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Bionicle 2001 and beyond: An essay of personal thoughts.


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#1 VBBN

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:26 PM

Hello and welcome all memebers of Eurobricks. Today, I would like to explain some personnal thoughts on Bionicle 2008 and the past..

First let me say, that I have been a fan since the beginning. When Bionicle first came out, I wasn't thrilled. My mom got me tahu and lewa mata for christmas, and I was hooked. I bought all the borohk, and the tarakava, as well as Cahdok/Gahdok. The reason why these sets were my type? Gears. Good story. Fun MOCability. They were a nice step a way from system, as it was devouring my money.

When 2003 came, I loved the nuva. I bought them with love and joy, and again, they stuck to my heart. I'll admit, the borohk kal ween't a preference, but I still got one from my mom, and I liked it, but not the rest. Rahkshi took me away, and I loved them. But then, I realized, that something wasn't right. Bionicle was starting to manuever away from the nice island of Mata nui, and turn to a crazy, twisted makuta, and his "sons." Also, the apperence of the first golden figure, takanuva, who was a lovely sight. Then the movie arrived. But I knew, that after the makuta was defeated, all would go back to nomal. I was wrong.

In 2004, something strange happened. Metru Nui was born. Bionicle shot into the past, with new figures, with lot's of new parts, and a new color scheme: The metru red, blue, green, and a lighter brown, more creamy I should say. Well I will say that these were great. And I grew happy with the idea of a city, with beautiful architecture, and rustling and bustling city life. Bionicle then released the vahki. The konaka disk was a fun jaw feature, and the vahki were nice, but the rahkshi were to much like them. The titans were a new change as well. Gone was the vast amount of technic, and in with more figure parts and beams. Comics spread, and a new movie arrived. Bionicle was startng to redeem itself. Then it crashed.

The hordika came in 2005, and were somewhat a dissapointment. First, we saw weird beings that were mutated creatures. They were the friendly turaga, or metru. Lego used this to dement them, and give awkward arms. What had lego done? In summer, we saw spiders called visorahk. I would have prefered Fikou. What was lego thnking with these guys, giant shells and more of the runaway rohtukas? The clamping jaws were a nice touch, but the visorahk didn't have impressive MOCing possiilites.  And the titans were an interesting step for lego. A king and queen who were "engaged," and the new yellow/orange titan keetongu, was truley a neat sight. After the new movie came out lego was sill struggling. 2006 had better be good. Was it?

In 2006, we saw piraka and crazy matoran. And voya nui, a dark place indeed. The matoran had NO new pieces, and the piraka had kightup eyes, glowing teeth. So what could be wrong with the piraka? The spines. Rubber that yanked the heads everywhere. The zamors were a nice collectible. What could be more fun than shooting things wih plastic spheres? Paintball actually, but you get my point. Next, we had the igniters or "inika." Wonderful. Excellent. Horrible? Both. Let's start with the good: TONS of new parts, new light up swords. Yeah, it was good. Bad? They were skinny, non-compatible masks, strange looks, and rubber masks. Then came the Titans. Axonn and Brutaka were nice, but simpy parts packs. Vezon and Fenrahkk were pretty good, and the Steed and rider were a nice concept. So, Lego was doing pretty well in 2006 weren't they? And then came along 2007.

So, what did 2007 have in store for us?  Barraki, matoran and hydruka. Mahri nui was a weird place. The small sets were nice, but nothing worth mentioning, and the barraki were nice, but featured remakes of old parts. Nocturn is a thing of beauty. Period. And at a sale price of 7. 48, he was even better. And then the mahri. What did fans think? They hated them. Some didn't, but truley, they were not expected. They were a rehash of old parts, with only a few new parts. Mutated versions of our favorite characters. And to boot? They killed Matoro, and let mata nui live. That should have been the other way around. Mata nui should have died completely. A much bettter story indeed. The titans were mixed. Hydraxon was a run-of-the mill titan. An enlarged toa. Maxiols and spinax was the opposite of V&F, and Gahunka was a mad frog. But he had a build similar to the rahi(his legs). Lesovikk continued the toa w/ vehical trend, and was nothing special. Karzahni was nice, but what part in the story? Bionicle started the downhill climb once again.

And now my friends, 2008. First, Karda nui. I don't get it. The core of the universe is a rock. Whoopie. How is that special? Matoran that are juniored and overpriced lumps of plastic, and toa that are nothing but inika/mahri on drugs. The makuta were bulky, but at leaset they sported a new torso. The masks were nice, but why lego, why would you bring they nuva back in a kind of unspecial way. They should of been WOW factors. But they weren't. Mutran and Vican is a mix of Chirox and Kirop, Icarax is a parts pak, and toa ignika is nice, sporting  technic board. So, now I will move on to... The Mistika! This is the biggest thing being talked about right now, so I will detail it. Swamp of secrets? Seems a little far-fetched, doesn't it. The toa newva Mistika are pure crap in my mind. Tahu is a silver ninja fighting warrior, who has no resemblance to the original one. Gali is a scary mutant with a large fender on her back, that is making her look flat. And why did lego go with the kopaka method on her weapon? Same with onual. He's got rocket legs, a makuta mask, and a fender on his shoulder. I need this a little more explained, LEGO. The Makuta-insects aren't as bad, but still are bad. Gorast is a SHE!?!? Where did that come from? Four armed, green, and a backwards body. Wow, now that's what I call lady-like. :-|  Bitil is alright, but whats with the wings and that matoran body? And krika is a big blob of vahki/phantokuta. Nothing spectacular. Finally, the "vehicals." So, LEGO is going back to the old days, huh? Vultraz is a distraction, as there really isn't a point to him, IMO. Rockoh, is simply weird, and pohuatu again? Geez LEGo, you already screwed him up, let's not do it again. And a hijacked vehical by antroz? That's just stupid, and axarela is a nice flying fridge. Comics made a great time this year though. Bionicle continues to crash.


What will happen in 2009?
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Whew, done. So my friends, that's my thoughts. As you can see, I am more into the early years then the later years. Bionicle is starting to loose my interes. Feel free to share your thoughts, and tell me what you think. Thank you for your time. :-)

Edit: And to Bionicle fans, I am sorry to say, that I won't be as active here. BTW, I am going to be selling some of my cxollection. The Mahri are my first to go.

Edited by ~VBBN~, 05 March 2008 - 09:23 PM.

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#2 SWMAN

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:03 PM

I got a few sets when they first came out, but was never a big fan. I like minifig sets and stuff a lot better than the large scale Bionicle stuff. I never really got the stories either. I always thought they were kind of repetitive.
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#3 Faramir

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:34 PM

View PostSWMAN, on Mar 5 2008, 04:03 PM, said:

I got a few sets when they first came out, but was never a big fan. I like minifig sets and stuff a lot better than the large scale Bionicle stuff. I never really got the stories either. I always thought they were kind of repetitive.
Repetitive? You are absolutely right-- but only starting from 2005. Six toa, six pumped up steroid abusing "bad guys," and three titans. Oh, and the six matoran. As I remember someone else saying, I think it was here, that Bionicle is moving away from the whole "legend" idea, that we all love, and onto the straightforward, overly futuristic, and release-date dictated story. Whats with the guns? Did we ask for guns? Would we rather our beloved, cunning heroes shoot people and say heroic-sounding fortune cookie like lines than watch them use their brain, use their elements, their true power that they were gifted with and should be using?

