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Unpopular Opinions?


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#81 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 10:40 AM

I did liked a few of the alternate dimensions, though. I'm actually not too far set against them as other people were, as I find it interesting how different they are from one another. And I also ironically enjoyed 2006 as well, even though the entire year was advertised with rock bands, chain fences, and other "modern" things.

A lot of the 2006 promotions were ridiculous, but I too liked that year. Part of it was that we finally had a team of villains that truly complemented the Toa. Even the Bohrok Kal, the only sentient team of six villains we had seen up to then, had largely identical personalities. 2006 was the start of a shift toward more characterization for villain characters, which climaxed in 2008 with the Phantoka and Mistika Makuta. It's part of why I have the somewhat unpopular opinion that Greg's writing actually improved as time went on, at least until he was left to forge ahead on his own after the theme ended. Many seem to dislike the later years of BIONICLE, and I'll admit the story serials always rubbed me the wrong way, but I think the story improved each year until the theme had to be cut short, and I do think that Greg played a big part in that improvement.

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#82 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 11:58 AM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.

Really? It's the main reason cited in this article. I don't speak Danish, but Google translate gave me for one paragraph "The reason why they have decided to phase out Bionicle shall in particular be found in that the story eventually had evolved, making it harder for new users to get into." I have never seen any articles or press releases suggesting that the "new factor" had any major impact in the cancellation of BIONICLE.Meanwhile, 2009 was indeed a quite visible attempt at decreasing the complexity of the story, but in the end I can't say it worked very well. It seems obvious to me that a new BIONICLE fan wouldn't get nearly the same enjoyment from The Legend Reborn as someone who had followed the story for many years and understood the significance of the Great Spirit Mata Nui and the Mask of Life.

Greg said it; also, that's what I meant about 2009. It fixed the complexity factor, but that proved not to be enough to save the line, showing that that factor was not the major reason the younger fans were losing / not gaining interest. It was that it wasn't new, primarily. If the complexity factor was the problem Bionicle would not have ended when it did, and might not have needed to end at all; they simply could have started over yet again.And yes, an older fan would possibly get more out of that, but that wasn't the point -- it was to start simple so a young fan could be into it. The main problem was just the name "Bionicle" that was still on it, not anything having to do with the story. Make a similar story and change the name to Hero Factory, and that's new, and that gets younger kids' interest. :)Also, I get the impression 2009 started out as a simplification, but as it wore on they realized it wasn't working to draw in enough new fans, so they changed focus to aim back at the longtime fans to bring the whole series to a quicker and something closer to satisfying conclusion. That's why the comics seemed rushed at the end, why they cut the movies short, etc.

Edited by bonesiii, Feb 28 2012 - 12:00 PM.

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#83 Offline KlakWest

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 01:35 PM

So I really don't blame him. Given all that, I really could not have done any better, and I challenge any who critisize the King of Bionicle to write out any of that story they think is "subpar" in a better fashion.

You're right. I'd like to see those stuck up haters of Batman and Robin to try and make a better movie. How dare they try and compare King Schumacher to the likes of half-baked directors like Christopher Nolan. http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/mad.gif

I think the flaw in Farshtey's writing is that it's rooted in the style of comic books. The positive side of this was that he was extremely good at writing action scenes, intricate plots, villains and one-liners. But the downside was that as far as happy times, quiet and sombre moments, the wider world around the characters and the Matoran society they defended went, such things were barely touched upon. He told the main story of good and evil well enough, but rarely seemed to go far beyond it.

Actually, I think you've hit it right on the nose. Greg bases his style off the older superhero comic books, and it shows quite profusely.For me, originally I was a big fan of the whole "shift to sci-fi" thing, but later on it just seemed too generic. The earliest years had a "feel" to it that every other year since then tried to emulate. It was based on a clash of genres, the "steampunk robots on a tribal island", and the SchizoTech/AnachronismStew really worked for it.Also there was the fact that when Greg started writing it, I always thought that he stopped looking at it as a world. True, the storyline should be on the main characters, but 2001-2003 did a good job by not just establishing the characters, but also establishing the world where they lived. Its why Mata Nui is probably the most popular island that BIONICLE was ever set in: none of the other islands were ever expounded on enough for them to make them worthwhile.Speaking of unpopular opinions, that's one of the main reasons why I also actually like MNOG II. Sure, it was nowhere near a perfect game, but for what it set out to do, I felt that it had some merits. It got glitched up later on, but that wasn't really the fault of the game itself as it was the release method. I loved how they focused on the island and the Matoran, how you got to see them function as a society. I loved how the game evolved from just being a flash based visual novel into basically a RPG. You didn't do much with what skills you had except for those poorly handled Kolhii matches, but I appreciate the effort and the atmosphere in terms of basically being an online game for kids. I value something like that more than I value moving into a "third person 3D shooter" like Hero Factory: Breakout tried to do.I did liked a few of the alternate dimensions, though. I'm actually not too far set against them as other people were, as I find it interesting how different they are from one another. And I also ironically enjoyed 2006 as well, even though the entire year was advertised with rock bands, chain fences, and other "modern" things.

