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Will we ever see another "Bionicle"?

bionicle hero factory MNOG

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#121 Offline ColdGoldLazarus

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Posted Feb 25 2014 - 05:09 PM

If you'll excuse me saying so, it seems a lot of the same points are being brought up over and over again.

 

It seems to me that this ill-defined "Next Bionicle" would be something similar to Ninjago in that it has a consistent story and characterization told mainly through one format, that balances episodic storylines that allow newer fans to enter fairly easily, while having somewhat of an overarcing mythos that will keep the older fans coming? It would resemble Chima in terms of set quality and world-building, while eschewing it's childish and generally bland writing, (I haven't seen it for myself, so I can't judge; just going off of what everyone else has been saying) and have Hero Factory's constraction aspect? Because that's something I can definitely get behind.

 

To go off topic a bit, I also want to add that I have very few problems with Hero Factory (I feel the story could stand to be a bit more inventive, but I don't hate it) but am personally not a fan of the building system. It has it's uses and is by no means terrible, but I personally liked the more "technic" feel of Slizers, Roboriders, and the earlier years of Bionicle over the more ball-and-socket focused Hero Factory stuff. It's just personal preference, however, and I can respect that others can and will disagree with me on this. Regardless, to tie back into my original point, I would hope that this hypothetical "New Bionicle" line would return to the more technically-oriented style of building.

 

And I'll admit, a small part of me wants to see Slizers resurrected with a much more fleshed-out story, but I doubt that'll happen.


Edited by ColdGoldLazarus, Feb 25 2014 - 05:15 PM.

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#122 Online Azani

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 08:27 PM

The problem with extensive stories is focus.
 
Star Wars has a niche group of fans who adore every aspect of it from the Knights of the Old Republic to the One Sith. The problem is when they make a new movie, they will have to have an almost all-new cast. The favorites of old are all dead. That is why people are terrified of Star Wars 7.
 
Bionicle and the like have similar problems. "Evolving" the main cast is seen as cheap and tacky while giving a brand new team alienates fans. One good thing about hero factory is that the heroes alternate. Bulk and surge are temporarily off the team for new heroes like Rocka and Evo to show up. 
 
Bionicle's teams were close-knit groups. Exchanging one member for another new/reserve member is ridiculous.
 
Hero Factory has a wash-rinse-repeat pattern which allows for uncumbersome sudden style changes. Bionicle and any other well-defined story will have problems trying to give convincing reasons why style changes so quickly. Attempting to reboot the franchise alienates old fans while new fans, only aware of the reboot, may leave after seeing the true nature of the franchise.
 
Another problem lies in the fact that this is a toyline. Characters constantly evolve to please fans. The original clone wars cartoon was made to have a different art style and attract new fans. Many old fans didn't like it. Beast Wars wasn't seen as true G1 canon for transformers.
 
LEGO is taking the easy way out by making a cartoon series for their franchise. They can effectively channel the plot while advertising on the TV with even minor profits. Other forms will be hard to follow. The comics were not exactly easy to find. Skipping one made it difficult to read the next. I only understood my first Bionicle adventures book after buying the encyclopedia. The Bionicle Chronicles were exceedingly difficult to follow. The game was confusing at times. The movies were placed at the worst times.
 
Will a Bionicle-like series return. No
 
LEGO made the Bionicle profits off of fun toys. The story-line was obligatory. Now LEGO knows to put more effort into toys than story, I temporarily quit Bionicle from 2007 to 2009 because of the bad toys at that time. In terms of story, I think those are pretty good, but the toys were what made LEGO rich. In the end, they are a company for profit.


You might be forgetting that Lego also made money off of the books, movies, and video games as well as the sets.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#123 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 09:15 PM

 

The problem with extensive stories is focus.
 
Star Wars has a niche group of fans who adore every aspect of it from the Knights of the Old Republic to the One Sith. The problem is when they make a new movie, they will have to have an almost all-new cast. The favorites of old are all dead. That is why people are terrified of Star Wars 7.
 
Bionicle and the like have similar problems. "Evolving" the main cast is seen as cheap and tacky while giving a brand new team alienates fans. One good thing about hero factory is that the heroes alternate. Bulk and surge are temporarily off the team for new heroes like Rocka and Evo to show up. 
 
Bionicle's teams were close-knit groups. Exchanging one member for another new/reserve member is ridiculous.
 
Hero Factory has a wash-rinse-repeat pattern which allows for uncumbersome sudden style changes. Bionicle and any other well-defined story will have problems trying to give convincing reasons why style changes so quickly. Attempting to reboot the franchise alienates old fans while new fans, only aware of the reboot, may leave after seeing the true nature of the franchise.
 
Another problem lies in the fact that this is a toyline. Characters constantly evolve to please fans. The original clone wars cartoon was made to have a different art style and attract new fans. Many old fans didn't like it. Beast Wars wasn't seen as true G1 canon for transformers.
 
LEGO is taking the easy way out by making a cartoon series for their franchise. They can effectively channel the plot while advertising on the TV with even minor profits. Other forms will be hard to follow. The comics were not exactly easy to find. Skipping one made it difficult to read the next. I only understood my first Bionicle adventures book after buying the encyclopedia. The Bionicle Chronicles were exceedingly difficult to follow. The game was confusing at times. The movies were placed at the worst times.
 
Will a Bionicle-like series return. No
 
LEGO made the Bionicle profits off of fun toys. The story-line was obligatory. Now LEGO knows to put more effort into toys than story, I temporarily quit Bionicle from 2007 to 2009 because of the bad toys at that time. In terms of story, I think those are pretty good, but the toys were what made LEGO rich. In the end, they are a company for profit.


You might be forgetting that Lego also made money off of the books, movies, and video games as well as the sets.

