The Evolution of Toa Armor

This is an idea I’ve had for a while but haven’t had time to fully explore. However, with the Tuyet contest soon approaching, I think now is a better time than never to finally look into it and write something up.

First, let’s remind ourselves that all Toa have the same bodies, but the differences in build (Mata/Metru/Inika) are from their armor.[1] When a Matoran transforms into a Toa, what their armor looks like is dependent on what they believe a Toa should look like, usually influenced by Toa they have seen before.[2][3][4][5] This is why Takanuva looks like the Toa Nuva. The only notable exception of this is the Toa Inika, who do not look like the Toa Nuva, the Toa they are most accustomed to. This is most likely due to the unusual method through which they became Toa.

But what about the Toa that were created as such and were never Matoran? As is commonly known by now, Helryx, being the first, was the prototype,[6] resembling the Mata.[7] The Mata were a later prototype build of Toa, evident from the fact that they were simpler than most.[8] There are other Toa that weren’t previously Matoran, such as Orde,[9] but because his appearance is not currently known, it offers nothing new in this discussion.

Greg has stated that most Toa are closest to the Metru or Mata builds,[10] but has said elsewhere that the Metru build isn’t necessarily the most common[11] and that there is no base model.[12]

Either way, the Inika build is almost certainly not a common or standard build for Toa. Even if you disregard the Greg quote above, the only Inika build Toa we have seen are the Inika (as already stated above, are a unique situation), the Mahri (the Inika mutated by the Kanohi Ignika), and the Phantoka and Mistika (which were wearing the Adaptive Armor). There is also Lesovikk who was mutated by Pit Mutagen, and even if him being an Inika build isn’t a result of the mutation, he was part of the first Toa Team, and so the Inika build could be one of the earlier proto-builds of Toa before the Mata and/or Metru became the standard. Jovan being an Inika build supports this as well since he became a Toa at least 100,000 years ago. Some have argued that the Inika build should be the standard for Toa based on the idea that they are modelled after Glatorian. While that would fit nicely, I just don’t see the evidence for that being the case.

There is also Nikila and Krakua, who are custom built Toa and have no definite place in the evolution tree. Nikila can easily be explained as being a fourth type of proto-build. Krakua’s armor is described as “almost like the carvings of ancient heroes Vakama had seen in the Archives” (Time Trap, Chapter 5), and he wasn’t inspired by Helryx.[13] Because the Order of Mata Nui had no other Toa members,[14] any Toa that would have influenced Krakua had to been from or been to the Tren Krom Peninsula, where Krakua originated from. Due to some similarities and being described as ancient, it’s possible that Krakua’s build is an indirect descendant of Nikila’s.

It’s believed by many in the community that since Dume may have had something to do with Lhikan becoming a Toa (Bioncle Encyclopedia Updated), he was the inspiration for Lhikan being a Metru build. However, Greg has suggested that this isn’t the case.[15][16] Dume could still potentially be a Metru build, but not simply because Lhikan is one.

Toa Mangai

The Toa Mangai were a team of 11 Toa, including Lhikan, Tuyet, Nidhiki, and Naho, that was initially formed to deal with the Kanohi Dragon that attacked Metru Nui 4,000 years ago. They came from various places across the MU, but it’s possible some are from the same island or region,[17][18] which could suggest those that do share the same build.

Greg has said it is safe to assume that their armor looked like Lhikan’s.[19] However, it doesn’t make sense for all 11 to have the same build just because they were a team. Not just because they are from different regions, but also the Toa Mangai was not a team formed out of 11 individual Toa, but rather additional Toa were recruited to Lhikan’s current team at the time.[20] At the very least, we have confirmation that the Toa on Lhikan’s original team were the same build, which is reasonable. So the question is: were Tuyet, Nidhiki, or Naho on Lhikan’s team before 4,000 years ago?

For Tuyet, her betrayal was much more devastating to Lhikan than Nidhiki’s because he was close to her.[21] This is confirmed by The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet.

