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The biggest disappointments in Bionicle?


Lenny7092
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14 hours ago, kuhrii said:

I thought we were gonna get Nuis/Locations based on each of the six elements, after Mahri Nui, Karda Nui, and I guess Bara Magna fit that scope, but then that never happened. I would've loved to see locations and stories based on fire, ice, and earth to complete the set.

To be honest I thought the exact same thing!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

My biggest disappointments:

1- The Bionicle videogames get points for effort, but they're not really good games and fall severely short of what's actually possible with Bionicle. With very well defined elemental powers, mask powers, enemies with their powers and weaknesses well defined too, expansive but well enclosed environments and exploration quests built into the lore, one could say that the potential for Bionicle to be a series of open world action RPGs with an emphasis on exploration was virtually handed to LEGO on a silver platter. But the closest we got to that was VNOG. I understand that LEGO was going broke for a period, but even afterwards they didn't do anything like that. LEGO was way to conservative with Bionicle and seemed to commission the games as an afterthought.

2- For the exact same reasons above, Bionicle could've existed well past the cancellation of the buildable toy line to exist as a table-top RPG. There is literally an entire universe out there with all the things I've mentioned in #1, yet somehow the quarter never fell for anyone.

3- The complete cancellation of Bionicle. LEGO stopped Bionicle because they weren't getting any interest from the target audience. And by "target audience" LEGO meant kids from ages 6 to 12. Somewhere along the line LEGO completely forgot that children grow up to be adults and don't stay children for 10 years, and instead of seeing the potential of a massive franchise that could branch out into all sorts of other things that working adults would spend money on as a hobby (like what Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel, etc, are), they decided to completely axe it.

4- The G2 reboot was Bionicle in name only. Sets were pretty cool. I bought quite the number of Protectors when they came out. Loved how slick they looked. However, despite how cool all the sets looked, Bionicle isn't JUST a toy line, it is a universe with lore. Yeah, it was disappointing that it was a hard reboot rather than a soft one or a continuation, but hey, at least we could expect Bionicle quality storytelling without retreading the mistake of turning the lore into spaghetti like G1 did, right? Nope. Instead what we got was something that was extremely dumbed down. The Toa behaved like little children as opposed to the elemental warriors they were supposed to be (something 2001 absolutely nailed and made my small kid brain go WWOOOOWW!!). , even my little brother wasn't interested in Bionicle G2; the moment he saw the Netflix series he asked me why the Toa were so stupid. His words, not mine. And then in the span of just two years the writers somehow made Bionicle lore into spaghetti already! Not because of half a million different characters or lore threads, but because they somehow couldn't agree on what many story elements were or how certain things worked. And then that got axed too.

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Here are the biggest ones for me:

* The entire G1 storyline from Time Trap onward. That marked the point where Greg started writing Hero Factory instead of Bionicle, the lore and ongoing storyline got increasingly hijacked and derailed ("Teridax" is a dirty word in my book and should be added to the forum's swear filter, and Greg's never resolving his about Makuta with the explicit establishment of Makuta and Mata Nui as brothers... that alone proves he was unfit to run the show), and all the work of the actual hero characters started being minimized compared to his god-mode bad guy guilds and edgy anti-heroes. Greg should have been transferred or told to clear out his desk when he turned in the manuscript for Time Trap. Because Time Trap was and nearly everything we got in the story from that point onward was . I would rather have seen Bionicle canceled after the 2005 line, than get the we got.

Lego needs to do a reboot of G1 that rewinds to before Time Trap happened, and throws it and everything that came after it out. Well, a reworked version of the baseline plot of 2006 (one that doesn't involve an inappropriate ignominous defeat for the Nuva) has the potential to be decent. And maaybe the same for 2007. But everything else definitely needs new story material - repurpose the Karda Nui Toa sets as a new team instead of the Nuva they barely resemble anyway, for instance.

* The fact that we never got Le-Matoran and Onu-Matoran in the 2003 style.

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The Great Clone Epidemic of 2003-2006. 

The Great Beings just being a group of ~20 Glatorians. 

The STARS line.

Lime-green sockets.
 

On 7/20/2020 at 4:47 PM, Lenny7092 said:

You know, you got a point. Why leave Mata Nui when the Toa defeated the Rahkshi? True, some places and stuff are destroyed, but no reason to leave unless the Order of Mata Nui would make them to. No matter where the Toa and their people are, any evil force would attack them, even on Metru Nui. Besides, the island of Mata Nui is meant to destroyed because it’s necessary to allow the Great Spirit Mata Nui to reawaken that way.

