In the latest TTV podcast, there was a point they brought up, concerning Ninjao and Chima... basically, that Lego wanted to replace Ninjago with Chima and, even now, plan for Chima to be an evergreen theme well beyond 2015... and also have Ninjago around for some time, as long as the demand for it remains.
I find this interesting because some have brought up that it would be a bad idea to keep Hero Factory going alongside whatever new construction theme comes around next year, because they could both end up being so similar that they'd distract each other's fans and sort of cancel each other out. In the end, the two themes would only hinder each other, so it's better to replace Hero Factory with something new, something better, and let that be what potential new buyers have to focus on.
I don't think this could be any more true for Ninjago and Chima... from a certain point of view. Granted, both lines actually ARE selling very well, so it kind of becomes a moot point in this case, but nonetheless, Lego isn't satisfied with Chima's performance and the attachment people have to Ninjago, forcing them to share Chima's spotlight with another theme.
I remember a few years back when it was said that someone working for Lego tweeted something along the lines of, "Once you see this new theme... you won't want Ninjago."
Clearly, they were wrong. And I think I know why, but we'll get into that later.
More to the point, one of the guys in the podcast said "They want Chima to be the next Bionicle. I'm sorry Lego, but it ISN'T."
And then it hit me, and... everything became so clear. Just look at how much has been invested into promoting this theme! It's obvious now that they wanted this (and still kinda want it) to become their next big, flagship theme as Bionicle was for a while! And I'm just trying to imagine what it must be like to be one of the minds behind it at this moment, how FRUSTRATING it must be to see your line lose focus because, for some reason, people are still latching on to something that should be old news. And now, they not only have to divide their resources and advertising between both themes, but they'll always have Ninjago cutting into Chima because... Chima is just weaker. They know that there are a lot of people who just love Ninjago more, even though they're not "supposed" to, in Lego's eyes.
And why is that?
Well... it's because Ninjago IS better... or at least, it's a better story. The Chima sets are... pretty great, in my opinion. And with all the tribes and lands an' whatnot cultivating the theme, they very well have laid the groundwork for something with AMAZING potential. I'll be honest, I was EXCITED to see the first episode of Chima, because hey, Ninjago was pretty good, and this new world looked interesting! So, after making the assumption that the writing quality and storytelling of Chima would be on par with that of the overall solid, entertaining and endearing Ninajgo... I was sorely disappointed.
And I think that's how a lot of people felt. Anyone who was willing to put the past behind them and accept Chima as long as it proved to be a worthy successor to Ninjago, something that was just as good that could fill that void just as Lego promised them it would, felt BETRAYED when they saw what a let down it turned out to be. So, they wanted Ninjago back, and it is inevitably drawing focus away from Chima.
Now, here's the meat of the matter... I think these two series have proven something very important. Despite the assertions some have made that the story only goes so far to effect the sales of the product, and shouldn't really matter much in a toy line... the emotional investment people have in these themes is clear, be it positive or negative.
Honestly, I think the plot of Chima is just awful. I think it COULD'VE been amazing, but the writing is cringeworthy and childish, and any conflict that ever gets brought up is purely a result of the characters being moronic. There is no actual SUBSTANCE to the show, no POINT to it, and that's what's turning people off to Chima.
Like it or not, one's emotional investment in a product (such as the Star Wars sets) DOES go a long way to influence whether or not they'll be willing to buy it. Lego simply cannot expect people to be sufficiently emotionally invested in such a stupid story, which in turn, leads to the controversy that, frankly, they've brought upon themselves by mishandling a great theme and another theme that could've, SHOULD'VE been great.
Lego clearly wishes this was something that could resonate with people the way Bionicle did, and can't seem to comprehend how badly they've screwed this up. No matter how beautiful its world is and how awesome the sets are, the whole CHARACTER of Legends of Chima is just... lacking. And that's more important than some would let on.