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Toys / Slizer

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Planet Slizer, home of the Throwbots.
Image by Christian Faber

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.

What little story material we have tells us that on the Slizer Planet, divided into seven regions and an arena, lived a group of colorful Mechanical Lifeforms, the Slizers.

They fought weird-looking wildlife and each other with energy discs and Elemental Powers, and competed in an arena located at the planet's North Pole. Initially, there were eight Slizers, all of them ruling over their own portion of the planet (except Jet/Judge, who ruled over the Slizer Dome at the North Pole). Some sources mention that 4 were good and 4 the other 4 were evil, but other sources suggest that it was more of a free-for-all.

  • Jet/Judge - yellow flyer
  • Torch/Fire - red user of fire
  • Scuba/Sub - blue diver
  • Ski/Ice - white skier
  • Electro/Energy - purple electric "bug"
  • Granite/Rock - tan-colored "bug"
  • 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 brute, possibly the fusion of Jet and Amazon
  • Flare - an orange-colored bird-like Slizer, possibly mutated from Granite
  • Spark - purple-colored warrior, possibly mutated from Electro

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...

Then, the line ended. A similar theme, RoboRiders followed, although it didn't turn out to be quite successful, and never received the recognition its predecessor got.

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...

Tropes used:

  • Aerith and Bob: There's a fan-created but official character named Hiker Mike, whose ordinary name seems like the odd one out compared to the likes of Torch, Ski, Turbo, etc.
  • All There in the Manual: What little story material there was only appeared in promotional materials and comic books.
  • Apocalypse How: A less severe case of Class X, in that half of the planet stays intact.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The Meteor destroyed half the Planet, yet left the other half almost completely intact, with Slizers surviving the explosion on the intact half.
  • Built with LEGO: As a LEGO toyline, all the characters are built with LEGO elements... but not with the classic bricks. Instead, they primarily use Technic pieces and the newly-introduced ball joint system.
  • Combining Mecha: 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.
  • City Planet: Turbo lives on one in the American continuity.
  • 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!
  • Darker and Edgier: The second wave starts with half the Planet being destroyed and half the Slizers either being killed or mutated. The new "mutant" Slizers from the second wave are notably more brutal than the original Slizers, attacking anything "on sight", whereas the first wave of Slizers had enough self control to at least fight in the Arena (most of the time).
  • Deadly Disc: The main gimmick of the toyline is that every Slizer/Throwbot is capable of throwing discs as weapons.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Granite is a rock-based character.
  • 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.
  • Dumb Muscle: Blaster is "one of the strongest Slizers" (rivaled only by Millenia presumably), but is "not so smart".
  • 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: The planet is divided into distinct regions including 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.
  • Feathered Fiend: Flare is a vicious bird-like Slizer.
  • Fusion Dance: Jet and Amazon merged into Blaster, according to his Two-Faced mask pattern.
  • Green Thumb: Amazon is a plant-based character.
  • Hungry Jungle: Trees have mouths in the jungle region.
  • An Ice Person: Ski is a snow/ice-based character.
  • I Have Many Names: Each of the initial sets and Millennia/Millennium have one US and one European name.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Electro and Granite are somewhat more insectoid than the other humanoid Slizers. Like the others, they live on non-terrestrial planets (either a single Planet Slizer in the European story, or two separate Single Biome Planets in the US story) and are therefore aliens.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: Depending on which continuity, they either live on the fictional Slizer Planet or a they each have their own planet but no Earth.
  • 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. For example, the Slizer representing fire is named Fire (in Slizers) or Torch (in Throwbots).
  • Merchandise-Driven: It is from LEGO, after all, so the little storyline we get is based directly upon the toys that are released.
  • Mega City: In the European continuity, Turbo lives on a city that covers one seventh of the planet Slizer.
  • Multiple Head Case: Dynamo, as a combination model of multiple Slizers, has the two heads of Blaster and Flare.
  • Only Six Faces: Or, to be precise, only one head-mold was released. The characters wore either helmets or visors.
  • Patchwork Map: Planet Slizer is a single planet divided evenly into seven distinct elemental regions. This results in a lively jungle right next to a raging volcanic hellscape right next to an ocean without any islands, each separated only by a straight line border.
  • 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 favour 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.
  • Rule of Cool: Who needs a solid story when the sets and concept sell themselves?

Alternative Title(s): Throwbots