 

The money made by the movies, video games, and especially the books was negligible compared to the sets, which always have been and always will be Lego's core business. It's not just because of the profits, but also because Lego is a toy company, and everything else they do (even the wildly successful Lego Movie) goes back to the pursuit of making and selling toys.


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#124 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 09:17 PM

You might be forgetting that Lego also made money off of the books, movies, and video games as well as the sets.

That's true, but the money they made off books, movies, and video games was negligible compared to the money they made on the toys. The whole reason the BIONICLE media existed was to promote the sets — without sets, the LEGO Group would have no real incentive to pour money into something entirely detached from their core business. The same way the Transformers movies and My Little Pony TV series would not exist if there were not Transformers and My Little Pony toys to promote.

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#125 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 10:25 PM

If you'll excuse me saying so, it seems a lot of the same points are being brought up over and over again.

 

It seems to me that this ill-defined "Next Bionicle" would be something similar to Ninjago in that it has a consistent story and characterization told mainly through one format, that balances episodic storylines that allow newer fans to enter fairly easily, while having somewhat of an overarcing mythos that will keep the older fans coming? It would resemble Chima in terms of set quality and world-building, while eschewing it's childish and generally bland writing, (I haven't seen it for myself, so I can't judge; just going off of what everyone else has been saying) and have Hero Factory's constraction aspect? Because that's something I can definitely get behind.

 

Basically this, yeah.

 

I get it that lego is trying to make themes for everybody by focusing on select elements to sell each, but I wish they'd compromise. I wish they would blend all the best elements of their great themes all together as you've described them to create one new ULTIMATE theme that could easily be seen as being on par with Bionicle. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they seem unwilling to try that hard in this day and age. Maybe someday, to market pieces made with their new plastic or something.


Edited by NickonAquaMagna, Feb 27 2014 - 10:29 PM.

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#126 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 11:51 PM

I personally doubt that new plastic would change Lego's marketing strategy. At least, not in this respect.

 

Also, given the wide variety of people's preferences, it's probably easier to throw a bunch of set lines out there on the hope that one of them will appeal to a particular person, rather than making one line to please everybody.

 

And Bionicle wasn't that line to please everybody. It wasn't like Lego stopped making City or Technic sets because Bionicle was going on. 


Edited by fishers64, Feb 27 2014 - 11:55 PM.

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#127 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 07:25 AM

I personally doubt that new plastic would change Lego's marketing strategy. At least, not in this respect.

 

Also, given the wide variety of people's preferences, it's probably easier to throw a bunch of set lines out there on the hope that one of them will appeal to a particular person, rather than making one line to please everybody.

 

And Bionicle wasn't that line to please everybody. It wasn't like Lego stopped making City or Technic sets because Bionicle was going on. 

 

I'm not saying they should. It just feels like Chima and HF are... missing something. Whether or not they "need" that extra something is debatable, but as I've said several times now, I regard Ninjago as the standard Lego production that all of their other productions should be compared to to see if they measure up. And I was half joking about the new plastic.


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#128 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 12:21 PM

I'm not saying they should. It just feels like Chima and HF are... missing something. Whether or not they "need" that extra something is debatable, but as I've said several times now, I regard Ninjago as the standard Lego production that all of their other productions should be compared to to see if they measure up. And I was half joking about the new plastic.

I agree. Understood.  


Edited by fishers64, Feb 28 2014 - 12:21 PM.

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#129 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 03:53 PM

If you'll excuse me saying so, it seems a lot of the same points are being brought up over and over again.
 
It seems to me that this ill-defined "Next Bionicle" would be something similar to Ninjago in that it has a consistent story and characterization told mainly through one format, that balances episodic storylines that allow newer fans to enter fairly easily, while having somewhat of an overarcing mythos that will keep the older fans coming? It would resemble Chima in terms of set quality and world-building, while eschewing it's childish and generally bland writing, (I haven't seen it for myself, so I can't judge; just going off of what everyone else has been saying) and have Hero Factory's constraction aspect? Because that's something I can definitely get behind.

Basically this, yeah.
 
I get it that lego is trying to make themes for everybody by focusing on select elements to sell each, but I wish they'd compromise. I wish they would blend all the best elements of their great themes all together as you've described them to create one new ULTIMATE theme that could easily be seen as being on par with Bionicle. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they seem unwilling to try that hard in this day and age. Maybe someday, to market pieces made with their new plastic or something.

What the LEGO Group's "ultimate" theme would be is something that people's opinions would differ on, though. Within the BIONICLE community, a lot of people seem to be in agreement that BIONICLE hit that magical combination of factors to achieve true greatness, but a lot of people just don't like constraction themes. I can definitely see where some of these people are coming from. Constraction is a completely different animal from LEGO System. It's great for character design, but not so great at fleshing out a universe in physical form. Constraction parts are inherently specialized, and using traditional factors for gauging the value of a LEGO set such as piece count or price-per-piece, constraction sets rarely measure up to their System brethren.

There's also a perception by some people that BIONICLE's super-serious tone was out-of-touch with its inherent nature as a toy, and I can see where those kinds of people are coming from. It had some jokes, but it wasn't characterized by the classic humor that has been such a big part of other LEGO media endeavors (like the video games, LEGO Star Wars TV specials, or The LEGO Movie). BIONICLE had some strong values attached to its story, but they were fairly typical action/adventure story fare. "Unity, Duty, and Destiny" are not novel concepts. They're buzzwords, and the same sort of themes that could be seen in the shallow morals of a lot of 80s merchandise-driven cartoons with pitifully low production values. Is it any surprise that many older fans might see BIONICLE the same way they see He-Man or classic Transformers and My Little Pony? Especially since it often seemed to be trying to conceal its foundations as a LEGO toy?

