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Where Did G1 Go Wrong?

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Am I the only person here who doesn't think that the switching from Mata Nui to Metru Nui was such a huge tonal shift as people make it out to be? Sure, a tribal setting is different from an urban setting but the mystical elements, such as Toa being the mythical chosen ones instead of expendable troops the expanded universe turned them into, were still there.

 

That was definitely something that frustrated me, starting way back in 2004 with the decidedly organic Morbuzakh vines (or, if you go back even further, to the virus enemies from the Roboriders theme). One of the big appeals of any sort of action figure line is role play, and it's much harder to do that when you're given no way to effectively represent the villains your characters are meant to fight.

To be honest, it was never too annoying for me. As a kid, I either substituted such villains with MOCs or some non-Lego objects. With that said, it still seems like a rather odd marketing strategy on Lego's part.

However, as far as the "Where did G1 go wrong?" question goes, I'll have to agree with the people who said that the post-toyline serials were unnecessary and had some of the silliest ideas in the entire story.

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I think the biggest issue with G1 wasn't any year in particular, it was the clear lack of planning that went into the story that eventually grew into a convoluted mess. Really, the Mata Nui robot twist was the only thing they had planned, so the rest they were just making it up as they went along, and it shows. New ideas just kept getting thrown in, and while they were good ideas, they all gradually built up and started getting in the way. Imagine you're a kid in 2005 or so, you get your first Lego magazine, you see a Bionicle comic, and suddenly whoa who are these robots what are they what are they doing what's with all the spiders. Chances are, you'd get a bit confused. It wasn't too bad, at least in my area the Scholastic book fair made all the books up to that point easily accessible and I got all caught up. However, that's still a lot of reading, and kids who aren't avid readers or dedicated fans probably won't have that much patience. But then the serials came. Oh god, the serials. So many out-of-control plot threads that went every which way and never really got properly resolved. While they did expand the world, the problem is that they grew beyond just being self-contained side stories set in the universe and got more and more complex and intertwining over time. Essentially, you had two Bionicle stories. The main conflict, with the colorful Toa battling the villains of the year. The one all the sets and comics showed, the ones the kids acted out with their own toys and inserted their own MOCs into. Then there was the deeper plot behind the scenes, the one with Dark Hunters vs Brotherhood of Makuta vs Order of Mata Nui, the one that turned into an impenetrable mass of canon built up over years. I remember seeing Vultraz and Mazeka in stores and wondering "who the are these guys". This complexity wasn't necessarily cohesive, either. Rather than developing the existing conflicts further, it introduced new conflicts underlying the bigger plot that maybe had some kind of relevance to the main plot but who knows if any of that even mattered. One serial I don't remember the name of had a random assortment of old villains going on some kind of quest and I guarantee you must kids would be lost if they just stumbled upon it on the website. Then the grand finale of 2008 came, and hey, that was actually brilliant, it blew my mind as a kid. I was hyped for the next year being about the characters fighting Teridax from the inside... Nope, that's just yet more serials. Instead have a soft reboot. Old fans were left confused and missing the established Matoran Universe and forced to learn the new rules and lore of Bara Magna and new fans were left even more confused when the old lore started leaking in. The serials had well and truly jumped the shark by this point, with a bazillion completely random subplots, both with the history of Spherus Magna and the current happenings in the MU. Then the line ended and some very forced attempts were made to integrate the Stars into the story (Tahu's randomly a Mata again! Golden armor from absolutely nowhere!) After that the serials got well and truly out of hand (what is even happening anymore) before dying off with no resolution.

