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tbh if bionicle was restarted today would kids be interested given what thier interestedin now.


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Idk, lately I've been seeing a lot of younger kids interested in gen1 bionicle and thinking it's cool, probably due to the older fans keeping it alive and making new fan content.

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Sometimes when I am in disney world I bring along some bionicles to put in the hotel room window and I always hear kids getting excited when they walk by and stop to look at the Bionicles. I think with the right marketing it can still be successful. G2s issue was it had very little marketing.

However Im not sure lego would be willing to go all in on the marketing like they did for G1.

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This website doesn't use hashtags. And since when were one-word posts allowed? Anyway, the answer is obviously no, since Bionicle failed financially twice. 

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That depends on how it is handled, and 2015 was handled poorly; cool sets, a mess of a story that alienated old fans, despite relying on them to promote it, ****** mobile games, and last but not least, a mediocre series.

The Bionicle that got started out in 2001 was very ambitious and in order for anyone new to be interested in Boinicle it'll have to be equally as ambitious, but in a modernized and current way. Lore the like of Bionicle would have to be presented as a videogame, a PROPER videogame, alongside the LEGO sets, and the sets would have to be treated as a kind of merchandise collectible.

Basically, digital media is paramount. It isn't 2001 anymore. Younger audiences will not be interested if the digital media isn't treated equally or more important than the toy.

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I think the problem now is that the Bionicle name is burdened by the dense lore of two past versions. (Three if you count the people who get Hero Factory confused with Bionicle, or think the two themes should be/are part of the same universe). A potential future Gen 3 would have to be yet another reboot, so that incoming fans don't have to learn a giant mountain of lore to catch up, but going that route could very easily alienate old fans all over again like Gen 2 did. 

But that issue is kind of secondary to the fact that Lego is very, very unlikely to even attempt another Bionicle reboot anytime in the near future. Every constraction/CCBS line they've attempted since Gen 1 has sputtered out after just a few years. There's no need or incentive for them to make the big splashy investment that would be needed to launch a new Bionicle line. 

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On 7/21/2022 at 4:58 PM, Alexander123 said:

Sometimes when I am in disney world I bring along some bionicles to put in the hotel room window and I always hear kids getting excited when they walk by and stop to look at the Bionicles. I think with the right marketing it can still be successful. G2s issue was it had very little marketing.

However Im not sure lego would be willing to go all in on the marketing like they did for G1.

yea, if youcompare 2015s markiting to 2001s marjeting were they went all out

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I think it's also worth noting that Bionicle's early marketing was really a product of its time.

Back in 2001, going to a website to learn more about the lore was a relatively novel experience. Streaming 3D computer-generated animations of the toys on the internet - in glorious 144p - was a relatively novel experience. Playing a whole interactive and episodic point-and-click adventure in your browser was a relatively novel experience.

(Not to mention, the idea of a big-budget Lego theme and even the actual toy concept of a Lego action figure you can build was fairly new itself...)

In the era of Youtube, social media, fan wikis, affordable CG animation, an oversaturated digital marketing landscape, and a Lego brand that's releasing all kinds of posable action figure sets, managing multiple big-budget themes and even doing whole animated TV series and movies now; none of these things are special any more.

It's easy to say Lego didn't do enough marketing in 2015 - and they probably didn't - but Bionicle 2015's marketing team had a much bigger uphill battle. They couldn't just repeat the same tricks and expect to recapture the same lightning in a bottle.

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On 7/26/2022 at 4:13 PM, Distorted said:

It's easy to say Lego didn't do enough marketing in 2015 - and they probably didn't - but Bionicle 2015's marketing team had a much bigger uphill battle. They couldn't just repeat the same tricks and expect to recapture the same lightning in a bottle.

It's not that they didn't do enough, but that they did the wrong things.

Look at the portrayal of the characters and the story. The characters in the Netflix series had this very... childish behavior, same went for their bionicle.com descriptions. Compare that to the dialogues, monologues Toa made, and the lore descriptions and it's like everything got de-aged to toddlers.

I was 7 years old back then. I had not the slightest clue what was going on, who the characters were or even who the badguy was. But it felt like something I could immerse myself into like a bath. The characters had a certain mystery, seriousness, and edge to them, both in design and in the way they spoke.

