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Best year for Bionicle?

Best Bionicle year

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61 replies to this topic

#41 Offline Makaru

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Posted Jan 03 2014 - 12:49 PM

It is almost tie between 2002 and 2004. These were the years of pure mystery.

 

2002 took a newly established but fully fleshed world and turned it on its ear. Plus how wild was it to finally see a constraction line go a second year? You kids now don't fully grasp it, but 2002 rolled around and as a kid I saw this thing I loved do the unthinkable. It got renewed. It was embellished. Lego was running headlong with a story and that had almost NEVER happened before.

 

2004, again, took a story that was firmly rooted and explained, and broadened it in unbelievable ways. It was the same story, but in a different setting. A promise of heroes and betrayal. Suddenly there was a book series, and Canon contests from Lego to have your stuff featured in the story. There were personal investments. Had the villain of the year not been Makuta AGAIN it would have easily been the best year to my recollection.


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#42 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jan 03 2014 - 01:28 PM

It is almost tie between 2002 and 2004. These were the years of pure mystery.
 
2002 took a newly established but fully fleshed world and turned it on its ear. Plus how wild was it to finally see a constraction line go a second year? You kids now don't fully grasp it, but 2002 rolled around and as a kid I saw this thing I loved do the unthinkable. It got renewed. It was embellished. Lego was running headlong with a story and that had almost NEVER happened before.

Slizer had already experienced a two-year run prior to BIONICLE. It felt shorter because each wave was smaller, but in Europe at least there were a solid three waves: first 8500-8503, then 8504-8507, and finally 8520-8523. The first two waves might have come out simultaneously in the U.S. (I honestly don't remember), but the last of them came out the next year in all markets — hence why it presented a brand-new story arc about a meteor impact and included Millennium Slizer/Millennia to tie in with all the hype about the year 2000.

For me, 2003 was more revolutionary than 2002 in that regard. No constraction theme had ever lasted three years before, and no theme of any kind had ever gotten a feature-length movie. It also gave us a set of the shapeless main villain from the series' first year, which was a big deal — although it's somewhat of a bigger deal in retrospect than it was at the time, since it wasn't until 2003 that we learned the Bahrag weren't the root cause of the Bohrok invasion, and that Makuta had been behind that as well.

But I generally don't like to define how good something is strictly based on how revolutionary it is. Big changes are a daring and challenging thing to pull off, but sometimes it's better to do something well that's been done a thousand times before than to do something poorly that's never been attempted before.

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#43 Offline Makaru

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Posted Jan 03 2014 - 01:39 PM

To say the second year of Slizers had a coherent story is to say Roboriders had a story at all. Technically true but do you even remember any of it? Did it even happen? Was it a fever dream? 

 

(It was a fever dream.)

 

 

I'm sorry you misinterpreted my statement. What I was expressing is that Bionicle actually had some merit. Impact. It actually felt like something significant in the second year instead of the usual hangover afterthought that was year 2 of Cyberslam/Slizers/Roboriders. Those you could tell the collective creative conscious agreed they had no idea how to innovate past what they already accomplished.

 

Bionicle Year 2 had something fresh and new. It felt alive. It wasn't just leftover ideas and a rush to meet deadlines. I won't pretend to know how the think tank worked at the time, but it's like they suddenly realized that the Story aspect of the lines they were producing was not only marketable, but something that could draw a greater investment from.


Edited by Makaru, Jan 03 2014 - 01:50 PM.

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#44 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jan 03 2014 - 03:40 PM

To say the second year of Slizers had a coherent story is to say Roboriders had a story at all. Technically true but do you even remember any of it? Did it even happen? Was it a fever dream? 
 
(It was a fever dream.)

Oh, I remember those stories. It's not hard, because there wasn't a whole lot of story in either case to remember. And I remember them mostly for their faults. The Slizer/Throwbots storyline was not entirely clear or consistent between markets. And the Roboriders storyline, like the 2001 and early 2004 BIONICLE storylines, dealt with a faceless and more or less unbuildable enemy, which is a real detriment to play for an action figure theme.
 
With that said, the storyline for Throwbots sticks in my memory. A meteor crashed into the Throwbot planet, and four new Throwbots crawled out of the crater. In Europe, it was implied that the crater covered half the planet, and that the new Throwbots (besides Millennia) were transformed versions of the previous four Throwbots. But the U.S. got no such luxury. As I said, there wasn't a whole lot to remember, but it was a new story development to the same extent that the coming of a Seventh Toa would have been a new story development with or without a movie to explain who it was or where it came from. And it was a key factor that made the third wave of Throwbots visibly different from two waves in the previous year.
 