 

Honestly, what I think Bionicle needed was a more unified story. An animated TV show would have fixed a great deal of its problems and Lego really should have given it one. Yeah, it was their first venture into something so story-heavy, so not making such a huge investment would make sense, but it really would have prevented the continuity lockout that Bionicle suffered. It would have provided one unified and easily accessible medium for kids to jump in and follow the story. One issue that plagued Bionicle was that its story was split up over several mediums. Novels, comics, movies, web serials, flash games... None of these media really give you the complete story. The novels are the most comprehensive, but, as a text-only medium, it can't sell toys or attract new fans, only entertain the fans that already own the sets. Also, depictions of the characters vary from medium to medium. A cartoon, however, would be a fantastic way for kids to get the whole story and understand what's going on from simply tuning in every Saturday morning. Also, the large staff of writers would have allowed for reviewing and constructive criticism to take place instead of just letting Greg do everything by himself, trimming down the plot and reinforcing it. With a more coherent and accessible story in that form, I feel Bionicle could have taken off like Transformers did, but in the end, the meat of it was too convoluted and obscure, especially after several years of lore building up.

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I think the biggest issue with G1 wasn't any year in particular, it was the clear lack of planning that went into the story that eventually grew into a convoluted mess. Really, the Mata Nui robot twist was the only thing they had planned, so the rest they were just making it up as they went along, and it shows.

 

 

I'm going to stop you right there, because this is factually wrong. Years ago, Greg F. made a topic on these boards detailing which elements of the story were planned and which were not, and it revealed that everything from the Ignition arc to Makuta being a species was in fact part of the original story bible. The topic disappeared with the forum archives, obviously, but it did exist, and there's no need to rewrite history in order to justify the (largely correct) viewpoint that the Bionicle story-line was a convoluted mess.

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I think the biggest issue with G1 wasn't any year in particular, it was the clear lack of planning that went into the story that eventually grew into a convoluted mess. Really, the Mata Nui robot twist was the only thing they had planned, so the rest they were just making it up as they went along, and it shows.

 

 

I'm going to stop you right there, because this is factually wrong. Years ago, Greg F. made a topic on these boards detailing which elements of the story were planned and which were not, and it revealed that everything from the Ignition arc to Makuta being a species was in fact part of the original story bible. The topic disappeared with the forum archives, obviously, but it did exist, and there's no need to rewrite history in order to justify the (largely correct) viewpoint that the Bionicle story-line was a convoluted mess.

 

 

But basically this. I think it's clear that once the serials hit, the canon was so big and convoluted and couldn't support itself. I don't know if we can blame that on one person, as such, but it was a fatal error in my opinion.


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I wasn't a fan of the whole "Bara Magna"-setting, what with leaving behind all the characters and places I got to know and like/enjoy. :/

 

Then again, I never followed the canon that closely. However, I liked the idea that there was still so much more to the story and world, and even though my knowledge of the story was not deep enough to really participate in s&t discussions (I guess it still isn't, actually ^^'), I still enjoyed it a lot.

But yeah, maybe the canon did get a bit out of control over the years, because there is just so. Much. Of it.

 

In the end it was still a toy line, though. And toys are for playing and telling your own stories, IMO at least. :)


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I feel that we didn't get to explore Metru-Nui enough. That year being my favorite, it was really disappointing to get nobody's view but the Toa's.

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I think it comes down to the constant change of scenery. Back when the Piraka were being introduced I couldn't help but wonder if this was the Bionicle I knew anymore. I have to admit that I was rather upset about it early on.


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Am I the only person here who doesn't think that the switching from Mata Nui to Metru Nui was such a huge tonal shift as people make it out to be? Sure, a tribal setting is different from an urban setting but the mystical elements, such as Toa being the mythical chosen ones instead of expendable troops the expanded universe turned them into, were still there.

 

I agree, and there were a few bits of advanced technology in the Mata Nui setting, most of them in Onu-Koro. The Metru Nui story could've been told in a much less advanced city and still have worked, though some things like the Toa travelling through the chutes and the huge vehicle they later ride in would have to be changed or dropped.

 

To be honest, it was never too annoying for me. As a kid, I either substituted such villains with MOCs or some non-Lego objects. With that said, it still seems like a rather odd marketing strategy on Lego's part.

 

The hero Toa Metru sets were the first half of the year sets, and the villain Nidhiki, Krekka and Vahki sets weren't released until the year's second half. So if the Toa were going to have an enemy in the early stages of the Metru Nui story, it couldn't be a set.

 

I feel that we didn't get to explore Metru-Nui enough. That year being my favorite, it was really disappointing to get nobody's view but the Toa's.