~VBBN~, I'm with you all the way.

In remembrance of Kopaka Nuva, a true toa.
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#4 JINZONINGEN73

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:56 AM

Both my interest in Bionicle and the meager "wallet" that follows me around started to drift away once it was clear the cool, clever, minimalistic yet interesting flash movies of 2001 were never coming back.

And when the ...awful ...movies popped up, it was the beginning of the end.
Look, I KNOW that the target audience is brats in diapers, okay?
But christ, why work so hard to alienate the initial fans as well?

It's like if Star Wars came out in 1977, but then instead of being followed up with The Empire Strikes Back, you instead get megablocking Teletubbies with lightsabers.

Is it really a crime to appeal to old AND new fans?
Is it really so hard to aim a product at children, while having subtle and or humorous nods to the adults?

Bah, whatever. They dropped the ball as far as having Bionicle be a license with a long-term cult status and instead broke all the chains of credibility to keep it reeeeeeeeal stupid for the kiddies.

So. I miss the sets, flash movies, mask packs and gears of 2001.
(I DON'T miss the terrible Rahi set designs, though they were glorious parts packs).

So... ...do I think Bionicle blows now?

No. Oh, they DID suck, and badly.

But now, I like them. I think that as parts packs, every set in the 2008 wave is pretty good.
You can't use the "canisters" like you could in 2001, thanks to some GENIUS deciding that not adding Lego connection points onto them could possibly increase play value or the desire to buy more canisters.
But inside, they ain't too bad.

The "matoran" are as large as the old 2001 Toa were. They may be simplistic in design, but you get a trans head along with an ok action figure. And thankfully, these "smaller" sets look solid, not wretchedly incomplete-looking as they have been over the years.

The Toa are decent sets, lots of good parts here and there, though Lego's time, money and other resources were wasted on the cannons they came with.

The bad guys are all pretty much the same deal as the rest.

So, a line of figures not good enough to amass long-tern fans, but well enough to turn a profit.

But these Mistika figures... yeesh.
They are only good as parts packs. Truly, they're megablocks-ugly, nonsensical in thruster placements / character design, and their vehicles are atrocious... just columns of Technic parts slapped together into a rectangle.
BUT that's good, for it cannot be forgotten that these ARE parts packs.

Which would you rather have? Some Gadunka type mostrosity that looks so juniorized that it may have been designed by a 5 year old with a couple Inika parts, or a big, boring pile of poo that is in fact made up of USEFUL Technic elements?

Right. Fugliness aside, the good parts pack.

Blah bah blah long story short...
Bionicle's story sucks. The characters suck. The set designs mostly suck.
But the sets themselves are good for parts to mocs having nothing to do with Bionicle.

Never forget that we're playing with LEGO.
LEGO is all about imagination and creativity.
...Mind you, that is NOT what Bionicle is about now.

Yet just like Z'Nap, Galidor, Clickits and every other unpopular medium that have come into the sights of the long-term Lego fan circles... Bionicle too cannot be denied as being just more parts for MOCS.

They are, at the end of the day, ALL parts packs.
Despite a certain few Lego representatives out there on websites trying to say Bionicle is not about mocing as much as it is about character and story, they're wrong.
Things like that, executed as POORLY as they have been, will only keep people coming back so long.

And failing that, a set better be DAMN fine in the parts selection area.

Luckily, and just barely, Bionicle's current and upcoming sets squeak by into that zone.
They don't pass enough in story or character for me to say "Oh my god, I have to buy every guy in the line!".
But more than in recent years I see a few sets that catch my eye simultaneously as being worthy of purchase on the basis of their parts inventory.

It's not much, but it's a step in the right direction.

Admittedly though, I have zero faith in Lego's current ability to make something "cool" that could attract a cult status for years to come, so it might be best if Bionicle died so a superior line can reformat the mecha / bio-organic part of Lego's food pyramid.
I mean hell, I've already mourned Bionicle's passing, so it's not like I'd go to it's funeral a second time. Why, that'd just be redundant lol.
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#5 Zaktan of the Shadows

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:17 AM

Uh... why would the core of the universe have to be special?

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#6 Ecto

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:17 AM

View PostJINZONINGEN 73, on Mar 6 2008, 12:56 AM, said:

It's like if Star Wars came out in 1977, but then instead of being followed up with The Empire Strikes Back, you instead get megablocking Teletubbies with lightsabers.

Best thing I've ever read regarding Bionicle.

Edited by Ecto, 06 March 2008 - 11:00 PM.


#7 Visorak-kal

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:59 AM

VBBN, your thoughts are very interesting. I will go through your post from top to bottom, because I do agree with some of what you said.  

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First let me say, that I have been a fan since the beginning. When Bionicle first came out, I wasn't thrilled. My mom got me tahu and lewa mata for christmas, and I was hooked. I bought all the borohk, and the tarakava, as well as Cahdok/Gahdok. The reason why these sets were my type? Gears. Good story. Fun MOCability. They were a nice step a way from system, as it was devouring my money.


Pretty much the same for me in terms of how I got into BIONICLE, sans the MOC.  I don't and never have MOC, so the value I see in any BIONICLE set is in terms of what it is.  If it looks good, it merits my money.  If it doesn't appeal to me or doesn't have enough value to waste space and money on, then it doesn't merit my money.  Gears and complex builds very accurately describe a great 2001.  I know a lot of people dislike the Rahi, but some of them were great builds.  In 2002, LEGO improved upon this tremendously with the Bahrag, to this day one of my favorite sets.  Good story?  Not so much.  Sadly, in those days, the medium of good story was online and I didn't have internet connection.  The #1 storytelling medium, the comics, was sadly lacking.  Still, the "newness" of BIONICLE and the mystery I think intrigued me to remain a fan despite the fact that the story wasn't that deep.  

Lol, I remember my shock at the "You are not the first Toa!" thing.  I remember seeing that picture of something in that comic and seeing the name "Vakama" and thinking, "Oh, new enemies must capture the Turaga!"  How little I knew.  2004, I think, marks the spot where BIONICLE took a turn for the better and escaped the confines of the typical 1-3 year LEGO line.  If you look, hardly any story-based LEGO line lasts more than three years.  Only generic things like Creator and City do, because they have no story.  It was in 2004 that BIONICLE expanded itself to thrive and last.  It overcame the repetition that was obvious at the end of 2003.  BZPower as I recall was screaming to get off Mata Nui.  So they did, and that really changed things, as you said, VBBN.  

Where I disagree with you here is with the Visorak--I think the Visorak were a great step forward, as although they were shells they had an innovative design and were as close to non-clonism as BIONICLE had ever come.  Apparently, this was the turning point for BIONICLE as it recorded its first profit since 2002, I believe.  Now, 2006.  From what I've seen, this is really where the love/hate started and the "schism" began, the major split in fans who supported the new direction and those who despised it.  

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The matoran had NO new pieces.

This I don't understand.  You say this as if it was a bad thing, yet the Rahaga in 2005 had only Rhotuka for new pieces and you say you didn't like the runaway Rhotuka.  Neither of these pleased you?  

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And then the mahri. What did fans think? They hated them. Some didn't, but truley, they were not expected. They were a rehash of old parts, with only a few new parts. Mutated versions of our favorite characters.

