Bionicle 2015 Gears System vs. 2016 Gears System

So now that the 2016 winter wave’s been out for a little while, I feel like it’s time to sit down and compare the main gear functions from last year to what we’ve gotten this year.

For my comparison, I’m not going to discus outliers like, say, Skull Basher or Skull Scorpio, and I’m mainly referring to the 2016’s system, not the more varied functions the Creatures are running around with.

Though, for the record, most of them are pretty decent.

Except Ketar.

He can burn in the depths of Karzahnii like the abomination he is.

Anyways, back to the comparison.

Bullet points.

Let’s keep this simple.


  • Reboots an old function with a new piece
  • Can easily be attached to the standard CCBS torso piece
  • Allows functionality as well as poseability through the friction gears
  • Facilitates MOCists ability to add gear functions to MOCs
  • Grey makes it color-neutral
  • Adds a layer of complexity to CCBS sets that was rarely ever seen before
  • Sluggish due to the friction gears, especially when compared to the Mata and Metru torsos’ depictions of the function
  • Makes models back-heavy and prone to falling over if not carefully posed
  • Not particularly compliant with heavy weapons and long limbs, making flopping arms and clanging against the legs quite common
  • Leaves the top pair of ball-joints on the CCBS torso piece awkwardly exposed and difficult to armor without getting in the way of the gear function
  • Incompatible with two-handed weaponry


  • Also reboots an old function with a new piece
  • Centralized into the torso
  • Introduces an entirely new torso piece that remains compatible with CCBS
  • Lower piece count
  • Sluggishness is more at home with its respective joint (waists are typically not expected to move as fast as arms)
  • Angle of motion lend itself to causing less flopping arms
  • Creates a function as well as providing a new area of articulation never seen in a CCBS set before…or most constraction sets, for that matter.
  • Limited gear teeth prevent the waist from turning to unnatural, unrealstic angles
  • Compatible with two-handed weaponry
  • Also general enough for MOCing


  • Squeaky as hell
  • A bit awkward in use with one-handed weapons
  • Gripping while staying out of the way of the function can also be awkward

As you can probably tell, I prefer the new 2016 system.
So what do you prefer?
Got any to pros to add?
Got any cons I missed?
Feel free to make your points clear below.
And make sure to keep all conversations civil.
Don’t wanting anyone angrily arguing over plastic gears from children’s toys.
'Cuz, y’know, that’d be stupid.

Anyways, talk away.


I like them both (IMHO your top 2 cons for 2015 depend on the builders mindset and the batch the set came from) however I would add just one con to the 2016 function. That gear looks really awkward coming out of the butt of your figures.


I like them both, but to be honest I prefer the gearbox. It could be integrated into builds of all sizes and adjusted for an individual figure’s needs. Armor, more or less friction, size, rotation (Slicer introduced a way to have both arms rotate the same way, theoretically allowing two-handed weaponry), even extra arms could be added to the basic gearbox. Due to the swivel’s exclusive parts there’s not much room to improve or innovate on the design. The gear-swivel is great and I think the movement is better but it’s just not nearly as versatile or complex as the gearbox.


Forget everything I said he just said it better.

1 Like


When comparing durability, the 2016 gearbox wins, due to the fact that the friction wears out over a very long period of time (even better if it squeaks). In the 2015 gearbox, it has a noticeable difference in holding poses due to the blue pins wearing it down.

When comparing versatility, both seem to tie. The 2015 gearbox can used in many ways, elongated or being able to add 2 extra arms to it, plus it’s able to be set down lower or higher on a character. The 2016 gearbox doesn’t do that due to it’s pre-determined torso size but to make up for it there are many connections that can be made to it.

Other miscellaneous points include:

  • the 2015 gearbox is slapped on but the 2016 gearbox is integrated better
  • the 2016 gearbox can create very specialized builds
  • 2016 squeaks, 2015 is silent
  • 2016 has a butt gear, 2015 has a yellow gear

As I dont have any of the new sets I cant really say anything about it beside’s the this.
Old system (2015)
Pro for the old who worked really well for both the protectors as well as bigger builts (hell I even used 1 as the head of my Rathalos Bionicle moc (will post new picture’s of it soon)

Cons with the old one’s I cant really come up with I like the old system.

New system (2016)
Pro’s for the new system well the look is interesting and there are some idea’s one can go with for it.
Cons well first that the ccps system is changed making the skeleton look kinda odd, second the fact that what I have heard it is hard to seperate the two piece’s after you put them together, and the fact that making a moc kinda force’s you to add gears in the moc.
This is all I can say after seing the new gear system as I dont own any 2016 Bionicle sets

Continuing the discussion from Bionicle 2015 Gears System vs. 2016 Gears System:

Well I did upload some picture of it on the TTV’s moc game inspired challenge, dident
win but I did get an honorable mention at the end in the video together with the rest who joined the challenge but dident win.