Okay, do some people think his writing was THAT bad?

Edited by MakutaKlak, Feb 28 2012 - 01:39 PM.

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#84 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 06:08 PM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.

Really? It's the main reason cited in this article. I don't speak Danish, but Google translate gave me for one paragraph "The reason why they have decided to phase out Bionicle shall in particular be found in that the story eventually had evolved, making it harder for new users to get into." I have never seen any articles or press releases suggesting that the "new factor" had any major impact in the cancellation of BIONICLE.Meanwhile, 2009 was indeed a quite visible attempt at decreasing the complexity of the story, but in the end I can't say it worked very well. It seems obvious to me that a new BIONICLE fan wouldn't get nearly the same enjoyment from The Legend Reborn as someone who had followed the story for many years and understood the significance of the Great Spirit Mata Nui and the Mask of Life.

Greg said it; also, that's what I meant about 2009. It fixed the complexity factor, but that proved not to be enough to save the line, showing that that factor was not the major reason the younger fans were losing / not gaining interest. It was that it wasn't new, primarily. If the complexity factor was the problem Bionicle would not have ended when it did, and might not have needed to end at all; they simply could have started over yet again.And yes, an older fan would possibly get more out of that, but that wasn't the point -- it was to start simple so a young fan could be into it. The main problem was just the name "Bionicle" that was still on it, not anything having to do with the story. Make a similar story and change the name to Hero Factory, and that's new, and that gets younger kids' interest. :)Also, I get the impression 2009 started out as a simplification, but as it wore on they realized it wasn't working to draw in enough new fans, so they changed focus to aim back at the longtime fans to bring the whole series to a quicker and something closer to satisfying conclusion. That's why the comics seemed rushed at the end, why they cut the movies short, etc.

That idea (that 2009 started off as a simplification and they "gave up" partway through and made it more complex again) ignores the fact that audience reactions and sales statistics for the first part of 2009 would not have been available to anyone involved in the story before the writing of The Legend Reborn. The only medium that could have responded to audience reactions in less than half a year's notice would have been the serials, which never did away with the complexity in the first place, keeping strong ties with past story from the beginning.If Greg says the "new factor" was in fact a reason for the line's cancellation then I trust him, but unless I see a quote saying it was the main factor then I strongly doubt that claim-- especially since the article I linked above states outright that the complexity of the story was the reason new fans weren't embracing the franchise.And even then it's a huge logical leap to assume that when BIONICLE is out of the public consciousness and thus feels "new" again, it will be able to return hassle-free. Chances are it will still be a better investment on TLG's part to create an actual new franchise that isn't held back by the shackles of a nine-year toy line and storyline than to go to all the effort that would be needed to design a BIONICLE "revival" that selectively keeps only the theme's assets and discards the things that held it back in the first place. Especially because it would involve having to redesign the theme to appeal to kids' interests in 2031 rather than keeping it the same as it had been for its previous iteration.If bringing back a dead theme like BIONICLE were this easy, then Fabuland (another multimedia LEGO theme that was successful enough to span ten years) could surely have come back by now. Goodness knows TLG has tried multiple times to create sets for that same age range, between Duplo and traditional LEGO System, many times in the past (Jack Stone/4 Plus is one many BIONICLE fans should remember). There's even a well-established and dedicated Fabuland fandom among AFOLs, just as there would be for BIONICLE a decade or so down the line. But TLG has been unequivocal about the fact that Fabuland is never coming back since long before BIONICLE's cancellation, and today some existing LEGO molds have even been defaced to remove the name "Fabuland" from them, giving credence to that assertion.I'd love to see BIONICLE come back some time, but to revive it effectively would take a lot of effort and planning. It's possible, but treating it as a foregone conclusion is more than a bit absurd considering these facts. I much respect the thought and research you put into that theory about BIONICLE's return, and I pray it might be a possibility one day, but I don't share your confidence.

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#85 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 06:50 PM

Maybe you're overthinking it, Aanchir -- after all, the complexity was a direct result of it not being new. :) Let's face it, step back and looking at it objectively, the root problem was it had been around for ten years. When I pointed that out in the topic you were referencing, that's what I simply mean, and that is undeniable. I did not mean to say that the components of that larger problem didn't exist, and I have elsewhere pointed out the complexity problem specifically. There's no disagreement there; the one is a symptom of the other. :)But primarily it is clear that the lack newness, esp. with the franchise name, was the problem, which is why they fixed it with a new franchise name, instead of just another simplification.
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#86 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 08:14 PM

Maybe you're overthinking it, Aanchir -- after all, the complexity was a direct result of it not being new. :) Let's face it, step back and looking at it objectively, the root problem was it had been around for ten years. When I pointed that out in the topic you were referencing, that's what I simply mean, and that is undeniable. I did not mean to say that the components of that larger problem didn't exist, and I have elsewhere pointed out the complexity problem specifically. There's no disagreement there; the one is a symptom of the other. :)But primarily it is clear that the lack newness, esp. with the franchise name, was the problem, which is why they fixed it with a new franchise name, instead of just another simplification.

