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opinion: no, we DON'T need bionicle back

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i fully expect this to be one of my most controversial posts, but i stand by it wholeheartedly.  the bionicle community DOES NOT need bionicle to come back or be revived.  let's talk about why.

1. lego itself doesn't need bionicle back.
making a new lego line is risky.  within certain budgetary confinements, lego has to pay for:

  • licensing fees (if making a licensed theme)
  • designers to design new sets and packaging
  • molds to manufacture any new pieces and plastic to make those new pieces
  • material for packaging
  • shipping and distribution fees to get completed sets into stores
  • advertising to get people to buy sets

if lego doesn't make enough money from the new line to cover these costs, they'll declare the line a failure, toss it in the bin, and move on; they're not going to try to salvage it in the vain hope that sales will turn around. 

while the exact amount of impact is debatable, you can't deny that fan campaigns played a part in bringing about bionicle G2.  despite evidently strong support for the revival, its sales ended up being so abysmal that lego decided to put it out of its misery and end it a whole year early rather than keep bleeding money.  what does this tell lego about fan campaigns?  it tells them that they're just for show.  and what does this tell them about reviving retired themes?  it tells them that that's not a profitable course of action.  lego is a business above all, and their concern is earning and keeping money, so even though they're more well-off than they were back then, they're going to make the smart business decision to invest further time, effort, and money into what is already bringing in profit.

2. you make yourself look bad by continuing to beg for another bionicle revival.
i already know somebody's going to come in here and say, "but... but muh snyder cut!"  let me shut you down right there.  the snyder cut was released because the millions of people organizing these fan campaigns were actually willing to put their money where their mouth was in order to support the creator's original vision.

the bionicle community doesn't have millions organizing fan campaigns.  it has the same handful of sweaty man-babies whining for the return of a toy line that financially failed twice for the sake of satisfying their own nostalgia.  there's a reason most of the other lego communities look down on the bionicle community, and this is it.  (ironically, these are the same lego communities vainly begging for the return of classic space and classic castle, but that's neither here nor there.)  by continuing to ignore reality and keep screeching "bring back bionicle" every time lego makes even a vague reference to it in the hopes that it'll get them them to let you relive your rose-tinted childhood, you risk further alienating other lego communities- and eventually, maybe even lego itself- from what's already an extremely insular community.

3. you have the power to make bionicle your own.
there's a saying somewhere that goes, "when companies fail to make content the fans want, the fans will make it themselves."  bionicle has the benefit of being produced by a company whose primary product experience is making your own content with it.  that means that you have the freedom to make whatever kind of bionicle figures you want.  you're not constrained to the same certain aesthetics, "legal" techniques, part counts, or budgetary concerns that lego factors into their processes.  there will be other constraints, sure, but that's inherent to any hobby.

you're not even constrained to making bionicle figures.  think of all the books, comics, web serials, animations, etc. that accompanied bionicle G1.  think of all the characters that never got visual representations- you can give those to them.  think of all the events and locations that were mentioned, but never really explored- you can tell stories about them. heck, you're not even constrained to what accompanied G1 or G2.  you can make up new stories about new heroes in new worlds that lego employees could never even dream of coming up with.  to paraphrase the inimitable bob ross, you can do whatever you want, because it's your little world.  the only limits are your imagination and your work ethic.

to say, "i want lego to bring back bionicle like this" is to say, "i need someone else to be creative for me."  and that's so utterly sad.

in conclusion, when does a man die?  when he is hit by a bullet?  no.  when he suffers a disease?  no.  when he eats a soup made out of a poisonous mushroom?  no.  a man dies when he is forgotten.  bionicle doesn't need to be brought back, because it will never go anywhere as long as people are there to remember it fondly.  those who keep campaigning for bionicle to be rebooted again and again, despite common sense saying that that's a bad idea, have forgotten what already exists.

lego has given you plenty.  they are not obligated to give you more.  if you want more, make it.

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I wholeheartedly agree. 

As much as I wish I could walk into a toy store and buy new Bionicles, as much as I wish the story had gotten a proper conclusion, you're absolutely right. 

The world now is very different to the world where Bionicle first took off. Capturing that lightning-in-a-bottle effect that G1 had is going to be nearly impossible, especially given Lego's clear disinterest in maintaining a constraction theme, not to mention the disdain that other Lego "purists" have towards Bionicle. I wouldn't put it past Lego to try rebooting Bionicle again, as they did in 2016, or creating some new constraction theme, but I don't think anything they do will ever manage to be as big or lore-rich as the original Bionicle was. I don't think they'd even try to make anything that ambitious again. 

