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Lenny7092

Is Ninjago the next Bionicle?

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Hi, guys. You ever look at Ninjago as the 2010s’ own Bionicle? I ask because you can see a lot of similarities and how successful Ninjago is. The similarities include: 

1. Elemental heroes, and there are a team of six of them. 

2. More elements showing up later on 

3. New Ninjago City is sort of like Metru Nui 

4. Ninjago began skeletal villains, and Bionicle G2 did the same thing 

5. Searching for golden objects and other items that can be used to defeat evil ultimately 

6. Shadowy demonic villains that shape-shift and don’t stay down easily 

7. Sensei Wu is like Ekimu 

8. Wu’s father is like the Great Beings’ counterpart 

9. Sometimes refer to the past 

10. There are brother-related feuds 

 

So, yeah. I originally thought that Hero Factory would be 2010s’ primary story-telling theme, but Ninjago’s much stronger, and Nexo Knights is like HF’s inferior counterpart that looks like that it pretends to be the successful theme’s successor. Anyone feeling like that?


I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

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5 hours ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

11. Both have lasted for 9 years

I still wonder how Ninjago was able to pull that off.

Yeah. Bionicle had four direct-to-video movies and a Netflix show with four 22-minute episodes while Ninjago is a lot more than this. It has a TV show with over a hundred episodes and a theatrical Lego Movie. I wish Bionicle can have that kind of glory somehow (well, not as a Lego Movie, but a 3-D Animated movie or a live-action movie similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe). I pity Bionicle because of this as well. In the last two decades, when Bionicle began, we never had this much awesome stuff, and we had a lot of cancelled plans for Bionicle.


I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

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No, because Bionicle was actually good.


Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

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Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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19 hours ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

I believe you mean better. Ninjago sets were, and still are, quite good.

Anyone who thinks Ninjago sets aren't good, has never seen Ninjago City + Docks in all her sweet glory.

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20 hours ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

I believe you mean better. Ninjago sets were, and still are, quite good.

Bold of you to assume I even had the sets in mind, or particularly care. Wake me when Ninjago's story and characters aren't garbage on every front instead of just a few like Bionicle's.

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Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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27 minutes ago, Sir Keksalot said:

Bold of you to assume I even had the sets in mind, or particularly care. Wake me when Ninjago's story and characters aren't garbage on every front instead of just a few like Bionicle's.

I will. My assumption was based on my opinion that Ninjago's sets are the theme's only major draw.

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4 hours ago, Crimson Jester said:

Anyone who thinks Ninjago sets aren't good, has never seen Ninjago City + Docks in all her sweet glory.

I was more partial to the set with the balloon, if anyone remembers that one. 

3 hours ago, Sir Keksalot said:

Bold of you to assume I even had the sets in mind, or particularly care. Wake me when Ninjago's story and characters aren't garbage on every front instead of just a few like Bionicle's.

It's pretty obvious that the story has gone downhill lately. Do you mind telling me when you started watching the show?

I abandoned it right before the Ninjago Movie because of repetition. Season 2 was the best. Bring Back Pythor.  

Does "just a few like Bionicle's" mean that you don't like Bionicle even and only a few characters aren't garbage?

Please come back when you're feeling better. 

Edited by 21Boomerangs

you can call me boomie :D

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3 hours ago, Crimson Jester said:

Maybe Ninjago is just lacking that knife-sharp adolescent edginess you seem to be exuding?

I didn't realize being critical of a terrible plot with terrible writing was "edgy."

3 hours ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

I will. My assumption was based on my opinion that Ninjago's sets are the theme's only major draw.

They really are, and therein lies the problem. A franchise should not be defined by its merch even if it's centered around that merch.

27 minutes ago, 21Boomerangs said:

It's pretty obvious that the story has gone downhill lately. Do you mind telling me when you started watching the show?

I abandoned it right before the Ninjago Movie because of repetition. Season 2 was the best. Bring Back Pythor.  

Does "just a few like Bionicle's" mean that you don't like Bionicle even and only a few characters aren't garbage?

Please come back when you're feeling better. 

I started with S1, and gave up right after the episode with "Jole." That one subplot convinced me that this entire storyline was garbage if the characters were actually that idiotic and inconsistent. There's no depth to the characters, no originality, and no real arcs.

Bionicle, for all its shortcomings, had effort put into it. It's not 100% trash because there's actual thought behind the arcs characters go through, and the cast isn't comprised of unintelligent and unlikable twerps who aren't even consistent. Major events, for the most part, have lasting consequences; even when characters die and respawn on the Red Star, they're still stuck there and can't come back in any important way.

Not sure what that last condescending remark's supposed to mean.

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Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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5 minutes ago, Sir Keksalot said:

Not sure what that last condescending remark's supposed to mean.