The thing about another simplification is that, IMO, anything that simplified the story to the point it would need would be a travesty. Can you imagine what BIONICLE would be like if its past story were discarded to a greater extent than it was in 2009? I've heard people ask why TLG couldn't just make the BIONICLE story "episodic" like Hero Factory's, not recognizing that the epic, expanding storyline was a big part of what made BIONICLE what it was. Sure, BIONICLE's established fans weren't enough to keep it running, but to do something that might drive them away like that would be a huge gamble with a dying franchise.This is part of why I think it makes a big difference whether the reason the theme began to suffer was the overexposure that comes with age or the complexity that comes with age. If the complexity were the problem, that would be hard to remedy without destroying the essence of the theme. Even in 2001 the theme was designed to be complex, with the story spread out across a variety of different media, so fans could not learn all the story from just one source. And as time went on this complexity was maintained and perhaps even expanded on as additional media like books and movies were added. Bringing the back would obviously involve changes in set design to match some of the improvements TLG has made to constraction with the Hero Factory theme, but the story would also have to change dramatically if it were meant to last as long or longer than it did originally.This is part of the reason I really dislike assertions that Hero Factory is just BIONICLE with a different name. It's especially insulting to hear it from actual BIONICLE fans because they are, in essence, denying all the things that made BIONICLE unique. I am a fan of both Hero Factory and BIONICLE, but that doesn't mean I think they're one and the same.Anyway this is really getting off-topic. I've enjoyed debating this with you, and if a more appropriate topic emerges we can continue this discussion there. In the meantime, to try to bring this topic back on-track, some other unpopular opinions I have are that the gear functions of the sets from the early years of BIONICLE were a hindrance, that the move to more sci-fi settings in 2004 made the story better instead of worse, since it showed us where the Matoran came from both physically and culturally, and that the revelation that Mata Nui was a giant robot improved the series greatly by explaining all the hints about that which were dropped from as early as 2001, while adding another level to the name "Biological Chronicle".

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#87 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 01:21 PM

I think the 2009-2010 story years, minus the movie The Legend Reborn were two of Bionicle's best.
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#88 Offline Alex Turner

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 01:43 PM

I loved 2009. Even TLR.
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#89 Offline Valenti

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 02:09 PM

I don't have an opinion on Greg's writing skills, since I never manage to get the Bionicle novels. :P
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#90 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 03:34 PM

On the other hand, Aanchir, it's mainly we older fans who have been complaining it got overcomplicated, so arguably we'd be pleased by a more 2001ey simplification. :) And most of us did seem to appreciate it in 2009. Plus, SM is set up great for one now, since most past plot has been brought to closure, or it could go to a brand new planet and go totally mysterious again. ^_^ Anywho, yeah, this is getting tangential.

Edited by bonesiii, Feb 29 2012 - 03:36 PM.

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#91 Offline ~~Zarkan~~

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 05:23 PM

Unpopular opinions? Oh, do I ever. :P- The Turaga were extremely boring and even annoying until we got their backstory in 2004. Sure, it was nice to have old wise mentors for the villages, but they didn't have to speak all exactly the same, and by the time the Bohrok Saga drew to a close, their constant withholding of information until convinient cliffhanger moments had grown incredibly old. The biggest reason I love 2004 so much is that, IMO, Greg F succeeded marvelously in salvaging the Turaga and giving them unique personalities both as individuals and as a team.- The Barraki were much cooler villians than the Piraka. Sure, they didn't best all six Toa Nuva in a single battle, but they did have much more defined personalities and less pure-black motives IMO. The Piraka were the essense of "for the evulz" villians, and though there were hints that Greg was trying to give them distinct personalities, for the most part they were all uniformly despicable backstabbers. The Barraki, on the other hand, felt like individuals. Takadox was the token manipulator, but then you also had his unwilling lug Carapar, who was not nearly as dumb as most Bionicle "brutes" (In 2007, that role would be aptly occupied by Nocturn). Then there was Mantax, who gave off the impression of being a dumb bottom feeder until it became apparent that he was actually quite a shrewd investigator, letting the more brutish members of the Barraki do most of the fighting while he lurked in the shadows and figured out just why they had wound up in this mess. Pridak's decline from brutal but effective leader of the Barraki to an outright insane savage was also interesting, especially when compared to Vezon's constant cuckooness. Ehlek and Kalmah were probably the least interesting members of the brotherhood, but since they also got the least page time, that is understandable. Overall, although their debut didn't quite match the excellent depiction of the BOM a year later, I have quite a soft spot for these underwater freaks - and that goes double for their sets.- MNOG was a terrible game. Now, before you all mass against me with pitchforks, keep in mind I mean that literally. That means I'm not at all faulting the cinematic elements of the MNOG (which were oustanding), but the actual "game" parts. And lets be honest, even for a point and click adventure, there was a startling lack of gameplay. The vast majority of the game involved long bouts of backtracking between Tohunga, which in the game's original online format were an absolute chore thanks to the excruciatingly long load times. And the minigames, especially the Gukko flight and the Battle for Kini Nui, were rather crudely programed and difficult to beat. As an experience, there's few things in Bionicle that match it, especially in the first three years. As a game, it's extremely mediocre IMO.That's enough for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with more later. :P

