|"These Ferrets aren't just bending the elements, they're bending my mind!"|
|— Shiro Shinobi upon seeing the Fire Ferrets play Pro-bending|
The Future Industries Fire Ferrets, also known as simply the Fire Ferrets, are a pro-bending team formerly consisting of Mako, the team's captain and the firebender of the group, Bolin, his earthbending brother, and Avatar Korra, the team's waterbender. Together they competed in the Pro-bending Tournament in the hopes of winning the championship prize money. The team's mascot is Pabu, Bolin's pet fire ferret. As of 171 AG, the team consists of Bolin and two new teammates, as Mako and Korra have left the team.
After an encounter with the Triple Threat Triad, vagabonds Mako and Bolin were invited by renowned pro-bender Toza, who saw their potential, to live with him in the arena and train them in pro-bending. The bending brothers eventually met a waterbender named Hasook and formed the Fire Ferrets pro-bending team.
When Korra came to Republic City and took residence on Air Temple Island in 170 AG, she realized her childhood dream of watching a pro-bending match herself was within reach. Tenzin forbade her from leaving the island and subsequently from seeing a bending match, when he stated that the sport was "a mockery of the noble tradition of bending". However, Korra quietly sneaked out one night and swam across the bay to watch a match anyway.
While Korra was exploring the Pro-bending Arena, she was caught by Toza. Bolin, who was passing by on his way to the match, bailed her out of the situation. By the earthbender's invitation, she watched the match from one of the best seats in the arena. Right before the match started, Bolin introduced Korra to his brother and teammate, Mako. His reputation as a top-notch player preceded him, as Korra had heard him play on the radio and was eager to meet him. Mako, on the other hand, completely ignored Korra and headed out into the arena.
In the semifinals of the preliminary rounds before the official Pro-bending Tournament, the Fire Ferrets needed to compete against the Golden Temple Tigerdillos, their toughest competitor thus far. The Fire Ferrets were described as a rookie team that had made it further than anyone expected that season. With some trouble, the team managed to win the match with a knockout and proceeded to the finals the next day. However, Mako and Hasook, who was the team's waterbender, had an exchange of words after the match; Mako accused him of doing more harm than good, nearly costing them the match, a statement Hasook did not take to kindly.
When the final match was about to start against the Platypus Bears, Hasook did not show up, nearly causing the team to be disqualified. Korra volunteered at the last moment to take his place as the team's waterbender, thus entering the Pro-bending Arena for the first time as a member of the Fire Ferrets. Being the stand-in, Korra was a prime target for the opposing team and cost the Fire Ferrets the first two rounds. However, finally getting the hang of the game's pace, Korra managed to turn things around in the third round and tire out the Platypus Bears by dodging all their attacks using spiral movements from her airbending training, allowing her own teammates to strike back with full force. The Fire Ferrets won the match with a knockout, securing their spot in the Pro-bending Tournament.
The Pro-bending Tournament
During an early training session, the team was visited by Butakha, the founder of Pro-bending, who came to hand over the winnings of the last match to Mako. However, he immediately confiscated the money again as payment for equipment, rent, and loans. He also came to collect thirty-thousand yuans from the players as entry for the championship pot. However, since the team did not have the money, he gave them a few days to collect it, or they would be out of the tournament. The Fire Ferrets were eventually sponsored by Hiroshi Sato, provided they wore the Future Industries logo on their uniforms. From that moment on, they were introduced into the Pro-bending Tournament as the "Future Industries Fire Ferrets".
In the first match of the tournament, the team quickly came out firing. Working together as a well-oiled machine, they easily defeated the Red Sands Rabaroos in all three rounds.
Advancing to the quarterfinals, the team's second match against the Boar-q-pines did not go over as well. They were defeated soundly in the first round, though in the second round, Bolin's durability and strength led them to victory, though it was clear that the team was not in rhythm due to a conflict between Korra and Mako. After a third-round tie, Bolin faced Chang in a sudden-death tiebreaker and wound up winning the round, giving the team the victory.
However, a romantic rivalry between the team started to divide them after Bolin fell for Korra, but wound up heartbroken after witnessing a kiss between her and his brother. As a result, the team fell horribly out of sync, losing the first two rounds of their semifinal match against the Buzzard Wasps by a convincing margin; Mako had inadvertently hurt Bolin during the fight, and Korra committed an unnecessary roughness foul and earned herself a yellow fan after she waterbent at an official out of anger.
Before the start of the third round, Korra attempted to inspire the team to give it their best for the last round, but a glum Mako and Bolin had already given up. Distracted by Bolin taking an earth coin to the shoulder, Mako was knocked out early, quickly followed by the injured Bolin, leaving Korra to fight alone in the ring. As the brothers made their way out of the water, they apologized to one another for allowing their division over Korra to happen. As they made their way up, Korra dodged the barrage of attacks thrown at her and manage to gain some ground by skillfully aligning the Buzzard Wasps. With only ten seconds left on the clock, she unleashed a devastating waterbending attack, knocking all the members against each other and scoring an improbable hat trick, thus securing the Fire Ferrets a spot in the championship's finale.
After this win, the team settled their differences, showing a new form of unity as they prepared for what was clearly going to be a challenging championship match against the ferocious three-time reigning champions, the White Falls Wolfbats.
