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Alyska

Bionicle For Girls

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Whenever any discussion about Bionicle's gender ratio, or the role of female characters in the story comes up, it almost always comes back to : "Bionicle is a line aimed predominantly at young boys, who have little interest in female characters." But does it have to be that way? Could Bionicle- or, something like it- appeal to a larger female audience? I believe it could, if things were done a little differently. So, I'll put to you two different pitches: 1. The first is Bionicle, more or less as it was, but with a few changes made to the story, characters and marketing designed to appeal to a broader audience of both boys and girls. 2. The second is a new line of story-driven "constraction" toys (buildable figures), that are specifically designed to appeal to a mostly-female audience. Would either of these work? Which one would you prefer? What kind of changes would be necessary to attract girls? I personally would opt for the first one, with the changes consisting mostly of having more female characters, and preferably having all the Matoran elements be both genders. Maybe also have more time to focus on characterisation in the story, and have a TV series to attract a wider audience. Note: This is based on an old topic of mine that I made last year. The response I got then was mostly a negative one. However, given that half of BZP is now obsessed with some show about a purple unicorn who learns lessons about friendship every day, I'm curious to see if I get a more positive reaction this time.


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I would prefer genderless characters. Besides, there are many female BIONICLE fans too, and I wouldn't think they mind. Then again, I wouldn't really know for myself :P


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First off, this would be better suited as a poll. ;) Secondly, I never thought it was aimed at boys. Girls were always welcome to be interested in BIONICLE. One could use the argument that the themes in BIONICLE reflect traits typically associated with boys, yes, but I know a lot of girls who are very "girly" but still like the action/adventure fantasy genre. It's all a matter of how you look at it. Nobody is in the position to say girls can't like BIONICLE. -SK

Edited by Shadow Kurahk

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Hm, I'd have to cast my personal opinion on your "first pitch". I totally am for all Matoran elements to be both genders (seriously; it just makes sense) and simply having more females characters overall. That was something I always found annoying when Lego first began the Bionicle series.


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To be fair, I would mind a more compelling storyline with character development. Some characters have changed, or matured, a long ways away, some not so. The Toa Mata was a decent good example of character development over a long period of time. Because of them, I kept following their story; Tahu's growth has been a personal favorite because his personality was a shadow of my ego.

As a lady myself, I don't really care if Lego throws more females into the storm, but if and only if, they are believable characters that many of us can associate with.

Edited by Brave Dragon

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Personally, I think it's fine just the way it is. Bionicle's basic premise appeals more to boys than girls anyway, and it would take a major facelift to change that. That being said, Bionicle still has lots of female fans, if BZP's forum is to be trusted.


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The problem with the latter idea (and the main problem with why there are few female characters) Is that if it were aimed at 11 year old girls, their interests would be very different from boy's (I.E. PINK, sparkly, pretty, etc...) Elementary school aged girls are not as interested in adventure, danger, and victory as boys are. Most girls, anyway. We're strong counterexamples of that... So if a constraction (buildable figures) line were made for girls, it would probably be a line of pretty dolls that can be built, with interchangeable parts. Not a very strong seller, if you ask me. I honestly don't mind the lack of female characters in BIONICLE. The writers actually balanced things out quite well. Of course, the main problem with all of this is that BIONICLE is no longer officially manufactured... but that could change.


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So simply having more female characters will help you associate with the toyline more? I find that hard to believe. Brave Dragon said it well; I'd like more female characters (and male characters, for that matter) so long as they are well-developed and associable. -SK

Edited by Shadow Kurahk

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I never found the "point" of gender in the BIONICLE universe at all. I mean, it's not like anyone's going to be reproducing anytime soon. Not even the Rahi. If characters were made genderless, it's more than likely that the sets would end up all looking male anyway. And in movies, who would voice them? Again, a problem that would be encountered. Within the BIONICLE universe, there should have been more female characters. There was, what, one in 2009? Out of 6 small sets, 12 canister sets, and vehicles to boot? And on Bara Magna, where it makes even less sense to have a strong gender gap. It would be difficult to make a product that appeals to both sexes.