Edited by ~~Zarkan~~, Feb 29 2012 - 05:25 PM.

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#92 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 05:32 PM

On the other hand, Aanchir, it's mainly we older fans who have been complaining it got overcomplicated, so arguably we'd be pleased by a more 2001ey simplification. :) And most of us did seem to appreciate it in 2009. Plus, SM is set up great for one now, since most past plot has been brought to closure, or it could go to a brand new planet and go totally mysterious again. ^_^ Anywho, yeah, this is getting tangential.

On BZPower, older fans might have been frustrated with some of the story's complexity, but BZPower is not representative, and anyway from what I've seen a lot of older fans liked the theme for its complexity in the first place (it was the changes in settingthat upset many 2001-era fans, not the added complexity in and of itself).But speaking from personal experience, kids, teens, and adults I tried to explain the BIONICLE storyline to were baffled by the bizarre character names, the number of characters, the way new characters were introduced every year, and even the most fundamental aspects of the story (like the fact that the characters are mostly biomechanical and not merely robots). Hero Factory is a lot simpler for people of all ages to understand from my personal experience, partly because its fundamentals are simpler and partly because the story maintains a pretty stable status quo every year-- something that IMO could never have worked for BIONICLE, where unlocking mysteries that built up over time was an essential part of its appeal even from the very beginning.

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#93 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 29 2012 - 06:55 PM

But speaking from personal experience, kids, teens, and adults I tried to explain the BIONICLE storyline to were baffled by the bizarre character names, the number of characters, the way new characters were introduced every year, and even the most fundamental aspects of the story (like the fact that the characters are mostly biomechanical and not merely robots). Hero Factory is a lot simpler for people of all ages to understand from my personal experience, partly because its fundamentals are simpler and partly because the story maintains a pretty stable status quo every year-- something that IMO could never have worked for BIONICLE, where unlocking mysteries that built up over time was an essential part of its appeal even from the very beginning.

That's the point, however. The elaborate mysteries and stuff like that do have an appeal. This thing did stick around for ten years; and what attracted me to it in the first place was the elaborate story and mystery and all that. They could try to capitalize on that appeal again.

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#94 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 09:14 AM

But speaking from personal experience, kids, teens, and adults I tried to explain the BIONICLE storyline to were baffled by the bizarre character names, the number of characters, the way new characters were introduced every year, and even the most fundamental aspects of the story (like the fact that the characters are mostly biomechanical and not merely robots). Hero Factory is a lot simpler for people of all ages to understand from my personal experience, partly because its fundamentals are simpler and partly because the story maintains a pretty stable status quo every year-- something that IMO could never have worked for BIONICLE, where unlocking mysteries that built up over time was an essential part of its appeal even from the very beginning.

That's the point, however. The elaborate mysteries and stuff like that do have an appeal. This thing did stick around for ten years; and what attracted me to it in the first place was the elaborate story and mystery and all that.They could try to capitalize on that appeal again.

Believe me, I agree. If BIONICLE were to come back, while I'd want it to have a fresh starting point of some form or another (which would, admittedly, be easier if all the first iteration's plot threads had been tied up), I don't think that it should replace its previous storytelling style with a style that's entirely episodic.But at the same time, I feel that the storytelling style BIONICLE used inherently limited its lifespan. Looking at it, it was entirely unlike many other story-driven toy lines. Transformers, for example, has a complete reboot every few years, with a brand-new animated series that (if I'm not mistaken) has no or few ties to previous series in terms of continuity. I believe the first few Power Rangers series were a part of the same continuity, but later series were largely independent of one another. Granted, I could be wrong about either of these things, since I was neither a Power Rangers fan nor a Transformers fan growing up, so anyone who knows better can correct me at any point.This is why I hold another somewhat unpopular opinion about BIONICLE: the theme was neither an absolute failure nor a success cut down in its prime, but rather an ambitious concept from the start that was carried out remarkably well from beginning to end, given its inherent drawbacks. Sure, there were weak moments in terms of sets and story, but overall the sets continued to improve as the years went on, and the story continued to move towards a conclusion. And when the time came that BIONICLE had to be cancelled, I think they did quite a good job wrapping things up, even if the supplementary plot threads in the serials never came to an outright conclusion.Even if the story serials sort of stagnated in 2010, I feel it did quite a good job of storytelling when it came to the main story. The Mata Nui Saga might not have been as brilliant as some of the flash animations from years past, but it was still magnificent to have the whole year's story told in full-color illustrations and narrated by a competent voice actor. Also unprecedented was the decision, when it turned out that Journey's End would not be published in the United States, to make that story available to the public online. The BIONICLE Stars stop-motion videos were really mediocre in terms of storytelling, especially compared to the brilliant CGI animations of 2008, but there was still a great deal of effort put into them, considering they were something that had never really been done before (the fact that the normally-static joints were made flexible put them far above the quality encountered in fan-made stop-motion projects).