If these more System-focused LEGO fans still want to see deep, original, story-driven themes, a theme like LEGO Ninjago could be right up their alley. It certainly appeals to a broad audience and has managed to tell some very powerful stories, with environments and characters as diverse as BIONICLE's were back in the day. So for a lot of people, "the ultimate LEGO story theme" might already be here.

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#130 Online Azani

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 01:35 PM

If you'll excuse me saying so, it seems a lot of the same points are being brought up over and over again.
 
It seems to me that this ill-defined "Next Bionicle" would be something similar to Ninjago in that it has a consistent story and characterization told mainly through one format, that balances episodic storylines that allow newer fans to enter fairly easily, while having somewhat of an overarcing mythos that will keep the older fans coming? It would resemble Chima in terms of set quality and world-building, while eschewing it's childish and generally bland writing, (I haven't seen it for myself, so I can't judge; just going off of what everyone else has been saying) and have Hero Factory's constraction aspect? Because that's something I can definitely get behind.

Basically this, yeah.
 
I get it that lego is trying to make themes for everybody by focusing on select elements to sell each, but I wish they'd compromise. I wish they would blend all the best elements of their great themes all together as you've described them to create one new ULTIMATE theme that could easily be seen as being on par with Bionicle. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they seem unwilling to try that hard in this day and age. Maybe someday, to market pieces made with their new plastic or something.

What the LEGO Group's "ultimate" theme would be is something that people's opinions would differ on, though. Within the BIONICLE community, a lot of people seem to be in agreement that BIONICLE hit that magical combination of factors to achieve true greatness, but a lot of people just don't like constraction themes. I can definitely see where some of these people are coming from. Constraction is a completely different animal from LEGO System. It's great for character design, but not so great at fleshing out a universe in physical form. Constraction parts are inherently specialized, and using traditional factors for gauging the value of a LEGO set such as piece count or price-per-piece, constraction sets rarely measure up to their System brethren.

There's also a perception by some people that BIONICLE's super-serious tone was out-of-touch with its inherent nature as a toy, and I can see where those kinds of people are coming from. It had some jokes, but it wasn't characterized by the classic humor that has been such a big part of other LEGO media endeavors (like the video games, LEGO Star Wars TV specials, or The LEGO Movie). BIONICLE had some strong values attached to its story, but they were fairly typical action/adventure story fare. "Unity, Duty, and Destiny" are not novel concepts. They're buzzwords, and the same sort of themes that could be seen in the shallow morals of a lot of 80s merchandise-driven cartoons with pitifully low production values. Is it any surprise that many older fans might see BIONICLE the same way they see He-Man or classic Transformers and My Little Pony? Especially since it often seemed to be trying to conceal its foundations as a LEGO toy?

If these more System-focused LEGO fans still want to see deep, original, story-driven themes, a theme like LEGO Ninjago could be right up their alley. It certainly appeals to a broad audience and has managed to tell some very powerful stories, with environments and characters as diverse as BIONICLE's were back in the day. So for a lot of people, "the ultimate LEGO story theme" might already be here.


That's the unfortunate part about Bionicle's status. I don't think that its storyline worked too well to promote its toyline, because it's too complex and deals with themes which are too dark for the majority of the toy buying public. Older fans of serious science fiction and fantasy are often repelled from Bionicle because it is associated with a toy and was, until recently, mainly a toy. If it's to continue to survive, then it either needs to fully embrace being a toy or fully embrace being a serious science-fantasy story for teens and adults. Regardless of how the public views it, it's still a great story; however, it's status as a toy is a serious limit to the number of people who could be interested in it.

Edited by Azani, Aug 26 2014 - 05:24 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#131 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 03:10 PM

 

 

 

If you'll excuse me saying so, it seems a lot of the same points are being brought up over and over again.
 
It seems to me that this ill-defined "Next Bionicle" would be something similar to Ninjago in that it has a consistent story and characterization told mainly through one format, that balances episodic storylines that allow newer fans to enter fairly easily, while having somewhat of an overarcing mythos that will keep the older fans coming? It would resemble Chima in terms of set quality and world-building, while eschewing it's childish and generally bland writing, (I haven't seen it for myself, so I can't judge; just going off of what everyone else has been saying) and have Hero Factory's constraction aspect? Because that's something I can definitely get behind.

Basically this, yeah.
 
I get it that lego is trying to make themes for everybody by focusing on select elements to sell each, but I wish they'd compromise. I wish they would blend all the best elements of their great themes all together as you've described them to create one new ULTIMATE theme that could easily be seen as being on par with Bionicle. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they seem unwilling to try that hard in this day and age. Maybe someday, to market pieces made with their new plastic or something.

 

What the LEGO Group's "ultimate" theme would be is something that people's opinions would differ on, though. Within the BIONICLE community, a lot of people seem to be in agreement that BIONICLE hit that magical combination of factors to achieve true greatness, but a lot of people just don't like constraction themes. I can definitely see where some of these people are coming from. Constraction is a completely different animal from LEGO System. It's great for character design, but not so great at fleshing out a universe in physical form. Constraction parts are inherently specialized, and using traditional factors for gauging the value of a LEGO set such as piece count or price-per-piece, constraction sets rarely measure up to their System brethren.

There's also a perception by some people that BIONICLE's super-serious tone was out-of-touch with its inherent nature as a toy, and I can see where those kinds of people are coming from. It had some jokes, but it wasn't characterized by the classic humor that has been such a big part of other LEGO media endeavors (like the video games, LEGO Star Wars TV specials, or The LEGO Movie). BIONICLE had some strong values attached to its story, but they were fairly typical action/adventure story fare. "Unity, Duty, and Destiny" are not novel concepts. They're buzzwords, and the same sort of themes that could be seen in the shallow morals of a lot of 80s merchandise-driven cartoons with pitifully low production values. Is it any surprise that many older fans might see BIONICLE the same way they see He-Man or classic Transformers and My Little Pony? Especially since it often seemed to be trying to conceal its foundations as a LEGO toy?