I'm not even going to bother broaching the idea of a G1 continuation, because that's absolutely never going to happen. A belated ending would never satisfy everyone anyway, after all this time. 

I especially agree with your final point. I'd very much encourage people to go and do their own thing, create their own legends, instead of kicking and picking at the corpse of G1. The lore has been so twisted out of shape by Greg over-explaining things, answering questions without considering the repercussions, and people pitching their random headcanons at him for "approval."  

We can remember Bionicle, reminisce about it, revisit and reread it, reimagine it to make our own worlds... but we also need to let it have the rest it so rightfully deserves. 

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I mean, there's also the fact that we're all adults now and the idea of begging what is a literally a company that makes toys aimed at mostly children to bring back a toy line isn't something adults should really do ya know?

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Also, we were never Bionicle's target demographic. Back between 2003-20010, there were only a few thousand active BZP members. Maybe like 5000 at the absolute peak. Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of customers who barely even knew Bionicle had a story. We are in no position to make any sort of requests or demands whatsoever. Back in the day, if BZP had unanimously decided to boycott Bionicle or something, Lego would have barely noticed a dip in their profit margins. We have never been more than a vocal minority, and probably more of a nuisance to Lego than anything. Greg and Bionicle's story team certainly cared about us for the most part, but to Big Lego we were just entitled nerds. 

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This feels like a thesis against a certain user I will not name. I do still have my resentments over the nature of bionicle's cancellation but overall I myself don't want it to return. But frankly the arguments made here are not very convincing. I will play devil's advocate and go over a number of rebuttals that could be made. Lego could, with the right leadership, make bionicle a roaring success once again. If Greg Farshtey was back at the helm bionicle could, theoretically, become a big franchise again. The second argument comes off as more of an insult than anything. Calling people manbabies really isn't a compelling argument. And the idea one can just make their own bionicle is kind of laughable when you consider that most bionicle fans are adults without the time to really dedicate themselves to it. That being said I don't think your argument is completely without merit but I'm just pointing out that a number of counter-arguments could be raised against it. 

That being said it's not so much a case that bionicle doesn't need to come back so much as the fact that it should not come back. Certainly not any time in the near future. The simple reason being that Lego is simply unable to support such a theme in this day and age. Back in G1s day the company was a lot smaller with enough resources to dedicate towards a single theme like bionicle. Nowadays it's a lot bigger and more diversified. I will concede that bionicle was not, in the long term, a sustainable way to keep the company afloat. But due to the fact bionicle was their only multimedia franchise they could dedicate a lot of time and effort into it. It was the companies' bread and butter at the time. Today however Lego have a lot of their themes turn into multimedia franchises. So much so they started producing films for their licenced properties. They now have to outsource a lot of their story materials to other companies meaning they really cannot create something as in depth as bionicle anymore. Not just that but the culture in general changed. Dark and serious stories were all the rage in the 2000s and Lego was just falling in line. People no longer demand these types of story anymore. And that's before taking into account the economics behind it which would be a disaster for the company. To recreate a line like bionicle Lego would have to make a LOT of new moulds. So much so that such a theme would be incredibly expensive. I'm not even sure if CCBS is still in production at this point (which presents a whole host of problems for constraction). If Lego were to bring it back today there would be a whole host of problems that would cause it to fall short of the original. The idea really is based in pure nostalgia and nothing else. And even if Lego were to bring it back, exactly as it was, it would not have the same impact. The sense of wonder and mystery is gone now. I am older, you are older, and we already know the story. Sadly that sense of wonder at the theme will be confined to memory for the rest of our lives. 

Bionicle should not return. It was my childhood and it will remain there. 

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It's time to move on.

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that last point of the OP is really important, I feel. It's like there has been a shift in what was the 'fandom' back then and what is left now (and I don't mean just BZP, especially these days when it's a minor factor). And part of that shift is that I feel like a lot of the self-generated creativity and out-of-the-box-ness in general has lowered, and the attitude to canon has increased to adherence. This has been a long time coming ever since the importance of Ask Grug was raised in the minds of the community with the end of the toyline and festered with the gap from 2011-16 and then from ~2019 to now with the sharp spike in nostalgia-driven new-old-fans, but this spills over into other creative projects. Even the MoCs elsewhere have become predominantly rehashes or redesigns (or... attempts to portray certain previously un-described characters in the official story). It's all become part of the nostalgia cycle. And I frankly hate it, and wish that the mindset of other fans can change to realise they don't need LEGO's (or anyone's) permission to "Do Bionicle" themselves however they want to engage with it.

