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Should Bionicle Really Be Revived?

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#1 Offline darkslizer

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 08:02 PM

Sorry if this isn't in the right place, but it seems the most appropriate.I have been researching this lately, about Bionicle's revival. Older posts say it will return in summer 2013. It looks like that isn't going to happen. I've also seen stuff about 2015. I mean, who knows? But still, unlikely. All of this begged the question for me: would Bionicle's revival be what we hoped? I can't say it will because of the following reasons:1. It wouldn't be meant for the same audience. Hero Factory was obviously aimed for younger kids. The older fans would be incredibly disappointed, I would think. There would be more simple good vs evil and good always triumphs, stuff like that. Also probably less death.2. We don't know what it would be like. The story could derive completely from the original story. Even if that's a good thing, then how will the original story be incorporated? It would be pretty difficult to completely ignore the huge war of Light and Shadow. 3. The Universe is too big. Assuming #2 is null and void, then anybody that didn't grow up with Bionicle wouldn't be able to absorb it all. Heck, I can barely deal with everything like alternate universes and crazy things that weren't part of the main storyline. Things done "off camera" if you will. Since #1 will probably be true, the expanded multiverse (insert overly complicated and gigantic photo of multiverse here) will blow up the heads (figuratively) of children. It's simply too much to comprehend.Whelp, that's all I got. Thoughts? Feelings? And please keep the cultism to a minimum, if you please.
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#2 Offline Sheogorath

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 08:13 PM

I don't think that people want the return of bionicle so much as they want the return of the story. 


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#3 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 08:15 PM

[font="Palatino;"]I'm against a BIONICLE reboot mainly because it simply wouldn't be the same. They'd just use the name for a Hero Factory clone, complete with set style, nearly-nonexistent story, and younger target audience. It would be simplified to the point of irreconcilability. The immense backstory of BIONICLE and 2009's utter rebooting failure is one of the reasons it got axed. New fans weren't coming in and it just wasn't making enough money for LEGO to think of it as a viable line going into the future. There's no way they'd choose to re-integrate the old storyline - especially now, when the story hasn't had an update in years. If they were to cast a BIONICLE reboot in the same universe, they would have to take great pains to completely separate it from its predecessor - which was the goal of the '09 reboot - except, as I mentioned, that didn't quite work out as expected. Would I like to see it come back? Yes. Actually, I'd much prefer a proper ending to what we have now, these loose ends that will only stimulate the theorizers for so long before everyone accepts that they will never get the ending that they deserve. But that's not going to happen, and neither will a reboot in the immediate future. Perhaps, in another generation's time, LEGO will decide to bring BIONICLE back for another run. As Binkmeister told me, they're never going to rule anything completely out, but they have to look at it from a business perspective first and foremost. If the LEGO brass believes that a second run for BIONICLE will be profitable, we'll have another run to look forward to.[/font]


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#4 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 08:40 PM

Older posts say it will return in summer 2013.

I don't know what posts you're referring to, but this was never stated, nor accepted on BZP. Maybe someone might have said that at one point (I don't recall it), but "older posts in general" definitely didn't say that. :)

 

All of this begged the question for me: would Bionicle's revival be what we hoped?

What do we hope? Or did we? Almost certainly different people have different hopes as to that just as they did with the different years and sets etc. while it was still continuing.

 

My general advice is never to put too much weight in expectations. Statistics is against most such hopes. Usually it's better to keep an open mind and wait and see what comes and then judge it anew at that time (if it happens). :)

 

Of course, it's fine to hope for some basic quality and similarity to what it was before, but keep in mind the tastes of the target audience if a return does happen will differ from the average tastes of the audience in the past. (And maybe some of us would like that even better, just saying, "quality" is to some extent subjective.)

 

1. It wouldn't be meant for the same audience. Hero Factory was obviously aimed for younger kids. The older fans would be incredibly disappointed, I would think.

Your first sentence is right, but both Bionicle and HF were aimed at young kids. As LEGO in general is (for the most part). The tricky part is that future kids (due to changes in culture, technological advances, etc.) will want slightly different things (maybe even radically different things) on average than kids of the same age range in past generations.

 

There would be more simple good vs evil and good always triumphs, stuff like that. Also probably less death.

There's really no way to be sure. It's the future, and the future has a way of being unpredictable. For example, there's an often-noticed trend for current young generations to seem to "grow up faster" than previous generations, again largely due to technology. Also, we've seen on BZP in the past that often it was older fans objecting to there being more death and violence, not the younger fans.

 

Also, in Bionicle good always triumphs in the end too, like any story by LEGO (and most stories in general :P). Evil wins for a time sometimes, and the amount of time might vary. I do doubt it would last as long as Terry's reign. But HF has had baddies seeming to win for a while.

 

2. We don't know what it would be like. The story could derive completely from the original story. Even if that's a good thing, then how will the original story be incorporated? It would be pretty difficult to completely ignore the huge war of Light and Shadow.

It's equally true that we don't know what new lines, or continuations of HF, Ninjago, Chima, whatnot will be like. I don't see this as relevant to whether Bionicle should make a return.

 

The rest of this quote is more relevant -- would (or should) it be closer to the old story or farther? I honestly don't know. I go back and forth on it, personally. I think ultimately, anything can work. What really matters is execution.

 

3. The Universe is too big. Assuming #2 is null and void, then anybody that didn't grow up with Bionicle wouldn't be able to absorb it all.

I presume you're alluding to the problem of late story that it got too complex with too many character threads, etc. But this was a mistake in execution, not in size of the universe. A new story doesn't HAVE to incorporate little updates in all the lives of people we met before. It could work a lot like the recent reboot of Star Trek, which included some cameos and references to the old story only when it was enjoyable to do so, when it was relevant to the new story. Otherwise, it just spent its time telling its own story.

 

Think of it as 2001 in reverse -- in the original story we didn't get updates on all characters and locations that were to be focused on in the future. The same can work for things in the past. Just treat new story "locally". And if it lasts long enough then it can spread out and explore other things.

 

One point I do agree on is that it would probably be bad if they are just constantly adding totally new species and the like, as was usually done in the continuing years previously. Part of why I think the end was timely is the number of new species had reached a tipping point where if they added much more it would be more of a burden to try to keep up with it. But new story need not do that. They could have Toa, Glatorian, Agori, and Matoran versus some new enemy for example, and ignore just about anything else.

 

Since #1 will probably be true, the expanded multiverse (insert overly complicated and gigantic photo of multiverse here)

Okay, I gotta ask. :P Are you here talking about the "Expanded Multiverse" that Swert and I run or is this just an unfortunate choice of words? :P

 

Assuming the latter, again, new story need not touch alternate timelines in the slightest, or even the alien planets, etc. Or it could take place just on one alien planet... whatever they want. The choice of focus really doesn't matter -- what matters is this: Do they keep it simple and is it fun? :) It's all in how they do it.

 

 

All that said, I consider it unlikely Bionicle will return in the foreseeable future. There's a chance, as I've said before, that many years from now as the majority of older fans are now parents of target-age kids, to get a "hey I loved Bionicle maybe my kid will" boost. But how likely this is (or how not totally unlikely) is unclear, and LEGO has said there are no such plans. So if it ever does come back, I think it'll be something more like decades later, when different management takes over, and then it's just a gamble as to whether they have different ideas than current management (nothing against them, just saying that this seems to be the only way LEGO's current decision on it would be reversed).

 

Really what I hope is that they'll come up with some new line that comes close to Bionicle's quality and rich story (not the later constant update complexity stuff), which so far none of the others have come close (maybe Ninjago but as partial comedy, minifigs, so not the same genre). I'm satisfied with the story arc Bionicle told (other than preferring the current serials to be eventually tied up).


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#5 Offline darkslizer

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 10:17 PM

Okay, first, Bionicle's return was never officially on BZP, from what I can tell, and so it isn't really official news. However, it was and still is rampant across the Internet. Second, what most people hoped. This is mostly referring to a proper ending, and not the one we got. Maybe a definite ending for the Toa Mahri. (I don't really know how popular of a topic that is, but still). Third, Bionicle was originally made for the same age group, but you can tell that it eventually gets darker and more complicated, and so not totally appropriate for the current audience of Hero Factory. Maybe Hero Factory will become the same way, but as of yet, nothing f the like has happened. Fourth, obviously there is no way to know, that would be creepy if I or someone else besides the designers, writers, etc. knew about that. Fifth, really nothing to add.Sixth, yes. That is what I meant. The literal size doesn't matter, and I don't think it ever will, but the storyline would be very hard to understand, I think, for someone who didn't grow up with it. But yeah, new species and little character updates do seem a little unnecessary at the moment.Seventh, yes, that was an unfortunate choice of words, wasn't it? I meant to say the large collection of Alternate Universes, like the Kingdom, Melding Alternate Universe, etc. Hopefully that cleared up any small mistakes I made in the original post. Thanks, Bones, for pointing out my errors. I really appreciate when people do that. (I swear I'm not trying to sound sarcastic. I really do mean it!)Sorry if this is really confusing to read. This website's format and functionality change quite a bit from computer to iOS. I don't have a reliable quote button.