I'm sorry you misinterpreted my statement. What I was expressing is that Bionicle actually had some merit. Impact. It actually felt like something significant in the second year instead of the usual hangover afterthought that was year 2 of Cyberslam/Slizers/Roboriders. Those you could tell the collective creative conscious agreed they had no idea how to innovate past what they already accomplished.


I believe either you misinterpreted my statement, or I misinterpreted your statement more badly than I thought. I was only stating that BIONICLE was not the first constraction theme to get a second year. I wasn't at all trying to argue that it wasn't any better than Throwbots (after all, this topic has nothing to do with the merits of BIONICLE compared to other themes, but rather the merits of each individual year). BIONICLE was different, and better, than Throwbots by leaps and bounds. But "getting a second year" wasn't what made it different or better. It was what it did with that additional year, and the years following it, that set it apart. As you say, it made the story bigger in measurable ways.

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#45 Offline Kaxix

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Posted Jan 04 2014 - 05:25 AM

In my opinion, it is either 2003 or 2006. 

The first one mainly because of its story. The summer sets were absolutely great, but I have to remember that the Bohrok-kal (great but complete clones of the Bohrok) came out that year too, so as a whole, I'd say it was a pretty good year set-wise.

The second one is probably  my favourite: the sets were mostly fantastic and brought many new intersting pieces; the story was very different with a group of powerful villans working together (well, more or less) and the first dramatic defeat of the Toa Nuva. Also important beings like Artakha were introduced.


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#46 Offline SolarSurge

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Posted Jan 05 2014 - 05:44 AM

I would have to say 2006 in terms of sets, we had some great innovations design wise that year and had some of best titans ever made.

 

For story it's a toss up between 2003 and 2004. 2003 Gave us our first actual plot driven story that wasn't just 'collect all the MacGuffins and solve the problem', and 2004 was the first year to give real depth and backstory to the Bionicle universe. I would say they're of equal quality overall, though.


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#47 Offline AdaptingChaos

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Posted Jan 05 2014 - 06:12 PM

I loved the entire Mask of Life storyline! To me, it was really epic, espcially 2007 when the Toa only had 24 hours?! :D

However my favorite sets would have to be the Glatorians from 2009. The Inika build didnt really bother me that much and the colors used that year especially with Ackar, Gresh, Kiina and Vorox, brought back a nostalgic feel of the 2001 sets with a mix of the more recent ones! I felt that they were a lot more prettier to look at than the 2006, 2007 and 2008 sets. Especially 2008. :P


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#48 Offline You just lost the game

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Posted Jan 14 2014 - 11:43 AM

06' will always be my favourite.


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#49 Offline Sybre the Mental

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Posted Jan 14 2014 - 12:03 PM

I liked 2004 because it was just this big, flipping city for you to explore and dangers lurked around every corner! It also has my favorite Toa team. :)

 

I also agree with what Spiderus Prime said about 2006. Boy, that was a crazy year now that he says it out loud!


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#50 Offline PrismWind

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Posted Jan 14 2014 - 10:27 PM

For me it's 2001, easily. What made BIONICLE special was the air of mystery and wonder - the magic of this island filled with dangerous beasts and cool villages. I think that Mata Nui is easily the best looking and most interesting of all the islands, and in 2001 it was totally new. Mata Nui Online Game I did a fantastic job of fleshing out the island and story. 2001 had some of the best comics - I'm a fan of the early style over the others. Likewise, for artwork and animations, I feel that 2001 was the best - the 2005 and 2006 animations don't come close to those of the first three years. The storyline was simple, with a lot of room for your imagination. Oh, and the Rahi are by far the best villains we've had. Lastly, they show ordinary Matoran being heroes, instead of letting Toa do the work for them.

 

I enjoy the later storylines a lot, especially the serials, and I love the 2009 sets, but nothing beats 2001 for me. I enjoy the 2006 games a lot, and they beat any other year, but MNOG I tops them all for me.

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#51 Offline Click

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Posted Jan 16 2014 - 12:16 AM

I would have to say pretty much the first four years are tied (first for its excellent gear functions, great introduction, and MNOLG [did it come out in 2001?], and 2004 for the story, establishing a new world totally different from what we've seen fairly well, though I mostly say that for Time Trap.) If I had to pick one of them though, it would be 2003. The sets took what we had so far and redid them in a marvelous way for its time (remember when the Toa didn't have knee joints? :P), not just remixing like we had the last couple years. The Matoran were much better than pretty much every other one except Voyatoran, and are still highly sought after. The story featuring some Matoran heroes that lead into Takanuva was great and interesting, not to mention the first movie.