 

tldr it's time to Move Along

Edited by NorikSigma
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I also agree, and I do find this to be a refreshing post here. Like, if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it until it is. Let a good thing be, so we can experience our nostalgia in peace, without various reboot attempts to inevitably disappoint us for one reason or another ( like either by ending again or it doesn't live up to overinflated expectation, etc). 

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It's all in how you phrase the question and define your terms: if you put the emphasis on "need," well, yes, of course it isn't needed. If you say "should LEGO do this?" it turns into pure opinion: the only thing LEGO should do is make toys out of plastic bricks in a profitable manner (arguably, I'd say LEGO has added a "do it ethically" clause to their self-mandate, which they're striving to add in, but that's a sidebar). 

But would I like them to go back to the Bionicle well? Yes, yes I would. (Full disclosure: I'm one of those "returning out of nostalgia" old fans and my boys will be just old enough to buy constraction figures for in about 3-5 years). I would like a System reboot or a constraction reboot or a books-and-websites-only niche expansion of the lore (gotta keep the trademark, right?). I'd enjoy a single Toa thrown into a series of Collectible Minifigs. 

I don't need it, though.

Edited by Hau1
Spelling/grammar

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I agree as well. Granted, I let Bionicle go around 2006 because I was done with it. Had to move onto other things. Eventually I came back to it in my own way that didn't need Lego to do it for me.


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10 hours ago, NorikSigma said:

tldr it's time to Move Along

The All-American Rejects had it right this whole time...

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13 hours ago, NorikSigma said:

It's like there has been a shift in what was the 'fandom' back then and what is left now (and I don't mean just BZP, especially these days when it's a minor factor).

Indeed. I think BZP has become a very different animal to other parts of the Bionicle fandom. Here, the roleplay forum is easily the busiest and most popular part of the website, which I think speaks volumes to people's desire to reimagine and reinterpret Bionicle in new ways, rather than rehashing the old. 

Whereas elsewhere, as you've said, the emphasis is more on adhering to, and adding to, the existing canon. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 10:20 PM, capMARVELOUS said:

the bionicle community doesn't have millions organizing fan campaigns.  it has the same handful of sweaty man-babies whining for the return of a toy line that financially failed twice for the sake of satisfying their own nostalgia. 

A counter argument to this, Bionicle failed financially once. From what we understand when the decision was made to sunset Bionicle in 2008 for G1, the line was still doing well financially but had begun to plateau. So rather than risk beginning to take on financial losses, Lego canned it while it was still near its peak fiscally speaking. So while I think it is fair to assume G2 flopped due to poor sales, I think its unfair to assume the same happened to G1 which ended as one of Lego's strongest themes in its history. We also can't assume G2 solely happened due to fan demand, its possible something else was a factor that lead to the start of G2 because if the Bionicle fan community is a small and vocal group now it was still a small and vocal group then as well. 

On 10/14/2021 at 10:20 PM, capMARVELOUS said:

(ironically, these are the same lego communities vainly begging for the return of classic space and classic castle, but that's neither here nor there.)

Hehehehe... you are not wrong.
 

On 10/14/2021 at 10:20 PM, capMARVELOUS said:

3. you have the power to make bionicle your own.

Another good point, and its kind of what I view whatever Faber's mystery posting to likely be. He is just, exploring Bionicle and what it means to him as one of the co-creators of the franchise; making it his own and sharing it with us, but don't expect it to be "ermagersh new canon new toys" type of Bionicle. 
 

On 10/16/2021 at 4:47 AM, NorikSigma said:

that last point of the OP is really important, I feel. It's like there has been a shift in what was the 'fandom' back then and what is left now (and I don't mean just BZP, especially these days when it's a minor factor). And part of that shift is that I feel like a lot of the self-generated creativity and out-of-the-box-ness in general has lowered, and the attitude to canon has increased to adherence.

Canon can be fun, but a slavish adherence to it is something all franchises seem to suffer through. Especially with were Bionicle is now, most of us were kids joining this forum and now almost the entire majority is adults... maybe in a way our imagination has ran a bit more dry and we want to apply "logic" to everything, IDK. I don't disparage people who try and create new canon, I even put an entry into the first Helyrx contest; but nitpicking over the canon of the line now we have to just remember that not everything in Bionicle makes sense and that is okay... and if we find some old thing in the canon that isn't fully fleshed out, well: 

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4 hours ago, Xboxtravis said:

From what we understand when the decision was made to sunset Bionicle in 2008 for G1, the line was still doing well financially but had begun to plateau.