Correction.  Most fans did not hate the Mahri.  Very few hated them.  I am not seeing what is so unexpected about them?  The return of real masks?  And the Mahri are not mutated--I think it really unfair to judge a set based on what its predecessor looked like.  Many hated the design of the Inika, yet here you say they mutated "our" favorite characters.  Did you like the Inika?  

Secondly, you seem to be ignoring one little detail; they are not clones.  That comes with a price, VBBN.  That price is less new pieces.  On BZP, many complainers complained about clone sets; sales research showed that the majority of fans agreed with that.  So clone sets were thrown out the window, but the cost of this is less new pieces.  

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And to boot? They killed Matoro, and let mata nui live. That should have been the other way around. Mata nui should have died completely. A much bettter story indeed.


So, after putting out all this drama that he universe will end when Mata Nui dies, you are saying they should have killed him?  And the entire universe is destroyed, slowly, over the span of three days?  I think that the Matoro was done masterfully.  Kill Mata Nui at the end of the September comic, and then force fans to wait in suspense for two months until you reveal how Matoro sacrifices himself for the life of the great spirit.  Nobody suspected what was going to happen--BZPower was filled with theories of how Mata Nui could be saved.  And yet I saw not a single theory of the simplest solution of all; that the Ignika, combined with the life of another, could in fact revive the Great Spirit.  

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First, Karda nui. I don't get it. The core of the universe is a rock. Whoopie. How is that special?

I see you have not read the Karda Nui section on BIONICLEstory.com.  Karda Nui, the core of the universe is a gigantic cave, that originally had a sandy bottom and a water source from which emits light.  The waterfall that originally fell from the skies turned this sand into a swamp.  The Matoran were originally living in the underground above Karda Nui, and the cataclysm of 2004 brought their homes down in the form of stalactytes and are suspended amongst each other and whose bottoms are embedded in the swamp below.  I think you have been judging Karda Nui by the single thematical image of the lone stalactyte.  

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Gorast is a SHE!?!? Where did that come from? Four armed, green, and a backwards body.

Gali Nuva is a she?  The mask looks like Tahu's Hau!  

As InnerRayg has stated many, many times, females do not look like females in BIONICLE, with the exception of Roodaka.  This is nothing new.  

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Finally, the "vehicals." So, LEGO is going back to the old days, huh? Vultraz is a distraction, as there really isn't a point to him, IMO. Rockoh, is simply weird, and pohuatu again? Geez LEGo, you already screwed him up, let's not do it again. And a hijacked vehical by antroz? That's just stupid, and axarela is a nice flying fridge. Comics made a great time this year though. Bionicle continues to crash.

Exo-Toa could easily be considered a vehicle, as could the Boxors.  Vehicles are not new in BIONICLE.  I think, storyline-wise, that rereleasing characters capable of shifting their apperance is wise as it removes the curse of having too many characters, something very obvious in 2006.  How do you know there is no point to Vultraz?  It isn't even summer yet and his character has not even been defined.  The three winter Matoran will be making an apperance this summer, so I think your opinion on the Matoran's screentime may be premature.  As I have said before, there is nothing stupid about hijacking a vehicle.  Antroz is evil, if he sees someone flying a vehicle at him he's going to try and go inside.  What would be stupid is if none of the Makuta even attempted to hijack one of those vehicles.  

And how do you define "continues to crash"?  Millions of fans like a crashing toy line?  

I think what we are seeing here is the divide between new and old.  The kids that BIONICLE was targeted at in 2001 and 2002 were just not there.  Let's face it.   Technic fans just weren't interested.  However it has been realized that a different type of fan was interested.  Those kids, like us, who loved Bionicle back then have grown up.  Let's face it--we've all grown up.  And as kids, we were not the same kids that inhabit today's world.  Who ever heard of an iPhone or a Blackberry in 2001?  Whoever heard of the XBox or World of Warcraft?  We're a different generation, those of us who love 2001 for what it was.  

And, sadly, we're outnumbered.  Those who buy BIONICLE are not interested in the same things that interested us.  They like launchers, they could care less if the Toa Nuva look like their old selves-- they obviously didn't like that style.  the choice was not LEGOs, but theirs.  If BIONICLE existed for the purpose of pleasing us it would die.  Some of you might wish that.  But the majority of us don't.  

I lucked out.  The styles of today are just as appealing to me as those styles of yesteryear.  Obviously they aren't the same for you.  I mean, look at it.  You and I practically agree on everything pre-2006.  The schism year.  After that, our tastes differ.  

But thanks for writing this--it is always intersting to read and respond to the thoughts of another older fan(s.)  It is especially interesting to see how two fans of BIONICLE in 2001 can split into two different people.  Perhaps it is because you are older than I am, but I think it is mostly because every person is unique in many ways.  

VK
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#8 VBBN

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:06 PM

Visorahk-Kal: I agree with you. Thanks everyone for reading! I think that you are right: We split after 06, as that seems to be the base of the present day sets.

Part 2: Playsets and Clones-

Hello again, and now, the second part to my thoughts.

In 2005, we had some thing completely new. Playsets. System was introduced into the BIONICLE universe. Was this a good thing? In many ways, yes. Some fans of LEGO, don't like BIONICLE, because it isn't very compatible with system, unless you have the newer exo-force sets, and is something different. When Bionicle introduced system sets, it brought more people into the habit of BIONICLE, raising profits. So what was bad? Well, not much really. The giant masks and new "minifigs" were nice, as was the exclusive visorahk gate set.

2006 brought the trend in for the second time. This time, it wasn't buildings and a ram, but instead towers, gates, and a large fortress. The parts were nice, and the figs were sweet, but they had a little bit more glitches that 2005. The zamors were huge. Things were outsized. And parts were all dark blue and grey... Not as various as I would have hoped. I like the two vehicals though. Nce features, and again, nice builds. Bionicle seemed to be doing well.

2007 was IMO, not as good. The vehicals seemed to have no taste for me. A fortress with rooms? Maybe. But a giant slug like rahi with a middle section, cockpit, and greebles everywhere? Not my kind of style. And all of the 07 plasets had something in common. Legs, huge cockpits. The figs were copies of eactother. What had happened to sales?

2008 replaced them with giant technic vehicals.

Now, Clones.

From 01 to 06, we had canister sets that resembled eachother perfectly. Well, not that perfect. Some were shorter, diff weapons an masks, colors, etc. Did they sell well? Yes. And lego made lots of new parts for them, because they would only have to make one mold, and recolor it six times. Each line had at leasst 6 new parts. The inika had a lot.

Then, in 07, that changed. Canister sets were unique, with some similarites. For example, all the barraki had the similar face builds, jaws, etc. The only problem? Lego had to cut back a bit on the new parts, because they would make them look clonish again, if they didn't. Whjat did I prefer? Its a hard choice. Fo clones, if you had one you had them all, and for non clones, new parts were cut back.

Thanks again for reading, and thanks to all who commented!

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#9 Visorak-kal

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:43 PM

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Perhaps it is because you are older than I am, but I think it is mostly because every person is unique in many ways.


Lol, after I wrote this I wondered to myself, "This guy doesn't sound so old..." So I went and checked out your profile, and lol I found that I am actually older than you!