Suffice to say, when the Netflix animation came about, my then 8 years old younger brother thought it was lame and stupid, and we didn't watch more than 3 episodes.

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On 7/26/2022 at 10:13 AM, Distorted said:

I think it's also worth noting that Bionicle's early marketing was really a product of its time.

Back in 2001, going to a website to learn more about the lore was a relatively novel experience. Streaming 3D computer-generated animations of the toys on the internet - in glorious 144p - was a relatively novel experience. Playing a whole interactive and episodic point-and-click adventure in your browser was a relatively novel experience.

(Not to mention, the idea of a big-budget Lego theme and even the actual toy concept of a Lego action figure you can build was fairly new itself...)

In the era of Youtube, social media, fan wikis, affordable CG animation, an oversaturated digital marketing landscape, and a Lego brand that's releasing all kinds of posable action figure sets, managing multiple big-budget themes and even doing whole animated TV series and movies now; none of these things are special any more.

It's easy to say Lego didn't do enough marketing in 2015 - and they probably didn't - but Bionicle 2015's marketing team had a much bigger uphill battle. They couldn't just repeat the same tricks and expect to recapture the same lightning in a bottle.

I think this is definitely true. Though being novel doesn't always convert to success, G1's multimedia approach is one of it's strongest aspects, and the exposure it got from that was extremely important (though there were kids whose interest lived and died with the toys).

Even though I wouldn't lay the blame of G2's failure entirely at the feet of the uphill battle it faced in this regard, I'm sure it had a part to play. If only because Lego's executives themselves doubted that "repeating the same tricks" would yield the profits they wanted, and thus didn't even really bother to try (either to replicate those same tricks or develop new approaches to a multimedia toy franchise). 

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On 7/28/2022 at 9:14 PM, Mukaukau Nuva said:

 Though being novel doesn't always convert to success, G1's multimedia approach is one of it's strongest aspects, and the exposure it got from that was extremely important (though there were kids whose interest lived and died with the toys).

 

I think we also have to take into account the state of LEGO as a company back in 2001. It was still in a downward spiral so when the Bionicle line started the company was looking for a win. It was willing to take huge risks to try and salvage what it could. When G2 came out, and even now, LEGO has established licenses and other brands to profit off of and don't need to take those big "Do or Die" type of investments. They can try and bring back a theme like G2 and if the numbers don't add up there isn't a loss to the company to discontinue it like what would've happened back then. 

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1 hour ago, zerack: the rogue said:

I think we also have to take into account the state of LEGO as a company back in 2001. It was still in a downward spiral so when the Bionicle line started the company was looking for a win. It was willing to take huge risks to try and salvage what it could. When G2 came out, and even now, LEGO has established licenses and other brands to profit off of and don't need to take those big "Do or Die" type of investments. They can try and bring back a theme like G2 and if the numbers don't add up there isn't a loss to the company to discontinue it like what would've happened back then. 

Yeah, that's true as well. LEGO didn't really need to have faith in G2, since everything else is selling like hotcakes anyway in 2015. 

Honestly I think the big hurdle in any constraction/Bionicle toy today is probably the price of plastic. I recall recent LEGO sets being pretty expensive for what they are (for a variety of understandable factors), and constraction lines tended to use fairly large pieces, so the prices would probably be too high for what they were. Bionicle's original $10 price point that made it so accessible to kids probably isn't within arm's reach anymore, so the success of a modern theme would be limited by that on top of everything else that's been discussed already.

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Can Bionicle be successful with kids now?

I mean, my niece likes to play with my Galidor figures sometimes. She is too young to appreciate the "story" (not that anybody is in a rush to share Galidor's story) but she has fun with the figures. She has not taken as much interest in the Bionicle figures other than for the ones with "balls" (Zamor spheres) and she likes watching me fire the Zamor launchers. When it comes to Lego figures in general she recognizes the Disney characters from the CMF line though, since that is more in line with the stuff she watches at her age (she also refers to the big monster dude from Hidden Side as "Daddy Jack" though since that figure does look like Jack Skellington). She does also enjoy AT-AT and AT-ST models as well because she likes the walkers stomping around in Star Wars. 

