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Is Hero Factory like a Sandbox


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#1 Offline ShadowWolfHount

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:41 AM

Alright so when i mean by Sandbox is that with Hero Factory, you can make your own Story without changing LEGO Story around to make your own, you can make your own Planets, Weapons, Characters and a lot more.

 

With the theme of what Hero Factory made are more like ideas to help you make your own Story:

  • With the 1.0 it will give us something of how your Hero MOC was made and make the story of how he went on with his life and the build are made easy to give you a start but the only thing that make it hard to make a MOC with the 1.0 is that there are not a lot of different chest armor in different colors (the only one with different color was the Rookie chest armor).
  • With the 2.0 there was a lot more we have gotten like 100 new parts a different building style, you can change the armor in different ways of how ever you like it with different armor ,color and weapons but you can't make a black and silver until the 3.0.
  • On the 3.0 it shows you don't have to make a Human Body MOC with the new build and gave you animal like helmets and head to make your own animal plus to make bigger MOCs (that was show with Witch Doctr). Another thing with Hero MOC is that they gave us Black and Silver chest armor to make Heroes with just black and silver armor. With the 3.0 story it help give us a idea to make a animal theme like story.
  • With the 4.0/Breakout ,it help give us our MOC a idea for a mission that is the Mission Catch 'Em and Cuff 'Em to stop a Villain that have gotten out of prison and that it have given us a new weapon, add-on armor and hand cuffs for our MOC and help makes it fit with the breakout theme.
  • With 5.0/Brain Attack ,it give us a idea to make Aliens or something attacking your home or something important and you have to defend it. With Set to make MOCs, it gave us a new head to put Visor on, a new chest armor and idea to make different weapons. And with the Brains you can use them to make a different form of what the animal you made look like when it is control by the Brain.
  • And with today IFB it have given us parts to make where own Mech out of HF parts and that you can just make a MOC for like your Lego City of Mech Vs. Monsters.

Anyways you can also make your own Character and your own story like with my Hero Team Delta 47 where the team are trying to be known and not just a small class hero team.

 

So do you guys think that Hero Factory is like a Sandbox where you can make your own story and do what ever you want.


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#2 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 11:23 AM

I pretty much agree with this premise. The Hero Factory universe is definitely created with the potential for creating your own characters and adventures in mind. Even in the first wave, there was no rule saying all Heroes had to look alike. In fact, the Hero Core was the only trait all heroes were obligated to share. Beyond that, the sky was the limit. As for villains, they were never bound by any creative constraints, and from the very beginning they varied widely in size and design.

The 2.0 heroes in 2011 were just the first time that the sets started to demonstrate that creative free rein for heroes, by showing that varying armor designs were not only acceptable but ordinary and establishing a building system with creative armor designs in mind. Ever since, the diversity of heroes has increased on pretty much a yearly basis. The Breakout heroes did perhaps the most to demonstrate that hero armor could vary by mission, not just by what time a hero was last built or upgraded, and also demonstrated that there was plenty of room for diversity in the height of heroes.

It helps that Alpha 1 Team, despite having perhaps the strongest reputation among hero teams, is established to be one team among many. And since there are few universe-changing events in the Hero Factory universe, it doesn't feel like Alpha 1 Team is the only team that gets really important missions. It doesn't have to feel like you're trying to shoehorn an adventure into an overarching saga where all the major events are already accounted for. Alpha 1 Team can't be everywhere, so there's plenty of room to create missions for your own custom hero teams that are just as important to a particular planet as the ones Alpha 1 Team gets assigned, and plenty of room to create villains just as dangerous for them to face.

This is a lot different from Ninjago, where pretty much all the important events revolve around one close-knit team of Ninja, or BIONICLE, where the density of the main saga left little room for creating your own characters and adventures unless they played a significantly less important role than the official characters like the Toa Mata, Toa Metru, or Toa Inika. Of course, in Ninjago's case, it helps that it is not an action figure theme, so the creative aspect of the theme isn't BASED on creating your own characters, but rather on creating new adventures for the main characters and new settings and props to help portray those adventures.

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#3 Offline ShadowWolfHount

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 12:49 PM

This is a lot different from Ninjago, where pretty much all the important events revolve around one close-knit team of Ninja, or BIONICLE, where the density of the main saga left little room for creating your own characters and adventures unless they played a significantly less important role than the official characters like the Toa Mata, Toa Metru, or Toa Inika. Of course, in Ninjago's case, it helps that it is not an action figure theme, so the creative aspect of the theme isn't BASED on creating your own characters, but rather on creating new adventures for the main characters and new settings and props to help portray those adventures.