Fair enough.

2015’s equivalent was the yellow gear, I guess, but that’s a much easier fix.

[quote=“Triple, post:3, topic:17397, full:true”]
(Slicer introduced a way to have both arms rotate the same way, theoretically allowing two-handed weaponry)[/quote]

Forgot about that, though there’s not much action you can get out of raising a staff up and down, whereas horizontal movement let’s two-handed weapons actually hit things naturally. That’s what sets the Rahkshi apart from sets like, say, Vastus. But at the very least the function’ll still work.

Might test it out sometime.

[quote=“Triple, post:3, topic:17397, full:true”]
even extra arms could be added to the basic gearbox[/quote]

In all fairness, you get the same multi-limb versatility out of the 2016 system too, even if the sets themselves haven’t bothered taking advantage of it (yet). Heck, I’d even argue that it’s easier. I mean, you’re not just limited to the three pin-holes. You can start from scratch with however you want to build the arms.

[quote=“Triple, post:3, topic:17397, full:true”]
Due to the swivel’s exclusive parts there’s not much room to improve or innovate on the design.[/quote]

A bit, yes, but the it’s still pretty compatible with the rest of CCBS. It’s nowhere near as exclusive as something like, say, the Mata torso.

I guess, though part of me feels like it’s simplicity is a part of its advantage. More efficient, gets the job done in less parts.

And the lack of a standard method for attaching arms leaves a lot open to branch out.

I’m…actually interested to see how that turned out.

I mean, at first I was worried, then I remembered I did something similar with an Agori torso once.

[quote=“KazumaDoubleIce, post:6, topic:17397, full:true”]
second the fact that what I have heard it is hard to seperate the two piece’s after you put them together[/quote]

Frankly neither individual piece really has much use on its own, hence the encouragement to just keep them together. It’s sorta like the attachment in the stud cannons.

Though I guess that’s a notable offender in terms of lack of versatility.

Interesting points, guys!

Never gave the versatility much thought.

Focused more on how the function itself, well, functioned.

This’ll add some fun new perspectives.


I’m actually rather conflicted with what I prefer, you make a good list of pros and cons, and in the points people have made, if we get a wave of 2017 toa, maybe they could integrate both (maybe don’t have have to have the gear on the waist, just have it for the sake of waist articulation because it’s already got a crap ton of friction)


I prefer the gearbox system. I like having the ability to swing the arms back and forth. To me, the waist gear function feels like it was added in just so Lego could have the unity function which I am not that found of.

1 Like

I do prefer the arm function slightly, just cause the whole waist turning thing is kinda awkward as a concept, as well as somewhat of a one-trick pony
But honestly, they’re both plenty good.

I think personally that the new one, as a function, is not as good. As articulation, it’s really great to have, though, so I do prefer it to the gears, which only hindered articulation if anything.

Nothing is indisputable. While I have some issues about it I think as a function it’s pretty great. Sure I wish it was executed better, but overall I think it was a great choice.


Hm. I should change my wording.

I’m still formulating my opinions. But I’m rather partial to the 2016 function.

2015, better for children and those looking to play around with the sets. 2016 better for everyone else.

The waist gear is pretty neat, but I have to say the 2015 gearbox is better as my current 2016 set experiences have been very poor. The swivel is sometimes so tight that I fear part breakage, and I shouldn’t fear part breakage on any product produced by the Lego company. :rage:

Overall, the execution of the 2016 “function” is nearly forgettable as a “function” and is more for very awkward posing that leaves a very blatant turny-thingamadoodad hanging from your favorite character’s rear end.


the 2015 function is better because you can actually move each arm
also i dont have any 2016 sets yet :cry:

I don’t have any of the 2016 sets yet (Although I going to hunt down Umerak and then Tahu) but at the same time I like both of them, as waist articulation is something we’ve never really gotten before, and I just really love playing with the older gear box.

To be honest, I actually want to combine them. I guess I better buy another set wit the old gear box…

In terms of FUNCTION, I think 2015 was more useful in general, it also brings back the nostalgia. I don’t feel like movin your entire body is so cool. I am glad for both of them however, since this is the complexity CCBS needed.
On the other hand, 2016 gear brings the thing more simple and better functional (the points that OP made about 2015 gear), in simplicity is strenght.
All in all I like that LEGO is not scared of trying those new things, we definetly need to keep this going. First wave was just classic, old gear, summer 2015 added more creative way of functions (which I loved) and now, again, something new. So glad they didn’t do it like in the past (Toa Mata - Toa Nuva) where they just changed a few pieces and other than that still the same.
BTW, 2016 “Also reboots an old function with a new piece”, can somebody remind me where was such function used? I can’t remember somehow, maybe other than Rahkshi…

1 Like

The Vahki had a similar gimmick, so that might be what they’re referring to.

1 Like