I wouldn't call it a plateau. Greg said many times that Bionicle's sales were steadily declining all the way since 2002. Yes, Lego cancelled it before they actually started losing money, but G1 was definitely going downhill.

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On 10/19/2021 at 1:31 AM, Xboxtravis said:

A counter argument to this, Bionicle failed financially once. From what we understand when the decision was made to sunset Bionicle in 2008 for G1, the line was still doing well financially but had begun to plateau. So rather than risk beginning to take on financial losses, Lego canned it while it was still near its peak fiscally speaking.

Canon can be fun, but a slavish adherence to it is something all franchises seem to suffer through. Especially with were Bionicle is now, most of us were kids joining this forum and now almost the entire majority is adults... maybe in a way our imagination has ran a bit more dry and we want to apply "logic" to everything, IDK. I don't disparage people who try and create new canon, I even put an entry into the first Helryx contest; but nitpicking over the canon of the line now we have to just remember that not everything in Bionicle makes sense and that is okay... and if we find some old thing in the canon that isn't fully fleshed out, well:
 

Bionicle's story has always been very gappy at during the later years. The serials were good but i do feel they started way to late into the franchise weren't advertised with the toys. and when they were going on they were barely holding the rest of the story together after the comics and mata nui's journey serials.

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I think I agree with all of @capMARVELOUS opening statement, especially about one being truly dead only when one is forgotten. As long as fan works keep being made, stories keep being told, then Bionicle is still not dead. I made my Lego Ideas project as I wanted just a single tribute from TLG and I wanted to gauge reaction to such a thing. It seems the community does not have much resilience as after Sokoda's was rejected a lot of bitter venom was vented about Lego and after that it is much harder to get people interested in a project. 

But yeah, I'm not too phased if my personal IDEAS project expires or makes it and gets chopped, building a detailed GSR model in time for the anniversary was reward in itself and hopefully more people will feel that way as they mature, that reward can be found in their fan works. Also about the canon contests, I personally think they are great, sure the first couple have been bumpy but ironing out bugs was always going to be a step, I'm very satisfied with the result for Artahka at least. One thing as well that makes them more tolerable is to think of it as a springboard for ideas, the winning model serves as inspiration for all.

TLG has changed a lot even in the last 5 years so I think it's not a priority to them, they often jump on trends like toys to life late, if an action figure or robot trend happens again maybe they'll revisit it. But stating once again, learning to be self sufficient will be good for the fandom, already I see a lot of fan characters and original works, especially coming out of Studio and the fan made part packs etc.

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We do need Bionicle back, actually. It had two cancellations, which make terrible endings and cliffhanger, and Hero Factory looks like a part of Bionicle because of similar stuff, but isn’t said to share the same universe as Bionicle G1. That’s madness. We are using Lego Ideas and Lego World Builder to help ourselves with this.


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

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37 minutes ago, Lenny7092 said:

We do need Bionicle back, actually. It had two cancellations, which make terrible endings and cliffhanger, and Hero Factory looks like a part of Bionicle because of similar stuff, but isn’t said to share the same universe as Bionicle G1. That’s madness. We are using Lego Ideas and Lego World Builder to help ourselves with this.

Did you read anything in this topic other than the title? lol

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On 10/26/2021 at 11:04 AM, Lenny7092 said:

We do need Bionicle back, actually.

Why, actually? Why do we NEED it back? I understand that you might need it back, but why do we? Please explain.
 

On 10/26/2021 at 11:04 AM, Lenny7092 said:

It had two cancellations, which make terrible endings and cliffhanger

Yeah that stinks, but get over it.
 

On 10/26/2021 at 11:04 AM, Lenny7092 said:

Hero Factory looks like a part of Bionicle because of similar stuff, but isn’t said to share the same universe as Bionicle G1. That's madness.

What similar stuff? The only parallels between G1 and HF are superficial at best. They have totally different design directions and aesthetics.
Why is it "madness" for two very different things to belong to different universes? Please elaborate on that. 
 

On 10/26/2021 at 11:04 AM, Lenny7092 said:

We are using Lego Ideas and Lego World Builder to help ourselves with this.