My judgement may be clouded by a bit of nostalgia, but they were some great years. Sure there were other great sets (Axalara, Brutaka), some great storylines (2006), and some great games (VNOLG and... Actually, that's it :P), but 2003 did it first, and did it well for its time.

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#52 Offline Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jan 16 2014 - 01:25 PM

I would have to say pretty much the first four years are tied (first for its excellent gear functions, great introduction, and MNOLG [did it come out in 2001?], and 2004 for the story, establishing a new world totally different from what we've seen fairly well, though I mostly say that for Time Trap.) If I had to pick one of them though, it would be 2003. The sets took what we had so far and redid them in a marvelous way for its time (remember when the Toa didn't have knee joints? :P), not just remixing like we had the last couple years. The Matoran were much better than pretty much every other one except Voyatoran, and are still highly sought after. The story featuring some Matoran heroes that lead into Takanuva was great and interesting, not to mention the first movie.

My judgement may be clouded by a bit of nostalgia, but they were some great years. Sure there were other great sets (Axalara, Brutaka), some great storylines (2006), and some great games (VNOLG and... Actually, that's it :P), but 2003 did it first, and did it well for its time.

2003 did have the Rahkshi, but don't forget it also had the Bohrok-Kal, the cloniest of the clones. That drags it down a lot in my opinion.

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#53 Offline VBBN

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Posted Jan 16 2014 - 08:22 PM

2006. Why, I could never really say. Every wave has it's ups and downs, but i just remember 2006 as being a year I had fun experiencing. 

 

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#54 Offline Click

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Posted Jan 16 2014 - 10:43 PM

 

I would have to say pretty much the first four years are tied (first for its excellent gear functions, great introduction, and MNOLG [did it come out in 2001?], and 2004 for the story, establishing a new world totally different from what we've seen fairly well, though I mostly say that for Time Trap.) If I had to pick one of them though, it would be 2003. The sets took what we had so far and redid them in a marvelous way for its time (remember when the Toa didn't have knee joints? :P), not just remixing like we had the last couple years. The Matoran were much better than pretty much every other one except Voyatoran, and are still highly sought after. The story featuring some Matoran heroes that lead into Takanuva was great and interesting, not to mention the first movie.

My judgement may be clouded by a bit of nostalgia, but they were some great years. Sure there were other great sets (Axalara, Brutaka), some great storylines (2006), and some great games (VNOLG and... Actually, that's it :P), but 2003 did it first, and did it well for its time.

2003 did have the Rahkshi, but don't forget it also had the Bohrok-Kal, the cloniest of the clones. That drags it down a lot in my opinion.

 

Yeah, but the Bohrok were worth cloning. Definitely the best collection of sets in all of Bionicle in my opinion. They had gear functions and could transform into a ball. They looked great, although its such a shame their parts were so specialized. It's difficult to use them or to revamp Bohrok. I actually really liked the Bohrok-Kal though, as they gave us the Bohrok pieces in new colors for more customization. We got the silver headpieces, new shields, and new colors of limbs. Definitely the only set Lego could have pulled off a clone like that effectively.


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#55 Offline matanui12

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Posted Feb 17 2014 - 08:12 AM

I think the start of the Ignition Saga in 2006 was the best, because the sets started to look much better and the story got more serious, but the next years, set-wise, we're just getting worse (with he exception of 2007 sets), because the parts from 2006/2007 were just repeated and weren't very original, unlike the sets from previous years, which were fresh every year as the story moved on.

Story-wise, Ignition Saga is the best in my opinion.

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#56 Offline Wazdakka

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Posted Feb 17 2014 - 12:00 PM

I thought I posted here before, but I guess not. I cannot specifically claim one year, but I can say a few of my favorites and why. 

 

I never experienced the '01 story as a kid (I only got into it in '02-'03), but I do think that the mythical island setting combined with iconic sets makes it a definite contender.

 

I liked the Ignition story-line, but I thought the Piraka and Inika were too organic, so only when we went under the sea (this setting made me really happy for some reason) in '06 and '07 did I really love both the story, setting, and the sets (and gatling rocket torpedo launchers). 

 

I know I'm an oddball in this, but '08 was so epic for me! We've got our classic old Toa-heroes from way back in '01, now bigger and better, fighting against Makuta (the ultimate evil) in the sky in the center of the Universe in a battle to save the Universe itself! Add the awesome battle vehicles and Titans, and you can balance out some of the weirdness that came from Mistika (yeah, I'll admit it). We had the awesome online games in which you could choose to score for the Makuta or the Toa Nuva, games that I actually found fun. However, all in all, the best part about 2008 was that we were coming to the epic climax of our quest (or so we thought at the time) in which we would finally see our heroes awaken Mata Nui! The whole point of the story, awakening Mata Nui, would be resolved! The Halo nerd within me cannot resist observing, we were finishing the fight. 