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#95 Offline Fsnorglepuff

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 04:52 PM

I do not like Tahu either. Hmm ... I'm having difficulty identifying any Bionicle-related opinions of mine that may be somewhat conflicting ... Oh, I know, modifying pieces. I do it on every single MOC, but a great deal of people seem to be opposed. Posted Image
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#96 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 08:47 PM

But at the same time, I feel that the storytelling style BIONICLE used inherently limited its lifespan.

See, I never had a dispute over that. The fact that Bionicle ended never bothered me. How they ended it did. See I'm rather familiar with that storytelling style that Bionicle used- it's not the episodic style normally used to promote a toyline, you are correct. That style is commonly used in the "speculative fiction" (i.e. science fiction/fantasy mixed together) in the books that I normally read. That style is inherently a "move toward conclusion but have multiple expansions and battles in it" like Bionicle has, only Bionicle had a lot more expansions and battles than is common with most. That style is inherently conclusive. It has an ending. I would never have disputed that Bionicle was going to have an ending, even when it hadn't ended yet. Now, that's an unpopular opinion. In fact, in 2008 I was sitting on the edge of my seat "Are you going to end it yet? End it yet? How long are you going to drag it out?" (I knew nothing about BZPower at the time). So, yes, it should have ended. There is no doubt in my mind. But usually, when that genre ends, it ends. All major-league plot threads are closed when it ends, and the audience is left with a satisfying resolution. That didn't happen. It still hasn't happened. That's what bugs me. I'm still sitting here, saying "So where's the real ending? That's not how that genre works."Now, granted, it wasn't all that. They used that story to promote a toyline, a toyline I never gave too much thought to. So it didn't wrap up like that genre usually does because of the inherent inter-connected-ness of it with a bunch of ABS parts. I still think, however, that they should try to actually give it that full ending, or they should have.

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#97 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 08:55 PM

fishers, I'm thinking of a lot of stories I feel Bionicle is in the genre of, and they have had similar "ends but continuing." Star Wars, Dune, Star Trek (kinda lol), Shannara come to mind, I'm sure there are others. But anyways, does it really matter that it continues or not? The main plot was brought to closure either way. :)
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#98 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 09:20 PM

fishers, I'm thinking of a lot of stories I feel Bionicle is in the genre of, and they have had similar "ends but continuing." Star Wars, Dune, Star Trek (kinda lol), Shannara come to mind, I'm sure there are others. But anyways, does it really matter that it continues or not? The main plot was brought to closure either way. :)

I wouldn't exactly put Bionicle in league with Star Wars and Star Trek! :) (Definitely not that recent Star Trek movie! :wince:)I'm trying to think of what I was putting Bionicle along the leagues of when I typed that. It is incredibly hard to compare it to something else, since it is so unique, but I think I was thinking of something along the lines of the Airborn series by Kenneth Oppel (That's science fantasy), and I am forever comparing the story of the first years of Bionicle to Patrick Carmen's Land of Elyon series because I read the first book of that one and the first of my Bionicle books close together and both have similar ideas and concepts (although LoE is pure fantasy). Both of those series are conclusive; they have definite endings. When they end, all the plot threads are tied up, including all the subplots and stuff like that. Although it could be argued that relating a ten-year sprawl of content to a trilogy is a little silly, I just viewed Bionicle as a longer, extended form of that idea. Thus, when I first read the ending it was a "You call this the ending, with all those subplot threads hanging?". It annoyed me. Can't say it was logical. It's just my view (my unpopular opinion, if you will) that Bionicle should have had a definite ending. I could argue all day that Bionicle is more like this thing that ended, and you could argue all day that it is closer to this thing that did not. Merely a difference of opinion.

Edited by fishers64, Mar 01 2012 - 09:33 PM.