"Why do the Matoran have to leave Mata Nui" was asked and answered dozens of times back in 2004. The Matoran had to return to Metru Nui to awaken Mata Nui, considering that the city is his brain. Also, there's the fact that it's literally where they belong in the universe. Then again, it could have been interesting if some of the Matoran chose to stay behind, then they could have their own side-plots.

 

On 7/17/2020 at 6:03 AM, Lenny7092 said:

I feel bad for the Av-Matoran who turn into Bohrok because they lost their free will. I mean, they’re people, not machines with single purposes. 

It could/would happen only after they died. 

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On 2/15/2021 at 11:48 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Here are the biggest ones for me:

* The entire G1 storyline from Time Trap onward. That marked the point where Greg started writing Hero Factory instead of Bionicle

Time Trap was released in 2005, and Hero Factory didn't launch until 2010. Are you sure that HF's story was written that far in advance? I find your use of the word instead to be interesting, since Greg continued writing Bionicle until 2011. Next, Bionicle has always been a side-job for him. Greg's primary job was writing for the Lego Magazine and other material for the company. At no point in his career with Lego was his effort dedicated 100% to Bionicle. 
 

On 2/15/2021 at 11:48 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Here are the biggest ones for me:

"Teridax" is a dirty word in my book and should be added to the forum's swear filter, and Greg's never resolving his about Makuta with the explicit establishment of Makuta and Mata Nui as brothers... that alone proves he was unfit to run the show)

I still have no idea why people hate Teridax so much. Yes, I can kind of see how it diminishes some of the mystique to character, but it honestly never bothered me. What bothered me is the people who went on vicious tirades about it. It's not a big deal at all. Anyway, about the brothers deal... when the story was first written, Mata Nui and Makuta were considered Great Beings. The equivalents of the embodiments of good and evil (or creation and destruction), with equivalents being the operative word. Not too much later on, as the story evolved, it was confirmed that they were "brothers" in that they simply worked together. This was "explicitly established" in like 2003. Mata Nui was the equivalent of the somatic nervous system, controlling the outward actions of the Great Spirit Robot. Makuta was the equivalent of the autonomous nervous system, making sure everything was running smoothly on the inside. 

Next, Greg never ran the show until after Bionicle's cancellation, when G1 became nothing but online serials. Up until that point, he was just one person in a team of about 5 or 6, and he was at no point the leader. He was just the writer. They all worked together to come up with the plot, and Greg's job was to turn it into something readable. 
 

On 2/15/2021 at 11:48 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

...and all the work of the actual hero characters started being minimized compared to his god-mode bad guy guilds and edgy anti-heroes

Are you talking about the Nuva and Inika? While it would have been nice to see the Nuva back in action a little sooner, 2006-8 was great for taking the story in a really new direction. New heroes means you get new powers, new personalities, and new solutions to problems. If we had the Toa Nuva all the time, things would have been way too predictable. You'd get sick and tired of Tahu and Kopaka's bickering and you'd be begging for some new Toa to come around. Also, which one of the Inika was even an anti-hero? Matoro? He was reluctant; he felt that he wasn't qualified to be a Toa, but that's not what an anti-hero is.

Are you talking about the Federation of Fear serial? That was just a side-story that largely existed as fan-service to see some old favorites back in action. 

 

On 2/15/2021 at 11:48 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Greg should have been transferred or told to clear out his desk when he turned in the manuscript for Time Trap

Like I said earlier, Greg was never in charge of where the story went overall. He was only one member on a team where everyone had roughly equal say. Also, the 2006 story bible was probably locked down before Time Trap was actually written. 

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:48 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Here are the biggest ones for me:

* The entire G1 storyline from Time Trap onward. That marked the point where Greg started writing Hero Factory instead of Bionicle, the lore and ongoing storyline got increasingly hijacked and derailed ("Teridax" is a dirty word in my book and should be added to the forum's swear filter, and Greg's never resolving his about Makuta with the explicit establishment of Makuta and Mata Nui as brothers... that alone proves he was unfit to run the show), and all the work of the actual hero characters started being minimized compared to his god-mode bad guy guilds and edgy anti-heroes. Greg should have been transferred or told to clear out his desk when he turned in the manuscript for Time Trap. Because Time Trap was and nearly everything we got in the story from that point onward was . I would rather have seen Bionicle canceled after the 2005 line, than get the we got.

