It’s hard to imagine a time for LEGO before everything truly was awesome, but in the early part of the 21st century the company was on a steady decline towards bankruptcy. The market was changing and LEGO was slow to adapt. It began making moves to try and correct this by bringing in a new generation of innovative designers to oversee their set creations and acquiring licenses to hit franchise properties like Star Wars and Harry Potter.
|Allegra with the map.|
In 2001, LEGO decided to enter the growing build-a-figure market by creating a toyline tying into and financing a new upcoming science fiction program, Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension. Created by Thomas W. Lynch, the series focused on average teenager, Nick Bluetooth (named for Danish king Harald Bluetooth and originally named Christian by Lynch, played by Matthew Ewald), who had been having strange dreams about a completely different place. He was given an electronic map that led him to a spaceship called the Egg that took him and his best friend, Allegra Zane (Marie-Marguerite Sabongui), to the Outer Dimension—the place from Nick’s dreams. It turned out that Nick’s father, Samuel (Randy Thomas), had created the Egg and had adventures in the Outer Dimension where he met Nick’s mother, Queen Riana (Tara Leigh). He was brought to the Outer Dimension to help stop the invasion forces of the sinister Gorm (performed by Derrick Damon Reeve and Steven P. Park, voiced by Ian Finlay), a former royal advisor who was banished and spent his time amassing a huge army and conquering various worlds; leaving a wasteland in his wake. However, in order to conquer Galidor, Gorm must find and assemble a shattered key that will open a gateway to that world.
|Promo shot of Euripidies, Allegra, Nick, Jens and Nepol by the Egg.|
Aiding Nick was Jens (performed by Sam Magdi, voiced by Michael O’Reilly), the chief royal scientist whose original plant body was destroyed by Gorm resulting in his being placed into a robot body; Euripides (performed by Jeff Hall, voiced by Georges Morris), a frog-like creature called an Amphibib who was the royal scholar capable of using telekinesis and generating heat through his staff; and Nepol (performed by Claude Giroux, voiced by Walter Massey), a blue-furred Siktari that was shrunken by Gorm and could run at great speeds or freeze things with his spear. Riana would appear in holographic messages only Nick could see to provide cryptic guidance on his journey. Eventually, Lind (Karen Cliche), a Galidorian that could dissolve into a purple gel and was trained by Gorm to take his place in the royal court, would join the team. Aiding Gorm was Tager, a being with mind control abilities; Caliphonic, the leader of the Aquarts; and Bala (Sean Devine), a cyborg bounty hunter. Gorm’s primary army was composed of Boges; human-sized bug-like creatures that could fly.
In the Outer Dimension, Nick discovered he gained a special ability to glinch. Glinching meant he was able to channel an energy that allowed him to shapeshift parts of his body to resemble those he had come in close contact with, temporarily gaining whatever skill was associated with them (such as super strength with Jens’ robotic arms). Gorm also possessed this ability, but to a lesser extent than Nick necessitating his use of a device to increase his power. This glinching ability was used to explain the core aspect of the toyline, where a character’s body parts could be swapped for others. While Nick and Gorm, and to an extent the Egg, which was revealed to be partially sentient, were the only ones on the show who could do this, all of the characters in the toyline were able to be mixed and matched. It was a simplified version of LEGO’s more-successful BIONICLE line.
Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension debuted on FOX on February 9, 2002. It was one of the last programs to debut as part of the Fox Kids programming block, which was replaced by the 4Kids Entertainment-produced FoxBox that September. Along with LEGO, the show was produced by CinéGroup and the Tom Lynch Company. The series was filmed digitally to reduce the time required to add in the computer-generated imagery. It was also filmed in a wide aspect ratio, although only the previews were broadcast as such. The series was written by Lynch, along with Chad Fiveash, Damian Kindler, Erik Saltzgaber, Jonas E. Agin, Tom Chehak, Alex Epstein, Shari Goodhartz, Vijal Patel, Terry Saltsman and James Patrick Stoteraux, with music composed by Andrew R. Powell.
Unfortunately, Galidor failed on two fronts. Not only did the show underperform in the ratings, but the toyline was selling poorly. This was due in large part to LEGO’s miscalculation of making the toys incompatible with other LEGO sets and doing away with the construction style they were best known for. Only 15 of 17 planned sets were made before sales saw the line cancelled. Without the toys to draw revenue from and the ending of Fox Kids, Galidor ended on a cliffhanger after two seasons; which aired without a break in between. Reruns would air on ABC Family following its conclusion.
To promote the series, a set of five toys and a mini comic book were included with McDonald’s Happy Meals that year. Nick, Jens, Euripides, Nepol and Gorm were all present with fully interchangeable parts. LEGO also published a single issue for a proposed comic book series, Galidor: Danger in the Outer Dimension. A poorly-received tie-in video game was developed by Tiertex Design Studios for the Game Boy Advance and released by LEGO Interactive and Electronic Arts in October of 2002. Asylum Entertainment was developing a version for PlayStation 2, GameCube and PC with an early 2003 release date, but financial instability caused them to cancel the game and lay off the development team. A Flash game was also featured on the Fox Kids website. One of the toys, the Kek Powerizer, featured a built-in game that could be controlled by moving the toy’s limbs in certain ways. It also had a special sensor that allowed it to interact with the show when it was on by playing sounds, screen animations and activating new missions for the game.
Although LEGO eventually rebounded, the blunder with Galidor almost pushed the company over the edge. It wouldn’t be until 2010’s Hero Factory that they would again attempt a tie-in television series to one of their toy lines. The Galidor concept was eventually reused for the Ben 10: Alien Force toyline, which met with similar success (or lack thereof). Galidor was later mentioned as a location in the Guardians of The Galaxy: The Thanos Threat series of shorts and was seen as a t-shirt worn by Rufus McCallister in the Ninjago City set from The Ninjago Movie.