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#99 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 10:55 PM

Well Shannara is probably the best example, off the top of my head, of what I'm talking about. It was in a lot of ways the pioneer of the science fantasy genre and it has continued. But anyways, I'm not so much talking about the feel of the story but the scope of it; Star Wars is a good example (which is also science fantasy BTW) that has a big overarching plot in the movies, but it continues in books and the TV show. All of these set up fictional realms with a ton of locations inside them and characters, sub-plots, etc.
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#100 Offline Makuta_of_Oz

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 01:19 AM

That it ended too early and must come back to make up the time? Or at least that it should come back at all?Also, the Bohrok-Kal were awesome, the Inika Build was awesome, and sameness is good.
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#101 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 01:30 AM

Well Shannara is probably the best example, off the top of my head, of what I'm talking about. It was in a lot of ways the pioneer of the science fantasy genre and it has continued. But anyways, I'm not so much talking about the feel of the story but the scope of it; Star Wars is a good example (which is also science fantasy BTW) that has a big overarching plot in the movies, but it continues in books and the TV show. All of these set up fictional realms with a ton of locations inside them and characters, sub-plots, etc.

Are you saying that something that big or large in scope does not end conclusively, or at least tends not to?

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#102 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 09:58 AM

I definitely get what you're saying, Fishers64. Personally, I didn't care much about whether BIONICLE ended conclusively. The main plot thread, which is what I cared about primarily, ended quite well, I think. But I understand that it would have been far better if the side-stories had either wrapped up conclusively or continued towards a conclusion, rather than just sputtering to a halt before reaching a real ending.I think part of the reason the serials suffered in 2010, besides the more important responsibilities Greg Farshtey was beginning to take on, is that Greg had to appeal to multiple groups of fans who had conflicting interests. Some of these fans never wanted to see the story end, hence the brand-new plot threads about Marendar and all that other stuff I haven't kept up with. I think basically after BIONICLE's cancellation the serials just became a means of struggling to appease disgruntled fans, and unfortunately with their interruption in the middle of these high-tension plot threads I can't say they did a very good job.One other unpopular opinion I have is that I don't agree with the commonly-held belief here that BIONICLE was TLG's "saving grace" in the early 2000s. BIONICLE played a very significant role, but I think it was just one stepping stone in a path to improvement across TLG's entire product line. It does help that of all the themes that were released during TLG's comeback in the early to mid-2000s, BIONICLE had some of the most consistent success throughout this entire span, other than perhaps LEGO Star Wars. But other changes during this time period, including changes in production and the introduction of successful marketing tools like video games, definitely played as great a role as BIONICLE did in TLG's return to prominence.
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#103 Offline T.B.O.C

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 07:03 PM

I loved 2005, and I liked the Bohrok-Kal... I also didn't feel Vakama was a whiny person in LoMN, I felt that was his way of dealing with emotions as he was being critizied by many people.
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#104 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 08:41 PM

One other unpopular opinion I have is that I don't agree with the commonly-held belief here that BIONICLE was TLG's "saving grace" in the early 2000s. BIONICLE played a very significant role, but I think it was just one stepping stone in a path to improvement across TLG's entire product line.

That's not really a matter of opinion though, is it?Bionicle either helped Lego or it didn't. That can be verified through its sales figures and the company's financial state.The same can't be done when considering the quality of various sets, movies, Greg Farshtey's writing, etc. because there's no definitive measure for quality.

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#105 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 09:23 PM

One other unpopular opinion I have is that I don't agree with the commonly-held belief here that BIONICLE was TLG's "saving grace" in the early 2000s. BIONICLE played a very significant role, but I think it was just one stepping stone in a path to improvement across TLG's entire product line.

That's not really a matter of opinion though, is it?Bionicle either helped Lego or it didn't. That can be verified through its sales figures and the company's financial state.The same can't be done when considering the quality of various sets, movies, Greg Farshtey's writing, etc. because there's no definitive measure for quality.

I think he's trying to say that he doesn't agree that BIONICLE was the primary reason.IMO, the primary reason is a little thing called LEGO Star Wars.

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#106 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 09:54 AM

One other unpopular opinion I have is that I don't agree with the commonly-held belief here that BIONICLE was TLG's "saving grace" in the early 2000s. BIONICLE played a very significant role, but I think it was just one stepping stone in a path to improvement across TLG's entire product line.

That's not really a matter of opinion though, is it?Bionicle either helped Lego or it didn't. That can be verified through its sales figures and the company's financial state.The same can't be done when considering the quality of various sets, movies, Greg Farshtey's writing, etc. because there's no definitive measure for quality.

IMO, the primary reason is a little thing called LEGO Star Wars.

One thing to remember about Lego Star Wars is that it's under license from Lucasfilm. I don't know the exact nature of their relationship, but I imagine that either the profits are divided between the two companies or at the very least, Lego are paying Lucasfilm for the Star Wars name and content. Whichever it is, Lego have to automatically give up a considerable amount of money to release the line. This wasn't the case for Bionicle, because Lego own the entire franchise. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Star Wars has been a big benefit to Lego, but there is that factor to consider.