Edited by darkslizer, Jul 17 2013 - 10:19 PM.

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#6 Offline man774

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 11:11 PM

1. It wouldn't be meant for the same audience. Hero Factory was obviously aimed for younger kids. The older fans would be incredibly disappointed, I would think. There would be more simple good vs evil and good always triumphs, stuff like that. Also probably less death. 

Well, I think part of the reason there is less death in HF than in bionicle is because Hero Factory is a giant police department. They arrest criminals. There was death in bionicle because Teridax is a tyrannical warlord, not a thief (well, not as his main profession, anyways). Death just wouldn't make too much sense in HF because of story line reasons (and lack of characters.) I don't think it's fair to judge what a new bionicle story would be like based of HF, when the only real similarity is being constractions. 

 

 

Anyways, I want bionicle to come back. Not yet, but eventually. And if I'm half way through life by then, I'll still buy. If Bionicle comes back the day I die, I will pull my son close to my head, grab a lego catalogue, and whisper, "My dying wish is for you to buy all these."

Whelp, that's all I got. Thoughts? Feelings? And please keep the cultism to a minimum, if you please.

 

heh heh, what ever do you mean?

 

*slyly hides pitchfork and torch*


Edited by man774, Jul 17 2013 - 11:09 PM.

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#7 Offline Tahu's Courage

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 11:32 PM

To be honest with you, I think Bionicle ended the way it did because of the way Lego handled it. Lego intended it to be a toy franchise, for the most part, and that's how it made them money. While it's true that the story became interesting at the beginning and turned out to be pretty good up until 2009, I think Lego placed a few restrictions that caused Bionicle's downfall.

 

The first three Bionicle movies were really good. The animation team that made the movies bought the characters to life and helped us to understand them better. There were a few good books too, but I feel that the movies helped to capture Bionicle's essence in such a way that the books couldn't. That's just my opinion.

If Bionicle lasted longer, I wouldn't want to see it degraded down to such a lighthearted toyline with a terrible plot. Bionicle's last major year, 2009 (with 2010 being the real last year, except there weren't many sets), emphasized way too much on the toys than the story.

 

The people who wanted to maximize profit obviously turned to the toys more than anything else. And who usually buys toys for the most part? Kids. That's why The Legend Reborn was so... terrible. I never really cared for any of the characters in that movie. The kids don't really care much for plot since it's too hard to understand.

 

I wish there were more Bionicle movies made by the old animation team. The quality of the animation would obviously improve as the years would go by, but they would've bought the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 storylines to life. Even if they didn't go all the way to 2009, I'm sure that at least one more film about 2006 would've been great. If Bionicle would've lasted long with nothing going wrong, and the plot never decreasing in quality, then I think it'd still be here. In order for that to happen, however, the team that was working on Bionicle would've had to have more influence on the line's development. Lego would've had to stay out of it. And naturally, Lego didn't. While Lego is a great toy line, you have to remember that many of the themes that they originally make aren't meant to last forever. The quality of the theme's storyline is irrelevant to Lego if they want to maximize sales and profit, so if a theme ends, regardless of how long it lasts, Lego will just make another theme.

 

If a franchise belonging to Lego ends, it doesn't affect the company that much. They are primarily a company that makes toys, which like I have said before, are bought by children, who are the primary consumers. They are amazed more at how awesome the set is, not the storyline.

 

And even if Bionicle was still here today, it'd have to be a completely different thing of its own if it were to last for a much longer time. It wouldn't be able to always focus on toys, so the team would have to work on movies, books, and video games that appeal to an older audience. That's when the quality of the storyline matters, including the depth of its characters.

 

If Bionicle were to come back, I wouldn't want it to be a lighthearted kiddified version. I'd want it to be better than before, maintaining its vast storyline and adding more awesome things to itself. 


Edited by Tahu's Courage, Jul 17 2013 - 11:34 PM.

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#8 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 17 2013 - 11:36 PM

Thanks for clarifying. That helps. ^_^

 

Re: quotes -- the format you used works; I use that style sometimes (I guess I kinda am right here, heh). You can also always use quote marks if you want. Or you can type out the code:

[quote][/quote]

etc. But I usually just paste the part I want to quote into my post, select it, then click the quote button (the one that looks like a speech bubble). Hope this helps. :)

 

 

 

Re: darker -- well, at the time when this was done (which was partially thanks to points we made on BZP), our reasoning was that the target age would accept more intense action, violence (as long as it's not glorified), and a darker theme. So that change wasn't necessarily meant to "age with the fans" (as it was sometimes called). And I notice that HF has a lot of onscreen "fantasy violence" along those lines, actually. Arguably far more than Bionicle ever showed in animated media percentagewise, even in the later years. I think the big difference is we haven't yet seen anything as dark as Terry's takeover or the Hordika thing.

 

BTW, re: bad guys winning, actually with Breakout, many of the bad guys did have small-scale victories similar to Teridax's win; only a few were rounded up at the close of that part of the story. It closed with the ominous reminder that many were still out there seeking their own schemes. Again that's not at the same level as Teridax but food for thought. :) (Besides, if LEGO did another big bad guy apparent huge win this soon it would probably just be repetitive.)

 

If Bionicle comes back the day I die, I will pull my son close to my head, grab a lego catalogue, and whisper, "My dying wish is for you to buy all these."

Amen brothuh!

 

 

The quality of the theme's storyline is irrelevant to Lego if they want to maximize sales and profit, so if a theme ends, regardless of how long it lasts, Lego will just make another theme.

I'd be cautious with these kinds of blanket statements. They were often made while Bionicle was still around and the counterpoints then are still true today -- surely whatever is objective quality, within reason, is helpful to profit (the basic concept of Bionicle as a quality story that helps sell sets, versus a generic and insubstantial one like Slizers, showed this, and it's held true with other new lines like Ninjago, though as different genres). And secondly, "quality" is to some extent subjective, so what appeals to the kids more than adults is often really a higher quality toy and kid's story, since it's for them.

 

So I would definitely not say "irrelevant." Really a huge percentage of what LEGO was concerned with was always quality, both in the objective and subjective senses, and still is, even with lines like HF (really, sometimes I think we turn HF into somewhat of a punching bag, more than it deserves; the stories are enjoyable to me at least, but clearly a somewhat different genre than Bionicle).

 

Anyways, maybe I'm making too much of your word choice, just hoping to add to the discussion. ^_^


Edited by bonesiii, Jul 17 2013 - 11:44 PM.

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#9 Offline Tahu's Courage

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for clarifying. That helps. ^_^

 

Re: quotes -- the format you used works; I use that style sometimes (I guess I kinda am right here, heh). You can also always use quote marks if you want. Or you can type out the code:

[quote][/quote]

etc. But I usually just paste the part I want to quote into my post, select it, then click the quote button (the one that looks like a speech bubble). Hope this helps. :)

 

 

 

Re: darker -- well, at the time when this was done (which was partially thanks to points we made on BZP), our reasoning was that the target age would accept more intense action, violence (as long as it's not glorified), and a darker theme. So that change wasn't necessarily meant to "age with the fans" (as it was sometimes called). And I notice that HF has a lot of onscreen "fantasy violence" along those lines, actually. Arguably far more than Bionicle ever showed in animated media percentagewise, even in the later years. I think the big difference is we haven't yet seen anything as dark as Terry's takeover or the Hordika thing.

 

BTW, re: bad guys winning, actually with Breakout, many of the bad guys did have small-scale victories similar to Teridax's win; only a few were rounded up at the close of that part of the story. It closed with the ominous reminder that many were still out there seeking their own schemes. Again that's not at the same level as Teridax but food for thought. :) (Besides, if LEGO did another big bad guy apparent huge win this soon it would probably just be repetitive.)

 

If Bionicle comes back the day I die, I will pull my son close to my head, grab a lego catalogue, and whisper, "My dying wish is for you to buy all these."