Indeed and another thing is that with Bionicle, there was a big Sandbox that was Bara Magna where you can make your own Glatorian or Agori from one of the 7 tribes and make of how he go on with his/her life ,and same with Chima of picking one of the animal tribe and make how his/her life go on.With Ninjago it is good to create a new adventures with the main characters


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#4 Offline Meso Zehvor

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 01:27 PM

I wouldn't go so far as to call it a "sandbox," but yes, what you described is basically HF's saving grace. It was far more difficult to accomplish things like this in BIONICLE if you cared at all about contradicting canon, so the fact that HF can accomplish this is a good thing, even it comes at a terrible cost (a simplified story).


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#5 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 01:48 PM

Agreed. The 2.0 wave was especially like this, with the Recon Hero Builder. The Breakout Game also had a high degree of customization. The sets reinforce this trend a lot. 

 

One thing that hurts its "sandboxedness" is a lack of backgrounds/civilians to rescue, but I suppose if you wanted that you could buy Lego city sets. 


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#6 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:11 PM

This is a lot different from Ninjago, where pretty much all the important events revolve around one close-knit team of Ninja, or BIONICLE, where the density of the main saga left little room for creating your own characters and adventures unless they played a significantly less important role than the official characters like the Toa Mata, Toa Metru, or Toa Inika. Of course, in Ninjago's case, it helps that it is not an action figure theme, so the creative aspect of the theme isn't BASED on creating your own characters, but rather on creating new adventures for the main characters and new settings and props to help portray those adventures.

Indeed and another thing is that with Bionicle, there was a big Sandbox that was Bara Magna where you can make your own Glatorian or Agori from one of the 7 tribes and make of how he go on with his/her life ,and same with Chima of picking one of the animal tribe and make how his/her life go on.With Ninjago it is good to create a new adventures with the main characters


As much as that may have been the intention, I don't think Bara Magna achieved it to nearly the same degree as Hero Factory. Bara Magna was, at the beginning, a fresh start. But there were only seven distinct tribes. There were maps showing much of the extent of the planet (and most of it was fairly boring desert). The scope of Bara Magna was essentially limited (since there were few ways off the planet), and the lack of many of the elemental powers and other fantasy elements of previous years of story was taxing on the imagination. And finally, as the year went on more and more of the empty spaces in which you could craft your own story got filled in, destroyed, or otherwise eliminated. And of course the bigger your story set out to be, the more likely it was to conflict with the canon.

Contrast that with Hero Factory. In Hero Factory, unlike Bionicle, there is no "master list" of elemental powers that can be used by heroes, nor any sort of limit on the number of heroes overall, nor any maps whatsoever (essentially making the entire galaxy a sandbox for adventure). There is no master timeline demanding that important characters like Makuro or Zib be unavailable for long periods, and there are no real limits on what a hero can be like besides having a Hero Core, which means you can essentially give a hero of your design any form or powers you want. Pretty much the only rules of storytelling that need to be followed are the implicit ones (don't break the audience's willing suspension of disbelief, don't overpower your characters or make them into Mary-Sues, don't write plot holes or inconsistencies if it can be avoided). It's much more conducive to creating your own characters and stories, and that feeds into the classic Lego values of imagination and creativity.

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#7 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:41 PM

Agreed. The 2.0 wave was especially like this, with the Recon Hero Builder. The Breakout Game also had a high degree of customization. The sets reinforce this trend a lot. 
 
One thing that hurts its "sandboxedness" is a lack of backgrounds/civilians to rescue, but I suppose if you wanted that you could buy Lego city sets.

Yeah, the lack of civilians or other non-hero, non-villain characters is something that has always bothered me about a lot of toy lines in general. For instance, my younger brother grew up in the right generation to enjoy the Rescue Heroes franchise. I loved the premise — a non-violent and socially responsible action toy and series — but the toys felt a little bit underwhelming when you realized the Rescue Heroes had nobody but each other to rescue or even interact with. Likewise, in Knights' Kingdom II, the action figure sets were cool, but there wasn't much you could do but make them swing their swords at each other. There weren't even horses for them to ride like there were for the minifigure characters.