 

I always thought it was a great shame there was never a Metru Nui Online game.

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Also adding to what I said earlier, there's also the fact that some things didn't really make much sense with the explanations given. That's not an elegant way to phrase it, but let me give a couple of examples.

 

So there's an explanation in Island of Doom of where Avak got his powers--he tells the Toa Nuva he got experimented on by the Brotherhood of Makuta. Except we're told in supplementary material that Avak's always had his powers. So Greg came up with some explanation about how Avak just said that because it made him seem like he had connections and could cut a deal with the Toa if it came to that. Which was unlikely considering the other Piraka were shooting to kill at this point.

 

And then there's Umbra, a light-elemental guardian of the Mask of Life who has a name that translates literally to 'Shadow.' Why? Greg said something like 'So the bad guys think he might not be so incorrigible and get up close/confide in him.' Except again, that doesn't make sense because that's not Umbra's MO--he announces himself and attacks, because he's not a roaming agent, he's just a guardian.

 

I didn't mind much when it happened because in those days I was just so amazed that the author had thought of explanations at all, and that he interacted with the fanbase as much as he did. And still, I don't really blame him, per se, because that he was able to talk around these holes in the writing is still impressive in my book.

 

But all in all, it was a bit obvious that things didn't add up.

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I kind of think it was a mistake to continue the web serials after they knew the line was being cancelled. "Hey, let's introduce three new Toa and put them and Gelu on a quest that we'll never see the end of. That's a great idea."

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Of all the years that did get playsets, why 2004 wasn't one of them always saddens me. That way we would have likely seen official representations of the Morbuzahk, albeit in brick-built form as opposed to technic (though they could have been built with technic elements). A great set concept would have been a Ta-Metru area with the mono-rail carrying vats of molten protodermis, with the Morbuzahk trying to break the rail, as seen in Vakama Metru's promotional CD, or in that one FPS flash game.

 

Man, that would have been awesome. I'm also picturing a Le-Metru set that would have had chutes like those pump-action tubes from Life on Mars.

Yeah that would've been a amazing way to represent the city.


 

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G1 never went wrong. It lasted for more than 9 years, and pulled Lego out of a major economic slump. That should be a resounding success in any book. The story may have had 2-3 more years worth of material in it, but that's what almost always happens with long-running series: they have more ambition than means. I don't see why you guys want to criticize something we all spent ~10 years loving.

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Personally, I really hated the Glatorian arc. I feel that the story could have ended well enough in 2008. 2009 was too rushed and 2010 was way too rushed.


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G1 never went wrong. It lasted for more than 9 years, and pulled Lego out of a major economic slump. That should be a resounding success in any book. The story may have had 2-3 more years worth of material in it, but that's what almost always happens with long-running series: they have more ambition than means. I don't see why you guys want to criticize something we all spent ~10 years loving.

The ability to see the flaws in yourself and in the things you enjoy is, like, really important in life. I personally loved the story serials because I'm the type of person that always gets a kick out of obscure characters and a bunch of convoluted plotlines. But, objectively, the serials were pretty poorly planned out and probably confused more people than they entertained.

 

Actually, if we believe Greg, the serials weren't planned at all. Greg loves to say that he doesn't plan out how a story will end, he just makes it up as he goes along.

 

Honestly, I doubt that this is entirely true; he probably had the basic framework of stuff like Federation of Fear planned out before he finished it. He probably just says that so that he doesn't have to tell everyone what would have happened to x character at the conclusion of The Powers That Be. He's even contradicted this statement by telling us that Axonn/Helryx/etc would have escaped the Bota Magna Fortress before it blew up "because I wasn't just going to kill a bunch of characters at once".


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It's most evident in Riddles of the Great Beings where some crazy stuff happens and we never find out what the answer to the riddle is, let alone what the riddle is. At least it was a neat title.


 

 

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Plot wise, G1 suffered from character bloat and a confusing plot. The story team really should have done a bit of pruning, and done more to wrap up each arc of the story without dangling plot threads.