Edited by Sumiki

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I agree with Brave Dragon. I'm okay with fewer females, as long as the characters can be related to. Although I wish they could be something other than Ga-Matoran.

very different from boy's (I.E. PINK, sparkly, pretty, etc...) Elementary school aged girls are not as interested in adventure, danger, and victory as boys are. Most girls, anyway. We're strong counterexamples of that... Of course, the main problem with all of this is that BIONICLE is no longer officially manufactured... but that could change.

I dunno, most of my friends were not like that at 11, and they liked adventure, danger victor etc., I have and had an extreme intolerance to girlie ness, and as you may have guessed, I'm a girl. But I think Lego would fail.I hope your last statement is true... Sumiki also has good points. =) Edited by Space: Ocean of Awe

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When you think about it, I don't know many "pink, sparkly, and pretty" girls, even at eleven. It would maybe make it better if they just added in a few more female gendered characters, and made them look more feminine. I mean, come on Lego, Hahli Inika had a moustache. And a goatee. That is not feminine. Maybe less bulked up, more agile. I don't want the females to be pornographic or anything.

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I believe just as many girls could like BIONICLE as boys. Heck, I know several girls who play "hardcore shooter games" like Counter-Strike, Battlefield and Call of Duty. Ditto for RPGs like Dragon Age, Heroes and Final Fantasy. It's not like violence, conflict and fancy powers turn girls away. The issue lies with turning young boys away, actually, due to "oh noes this robot's a girl and I don't like that". I can't remember having any problem at all with Gali being a girl (neither more feminized fan-art I saw), but I think that my 12-year old self might be a bit iffy on buying the toy if it looked like a real girl, due to the easy connection kids make with dolls. The only thing I want nowadays is that whole "one-gender element" rule to disappear. If I want a female Toa of Fire or a male Toa of Water, I'm gonna make one, but having it be canon would be nice as well. It would make room for more varied gender roles and interesting characters, I believe. Many of my favorite characters are female already, such as Lariska, Helryx, Gali and Hahli, but you can only have so many Toa of Water before the powers and mentality become "stale".

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Genderless characters may be realistic, but not practical. There's issues with voice actors, the pronouns you use, and also the unfortunate tendency for humans to assume that anything not given a gender is a male anyway.

First off, this would be better suited as a poll. ;) Secondly, I never thought it was aimed at boys. Girls were always welcome to be interested in BIONICLE. One could use the argument that the themes in BIONICLE reflect traits typically associated with boys, yes, but I know a lot of girls who are very "girly" but still like the action/adventure fantasy genre. It's all a matter of how you look at it. Nobody is in the position to say girls can't like BIONICLE. -SK

There is a yes/no element to this, but I would like the discussion to be more in-depth than that, so I'd prefer to keep it as a normal topic. Greg has said multiple times that Lego specifically aims Bionicle at young boys, and is not particularly interested in appealing to girls. This is reflected in the huge gender imbalance in the characters. I'm not saying girls can't like Bionicle as it is (especially since I'm living proof to the contrary), but I feel that it does not maximise its potential to appeal to that market. Edited by Alyska

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^I'd agree with this. Most of the girls I know aren't particularly interested in action and adventure. (Of course, it doesn't help that I'm 17, but most of them weren't interested back when they were in the target age range either.)

The only thing I want nowadays is that whole "one-gender element" rule to disappear. If I want a female Toa of Fire or a male Toa of Water, I'm gonna make one, but having it be canon would be nice as well. It would make room for more varied gender roles and interesting characters, I believe. Many of my favorite characters are female already, such as Lariska, Helryx, Gali and Hahli, but you can only have so many Toa of Water before the powers and mentality become "stale".

I agree with this; I don't see why there can't be a female Toa of Ice, or a male Toa of Water. Elements shouldn't be only one gender or the other.