How's that for irony?  

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We split after 06, as that seems to be the base of the present day sets.


Yep, which is why I refer a lot to 06 as the "schism."  It is very obvious the change that came over BIONICLE then--I mean, look at Axonn compared to Sidorak or Roodaka.  More poseability, no functions or gears, and not a custom-built, technic-beam body.  Then again, I've always found Sidorak a little too technic-beamy.  

As for your thoughts on playsets, to tell the truth I was never a playset fan.  I have felt that BIONICLE is about the characters, the figures, not really about a bunch of mini-sized sets.  Now, figure-sized playsets I am not opposed to...

I agree with you on the comparison of the 05-06 playsets to the 07 ones.  I thought the designs of the 05 buildings were very good, and I even bought Tower of Toa.  (That is actually the only playset I possess.)  I was tempted to buy it partly because it looked neat, had great style, and I liked the idea of the Matoran using Kanohi Masks as gateways.  I thought that was very fitting in BIONICLE.  2006 also had some good playsets, though as you said in reality the colors of them all were the same.  I think the bridge was the best deal, and the upgrade to moveable unique figures was great.  In 2007, I was disappointed by the change from twelve unique faces to about half.  However, I am forgiving of that because Greg Farshtey recently revealed that playsets did not sell as well as was hoped.  A lot of littler kids called in and asked for playsets, so LEGO thought there would be a demand.  But those kids never went out and bought them, and the BIONICLE purists saw no reason to purchase them either.  I know I didn't.  So by 2007 I bet LEGO was already knowing that the time had come to drop playsets so they didn't bother wasting money on twelve unique molds.  

On the issue of clone sets, I personally think this year's Phantoka (moreso than Mistika) are the way to go.  I thought they had a good variety of new pieces, such as the wings, jetpacks, etc. but at the same time they are not clones.  I think their new piece variety was better than that of the Mahri and Mistika.  The Phantoka Makuta I think really do a great job as they have the same body, all new pieces, but their vareity in arms/legs and other factors makes them far less cloney than the clone years.  

And in fact, clone sets were shown in research to be disliked by both us original fans and the newer fans, so that is something we agreed on. If it had been only us complaining, I doubt we would have seen a change from clone sets.  

As for Jinzo's post, where he sums up his thoughts:

Quote

Both my interest in Bionicle and the meager "wallet" that follows me around started to drift away once it was clear the cool, clever, minimalistic yet interesting flash movies of 2001 were never coming back.

And when the ...awful ...movies popped up, it was the beginning of the end.
Look, I KNOW that the target audience is brats in diapers, okay?
But christ, why work so hard to alienate the initial fans as well?

It's like if Star Wars came out in 1977, but then instead of being followed up with The Empire Strikes Back, you instead get ------ Teletubbies with lightsabers.

Is it really a crime to appeal to old AND new fans?
Is it really so hard to aim a product at children, while having subtle and or humorous nods to the adults?

I really think, Jinzo, that you are not noticing a lot of the subtle nods given to us fans--judging from your age you were an adult when BIONICLE started and you are an adult now.  BIONICLE was never aimed at adults, so in reality your fandom with it is sort of a fluke, no offense.  And remember that the BIONICLE targeted age-group is younger than originally supposed in 2001, that age group did not buy.  Furthermore, you grew up in an age without today's technology, without all these mega blasters and World of Warcraft stuff (heck, neither did I, none of that stuff even remotely interests me) but a lot of the kids of this world like these blasters, to use an example.  

Plus I bet that a lot more money was alloted to BIONICLE in 2001 than in any other year following that.  Line launches are given a lot more marketing money than the years after.  So how much BIONICLE could afford animations like that now is unknown, I would bet unlikely.  Basically you are saying that your BIONICLE fandom diminished at the end of the animations, I guess around 2004.  I see you've been here a long time since then.  

Where I agree with you is in the subject of the movies.  While I am sure they brought in new fans (which was their purpose) and it was neat to see those sets in action, I really didn't like the movies because as I have said they caused the rest of the year to suffer and get cut off.  

I don't get your StarWars analogy, BIONICLE has only expanded since its conception, not shrunk to Toa babies?  

And no, it isn't a crime to appeal to old and new.  It is done a lot.  In the recent comic, a scene was thrown in purposefully with Lewa and a shadow leech, a nod to Lewa's incidents with kraata, krana and infected masks.  The Onua save a Toa will appear in a book this year, and old mysteries and old characters are kept alive as nods through the serials, when LEGO policy is mostly that story exists solely to promote CURRENT sets.  I think these are all gifts to older fans, but probably just not the gifts you are looking for.  

Another example is how the Nuva Mistika originally looked more like their older selves but were shot down in focus groups.  Would you have suggested the set designers stick with them even though the focus groups didn't like them a lot, just to please both old and new fans?  

VK
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#10 Clonie

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 01:28 AM

And also Teridax's infected Hau in Dark Mirror, and the sundial and telescope/cliff from MNOG in the Nuva blog last year, etc.

You know, a lot of people think that people with different opinions are of lesser intelligence, like there's something wrong with liking blasters. :-/ I mean it's not like if a kid buys a set with a blaster they spend all their time shooting stuff, they'd buy it for the figure/roleplaying as well, or else they'd buy some other toy that includes only a blaster. Judging by the common absence of Lewa Phantoka on toy shelves I've seen recently they seem to care which figure they buy, not just grab one with a blaster. So whatever, I think the common person's intelligence is underestimated.

And for thinking people are wrong for liking the figures themselves, well, sure, they're flawed in proportions and basic construction. The difference is I could care less about proportions, and I like how they're working on perfecting the basic body construction. Does that make me wrong? Insert answer here: ___.

See, there's also the issue of people thinking I like whatever LEGO throws at me automatically. I can't understand this, maybe someone could explain the motive for me to do so, because it's not true. I just happen to like basically every BIONICLE set. :-P There's a difference.

I pretty much like every BIONICLE year equal, except maybe the Metru Nui saga which was a bit weak in my opinion. 2006 and 2007 might be worse than the first three years, but only just. 2008 looks very strong.

I'll write something more detailed later.
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#11 VBBN

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 02:42 PM

Part 3: Collectables and Quality.

Ahh, two very interesting subjects. So, let's start with collectables, shall we?

From 2001 until 2003, we were given mask packs. Excellent or Mocers. I remember how I would go out to Meijer, and just buy them whenever I had spare cash. Plus it was fun to see what was inside.

2004 was a change. We were given something called a konoka disk. While fun, they resembled the throwing disks of their small counterparts, Slizers and Throwbots. Later, we were given packs with two or three, I can't remember, disks, and a colored launcher. Those were nice. We were still given mask packs. They were those packs that included two of each metru mask for your backpacks. They were in original colors though.

2005? We had rotuhkas. Starting on the rahaga, then Hordika, an basicly every set had them. 50 m was a stretch, but after ou had a few ripcords, they got anoying to store. Rohtuka packs came out with colored spinners in them. No launcing mechanism like the Kanoka.

2006 was zamor year. Theyshot far and hard, but fell out og the launchers. We were given packsof 10 zamors in assorted colors. No launcher. Nuff said.

2007 Was "squid ammo." Blue and green jellies as projectiles, which didn't shoo very well for many people. Were they good? Alright considering the theme. But when cordahks came, no packs came. And they were huge gatling guns. They weighed down the toa.