I'd disagree with "character bloat". The diversity of characters was one of the biggest things that helped to expand the world and make it clear that there was more going on in the story besides just 6 heroes vs 6 villains each year. You didn't have to know who the "extra" characters were to understand the story, so I don't think they really made it too confusing--- that was just the poor planning. Sure, I guess you could say MNOG and MNOG II had too many characters if you really wanted to, but you weren't expected to memorize them or anything.


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Plot wise, G1 suffered from character bloat and a confusing plot. The story team really should have done a bit of pruning, and done more to wrap up each arc of the story without dangling plot threads.

I'd disagree with "character bloat". The diversity of characters was one of the biggest things that helped to expand the world and make it clear that there was more going on in the story besides just 6 heroes vs 6 villains each year. You didn't have to know who the "extra" characters were to understand the story, so I don't think they really made it too confusing--- that was just the poor planning. Sure, I guess you could say MNOG and MNOG II had too many characters if you really wanted to, but you weren't expected to memorize them or anything.

 

I agree with this statement...and also kind of wish I did have all the MNOG extras memorized.


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Not enough MNOG type things telling the story was sad. While I didn't like the second one as much, the first one is engrained within me along the promotional Bohrok VHS.

 

Thats not exactly going wrong, though. There is no part of gen1 I don't enjoy.

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G1 never went wrong. It lasted for more than 9 years, and pulled Lego out of a major economic slump. That should be a resounding success in any book. The story may have had 2-3 more years worth of material in it, but that's what almost always happens with long-running series: they have more ambition than means. I don't see why you guys want to criticize something we all spent ~10 years loving.

 

It obviously was a success to some extent, at least the first half, but it could arguably have done better than it did.

 

 

 

You didn't have to know who the "extra" characters were to understand the story, so I don't think they really made it too confusing--- that was just the poor planning.

 

I think the problem was that the 'extra' characters and other such content were mostly confined to the books, but after about 2005 the main story also became confined to the books, and to understand the books you had to know about all the extra stuff they featured, so you kind of did have to know all the extra stuff to understand the story.

 

It was like how Star Wars would be if the movies' story was only found within the 'expanded universe' content - all a bit too much to take in at once.

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The toys were getting worse and worse with each year 

 

2006

150px-Matoro_Inika.PNG

 

2009

Gresh

(The picture when clicked on is tiny, but when viewing in-post it's big, dunno what's up with that.)

 

 

Yeup. Piece quality went down, complexity seemingly went south (though there were still some unique techniques used), and all around they just kinda became boring in retrospect.

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I always say this, but I really do believe it was more about the choices made in the marketing and the storytelling media rather than the story itself.

 

Bionicle's greatest strength in the early years was all the free story content on bionicle.com. You could spend days browsing the site and still have new things to discover, without having to bug your parents to spend money on you. After 2004, a lot of the online content was taken down, and you now needed to buy the DVDs and books to understand most of the story. 2006 saw a revival of online content, but most of it was non-canon (Save the Band, Piraka rap, etc) and they only picked up that ball again in 2007 with the serials and mini-movie, but it really was too little too late.

 

Being dependent on books is a bad idea for a franchise such as this. Why? Well, books based on a toyline are something a parent will typically buy only if their child is already very invested in the story. Parents of avid readers will look for something more sophisticated looking, and parents of reluctant readers have no reason to buy them if their kid isn't already interested in Bionicle. The fact that I see a 2003 Bionicle book in just about every book sale I visit shows that they were immensely popular and successful at one point, but the Metru books- published just a year or two later- are rare by comparison, because they didn't have all that free online content to back them up and draw new fans into the story. The direct-to-DVD movies are in a similar position: you need to have kids already invested in the story before they'll spend money for more of it, which is partly why TLR flopped.

