McDonalds Hahli Inika was my first exposure, and I continued collecting the 2006 McDonalds toys because I thought they looked cool. I was into Exo-Force at the time, and I soon discovered what BIONICLE really was through the LEGO website and word of mouth. My parents got me Takadox and Mantax as birthday gifts the following year, and I was addicted. My friends were too, but they were pretty casual and only really knew about 2007's story and sets. I was dedicated, and I needed to do some research, but my parents had strict rules about what websites I could access. However, I found a useful trick on the old LEGO site...
First, go to "Games"
Thanks Wayback Machine
Click on Hordika Spinner Challenge. You should be brought here.
You can now explore the 2006 website to your leisure. This includes a basic outline of the story.
Set images, among other things.
I clicked on that shady "Profiles" tab at the bottom there and
P-Prototype Reidak? That's what I was exposed to as a child?
Anyway, I had a blast on this site. Most of my friends lost interest in bonkle, but I stuck around until 2010 and the original cancellation. In 2014, I watched the LEGO Movie with some friends, and the BIONICLE cameo struck up some conversation afterwards. I thought about getting back into it, but my Mom said she donated my sets. I was crushed, and whenever I was noticeably sad that I'd lost my old friends (So, quite often) she told me that they were just "baby toys" and that I needed to move on. That August, I was compelled to really get back into the lore, and maybe buy some sets online or something. This decision was made while on vacation, and my parents weren't too happy that I was obsessed with plastic toys again while I was somewhere with hundreds of distractions and new things to do, but that didn't stop me. This is also when I started to really watch TTV.
When I got home, I dug through the basement for Raid on Vulcanus, because it was the only bonkle chapter book I had and I figured it was down there somewhere. I didn't find it until months later, but I did find my sets that I thought were donated, aside from Takadox and Mantax, who are still missing, unfortunately. Needless to say, I was overjoyed, and G2 was confirmed to be a thing a few weeks later.