Are we? I know that you're trying to do this, but for the rest of us we're just happy MOCing and keeping the legend alive with our friends. Also, as far as I can tell, none of the Bionicle Ideas have succeeded. 
 

On 10/26/2021 at 11:41 AM, Bambi said:

Did you read anything in this topic other than the title? lol

He probably didn't. @Lenny7092, we'd all really appreciate it if you took the time to address all of the points in the original post, and provide a counter argument better than "um no."

Edited by Lorentz
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looks like i didn't stir the pot nearly as much as i thought i would.  let's change that lol

On 10/15/2021 at 5:32 PM, masterchirox580 said:

But due to the fact bionicle was their only multimedia franchise they could dedicate a lot of time and effort into it. It was the companies' bread and butter at the time. Today however Lego have a lot of their themes turn into multimedia franchises. So much so they started producing films for their licenced properties. They now have to outsource a lot of their story materials to other companies meaning they really cannot create something as in depth as bionicle anymore.

this is an interesting point, and one i didn't think about until you mentioned it.  you're absolutely right- lego's become something of a mini franchise machine in recent years, and with so many multimedia aspects they have to finance in addition to the toys, they can't really afford to pour as much time and money into making any of them as in depth as G1 anymore.  to add on to that, diverting funds from one line to finance a new one could spell the end of both if neither of them make those figures back.  i could be misremembering, but didn't something like that happen back in 2013?  didn't lego "end" ninjago and use some of that money to finance G2, and that turned out to be an awful decision?  feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.

On 10/15/2021 at 5:32 PM, masterchirox580 said:

Not just that but the culture in general changed. Dark and serious stories were all the rage in the 2000s and Lego was just falling in line. People no longer demand these types of story anymore.

you're right about this one, too.  there definitely has been a huge shift in media consumer culture over the past decade and a half.  stories that take themselves seriously just aren't in demand anymore.  personally i blame the mcu for conditioning people to believe that quips every five seconds and mocking tropes at every turn should be the storytelling norm

On 10/16/2021 at 11:26 AM, Aderia said:

without various reboot attempts to inevitably disappoint us for one reason or another ( like either by ending again or it doesn't live up to overinflated expectation, etc).

that last bit right there, i think, is spot on.  overinflated expectations were/are a massive contributor to not just G2's weak reception, but to weak receptions of reboots in general.  people tend to treat reboots, remakes, sequels, etc., as the second coming of christ, when in reality they're often shallow as a puddle with no real influence from the original beyond names and maybe a few superficial fanservice moments or mythology gags, made by people who just want to siphon a few more dollars off of a bunch of fanboy shmucks.  (i'm of the mind that reboots and remakes are unnecessary because the originals still exist and they're fine as-is, but that's a convo for a whole other site.)

On 10/18/2021 at 8:31 PM, Xboxtravis said:

We also can't assume G2 solely happened due to fan demand, its possible something else was a factor that lead to the start of G2 because if the Bionicle fan community is a small and vocal group now it was still a small and vocal group then as well.

i'm not saying it was the sole factor, i'm saying it was a factor; how big or small a factor, we'll likely never know.  but you're right, fan demand can't be the only reason for G2's existence, considering how much of a minority bionicle fans are under the greater lego umbrella.

On 10/22/2021 at 1:40 AM, Axelford said:

they often jump on trends like toys to life late, if an action figure or robot trend happens again maybe they'll revisit it.

maybe that's because trends come and go so fast nowadays that the engagement with them dies off before lego can finish developing their contribution to them.  or maybe they really are "how do you do, fellow kids" levels of behind the times.

On 10/26/2021 at 1:04 PM, Lenny7092 said:

We do need Bionicle back, actually. It had two cancellations, which make terrible endings and cliffhanger, and Hero Factory looks like a part of Bionicle because of similar stuff, but isn’t said to share the same universe as Bionicle G1. That’s madness. We are using Lego Ideas and Lego World Builder to help ourselves with this.

oh look, the parrot's mindlessly repeating words again.  do you want a cracker, parrot?

you're more than welcome to engage with my thread, but- and forgive me if this sounds selfish- until you choose to genuinely address the points i've laid out in the OP and not just spout the same "um actually we need bionicle G1 and hero factory back" shtick you've been going at for the past several months, i kindly invite you to get off my porch.