 

I think that the significant point at which this occurs is in 2002-3 when LEGO decided to ease back on Templar Studios. Peter Mack, president of Templar Studios, told me the following in an email a couple years ago:

 

 

 

However, about halfway through the year both the movie and the console game fell through for some reason, and LEGO was left with an entire line of action figures but no way to communicate the story and world. The comic kept going, showing the adventures of the Toa in classic hero style, but just like Takua we had to take our rag-tag bunch of misfits and have them step up and get the whole year's storyline across in our little online game. Interestingly enough, though, it turned out that kids of that age really identified with that predicament - the Tohunga were small, weak, and powerless, thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and ended up saving the island (and the brand). In the end, because they had to overcome so much, the Tohunga ended up being almost more heroic than the Toa. As evidence, LEGO decided to turn the now-popular Takua, Jala and others into (price-point) Toa after it was all over.

 

I think that if LEGO had continued to conduct worldbuilding through alternative, free media on the scale of the MNOLG, I think that the story would have been higher quality. As a kid without much of an allowance, the books were hard to access. Some friends at my local church owned the first three, so I was pretty well covered on the story from 2001-3, especilally since I got comics too. And I had a friend with Mask of Light. But the 2006 books I couldn't get and the figures were odd, so I dropped out of BIONICLE for the year. I came back in '07, but to this day I still haven't read all of the books from 2006-2008. I really got back into the story in 2008, since I loved my Toa Nuva. But the story would have been much more easily accessed for fans if we had had additional story media to supplement (or replace) the books.

The other perspective is a more literary one. The MNOLG is a masterpiece, I think, for a few reasons. Because the game is in first person, you get the feeling that it is you who are saving the day alongside the Toa. You get acquainted with the characters personally as you interact with them. And you are exploring the world as one of its inhabitants, which gives you the impression that you're personally involved in the world in which it is set. The player also only discovers their character at the very end, when the camera focuses on Takua's descent into Makuta's lair. The game is all about finding who you are, which is exactly what Takua is doing. 

BIONICLE kinda continued in this vein a bit with the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal animations, showing the world around our heroes. In the Mask of Light movie, the focus of the action was split between the mighty, powerful Toa and the small, weak Matoran. But in 2004 we kinda lost that. City of Legends was all about the Toa Metru. The books aren't much better; they show stuff that the matoran are doing, sure, but they're pretty much completely centered on the Toa. There's no substantial visual representation of the matoran at work and play. We got to walk the shores of Mata Nui, but we only kind of hear about Metru Nui.

2005 was even worse. The City of Metru Nui became less interesting as a setting once it was reduced to a really large spider death trap. The removal of the matoran from the equation leaves us with a very small cast of relevant sentient characters. It's essentially just the Toa Hordika, their enemies, the Rahaga, Keetongu and Krahka.

I actually think that the story serials were an excellent thing because they offset the story accessibility problem. Familiar characters are back, and interacting with each other. How cool is that? This is what I really loved about 2008; I got to see all of these complex narratives playing out in thrilling complexity. Alternate Dimensions were thrilling for their opportunities. Think of all of the possible plot lines that could come from them! It's an astounding wealth of potential. In the serials, we got to see the universe at war. That's epic.

 

So yeah, setting got neglected a lot.

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The toys were getting worse and worse with each year

 

2006

150px-Matoro_Inika.PNG

 

2009

Gresh

(The picture when clicked on is tiny, but when viewing in-post it's big, dunno what's up with that.)

 

 

Yeup. Piece quality went down, complexity seemingly went south (though there were still some unique techniques used), and all around they just kinda became boring in retrospect.

 

I don't know if that comparison really supports your point… Gresh's torso is more complex than any of the Toa Inika's, and the rest of the build is about equal. The Glatorian had their faults but in general I'd consider them much more interesting sets than the Toa Inika, and I say that as somebody who felt the Inika were pretty good for their time.

 

Overall, I'm not sure whether Bionicle's G1's demise can be attributed to specific missteps. It did incredibly well for its time, and a LEGO theme as cutting-edge as it was bound to slip up from time to time. Its decline was gradual, not precipitous, and to imply it "went wrong" at some specific point is to imply that early on it had a formula for success that could have carried it LONGER than ten years were it not for some particular change in strategy. To me that seems pretty unlikely.