Lego needs to do a reboot of G1 that rewinds to before Time Trap happened, and throws it and everything that came after it out. Well, a reworked version of the baseline plot of 2006 (one that doesn't involve an inappropriate ignominous defeat for the Nuva) has the potential to be decent. And maaybe the same for 2007. But everything else definitely needs new story material - repurpose the Karda Nui Toa sets as a new team instead of the Nuva they barely resemble anyway, for instance.

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Okay in all seriousness though... I kind of agree and disagree with a lot in that statement. As mentioned already, the direction of the story was dictated by the Story Group not by Greg with Greg really just being the guy who put the words to paper. Yes Greg had a huge say on the final story presentation as the writer, but it was the Story Group that decided the overall Ignition trilogy plot, not Greg. We can just dive into Christian Faber's stuff to see the development the team at Lego and Advanced was putting into the Ignition saga well before we the audience ever saw it, such as this 2006 dated concept art that showed the locations of the 06 arc and the 07 & 08 arcs. 
More Great Spirit Robot Foreshadowing - Bionicle Discussion - BZPower

I will also disagree with the notion that having the Toa Nuva curb stomped by the Piraka in 2006 was a bad thing. Is it a bit of pulling a Worf? Yes (but hey their destiny was to wake Michael Dorn Mata-Nui anyways so...) but, there is to much focus in franchises like Bionicle to rank the "power levels" of characters and put them on a pedestal and treat them as invincible, and its kind of refreshing when they go against the grain. Part of why I enjoy stuff like Indiana Jones or Jackie Chan films, is watching the heroes struggle with winning a fight, Indy takes as many licks before he finally gains the upper-hand in his best action moments, and its kind of refreshing for once to put the Toa Nuva in the same situation where they are finally outgunned and outmatched. If anything I think the Toa Nuva should have lost more fights just to make their victories even sweeter. Plus the Piraka having distinct personalities was a refreshing change of pace from the endless "swarm villains" we got in prior waves... 

But what I will agree with, one; Time Trap turns Makuta into Dr. Doom/Lex Luthor and I am still not sure how I feel about that change. Alastair Swinnerton/MNOG era Makuta was sooo creepy, so mysterious, yet so intertwined with this metaphorical representation of how destruction is a natural counterpart to creation that was surprisingly profound. Time Trap kind of kills that though. I would argue though the transformation actually began with Legends of Metru-Nui, where Makuta is already starting to come across as more scheming and less "primal" compared to his 2001-2003 depiction. I hate to admit it, I prefer that Swinnerton/MNOG style take on the villain; but with how long Bionicle ran to 2010 before cancellation I don't think it would have been possible to maintain Makuta as a reoccurring villain if his personality was still just "I am the void," the franchise needed him to become a schemer and a mastermind to justify his own longevity in the plot and nothing short of a major rewrite of those last few years could really change that. But I can't place all that blame on Greg, yes I think the Dr. Doom influence being so heavy handed is Greg all the way; but he probably knew by Time Trap that there was a rough plan for "hey by 2008 Makuta is going to Grand Theft Body the Great Spirit" and he had to explain how Makuta went from "I am the void, you cannot defeat me" to "I am the ground you walk on ... the air you breathe. No longer must I fight you to rule a Universe. I AM the Universe!

What I can blame on Greg is his side plots. I think he knew the stuff going on with the Order of Mata-Nui, Dark Brotherhood and Brotherhood of Makuta was exclusively "Greg's Realm." It has the feeling since the Story Group considered it a sideshow they just let Greg do his thing there, and while it adds a nice layer of world building it creates an overly distracting B-Plot that runs parallel to everything and is a big reason I can blame G1 for ending in a bloated canon mess. I understand Greg's initial decision to write more serials post cancellation to wrap up his B-plot and give it a finale that sent all the heroes off on their final destiny, but when people say "Bionicle G1 never got a proper ending" I usually disagree with that statement. Bionicle G1 did get a proper ending, two giant robots fighting over the sands of Bara Magna to heal the broken world. That is Bionicle's proper ending, and G1 ended on a high note. The problem is Greg's serials ran past the ending, and thus turned what was a pretty closed book into an open ended one. Imagine if Lord of the Rings ended not with Frodo departing Middle Earth, but instead had a sudden interlude of Legolas and Gimli hunting Orcs in Mordor only to discover that Morgoth was alive and well and about to launch a massive invasion, then it just suddenly ended on the first chapter with no explanation as to what was going and no sequel to follow up with it. That is what happened to Greg's serials, he opened several cans of worms (Velika is a Great Being, Marendar is on the loose and the Red Star is full of Zombies!) and then got the rug pulled out from under him and never got to complete those stories other than vague platitudes "Takanuva will fulfill his destiny, there would have been a happy ending, somewhere!" 