If these more System-focused LEGO fans still want to see deep, original, story-driven themes, a theme like LEGO Ninjago could be right up their alley. It certainly appeals to a broad audience and has managed to tell some very powerful stories, with environments and characters as diverse as BIONICLE's were back in the day. So for a lot of people, "the ultimate LEGO story theme" might already be here.

 


That's the unfortunate part about Bionicle's status. It's not a very good story to use to promote toys, because it's too complex and deals with themes which are too dark for the majority of the toy buying public. Older fans of serious science fiction and fantasy are often repelled from Bionicle because it is associated with a toy and was, until recently, mainly a toy. If it's to continue to survive, then it either needs to fully embrace being a toy or fully embrace being a serious science-fantasy story for teens and adults. Regardless of how the public views it, it's still a great story; however, it's status as a toy is a serious limit to the number of people who could be interested in it.

 

And the latter approach is not likely to ever happen. Lego is a toy company. They're just not in the business of crafting a serious story for teens and adults, and they have nothing to gain by letting another company take control of what was once a successful property of theirs. So if Bionicle were to return it'd have to be as a toyline, and since Lego can create a successful toyline from scratch more easily than they can rework Bionicle into something marketable, I don't see that happening either.

 

Not that I'm all that upset. Bionicle's greatest strength was that it took its story seriously, but conversely its greatest weakness was that it took itself too seriously. Its seriousness and commitment to an isolated and singular canon often stood in stark contrast to Lego's core values of play and creativity. Lego and their partners have now demonstrated with The Lego Movie that they're fully capable of creating a story that can be deep and heartfelt and touching while still being true to those values, and I'm sure that they'll build off that success with other themes for the foreseeable future.


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#132 Online Azani

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 05:54 PM

Lego has nothing to gain from letting another company take control of the Bionicle franchise, except money. If Lego was interested in selling the franchise or licensing it out to a book publisher or a film/ television studio, they would still receive payment for it. Isn't that the only reason why any company ever sells a franchise that is no longer profitable to them?

Edited by Azani, Aug 26 2014 - 05:20 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#133 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 08:40 PM

Lego has nothing to gain from letting another company take control of the Bionicle franchise, except money. If Lego was interested in selling the franchise or licensing it out to a book publisher or a film/ television studio, they would still receive payment for it. That's the only reason why any company ever sells a franchise that is no longer profitable to them. Ever.

And if Lego needed money, Bionicle could conceivably be sold off to another company (since they aren't making any money just sitting on it). But Lego is more successful now than it ever has been, and I don't see that changing in the short term. So they certainly wouldn't risk selling off the Bionicle trademarks any time soon, especially since it could end up in the hands of a competitor.


Edited by Lyichir, Mar 11 2014 - 08:41 PM.

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#134 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 09:18 PM

Lego has nothing to gain from letting another company take control of the Bionicle franchise, except money. If Lego was interested in selling the franchise or licensing it out to a book publisher or a film/ television studio, they would still receive payment for it. That's the only reason why any company ever sells a franchise that is no longer profitable to them. Ever.

And if Lego needed money, Bionicle could conceivably be sold off to another company (since they aren't making any money just sitting on it). But Lego is more successful now than it ever has been, and I don't see that changing in the short term. So they certainly wouldn't risk selling off the Bionicle trademarks any time soon, especially since it could end up in the hands of a competitor.

This last point is the big one. The companies that stand to gain the most from the BIONICLE brand are competing toy manufacturers, since BIONICLE's strongest reputation is as a building toy. The popularity and success of the story media was secondary to the popularity and success of the sets.

Personally, I wouldn't really want BIONICLE back if it weren't still a building toy, because a lot of its greatness came from its foundation as a building toy. Think about all the fundamental concepts that were inspired by the product line. Kanohi Masks were introduced because they would be a highly marketable collectible that could be mixed and matched between sets, and could give the sets a competitive component (knock off the opponent's mask to win!). The Toa were given bright colors, diverse tools, elemental themes, and other compelling visual and conceptual traits to make them more marketable as toys. The shorter Turaga and Matoran characters were created so there'd be impulse-priced options compared to the standard Toa kits or deluxe Rahi kits.

Could a compelling BIONICLE story be told without product tie-ins? Possibly. But I don't think it'd have any of the widespread appeal that the original BIONICLE story acquired from its foundation as a popular toy line. And the LEGO Group certainly wouldn't trust any company but themselves with a BIONICLE toy line, because the alternative is to let a competitor create and potentially profit from BIONICLE toys.

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#135 Online Azani

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 03:23 PM

I'm not at all suggesting that Bionicle be resold without supplementary products, including but not limited to toys. Due to its popularity and success over a variety of media, the Star Wars films have given rise to a lot of Star Wars toys; the only difference between the two in terms of marketing strategies is that Star Wars was planned with films to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there, while Bionicle planned for toys to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there. It's entirely feasible that, in the hands of a company which is established in working in a variety of media, that Bionicle could be a series of films, or books, or television episodes with toys that were supplementary to the other media.

However, Aanchir, I disagree that a line of toys, supplementary or vital to its existence, is necessary for Bionicle to be exciting and innovative. The concept of collectability is by no means unique to toys, and in fact most collectible items are not toys or items to be played with. Today, certain books, comic books, cars, paintings, baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, and many other items are collectible. Not one of those items have their roots in toys, and many have been collectible since long before 2001. Many of these items also sell better and are more marketable now than they were before they were considered collectible.