BIONICLE, too, witnessed problem to a certain extent. It had some figures like Matoran and Agori that were ostensibly "civilians", but pretty much every character who came as a set was designed to be a fighter in some capacity — if necessary, they had the know-how and the tools to defend themselves. I think this is also part of why "elder" characters like Turaga started to disappear from the storyline in later years, replaced by more and more standard civilians. But at some point when you keep arming those civilians and thrusting them into combat situations, the line between "civilian" and "minor hero" starts to become blurred.

That's part of what's always made it difficult for me to come up with a self-MOC in BIONICLE or Hero Factory. No matter what universe I'm trying to insert myself into, I can't manage to see myself as a fighter, or even as competent with any sort of weapon or fighting style. I wish Hero Factory could someday have sets for "non-fighter" characters like Zib and Makuro, but looking to BIONICLE as precedent, it's not likely to happen. You can't have an action figure without the potential for some type of action, usually involving combat.

Backgrounds are a slightly different matter. The main things that has always stopped me from building scenery at a LEGO action figure scale is size. I tried, sometimes, in the early days of BIONICLE, to create mountaintops to put Kanohi masks on so the Toa could try to find them. Said mountaintops were never all that much taller than the Toa themselves. Once you get up to figures around that size, creating appropriately-sized scenery starts to become tedious and impractical, even as a junior MOCist with years of System pieces at your disposal. And as for sets, it'd be hard to create any kind of scenery that is not only to scale but also uses parts and building techniques that appeal to fans of the figures themselves.

The BIONICLE playsets managed to alleviate this to a certain extent. The new Hero Factory minifigures could do the same. Although the only scenery in the new Hero Factory sets is that which the beasts have uprooted in their rampage, it still starts to suggest that you CAN build your own settings for the Heroes to protect. I look forward to seeing what kind of settings MOCists create to help provide a better stage for their Hero Factory figures, sets, and MOCs. I will certainly be trying my hand at that myself — I've been doodling a Hero Factory assembly tower MOC on LEGO Digital Designer since the first rumors that there would be minifigures in the new Hero Factory sets, and I hope to eventually bring it to a state of relative completion.

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#8 Offline Sykreos the Challenger

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:47 PM

Wow, I never thought of it as a sandbox, but yes, Hero Factory did leave much room for character customization even by its second year! They probably did this on purpose in order to bring in fans who are only interested in the toys so they can make their own characters and stories. I consider this important in a LEGO toyline.


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#9 Offline Pupwa21

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:54 PM

Well, you don't have to stick to Lego when you want to make backgrounds. For example When I acted out the bionicle 2001 story I used boxes and boxes of water to Simluate Mountains and The ocean.
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#10 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 04:56 PM

 

Agreed. The 2.0 wave was especially like this, with the Recon Hero Builder. The Breakout Game also had a high degree of customization. The sets reinforce this trend a lot. 
 
One thing that hurts its "sandboxedness" is a lack of backgrounds/civilians to rescue, but I suppose if you wanted that you could buy Lego city sets.

Yeah, the lack of civilians or other non-hero, non-villain characters is something that has always bothered me about a lot of toy lines in general. For instance, my younger brother grew up in the right generation to enjoy the Rescue Heroes franchise. I loved the premise — a non-violent and socially responsible action toy and series — but the toys felt a little bit underwhelming when you realized the Rescue Heroes had nobody but each other to rescue or even interact with. Likewise, in Knights' Kingdom II, the action figure sets were cool, but there wasn't much you could do but make them swing their swords at each other. There weren't even horses for them to ride like there were for the minifigure characters.
[...]

 


Perhaps the minifigs could help solve both of these problems. Perhaps it's possible to have Daniela Capricorn, Makuhero, and Zib figs.

They don't have to be on the same scale in my mind. There's still the giant monster coming down the street, ready to squash the tiny civilian, and the big hero comes to his rescue in his mech or whatever. Yay sandbox. 


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#11 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Jan 07 2014 - 05:49 PM

Agreed. The 2.0 wave was especially like this, with the Recon Hero Builder. The Breakout Game also had a high degree of customization. The sets reinforce this trend a lot. 
 
One thing that hurts its "sandboxedness" is a lack of backgrounds/civilians to rescue, but I suppose if you wanted that you could buy Lego city sets.