What I am trying to say, is the Serial World started out as a sideshow and became the main attraction post-2010; yes Time Trap got that ball rolling in a sense but I think the "event horizon" was crossed when as the line was being cancelled Greg promised "I will write more story" after the Rock Em Sock Em God Robots finale had already wrapped up the main story in a nice bow.  But I can't really blame Greg totally for it, he appears to have loved the job and the Bionicle world, and like many fan-fiction writers wanted to keep exploring the world after the finale. The mistake was starting it though without taking into consideration that "since I am the sole Canon keeper of Bionicle now that the rest of the team has gone onto other projects, I better make sure I can finish this before I start." Because honestly, not having the serials at all or having the serials in their entirety would be better than this weird decade old limbo we have been stuck in where Greg's promised finale has sat on the shelf for years now, not finished but opening up so many weird plot holes we just don't understand.

... and like most Bionicle talks I have ended up writing a mini essay. 

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:48 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* The fact that we never got Le-Matoran and Onu-Matoran in the 2003 style.

That is not an unpopular opinion, that is a "we need to get a time machine and raid Billund Denmark in 2003 to make sure they can at least shove Kongu and Onepu into the line up" opinion. I would be okay with them axing Kopeke and Hafu from the wave we got in exchange for Kongu and Onepu, even though it would have made the Kohli teams uneven. If only for the simple logic of the parts to make Kopeke and Hafu already existed in Hewki and Matoro's sets, the parts to make any Le-Matoran and any Onu-Matoran (excluding the tan ones like Taipu) never existed. It is the biggest handicap to MOC makers who want a line up of 2003 style Matoran. 

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On 1/15/2021 at 7:25 AM, TERIDAX941 said:

To be honest I thought the exact same thing!

It would have been way too predictable/repetitive honestly. Then again, it'd be cool to have a "full set" of the Toa Nuva with Adaptive Armor for each environment.

 

13 hours ago, Zidonaro said:

all the sets after 2007 were disappointing 

2008's Makuta were all pretty cool. Also the vehicles. The biggest shame is that 2009 was a soft-reboot but they were still using bland Inika builds. Some were more unique than others, but most were really, really boring. I mean, just look at Gelu. Besides the snowflake attachments on his arms, he is a set from 2006. If Lego wanted to take Bionicle in a new direction, why did they keep using such old and uninspired designs? 

The jump from 2008 to 2009 should have been as big as the jumps from '03 to 04' and from '05 to 06', but nope. At least G2 tried (and largely succeeded) to do the right thing.

f80e004568[1].png

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4 hours ago, Lorentz said:

It would have been way too predictable/repetitive honestly. Then again, it'd be cool to have a "full set" of the Toa Nuva with Adaptive Armor for each environment.

 

2008's Makuta were all pretty cool. Also the vehicles. The biggest shame is that 2009 was a soft-reboot but they were still using bland Inika builds. Some were more unique than others, but most were really, really boring. I mean, just look at Gelu. Besides the snowflake attachments on his arms, he is a set from 2006. If Lego wanted to take Bionicle in a new direction, why did they keep using such old and uninspired designs? 

The jump from 2008 to 2009 should have been as big as the jumps from '03 to 04' and from '05 to 06', but nope. At least G2 tried (and largely succeeded) to do the right thing.

f80e004568[1].png

At least he has a few cool new pieces, but hampered by those sockets from the era which I cannot describe properly without using non-BZP appropriate language! Curse those sockets!

Really though, I find the complaints some people had about CCBS weird when it was far more flexible of a building system where as once the Inika/Piraka builds got introduced, they were pretty much forever set in stone. 

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3 minutes ago, Xboxtravis said:

Really though, I find the complaints some people had about CCBS weird 

For me, my biggest gripe with CCBS was the simplicity of the limb construction and the overall aesthetic of it. It was smooth and sleek, and didn't look like "bionicle." Relying fully on ball joints and clips just felt weird. Give me my pins and sticks! Give me my fake pistons and fake mechanical parts! That being said, the torsos and their gear functions were top-notch. Functionally, Bionicle G2 was great, but aesthetically it wasn't that great.