2008 Was huge cannons, and exploding chests. Shame their are no Battle Packs with these in them. The jellies I mean. In assorted colors. 8-  Next are ghost blasters. Not sure where that is coming from, but they look air powered. Wait and see.

So, all in all, I think lego should release BPs, or Mask Packs.

Now, Quality.

This is an issue I have been noticeing. Take a weapon from say, Lewa Nuva(03). Then, take one from Tanma. You can see light coming through the newer ones than the older. The plastic is getting thiner. Maybe this is jsut me, but It's something I have been noticeing lately.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for part 4.

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#12 jifel

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:20 PM

please dont bring up 2007. that was last year, now its 08. with the " o no, nuva dont look like the phantoka" if they did the masks the same, people wouldnt buy them because theyre "the same" and if the bodys were the same, there would be no new pieces, and alot of people would moc them.nive been with bionicle since early 2002, and ive loved everything theyve done. 07 and 08 are good steps forward, with 0 cloning, new parts, and consistent pricing. plus, theyll be continuing to at least 2011(movie contracts) so either quit bionicle or get used to some change. my 2 cents

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#13 Mecheon

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:50 PM

I'm just here to comment on one thing, because I'm an excessive Slizers fan, moreso than Bionicle. Though I liked the original ones, up until the first movie

View Post~VBBN~, on Mar 6 2008, 07:26 AM, said:

Gorast is a SHE!?!? Where did that come from? Four armed, green, and a backwards body. Wow, now that's what I call lady-like. :-|

She's an insect thing. Female insects are the horrific masters of their race. Most every ant or bee you see is a female. Why would a female insect-mimic look like a female humanoid?

#14 trooperdavinfelth

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:34 PM

View PostFaramir, on Mar 5 2008, 07:34 PM, said:

Repetitive? You are absolutely right-- but only starting from 2005. Six toa, six pumped up steroid abusing "bad guys," and three titans. Oh, and the six matoran. As I remember someone else saying, I think it was here, that Bionicle is moving away from the whole "legend" idea, that we all love, and onto the straightforward, overly futuristic, and release-date dictated story. Whats with the guns? Did we ask for guns? Would we rather our beloved, cunning heroes shoot people and say heroic-sounding fortune cookie like lines than watch them use their brain, use their elements, their true power that they were gifted with and should be using?

~VBBN~, I'm with you all the way.

In remembrance of Kopaka Nuva, a true toa.

Sighhh... You and VBBN are absolutely right. When the line first came out, my brother and I collected each figure intentively; they were something new and cool. We read the comics and kept collecting until 2005 came. I saw the Hordika and I realized what Lego was doing. They were just going on and on with the same old characters. My brother agreed. We'd hoped TLC would give us something better next year. 2006 came, and when I saw the Piraka, I said to myself 'Gimme a break, Lego.' Lego didn't give me a break, but I gave myself one. Never collected Bionicle since. Since the good old days of Bohrok, Vahki, Makuta, Rahkshii, and Toa Nuva, I haven't collected any Bionicle. None at all. No Rahaga, no Hordika, no Visorak, no more 'Titans'(OK, I just don't like the word; it seems un-Bionicle and un-Lego), no Ignika, no Piraka(I did get Axonn and Brutaka; they just rocked *wub* ), no Mahri, and no Barraki. And I won't get the Phantoka and the Mistika. No offense to likers of the line, but the names just got lame. Mistika. Phantoka. :-X  Umph.

Now I haven't mentioned the matoran. The matoran were cool in '04 with increased articulation. I also collected them for the discs and disc launchers they had. Since then, the matoran have become much more of a, how to say this, fighting force. Look at '06. They all have two huge hand weapons. Phooo. Another big piece of Bionicle history out the window. I thought that's what the Toa were so special for. I thought they had those weapons to protect the matoran from evil. Now the matoran can protect themselves from evil, but instead the story is good hunting something that evil is hunting. Just sounds like any old line now.

It used to be about saving an island from an evil brother who wants to take it over. That's something interesting. And the twin has posessed the formerly good creatures of the island and made them evil monsters. The Rahi. Cool. And as we progress through the story, we meet more monsters. The Bohrok. They've got a neat feature; they can corrupt the Toa via their masks. Which makes you want to get more masks, which I did. I have so many krana I don't know what to do with them! :-D  Good times; I remember I always collected the mini collector boxes with masks in them. Then we move to advanced Bohrok; these are the toast of the town. They present a real challenge. Later on,

This is the Bionicle that I miss so much. Nowadays all my Bionicle are in a box a yard high and one and a half feet wide. I rarely take them out, unless I, out of a spasmodic desire, wanted to put them all back together.

What Faramir said above, about moving away from the Legend idea and to the futuristic idea is only too true. Sure, who doesen't love a Gatling gun that shoots squids underwater? That may be interesting to some people, but the whole point of Bionicle was to have a kickass line which went with a free comic you got every few months.(no offense to you Brickmaster subscribers - Oh wait, I am one! X-O ) The thing that got me hooked was that I could easily reenact a cool thing I got regularly. Now, today, I have every single comic of Bionicle ever printed. It's always fun to read through them. But when I read the newer comics, something's missing. That something is the fun and the coolness of the line. It used to be cool; humorous at several points in each comic and plenty of neat one-liners. :-P  (they're still good) But the new comics, they just seem darker and more evil. Sure, the new artist knows that and he said that, but it could still be better. I mean, at every turn it looks like evil has won. For gosh's sakes make things look up for once! >:-(  I can't stand something where you have to read all 500 comics and see the good guys get smashed up every time, but then you have to see a movie just to see the climax! It's a waste to me.

With the original comics I can understand what's going on and I can kinda figure out what's gonna happen in the movie because it's talked about in the comics. With the Piraka and Voya Nui, for instance, it ends with a crazed Piraka chained to a monster. Looks like he'll just hand the mask over to the Piraka. Now take the Bohrok Kal! I love those comics! It shows how the Toa must become stronger to beat the seemingly indefeatable Bohrok Kal. And the comics actually show the end of the Kal, a scene I particularly enjoy. X-D

OK, most of this is just pretty much the same as what VBBN and Faramir have said, only from a different mouth. Maybe 2009 will hold better Bionicle; maybe not. Frankly, TLC has already dug the grave of the part of me that loved Bionicle when they dug the grave of the old Legend-like Bionicle that I so loved. *sad*

Now, I was reading Visorak-Kal's post, and something else that I loved about the old comics came back:

There was real substance in those comics; take Lewa's repeated corruption. Once with the Krana, once(almost) with the shadow kraata. This is what happens to real people with real lives; they see something they like and take it. Kind of like taking the easy way out. With the newer comics, there's no substance; no plot. Nothing that makes you want to read more, or makes you want to sleep under the mailbox until the next magazing and comic comes.

For example, Lewa's corruption. No one knows where he is, no one knows what's happened to him, except for you. You can't wait to see what happens to him. In the newer comics, I don't see any of that. All I see is Toa: We need to get the mask of life! *fights the bad guys* End of comic. Next comic: Toa: We've got to get the mask of life! *fights bad guys* End of comic. Etc., etc., etc. Do I need to say it? :-|

Edited by trooperdavinfelth, 12 March 2008 - 05:41 PM.