The team was practicing for the match when they heard Amon threaten the United Republic Council via radio to shut down the Pro-bending Arena. They made their way to City Hall on Naga and tried to argue with the Council, but they had already decided to shut the arena down. However, thanks to the intervention of Lin Beifong, who offered security from her Metalbending Police Force, the Council reversed its decision and allowed the tournament to carry on as planned.
The team struggled throughout round one, almost losing the match via knockout, though Korra and Mako barely held on, and the Avatar launched him back onto the ring to keep the team alive. In round two, the Wolfbats began using several illegal moves which the officials seemed to ignore, prompting Mako to believe that the Wolfbats paid off the officials. The round ended in a tie, with Korra fighting Tahno in the one-on-one tiebreaker. Korra knocked him out early in the round, granting the Fire Ferrets the win in round two. However, in round three, the Wolfbats' continued use of illegal moves allowed them to win the match by a knockout.
After the match, the Equalists attacked the arena. The Lieutenant knocked out the Fire Ferrets with his electrified kali sticks and subsequently tied them down to a post on the ring. Fortunately for the team, Bolin spotted Pabu swimming in the water. He motioned him over and gestured for Pabu to bite through the rope, which the fire ferret did successfully. Korra left the team to fight the Equalists on her own, specifically seeking Amon. She did not get to him, though the Avatar was able to defeat the Lieutenant by knocking him off the arena's roof. However, she fell through the arena's roof, but had her life saved by Lin. Upon Korra's return, her teammates met her for a hug.
The new team
Several months after the tournament, Korra and Mako left the team, leaving the Fire Ferrets with Bolin as team captain and two new team members. Future Industries, now led by their ally Asami, retained its position as the Fire Ferrets' sponsor.
Despite Bolin's best efforts to motivate his new teammates, their lack of drive hampered the success of the team; they failed to win their last two matches, losing their most recent match to the Rhino Lions in the fastest knockout in pro-bending history.
Shortly after the Unalaq Crisis, Korra, Mako, and Bolin returned to the Fire Ferrets to participate in a charity pro-bending tournament orchestrated to raise funds to help repair the damage done to Republic City. The team fought their way through the tournament, eventually facing and defeating the White Falls Wolfbats in the final round, thus securing their victory in the championship.
- Main article: Bolin
Being inventive and light on his toes, Bolin proves himself to be a worthy competitor who can hold his own against older and more experienced pro-benders. He is very lovable and funny, which brightens up his teammates when they are down and provides good team chemistry. Determined and strong, he will never give up without a fight. Even when the odds are stacked against him or he is injured, he will keep fighting on until the match is over or he is knocked off the playing field.
- Main article: Hasook
Hasook was the team's waterbender before he was replaced by Korra. Together with Mako and Bolin, he had managed to bring the Fire Ferrets to the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, where they faced the Golden Temple Tigerdillos. During this match, he was always the first target of the Tigerdillos and was pushed back easily. After losing the first round, Hasook was chided by Mako to get his act together. Even though the Fire Ferrets managed to win the second round, Hasook nearly lost the match for the team when he stumbled around in the third round, causing Bolin to be knocked out of the ring with him. Mako eventually managed to win the match, but afterward he blamed Hasook for the team's near-defeat. Following their disagreement, Hasook did not show up for the finale, nearly causing the team to be disqualified.
- Main article: Korra
Korra joined the Fire Ferrets during the finale of the preliminary round for the Pro-bending Tournament when Hasook did not show up and the team was nearly facing disqualification. After a rough start, she finally got the hang of the game's pace and proved herself to be a worthy replacement for the team's waterbender. After they won the finale of the qualifying tournament, Korra permanently joined the team to compete in the tournament. Although the newbie on the team, Korra's bending skill, agility, endurance, and tenacity proved to be a true asset for the team more than once. She truly believed in the team and never gave up.
- Main article: Mako
Mako, the team's former firebender and captain, brought his team back from defeat many times. His trademark "cool under fire" style, combined with his power and agility, made him a tough competitor. He was very focused and was determined to bring his team all the way to the Pro-bending Tournament's finals, where he hoped to win the prize money. This determination was demonstrated when Mako began working at the Republic City power plant to earn the needed yuans to enter the championship. Hiroshi Sato later agreed to sponsor the Fire Ferrets, so long as they wore the Future Industries logo on their uniforms. At this, Mako showed great enthusiasm, which further displayed his enthusiasm for his team. Mako usually handled the tiebreakers; however, he was not too proud to let another member of the team take his place when they felt it was needed.
- One of the Fire Ferrets' training methods consists of throwing a ball to each other without dropping it. Another involves the team members assaulting each other with their respective elements, training their agility and reaction time.
- Since the Fire Ferrets are a rookie team, they get the worst time spots in the gym to train, namely early in the morning.
- Though Mako was said to be the one that usually fought the tiebreakers, both tiebreakers seen were fought by another member of the team.
- Some of the Fire Ferrets' fans like to cosplay as the members of the team.
- While preparing for the championship match, the Fire Ferrets practiced on images of Tahno.
- The new Fire Ferrets were intended to resemble Mako and Korra from behind, though they have opposing bending abilities to their predecessors, making the male a waterbender and the female a firebender.
- One of the new members also resembles a Korra cosplayer.
- The concept art of the new team members in The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Two: Spirits has their bending abilities switched, however, as evidenced by the sashes around their waists, indicating the female to be a waterbender and the male to be a firebender.
- A poster of the Fire Ferrets can be found in Mako and Bolin's apartment.