Yeah, the lack of civilians or other non-hero, non-villain characters is something that has always bothered me about a lot of toy lines in general. For instance, my younger brother grew up in the right generation to enjoy the Rescue Heroes franchise. I loved the premise — a non-violent and socially responsible action toy and series — but the toys felt a little bit underwhelming when you realized the Rescue Heroes had nobody but each other to rescue or even interact with. Likewise, in Knights' Kingdom II, the action figure sets were cool, but there wasn't much you could do but make them swing their swords at each other. There weren't even horses for them to ride like there were for the minifigure characters.
[...]


Perhaps the minifigs could help solve both of these problems. Perhaps it's possible to have Daniela Capricorn, Makuhero, and Zib figs.

They don't have to be on the same scale in my mind. There's still the giant monster coming down the street, ready to squash the tiny civilian, and the big hero comes to his rescue in his mech or whatever. Yay sandbox.

Yeah, I'd love that too! Sadly, I don't really foresee this happening. Even in LEGO action/sci-fi themes that DO have civilians, like Agents or The LEGO Movie, you rarely see exclusive new molds for the civilians — those tend to go to the more action-y bits like heroes, villains, and vehicles. Makuro might be marginally buildable without new molds, but Zib, Quadal, and Capricorn probably would not be.

A collectible minifigures series based on Hero Factory would be a fantastic way to get figs of these secondary characters as well as maybe some "legacy" heroes and villains like Merrick Fortis, Thresher, Voltix, Nitroblast, and Meltdown. After all, CMF series get lots of new molds even for things that might only be useful for a few things. But I don't really imagine there's enough demand for a CMF series that's all sci-fi and doesn't even use traditional minifigures. Of course, maybe if a Hero Factory movie ever comes to fruition it might be enough to generate the needed demand. But that might never happen, and if it does it's possible HF might have moved away from minifigure-based sets by that time.

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#12 Offline ShadowWolfHount

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Posted Jan 09 2014 - 09:35 AM

Wow, I never thought of it as a sandbox, but yes, Hero Factory did leave much room for character customization even by its second year! They probably did this on purpose in order to bring in fans who are only interested in the toys so they can make their own characters and stories. I consider this important in a LEGO toyline.

I agree with you, having something like this is important because there a lot of theme to make your own story that is like Hero Factory but don't have that much of a story that lego makes, like with Power Miners you can make your Sigfig a miner then make your own mining vehicle or mech to mine and stop the rock monster, Space Police like Power Miner you sigfig but as a Space Police Officer or a Criminal then make your own vehicle to stop the Criminal or to take over the city and (the most easy one to tell) Lego City you can just do about anything you want to do. There are also ones that LEGO made a Story but left room to make your own like with Chima, Lego Universe, don't know about The Lego Movie and of course Hero Factory. So mostly that is a important thing in LEGO


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#13 Offline The Kumquat Alchemist

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Posted Jan 09 2014 - 01:39 PM

I pretty much agree with this premise. The Hero Factory universe is definitely created with the potential for creating your own characters and adventures in mind. Even in the first wave, there was no rule saying all Heroes had to look alike. In fact, the Hero Core was the only trait all heroes were obligated to share. Beyond that, the sky was the limit. As for villains, they were never bound by any creative constraints, and from the very beginning they varied widely in size and design.

The 2.0 heroes in 2011 were just the first time that the sets started to demonstrate that creative free rein for heroes, by showing that varying armor designs were not only acceptable but ordinary and establishing a building system with creative armor designs in mind. Ever since, the diversity of heroes has increased on pretty much a yearly basis. The Breakout heroes did perhaps the most to demonstrate that hero armor could vary by mission, not just by what time a hero was last built or upgraded, and also demonstrated that there was plenty of room for diversity in the height of heroes.

It helps that Alpha 1 Team, despite having perhaps the strongest reputation among hero teams, is established to be one team among many. And since there are few universe-changing events in the Hero Factory universe, it doesn't feel like Alpha 1 Team is the only team that gets really important missions. It doesn't have to feel like you're trying to shoehorn an adventure into an overarching saga where all the major events are already accounted for. Alpha 1 Team can't be everywhere, so there's plenty of room to create missions for your own custom hero teams that are just as important to a particular planet as the ones Alpha 1 Team gets assigned, and plenty of room to create villains just as dangerous for them to face.

This is a lot different from Ninjago, where pretty much all the important events revolve around one close-knit team of Ninja, or BIONICLE, where the density of the main saga left little room for creating your own characters and adventures unless they played a significantly less important role than the official characters like the Toa Mata, Toa Metru, or Toa Inika. Of course, in Ninjago's case, it helps that it is not an action figure theme, so the creative aspect of the theme isn't BASED on creating your own characters, but rather on creating new adventures for the main characters and new settings and props to help portray those adventures.