Your tone suggests that you're tired and stressed. Either that, or you really hate Ninjago. If the latter, why are you even here making yourself miserable talking about something you hate so much? Why do you have to ruin the fun for those of us that like it, or part of it? If you think we're all unintelligent for liking Ninjago, why are you even talking to us? Our unintelligence could rub off on you. 

I just prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are in a bad mood, rather than assume that you are purposefully spreading hatred. 

13 minutes ago, Sir Keksalot said:

Bionicle, for all its shortcomings, had effort put into it. It's not 100% trash because there's actual thought behind the arcs characters go through, and the cast isn't comprised of unintelligent and unlikable twerps who aren't even consistent. Major events, for the most part, have lasting consequences; even when characters die and respawn on the Red Star, they're still stuck there and can't come back in any important way.

I agree with you on this 100%. Bionicle is a remarkable story, the best story that Lego has ever produced. Ninjago is inferior to it. 


you can call me boomie :D

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11 hours ago, 21Boomerangs said:

Your tone suggests that you're tired and stressed. Either that, or you really hate Ninjago. If the latter, why are you even here making yourself miserable talking about something you hate so much? Why do you have to ruin the fun for those of us that like it, or part of it? If you think we're all unintelligent for liking Ninjago, why are you even talking to us? Our unintelligence could rub off on you. 

I just prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are in a bad mood, rather than assume that you are purposefully spreading hatred. 

I agree with you on this 100%. Bionicle is a remarkable story, the best story that Lego has ever produced. Ninjago is inferior to it. 

I don't know why you feel the need to assume I'm here to rip into Ninjago's fans rather than just criticize the line as a work of fiction. If you feel personally attacked when I say something is bad, that's on you. You can like bad things; in fact, the sets are (as has been discussed) the one thing Ninjago really has going for it, so there's even grounds on which to like it. But the actual narrative component (that is, the important thing for those of us who can't afford/don't care about the merch) is still horrendous and saying as much isn't "spreading hatred."

OP asked a question, I had a comment. Don't act like I'm the bad guy for speaking the truth.


Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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4 hours ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

I'm not saying that you're the bad guy. I do have one criticism, though: if it's an opinion, is it really the truth?

It's not an opinion that Ninjago's characters are inconsistent and shallow. "I like Ninjago" is an opinion. "Ninjago's story is vapid and conveys nothing of substance" is not. If we accept that art is 100% subjective, we have no real grounds on which to assess it in the hopes of moving art in a forward direction; and this is really important for kids' media like Ninjago, which we ought to demand to make our kids think critically and impart valuable lessons on them. Garmadon, as an antagonist, is terrible for this. Zane's pathetic excuse for an arc on discovering that he's a robot is terrible for this. The nonsense dynamic of Jay and Nya's relationship, especially with the Jole Incident in mind, is terrible for this.


Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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5 hours ago, Sir Keksalot said:

It's not an opinion that Ninjago's characters are inconsistent and shallow. "I like Ninjago" is an opinion. "Ninjago's story is vapid and conveys nothing of substance" is not. If we accept that art is 100% subjective, we have no real grounds on which to assess it in the hopes of moving art in a forward direction; and this is really important for kids' media like Ninjago, which we ought to demand to make our kids think critically and impart valuable lessons on them. Garmadon, as an antagonist, is terrible for this. Zane's pathetic excuse for an arc on discovering that he's a robot is terrible for this. The nonsense dynamic of Jay and Nya's relationship, especially with the Jole Incident in mind, is terrible for this.

Why do you make it sound as though you expected more from that which is just a cartoon? Ask yourself this: is that amount of effort usually put into creative works like that?


For Chima!

 

Skyrise Ascent: Akkitu
Former RPGs: Explota

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1 hour ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

Why do you make it sound as though you expected more from that which is just a cartoon? Ask yourself this: is that amount of effort usually put into creative works like that?

That mentality is a load of bupkis. The medium a work happens to be presented in shouldn't be any excuse to lessen the value of that work, nor should the target audience--especially when that audience is impressionable and far smarter than companies give them credit for. Creative effort should always be implemented to the utmost, no exceptions. Why SHOULDN'T more effort be put into the writing? Why SHOULD kids just be spoonfed meaningless drivel that doesn't say anything as a work of art? Or was the effort put into Bionicle all for nothing with no real benefit for Lego or the consumers?

To respond: no, that's not normally the case. My position is that entertainment should never be dumbed down for a young audience, regardless of what the corporate shills that run the entertainment industry think/care about.

Edited by Sir Keksalot

Rule #1: Always listen to Kek.

Rule #2: If you break rule #1, kindly don't.

Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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Hey everyone. I love seeing people get excited about the things they enjoy, like Bionicle and LEGO. It's that passionate spirit that makes BZPower such a great place to be. It's generated years of great discussion and creativity. However, it's all too easy to let our passion for the things we like (or even the things we don't like) get the better of us, especially in an online environment, and I think this topic is getting a little heated.

With that said, let's all take a deep breath and keep BZPower's Rules and Guidelines in mind, particularly these two guidelines:

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It's all too easy to misinterpret online posts because there's no body language or verbal cues to help make your point. So err on the side of caution and do your best to be polite. Let's continue to make BZPower a great place to be. :)

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Yeah. Let’s not get hasty. We’re here to talk about how Ninjago is acting like the next Bionicle, not hating it. I mean, why not compare the Ninja to the Toa? It’s really simple.


I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

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On 1/28/2020 at 7:59 AM, Lenny7092 said:

Yeah. Let’s not get hasty. We’re here to talk about how Ninjago is acting like the next Bionicle, not hating it. I mean, why not compare the Ninja to the Toa? It’s really simple.

Barring its financial success and the formulaic implementation of the characters, there's not a lot of similarity. Bionicle was a constraction theme with lots of complex worldbuilding, mystery, and (in its later years) tryhard edginess. It was presented through relatively cheap means of delivering the story (the comics, novels, and a few B-movies) and was allowed to end in some capacity, if pathetically. When new ideas or gimmicks were introduced, they were progressions of existing storylines and arcs, and there wasn't a great deal of focus on those gimmicks over the general set design and story, perhaps with the exception of 2007 and maybe 2008. The sets and story were extensions of one another, and this is because the line was created for the explicit purpose of getting big so that Lego could balance out the royalties from SW. 

What's interesting is that Bionicle fostered more themes of its ilk in the form of KKII and Exo-Force. Lego found that story-based action-adventure lines were successful, so they tried some more; and ones with a constraction component, no less. While neither line took off as hard as Bionicle, Lego really went and did something interesting because of the success of a big IP. This pattern continued after the line's death, too, with Atlantis coming in just as it died out. What's more, without Bionicle, Hero Factory--which, for its pitfalls, kept constraction's seat warm and was fairly unique in any case--couldn't even have been conceivable.

Ninjago, on the other hand, is a system theme that puts the sets before the story in every way. The media focus is mostly in the cartoon, with books and comics receiving minimal focus by comparison. There's also that (incredibly inconsistent) movie that I have to actively try to remember because it's like my brain wants me to forget it. Ninjago was conceived to be another experimental, 3-year theme, but it was hauled out of the grave no sooner than it entered it and brought back to continue forever and ever without end. Right now, it seems to just be where new possible gimmicks for an action-adventure theme are dumped off. I mean, look at the new "video game" gimmick--that could and SHOULD have been its own theme; it has limitless potential. But no, Lego's cash cow needs more fuel because they're understandably running out of ideas. Ninjago began in 2011; 2 years later, we got Chima; 3 years after that, Nexo Knights. All 3 were experimental action-adventure lines that, while they all had lousy stories, were at least new and creative in some way. 4 years after NK, there haven't been any new themes of that nature. Hidden Side, maybe? But that's a different beast entirely and experiments in a radically different way, much as I have to commend it for truly thinking outside of the box. Elves, perhaps? But that aims for a wholly different audience and has less focus on action for the first year, and sorta evolved into another conflict-based theme; and it died alongside NK. Still, we're never gonna get another crazy, creative action-adventure theme so long as Ninjago is hogging the scene; at least if recent trends continue.

There's no endgame for Ninjago where Bionicle at least had some long-term story goals. Character development and growth are fleeting and minimal, and major events have little in the way of permanent consequence. Where Bionicle's sins laid in trying too hard not to feel like it was just for kids, Ninjago's lie in its refusal to try and be anything more than that. Where Bionicle prompted new themes to be born, Ninjago stifles fledgling themes by competition and snuffs out potential new ideas. It'd be one thing if Ninjago had any of the real merits Bionicle had beyond just set design, but outside of the merch, it's a downgrade on every front. Oddly enough, the Toa-ninja comparison you mention exemplifies this.