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For gosh's sakes, people! THEY ARE PRELIMINARY!

On the semi-crappy looking early 2009 sets.

#15 Visorak-kal

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:25 PM

trooperdavinfelth:

I've already commented to others on the sets issue, but you raise a great point about the comics.

There was actually a poll about this on BZP, are the comics getting worse?  And though I am a supporter of modern BIONICLE, I did vote yes.  

The comics today are a lot harder to understand than those of yesteryear, and they have a lot more action, a lot less humor and planning and trapping, etc.  This is basically for two reasons.  One is that the story has clearly improved from merely a one-island story to a vast world that includes plenty more opportunities to create your own story and imagine.  So, when the story becomes that much more complex, 12-page comics aren't going to cut it as well.  Secondly, the majority of the fanbase wants more action in their comics, so action replaces the humor and all those other things you mentioned.  

The answer to this, for me at least, is to buy the books.  The books are SO MUCH of an improvement from the comics.  They are a hundred times better, which makes sense because they have way more words and explain things in far more detail.  Characters, settings, etc. all look better in the books now than in the comics, because in the books Greg Farshtey has the space to include the wanted action and those other parts of a story that makes it great.  

I agree with you on 2003-2005, the lack of story ending in the comics bugs me, which is why I was glad in 2006 when they ended movies.  Notice that 2006 and 2007 ended the story for that year, something that previously only 2002 had done.  (If you remember, 2001 never told its ending in comics either, that was online.)  This is what worries me about 2009, there is sure to be a lack of comic ending because of the movie.  

While I'll be the first to admit that I prefer non-guns to guns, the guns are unfortunately a necessary item that we have to put up with.  The focus groups want them, so the sets include them.  I haven't minded so much in the past, because the Piraka, Inika, Mahri, and Phantoka could all look fine without their guns.  (Kopaka is the exception, but I personally like his bayonet and he at least includes a knife if you want to take the Midak off.)  My problems are starting to arise with, for example, Gali and Onua Mistika.  Take away those guns and you are left with a weaponless Toa.  Their weapons are their guns, something I disagree with.  This is why I like the Makuta Phantoka--their Tridax pods don't look like guns and their weapons are old-fashioned, they remind me of older sets like the Bohrok--their launching function has to do with their form, it is not an exterior "gun."  

I think the comments you made about 2006 and 2007 are somewhat accurate, but you have to remember that those two years were basically a race for the Mask of Life.  The Toa didn't have time to make plans or set traps, they had to get that mask as soon as they could.  I think that those things you noted simply stem from teh story of those two years.  If the story had been something different, I don't think we would have seen that type of action.

For your notes on traps and plans, etc. if you can get the books I suggest you pick up Bionicle Legends 9.  I was very surprised in reading it to see that there are a great many tricks and traps.  The Nuva have really returned in complete character.  And for a change, the book ends in a hopeful note. The Nuva, unlike the Mahri, have time now to make plans and battle their enemies with traps, because the Makuta obviously are too powerful to simply battle one-on-one.  It really was a step back to the past, I'm so glad the Nuva have returned even if they don't look like their old selves.

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#16 Corvus

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 12:41 AM

The section where I think BIONICLE is really failing is the elemental aspect.

Take a look- The new villians- the '07 Barraki and the '08 makuta are pretty sweet to me. I like them. They look great when they're hunched over, looking sinister. These guys have no elemental powers.

Then, there's the Toa. In '07, we got the Mahri. They were cool, but they weren't Toa. They just lacked the proud, heroic look that the earier Toa had. These guys are skinny, and don't use their elemental powers. Maybe they do, but not in the same amazing aspect that the first toa did. Does Kongu swing through his forest? Does Jaller lava-surf? No. They swim. They lacked that elemental feel to them. Now that I see the '08 toa, they're worse. They're BLEY. The original Toa were a blaze of color- Green, red, blue, white, brown, and black. What do I see now? Bley (with some green), bley (with some white), and bley, (with some orange). They're BORING. They're SKINNY. They're not proud. They're not heroic. They're not, above all, radiating a sense of ELEMENTAL POWER. Do they use their unique abilities to fight their foes, summoning the storm, tsunami, or stone? No. Now, it's all about the big, shiny weapons and the Manga-swords.

If TLC designed a new body, how great would that be? When I got Lewa Nuva, he was awkward and skinny. The only good thing about him- he's posable. Why can't TLC aim for smaller? They're so big... they look like somebody grabbed a roll of fat taffy and stretched it out. They look bigger, sure. But are they better? TLC, are you looking for quantity over quality?


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#17 hewkii9

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:09 AM

View PostMr. Mandalorian, on Mar 12 2008, 07:41 PM, said:

TLC, are you looking for quantity over quality?
Of course they are, for all our love of them they are still a company.

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#18 Clonie

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:31 AM

I don't get what you're saying... is there something wrong with pleasing the masses? Are the masses of lesser intelligence just because they like something you don't? Are the things you don't like of lesser quality just because you don't like them? I never understood that.
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#19 JINZONINGEN73

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:51 AM

Quote

Now I haven't mentioned the matoran. The matoran were cool in '04 with increased articulation. I also collected them for the discs and disc launchers they had. Since then, the matoran have become much more of a, how to say this, fighting force. Look at '06. They all have two huge hand weapons. Phooo. Another big piece of Bionicle history out the window. I thought that's what the Toa were so special for. I thought they had those weapons to protect the matoran from evil. Now the matoran can protect themselves from evil, but instead the story is good hunting something that evil is hunting. Just sounds like any old line now.

It used to be about saving an island from an evil brother who wants to take it over. That's something interesting. And the twin has posessed the formerly good creatures of the island and made them evil monsters. The Rahi. Cool. And as we progress through the story, we meet more monsters. The Bohrok. They've got a neat feature; they can corrupt the Toa via their masks. Which makes you want to get more masks, which I did. I have so many krana I don't know what to do with them! laugh_new.gif Good times; I remember I always collected the mini collector boxes with masks in them. Then we move to advanced Bohrok; these are the toast of the town. They present a real challenge. Later on,

This is the Bionicle that I miss so much. Nowadays all my Bionicle are in a box a yard high and one and a half feet wide.

EXACTLY.

The matoran of old were in desperate need of saving and being protected, but then you start seeing they're NOT so defenseless, that they can fight back by using their brains ...being as heroic as the Toa.
Now? They're Toa and the Toa are just... dumb.

Before, the matoran were in real, scary peril. It seemed like every walk outside your hut to pick berries could mean some infected creature would jump out and eat you. Strong emotions there! Very savage stuff!
Now? ... ....ugh. No.

I see the new characters as I do professional (FAKE) wrestlers... really cheesy.
I see their "quest" no more deep than Goku in Dragonball Z spending 900 episodes in restoration / training chambers while his friends go out looking for dragonballs.

Unfortunately, professional wrestling and DBZ both had their fair share of popularity among the masses, so there's obviously profit to be had in being as retardedly brainless as those are.
Doesn't mean I can stomach it, but hey, 99.5% of what's considered "popular" in western culture sickens me all to hell.


