established elemental group.
- Combining Mecha: Four-four regular Slizers and the three mutants could combine into even larger robots.
- Jet, Amazon, Granite and Electro into a dinosaur-looking beast, called Ultrarex.
- Torch, Ski, Scuba and Turbo could merge to form a humanoid mecha, Robotops. A comic showing these combinations fighting may be one of the reasons why some fans separate the Slizers into two factions.
- Blaster, Spark and Flare formed Dynamo.
- Continuity Snarl: For the US market. First, there were eight single planets, but when the meteorite struck, there suddenly was only one, as in the European story. Then, there are smaller-scale snarls: Blaster's mask pattern has half the face of Amazon and half of the Jet. So it's reasonable to assume he is a being that formed when they merged. But one of the disks his set comes with has a picture on it, showing several Blasters. Another disk shows Blaster, Spark, and Flare, as single entities, coming to life (we guess...), but then yet another one has a picture of multiple Flare Slizers flying in a flock!
- Cool Bike: Millennia's motorcycle form, which he rides as a normal-sized Slizer.
- Cool Car: Turbo, unlike the other Slizers, is shaped like a car.
- Cool Mask: Many characters have masks or helmets covering the top portion of their face, with neat decals that make it seem as if they had a second face on top of their head!
- Drop Pod: The containers.
- Dub Name Change: As is the case with many LEGO lines of the 90s, though this one competes with LEGO Adventurers for being the most notorious of the bunch. With the exception of Flare, Spark, and Blaster from the second wave of sets, everything had a different name between Europe and the US, including the very name of the toy line itself. Fans generally prefer the European title Slizer over the US title Throwbots, but the character names from the US line (Torch, Turbo, Amazon, etc.) are usually preferred over the more generic European names (Fire, City, Jungle, etc.). This very TV Tropes page serves as evidence, since this page is titled "Slizer" but characters are referred to by their US names.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: One occurs that destroys half of the Slizers' planet.
- Elemental Embodiment: Various monsters formed from the elements of whatever region you're in. In the city, these are evil tanker trucks.
- Elemental Nation: Ocean, lava field, jungle, rocky desert, icy mountains, perpetual electric storm, polluted city, with the arena at the top of the planet.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: The poor Slizers have to put up with all kinds of nasty beasts that pop up literally everywhere... none of which actually got models.
- Fusion Dance: Jet and Amazon merged into Blaster, according to his Two-Faced mask pattern.
- Green Thumb: Amazon is a plant-based character.
- Hand Blast: Jet can do this.
- Hungry Jungle: Trees have mouths in the jungle region
- I Have Many Names: Each of the initial sets and Millennia/Millennium have one US and one European name.
- Insectoid Aliens: Electro
- MacGuffin: All the Slizers seem to be after whatever artifact has been painted onto their most powerful disk. The exception is Jet.
- Making a Splash: Scuba is a water-based character.
- Market-Based Title: Slizer is the toyline's European name. This was changed to Throwbots in the United States.
- Meaningful Name: The Slizers get their names from whatever element they represent.
- Merchandise-Driven: It is from LEGO, after all.
- Multiple Head Case: Dynamo
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Some more than others.
- The artists of the promo comics and the disk tampographs evidently had trouble figuring out what their faces were supposed to look like, since in some panels, the Slizers are drawn correctly with toothy grins on the side of their head, whereas other panels interpret their flip-up "helmets" as their mouth and the motifs drawn on said helmets as eyes and noses. And on the disk images, Torch and Scuba had the pegs holding their helmets in place misinterpreted as their eyes. This wasn't helped by the fact that their heads barely look the part: Their "grins" are more akin to air-vents, there is no genuine mouth opening or even a line connecting the two "grins", and though they have eye-holes, none of the characters have actual eyes. In addition, some have a whole face complete with eyes and a mouth printed onto their helmet. Further confusing matters, the Ultrarex fusion used whole Slizer heads as upper and lower jaws.
- The Slizer planet has its regions placed incorrectly on Millennium's black disk.
- Only Six Faces: Or, to be precise, only one head-mold was released. The characters wore either helmets or visors.
- Playing with Fire: Torch and Flare are both fire-based characters.
- Rage Helm: Every single one of the Slizers, both with the head-mold and with the helmet.
- Retcon: The American version of the storyline featuring Single Biome Planets is scrapped in favor of the European storyline featuring one big Patchwork Map planet for the second wave of toys.
- Robot War: The Slizers engage in battles with each other in an arena located on their planet's North Pole.
- Rock Steady: Granite is a rock-based character.
- Rule of Cool: Who needs a solid story when the sets and concept sell themselves?
- Schizo Tech: At least in most areas. Robots don't look too out of place in the city region or in the arena.
- Shock and Awe: Electro is an electricity-based character.
- Shout-Out: One of the access codes in the Hero Factory web game is S-L-I-Z-E-R-S.
- Single-Biome Planet: In the American storyline. Yet for the second wave of sets, it went with the European version anyway.
- Spiritual Successor: Nearly all of LEGO's subsequent "Constraction" lines have been based around the concept (elemental-themed robots/cyborgs) first brought up in Slizer, which has caused many fans to wonder if they take place in the same universe — Word of God denied this.
- Transforming Mecha: The smaller Slizers had "compact modes" so that kids could store them in their containers. Millennia could transform from a giant robot to a smaller Slizer riding a motorbike (the actual model had to be re-built). Jet's bio also mentions he could turn into a car, but he could not!
- Two-Faced: Blaster's faced is half-Jet / Judge Slizer's face and half-Amazon / Jungle Slizer's face.
- Up to Eleven: The Power Levels on the Slizers' disks ranged from 1 - 8, Millennia's disk went up to 9.