It's a well-accepted convention in the world of visual design that audiences desire brightly colored characters and environments in science-fiction or fantasy settings, and that rule has formed the basis for much of the visual style of those genres since the usage of colored film became widespread. Our mental image of science-fantasy movies or television contains vivid colors almost by default. Even before then, vividly colored landscapes, costumes, and characters were extremely common in comic books and pulp magazines as far back as the late nineteenth century. When the tone of the work is more somber or threatening in tone, then the color palette will often be darkened and mellowed out to match that; not only is the standard for most science-fantasy, but it was used by Bionicle in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to indicate the more dangerous and somber tone of the story during those years.

The same can be said for the novel designs of tools or weapons that was and remains eye-catching to the toy-buying public; moviegoers, television watchers, and comic book readers desire the same innovation in tool/weapon design, and have for many decades. And one needs to go back nearly two thousand years, when much of the literature which we today consider to be “classical” was composed in Greece and Rome, to record the start of our cultural interest in the natural elements and character who can control them. That last one is pretty old.

In terms of short characters, do you really think that Bionicle would not make use of characters of sub-human height if it had not begun as a toyline? Elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, fairies, and countless species of aliens have been shorter than humans in very well known literature for centuries.

Edited by Azani, Aug 26 2014 - 05:21 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#136 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 04:14 PM

I'm not at all suggesting that Bionicle be resold without supplementary products, including but not limited to toys. Due to its popularity and success over a variety of media, the Star Wars films have given rise to a lot of Star Wars toys; the only difference between the two in terms of marketing strategies is that Star Wars was planned with films to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there, while Bionicle planned for toys to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there. It's entirely feasible that, in the hands of a company which is established in working in a variety of media, that Bionicle could be a series of films, or books, or television episodes with toys that were supplementary to the other media.

However, Aanchir, I disagree that a line of toys, supplementary or vital to its existence, is necessary for Bionicle to be exciting and innovative. The concept of collectability is by no means unique to toys, and in fact most collectible items are not toys or items to be played with. Today, certain books, comic books, cars, paintings, baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, and many other items are collectible. Not one of those items have their roots in toys, and many have been collectible since long before 2001. Many of these items also sell better and are more marketable now than they were before they were considered collectible.

It's a well-accepted convention in the world of visual design that audiences desire brightly colored characters and environments in science-fiction or fantasy settings, and that rule has formed the basis for much of the visual style of those genres since the usage of colored film became widespread. Our mental image of science-fantasy movies or television contains vivid colors almost by default. Even before then, vividly colored landscapes, costumes, and characters were extremely common in comic books and pulp magazines as far back as the late nineteenth century. When the tone of the work is more somber or threatening in tone, then the color palette will often be darkened and mellowed out to match that; not only is the standard for most science-fantasy, but it was used by Bionicle in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to indicate the more dangerous and somber tone of the story during those years.

The same can be said for the novel designs of tools or weapons that was and remains eye-catching to the toy-buying public; moviegoers, television watchers, and comic book readers desire the same innovation in tool/weapon design, and have for many decades. And one needs to go back nearly two thousand years, when much of the literature which we today consider to be “classical” was composed in Greece and Rome, to record the start of our cultural interest in the natural elements and character who can control them. That one is older than dirt,Aanchir.

In terms of short characters, do you really think that Bionicle would not make use of characters of sub-human height if it had not begun as a toyline? Elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, fairies, and countless species of aliens have been shorter than humans in very well known literature for centuries.

BIONICLE could have used any of those ideas without toys. I'm not arguing against that. However, its foundation as a toy line is the reason it used those ideas the way it did.

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#137 Online Azani

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 10:29 PM

I'm not at all suggesting that Bionicle be resold without supplementary products, including but not limited to toys. Due to its popularity and success over a variety of media, the Star Wars films have given rise to a lot of Star Wars toys; the only difference between the two in terms of marketing strategies is that Star Wars was planned with films to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there, while Bionicle planned for toys to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there. It's entirely feasible that, in the hands of a company which is established in working in a variety of media, that Bionicle could be a series of films, or books, or television episodes with toys that were supplementary to the other media.

However, Aanchir, I disagree that a line of toys, supplementary or vital to its existence, is necessary for Bionicle to be exciting and innovative. The concept of collectability is by no means unique to toys, and in fact most collectible items are not toys or items to be played with. Today, certain books, comic books, cars, paintings, baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, and many other items are collectible. Not one of those items have their roots in toys, and many have been collectible since long before 2001. Many of these items also sell better and are more marketable now than they were before they were considered collectible.

It's a well-accepted convention in the world of visual design that audiences desire brightly colored characters and environments in science-fiction or fantasy settings, and that rule has formed the basis for much of the visual style of those genres since the usage of colored film became widespread. Our mental image of science-fantasy movies or television contains vivid colors almost by default. Even before then, vividly colored landscapes, costumes, and characters were extremely common in comic books and pulp magazines as far back as the late nineteenth century. When the tone of the work is more somber or threatening in tone, then the color palette will often be darkened and mellowed out to match that; not only is the standard for most science-fantasy, but it was used by Bionicle in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to indicate the more dangerous and somber tone of the story during those years.

The same can be said for the novel designs of tools or weapons that was and remains eye-catching to the toy-buying public; moviegoers, television watchers, and comic book readers desire the same innovation in tool/weapon design, and have for many decades. And one needs to go back nearly two thousand years, when much of the literature which we today consider to be “classical” was composed in Greece and Rome, to record the start of our cultural interest in the natural elements and character who can control them. That one is older than dirt, Aanchir.