 

LEGO Ninjago seems to be doing better in its seventh year than Bionicle was by the same point in its lifespan, and may surpass Bionicle's lifespan and overall success in the long run, but Ninjago not only started from a much stronger place than Bionicle did and came about at a much better time for its parent company, it also had much more precedent to guide it. Even so it has had its share of missteps, so it should be clear that success or longevity for a LEGO theme does not depend on a total lack of strategic errors.

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The toys were getting worse and worse with each year

 2006150px-Matoro_Inika.PNG 2009Gresh(The picture when clicked on is tiny, but when viewing in-post it's big, dunno what's up with that.)  Yeup. Piece quality went down, complexity seemingly went south (though there were still some unique techniques used), and all around they just kinda became boring in retrospect.
snip

My reference was not to demean or undermine the complexity if the later sets. I love the later sets, they did a lot with what little they had, and that's impressive. What isn't particularly impressive, and least in hindsite, is the overall apearance of the some of the sets, but also the functional issue that plagues the later sets, being the weakness of the ball sockets. That is what I was trying to get at, is that they maybe are seeming uniteresting in hindsight, and also in hindsight the ballsockets were weak. If LEGO were to make sets akin to those later ones, and using modern CCBS, or just modern ball sockets in general if you will, than that alone would help propell the quality and overall apeal a lot I believe. But as you said, even the most successful of themes have had their missteps, certainly Ninjago is doing better than BIONICLE ever did up until this point in it initial run, heck it's doing a lot better than 2009 or G2 did, and it has lived through and surpassed those years.

 

Appearance aside mind you, what exactly do we have here? In some ways the Glatorian are better, in other ways (more flashy ways (no pun intended)) the Inika are better, but yes, marginally and complexitivity wise the were overall better, but certainly not anywhere close to the level of Quality we got in G2 or are getting with the Star Wars constraction sets, but that is to be expected to some degree, I am comparing sets made within a five year seperation between eachother at least, and when you take that i to account it is a rather fair comparison. Piece count went up, complexity of the builds went up, overall it improved, and rather fair gradually I feel, certainly aided forth by HF of course.

 

So yes, they did get more complex, but did they get more interesting? Are kids looking for complexity? Or just a cool looking set with some amount of substance behind it? A world, peoples, cultures, or just cool and somewhat relatable characters. Frankly I think the latter. Complexity may be something they look for, but I don't think it is the top priority for most. So is that what put the nail in BIONICLE's coffin? Maybe, or just partially, but I really cannot say for certain myself.


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They kinda stopped promoting the line around 2007. They still did but not with the same passion that they did in the early years.

 

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They kinda stopped promoting the line around 2007. They still did but not with the same passion that they did in the early years.

 

Actually, at least in the beginning of 2008, I do not recall as frequent of advertising as in 2007, but it did increase somewhat from what I recall. Advertising or not, the theme went south. LEGO had reached their peek for the theme and slowly pulled out their marketing and set budget I feel. Not to say that the designers were somehow lazy, they were far from it. They did a lot with what little they had, and got new piece based on the sets themselves, at least it seems that way based on the concept models.


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Showing Matoro and Gresh together doesn't really capture why the line failed. Taking off the nostalgia glasses, Gresh is the better toy. His torso is more engaging, his vibrant colors and aesthetic clearly tell you he's something Jungle-related, and his launcher weapon is arguably better (streamlined Thornax compared to a bulky Zamor). Plus, his split shield function. The problem is that Gresh is highly derivative of Matoro. All Glatorian were derivative of the Inika, like all canister sets at all post-2006. This was the problem set-wise. Instead of six highly-similar clone sets each wave with a totally new design for the next one, virtually of canister sets from 2006-2009 have more in common with each other than, say, any Visorak has with any Rahkshi. It was only a matter of time before the fans noticed.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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Showing Matoro and Gresh together doesn't really capture why the line failed. Taking off the nostalgia glasses, Gresh is the better toy. His torso is more engaging, his vibrant colors and aesthetic clearly tell you he's something Jungle-related, and his launcher weapon is arguably better (streamlined Thornax compared to a bulky Zamor). Plus, his split shield function. The problem is that Gresh is highly derivative of Matoro. All Glatorian were derivative of the Inika, like all canister sets at all post-2006. This was the problem set-wise. Instead of six highly-similar clone sets each wave with a totally new design for the next one, virtually of canister sets from 2006-2009 have more in common with each other than, say, any Visorak has with any Rahkshi. It was only a matter of time before the fans noticed.