Quote

Plus I bet that a lot more money was alloted to BIONICLE in 2001 than in any other year following that. Line launches are given a lot more marketing money than the years after. So how much BIONICLE could afford animations like that now is unknown, I would bet unlikely. Basically you are saying that your BIONICLE fandom diminished at the end of the animations, I guess around 2004. I see you've been here a long time since then.
Sweet heavens no! My interest diminished when the story began blowing megablocks. My interest diminshed when they got "nuva" masks, which were all similar blobs of melted goo that were NEAR-WORTHLESS for mocing unlike how the 2001 ones were. My interest diminished when they released the first movie.

As for flash animations costing alot... I can't disagree more. Look at Newgrounds.com and see the stuff LIGHT YEARS ahead of what Lego's mini-movies were... done by guys in their leisure time between going out drinking and waking up for school / work.
It's like, if you want a hammer, you go to the store and buy maybe a good $10 hammer.
If the GOVERNMENT wants a hammer, they get a contract for thousands of them, take a few bribes, and the taxpayers end up paying $200 for one.

Same with Lego. They COULD technically spend alot on someone doing flash animations again, but they also might be stuck in some exclusivity deal to only do business with certain animation houses who cost an arm and a leg.

Flash is REAL cheap.
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#20 Clonie

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:37 AM

That's a good point on flash animations, Jinzo, and I can't say I don't miss them.
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#21 Visorak-kal

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:14 PM

That is interesting info on flash, Jinzo, I didn't know that.  Now, those people who make that flash are probably really, but you've got to remember that larger flash-making companies or companies who do that stuff are going to charge you for their services, regardless of how cheap it is to actually make the flash animation.  Plus, with all the CGI and stuff that goes to commercials and the two bionicle websites, I honestly can't seem them alloting money to flash without taking away from something else that they may not want to take away.  

Your interest diminished in 2002-2003?  I've honestly got to congratulate your loyalty.  I certainly wouldn't have stuck around for the sake of one or two good years of a line if I thought it started getting ugly. I can see your point about the Nuva masks, to this day I still prefer Mata to Nuva, although the Hau Nuva is not a bad mask IMO.  But see?  Doesn't that mean you should be happy that the new Nuva don't have masks that look remotely like those Nuva masks?   :-D

Quote

EXACTLY.

The matoran of old were in desperate need of saving and being protected, but then you start seeing they're NOT so defenseless, that they can fight back by using their brains ...being as heroic as the Toa.
Now? They're Toa and the Toa are just... dumb.

How are the Matoran now any different from the Matoran then?  They are still in desperate need of being protected, but they are not defenseless.  They do fight back using their brains as far as I can tell.  The Voya Nui Matoran Resistance consistently tricked the Piraka to steal their Zamor launchers and try to reproduce them.  The Mahri Nui Matoran tried their best to discover what was plaguing them in the black waters of the Pit.  I really don't see how, story-wise, the Matoran have changed.  Is it cause they have weapons instead of bamboo disks?  

Set-wise, they have gotten bigger, obviously because the Toa have gotten bigger.  Further, remember that the Av-Matoran are special in size, so they don't reflect all Matoran.  I personally think that the Mahri Nui Matoran are the best example of Matoran we have seen so far.  

Quote

Before, the matoran were in real, scary peril. It seemed like every walk outside your hut to pick berries could mean some infected creature would jump out and eat you. Strong emotions there! Very savage stuff!
Now? ... ....ugh. No.

2007:  Yeah, there's nothing frightening about sea creatures serving some unknown intelligence.  If you ask me, 2007 harkened back to 2001 in that sense.  Rahi, out to grab you at every turn.  And even scarier, their masters look like Rahi as well, only they stand on two legs and are intelligent species.  
2006:  ALl your friends enslaved, hiding from six monsters with the power of Toa that are not opposed to murder, enslavement, savagery, torture, etc.  Not in the bit frightening.  
2008:  Even worse than 06, all your friends EVIL.  No turning back, they are exactly evil, with the same intelligence, no longer mindless mind you.  Add that to the incarnations of darkness itself, the Brotherhood of Makuta.  You should see how the shadow Matoran are put into words in Bionicle Legends 9.  Nope, not scary.  Rather happy-go-lucky.  

Quote

I see the new characters as I do professional (FAKE) wrestlers... really cheesy.
I see their "quest" no more deep than Goku in Dragonball Z spending 900 episodes in restoration / training chambers while his friends go out looking for dragonballs

I see the characters and their quest as a hundred times more deep than those things.  Look, they have defined characters, there is no gratuitous violence and weird faces on normal people.  These characters are serious, and their personalities can be eastablished by their dialogue, by their actions, etc.  

Their quest?  Saving the city of Metru Nui isn't deep?  For that matter, saving the life of the Great Spirit isn't deep?  That is not deep?  I'd like to know your opinion of deep, then, because BIONICLE cannot in any sense be a classic novel with a really deep, intrinsic meaning.  

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#22 Corvus

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:28 AM

View PostVisorak-kal, on Mar 13 2008, 08:14 AM, said:

2007:  Yeah, there's nothing frightening about sea creatures serving some unknown intelligence.  If you ask me, 2007 harkened back to 2001 in that sense.  Rahi, out to grab you at every turn.  And even scarier, their masters look like Rahi as well, only they stand on two legs and are intelligent species.  
2006:  ALl your friends enslaved, hiding from six monsters with the power of Toa that are not opposed to murder, enslavement, savagery, torture, etc.  Not in the bit frightening.

Well, do they mention the rahi attacking matoran? Not really. They explain it once, maybe a few times, but the comics are all about fighting. There aren't many matoran around.

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I don't get what you're saying... is there something wrong with pleasing the masses? Are the masses of lesser intelligence just because they like something you don't? Are the things you don't like of lesser quality just because you don't like them? I never understood that.

What? No, not at all. Are you talking to me? Please explain. :-)



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#23 JINZONINGEN73

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:25 AM

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Doesn't that mean you should be happy that the new Nuva don't have masks that look remotely like those Nuva masks?

I sure am!  X-D
They're a drastic improvement from the Blobnuva masks, though not very indicative of the characters they represent. But still, decent mocing parts. Except for Gali's asymmetrical one perhaps.

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How are the Matoran now any different from the Matoran then? They are still in desperate need of being protected, but they are not defenseless.
The goal of a true protector is either survival or the restoration of peace.
The current maladies you're describing are strictly big, giant piles of extreme peril... the goal to "fighting" being merely survival.
The old way could still have violence, but the end goal was to restore peace and let the matoran go back to living their daily lives and flourishing in culture.

Right now it all seems like just a handful of action figures being smashed together by a kid in a sandbox.
Before, it seemed more immersive somehow. You got the fights but then got to be involved with what the fighting was even for.

You can do the all-out brawling stuff a season or so, but then it just gets mundane.

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Their quest? Saving the city of Metru Nui isn't deep? For that matter, saving the life of the Great Spirit isn't deep? That is not deep? I'd like to know your opinion of deep, then, because BIONICLE cannot in any sense be a classic novel with a really deep, intrinsic meaning.

Deep doesn't have to be measured by how tangibly earth-shattering and cataclysmic a situation is.
Reason being, earth-shattering and cataclysm can be all from one's perspective.