Amen brothuh!

 

 

The quality of the theme's storyline is irrelevant to Lego if they want to maximize sales and profit, so if a theme ends, regardless of how long it lasts, Lego will just make another theme.

I'd be cautious with these kinds of blanket statements. They were often made while Bionicle was still around and the counterpoints then are still true today -- surely whatever is objective quality, within reason, is helpful to profit (the basic concept of Bionicle as a quality story that helps sell sets, versus a generic and insubstantial one like Slizers, showed this, and it's held true with other new lines like Ninjago, though as different genres). And secondly, "quality" is to some extent subjective, so what appeals to the kids more than adults is often really a higher quality toy and kid's story, since it's for them.

 

So I would definitely not say "irrelevant." Really a huge percentage of what LEGO was concerned with was always quality, both in the objective and subjective senses, and still is, even with lines like HF (really, sometimes I think we turn HF into somewhat of a punching bag, more than it deserves; the stories are enjoyable to me at least, but clearly a somewhat different genre than Bionicle).

 

Anyways, maybe I'm making too much of your word choice, just hoping to add to the discussion. ^_^

I never really meant to say that Bionicle's quality of the toys were terrible, and I don't think there's anything wrong with Lego making themes intended for children. All their toys are great quality, but I do still feel that Bionicle's storyline could have been better.

 

Lego remains as my favorite toy brand, and you can always use your imagination with Lego toys. It's a toy with no limits. Bionicle, though, had an excellent storyline, but I feel that it lost some of that depth during its last few years. There's many people like me who agree on this, and you do have to admit that they did make some mistakes. True, Bionicle's toys have made Lego quite a bit of money because of the quality, and HF is also doing good for Lego, because if it wasn't, HF would've only lasted a year after it came out.

 

HF is different and is targeted at a different age group, which is why a lot of Bionicle fans don't like it. I think the HF sets are pretty cool, but I'm not interested in it because it's not like Bionicle. Even if it was a little bit like Bionicle, it still wouldn't have much of a good storyline for an older audience. It's not the quality of the toys I'm talking about, it's how the story never really got to be expressed much other than books, and more stories placed on the internet.

 

I like a plot with depth and characters you care about, so I feel that Bionicle's storyline, which did appeal to an older audience, should've been expressed in more movies. Yes, I know, some of you prefer books. I love books too, but wouldn't it be cool if there were some movies based off of the books? The books about the Toa Nuva's downfall on Voya Nui, and the Toa Inika's battles with the Piraka, could all have been in one movie. The plots in the books had a lot of conflict, and the old animation team that worked on the first three Bionicle movies would have made such a film as good as the books.

 

I just like the idea of seeing some of our favorite Bionicle characters coming to life on screen.


Edited by Tahu's Courage, Jul 18 2013 - 10:16 AM.

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#10 Offline Taipu1

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 12:16 PM

I don't think anything Lego can do will appeal to the current fans of Bionicle anymore.  The story is what we like, but it's too complex for new audiences, so Lego are missing out on a much larger market.  My only hope for the future of Bionicle is that Greg will some day take the time to finish the serials.  Unlikely, but that's all I want anymore.  Completion. 

 

Of course, Lego might revive it.  But if they do, it will be have to be set far from the current story, so as to avoid having to use the previous story to explain too much.  New fans aren't going to want to delve through a decades convoluted plot. 

 

An alternative to this would be a 100% reboot.  Lego bring out the original sets, probably in a new more modern form, similar to the HF system, and do a story retelling, allowing Greg to iron out any of the contradictions the storyline had originally.  Its an unlikely alternative and it's flawed.  What drew fans into Bionicle was the story, and if its a retelling of the story, then there's never any mystery of what's going on.  I'd be surprised if they chose to do this, I'd think it would be a pretty poor business choice. 

 

Most likely scenario is that Lego bring back the Bionicle name alone, perhaps with some characters like Takanuva appearing as battlehardened and experienced characters, whose past isn't relevant to the new plot. 


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#11 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 12:19 PM

If it was my call, yes. They totally should. Bionicle still has a whole bunch of untapped potential to use, and Lego shouldn't miss out on it. (Why miss out on all that fun? :) That makes no sense at all. [/totallybiasedfanopinion])But it's not my call (yet? :P). So I'll take whatever cake I can get.

Edited by fishers64, Jul 18 2013 - 12:28 PM.

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#12 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 02:20 PM

HF is different and is targeted at a different age group, which is why a lot of Bionicle fans don't like it. I think the HF sets are pretty cool, but I'm not interested in it because it's not like Bionicle. Even if it was a little bit like Bionicle, it still wouldn't have much of a good storyline for an older audience. It's not the quality of the toys I'm talking about, it's how the story never really got to be expressed much other than books, and more stories placed on the internet. I like a plot with depth and characters you care about, so I feel that Bionicle's storyline, which did appeal to an older audience, should've been expressed in more movies. Yes, I know, some of you prefer books. I love books too, but wouldn't it be cool if there were some movies based off of the books? The books about the Toa Nuva's downfall on Voya Nui, and the Toa Inika's battles with the Piraka, could all have been in one movie. The plots in the books had a lot of conflict, and the old animation team that worked on the first three Bionicle movies would have made such a film as good as the books. I just like the idea of seeing some of our favorite Bionicle characters coming to life on screen.

Have you read any of the Hero Factory books by Greg Farshtey? They touch on some fairly dark subject matter and are really not considerably different than the BIONICLE books except for taking place in a different universe with different characters. I think most BIONICLE fans would enjoy them. They're fairly cheap (less expensive than Hero Factory sets, even), and if you're REALLY not willing to pay for one without first knowing whether you like it, you can always use the old "sit in a bookstore and read the whole thing a few chapters before buying it" approach. Overall, though, I think fans of Greg Farshtey's BIONICLE stories would like his Hero Factory chapter books.Generally, I won't say BIONICLE "should" or "shouldn't" be revived. The issues mentioned in the first post (besides the target age range; that's more or less the same for both themes) are obstacles, but they are not insurmountable obstacles. If a BIONICLE reboot had as much thought and planning put into it as the original release of the BIONICLE theme, then it could easily be made to appeal to a new generation of fans. The question, then, is "Would that be worth the effort?" And this is the real obstacle I think BIONICLE would face. BIONICLE did not become successful by sheer luck. The idea may have been created more or less from scratch, but the point stands that the idea was created. It didn't come from nowhere. All the thought and planning that went into it paid off over the course of many years.So if a team of talented writers, designers, artists, and marketers could create an amazing theme like BIONICLE from scratch, who's to say they can't do it again? Furthermore, what exactly do they have to gain by putting so much time and effort into reviving an old theme when the same time and effort could be put into creating something brand-new with the same freshness and originality BIONICLE had when it was first created? That's the biggest obstacle a BIONICLE revival would face. BIONICLE has brand-name recognition on its side, but that's not usually a factor in reviving a theme concept. LEGO Space Police, for instance, has been revived twice, but not because it was trying to appeal to people who recognized the name but rather because the name and the concept it represents are timeless. Police... in space! Any kid can relate to that in one way or another!Also, when BIONICLE was brand-new there was a niche for such a product that no existing products were really filling. There were no other character-driven action figure sets that were commanding a whole lot of attention at that time. Currently that is not the case. Hero Factory has proven successful for several years, though, thanks to improved sales of themes like LEGO City, LEGO Creator, and LEGO Technic, it's not the company's most successful theme like BIONICLE was for a while. A BIONICLE revival could conceivably be introduced once Hero Factory is on its way out, but who knows how long that will be? Furthermore, who knows whether conditions will be right for that sort of theme at that point?So overall, I don't want to play the Internet's guessing game of "when will BIONICLE come back?" Frankly, we don't know if conditions will EVER be right for it to come back. Nor is there any sort of indicator fans can use to predict that kind of thing unless the LEGO Group starts dropping conspicuous hints themselves. Most theories that "BIONICLE is coming back next year/the year after that" have hinged on predictions of Hero Factory ending, but those predictions have consistently been proven wrong, and an ending for Hero Factory hardly guarantees a new lease on life for BIONICLE. Better to just wait and see what happens, and in the meantime just keep doing whatever BIONICLE's legacy has inspired us to do.

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#13 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 06:49 PM

Bionicle, though, had an excellent storyline, but I feel that it lost some of that depth during its last few years. There's many people like me who agree on this, and you do have to admit that they did make some mistakes.