So as toys, the appeal of all this stuff is timeless even if many of it is much older than her. So yes certainly kids will find appeal in Bionicle still if they are exposed to the toys, even if they don't know the "lore." I think its a fallacy to assume that kids don't have the same interests in kids of generations past. Yeah, I played video games, had satellite TV, and got on Bionicle.com to read stuff as a kid; but contrary to what Boomers may lead you to believe I also rode my bike around, hiked through the woods, slept in sleeping bags under the stars, drank from garden hoses and put rounds through a BB gun against tin can target ranges. Kids still enjoy a lot of the same stuff, its just the digital age has offered new competing interests. But give Bionicle good enough toys, and appeal will be there just as it was in the past. Kids are not a magical enigma that change drastically, that is more-so an imagination of the adults around them. 

But can the Bionicle story work now? That I think is a more interesting question. The early 2000's were a time of big ideas in fantasy and science fiction. The adaptations of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, the Star Wars Prequels etc. I look at stuff like Halo, Atlantis or Treasure Planet as sharing a lot of that same DNA with Bionicle; a mash up of science fiction and fantasy with elder races and big giant objects and the like. Avatar the Last Airbender also dived into elemental powers and elemental tribes as well. The DNA of an era that made Bionicle is imprinted on a lot of its peers from the same age. 

Now though we are more in the realm of super-hero stories, and the tonal shift is subtle but visible. Yes, Greg gave the Toa personalities more akin to the Justice League and gave Makuta a sense of "Lex Luthor meets Dr. Doom but he's a robot" as well... so the elements of superhero vibes are there in Bionicle. But I think themes like Ninjago with their focus on a core cast and a "villain of the week" formula captures the era of superheroics more than Bionicle ever did, with its focus on mythology and the habit of changing out Toa teams every few years. Bionicle's story is convoluted because in a way it wanted to imitate that expansive world building of its peers at the expense of having more fleshed out character dynamics that have become more the norm in later years. 

So its not impossible to bring Bionicle up to the modern era, but a lot of what made it so great is a relic of a past time. And as others have mentioned, Lego would have to invest a lot to make sure Bionicle stood out against their own offerings; something they failed to do for G2 and well G2 suffered as a result. Maybe someday the nostalgic gold mine of Bionicle will appeal to Lego when they want to tap into Millennial and Gen-Z nostalgia baiting, and we'll end up like Transformers with endless tribute toys trying to capture our nostalgia and wallets. But if Lego wants Bionicle to have the same cultural impact it had back in the day, it would require a very heavy investment to top and surpass Lego's own offerings elsewhere. 
 

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On 7/30/2022 at 4:58 PM, Xboxtravis said:

So its not impossible to bring Bionicle up to the modern era, but a lot of what made it so great is a relic of a past time. And as others have mentioned, Lego would have to invest a lot to make sure Bionicle stood out against their own offerings; something they failed to do for G2 and well G2 suffered as a result. Maybe someday the nostalgic gold mine of Bionicle will appeal to Lego when they want to tap into Millennial and Gen-Z nostalgia baiting, and we'll end up like Transformers with endless tribute toys trying to capture our nostalgia and wallets. But if Lego wants Bionicle to have the same cultural impact it had back in the day, it would require a very heavy investment to top and surpass Lego's own offerings elsewhere. 

I agree. I think Ninjago is part of that as well; there would be little incentive to revive a Bionicle theme with all the same investment, coordination, and detail as it during the original run when Ninjago is still around and basically fulfilling the same role as Bionicle did back in the day (when it comes to being the standout original theme).

It would also be hard for a revived theme to scratch the same 'itch' as G1 without being nostalgia-bait, which would just undermine Bionicle's legacy somewhat, at least in my opinion. 

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To be completely honest, I don't think they would. What LEGO would have to do to ensure a G3 was successful would be to cater to the fans of G1. Make a line designed for older fans and include lore books in the sets. Even if it was just a limited run, it would almost certainly be successful because of how many of us are still obsessed with Bionicle in general.

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On 8/5/2022 at 10:48 AM, Mukaukau Nuva said:

It would also be hard for a revived theme to scratch the same 'itch' as G1 without being nostalgia-bait, which would just undermine Bionicle's legacy somewhat, at least in my opinion. 

