Before I start this, I would like to preface saying that this will not be one of those complaints about how it didn't capture the mystical aspect of 2001. Because as many of us know, "mystical aspect" is code for "fond childhood memories" that is very difficult to replicate after you've stepped into the cynical years of adulthood.
However I would like to bring up a perspective that I've held for quite a while now. To address this we must first ask ourselves "what even is Bionicle?"
Obviously opinions will vary, however mine is that Bionicle was a story-driven toy line (or a toy-driven storyline if you want to be hypercritical of it) that followed the adventures of tiny robots inside of a big robot, and then some half-robots on a desert planet. Not robots living on an island called Okoto.
Why? Because Bionicle, in its conception, was the generation one storyline. A hard reboot in a different universe doesn't qualify it to be equivalent to the first generation.
Sure, they may have the same characters, but are they even the same? Look at all of them, particularly Pohatu. Their personalities are different, and what even is a character if you take out its personality? I'd say nothing. And so if you change the personality, you essentially have a different character on your hands.
However the fact that the overarching storyline does not exist in the first canon is what does it. This reboot was in no way connected to the original storyline, save a few cosmetic details. Therefor, why do we consider them to be similar when they aren't?
The first Bionicle and the second Bionicle are two different themes that should be treated as such. Gen 2 is about as connected to Gen 1 as Hero Factory is connected to Exo-Force. Recycling names doesn't allude to a continuity.
However, this may look as if I'm being critical of Gen 2. I'm not, in fact I'm a big admirer of what they did with it, particularly in the set department. What I would have preferred is if they had marketed it as a separate theme.
But this begs the question, would that have been good or bad for the theme's sales? Obviously marketing it as Bionicle will help with sales among the older fans. We saw how much hype there was. I can testify, I remember going to Target to buy all six Toa on January 2nd 2015. However what would have been better, in my opinion, would have been to completely distance itself from the original line and run it on a different name. It shouldn't have been a failed attempt at resurrecting an old fandom. They should have let the first Bionicle rest in its original glory, and the theme to replace Hero Factory would have had a newer, fresher, storyline. I'm going to go against the grain here and say that it should have cared less about the older fans, and more about the younger ones. I feel that Gen 2's potential was severely harmed by the designers feeling like they owe us anything. All that money spent on the creation of the golden masks could have been used in more productive areas of expenditure.
But in times like this, everybody thinks they know something. Who am I to say that I'm smarter than the next guy?