Sure. I've documented most of the major ones on my blog and past posts. My point was that to say that quality is irrelevant takes it too far... but the horse is probably dead so yeah. ^_^

 

[color=#023601;font-style:normal;]An alternative to this would be a 100% reboot.  Lego bring out the original sets, probably in a new more modern form[/color]

Not just probably -- if they go for starting over at the start of the same basic story, they would never try the exact same sets, at least not exactly all the same lineup. Maybe a classic here and there, but if they were all the same, first of all LEGO learned lessons from many such things they wouldn't want to act like they unlearned (like the Rahi sets were unpopular as they were done), and second there'd be too much risk of hand-me-downs reducing sales.

 

[color=#023601;font-style:normal;]perhaps with some characters like Takanuva appearing as battlehardened and experienced characters, whose past isn't relevant to the new plot. [/color]

This! We never did, apparently, find out what his actual Toa destiny was (if memory serves), so that could work.

 

 

Agreed with Aanchir, while I'm posting anyways might as well say, that when HF ends (assuming it does :P), almost certainly LEGO will try to replace it with another new line and see if they can get that one to do better than HF, maybe comparable to Bionicle, without being Bionicle. At the earliest I'd only look for after that (basically unpredictable) line might they seriously consider a return.


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#14 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 09:14 PM

I'd actually be okay if it "wasn't the same" as long as it kept it's defining factors: complex sets, complex and dark story, awesome music, and bad video games (though if they changed that last one, I wouldn't mind too much :P

My problem is, LEGO probably won't make it dark unless they specifically aim it for the 13+ market (though I wouldn't mind that either).

 

I'd be okay if it only had VERY small and loose ties to the original story (let's say it's 1,000,000,000,000's of years later, and no one remembers anything.)

 

EDIT: And this revival must be a long way down the road. I don't want anything in the next 8 years at least.


Edited by Ghabulous Ghoti, Jul 18 2013 - 09:14 PM.

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#15 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jul 18 2013 - 11:31 PM

Generally, I won't say BIONICLE "should" or "shouldn't" be revived. The issues mentioned in the first post (besides the target age range; that's more or less the same for both themes) are obstacles, but they are not insurmountable obstacles. If a BIONICLE reboot had as much thought and planning put into it as the original release of the BIONICLE theme, then it could easily be made to appeal to a new generation of fans. The question, then, is "Would that be worth the effort?" And this is the real obstacle I think BIONICLE would face. BIONICLE did not become successful by sheer luck. The idea may have been created more or less from scratch, but the point stands that the idea was created. It didn't come from nowhere. All the thought and planning that went into it paid off over the course of many years.So if a team of talented writers, designers, artists, and marketers could create an amazing theme like BIONICLE from scratch, who's to say they can't do it again? Furthermore, what exactly do they have to gain by putting so much time and effort into reviving an old theme when the same time and effort could be put into creating something brand-new with the same freshness and originality BIONICLE had when it was first created?That's the biggest obstacle a BIONICLE revival would face. BIONICLE has brand-name recognition on its side, but that's not usually a factor in reviving a theme concept. LEGO Space Police, for instance, has been revived twice, but not because it was trying to appeal to people who recognized the name but rather because the name and the concept it represents are timeless. Police... in space! Any kid can relate to that in one way or another!Also, when BIONICLE was brand-new there was a niche for such a product that no existing products were really filling. There were no other character-driven action figure sets that were commanding a whole lot of attention at that time. Currently that is not the case. Hero Factory has proven successful for several years, though, thanks to improved sales of themes like LEGO City, LEGO Creator, and LEGO Technic, it's not the company's most successful theme like BIONICLE was for a while. A BIONICLE revival could conceivably be introduced once Hero Factory is on its way out, but who knows how long that will be? Furthermore, who knows whether conditions will be right for that sort of theme at that point?So overall, I don't want to play the Internet's guessing game of "when will BIONICLE come back?" Frankly, we don't know if conditions will EVER be right for it to come back. Nor is there any sort of indicator fans can use to predict that kind of thing unless the LEGO Group starts dropping conspicuous hints themselves. Most theories that "BIONICLE is coming back next year/the year after that" have hinged on predictions of Hero Factory ending, but those predictions have consistently been proven wrong, and an ending for Hero Factory hardly guarantees a new lease on life for BIONICLE. Better to just wait and see what happens, and in the meantime just keep doing whatever BIONICLE's legacy has inspired us to do.

I agree with most of this, bad jokes of mine aside. Still, the part I bolded is a very old argument of mine, which I am now surprised to see bones agree with (why oh why must I have such a long memory? :P). That doesn't change the fact that I still think it's somewhat valid. (Despite the counterarguement by bones that older fan recognition would boost sales compared to a brand new theme.)But since I note this, dumb question: Would it be easier to fashion a Bionicle return than would be it be to create an entirely new theme from the hole in the wall? I mean, there's already story, characters, logos, building styles, etc, established already, and I tend to find that it's easier to pick from something that's there, rather than work from an infinite range of possibilities. (Or is that just me?)

Edited by fishers64, Jul 19 2013 - 09:10 AM.

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#16 Offline The Real Slim Shady

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 01:33 AM

I have mixed feelings about this. It would be really ice to see Bionicle back, but at the same time, I'm pretty sure that it would basically be Hero Factory sets with the Bionicle logo slapped on it, or if they actually brought back the older sets, they would have lost their nostalgia, and I'd feel like a moron for spending $150 on Vezon & Kardas.


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#17 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 12:51 PM

I agree with most of this, bad jokes of mine aside. Still, the part I bolded is a very old argument of mine, which I am now surprised to see bones agree with (why oh why must I have such a long memory? :P). That doesn't change the fact that I still think it's somewhat valid. (Despite the counterarguement by bones that older fan recognition would boost sales compared to a brand new theme.)But since I note this, dumb question: Would it be easier to fashion a Bionicle return than would be it be to create an entirely new theme from the hole in the wall? I mean, there's already story, characters, logos, building styles, etc, established already, and I tend to find that it's easier to pick from something that's there, rather than work from an infinite range of possibilities. (Or is that just me?)

Well, pre-existing characters and storylines can be like shackles in a certain sense. Since BIONICLE was a line for kids and would probably still be a line for kids when/if it comes back, you thankfully don't have to deal much with an issue that afflicts some reboots: people who remember or are at least familiar with the original bashing your reboot for being inauthentic. Chances are, your target audience won't know much about BIONICLE besides what toys and books they've received as hand-me-downs. They won't likely have any emotional connection to the old BIONICLE.But BIONICLE was targeted very specifically at a different generation than the kids within the same age range today. As such, you'd likely have to change things if you want to target today's generation of kids with that very same specificity. You're walking a tightrope with that one: how much can you change things before it's no longer worthwhile to use the existing framework? To a great extent, the original appeal of BIONICLE came from its mysteries and its originality. But reboot it, and you can no longer use the same mysteries — if you do, they will no longer be mysterious to anyone doing the slightest research. And its nature as a reboot would automatically mean it is no longer as original or novel as BIONICLE was in 2001. The universe and characters would not be new, but rather borrowed.Even if you create new settings and characters, the fundamental basis of the BIONICLE story was biomechanical heroes fighting with elemental powers to save a universe that was itself biological in design. Change those details, and suddenly... what makes this new story BIONICLE? The only thing you will be keeping in that case is a familiar brand name. And if you need to depend on that, how can you ever say your story is as powerful as the old BIONICLE, which succeeded with a name nobody had ever heard before?On the other hand, if you create a brand-new theme with a brand-new story, your only limitations are the ones that affect any theme like budget, brand standards, and the preferences of your audience. Ninjago is a good example of how effective it can be to craft a theme from the ground up. It's often much easier and more effective to research exactly what ideas appeal to the audience you desire than to take ideas aimed at a different audience and warp them into something a new audience will enjoy. With a new brand name you get a fresh start, which is important in this age of information — people looking for information on the brand will find the information YOU have consciously created for them, not unrelated information that will simply confuse them. And nobody will have any kind of preconceptions about your new brand, which means it is free to prove itself instead of being shackled to people's memories of an earlier brand.This doesn't mean with a new theme you can't apply lessons learned in earlier ones. Ninjago's elemental heroes perhaps drew some inspiration from the appeal of BIONICLE's elemental heroes, even though color-coded elemental warriors are hardly something BIONICLE invented. Even BIONICLE was heavily inspired by lessons learned from Throwbots and RoboRiders. But it pays to give yourself and your audience a fresh start.