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I am glad someone brought this up. As we all must know, Bionicle isn't really the chick magnet it was originally intended to be. I mean, I'm a Sophomore on High School and openly show my love of Bionicle. Of course, that does not cause the ladies to swarm all over me. Ask my friend Zee (Toa of Sonics), he kept it secret and had several girlfriends. If it were more appealing to the female audience, I'm sure it would improve the life of forever-alone guys like myself drastically. I am in favor of your first idea, and stand by my opinion for there is really no other way to put it... MOAR CHICKS IN BIONICLE.


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Honestly, it all depends on whether we're talking about the products specifically or BIONICLE as a whole. Because I feel if Lego attempted to "girlify" the sets themselves, it would not turn out well at all... Considering the way BIONICLE was, they couldn't have done much to make it more feminine aside from color and cut. I just doubt younger girls would want to pull themselves away from Barbies or Bratz or Justin Bieber or whatever it is they're into nowadays. And most older girls wouldn't buy into the BIONICLE scene too well. However, if we're considering BIONICLE as a whole, it's possible to attract more girls into the market. Speaking for myself, I enjoyed it primarily for the story. I never was huge on MOCing; rather, I preferred to make up adventures with my siblings, read the books, and write stories. So if Lego decided to include girls in its target market, inserting a few more female characters into the mix and keeping up with a strong plot would be key. But then, that's just me. What about the rest of you ladies? What attracted you to BIONICLE? :kaukau: -JG


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In my opinion, the first few years of Bionicle managed the gender situation pretty well. (In fact, back then Bionicle probably had more female characters than most system themes.) Sure, it was unequal, but you had a nice dose of female characters from Gali to Nokama to Hahli, who all played important roles. I think as Bionicle started getting more complex, things went downhill. People went beyond the questions of pronouns and started asking why different genders were even needed, and thus came all these silly rules; each element only has one gender, no romance just strong friendships, ext. All in all, not necessarily bad, but the restrictions seem to bring out more of these heated debates over gender in Bionicle. I myself prefered the simplified versions. (Also, there's this thing called fan fiction where you can alter the official canon. I know, right!) As for Lego targeting girls... Lego Friends next year? Yay pink pieces. :music:

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In my opinion, the first few years of Bionicle managed the gender situation pretty well. (In fact, back then Bionicle probably had more female characters than most system themes.) Sure, it was unequal, but you had a nice dose of female characters from Gali to Nokama to Hahli, who all played important roles. I think as Bionicle started getting more complex, things went downhill. People went beyond the questions of pronouns and started asking why different genders were even needed, and thus came all these silly rules; each element only has one gender, no romance just strong friendships, ext. All in all, not necessarily bad, but the restrictions seem to bring out more of these heated debates over gender in Bionicle. I myself prefered the simplified versions. (Also, there's this thing called fan fiction where you can alter the official canon. I know, right!) As for Lego targeting girls... Lego Friends next year? Yay pink pieces. :music:

I think the elements having set genders was already decided when the series started. While we have had a couple of female Toa, the thing that bothers me is the lack of diversity among the female characters. The three you mentioned always seem to be the sensible, level-headed ones with the least flaws. This may sound okay at first, but the downside is that they recieve less character development, and I personally don't find them all that interesting as characters. I think characters like these may be a part of the reason young boys tend to percieve female characters as "lame" or "boring". That said, writing female characters these days is an absolute minefield. If you have one female character in a group of males, the female is always going to be analysed more in terms of how her actions reflect on her gender. So, if you wanted to have the female Toa be the goofy, ditzy comic relief character, the audience would probably respond with: "Hey! You made the girl dumber than all the guys! THAT'S SEXIST!". Therefore, female characters generally end up being smart and level-headed to avoid such accusations, and female comic relief characters have never appeared in Bionicle as a result. (The closest we've had is Varian, and we'll probably never see her again) There is, however, a bleeding obvious, staring-you-right-in-the-face solution to this. You simply have two or more females on the team. They can have contrasting personalities, and therefore balance out each other's flaws. Having more females almost always results in better female characters, as the writers have to give them more defining traits than "oh, yeah, she's just the token girl kthxbai". As for "Friends". I'd have to see more of it before I can really comment on it. It seems to be story-driven, but it seems to be aimed at a much younger audience than Bionicle. I was hoping for something that could appeal to the 8-12 and up bracket...