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-snib-

Edited by Lorentz
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#makeBionicleG1andHeroFactorysharethesameuniverse and #giveBionicleansHeroFactorytheirownliveactioncinematicuniverse 

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I know Lenny keeps repeating the same stuff and that can be annoying, but I think you guys could be a bit kinder on him, especially you @Lorentz, you've been very blunt and maybe that's just you, but a calm response (And no gloating) to Lenny could achieve the same means (Silence) and perhaps with a better result, say, mutual respect that we all have different opinions?

 

Edited by Axelford
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25 minutes ago, Axelford said:

I know Lenny keeps repeating the same stuff and that can be annoying, but I think you guys could be a bit kinder on him, especially you @Lorentz, you've been very blunt and maybe that's just you but a calm response (And no gloating) to Lenny could achieve the same means (Silence) and perhaps with a better result, say, mutual respect that we all have different opinions.

 

Yeah I guess you're right, I'll dial it back. 

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#makeBionicleG1andHeroFactorysharethesameuniverse and #giveBionicleansHeroFactorytheirownliveactioncinematicuniverse 

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11 hours ago, capMARVELOUS said:

"how do you do, fellow kids" levels of behind the times.

lol, I really do get that impression from TLG at times, that dabbing figure in Vidyo...*shudders

1 minute ago, Lorentz said:

I'll dial it back. 

:D:smilevakama:

(I love the old emojis, such a rush of nostalgia) 

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I think Lenny did have a point about the cliffhanger, although there's no good solution to the problem because they can't just resume the story now after 10 years like nothing happened.


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2 hours ago, Fyndegil said:

I think Lenny did have a point about the cliffhanger, although there's no good solution to the problem because they can't just resume the story now after 10 years like nothing happened.

Just consider the post-2010 serials non-canon. Cliffhangers erased. 

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3 hours ago, Lorentz said:

Just consider the post-2010 serials non-canon. Cliffhangers erased. 

Not really, though. There were still a lot of loose ends, etc. set up in the serials and stories prior to that point. The Dark Hunters rebuilding, the League of Six Kingdoms going on the march, the Golden Being being loosed upon the world, etc. Frankly, I think the issue is less that some individual stories were unfinished or left on cliffhangers, and more that there were so many side plots and factions that they could never all be wrapped up in the ending we got.

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5 hours ago, Lorentz said:

Just consider the post-2010 serials non-canon. Cliffhangers erased. 

New headcanon: post-2010 serials are the nightmares the Matoran had while sleeping in the spheres on Metru Nui.

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Well yeah sure we don't need it back, but it sure would be nice if LEGO treated it like Hasbro treats Transformers.

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5 hours ago, Zidonaro said:

Well yeah sure we don't need it back, but it sure would be nice if LEGO treated it like Hasbro treats Transformers.

Bionicle just never had the power that Transformers had to make that viable, unfortunately.


#makeBionicleG1andHeroFactorysharethesameuniverse and #giveBionicleansHeroFactorytheirownliveactioncinematicuniverse 

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12 hours ago, Lorentz said:

Bionicle just never had the power that Transformers had to make that viable, unfortunately.

I think it was pretty big during the early 2000, but it slowly died down as the years went by

Unlike Transformers

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7 minutes ago, Zidonaro said:

I think it was pretty bug during the early 2000, but it slowly died down as the years went by

Unlike Transformers

Yeah during 2001-3, Bionicle was definitely bigger, but as soon as the Unicron Trilogy picked up, Transformers took the lead again, and then it was all over when the live action film came out.


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20 hours ago, Zidonaro said:

Well yeah sure we don't need it back, but it sure would be nice if LEGO treated it like Hasbro treats Transformers.

you seen how hasbro treats transformers, mate?  media output that's mediocre on a good day, constant reuse of- and failure to reinvent- the same tired roster of six characters, giving to people who might like other installments of the franchise mere crumbs only once every three or so years, and in general constantly trying to please the ever-shrinking group of "G1 is best1" elitists (who, by the way, are getting close to retirement age).  do you really want bionicle to be treated like that?

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30 minutes ago, capMARVELOUS said:

you seen how hasbro treats transformers, mate?  media output that's mediocre on a good day, constant reuse of- and failure to reinvent- the same tired roster of six characters, giving to people who might like other installments of the franchise mere crumbs only once every three or so years, and in general constantly trying to please the ever-shrinking group of "G1 is best1" elitists (who, by the way, are getting close to retirement age).  do you really want bionicle to be treated like that?

At least they still makes tons and tons of toys and have like 10 different continuities and series. Hasbro really invests in this brand.