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#18 Offline XONAR

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 01:36 PM

For BIONICLE to return, Lego would really have to be careful about their choices in order for it to succeed and not ruin it for the old fans. If a reboot was going to be done, I think a prequel set in pre-Shattering Spherus Magna could be ideal, or maybe a storyline set in the very far future. Either way, there would have to be a new set of characters, but the old ones shouldn't just be forgotten. Perhaps the current serials could be continued and finished up in parallel to the new storyline for the old fans. Another option would be to go to another BIONICLE world, similar to Bara Magna of 2009, but even further separated from the Matoran Universe so all the characters would be new, and they would have to change up the feel of the storyline more to go back to the mysterious feel of the early years.

 

As for the sets, Lego would need to return to the unique function based designs from pre 2006. I agree with a lot of other people that say the whole Inika body "monopoly" was a great downfall for BIONICLE. 

 

Also, I agree with what Aanchir said here:

 

 

But BIONICLE was targeted very specifically at a different generation than the kids within the same age range today. As such, you'd likely have to change things if you want to target today's generation of kids with that very same specificity. You're walking a tightrope with that one: how much can you change things before it's no longer worthwhile to use the existing framework? To a great extent, the original appeal of BIONICLE came from its mysteries and its originality. But reboot it, and you can no longer use the same mysteries — if you do, they will no longer be mysterious to anyone doing the slightest research. And its nature as a reboot would automatically mean it is no longer as original or novel as BIONICLE was in 2001. The universe and characters would not be new, but rather borrowed.Even if you create new settings and characters, the fundamental basis of the BIONICLE story was biomechanical heroes fighting with elemental powers to save a universe that was itself biological in design. Change those details, and suddenly... what makes this new story BIONICLE? The only thing you will be keeping in that case is a familiar brand name. And if you need to depend on that, how can you ever say your story is as powerful as the old BIONICLE, which succeeded with a name nobody had ever heard before?

 

 

I think Lego would still keep BIONICLE's central theme of biomechanical heroes fighting villains to save whatever, although what they are trying to save would be different of course . I think it could still work though. New characters, new world, old mysterious feel. It just seems like a good recipe.

 

But who knows what would happen. All we can do is speculate, make theories, and hope that we may see what really would happen in the future.


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#19 Offline ~garnira returns~

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 05:20 PM

Sorry if this isn't in the right place, but it seems the most appropriate.I have been researching this lately, about Bionicle's revival. Older posts say it will return in summer 2013. It looks like that isn't going to happen. I've also seen stuff about 2015. I mean, who knows? But still, unlikely. All of this begged the question for me: would Bionicle's revival be what we hoped? I can't say it will because of the following reasons:1. It wouldn't be meant for the same audience. Hero Factory was obviously aimed for younger kids. The older fans would be incredibly disappointed, I would think. There would be more simple good vs evil and good always triumphs, stuff like that. Also probably less death.2. We don't know what it would be like. The story could derive completely from the original story. Even if that's a good thing, then how will the original story be incorporated? It would be pretty difficult to completely ignore the huge war of Light and Shadow.3. The Universe is too big. Assuming #2 is null and void, then anybody that didn't grow up with Bionicle wouldn't be able to absorb it all. Heck, I can barely deal with everything like alternate universes and crazy things that weren't part of the main storyline. Things done "off camera" if you will. Since #1 will probably be true, the expanded multiverse (insert overly complicated and gigantic photo of multiverse here) will blow up the heads (figuratively) of children. It's simply too much to comprehend.Whelp, that's all I got. Thoughts? Feelings? And please keep the cultism to a minimum, if you please.

Honestly, I can see where they could take the story from here, but it would all matter on if they pulled it off right. In the end, yes I feel it should be brought back.  -_-


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#20 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 05:37 PM

Furthermore, what exactly do they have to gain by putting so much time and effort into reviving an old theme when the same time and effort could be put into creating something brand-new with the same freshness and originality BIONICLE had when it was first created?

Still, the part I bolded is a very old argument of mine, which I am now surprised to see bones agree with... (Despite the counterarguement by bones that older fan recognition would boost sales compared to a brand new theme.)

Might as well add, for the record, the part in bold there is basically what I've been saying since shortly after Bionicle ended and the very good point was made by LEGO that it didn't have the "new factor".

 

My point that fan recognition might boost sales was never meant as a counterargument to this but merely an accurate answer to the question of what are the most likely scenarios for a return? :) I probably worded it poorly originally, and some took exception to that, validly pointing out that it's really more of what's less unlikely. (I originally pointed out two opportunities -- an almost immediate and very brief conclusion-type return, which now the time for that has passed, and the future-parents thing, which is still possible. The latter can also have nearly as much new factor because it'll be just as new to future generations as the first was to us.)

 

Just in case any of that was unclear. ^_^

 

 

But since I note this, dumb question: Would it be easier to fashion a Bionicle return than would be it be to create an entirely new theme from the hole in the wall? I mean, there's already story, characters, logos, building styles, etc, established already, and I tend to find that it's easier to pick from something that's there, rather than work from an infinite range of possibilities. (Or is that just me?)

It really depends on what idea they come up with.

 

I think a cool but "unique and central" idea like Chima's core usually works best as its own line, for example. Hero Factory too. If they come up with such an idea, mixing it with the backstory already there for Bionicle could work, but would it feel as coherent? Not necessarily.

 

But if they come up with an idea that feels very akin to Bionicle, but would also be unique enough that it might not feel like a rehash, then yes it could be easier to use it for a return. But still possible that putting a bit more work into it to make it a new line might still be more successful. :shrugs:

 

 

 

Since BIONICLE was a line for kids and would probably still be a line for kids when/if it comes back, you thankfully don't have to deal much with an issue that afflicts some reboots: people who remember or are at least familiar with the original bashing your reboot for being inauthentic

This is probably not relevant since as you say it wouldn't be an issue much (although you should factor parents saying no...), but do you get the sense as I do that the vast, vast majority of people are over that sort of thing now? True reboots are now common and often successful and almost always change major things (Galactica and Five-0 come to mind). And "continuations" I would think would be even more accepted because nobody would expect it to be exactly the same anyways (Star Trek walks the line between both). Star Wars did seem to get a lot of that, but did it ever really harm anything or was it a few vocal outliers? After all, they did two more after the first prequel/return and now they're planning true continuations. Then there's the continuing Halo series... etc.

 

So basically, I'm having trouble thinking of recent unsuccessful returns/reboots, as long as they're executed well, due to the "grumpy old folks" factor. :P Seems to me even most older fans tend to enjoy reboots as well as new fans.

 

And... gotta cut this off here; outta time.


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#21 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 07:00 PM

I might ask - what solid reason is there for Lego to bring Bionicle back? Look at it from their point of view - its profitability was hit and miss, they haven't suffered any financial trouble since its end, and their current themes are doing well. Why would Lego ever want to go back?

 

Please don't say "it would make a lot of people on here happy", because global companies that deal with millions of people don't make decisions based on the desires of a few thousand website members.


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#22 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jul 19 2013 - 10:01 PM

Furthermore, what exactly do they have to gain by putting so much time and effort into reviving an old theme when the same time and effort could be put into creating something brand-new with the same freshness and originality BIONICLE had when it was first created?

Still, the part I bolded is a very old argument of mine, which I am now surprised to see bones agree with... (Despite the counterarguement by bones that older fan recognition would boost sales compared to a brand new theme.)
Might as well add, for the record, the part in bold there is basically what I've been saying since shortly after Bionicle ended and the very good point was made by LEGO that it didn't have the "new factor". My point that fan recognition might boost sales was never meant as a counterargument to this but merely an accurate answer to the question of what are the most likely scenarios for a return? :) I probably worded it poorly originally, and some took exception to that, validly pointing out that it's really more of what's less unlikely. (I originally pointed out two opportunities -- an almost immediate and very brief conclusion-type return, which now the time for that has passed, and the future-parents thing, which is still possible. The latter can also have nearly as much new factor because it'll be just as new to future generations as the first was to us.) Just in case any of that was unclear. ^_^  

But since I note this, dumb question: Would it be easier to fashion a Bionicle return than would be it be to create an entirely new theme from the hole in the wall? I mean, there's already story, characters, logos, building styles, etc, established already, and I tend to find that it's easier to pick from something that's there, rather than work from an infinite range of possibilities. (Or is that just me?)