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#57 Offline 16N1K4

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 04:09 PM

In terms of story, I really can't say. I enjoyed the story all throughout its course.

 

As for sets, I'd go 2002. The Bohrok were just plain fun sets. 2006 could also be put into consideration, as I found the dawn of the more action figure sets interesting at the time.


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#58 Offline mk7.13

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 05:10 PM

I really like the way the stakes were raised in '02 with the Bohrok. In all of the supporting media - the MNOLG, the flash animations, etc. - you really had a Matoran-driven story, but in terms of the Bohrok invasion there was this real sense of danger and potential loss. The Bohrok animations that were serialized on the Bionicle website were such a neat way to develop these characters further. The Bohrok were really presented as this legitimate threat that had to be dealt with creatively. I've built a lot of MOCs in my time, and most of the ones I build easily dwarf the original Bohrok, but in comparison to the Toa/McToran sets, those things were huge. And in the context of the Bionicle universe, there were thousands of them. And they were seemingly invincible.

 

But I really can't pick one single favorite storyline. Each of them has its moments that just really captured my attention. I don't have time to sit here and list exactly why each year was amazing to me, otherwise this post would be massive.


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#59 Offline JAG18

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Posted Feb 20 2014 - 08:51 PM

I suppose 2006 has a special place in my heart, because of all the great action in the Inika's quest for the Mask of Life and of course the introduction of such memorable characters like Axxon and Brutaka.

 

2006 also was a pretty good year set wise what with the introduction of the (in)famous Inika build, which worked so well Lego never got rid of it.


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#60 Offline Angel Bob

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Posted Mar 08 2014 - 03:00 PM

My favorite years were 2004, 2006, and 2008, each for different reasons.

 

2004 was great because of the setting. Metru Nui was a detailed, bustling, crowded sci-fi/fantasy/superhero city that truly felt alive in the books, comics, and all other materials. I especially loved the rich worldbuilding that was done in the books (for example, the enigmatic references to Artakha, Karzahni, the Dark Hunters, and the Brotherhood of Makuta). 2004 revealed to us that an entire world beyond Mata Nui was out there, waiting to be discovered, and while it gave us tons of new information, it also raised pressing mysteries that haunted us for months (if not years).

 

2006 was great because of the characters. Voya Nui was a small-town sort of place (as you'd expect), and there were few enough characters involved for each of them to be fleshed out and focused on. Each of the Piraka had a very vibrant and entertaining personality, Axonn and Brutaka were epic, and the Resistance Team each had distinct quirks... and, of course, there was Vezon. 2006 introduced some of the most memorable and beloved BIONICLE characters, second only to the first three years.

 

Finally, 2008 was great because of the plot. After a steady escalation of drama and darkness from 2003 on, we saw the return of the good old Toa Nuva in a battle for the entire universe. And the battle didn't rage only in the main story -- 2008 was also the best year for serials. Federation of Fear provided not only a barrel of laughs, but also the mounting tensions for the Destiny War. And who could forget the MASSIVE revelations at the end of the year? 2008's plot had me on the edge of my seat all 12 months.

 

As an addendum: while it obviously can't compete with any of the above years, 2009 was my favorite year for sets. Sure, they lacked the complexity of the good old gear-and-axle days, but they made up for it by returning to BIONICLE's elemental roots in both colors and pieces. This was especially satisfying after 2008's sets, which were practically nothing but grey, black, and silver. In contrast to the Phantoka's and Mistika's nondescript blasters, the Agori and Glatorian wielded snowflake shields and ice axes, watery daggers and tridents, flaming claws and swords, leafy blades and vine-wrapped scythes, and so much more. All of which made the "eh" story that much more disappointing, of course, but the point still stands -- the sets were magnificent.


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#61 Offline Artakha's Nephew

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Posted Mar 08 2014 - 05:09 PM

I think that 2007 was the best year for the story, and that 2002 was the best year for the sets. The Bohrok were the main force that made 2002 amazing.
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#62 Offline Pulse

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Posted Mar 09 2014 - 12:48 AM

I wasn't into BIONICLE in the years 2001 and 2002, so I can't comment on them. Though I will say that either 2004 or 2006 were probably the best years for the theme. In both, leaps forward were taken, in different areas. 2004 improved upon 2003, and 2006 avoided getting wrong what 2005 did, while keeping what it and previous years did right. Sets in both were also quite different to their predecessors, with the exception of Vahki in 04, who were a bit too similar to the Rahkshi.


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