A girl (matoran? lol) could wake up every morning in a war-torn world, pick up her gatling gun, then lackadaisically go about her day making the heads of invaders explode.
Simultaneously, that same person could wake up in the morning, put a flowerpot out on the windowsill, then have some large invader tromping around send it smashing to the ground, good story telling and story board conveying the emotion of her cracking from the disruption of peace, of having something even THAT simple stolen from them.

Now, I'm not saying Bionicle should be about girls tending flowers lol, but "the world's screwed AGAIN" doesn't automatically make something "deep". Especially not when it's "the world's screwed again THIS year TOO!".

Violence doesn't mean beans in a story unless:
A. the violence is SO brutal that it satisfies a ton of different curiosities at once.
B. the purpose to the violence is conveyed well enough to make someone care that it is returned when the violence has served it's purpose.
If fluoride isn't dangerous, why was it added to the water in the Russian gulags and by the Germans during world war 2 to make the prisoners "apathetic" to what was going on around them?
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#24 Clonie

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:39 AM

View PostMr. Mandalorian, on Mar 14 2008, 02:28 PM, said:

Well, do they mention the rahi attacking matoran?
Yes, several times, in City of the Lost. :-P

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They explain it once, maybe a few times, but the comics are all about fighting. There aren't many matoran around.
Oh, the comics? Hm. Best not to judge the story by that, it's like judging The Empire Strikes Back based on an internet summary instead of watching the movie. So, read the books if you want to judge it. ;-)

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What? No, not at all. Are you talking to me? Please explain. :-)
Well, they need to sell. If they sell, it means people like them. You're just not one of those people. Which is fine. :-) You and others just need to look at it from their point of view -- why hold the minority above the majority?

Thankfully there are other LEGO themes that interest you, I assume, otherwise you wouldn't be here. :-P

View PostJINZONINGEN 73, on Mar 14 2008, 06:25 PM, said:

The goal of a true protector is either survival or the restoration of peace.
The current maladies you're describing are strictly big, giant piles of extreme peril... the goal to "fighting" being merely survival.
The old way could still have violence, but the end goal was to restore peace and let the matoran go back to living their daily lives and flourishing in culture.

Right now it all seems like just a handful of action figures being smashed together by a kid in a sandbox.
Before, it seemed more immersive somehow. You got the fights but then got to be involved with what the fighting was even for.

You can do the all-out brawling stuff a season or so, but then it just gets mundane.
Deep doesn't have to be measured by how tangibly earth-shattering and cataclysmic a situation is.
Reason being, earth-shattering and cataclysm can be all from one's perspective.

A girl (matoran? lol) could wake up every morning in a war-torn world, pick up her gatling gun, then lackadaisically go about her day making the heads of invaders explode.
Simultaneously, that same person could wake up in the morning, put a flowerpot out on the windowsill, then have some large invader tromping around send it smashing to the ground, good story telling and story board conveying the emotion of her cracking from the disruption of peace, of having something even THAT simple stolen from them.

Now, I'm not saying Bionicle should be about girls tending flowers lol, but "the world's screwed AGAIN" doesn't automatically make something "deep". Especially not when it's "the world's screwed again THIS year TOO!".

Violence doesn't mean beans in a story unless:
A. the violence is SO brutal that it satisfies a ton of different curiosities at once.
B. the purpose to the violence is conveyed well enough to make someone care that it is returned when the violence has served it's purpose.
Hm. You should read Shadows in the Sky. I'm pretty sure you're judging the story by the comics/advertisements (the advertisements aren't actually canon, by the way), which just isn't fair on the story as a whole.

When you've read it, call me. :-P

On the thing about the world being screwed every year, well, that's not the case:

2001: Toa Mata fighting Teridax's minions, trying to awaken Mata Nui.

2002: Toa Mata fighting Teridax's minions, trying to awaken Mata Nui.

2003: Toa Nuva fighting Teridax's minions, trying to awaken Mata Nui. Also Takanuva fights Teridax.

2004: Toa Metru fighting Teridax's minions without knowing Teridax is involved. Stakes are the city of Metru Nui, as far as they know. Mata Nui is put to sleep at the end.

2005: Part two of the 2004 story. Stakes being the population of Metru Nui.

2006: Toa Inika fighting Piraka to save Mata Nui's life. The world's screwed.

2007: Toa Mahri fighting Barraki to save Mata Nui's life. The world's screwed.

2008: Toa Nuva trying to awaken Mata Nui like in the first three years. The world's still screwed if the Makuta don't get out of the core, since the Ignika will asplode every life.

See? The world was only screwed for three years. :-P

But I know what you mean on one thing -- and I believe there is one thing missing from BIONICLE. The Matoran no longer have celebrations. What's with that? I liked how those buggers partied.

But really, who says they're not trying to restore peace anymore? It's the same as it ever was, just now they don't celebrate. But maybe that's the key thing? Who knows.

Oh well, your complaints are legitimate, with your knowledge being from only the comics. I still think you should read the books though.



Speaking of comics, my friend received this month's Australian LEGO Magazine, we get the comics this year!
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#25 Tohst

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:20 PM

So, Lego has said that the long term fans of Bionicle are not the target market.  Which is fine.  90-somewhat percent of the fanbase doesn't remember 2001 and its obvious us poor souls that do are divided as to the direction things have gone since then.

I don't agree with everything said in this essay but I do agree with some.  But again, we aren't the target market.

But I think of some of what is addressed here does go to the target market.  The kiddies, the youngsters, the folk that come in, buy a ton of Bionicle and thankfully make Lego fistfuls of cash, and then outgrow it.

Couldn't some of the thoughts here be utilized as a way to keep more of the kiddies longer?  I mean if you keep 10% more of the youngsters just 1 year longer isn't that worth it, even if you lose 5% elsewhere?

I guess thats where I see the limitations of the mighty focus groups (and yes, how they are applied.  Are you really telling me focus groups cared that much in Toa Kopaka's eyepiece was on the left or right side or if he had a sword (which on other Toa seemed to have focus tested well enough to include)).  But I don't mean to digress that much.

By planning a longer permutations you should be able to retain a larger group while not alienating the newcomers.  And yes, these changes would help me as a long term fan enjoy Bionicle more so yes, I have an ulterior motive.

So, the current permutation seems to be a two-year cycle but one without much diversity between the years.  This I think leads to kids quickly being bored and Lego scrambling for the new kids.  But what if you planned 3 years with more diversity.  Keeping those kids you already had on board but knowing that individual years focus groups might not like certain aspects as well as others.

For example: Dark colors vs. light colors.  Focus groups seem to loooove the dark colors.  Such that we get them year after year.  But that probably also leads to kids being bored with the line quicker.  By having a cycle of year 1 = dark colors, year 2 = standard colors, year 3 = alternate colors (Lime, translucent, whatever).  And every Toa can be on a different part of the cycle.  This adds diversity but you still get your dark colors.  Heck, you could have kids looking forward to a year with their favorite Toa in dark colors.  And us old foggies get more diversity.  

And that doesn't even get into story line which if I were a kid, when my favorite Toa got switched out, thats a good place to dump the line.  (See Transformers the Movie in the 80s for a good example of this sort of thinking and what happened to sales when Optimus and crew got put to pasture).  

I dunno, maybe the big switch up in 2009 will incorporate this.  But from the direction I've seen, probably not.  Its all focus groups, short term goals, and accepting the loss of 99% of your market every couple of years.

-Tohst
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