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14 hours ago, Zidonaro said:

At least they still makes tons and tons of toys and have like 10 different continuities and series. Hasbro really invests in this brand.

Thing is, Lego don't operate like Hasbro do. Hasbro tends to have its' own franchises that it will fund endlessly and that will have relatively consistent characters and aesthetics across each iteration. Lego on the other hand has a different model entirely. For most of its' history its' themes were based more upon the functionality of the toy rather than any particular characteristic. When they did switch to instruction based sets, they went with a few very general themes. Space, town, castle, and later pirates. These were largely functional toys without a lot of character to them. A model of toy production very much in line with how toys were seen in the 1940s where it was mostly basic dolls and teddy bears. Many toy companies shifted over to marketing based on lore and characters in the 1980s. But not Lego. Rather Lego stayed in the old frame of mind for around 20 years before releasing bionicle. And even today they still have remnants of the old attitude in that industry. And I think part of this is down to the very nature of Lego toys. Its' main appeal lies in buildability and as such the main way to maintain interest is to introduce new moulds every year. And you need sets with which to show off new moulds. So you change the themes up every few years with revisits and remakes here and there. Economically it makes sense. However there is another element here which I think is cultural. In northern Europe people have different social attitudes. I mean that's to be expected but it goes a bit deeper with the nordics. That is the nordics have something called janteloven (laws of Jante). And janteloven in effect dictates a strict sense of equality and openness to all. Have you ever noticed why so many people from that part of the world are so open minded? Well that's why. Now notice how Lego operates. They've always been trend chasers. Some of the earliest Lego space commercials used references to star trek. Lego based many of their properties on pre-existing trends in the form of various films and TV shows. Lego has always been a very adaptive company which goes well with the social values of Northern Europe. 

This is part of what makes bionicle so unique within the company. Because it wasn't based on any specific piece of media. Not only that but many of the people who were important in bionicle's creation were British and American. So in that sense bionicle was much more of a product of Western Europe and North America than it was a product of Northern Europe. In that respect bionicle was something of a foreign product for the Lego company. Hasbro likes to sell its' lines regardless of trends. Lego on the other hand works the other way around. You can see this in full force today with their focus on licenced products. People in nordic countries tend to be very cohesive because they have a culture that specifically discourages standing out from the crowd in any way and I think you can see that in how the Lego company operates. They adapt to global trends. 

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So you're saying from a Scandinavian perspective, it's better to follow trends rather than set them?

Makes sense. I guess plastic blocks and assembly required furniture (Sweden's Ikea) were more intended to be one company's signature product, rather than a trend that other companies would try to imitate. Lego and Ikea could probably never have predicted Mega Blox, Playmobil, and random Malaysian companies that sell furniture as its constituent parts.

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With regards to Bionicle's numerous G1 cliffhangers: nothing will retroactively make that experience more rewarding. At the time when the original audience was ready to receive more Bionicle content, and we had reason to believe it was coming, it didn't. Even if Greg picked all those serials back up today and finished them perfectly, it wouldn't reverse the obvious problems with fulfilling expectation there were. Not that Greg did anything wrong--the man was becoming a father for Pete's sake, I'd say that's reason enough to disappoint the adult fans of your canceled toy line.

If Bionicle were really going to come back, really really, it would only work and be worth doing if they captured the feel and tone of G1. Not tying up G1's loose ends. Not changing it so much it might as well not be Bionicle. I haven't heard anyone mention this name before, but the only person who could really reassure me that any G3 could be worth pursuing (aside from Greg or Christian Faber, of course) is Henry Gilroy. I first noticed his name pop up in important creative roles in the Bionicle movies as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In behind-the-scenes interviews, he always comes off as understanding what makes a franchise popular and how to generate and maintain interest. The man just has an uncanny ability to produce content that appeals to your inner twelve-year-old. I would go so far as to say his Star Wars work (Clone Wars and Rebels) is the closest Bionicle has to a spiritual successor. It's the only thing I've watched as an adult that actually comes close to making me feel the way Bionicle did as a child.