In terms of short characters, do you really think that Bionicle would not make use of characters of sub-human height if it had not begun as a toyline? Elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, fairies, and countless species of aliens have been shorter than humans in very well known literature for centuries.

BIONICLE could have used any of those ideas without toys. I'm not arguing against that. However, its foundation as a toy line is the reason it used those ideas the way it did.


Because so many of its basic conventions, such as the ones which you mentioned, are often found in a wide variety of successful media, I don't believe that Bionicle would suffer or be forced to change any of its qualities that make it unique if it were primarily a book series, or movie series, or television series. That's the point that I was trying to make. This is all, of course, hypothetical; Lego hasn't announced any intentions to license or sell the Bionicle brand. However, do you think that there is a chance that Lego would consider selling it even if the company was not in financial trouble, if offered the right price?

Edited by Artakha's Nephew, Mar 12 2014 - 10:30 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#138 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 09:11 AM

That's the unfortunate part about Bionicle's status. It's not a very good story to use to promote toys, because it's too complex and deals with themes which are too dark for the majority of the toy buying public. Older fans of serious science fiction and fantasy are often repelled from Bionicle because it is associated with a toy and was, until recently, mainly a toy.

 

This situation - which arose largely in the later years - was a significant factor in why the line ended. Bionicle was at its most successful in the first half of its lifespan when the plot was relatively simple and engaging. This is also why Hero Factory is (dare I say it) a bit shallow; Lego are no longer interested in telling a highly complex story because it has proven unsuccessful in assisting long-term sales.

 

This is all, of course, hypothetical; Lego hasn't announced any intentions to license or sell the Bionicle brand. However, do you think that there is a chance that Lego would consider selling it even if the company was not in financial trouble, if offered the right price?

 

Bionicle's their first internally-developed property and I can't imagine them discarding it for a one-off payment (especially with so much money rolling in already). Nor do I imagine that (from a business angle) many would be interested in buying a brand name/concept that failed to remain consistently successful.


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#139 Online Azani

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 11:14 AM

This situation - which arose largely in the later years - was a significant factor in why the line ended. Bionicle was at its most successful in the first half of its lifespan when the plot was relatively simple and engaging. This is also why Hero Factory is (dare I say it) a bit shallow; Lego are no longer interested in telling a highly complex story because it has proven unsuccessful in assisting long-term sales.


My point exactly; it would, however, be nice if it were distanced from its reputation as a failed toy, in order to allow its story to be discovered by new fans.
 

Bionicle's their first internally-developed property and I can't imagine them discarding it for a one-off payment (especially with so much money rolling in already). Nor do I imagine that (from a business angle) many would be interested in buying a brand name/concept that failed to remain consistently successful.


Are you saying that Bionicle would be too valuable for Lego to sell, and yet not valuable enough for anyone else to be interested in purchasing it? I'd appreciate if you could clarify what you're trying to say for me.

Edited by Azani, Aug 26 2014 - 05:21 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#140 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 12:15 PM

I've said it many times throughout this thread, and I'll say it again.

 

Ninjago

 

Ninjago > HF and Chima.


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#141 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 02:58 PM

 

This situation - which arose largely in the later years - was a significant factor in why the line ended. Bionicle was at its most successful in the first half of its lifespan when the plot was relatively simple and engaging. This is also why Hero Factory is (dare I say it) a bit shallow; Lego are no longer interested in telling a highly complex story because it has proven unsuccessful in assisting long-term sales.


My point exactly; it would, however, be nice if it were distanced from its reputation as a failed toy, in order to allow its story to be discovered by new fans.
 

Bionicle's their first internally-developed property and I can't imagine them discarding it for a one-off payment (especially with so much money rolling in already). Nor do I imagine that (from a business angle) many would be interested in buying a brand name/concept that failed to remain consistently successful.


Are you saying that Bionicle would be too valuable for Lego to sell, and yet not valuable enough for anyone else to be interested in purchasing it?I'd appreciate if you could clarify what you're trying to say for me.

 

 

I'm talking about different types of value. The first is something like the sentimental sort - Bionicle was a huge endeavour for them, it saved them from going under ten years ago, and it still belongs to them. More practically, they still have its iconic trademark at their disposal if they want to release a new line under that name.

 

The second type is commercial value, which - given Bionicle's age and its slackening sales towards the end - I don't think the line has quite so much of.


Edited by Sir Kohran, Mar 13 2014 - 02:59 PM.

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#142 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 03:16 PM

This situation - which arose largely in the later years - was a significant factor in why the line ended. Bionicle was at its most successful in the first half of its lifespan when the plot was relatively simple and engaging. This is also why Hero Factory is (dare I say it) a bit shallow; Lego are no longer interested in telling a highly complex story because it has proven unsuccessful in assisting long-term sales.


My point exactly; it would, however, be nice if it were distanced from its reputation as a failed toy, in order to allow its story to be discovered by new fans.
 

Bionicle's their first internally-developed property and I can't imagine them discarding it for a one-off payment (especially with so much money rolling in already). Nor do I imagine that (from a business angle) many would be interested in buying a brand name/concept that failed to remain consistently successful.


Are you saying that Bionicle would be too valuable for Lego to sell, and yet not valuable enough for anyone else to be interested in purchasing it?I'd appreciate if you could clarify what you're trying to say for me.

 
I'm talking about different types of value. The first is something like the sentimental sort - Bionicle was a huge endeavour for them, it saved them from going under ten years ago, and it still belongs to them. More practically, they still have its iconic trademark at their disposal if they want to release a new line under that name.
 
The second type is commercial value, which - given Bionicle's age and its slackening sales towards the end - I don't think the line has quite so much of.