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#107 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 10:32 AM

One of the reasons Star Wars is one of LEGO's most succesful themes is because it sells enough that royalties don't hurt LEGO's profits. Plus, if kids get into LEGO because of LEGO Star Wars, sales on other themes will go up also. Consistenty, City (in all its various forms) and Star Wars have outranked BIONICLE in sales. BIONICLE was one piece of LEGO's rebound, but the deal with Lucasfilm brought consistently profitable sales which helped LEGO get out of the muck in the early 2000's.
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#108 Offline Meso Zehvor

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 10:56 AM

Let's see, unpopular opinions... I have many.-I heavily dislike gear functions for the majority of sets they were included in, and think they detract from the overall quality of the sets by over-emphasizing gimmicks. There are exceptions to my feelings, however, such as the 2001 Rahi and the Bohrok, where I think they were essential. I understand why they were included, and I respect the fact they were an original concept (complex functions in action figures), but they never caught on with me.-I prefer the TLR style (set accurate models and whatnot) to the style used in the three other movies.-2009 is my favorite year of BIONICLE set-wise.-2006 is my favorite year of BIONCILE story-wise.-I thought 2007, as a year, was sub-par.-I find the Stars to be a suitable final line for BIONICLE.-Mesonak

Edited by Mesonak, Mar 03 2012 - 11:02 AM.

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#109 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 12:23 PM

One of the reasons Star Wars is one of LEGO's most succesful themes is because it sells enough that royalties don't hurt LEGO's profits. Plus, if kids get into LEGO because of LEGO Star Wars, sales on other themes will go up also. Consistenty, City (in all its various forms) and Star Wars have outranked BIONICLE in sales. BIONICLE was one piece of LEGO's rebound, but the deal with Lucasfilm brought consistently profitable sales which helped LEGO get out of the muck in the early 2000's.

Actually, in 2002 (according to TLG's Annual Report from that year, page 23), BIONICLE was TLG's top-selling product line, immediately ahead of LEGO Harry Potter. LEGO Explore (the rebranding of LEGO Duplo at that time) was TLG's third-highest-selling product, and LEGO Star Wars was only their fourth-highest-selling product. The 2001 annual report doesn't give an organized list of top-selling product lines, but it does treat BIONICLE, Harry Potter, and Bob the Builder as some of the lines that were especially influential in the overall sales for the year. But of course this may be skewed to favor product lines that were brand-new in 2001.In 2003, "LEGO Company’s own BIONICLE® range performed better, although sales fell by up to 20 percent." However, it was still their top-selling product, immediately ahead of LEGO Sports, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Racers, and LEGO Creator. In 2004 and 2005 it remained top-selling product line, but "sales did not live up to expectations in 2005." Star Wars once again advanced in relative popularity, becoming the second-most-successful product line in terms of sales. LEGO City was introduced in 2005 but had not yet reached its peak success.LEGO City and LEGO Star Wars are both mentioned as more successful than expected in the 2006 annual report, while curiously, BIONICLE is not mentioned at all, even though BIONICLE-related images appear throughout. The 2007 annual report reported an increase in sales. "The sales increases are still driven by the classic product lines LEGO City, LEGO Technic and LEGO Creator as well as LEGO Star Wars, which is well on its way to become another classic line," the report says. "BIONICLE is still one of the LEGO Group’s best selling product lines, although the line did not show any growth in 2007." The report also mentions an agreement that Tinseltown Toons will be producing three BIONICLE movies to be released between the years of 2009 and 2011. Increased sales in 2008 are attributed to the same four themes as in 2007, with no mention of BIONICLE. Likewise in 2009, Duplo, City, Creator, and Star Wars are listed among successful product lines. BIONICLE is not mentioned. Needless to say, BIONICLE was never mentioned in the 2010 annual report, although it is mentioned that new lines like Atlantis and Hero Factory contributed to the company's growth along with the unmatched sales of City and Star Wars.I have no intent of denying that BIONICLE was quite a phenomenon in its early years, and it certainly helped them regain their success, but I just feel that BIONICLE's impact on TLG's fiscal success is often exaggerated on BIONICLE fansites, just as LEGO Star Wars's impact is exaggerated by many LEGO Star Wars fans. As I understand it, TLG's return to glory was a process of many facets and many stages, and there was no product line or decision that can be treated as TLG's "saving grace" during this time period.The exaggeration of BIONICLE's success led to a lot of misconceptions when the decision to cancel the theme was made. Some fans were confident that TLG would learn their lesson after cancelling "their most successful product line" and suffering an obvious loss in sales. Some people even were so bold as to suggest that cancelling BIONICLE would undo all the economic recovery that had been accomplished during the theme's lifespan. But BIONICLE's success did not remain consistent, unlike the success LEGO Star Wars and LEGO City would later be able to maintain.If TLG's success had depended as heavily on BIONICLE as some fans thought, then its lack of growth from 2007 onward would have been reflected by overall declines in TLG's success. But instead TLG continued to grow throughout this entire period, defying these predictions. Replacing BIONICLE was not a foolish risk or a decision taken lightly, but a well-planned response to the trends of the previous several years.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Mar 03 2012 - 12:28 PM.