It really depends on what idea they come up with. I think a cool but "unique and central" idea like Chima's core usually works best as its own line, for example. Hero Factory too. If they come up with such an idea, mixing it with the backstory already there for Bionicle could work, but would it feel as coherent? Not necessarily. But if they come up with an idea that feels very akin to Bionicle, but would also be unique enough that it might not feel like a rehash, then yes it could be easier to use it for a return. But still possible that putting a bit more work into it to make it a new line might still be more successful. :shrugs:.
Okay, now I'm really glad I brought this up. :) Another misconception of mine debunked. Yayz! (I suppose I should re-look at a certain old discussion or two and count up all my mental errors. :P)Anyway, is that how development works at Lego?*random employee shows up* "I have an idea for a Lego theme." *blurts out idea**other employee* "That idea could work for a Bionicle return."*cue long discussion*I thought it would be more like someone calling a meeting. "Hey guys, we were thinking a Bionicle return might be nice. Any ideas?"*GregF sticks his head in the door* "Was somebody looking for me?":PI suppose both eventualities are possible. I think the bottom line answer to should is "Do they (Lego) think it's profitable and do they want to?" Right now the answer is no, for the reasons Aanchir and others have mentioned.

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#23 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 02:18 AM

I was running on the presumption -- or hope -- that they wouldn't want to go ahead with a Bionicle return unless a good idea had already been presented. But either approach is possible -- I'd just hope that if they did the latter they'd be smart enough not to go for the ideas if they honestly don't seem quality enough.

 

Re: Kohran's question -- other than the sales boost thing, no clear reason, but that may be reason enough.

 

Plotwise, I think they'd be taking a major gamble even if they're sure they have a good idea because a story is defined by its main antagonist and the story we had drew to a close with the permanent death of Makuta. So, assuming they don't do a true reboot, they'd have to have a brand new (read: untested) arc-enemy and in a previously existing story universe that might be risky. But in this case, as Aanchir pointed out, probably not likely to be noticeably risky (unless you get a lot of militant anti-new-foe parents but that seems incredibly unlikely). It may be that it's always less of a gamble to use new arc-enemies with a brand-new universe, as there's more of an open mind to accepting the two together with no preconceived notions.

 

BTW, another point I should have added to the "easier or harder" thing -- keeping track of old factoids to avoid contradictions certainly COULD make a return prohibitively difficult. Star Trek: Enterprise ran into issues like that, for example (and IMO Bionicle itself did near the end, though most fans didn't seem to notice many until more recent months in S&T). Just because the more you add, the more you can forget, and if you wanna get over that problem, that means the more you have to review. Which equals work. Assuming you care. :P


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#24 Offline Tahu's Courage

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 12:28 PM

If it comes back and becomes successful, and appeals to the original fans, it will have new characters but maintain that same theme of the old BIONICLE, despite it's storyline being most likely different. I just hope the sets won't look too much like Hero Factory if it ever does come back.


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#25 Online Kopekemaster

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 01:12 PM

Yeah, as much as I would LOVE it if Bionicle came back, I do realize that it might not be that great.


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#26 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 01:25 PM

If it comes back and becomes successful, and appeals to the original fans, it will have new characters but maintain that same theme of the old BIONICLE, despite it's storyline being most likely different. I just hope the sets won't look too much like Hero Factory if it ever does come back.

It's hard to say. These days we think of BIONICLE having a very unique visual identity of its own, but back when it was new, it was borrowing most recurring elements of its aesthetic from the Throwbots and RoboRiders sets that preceded it, and it kept some of those motifs even as the visual style of the theme continued to evolve over the years.I have no doubt that BIONICLE will keep a building style similar to that of Hero Factory when/if it comes back, because anything else would be a step backward. So it might end up borrowing some Hero Factory parts. But since this is at some indeterminate point in the future, we don't know whether that would be the smooth shells that define Hero Factory's aesthetic currently, or something totally different. Even if it came back in 2014, if it only ended up borrowing Hero Factory's skeleton pieces and introducing brand-new BIONICLE shell pieces, it would be easy for it to have a unique visual identity, because in an aesthetic sense, Hero Factory skeleton beams are essentially just Technic elements without any theme-specific motifs.But would it be to the theme's advantage to introduce a new aesthetic? After all, the basic smooth designs of most Hero Factory shells greatly improve their versatility, compared to the sometimes excessive molded details of many BIONICLE shells and beams. I suppose only the LEGO Group's designers really know for sure whether kids have responded favorably to this smoother aesthetic, or whether the smoother shells offer better opportunities in set design than higher-detail ones did.Also, it might be difficult to create more heavily textured BIONICLE shells that use the same versatile connection points as Hero Factory shells. Even in BIONICLE, maintaining the simplicity of the molds was paramount to the majority of part designs. An ideal piece can be produced from a simple two-section mold without "sliders" that mold detail from additional angles. It can be quite remarkable sometimes to look at certain BIONICLE parts like leg beams and weapons and analyze just how the two mold sections would come together to give each part its distinctive look (now, the gearboxes that served as torsos for sets like the Toa Metru and Toa Mata naturally had more complex molds by necessity — the Toa Mata torso would have required a mold with at least five sections). The same holds true in Hero Factory. Only certain specialized pieces like helmets tend to require more than a basic two-section mold. Creating highly-textured parts of the sort seen in BIONICLE, but designed to fit the Hero Factory building style, could be considerably more difficult.

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#27 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 01:44 PM

I'm actually kinda curious to know how many people would be interested in a BIONICLE return with the simpler building style and simpler story. I would probably not pick up very many sets either way (perhaps one or two in the first year, and if the building pleases me, about the same amount in years to come), and probably wouldn't follow the story too closely if it was simple.


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#28 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 04:37 PM

I'm actually kinda curious to know how many people would be interested in a BIONICLE return with the simpler building style and simpler story. I would probably not pick up very many sets either way (perhaps one or two in the first year, and if the building pleases me, about the same amount in years to come), and probably wouldn't follow the story too closely if it was simple.

A simpler story could possibly work depending on how it's presented. When you think about it, the BIONICLE story in 2001 was a fairly simple "collect the plot coupons and confront the bad guy" story. There were a number of different "races" and "species" to learn, and a very in-depth lexicon, but the actual plot was not especially complicated; certainly nowhere near as complicated as later years where there were books and serials to keep up with. I'd say it was perhaps about on-par with Ninjago as far as complexity was concerned, perhaps even less complicated once you take away the veneer of "otherness" that permeated it.What made 2001 BIONICLE special was how it was presented. The comics were merely snapshots of a larger story, which created in-depth situations that gave you an idea what sort of challenges the Toa might face in the Quest for the Masks. They were not the core story medium. The main story medium was going to be the PC game, but since that never happened the Mata Nui Online Game really took up the mantle, and it was perhaps the most immersive experience out of any form the BIONICLE story ever took in its entire lifespan. You weren't just watching the story: you were an adventurer exploring the island of Mata Nui firsthand and meeting all its key players.2002 and 2003 felt a lot more scripted in contrast. This had advantages and disadvantages. We got to see a lot more of the Toa's adventures in the comics, which was probably a very good thing as far as advertising was concerned, but it made the story feel a bit more scripted. Web animations provided snapshots of how the Matoran were reacting to the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal crises, which added a little bit more depth to the story, but it didn't feel as immersive or thorough as the MNOG. The majority of the appeal came from being able to revisit these familiar settings and characters in a newer, more dangerous context.Between 2003 and 2004 there was a turning point. From then on, the movies and books took over as the core story medium. Comics were more often than not simply telling small pieces of the same story you were getting from the books. When the comics and books did tell different stories, it was sometimes difficult to tell how exactly they were supposed to interlock. The comics in the latter half of 2003 were a good example of this. Figuring out how exactly they connected with the movie BIONICLE: Mask of Light could be a puzzle in and of itself, since they took place at the same time and involved many of the same characters. The story by then was meant to be understood as one cohesive whole, but in practice this could be a real challenge.Is it possible that the 2001 style of storytelling could work for a new story theme with the depth of BIONICLE — perhaps even for a BIONICLE reboot? It's a little hard to say. A lot of current BIONICLE fans seemingly want to have a story that is seamless and coherent. I think BIONICLE fans today would be about as upset with the cliffhanger of the second comic (with Gali and Lewa outnumbered by Rahi and an ominous caption from the Turaga narrators) as with the unresolved plot threads from the online serials.A game like the Mata Nui Online Game might not appeal to what people feel they are missing from BIONICLE either. A lot of people consider BIONICLE superior to themes like Hero Factory and Ninjago because it is darker and more serious, with many deep philosophical quandaries. But the Mata Nui Online Game was unrepentantly silly, filled with jokes and characters who bordered on being caricatures. Consider Taipu, the archetypical dunce, Tamaru, the Le-Matoran who's scared of heights, Hafu, the artist and egotist, or Macku, who had a hilariously lovey-dovey relationship with the Kolhii champion from the neighboring village. The Mata Nui Online Game also had none of the gritty or realistic fight scenes that seem to top everyone's list of irrational expectations for a BIONICLE movie. Possibly the darkest moment, when Onua confronted the infected Lewa in the Rama Hive, was resolved by Onua throwing a bug at Lewa's mask!At the same time, it should be remembered that today's stock of BIONICLE fans were not enough to keep BIONICLE alive. Either fans with these kinds of serious preferences were too few in number or they weren't buying the toys enough to be a viable audience. So maybe for a toyline to be successful, it needs to be lighthearted. People's criticisms of Hero Factory and Legends of Chima seem to stem from the notion that the silliness is out-of-place, but perhaps the solution is not eliminating their juvenile jokes and gags, but rather embracing them like Hero Factory did in the Hero Factory FM podcast. Greg Farshtey recently told me in his LEGO Message Boards topic that he has a much harder time telling silly stories like the ones in his Ninjago and Chima books than telling serious ones like in his BIONICLE and Hero Factory books, though I'd say he's done an admirable job with the sillier stuff from what I've read. But maybe those are the kinds of short, silly, easily-digestible stories a good toy line actually needs.