Another thing to keep in mind: part of the reason the LEGO Group ended BIONICLE when they did was because it was, for all intents and purposes, still successful. Sure, it peaked in 2002, but its subsequent decline was long and, for the most part, profitable. The LEGO Group COULD perhaps have gotten a few more years out of it, but if they had then sales would have dwindled further and further until they couldn't sell any longer. The LEGO Group wanted to be able to use BIONICLE as a feather in their cap when pitching future product lines, and that wouldn't have worked if retailers' strongest memories of the theme were of the sets as chronic shelfwarmers with abysmal sales.

As it turns out, The LEGO Group did use BIONICLE like that. Some blurbs for the Ninjago books in 2011 advertised the theme as "the biggest new initiative since BIONICLE!" Because the LEGO Group ended BIONICLE while it was still making money rather than running it into the ground, those words still had power when it came to selling retailers on a new theme.

If The LEGO Group sells BIONICLE to another company, for starters, they will no longer be able to say that BIONICLE is theirs. If the other company's attempt to revive the brand succeeds, BIONICLE will be remembered as another company's success story and not The LEGO Group's. And should the other company's attempt fail, it could thoroughly poison the reputation of the BIONICLE brand name. So even if The LEGO Group isn't directly making money off of the BIONICLE brand name currently, they still have an incentive to keep that card close to their chest, in case they ever need to play it again in the future.

Of course, BIONICLE is not necessarily the LEGO Group's biggest success story any longer. Other themes like LEGO City and LEGO Ninjago have displaced it to a certain extent, as has The LEGO Movie. However, that doesn't mean the LEGO Group shouldn't hang onto their control over BIONICLE and its reputation for commercial success.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Mar 13 2014 - 03:17 PM.

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#143 Offline bionicleFanatic

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 02:43 PM

 

 

Maybe the root problem is, how do you really have a world with robots, which Bionicle's sets looked like, and have it mysterious again? LEGO did that once. Can it even be done again? Or would any attempt just feel too cliche now?

 

 

It doesn't have to be robots: In my opinion, Mixels looked kinda close to a bionicle setting at first. Think about it: You've got different clans, all based off elements. You've got the combining idea (Like the Kaita and Nui in 2001-03). The focus is on the heroes, although the badguys are there too. You've got the different locations, all related to their elements and admittedly looking quite interesting. Then the characters themselves, all looking alien, goofy, and elemental...

 

...But then came the TV show. It was an epic flop from the first. It was clear this wasn't going to be another Bionicle, but more of a weird spongebob. Another epic flop of a theme in what's been a history of epic flops since Ninjago started.

 

So it doesn't need to be robots/biomechanical beings. It just has to take the storyline seriously, at least to the extent Ninjago did.


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#144 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 03:04 PM


 
 
Maybe the root problem is, how do you really have a world with robots, which Bionicle's sets looked like, and have it mysterious again? LEGO did that once. Can it even be done again? Or would any attempt just feel too cliche now?

 
 
It doesn't have to be robots: In my opinion, Mixels looked kinda close to a bionicle setting at first. Think about it: You've got different clans, all based off elements. You've got the combining idea (Like the Kaita and Nui in 2001-03). The focus is on the heroes, although the badguys are there too. You've got the different locations, all related to their elements and admittedly looking quite interesting. Then the characters themselves, all looking alien, goofy, and elemental...
 
...But then came the TV show. It was an epic flop from the first. It was clear this wasn't going to be another Bionicle, but more of a weird spongebob. Another epic flop of a theme in what's been a history of epic flops since Ninjago started.
 
So it doesn't need to be robots/biomechanical beings. It just has to take the storyline seriously, at least to the extent Ninjago did.

A theme isn't a flop just because you made a false assumption about what it was intended to be in the first place. The LEGO Group has been swimming in in-house success for the past several years. Ninjago? Wildly successful! Friends? Wildly successful! Legends of Chima? Wildly successful! The LEGO Movie? Wildly successful! Mixels could easily be the next theme to wear that mantle.

Obviously, none of these themes are flawless. Neither was BIONICLE. For that matter, neither are many other pop-culture gems like Star Wars or one you mentioned, Spongebob Squarepants. But they have each done a magnificent job capturing the hearts and imaginations of a vast audience.

It's fine to love BIONICLE, but you can't let that blind you to other types of entertainment. There are plenty of LEGO fans who have no interest in BIONICLE, or even think it's utter garbage, but who are extremely excited by some of these other themes. These people aren't tasteless. Their tastes just differ, and there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself.

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#145 Online AdaptingChaos

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 07:20 AM

 

I'm not at all suggesting that Bionicle be resold without supplementary products, including but not limited to toys. Due to its popularity and success over a variety of media, the Star Wars films have given rise to a lot of Star Wars toys; the only difference between the two in terms of marketing strategies is that Star Wars was planned with films to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there, while Bionicle planned for toys to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there. It's entirely feasible that, in the hands of a company which is established in working in a variety of media, that Bionicle could be a series of films, or books, or television episodes with toys that were supplementary to the other media.

However, Aanchir, I disagree that a line of toys, supplementary or vital to its existence, is necessary for Bionicle to be exciting and innovative. The concept of collectability is by no means unique to toys, and in fact most collectible items are not toys or items to be played with. Today, certain books, comic books, cars, paintings, baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, and many other items are collectible. Not one of those items have their roots in toys, and many have been collectible since long before 2001. Many of these items also sell better and are more marketable now than they were before they were considered collectible.

It's a well-accepted convention in the world of visual design that audiences desire brightly colored characters and environments in science-fiction or fantasy settings, and that rule has formed the basis for much of the visual style of those genres since the usage of colored film became widespread. Our mental image of science-fantasy movies or television contains vivid colors almost by default. Even before then, vividly colored landscapes, costumes, and characters were extremely common in comic books and pulp magazines as far back as the late nineteenth century. When the tone of the work is more somber or threatening in tone, then the color palette will often be darkened and mellowed out to match that; not only is the standard for most science-fantasy, but it was used by Bionicle in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to indicate the more dangerous and somber tone of the story during those years.

