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If I Were in Charge of BIONICLE

Posted by Illuminatus , Aug 19 2017 · 147 views

I'd have ended the story in 2008 with a cliffhanger and a "to be continued," then made Bara Magna the proper Generation 2 after a year's hiatus.

Let's face it, BIONICLE had two reboots: a minor one and a major one. Both failed. IMHO, Bara Magna had promise but was handled poorly. The fact that it ran for only a year is still just surreal to me.

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The end of 08 works as a great twist ending for everything that happens up until that point, but I think there’s a lot of importance in the fact that we knew that wasn’t The End.  Dark as the ending is, the final say of 08 is hope—Mata Nui vows to return—and we knew that the story was continuing the very next year, so they were going to follow up on that hope very soon.  To say that G1 should’ve ended there and Bara Magna should’ve been G2 implies that there would have been some sort of wait in between, and if it went like the actual span between G1 and G2, we’d have no idea when or even if it would be coming back.  If the story were to just end with making everything awful and giving one promise of hope, only to leave us hanging with not a single word on what might happen next, when we might see what happens next, if something is even going to happen next, that just would not be a good idea.  We’d have spent those years of radio silence thinking over how everything our heroes did was meaningless, learning that no matter what you do you can’t stop the forces of evil.  That’s a terrible ending.  And then, when Bara Magna G2 did roll around, odds are most former fans would be so jaded with the series and its lesson in cosmic futility that they would not care to invest any time and money in this new line.  It wouldn’t have run any longer than G1 Bara Magna, if even that long.

 

G1 definitely got edgy, but the ending of 08 did serve a purpose.  If you let it end there just for the sake of that edginess, it robs the franchise of any and all meaning it otherwise had.

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Are you suggesting delaying the Bara Magna story for several years before bringing it back? Either way, I fail to really see how that alone would have made a difference in staving off Bionicle's gradual decline.

Also, regardless of its rushed nature, I appreciated the ending we got in 2010 for actually providing a resolution to the main conflict between the Toa and Makuta. Ending Bionicle G1 with Makuta victorious would have been terrible, since it'd basically render all of the Toa's victories up to that point meaningless at best and counterproductive at worst. The only reason that twist worked at all was the knowledge that it was just another stumbling block on the road to a final victory—it would have been an outrage if instead that was the last we got from Bionicle before a years-long hiatus.

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Illuminatus
Aug 20 2017 01:40 PM

I should've clarified. I meant I would've had the story end in 2008 with a literal "to be continued" written everywhere, then given it a year or two's hiatus before launching that bad boy again precisely because of BIONICLE's gradual decline.

 

The decline could've been solved with the ending of a chapter, a short hiatus, lots of hype and a brand new launch.

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That "short hiatus" is the source of the problem we're pointing out.

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Illuminatus
Aug 21 2017 03:24 AM

It sounds a bit like you're moving the goalposts. The problem that both of you pointed out was the idea that BIONICLE would end in 2008 without any indication of a continuation/conclusion, which I agree would've been disastrous. That's my bad; I should've clarified.

 

The hiatus itself is neither a problem, nor a solution. The problem was the declining interest in BIONICLE. A short hiatus could have provided a possible solution if it were meticulously executed. TV shows sometimes take two years to release a new season (Westworld is a good example); whether or not viewers lose interest depends on advertising.

 

Perhaps if the ending was positive and, say, Makuta's consciousness was trapped in the Ignika and sent off to space, that would've been more appropriate. It's either a negative ending with the promise of a continuation or a positive ending with the hint of a continuation that works to build hype.

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I don't really see how a two-year gap and relaunch would do anything to make the Bionicle sets and story more successful if they just picked up right where the previous ones left off. If anything it would just lead to the brand losing momentum and many existing fans drifting away, without creating a whole lot of incentive for new fans to take their place. While a well-executed ad campaign could help ameliorate this, there's no reason this would be any cheaper or more effective than just launching a marketing campaign right away, instead of creating a hiatus that gives people even more time to lose interest.

 

LEGO Ninjago is the only non-licensed LEGO theme I'm aware of that was able to really and truly recover from a brief hiatus like you describe, but that recovery came fairly slowly. If keeping it going without a hiatus had been an option, it probably would have been better for the theme. Mind you, it's a somewhat different scenario in that Ninjago's hiatus came shortly after its popularity peaked rather than after a long and steady decline, but a hiatus for an already declining theme would probably have made regaining momentum even harder, since it wouldn't have been on as positive a track beforehand.

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Illuminatus
Aug 21 2017 04:07 PM

Fair enough; I could very well be wrong.

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The Hip Historian Iaredios
Aug 21 2017 08:08 PM

Bulgarian eh? Your medieval history is fascinating.

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Illuminatus
Aug 22 2017 03:40 AM

It is indeed!

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Jean Valjean
Aug 23 2017 09:23 PM

:kaukau: Ah, yikes.  I have no idea.  What I can say is that the direction they were going was a cool one.  However, the problem that they had was a marketing one.  How do you keep old fans interested and reel new ones in?

 

What I suppose is that they would have needed more than a year's hiatus.  If the audience wasn't interested at the time, a year wasn't going to be enough to see attitudes shift.  You would have to revive it again after literally an entirely new generation, once it became retro.  So let's say that they waited ten or twelve years.  After that much time, it could have conceivably been "fresh" again.

 

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Illuminatus

a.k.a.


Surreality

(2010)


Bioni-Cool Jack

(2005-2009)

Premier OBZPC
5000+ posts
Joined Jan 7 2005
#28677
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Bio

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Born: 1992
Height: 6′
Nationality: Bulgarian
Myers-Briggs: ENTJ
Facebook: Ask!

Into BIONICLE since: 2001

Interests: semiotics, graphic design, typography, copywriting, (voice) acting, advertising

Listens to: Noisia, Jon Gooch (as Feed Me and Spor), Black Sun Empire, Amon Tobin, Celldweller, The Prodigy, Static-X, Massive Attack, Eminem

Favorite movies: The Matrix, The Prestige, Inception, Watchmen

Favorite TV series: Breaking Bad, Hannibal, True Detective, Fringe, Game of Thrones, Futurama, Family Guy

Favorite PC games: Scratches, The Black Mirror, Myst, Need for Speed

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