Mixed feelings, this evokes.
On one hand, I totally get why people don't want a reboot. When G2 was announced I was skeptical from the beginning, and I think the only stage where I thought it might be going somewhere was when the dropped the first "mask makers" short explaining the backstory. From there... well.
And Bionicle barely survived that reboot, it's almost safe to say. A G3, if not handled very well, could easily be the nail in the coffin for the series, so to speak.
On the other hand, Bionicle's potential as a series is actually really high. As someone with an interest and experience in narrative (both critical and creative), I feel fairly confident in asserting that, nostalgia aside, the overall story arc of G1 (although with plenty of missteps) is actually a very cleverly crafted and effective story, and definitely has the thematic potential to be massive if treated properly.
The two biggest things (there are others) that hurt G1 as a franchise, in my opinion, were:
- Lack of continuity in authorship - the story was told by too many people who had different perspectives of what Bionicle was.
- Lack of continuity in medium - the story was multi-media (one of its big selling points, actually) but to the point where no media conveyed basically even half of the complete story.
In a well-executed reboot you would actually have to tweak very little in the story itself to have something very impressive - the library of creative resources under the IP is insane. It would just be the medium that's would look different. I agree that, in an ideal scenario, a movie or movie series would work wonders for the franchise.
The biggest issue is the Lego is not a media company, but a toy company. They do toys well, but we're not talking about getting Bionicle to sell well, we're talking about it's state in pop culture, and toy sales alone won't fix that. You need either a radical shift in their company mentality (unlikely) or some sort of external intervention (only slightly less unlikely) to solve this, and neither is a guarentee of what I said above.
...uh, no, I don't think that would be cool at all.
Bionicle's story (not necessarily the G1 story, but a solid story) is equally as important as its more obvious thematic appeal; bayformers are pretty more defined by having a story for the sole purpose of knitting together action scenes with explosions. Their state in pop culture is arguably just as frustrating because they are still yet to even get a decent film with an actual transformer as the central character - the mediocre "Bumblebee" movie being hailed as a big step in the right direction shows how desperate that audience is for Transformers in their Transformers movies.
In regard to Lego's perception of the IP, maybe, but the Quest for Mata Nui game will actually probably have a much more significant impact on pop culture identity if the viewer count for that is anything to go by.
I'd absolutely love this and, if well produced, would share it with a ton of people, but I don't think it really will solve the issue of pop culture - if anything, it will further ground Bionicle as a "cool but bygone" concept.
Regrettably, this is true. The Ninjago series is by far their most financially successful, but I'd argue its situation in pop culture isn't so strong either (look at the movie it got, if you're not convinced). And the show watches like someone's fanfiction about the sets - there are moments that shine (like the Pixel story) but the characters are all over the place. And it definitely hasn't got the strong thematic identity Bionicle has - as a challenge for someone who disagrees, try and pitch Ninjago's thematic idea in a single sentence.
It would. I'm not convinced they'd still care about it that much when they're older, though. I recently saw a Ninjago avatar in the comments section of a non-lego related youtube video, and it got exactly the same reaction as Bionicle has been getting for a while: a ton of people were like "Oh, I remember those! I used to love that show." and nobody seemed to even be aware there were even still new episodes...
People often forget this, but it's a big point. Ninjago is way more successful than Bionicle was, but Ninjago was also built upon a strong time in the company, where Bionicle came from very little. I'd argue the risk-taking nature of such an out-there concept and marketing style is part of what made it slam home so well. Ninjago, on the other hand, is king of playing it safe "rinse and repeat".
This is exactly what I was saying above - Ninjago's show has no staying power. It's success is because it hooks easily, but it will unhook just as well. That's probably one of the worst things that could happen to Bionicle right now, because people will say "oh, they remade it but it's trash (again)"
I don't want to see Lego do another "let's try and just BIONICLE all over the packaging and hope it works" like G2, but a seriously invested attempt could be interesting.
Biggest hope for pop culture is fan projects like Quest for Mata Nui (at least for now), unfortunately. I feel like if that were really hit home and get enough player interest you'd attract some sort of audience.