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#110 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 12:59 PM

Fascinating analysis Aanchir, thank you for compiling it.It seems Bionicle was a big hit in its first two years, had something of a dip from 2003-5 (the movie years, which is puzzling given that they existed to boost sales), had a resurgence around 2006-7, then dwindled in significance until its end.I had to laugh upon finding this in the 2002 report:

'One particular product launch during the

year proved disappointing: The introduction

of Galidor products in the United States.'

Ah, the memories :biggrin:


Edited by Sir Kohran, Mar 03 2012 - 01:00 PM.

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#111 Offline Booker DeWitt

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 04:53 PM

-I prefer the TLR style (set accurate models and whatnot) to the style used in the three other movies.

I'd have thought that's quite a commonly held opinion, really.I don't think I really hold many opinions you'd consider unpopular. The only one is that I hope that Bionicle never comes back, because if it did I know it'd probably be butchered completely.Also the Kal were cool.And 2006 was one of the best years, even though I basically complained about it all the way through. Also I enjoy that 'Move Along' song that was from the Inika ad.- Tilius

Edited by Tilius, Mar 03 2012 - 04:53 PM.

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#112 Offline Electric Turahk

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 05:15 PM

So apparently this is an unpopular opinion..."Teridax" is an awesome name and perfectly fits the character.~|ET|~
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#113 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 07:26 PM

So apparently this is an unpopular opinion..."Teridax" is an awesome name and perfectly fits the character.~|ET|~

I agree. Teridax vs. Tahu and the Team...what's not to like?

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#114 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 08:08 PM

Keep in mind I showed that the idea Teridax was an unpopular name was mostly a myth, the fault of the first poll put up for it not having fair options. Although it's true most people didn't think it awesome, just good. (I like it too, though Makuta is cooler. :P)As for the Bionicle thing, I think there's possible a bit of a misunderstanding too in thinking of it compared to other lines. Although when you limit the question to that, it's true that you can compare them, and that Bionicle varied in that comparison over the years, during its entire run it gave LEGO a profit as far as I know. And more to the point, all the lines are allies. The idea that Bionicle helped LEGO survive during a difficult time for the company is definitely true, whether it was leading the pack or not. :)Another limited question that would be even more relevant would be to find out whether LEGO would have survived if Bionicle had not been there at all (and nothing to replace it), but we'll probably never know.
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#115 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Mar 13 2012 - 01:02 PM

I loathe Tahu, always have, and 2006 was my favorite year. I loved the Inika body, thought Vastus was awesome, thought 2009 was a great year, never much liked Vakama, and adored the Baraki and Mahri.

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#116 Offline KlakWest

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Posted Mar 13 2012 - 06:05 PM

So apparently this is an unpopular opinion..."Teridax" is an awesome name and perfectly fits the character.~|ET|~

How about Makuta Teridax? Satisfies both sides :PHere's an unpopular opinion: Join the Yonolution.Is liking the Barrakki and Mahri an unpopular opinion as well?

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#117 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 13 2012 - 07:09 PM

So apparently this is an unpopular opinion..."Teridax" is an awesome name and perfectly fits the character.~|ET|~

How about Makuta Teridax? Satisfies both sides :PHere's an unpopular opinion: Join the Yonolution.Is liking the Barrakki and Mahri an unpopular opinion as well?

Depends on how you mean "popular." Most people are saying things in here that actually ARE more popular than the alternative, such as liking Teridax, or the post before you about liking the Inika. The Inika were one of the best sellers ever, and highly popular. It's just some BZPers who heard a few vocal complainers about it on here who think that view is unpopular.Specifically, the Barrakki were widely popular saleswise and on here, with few vocal complainers. Mahri had a lot of complainers, but still sold fairly well.

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#118 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted Mar 19 2012 - 04:39 PM

Okay, do some people think his writing was THAT bad?

*raises hand* With all due respect to Greg, there were many elements of the BIONICLE story that I found to fall flat, and Sir Kohran has pointed out the reasons why. BIONICLE really was too similar to a comic book to work for me. There were enough redeeming elements in it to keep me interested, however.

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#119 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Mar 24 2012 - 12:07 PM

Well, I think communism only has a bad reputation because- Oh, you mean BIONICLE opinions.I think Kongu Mahri was pretty cool, Hewkii looked good in yellow, and 2005 was awesome. I loved the creativity and unorthodox ideas of the Visorak designs, and I think, since they were all Hordika, all the Toa were at risk of turning evil. It came down to who Roodaka picked, and she picked Vakama, the leader.
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#120 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 24 2012 - 05:01 PM

WELL, I think Bionicle was of pretty low quality in general for most of its run <---UNPOPZ OPINZZHOWEVER WON'T THIS TOPIC BREED EXCESSIVE NEGATIVISM??? :(

You tell 'em, McSmeag.

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