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#29 Offline krikanalo

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 04:46 PM

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]perhaps the solution is not eliminating their juvenile jokes and gags, but rather [/color]embracing[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] them[/color]

that's a very good point. a lot of tv series, book series, and comic books nowadays (i cite gravity falls and the TMNT reboot as specific examples) have a nice balance of action and humour and they work really, really well. hero factory and legends of chima would probably be a lot better received if they stayed lighthearted, but tried to be a bit more serious now and then; from what i've seen, HF has tried to do this. i'm not too sure about chima.


Edited by krikanalo, Jul 20 2013 - 04:46 PM.

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#30 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 05:08 PM

I feel there's just nothing left to bring back anymore. Lego has already implemented the HF building system. While useful, the HF system causes canister sets to be less complex. They are trying to avert this, but the HF system just really doesn't fit Bionicle's style. As well, the tastes of the target audience changed. This is what killed Bionicle in the first place, I don't think Bionicle will sell to the 8-year-olds of today. Really, things will just be oversimplified for marketing reasons. Bionicle had a good run setwise. I would be happy if the serials continued for the olde fans, but new sets probably wouldn't be that good.


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#31 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 05:21 PM

At the same time, it should be remembered that today's stock of BIONICLE fans were not enough to keep BIONICLE alive. Either fans with these kinds of serious preferences were too few in number or they weren't buying the toys enough to be a viable audience. So maybe for a toyline to be successful, it needs to be lighthearted. People's criticisms of Hero Factory and Legends of Chima seem to stem from the notion that the silliness is out-of-place, but perhaps the solution is not eliminating their juvenile jokes and gags, but rather embracing them like Hero Factory did in the Hero Factory FM podcast. Greg Farshtey recently told me in his LEGO Message Boards topic that he has a much harder time telling silly stories like the ones in his Ninjago and Chima books than telling serious ones like in his BIONICLE and Hero Factory books, though I'd say he's done an admirable job with the sillier stuff from what I've read. But maybe those are the kinds of short, silly, easily-digestible stories a good toy line actually needs.

 

I'm not really going to criticize something like Chima or Hero Factory. I'm just not interested in them. The only reason I was into BIONICLE for year after year was because of the more complex and serious story (me getting into the series in late 2003.) By 2008, I had stopped buying the sets, but I still stuck with the line to the end, solely because of the story. I totally get what you are trying to say, but a non-serious BIONICLE just doesn't interest me too much.


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#32 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 05:32 PM

At the same time, it should be remembered that today's stock of BIONICLE fans were not enough to keep BIONICLE alive. Either fans with these kinds of serious preferences were too few in number or they weren't buying the toys enough to be a viable audience. So maybe for a toyline to be successful, it needs to be lighthearted. People's criticisms of Hero Factory and Legends of Chima seem to stem from the notion that the silliness is out-of-place, but perhaps the solution is not eliminating their juvenile jokes and gags, but rather embracing them like Hero Factory did in the Hero Factory FM podcast. Greg Farshtey recently told me in his LEGO Message Boards topic that he has a much harder time telling silly stories like the ones in his Ninjago and Chima books than telling serious ones like in his BIONICLE and Hero Factory books, though I'd say he's done an admirable job with the sillier stuff from what I've read. But maybe those are the kinds of short, silly, easily-digestible stories a good toy line actually needs.

 I'm not really going to criticize something like Chima or Hero Factory. I'm just not interested in them. The only reason I was into BIONICLE for year after year was because of the more complex and serious story (me getting into the series in late 2003.) By 2008, I had stopped buying the sets, but I still stuck with the line to the end, solely because of the story. I totally get what you are trying to say, but a non-serious BIONICLE just doesn't interest me too much.
Agreed. I got on board in 2005 for about the same reasons - serious story with depth. (Though I didn't mind the Matau-style wisecracks either. There's a fine line between humor that has a point and humor that's just there to be there. :shrugs:)Please don't tell me there isn't some sort of happy medium between LoTR/serious school literature and cheese-league cartoon humor that kids can actually appreciate. I know it's out there, and I've seen several works do it.

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#33 Online Aanchir: Rachira of Time

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 05:56 PM

At the same time, it should be remembered that today's stock of BIONICLE fans were not enough to keep BIONICLE alive. Either fans with these kinds of serious preferences were too few in number or they weren't buying the toys enough to be a viable audience. So maybe for a toyline to be successful, it needs to be lighthearted. People's criticisms of Hero Factory and Legends of Chima seem to stem from the notion that the silliness is out-of-place, but perhaps the solution is not eliminating their juvenile jokes and gags, but rather embracing them like Hero Factory did in the Hero Factory FM podcast. Greg Farshtey recently told me in his LEGO Message Boards topic that he has a much harder time telling silly stories like the ones in his Ninjago and Chima books than telling serious ones like in his BIONICLE and Hero Factory books, though I'd say he's done an admirable job with the sillier stuff from what I've read. But maybe those are the kinds of short, silly, easily-digestible stories a good toy line actually needs.

 I'm not really going to criticize something like Chima or Hero Factory. I'm just not interested in them. The only reason I was into BIONICLE for year after year was because of the more complex and serious story (me getting into the series in late 2003.) By 2008, I had stopped buying the sets, but I still stuck with the line to the end, solely because of the story. I totally get what you are trying to say, but a non-serious BIONICLE just doesn't interest me too much.

That's perfectly fine. You were just asking if anyone would really cash in for a simpler BIONICLE, and I was observing that to an extent, people actually did — in 2001, when the theme began.To those who are saying the Hero Factory building system leads to simpler models than BIONICLE, I'd argue that is not the case. Certainly the way the models are assembled is a bit simpler, in that most of the the parts attach to one another in one of two connection styles and almost everything has been reduced to basic shells and beams, but all things considered the Hero Factory building system is just as well-equipped for making complex models as BIONICLE's more technic-based building style was.And really, how many BIONICLE canister sets were really that much more complex than Hero Factory sets at a comparable size and price point? BIONICLE figures do have more complexity in some respects, but less in others. A Hero Factory figure will typically have a lower leg consisting of two pieces (a shell and a beam), whereas BIONICLE figures' lower legs were typically just one specialized decorative beam. The "complexity" BIONICLE figures have often just meant that you'd be using lots of Technic pieces to connect pieces together instead of just connecting them straight to one another, and I hardly see how that improves the intricacy or creativity of the final model, particularly when many of the non-Technic parts were often specialized ones designed with those models in mind.The aesthetics of the building systems are where you'd face real questions. Hero Factory is defined by smooth, solid shells and armor plates, whereas BIONICLE parts tended to emphasize complex textures with lots of recesses and cavities. Hero Factory parts, besides some parts that are designed with decoration in mind, are more or less purely functional, whereas BIONICLE parts almost invariably had decorations like pistons and artificial hinges. It would not be unprecedented for BIONICLE figures to be re-imagined with smoother surfaces — BIONICLE: The Game did so in 2003, after all. But it was certainly not traditional in sets.EDIT:

Agreed. I got on board in 2005 for about the same reasons - serious story with depth. (Though I didn't mind the Matau-style wisecracks either. There's a fine line between humor that has a point and humor that's just there to be there. :shrugs:)Please don't tell me there isn't some sort of happy medium between LoTR/serious school literature and cheese-league cartoon humor that kids can actually appreciate. I know it's out there, and I've seen several works do it.