For me, both as a kid and today, there was always more incentive to buy canister sets once they stopped being clones, because you weren't just getting the same thing again.

 

The 06-09 canisters all use the same general build, but after the Inika they definitely stopped being clones.

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idk man

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Showing Matoro and Gresh together doesn't really capture why the line failed. Taking off the nostalgia glasses, Gresh is the better toy. His torso is more engaging, his vibrant colors and aesthetic clearly tell you he's something Jungle-related, and his launcher weapon is arguably better (streamlined Thornax compared to a bulky Zamor). Plus, his split shield function. The problem is that Gresh is highly derivative of Matoro. All Glatorian were derivative of the Inika, like all canister sets at all post-2006. This was the problem set-wise. Instead of six highly-similar clone sets each wave with a totally new design for the next one, virtually of canister sets from 2006-2009 have more in common with each other than, say, any Visorak has with any Rahkshi. It was only a matter of time before the fans noticed.

For me, both as a kid and today, there was always more incentive to buy canister sets once they stopped being clones, because you weren't just getting the same thing again.

 

The 06-09 canisters all use the same general build, but after the Inika they definitely stopped being clones.

 

That is true; it's very difficult for me to put it into writing, but if it makes sense, LEGO exchanged the system of highly specialized clone waves, each individual wave being radically different from the last, for virtually all canister sets 2006-9 being semi-clones.

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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Kapura farting was the original sin tbh.

Nah. Greg deciding that that aspect of his character wasn't canon is where it all went downhill.

  • Upvote 6

Formerly Lyichir: Rachira of Influence

Aanchir's and Meiko's brother

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Kapura farting was the original sin tbh.

Nah. Greg deciding that that aspect of his character wasn't canon is where it all went downhill.

 

This, and the out-of-control Greg (de-)canonizations in general.

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One of my most persistent regrets, although somewhat trivial, is the genderlocking of females to the element of water.

 

I know that this theme is primarily directed towards young boys, but that didn't stop Steven Universe from cramming a whole lot of female characters into their franchise. Representation is key here, people!

What is this community's deal with wanting female robots. Seriously why does it make a difference? And let's not mention that awful cartoon again please.

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One of my most persistent regrets, although somewhat trivial, is the genderlocking of females to the element of water.

 

I know that this theme is primarily directed towards young boys, but that didn't stop Steven Universe from cramming a whole lot of female characters into their franchise. Representation is key here, people!

What is this community's deal with wanting female robots. Seriously why does it make a difference? And let's not mention that awful cartoon again please.
The deal is that, despite the fact BIONICLE characters don't need genders the way humans do, characters are portrayed as male or female to better connect with the human children who the toys were being marketed to. LEGO throughout the 2000s decade believed, like most storytellers and toy makers did, that young boys would be disinterested in female characters, alienating girls from the line in the process. This leads to BIONICLE unfortunately adhering to the Smurfette Principle, having usually only one female protagonist per wave, and being female is often treated as her personality.

 

It's easy for us as men to take gender representation for granted because we are exposed to such a wide variety of male characters. Between the five male Toa Mata, any young boy could associate with at least one of them. Gali, however, only covers a rather narrow stereotype of traditional femininity.

 

As a writer, I've found this a difficult problem to actually fix. Most writers at the time and today were/are male, so male writers branching out to female characters always runs the risk of misrepresentation. I feel like this is the approach LEGO took with making the Ga-Matoran all peacemaker types--they knew trying to break gender stereotypes could be potentially more harmful to young girls' minds than maintaining the gender status quo, so they played it safe. Even when I'm writing fan fiction, I oftentimes treat "male" as the default unless the narrative is deliberately improved by introducing a female.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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