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On 4/4/2021 at 2:58 PM, Lorentz said:

2008's Makuta were all pretty cool. 

I think they're just as boring as the nuva. There are hardly any new pieces and they reuse a lot of old Piraka/Inika pieces, and by that point those were already 2 years old. I wanted some new pieces. I prefer clone sets that give us lot of new pieces in different collors than new sets reusing old pieces.

On 4/4/2021 at 2:58 PM, Lorentz said:

Also the vehicles.

Yeah, the vehicles were cool.

 

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1- Majority of the storyline got tangled up in unfinished serials, many are now incomplete and GregF is too busy to be allowed to finish them both because of his Lego magazine writer job and no freelance time because of his family.

3- Movies most of the movies weren't that great overall. Kiina had one of the most annoying woohoo voices ever for a serious female fighter. Also leaving out the last part of the Ignika Trilogy and going straight for The Legend Reborn as last film wasn't the best move.Of course the Inika trilogy had a lot of gritty content that could have been too violent for kids.

3- Games: Bionicle the Game was absolutely pitiful. They took random scenes that would be good for 8 levels. Then they randomly created levels for it and treated it like a movie cash-in. The voices used for this were also terrible. IF Bionicle had used voiced games like Lego Star Wars Force Awakened.


Finally as sad as it seems Bionicle will very unlikely be not get a Gen 3 version even after it won in the recent Lego Fan Polls. Lego would still be very likely say it's not worth it. Fans also might not like it if it has to be adapted as a brick based theme. It seems that molds like CCBS and other action-figure based molds are too expensive to designed and only gets used for one wave.

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16 hours ago, Zidonaro said:

There are hardly any new pieces and they reuse a lot of old Piraka/Inika pieces

Well the Phantoka had whole new torsos and a lot of bat wings; Chirox had some really wild arms and Vamprah was pretty unique too; only Antroz was "normal." The Mistika Makuta were pretty wild as well; with Gorast's extra limbs and Krika's everything. I'm talking more about overall design/silhouette than a piece-by-piece breakdown. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Considering that bzpower doesn't know what a thumbnail is, please consider shrinking your pics first lol

a20408abf2[1].png

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On 5/27/2021 at 3:43 AM, Gadunka64 said:

Entirely my opinion but honestly just how brittle the pieces were from 08' forward. Really sad and hampers MOC potential.

Can you explain what you mean by "entirely my opinion?" The brittle pieces were an objective design flaw. 

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13 hours ago, Lorentz said:

Can you explain what you mean by "entirely my opinion?" The brittle pieces were an objective design flaw. 

Given the topic title, it's his opinion that the brittle pieces were the biggest disappointment, while it might be someone else's opinion that the biggest was something different.

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3 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

Given the topic title, it's his opinion that the brittle pieces were the biggest disappointment, while it might be someone else's opinion that the biggest was something different.

Thanks for explaining that to him haha

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Understandable have a nice day

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On 9/1/2021 at 6:49 AM, (-Kopaka Toa of Ice-) said:

Fidget spinners wouldn't have any way to be used in the story.

Rhotuka spinners..

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I would have to say the fragmented way that the story was told. If it had come out now I don't feel that it would have been as popular {just look at G2} but I do feel that it's ashame that it never got the story told in a consistant way, like an animated series or more movies for example.

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On 9/11/2021 at 10:23 AM, Alucus of the black Abyss said:

I would have to say the fragmented way that the story was told. If it had come out now I don't feel that it would have been as popular {just look at G2} but I do feel that it's ashame that it never got the story told in a consistant way, like an animated series or more movies for example.

It wasn't that fragmented. For the most part, it was simply books and comics. The movies had novelizations, so you could just skip the films and stick with the books. When the Serials started, they were mostly just side stories that didn't really affect the main plot, but they were also readily available online so you couldn't miss them either way.

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On 6/23/2020 at 11:03 AM, Lenny7092 said:

2. Bionicle’s G1 story not continued since June 2011. Come on, Greg. 

I don't know why it took me so long to notice "Come on, Greg" but you are now about to know my wrath.

The Bionicle novels and serials was always Mr. Farshtey's side-gig. He did it out of passion for the world, nothing else. He got married, had a baby, got divorced, and got a lot more official Lego work on his plate that he had to focus on.

HOW DARE YOU say "Come on, Greg" like he's a lazy college student? Bionicle was CANCELLED, so he had to move on from the Serials and focus on his REAL job to provide for his daughter.  

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