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Bionicle attracts girls by having being into Bionicle being the only way to play with their brothers, who they adore and love in every single way.


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Bionicle attracts girls by having being into Bionicle being the only way to play with their brothers, who they adore and love in every single way.

Actually, I think you may be right... I think a lot of Bionicle fangirls, myself included, would have gotten into it via a brother or male friend (As opposed to more conventional methods, such as seeing a TV commercial or being given a set as a gift). This suggests that many girls may have the potential to like Bionicle, but just don't get into it if they don't have a friend or relative to introduce it to them.

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A stupid idea deserves a stupid answer.BIONICLE is welcome for all genders. No one is making you think otherwise.If you REALLY liked BIONICLE, you wouldn't be saying stuff like this.


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Ok, I am more concerned with the story than the sets. From experience I can say that most girls don't like a ten-year long story about another alien species based on plastic LEGO figures, especially when it's this complex. I could care less if a girl liked to collect Bionicle sets, but as long as they get the story it's a dream-come-true. Too bad there are only like 7 in existence.


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lol, so it sounds like you're trying to say girls are stupid if they don't get the story?If they know of the story, most people will read it. A bit of a big "lol" for you!BTW, BIONICLE isn't that complex. A five-year-old could get the just of the story if they went back to the beginning.


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[...] What about the rest of you ladies? What attracted you to BIONICLE? :kaukau: -JG

At first, I just thought the sets looked cool.Then I saw MoL, which started a looong obsession over a character. x]And then it was the complex storyline. :shrugs:

Bionicle attracts girls by having being into Bionicle being the only way to play with their brothers, who they adore and love in every single way.

Ehm... well. This makes me wonder a bit. What's so strange about girls liking Bionicle just becuase they do?! When the Bohrok-kal came out (this was when I got my first set, haha) I thought that they were awesome. I though Bionicle to be something cool, and got into it later. But because it was the only way to interact with my brother/boys in general?Nope. I don't believe that there are things just for boys/girls. I can go and buy 25 Bionicle sets, then give them names like "Barbara" or "Giselle" and let them have a tea party.So what? ... just my thoughts.

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What about the rest of you ladies? What attracted you to BIONICLE?

What's so strange about girls liking Bionicle just becuase they do?! When the Bohrok-kal came out (this was when I got my first set, haha) I thought that they were awesome. I though Bionicle to be something cool, and got into it later. But because it was the only way to interact with my brother/boys in general?Nope. I don't believe that there are things just for boys/girls. I can go and buy 25 Bionicle sets, then give them names like "Barbara" or "Giselle" and let them have a tea party.So what?

We have seen more than once that Bionicle can be praised by girls - it's not a matter of character development; it's marketing. As it has been stated, LEGO always intended the toyline to be for boys, those of age six between fourteen. Little boys don't need a major character development saga to like something, as long as it has huge guns and is cool, they will buy it - neither do they care much for romance, as opposed to little girls, who like dolls, pretty stuff, etc. My point being this: Bionicle should, and must be loved by both genders; the lack of character development and female presence is irrelevant, either way, girls like Bionicle. It's just not so popular among them. The real problem was LEGO's marketing. It was aiming mainly for boys; parents don't usually buy hardcore warrior action figures to their girls. If they did, boys and girls would share even more interests than they do now. Edited by Riglax

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I'm getting a lot of answers along the lines of "Girls can already like Bionicle". Yes, we can, but our numbers are not particularly significant enough to be important to Lego. What I'm saying is that with a few tweaks, potentially thousands of girls could like it. The presence of existing female fans only supports my case. ...So much wasted potential.