There are several ways to reach a happy medium between extremely serious stuff and extremely cheesy stuff. Ninjago hits it by having not too many explicit "jokes" but by being inherently lighthearted and having a lot of physical gags. Avatar: The Last Airbender hits it by being very serious, with lots of very heavy subject matter, but complementing it with some very genuine jokes and silliness that are suited to the various characters. The Mata Nui Online Game did it by having a somewhat dark, desperate overarching tone in several of its chapters but having lots of humorous "easter eggs", physical gags, and over-the-top character portrayals.It's hard to say if Hero Factory is too close to one side of the scale or the other. Really I think the issue with that property is that there's such a chasm between its serious and silly moments, and very little warning when you're about to have a joke thrown at you. I'd hardly say the humor is "there just to be there" any more than it was in the BIONICLE movies or the Mata Nui Online Game. Some of the jokes in Hero Factory are genuinely funny, such as Nex's "Give Surge my game console, and tell Breez I love her" in "Savage Planet" or his background flirting with Daniela Capricorn in "Ordeal of Fire". But other jokes simply feel out-of-place, such as "Get down as in... boogie?" (which would work fine if it were in-character for the person speaking, but makes no sense for Breez in the middle of a scene so tense).Some of the battle banter from Savage Planet made me nauseous, not because it's deliberately designed to be funny but because having to digest such pointless chatter undercuts the action in the scenes where it takes place (and the worst part is that it seems some of the creatures were given voices simply so they could dish out such awkward banter). It'd be just as cheesy if the two sides were constantly bellowing entirely serious and melodramatic taunts at each other, of the sort you might hear before a pro wrestling match, so clearly silliness isn't the problem. Still, aside from those moments of cheesiness, most of the Hero Factory stories are basically just lighthearted superhero stories, without too much more gravity than is required to create suspense and motivate the characters.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Jul 20 2013 - 06:49 PM.

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#34 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 06:36 PM

Re: "embrace your inner silly" (:P) -- that makes me think of Warehouse 13. It's done really well, aimed primarily at adults, with fairly kid-appropriate humor (though not always) obviously embraced well throughout (okay, yes, it's Pete...), but also weaved into deadly serious themes.

 

Plus Ninjago, as I've said before, is essentially half action-dark-serious and half comedy. And that seems to work really well -- it's fun. HF does that to some extent in a different way. And really, Bionicle did have that sort of thing even in 2001, though with a bit more of a somber tone to it. So yeah, that can work.

 

As for the complex thing -- well, Bionicle already IS complex, so any return by definition would be adding complexity. I don't see any return as likely lasting beyond 3-4 years at the max, and I doubt that those years alone would be as complex as some of Bionicle's past story got. But I think most of us could enjoy it nonetheless. Also, Bionicle has almost always intentionally had a simple core plot that the average toy-buying fan could get without much work, but peripheral things that did take work to understand if you cared. I see no reason this couldn't work for a return as well, just with a more 2001 level of peripheral things versus 2006.


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#35 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 08:30 PM

Agreed. I got on board in 2005 for about the same reasons - serious story with depth. (Though I didn't mind the Matau-style wisecracks either. There's a fine line between humor that has a point and humor that's just there to be there. :shrugs:)Please don't tell me there isn't some sort of happy medium between LoTR/serious school literature and cheese-league cartoon humor that kids can actually appreciate. I know it's out there, and I've seen several works do it.

There are several ways to reach a happy medium between extremely serious stuff and extremely cheesy stuff. Ninjago hits it by having not too many explicit "jokes" but by being inherently lighthearted and having a lot of physical gags. Avatar: The Last Airbender hits it by being very serious, with lots of very heavy subject matter, but complementing it with some very genuine jokes and silliness that are suited to the various characters. The Mata Nui Online Game did it by having a somewhat dark, desperate overarching tone in several of its chapters but having lots of humorous "easter eggs", physical gags, and over-the-top character portrayals.

Avatar is a perfect example, IMO. It was something that I could easily laugh at as a kid, and can still return to and enjoy the story of. Also, it's still funny.

 

Re: "embrace your inner silly" ( :P) -- that makes me think of Warehouse 13. It's done really well, aimed primarily at adults, with fairly kid-appropriate humor (though not always) obviously embraced well throughout (okay, yes, it's Pete...), but also weaved into deadly serious themes.

 

Plus Ninjago, as I've said before, is essentially half action-dark-serious and half comedy. And that seems to work really well -- it's fun. HF does that to some extent in a different way. And really, Bionicle did have that sort of thing even in 2001, though with a bit more of a somber tone to it. So yeah, that can work.

 

As for the complex thing -- well, Bionicle already IS complex, so any return by definition would be adding complexity. I don't see any return as likely lasting beyond 3-4 years at the max, and I doubt that those years alone would be as complex as some of Bionicle's past story got. But I think most of us could enjoy it nonetheless. Also, Bionicle has almost always intentionally had a simple core plot that the average toy-buying fan could get without much work, but peripheral things that did take work to understand if you cared. I see no reason this couldn't work for a return as well, just with a more 2001 level of peripheral things versus 2006.

If the potential return of BIONICLE was a total reboot without any connection to the previous storyline, then it could very well be simple. But if it had the massive amounts of mystery that the early years had, I could still enjoy it despite the simplicity.

 

I've seen nothing of Ninjago at all. I believe there is a TV show, but I no longer have cable. Is the series any good?


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#36 Offline Toa of Geek

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Posted Jul 20 2013 - 08:46 PM

I agree with many others in saying that I don't think it should be revivied. While there's still a part of me that says YEEES BRING BIONICLZZ BACK NAO!11!!!11 I know realistically that it wouldn't work out. Older fans would most likely be unimpressed because they're not the target audience antymore, and the story just wouldn't be the same. Younger kids, on the other hand, probobly wouldn't remember Bionicle, and so they wouldn't appreciate the deep Bionicle lore, and any reference to the existing Bionicle story would likely just confuse them.

 

Better to just leave the older fans with good memories and stick to newer, fresher themes to entertain the next generation of excited ten year olds, rather than anger Bionicle fans and confuse younger lego fans with a sub-par shadow of the Bionicle theme.


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#37 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jul 21 2013 - 01:30 AM

GG, I didn't get it via TV either; LEGO.com has (or had?) many of the older Ninjago episodes free online. :) I also found some of the more recent ones on other sites; a google search should suffice. And yes, IMO it's all well worth the watch. ^_^


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#38 Offline darkslizer

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Posted Jul 21 2013 - 09:02 AM

If it comes back and becomes successful, and appeals to the original fans, it will have new characters but maintain that same theme of the old BIONICLE, despite it's storyline being most likely different. I just hope the sets won't look too much like Hero Factory if it ever does come back.

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#39 Offline Fallen Silence

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Posted Jul 21 2013 - 12:08 PM

Perhaps it, if its needed, can be brought back in the more distant future by keeping setting but starting a fresh story that is still somehow connected to the original story. A bit like this...Imagine it being set millions of years after the current story. All of the characters we know are long gone. The main premise would be a great civilisation on a planet called Spherus Magna. The events of the old storyline are now nothing but a rarely mentioned legend upon which their society is based. The main story would involve a few characters discovering the story of the Great Beings and setting off on a quest to find them, perhaps....? The story would be virtually separate from the old one.

Edited by Fallen Silence, Jul 21 2013 - 12:09 PM.

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#40 Offline Neelh

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Posted Jul 21 2013 - 02:21 PM

 

I've seen nothing of Ninjago at all. I believe there is a TV show, but I no longer have cable. Is the series any good?

 

 

The pilots are awful, and currently on Lego.com. You only really need them for the plot setup. The rest of the series improves with the actual series, which are Rise of the Snakes (Season 2) and something else which I can't remember (Season 3). It doesn't pass the Bechdel Test, but it's witty, the female characters are stronger than some of the male ones, and they don't dumb it down. There's a really awesome plot twist that everyone knows now because it's all over the fandom, and then there's another smaller twist that made me really happy even though it was obvious.

 

If you need convincing to watch it, read synopsises of the first six episodes of Rise of the Snakes and skip to Episode 7, which is Tick Tock.


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