The same can be said for the novel designs of tools or weapons that was and remains eye-catching to the toy-buying public; moviegoers, television watchers, and comic book readers desire the same innovation in tool/weapon design, and have for many decades. And one needs to go back nearly two thousand years, when much of the literature which we today consider to be “classical” was composed in Greece and Rome, to record the start of our cultural interest in the natural elements and character who can control them. That one is older than dirt,Aanchir.

In terms of short characters, do you really think that Bionicle would not make use of characters of sub-human height if it had not begun as a toyline? Elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, fairies, and countless species of aliens have been shorter than humans in very well known literature for centuries.

BIONICLE could have used any of those ideas without toys. I'm not arguing against that. However, its foundation as a toy line is the reason it used those ideas the way it did.

 

I have never seen a post from you that short, Ever. :P

Anyways I hope we see another "Bionicle" as every other LEGO theme out right now doesnt catch my eye.


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#146 Offline Wrinkledlion X

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 04:06 PM

 

 

I'm not at all suggesting that Bionicle be resold without supplementary products, including but not limited to toys. Due to its popularity and success over a variety of media, the Star Wars films have given rise to a lot of Star Wars toys; the only difference between the two in terms of marketing strategies is that Star Wars was planned with films to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there, while Bionicle planned for toys to be the main focal point and source of revenue, and diversified from there. It's entirely feasible that, in the hands of a company which is established in working in a variety of media, that Bionicle could be a series of films, or books, or television episodes with toys that were supplementary to the other media.

However, Aanchir, I disagree that a line of toys, supplementary or vital to its existence, is necessary for Bionicle to be exciting and innovative. The concept of collectability is by no means unique to toys, and in fact most collectible items are not toys or items to be played with. Today, certain books, comic books, cars, paintings, baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, and many other items are collectible. Not one of those items have their roots in toys, and many have been collectible since long before 2001. Many of these items also sell better and are more marketable now than they were before they were considered collectible.

It's a well-accepted convention in the world of visual design that audiences desire brightly colored characters and environments in science-fiction or fantasy settings, and that rule has formed the basis for much of the visual style of those genres since the usage of colored film became widespread. Our mental image of science-fantasy movies or television contains vivid colors almost by default. Even before then, vividly colored landscapes, costumes, and characters were extremely common in comic books and pulp magazines as far back as the late nineteenth century. When the tone of the work is more somber or threatening in tone, then the color palette will often be darkened and mellowed out to match that; not only is the standard for most science-fantasy, but it was used by Bionicle in 2006, 2007, and 2008 to indicate the more dangerous and somber tone of the story during those years.

The same can be said for the novel designs of tools or weapons that was and remains eye-catching to the toy-buying public; moviegoers, television watchers, and comic book readers desire the same innovation in tool/weapon design, and have for many decades. And one needs to go back nearly two thousand years, when much of the literature which we today consider to be “classical” was composed in Greece and Rome, to record the start of our cultural interest in the natural elements and character who can control them. That one is older than dirt, Aanchir.

In terms of short characters, do you really think that Bionicle would not make use of characters of sub-human height if it had not begun as a toyline? Elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, fairies, and countless species of aliens have been shorter than humans in very well known literature for centuries.

BIONICLE could have used any of those ideas without toys. I'm not arguing against that. However, its foundation as a toy line is the reason it used those ideas the way it did.

 


Because so many of its basic conventions, such as the ones which you mentioned, are often found in a wide variety of successful media, I don't believe that Bionicle would suffer or be forced to change any of its qualities that make it unique if it were primarily a book series, or movie series, or television series. That's the point that I was trying to make. This is all, of course, hypothetical; Lego hasn't announced any intentions to license or sell the Bionicle brand. However, do you think that there is a chance that Lego would consider selling it even if the company was not in financial trouble, if offered the right price?

 

 

It wouldn't have to change its qualities that have already been established, but it would lose some of the creative restrictions that forced them to think outside-the-box when creating Bionicle. Most of the core elements of Bionicle are derived from its nature as a toy line—the masks, the elemental tribes, the different-sized characters, etc. If you want a really concrete example, look at the canisters the Toa washed up in. Christian Faber simply wanted the toy's packaging to have some play value, and one of the most iconic images of the series was born. I'm not saying that Bionicle would be bad if it weren't tied to a toy line, but if it hadn't started that way, it wouldn't have arrived at its most interesting ideas. Take away the toy-inspired aspects of the series, and it's reduced to a pretty generic fantasy.

 

Also, while people rightly criticize Bionicle for getting far too self-serious, I think this is a problem that only started in earnest around 2003 and 2004. The Templar stuff from before then, while much more dramatic than most LEGO properties, actually had a lot of light-hearted humor and playfulness to it. There were dark elements, but full-on darkness didn't really kick in until around 2005, which I don't believe was a very popular year anyways. The Mata Nui setting the line was based in was always a sunny paradise, aside from the villains who occasionally attacked it. To reference the Faber Files again, you can see that the initial plans for Mata Nui were even more cartoony and playful than what we did get. (And the decade-spanning secret about Mata Nui's identity was originally a pretty hokey gimmick, seeing as the island was clearly shaped like a skull.)

 

Anyway, all this is to say that Bionicle's greatness came from the fact that it so wholeheartedly embraced its toy nature, while at the same time reaching higher than most toylines every attempt. It unfortunately lost track of this sense of fun in its later years, but all of that mystery and symbology was still based in a sense of fun, early on.


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