Lhikan nodded. “There’s been another death. Tuyet, I know you don’t like Nidhiki, so I left him behind. You and I have been friends for thousands of years. We’ve traveled together, fought together, and once almost died together. If you know something about what’s going on, you have to tell me.”

The 11 Toa Mangai first came together 4,000 years ago. Tuyet’s betrayal was 3,500 years ago. 500 years is not “thousands of years.” This is proof that Tuyet was on Lhikan’s original team, and should be a Metru build. Nidhiki, on the other hand, was not personally close to either Tuyet or Lhikan[21] (indicating he was one of the later recruits) and was not from the same region as him,[22] so we cannot say Nidhiki should be a Metru build on the basis of Lhikan being one.

Nidhiki comes from the Tren Krom Peninsula, just like Krakua. It is entirely probable that their armor was influenced by the same Toa, or even perhaps Krakua was influenced by Nidhiki himself.




I like these results


This is true, however, it is easy to point to Nidhiki’s mutated appearance, which incorporates a Metru torso.

Overall, I found this to be well-researched, insightful, and convincing. Another factor that you brought to my attention – that all bodies are the same, even if the external armor is not – makes me wonder if perhaps we are approaching the “build” situation all wrong. Armor is necessarily not an immutable part of their bodies, and can hypothetically be interchanged at any time.

This postulation is made difficult by the fact that Greg uses “armor” for two different things: a being’s exoskeleton, which cannot be non-surgically removed (the metal “skin” covering one’s hands or sheathing the muscles in one’s leg, for instance) and the exterior armor that is actually worn by Toa (Mazeka’s “boot,” the Toa Hagah’s armor).


This is an excellent point. This is also reflected in the sets, not just in the Hagah as you mentioned, but also the Phantoka and Mistika. The only logical explanation I can think of for why they went from Mata to Inika builds is because of the added Adaptive Armor, which they can remove.


Nidhiki does not incorporate a Metru torso into his mutated form - the torso is constructed similarly to Roodaka and Sidorak. He does use the Metru hips piece, but so does the Inika build.


This is really well researched, and brings up some interesting points. I never knew that some of the Toa Mangai were a team beforehand, or that Tuyet was part of it.

Doesn’t the fact that Lesovikk and Jovan, two of the earliest Toa, are both Inika builds support that? Additionally, the Toa Inika themselves were (obviously) Inika builds, and they had one of the closest origin stories to the Great Beings out of any Toa we know; they were created directly by one of the Great Beings’s creations, rather than being influenced by multiple generations of previous Toa. Even the Phantoka/Mistika as Inika builds could make sense if you consider that their Adaptive Armor was built by Artakha, who could have been trying to bring the Toa Nuva closer to the Great Beings’s original vision.

Also, Greg’s straight-up said it.

I’m not saying that all Toa should be Inika builds, but it certainly seems that the original Toa were, before later generations of Matoran-to-Toa transformations started trending and influencing each other towards a Metru-style silhouette (more rounded, narrower shoulders, shorter arms, etc.). This can even be seen a bit in Toa like Krakua and Nikila.

This would probably mean Orde is an Inika build.

Good catch. I’ll having to keep this in mind once we get to Nidhiki’s contest.

Funnily enough, my Nidhiki has the same back armour as Krakua, though that’s pure coincidence.

“Looked like”, not “identical to”. I think it’s custom-Metru-build time.

I’m pretty sure it’s all the same; they’re biomechanical beings, so anything can be removed if they want, as proved by The Rebuilding.

I’ve always thought that all of their armour was a weird in-between of being part of their bodies, yet also being removable. Kind of like how a car door is removeable, but that’s not really part of its standard operation.

In this comparison, the Hagah’s metallic armour would be analogous to removing your car door and replacing it with a new one, not just putting a different-coloured shell over top.


I mean, yes, and this is emphasized by the Rebuilding like you said – the McToran build was completely replaced by the 2002 Rebuilt Matoran. That said, there is a difference between just replacing a mask or a boot and surgically removing an entire arm and replacing it.