Bionicle revolved around 6 protagonists at any given time, while Ninjago only got 6 around halfway through its lifetime. Bionicle rotated out Toa teams regularly, going through 3 by 2009; at which point, it switched to a new type of main cast entirely. Ninjago has had the same 6 heroes since year 2. Bionicle also had something resembling character arcs and internal conflict. Jaller spent his whole career as a Toa going out of his way to avoid making the same mistakes as Vakama and Tahu, and this informed his behavior in the Ignition arc. Matoro, at the end of his arc, freakin' dies. There's permanent consequence for these characters and one another. Meanwhile, with one episode of Ninjago, I would like to point out just why the writing is as bad as it is: the one where we learn that Zane is a robot. Zane has had to deal with social ineptitude up to this point in the show, and it's been a defining part of his character, right? So he finally learns that he's not even human, and his shortcomings are a matter of programming he doesn't even fully understand. And what happens? He...comes to terms with it in a single afternoon! Of course! This HUGE chance for character growth, this thing that could have made Zane the most interesting character in the show...is just done away with! Instantly! No real arc, no meaningful growth, just...filler! There's more instances like this, like how Cole literally dies and becomes a ghost or how Lloyd has to give up being a kid and instantly become a man, but I won't go overboard here. It's the same deal.

Which is the primary reason I've been ripping into Ninjago here, and why I maintain that it's not a worthy successor to Bionicle. There's never a real reason to care because the characters aren't written to be cared about. The story isn't written to pull you in and immerse you in a strange world. The story is just one long commercial, nothing more. Bionicle at least has SOMETHING going for it. There's a sense that the team behind it actually enjoyed it as a narrative, not just a financial asset.

Edited by Sir Keksalot
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Rule #3: EVERYBODY TYPE IN THE CHAT "AVAK IS A STUPID TRIGGER"

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For the children of the 2010s I have no doubt ninjago will be their bionicle. Something they'll look back on fondly in a decade or so. For me however as someone who was only somewhat invested in ninjago during its first year it really has no significance to me. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Overall I echo Kek's views on the matter. Ninjago (at least last time I watched it in 2012) is rather flimsily written and doesn't have much merit on its own. The sets seem to have fallen into the same trap bionicle did in which they now follow a very identifiable pattern. Jet plane, motorcycle, off-road vehicle, a mech, a dragon, small shrine and large temple with vaguely Japanese qualities. A line that was once innovative in its earlier days has since fallen into repetition and as we saw with bionicle this normally doesn't bode well for lego themes. Overall ninjago just doesn't mean anything to me and I won't have a strong reaction whenever it gets discontinued. 

21 hours ago, Sir Keksalot said:

 

Ninjago, on the other hand, is a systeme them that puts the sets before the story in every way. The media focus is mostly in the cartoon, with books and comics receiving minimal focus by comparison. There's also that (incredibly inconsistent) movie that I have to actively try to remember because it's like my brain wants me to forget it. Ninjago was conceived to be another experimental, 3-year theme, but it was hauled out of the grave no sooner than it entered it and brought back to continue forever and ever without end. Right now, it seems to just be where new possible gimmicks for an action-adventure theme are dumped off. I mean, look at the new "video game" gimmick--that could and SHOULD have been its own theme; it has limitless potential. But no, Lego's cash cow needs more fuel because they're understandably running out of ideas. Ninjago began in 2011; 2 years later, we got Chima; 3 years after that, Nexo Knights. All 3 were experimental action-adventure lines that, while they all had lousy stories, were at least new and creative in some way. 4 years after NK, there haven't been any new themes of that nature. Hidden Side, maybe? But that's a different beast entirely and experiments in a radically different way, much as I have to commend it for truly thinking outside of the box. Elves, perhaps? But that aims for a wholly different audience and has less focus on action for the first year, and sorta evolved into another conflict-based theme; and it died alongside NK. Still, we're never gonna get another crazy, creative action-adventure theme so long as Ninjago is hogging the scene; at least if recent trends continue.

 

I wouldn't say it's ninjago specifically that's caused this to happen. This is largely down to Lego's strategy of focusing on licenced themes rather than new lines. In the past bionicle used to take up a huge part of the line up in a given year but it never stopped new themes coming to the forefront. The problem is that the licenced themes are taking up what would otherwise be the space for new themes. In a way Lego has fallen into their pre-1999 mindset of sticking with a proven formula and ceasing to produce diverse lines of in-house and innovative themes that can push the envelope. For example back in the 2000s when Lego released a line it would always be dedicated to a specific type of set. Knights Kingdom and castle were obviously medieval fantasy themed. Exo-Force was the theme for mechs (with anime styling). And you could get themes like Mars mission for spacecrafts (that weren't star wars). Each one would offer consumers a diverse range in each type of set. You had plenty of mechs and spacecrafts to choose from. However since then the philosophy has changed. Look at Nexo-Knights. Instead of being a dedicated medieval fantasy theme it instead decided to incorporate tanks, sci-fi future tech, and mechs all into one with a medieval fantasy theme. The goal seems to be to just sandwich as many popular themes as possible into one. This is part of what I think stifles their innovation. Instead of having a whole range of mechs for kids to choose from they end up releasing maybe two in one given theme and thus not allowing for much experimentation to be done as there is simply no room in the line up.


It's time to move on.

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