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On 10/15/2021 at 5:20 AM, capMARVELOUS said:

3. you have the power to make bionicle your own.

there's a saying somewhere that goes, "when companies fail to make content the fans want, the fans will make it themselves."  bionicle has the benefit of being produced by a company whose primary product experience is making your own content with it.  that means that you have the freedom to make whatever kind of bionicle figures you want.  you're not constrained to the same certain aesthetics, "legal" techniques, part counts, or budgetary concerns that lego factors into their processes.  there will be other constraints, sure, but that's inherent to any hobby.

you're not even constrained to making bionicle figures.  think of all the books, comics, web serials, animations, etc. that accompanied bionicle G1.  think of all the characters that never got visual representations- you can give those to them.  think of all the events and locations that were mentioned, but never really explored- you can tell stories about them. heck, you're not even constrained to what accompanied G1 or G2.  you can make up new stories about new heroes in new worlds that lego employees could never even dream of coming up with.  to paraphrase the inimitable bob ross, you can do whatever you want, because it's your little world.  the only limits are your imagination and your work ethic.

This part is basically what Bionicle means to me nowadays. For myself, I'm neutral on the idea of new official Bionicle stories; I don't think there's much that Lego could do that would excite me, these days... and to be honest, I was already feeling that in G1's last three years. No, I'd much rather be making up my own version that uses canon as a springboard, taps into that well of inspiration and nostalgia, and then has the potential to run with it in wildly different directions... and to see where other people have done that same thing with their own unique takes on the world, too (NickOnAquaMagna's The Toa comic springs to mind as my favourite example). Bionicle's life these days, to me, is the creativity of its fans; and I, personally, think that's GREAT because, like you say, there's so much that fans can do with it that Lego themselves couldn't.

That excites me, personally, far more than an official reboot would.

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi
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I don't want Bionicle's 2nd revival to happen in the immediate future, but I do want it to happen, because I love the theme. I picked up the theme in 2015, but put aside the new sets in favor of the older sets and media because the 2015 revival was made of many weak links that quickly shattered and the older concepts were way more compelling. The reason I want it to wait but still happen is because then I can be a huge part of bringing it back as well as the question "What is Bionicle?" will become more relevant for the corporate side of TLG to answer and execute. Long are the days of this powerhouse theme and as such the brand must have the entire world learn again what the Biological Chronicle is. 

Anyway I'm planning on stringing together my own story bibles in the future to revive the theme in my own mind at the very least. There will be two routes I will take: One will be a story I develop to school the public on how a powerhouse theme like this could rise again and another will be developed in private to pitch to TLG that will likely have more interesting plot elements and surprises. Each of these rough drafts will be based on the same standard power structure surrounding each of the elements in a balanced lore-rich way so that regardless a lot less retcon would take place and the writers would have the ability to expand on the universe in an interesting way that doesn't feel like what happened with the Bohrok Kal line of sets.

Feel free to reply with suggestions or critique.


Bazinga! I've been a Bionicle Fan since early 2015 and have been aware of it since 2008. Was a bit late to the party due to my age, but that doesn't matter now. Looking for krana and sealed G1 sets at below market value if possible, (otherwise it'll be a few years before I care to collect sets I don't care as much about) Bohrok Kal and Krana Kal Mask Pack sets are ones I am particularly looking for atm.

I go by Nektann or Marcato usually online.

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1 hour ago, Nektann said:

pitch to TLG

Good luck pitching ideas to a 40 billion dollar company that already has an army of designers and writers. Do they even take pitches? Unless you are a very successful professional, your pitch will never reach anyone in charge. Also, they don't really care about story. That's not what sells toys. Sets always come first. They can always hire professional writers just like last time, but they need to have something to sell first. If you're going to send in a pitch, you need to be pitching them actual product designs and concepts. 

Edited by Lorentz
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7 minutes ago, Lorentz said:

Good luck pitching ideas to a 40 billion dollar company that already has an army of designers and writers. Do they even take pitches? Unless you are a very successful professional, your pitch will never reach anyone in charge. Also, they don't really care about story. That's not what sells toys. Sets always come first. They can always hire professional writers just like last time, but they need to have something to sell first. If you're going to send in a pitch, you need to be pitching them actual product designs and concepts. 

Thanks, I'll need it, that's why I'm taking 2 paths at once and it will be many months before I publish the public version. I'm only really providing a structure and foundation as there's no way I can do everything for any kind of reboot.


Bazinga! I've been a Bionicle Fan since early 2015 and have been aware of it since 2008. Was a bit late to the party due to my age, but that doesn't matter now. Looking for krana and sealed G1 sets at below market value if possible, (otherwise it'll be a few years before I care to collect sets I don't care as much about) Bohrok Kal and Krana Kal Mask Pack sets are ones I am particularly looking for atm.

I go by Nektann or Marcato usually online.

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