Thanks for finding the source, I wasn’t aware of it. However, I don’t think it changes much. Again, it’s armor that changes, not the body. Their bodies are modelled after the Glatorian, but it doesn’t matter when they’re covered in armor and it’s not really visible. And like I said, the Inika build for use in Toa could still be a genuine armor style (not caused by mutations or special alterations), as evidenced by Jovan, but that doesn’t mean it is the most common.

EDIT: Also remember that not every Glatorian used the standard Inika build. Strakk was a slight variation, and Kiina was an entirely new build.


Wow you did your research :wink:


this is what I always think.
Toa Inika was transformed by emergency safety device (in red star.)
maybe Inika build is not standard. but I think it’s closest build to what GB’s intended form

Perhaps GB designed such a change (evolution from near-metru build to near-Inika build) to appear naturally.

(edit 1)

I doubt it.

She’s gathered in response to a lhikan’s call for defeat Kanohi dragon.
and that time,she would have brought nui stone from her hometown

I think this means she wasn’t on lhikan’s team.

Thousands years of friendship can be nothing more than a metaphor
or just an error in time-ordering.
(I don’t think Greg was meticulous about the time order of book he used to write.)

Even if she’s been on the lhikan’ team for thousands of years,
It’s the second group of lhikan. (Mangai is the third)
There is no reason to be same build.

We know that even if toas team up, they don’t just have to be the same build
(Case of Lesovikk and Nikilla)

Rather, I think Toa Mata, Metru and Inika are unusual case


Good point. However, the details of events prior to the Kanohi Dragon attack are vague if not nonexistent. While I do admit how she was able to get it and hide the Nui Stone from Lhikan would be difficult to explain, perhaps she had down time away from the team when she able to do so, and then was called back to help with the Kanohi Dragon. It’s not a contradiction, just a gap in events that we don’t know what exactly happened.

I highly doubt it’s an exaggeration (especially when these beings have lifespans of 100,000 years or more), nor is it an error because it’s canon and nothing directly contradicts it. If it were just that they had been friends for thousands years, that’s one thing, but if they were also traveling and fighting together during those thousands of years, that’s what teammates do.

Except for the Mangai specifically, Greg confirmed they have the same build.


and so, it begins.


so many facts packed into one topic…I love it :nerd_face:


This is very interested report, and I’m so fun to read this! :grinning: :grinning:
I agree the contents almost all. Thank you write this.

I agree with most of this, but I would like to add one thing.
Perhaps Dag is right and Nikila is an “early form of the Toa”.
AND I think she or a Toa like her may be the source of the later Lhikan and Metru.
(This is because if you look closely at Nikila’s armor, you can see similarities to the Metru-type in various places. What I personally find most so is the area from her torso to her thighs.)
(This is consistent with the speculation that Krakua is an apparent descendant of Nikila; I believe that Metu-type and Krakua-type are both separate types derived from Nikila-type.)

"500 years is not “thousands of years.”
This is fantastic resarch! :grinning:
I have always wondered if Tuyet was a member of Lhikan’s original team, but now I am convinced that she was.
I don’t know it becomes canon, but at least my “headcanon” is that her armor is very similar to Lhikan’s (Metru-type).

Oh yeah


I have one hypothesis about this. it’s a very simple though.

The NuiStone certainly has some terrific features, but in other words, it’s just a palm-sized crystal unless you turn it on.
While Toa team members do indeed often spend a considerable amount of time together, they are not forced into group activities like death game participants, but are exactly like us, able to separate and have private time if necessary.

I don’t think anyone would be overly suspicious of her and the stone just because she was carrying one small stone, unless she activated it, and even less likely to be suspicious if she was hiding one or so of the stones from them under the guise of naturalness.

Also, if you were to ask teammate, “What’s that crystal?”, If she simply replies “I take it from my homeland, it’s a special thing for my heart,” he or she may to be satisfied and leave.