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However, given that half of BZP is now obsessed with some show about a purple unicorn who learns lessons about friendship every day, I'm curious to see if I get a more positive reaction this time.

You say it as though it's not more manly than eating steak, while lifting weights, driving fast cars and shooting guns at the same time. Frankly, I think I agree with you in that the only way to increase a female audience would be to introduce more female characters. There's no point changing the storyline or amount of action or anything, as that would ruin what Bionicle is. Girls can enjoy that kind of thing to, and if they don't then they can just write fanfics shipping two characters together.

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If LEGO did make tweaks to the storyline or sets in favour of girls, would boys not start thinking that this toy is a "girly" toy? Wouldn't LEGO lose there main group of consumers?They would have made the dumbest mistake in their whole life if they tweaked anything.


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Ah the Purple Pony Menace... I have seen this sweep across many a Wiki... my very own wiki has raised its defences in hopes they do not reach our gates... We were almost infected by the COD Wiki... *has horrible flashback*oh.. sorry... I do agree, make something more Equal for both genders. The story cant be changed now, since it has finished..BUT there is a chance to start anew, on Spherus Magna. A new story to set off with both Matoran and Agori. They can have more female characters here as agori and glatorian are not gender specific (i think)More female characters is not enough though, you need something they can identify with. Something that doesnt make them a Male Character with a Female Voice. different tastes, or reactions things like thatIt can be done


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The above post is mostly a good idea ,BUT LEGO SHOULD NOT change anything that would REALLY effect there main plot or the consumer's ideas of BIONICLE. Too many girl characters may turn out to be bad in LEGO's main consumer's eyes.


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As i mentioned, dont change anything in the original storyline. it cant be done anyway. They can include more female characters in the story, But as you have suggested they keep the current ideasI am thinking create a franchise centered for both boys and girls. IF it works then why not change a few things in bionicle? It was after all their most successful franchise that was original. Wider Market = More Money.


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To younger boys, anything that has equal amount of girls with boys isn't awesome. I ,myself, thought the same thing about stuff with too much girl in it ,back then.

Edited by You just lost the game

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You do seem to know more about that demographic. I sometimes forget I am seventeen and that younger ages may not like the same things as us (like Equality :P)


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If LEGO did make tweaks to the storyline or sets in favour of girls, would boys not start thinking that this toy is a "girly" toy? Wouldn't LEGO lose there main group of consumers?They would have made the dumbest mistake in their whole life if they tweaked anything.

Thing is, the tweaks need not be over-the top to the point of it becoming obviously "for girls". Something that incorporates female characters to the degree of, say, Avatar: the Last Airbender would be a good compromise. And yet you don't hear young boys whining that Avatar's become "too girly" beacause of all the females in it.

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There were four main females in Avatar ,as I recall.In Avatar, were they not fighting? They weren't planting flowers, that's for sure! Every ,well known, female character had a large role in the story. Why change it to have MORE females? I'm quite content with the amount of female presence in the story line as it is.


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Many things have a large amount of girls, and can be seen as liked by boys. Such as Lost Girl, Salt.. Dare i say Kim Possible (i didnt watch it much, but keep reading). I went to a convention where the Creator of... something.. was there. He said that Kim Possible had a female main character, but was Disney's HIGHEST RATING SHOW. this is because it reached both genders. fighting and romance combined. Im not saying romance should be included in the storyline (as im not sure how or why it would be used/needed) but you get my point


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EXACTLY why Kim Possible was good! FIGHTING.My little pony and junk like that, isn't going to attract any boys. lolAs I recall, there was no romance in KP. The one thing still remains, is that adding more girls into the storyline may make newcomers to BIONICLE think it's "girly" and then LEGO loses customers.

Edited by You just lost the game

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She kinda went out with... her side kick... kissing a fair bit... And the creator of that show said so himself (as afore mentioned, now i remember who he was)


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