 

I might add that the introduction of the monochrome white Cores first included in Breakout sets greatly encourages creative new Hero designs.

The first Cores released with 1.0 were bulky and difficult to use; the 2.0/3.0 Cores were a bit better, but both types of cores had set-specific colors, which strongly associated a single core color with a certain Hero, and both were paired with special, difficult-to-use chestpieces, whereas with the Breakout Cores and onward, LEGO has removed all pretense of a certain color of core belonging to a certain Hero, making them much more useful when creating custom Heroes, and has also removed the requirement of a special mounting piece; anything with two standard pinholes right next to each other will do.

 

LEGO also encouraged the creation of custom Heroes thanks to their inclusion of Hero Cores in the villian sets, so even people who keep their Heroes together will have extra Cores to work with if they also buy some villians. (Admittedly, though, that decision is partially from necessity, since the Breakout Cores and onwards have the online game codes on their backs.)


Edited by The Kumquat Alchemist, Jan 09 2014 - 01:50 PM.

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#14 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jan 10 2014 - 12:56 PM

I might also propose that there is a "sandbox spectrum" among Lego Themes. For example:

 

Pure Sandbox

Creator

Technic

City

Hero Factory

Chima

Bionicle

Licensed Sets

Not really a Sandbox

 

Looking at that, HF is about in the middle. It's certainly more sandboxy than Bionicle, LoTR, Chima, etc - even though it's ostensibly a "story theme".  


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#15 Offline TechnicRage

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Posted Jan 13 2014 - 09:41 PM

I think Hero Factory was based around the concept that you can make your own characters and story, with the premise that the heroes defeat the villain. It was definitely centered around your own creativity, hence the building style of super versatile pieces that can be switched and swapped to make your own.


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#16 Offline ShadowWolfHount

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Posted Jan 31 2014 - 10:37 AM

I think Hero Factory was based around the concept that you can make your own characters and story, with the premise that the heroes defeat the villain. It was definitely centered around your own creativity, hence the building style of super versatile pieces that can be switched and swapped to make your own.

I agree, it is mainly based by creating your own charcter and story and using HF building style helps a lot with that. Plus The Hero Factory helps with making how your Character was made with the Assembly Tower, hence the name "We Build Heroes".


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#17 Offline Neo ShadowVezon

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Posted Feb 04 2014 - 04:27 PM

The Collectible Minifigures for Hero Factory is a brilliant idea, and they should totally do it.


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#18 Offline ShadowWolfHount

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Posted Mar 08 2014 - 12:29 PM

The Collectible Minifigures for Hero Factory is a brilliant idea, and they should totally do it.

Well I world agree to that but if they use the miniheroes that they are using from IFB, it'll cost a little more and they have to make new characters, or if they used the normal minifigure and use names from Known Heroes like Recon Team, Zed 4 Team and Sierra Team then that be a good idea plus the color of the bag I think maybe a dark yellow.


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#19 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Mar 30 2014 - 09:55 PM

I think that it was certainly intentional, as part of creating a line that was as bogged down by story as Bionicle was. I think that's one of the appeals to the line, that you could play the characters however you want and have more freedom to make any MOC you can imagine and it would be "valid" as long as you slapped on a Hero Core somewhere on it. There was also that thing on the official website where you could sit down and design your own Hero with whatever color parts you wanted and whatever accessories and weapons, and then order it and your very own unique model showed up at your door. My own brother did that at least once, and it looked pretty cool, so I think that was definitely very successful and embodied the idea of a much more diverse sort of "sandbox" line. 

I think another advantage for the whole sandbox idea is establishing that the heroes fly around to different planets with different environments and evils to face, because that just makes for a much more open world and younguns could think up nearly anything and just say "well this is just a new planet that I thought of" and that would be totally cool.


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#20 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Mar 31 2014 - 09:55 PM

As other members have pointed out, this was by design on LEGO's part. The downfall of BIONICLE was in its sheer complexity with regards to the storyline, although its canon wasn't ridiculously rigid by any standard, it wasn't the kind of open universe that Hero Factory provides. Though honestly, if you're dealing with kids of a certain age, they're not going to care about making their made-up adventures fit into a specific canon - that's more where the building style comes into play.


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