(Guest Post by Trina, one of Kendra’s crazily creative sisters)
When my oldest son turned 11, he asked for a Bionicle Birthday. This party ended up being pretty easy, considering he chose to take a couple of friends to a local trampoline place (it had nothing to do with his theme, but was a great way for boys to spend an hour exercising and burning off energy. “I don’t care if you’re tired, get back up there and bounce. I PAID for this time already.”) After they were all bounced out, it was back home for a treasure hunt, presents and cake.
For those of you who may not know, Bionicle is a line of Lego toys with a rather elaborate back-story. I don’t recommend trying to understand the whole Bionicle history (it is long and complicated since Lego comes out with NEW Bionicles every year or so and they have to fit them into the storyline somehow), but you should brush up on the basics—the Toa are the good guys, there are six of them (in each iteration), they have “elemental powers” (whatever those are), and they all wear masks that give them these powers. If you need more detail, or images to use in décor, try these wiki sites, and Lego.com.
There is a whole Bionicle alphabet and it’s available in free downloadable fonts. Check here for sites where you can download it.
When I found this font, my whole treasure hunt fell into place. I made his birthday sign (a tradition at our house) using both an English Font and the Matoran Alphabet font. This ended up working as his “key” for his treasure hunt.
Honestly, I can’t remember how the treasure hunt began, but he was told that he had to gather the 6 great Kanohi masks of the Toa in order to receive some fabulous prophecy that had been hidden for centuries (honestly, it was really well written. You just have to take my word for it). The masks were hidden according to their “elemental” power. The Tahu mask (fire) was in the fireplace, Pohatu’s (stone) was outside in the rock garden, Lewa’s (air) was taped to an air vent, Gali’s (water) was in the bathtub, Onua’s (earth) was half buried in the dirt outside the back door, Kopaka’s (ice) was in the freezer. For the masks, I just printed out the images I found on Wikipedia, and attached them to paper plates.
On the back side of each mask was a piece of the prophecy that the boys had to assemble. In the prophecy were several words that were written with the Matoran Alphabet and he had to use his sign to “translate” them. It ended up being rather obscure (but my son’s pretty bright, if I may say so myself), but there was a reference in the prophecy to lying down at night, that directed him to his presents which were stacked on my bed (the one room that friends stay out of when they come over).
For the cake, my son showed me the picture of the mask he wanted me to recreate (Toa Nuva Tahu’s). I baked the cake in a metal mixing bowl and then cut the sides off of it to make it more oblong than round. I did a base coat of frosting and then used some (rather old—please ignore the “wrinkles”) red fondant to create the mask. I used fondant (and a small paring knife) to free-hand the little masks for the friend cupcakes (I don’t like giving kids a piece of the big cake—too messy).