This. This right here. The problems with the reboot all spoke for themselves: The toys were cheaper feeling, with thinner plastics and the skeletal 'snap on armor' system Lego adopted for its humanoid figures. They were very much the same, with only superficial differences. And while you could argue that the originals had the same gimmick, Lego specifically broke out of this from time to time, starting with the very first Toa. Pohatu and Onua had a strikingly different feel from Kopaka or Lewa with their top and bottom-heavy builds. Gali's hook hands and clear mask made her stick out. Tahu had his sword of flame, something none of the others could boast. They did it again with Phantonka, making each character strikingly unique, and to a lesser degree with Ignika. Reboot Toa by far looked the most clean-cut and generic with their circuity chestpieces, and the lack of organic details added to the 'cut and paste from the mold' feel in a way that the nice nod to the old gear action feature just couldn't supplement. By the time the pieces had gotten a little more interesting, the line was already failing, and some of the best the series had to offer little more than hit the shelves before it was discontinued.

 

And then you had the story which was just... terrible. It's like they took the bare bones of the idea, tossed all the meat out the window and said, "We don't need this! It's for seven year olds. They'll buy shiny bot heroes." Incredibly disappointing from a company that has built its legacy on creativity, innovation, and lorebuilding, going back to some of the earliest Minifig sets. Making Gali male with no replacement was already a weird choice, but it truly emphasized how generic and stripped down the entire thing was. No distinct characters. No complex development or plot. 'Ooh spooky' generic bad guy with none of the wit of a Teridax or Roodaka. Why was he even bad news? I barely remember. Something about stealing replacement-Mata-Nui's mask to make himself the master of the world.

 

It's sad to say, but stoking the nostalgia would be about the best they could do at this point, and without Greg and the team, the idea that it would be well done is questionable. The best we could hope for would be in the toys themselves: either some re-released or redesigned sets, and maybe some new characters if they felt adventurous. Bionicle died corporately not when the line was cancelled, but when the creative crew was split up. There's no greater lore without them, and of course, the toys and the lore together was was made it great. You're absolutely right. It would cheapen it. Part of me wants it so badly, but unless they could do it with respect and tribute to both toys and lore, is it really something we need? There are great fan products out there doing that right.

On 8/24/2022 at 2:40 PM, HamboneKablooey said:

Make a line designed for older fans and include lore books in the sets. Even if it was just a limited run, it would almost certainly be successful because of how many of us are still obsessed with Bionicle in general.

While I question how successful, it's hard to argue with the results of that poll. A zillion Lego fans of every decade all over the world, many of whom are parts purists, and what wins? Bionicle. That is staying power. But again, without Greg behind it, is this something we would get? And would it be any good if we did? Not that he was the sole force behind the lore,but he was such a driving one, and the principal continuation even when the line petered out. 

 

However if such a thing were released, you can bet I'd throw my money at it faster than you can shout 'Takua!' and take my chances. That would be the dream, and one to happily encourage.

 

I am still keeping my eyes open and fingers crossed for our theoretical anniversary set(s). Hopefully Lego honors its word with its best foot forward.

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59 minutes ago, Heyzorks said:

It was only the voice actor who was male for some reason.

Yeah, I think the 2015 animations were all narrated by the one person. I'm pretty sure Gali had a female voice actress for Journey To One, though.

On 9/2/2022 at 11:46 AM, Sidrohan said:

And while you could argue that the originals had the same gimmick, Lego specifically broke out of this from time to time, starting with the very first Toa.

Yeah. Even going back to the original Toa Mata, Lego at least went to the effort of giving each Gen1 set a unique individual weapon/tool. Whereas the Gen2 sets had a lot more overlap, especially the 2016 versions of the Toa who all used the same crystal blade piece. 

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I agree a lot with what Sidrohan said above about design. I think that the reason G2 failed had nothing to do with the marketing or story or any of that. Yes, the G1 story was fantastic, the marketing was innovative, and the G2 story had some problems (in spite of some spectacular talent that was recruited), and the marketing was derivative. But. Given that it's a toy line, I think it was all about design. BIONICLE in 2001 debuted with the Toa and Turaga and then the Rahi. The promo CDs were obviously brilliant, as were the comics (we hadn't really seen anything like that before with LEGO), because it gave kids something to interact with, but it was the design that got kids to take a second look at the toys.