Ever since the Helryx contest, I’ve been influenced by the head-canon that Krakua took a form similar to her, which would make sense since she trained him before he became a Toa. But, who knows, maybe he was influenced by both Helryx and Nidhiki, or even maybe Nidhiki was influenced by being saved by Helryx at some point.

1 Like

Please forgive my pathetic English. lol

The views you have on Nidhiki and Krakua are excellent.
Because they’re both from the Tran Krom Peninsula.
Perhaps the two have encountered each other at least once.
(Surprisingly, De-Matorans don’t like noise, and Nidhiki is using volitak to get rid of his own sound.)

Uh… this seems to mean that Mangai team is similar to lhikan,doesn’t it?

Here’s my argument.

maybe tuyet is not exactly Metru Build(with metru torso)
but I think she is similar build to Metru Build.
At least there’s as much difference as teri’s Hagah team and Metru team.
(We’ve already seen some metru-like build suggestions during Hagah Contest debate.)

Shoulder width, proportion, etc.
At least it won’t be similar to Inika.


I agree and think so!
And I think the Inika-type is one of early types of Toa, and Jovan was offspring of that type.
Inika, mahri, and Phantoka/mistika has looks this type, but I think because is they are special background Toa.

This is my hypothesis!


Yes, I agree with this.
After all, I’m looking at tuyet as a Metru “similar”(or like) Build.
(so, I don’t think tuyet is nokama with different mask.)

After all, as Greg told there was no toa’s base model
so for me, "Metru is standard " is not head canon.
but, It’s true that there must have been many metru or mata “similar” build toa.
(‘same’ and ‘similar’ seem trivial, but it’s a big difference.I mean, it’s more narrow shoulder than Inika. lol)

MU is big universe, there will be a lot of different build toa.

Whatever it may be, GB has definitely designed and created toa in the form of Mata, Metru and Inika.

Yes, maybe Orde could be more like Metru or Inika.
Since he is one of toa made by GB themself, so he was prototype.
I think he unlike Helryx, (which was the beginning of the Mata style) ​would have been different form
They’re constantly exploring new things.

I carefully question that Inika-type is early type of toa.

Perhaps they designed different type of toa through some trial and error.

Probably in the order of Mata-Metru-Inika.
we can probably say Krakua type and nikila type as transitional step.

If Inika had been an early type , Helryx should have been more Inika type Rather than Mata

Don’t you usually say that?

“The Creator makes a creature similar to himself”

Greg said great beings was Glatorian species.
Eventually, they would have made the most similar thing to Glatorians.

so I think the Inika is the most similar later prototype to Glatorian, but wouldn’t number be very small?

And they put data Inika Build, later prototype, into Red Star’s failsafe program.

Eventually, Inika type prototype was number be very small, so it was only found in a few of the early toas(lesovikk, jovan), except for Inika team, and inika type could have gradually disappeared.
(Lesovikk gave up being hero, and Jovan became a Turaga.)
Of course, I don’t think Inika type toa has disappeared at all, but I think number is relatively small.

In the end, mata and Metru Like build type toa, which is the midpoint, would have been the most visible.

And maybe they gave Artakha a mata-type blueprint(in middle of prototype toa study)
they would have instructed him to make Toa Mata.


What I mean by Tuyet is a Metru build is that she shares the same basic frame as Lhikan, but the armor can very slightly. Not like the Toa Metru, which were the exact same, minus height differences. The Toa Mata were all Mata builds, but had slight differences in the chest, arms, etc.

I argued during the Hagah discussions that the Metru build definition should be extended to custom built torsos that fit the aesthetics and proportions, so while this is definitely a possibility, it doesn’t change that she would be a “Metru build” in my view.

However, it might be best for custom built Metru-like torsos to be reserved for those transitional stages between prototype and the standard Metru. It’s just something to think about.

Not if the Great Beings were testing various versions, which seems to be the case.


Tuyet should be a Hoseryx build
Change my mind