In STAR WARS design philosophy, they talk about having a good silhouette when it comes to their characters. You can look at the silhouette of R2-D2 or Boba Fett, and you not only can differentiate them easily, but you immediately know who the character is, simply by their shape. Look at the masks that the line debuted for BIONICLE in 2001. Or the design of the characters. They pass the silhouette test perfectly. You didn't have to see the color of the mask or the finer details to recognize whose it was, a silhouette was enough to tell you immediately. The characters looked weird, unlike anything we had seen before, and some of them looked pretty menacing. It had that kind of morbid curiosity factor. Something alien, something scary, but something to get your imagination going, that you could lose yourself in.

The G2 BIONICLE sets were quite big, and that was fun, but they looked a lot like action figures. Designs that could have come from anywhere. I think they were great in their own way, and some of the designs were outstanding. Ekimu's mask, for example, is an incredibly compelling piece. But there was nothing menacing, and nothing that screamed "this is something you haven't seen before."

I think they would have done better had they gone with simpler characters who could be recognized and easily differentiated from each other as shadows in the rising sun. Designs that were simple and ominous. There was a lot of similarity between the characters in the design, I felt.

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As a self professed G2 apologist, I do have to disagree with the take that the problem lied in the toy design (with one exception, using the same mask for all six Protectors was a bit of a flub). If anything the G2 designs were almost too well designed, bumping up the price point to pretty high costs due to using more parts than their G1 counterparts. Each G2 Toa was almost a small G1 Titan in terms of parts count. 

But, I don't think the CCBS shells and bones were the main flaw. Yes they could have used more texture and detail parts to really get the mechanical aspects down, but it meant that even the smallest G2 figures (excluding say, LoSS which is a pretty respectable tribute to the 01 Rahi honestly) had more points of articulation than comparable G1 characters had. The 2001 Turaga had arms that could move (one attached to a lever function) and hips that could move their legs, and that was it, the 2001 "Tohunga" likewise were static pieces that always kept the same pose until you pulled their flexible arm back. Yes there is a $7 USD price increase from a Turaga to a 2015 Protector, but the Protector comes with full head articulation, shoulder and wrist articulation, most had elbow articulation, all of them had hip, ankle and knee articulation. Yes the price increase was a shame, but it meant the 2015 figures had a lot more toy action to them. If anything 2001-2005 Bionicle design was heavily reliant on single molded pieces (the Toa Mata legs and Slizer arms are obvious examples), while the 2006-2009 Bionicle designs are almost more of a Proto-CCBS, reliant on bone pieces and detail shells which attached over them. 

Now that is not to discredit the Bionicle 2001 designs for their ingenuity in terms of using a limited parts catalog to make all the Turaga and Toa Mata slightly unique. Making Onewa tall, making Whenua and Onua hunchbacks, giving Pohatu and upside-down torso, Nokama long arms, etc. It doesn't really change though that Tahu, Gali, Lewa, and Kopaka are all mostly clone builds with variations in just color, hip/shoulder attachments, arm pieces used, tools and mask type though. 2002 really though started to show the clone-ness take over in G1, with 12 identical Bohrok sets with only shield types and parts colors changing between them all, and eventually leading to the Toa Metru an almost factory line clone team where only masks and tools made any difference between the characters (I guess hip length and neck mounting also changed them up slightly, but its such a subtle difference not many people are going to notice Nuju and Whenua as a height comparison until they get up close to the toys in person). Don't get me started on the Hordika...

As far as silhouettes though go, G2's 2015 Toa wave knocked it out out of the park. Kopaka had padded bulky shoulders, like cold weather gear. Onua was W I D E like a tank, Pohatu short and lanky, Tahu tall and heroic like a mix of ancient Samurai armor, Lewa thin and gangly, and Gali had a subtle hint of curves to her, feminine grace and the flow of water in one. The 2016 team wasn't as well diverse unfortunately due to the chest piece being the same, but even then the addition of the Creatures to all of them breaks them up via giving them new shapes once the Creatures are mounted on their back. I know G2 wasn't perfect, but personally I think a lack of distinct character design in the silhouette department was hardly the issue. 

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