After listening to the latest Nak&Jay and reading a lot of comments, very well, I shall participate and give my piece. With any luck, perhaps this will assist in clearing some previous discussions and give more clarity to future ones. So, let's establish the floor, shall we?
The purpose of the poll is to see if people would be interested in contests that affect the canon of G1 Bionicle. As fun and interesting as the various discussions over 3D printing, bootleg parts, age of MOCs, and others have been, that should be a secondary concern. After all, whether it was a fan contest or an official one, it is not as though such concerns haven't been addressed and handled before. Its mention of possibility, while important, has only diluted what should be the heart of the issue. As such, I will save any thoughts in regards to those areas for another time. What I am here to discuss is canon and the influence and/or control thereof.
And to do that, we need some definitions.
Canon/Official Material: All materials, regardless of form, if published by the Intellectual Property (IP) creator/owner and/or accepted by the creator of said property is to be considered "canon." Canon contains all works and materials that are considered to have happened by the owner. Anything that is not accepted or made by/for the owner is not within this canon and thus does not exist within it. These accepted works serve as baseline and law for any who wish to make worked based upon it. That is to say, it is the common building blocks and language for everyone regarding that IP.
Semi-Canon/Hierarchy of Canon: Supplementary materials either published by the IP owner or allowed to be published under the owner's IP name as semi-official. These materials are only canon in so far as they do not contradict the primary materials as decided by the IP owner. At any time these may be dropped, de-canonized, or regulated to be considered no different than fanon. Normally used in promotion of the canonical material or keep an audience until the next main piece can be released. Such a hierarchy is defined by the IP owner; if not in its entirety then at least the major pieces for the rest to be easily discern by fans.
Fanon: A combination of the words "Fan" and "Canon," it is commonly taken to mean "Fan created canon," but that is inaccurate. It would more correctly stated as works derived from another's IP, with or without the intention of existing or co-existing within that IP, that is not acknowledged and/or accepted by the IP creator/owner. Unless it is otherwise taken upon by the IP owner, fanon holds no official sway or meaning to that IP.
Headcanon/Unofficial Material: Headcanon, while sometimes synonymous with fanon, has some slight variation. While fanon is typically dismissed, headcanon is the result of an individual, or group of individuals, accepting a work as canon regardless of the IP owner accepting or rejecting it as part of their official materials. This can be especially prevalent in the instances where a former representative of the IP owner continues to either contribute to the IP outside of their permitted means. And these fans continue to accept those works as canon despite the individual no longer being a representative for the IP as actively recognized by the IP owner anymore. This can even include current representatives who published created worked and media outside of their delegated responsibilities and the IP owner's permission.
In other words, that is to say that Lego (which legally counts as an individual/singular entity), as the creator and owner of Bionicle, is ultimately the only authoritative figure that can say if something is or is not canon. Any who worked on the material for Lego counts as Lego's official works as it was made for them and for the purposes of their IP. This goes so far as to the winning contest entries of yesteryear whom were accepted by delegated authorities on its behalf.
The question can then be pushed to as to whether Greg Farshtey counts as an official representative/delegate for Lego in the matters of Bionicle. And yes, Greg has certainly ton a lot for the Bionicle community and it is commendable. However, it can be questioned whether his say is truly official any more or if he own comments can now also be regarded as fanon. While good cases can be made for both sides here, for sake of the poll let's assume that Greg fits the definition of having official delegated authority over such materials.
Which leads us to the question of "What's the point of it being made canon?" A very prevalent question in this era where the author is long considered dead. For the sake of completion and definition, the idea of, "the author is dead," being that the creator's own interpretation is just as valid and/or invalid as the reader's interpretation. That the creator is not the divine rule maker, just one of many to give their point of view on a certain work. In essence, from this point of view there is no canon, making it indistinguishable from fanon. And thus the only enforcers of any sort of consistency are by the most popular or powerful groups of influence, the headcanon folk.
So, what is so important about canon? As stated earlier, canon creates a baseline, it creates a law. Imagine playing a game that has no rules. Anything can happen, everything can happen, everything is trampled on top of the other. It becomes meaningless as you don't even have a board or sandbox to play in, you have a void. A void that can be filled with anything as there is no common basis.
And if Bionicle does not sound, read, look, or feel like a void, that's because it is not. It has a canon, it has a law, it has something that everyone can point to and determine what is and what is not Bionicle. With it, only something things can definitely be Bionicle. Without it, what even is a Bionicle, if it exists at all? And if canon means nothing, or is no different than fanon, then how did you come to like this undefinable thing called Bionicle? Therefore, canon is important as it establishes what Bionicle is and it is those laws and things that make Bionicle and why we care for it.
So now we have established one of many reasons why making something canon is important. It is the law, it is what helps define what Bionicle is, what happened it in, what it's about, etc. Then what is the importance of a new item becoming canon? If a new thing becomes canon, it is expect that, regardless of what some fans may think, that thing is now law. That is now part of true Bionicle, it is law, and it has to be accepted. It is what everyone can point to and say to others if their interpretation is correct or wrong.
And that is a big concern. Provided Greg can be considered as someone capable of deciding canon, after all this time, should it be done? In general, as someone who's favorite part of G1 Bionicle was its contests, I would say no. It is something we shouldn't do, it is far too long past its time. It would change and affect too much, from a lore, MOC, visual, fan fiction, roleplay, and other such perspectives. However, if it is to be done in a limited fashion, and indeed only to give visual representation of canon characters without one, then it might not be a bad thing. Let's take a look at it briefly from some of those perspectives.
MOCing: Now, as someone who has a Dark Hunter that is a member of Lariska's species, would it have been great to know what she looked like outside of a written description? My immediate, instinct response would have been a yes. Having something canon to look at would have given a great basis for how to make my character look. But, when I think about it bit more, I retract that viewpoint to a certain point.
As was previously said, having canon appearances for characters like the Toa Mata haven't stop people from making MOCs of them. While that is true, it is also a false equivalency. People know what they look like, but they're also the base models, the starting points. The sets are stepping stones of teaching what could be done with the parts. So people are always going to build versions of the character that they think fix or improve the sets. And most often, even with "ultimate" versions of the character, it is uncommon for the builder to be so arrogant as to claim it as the definitive, canon representation of the character.
Now for other characters like Melding Teridax or the Tahtorak? You don't see many revamps or other interpretative builds of characters/creatures such as those. Why? Well aside from lack of popularity, in cases like Melding Teridax, not many think they could do something better than the existing canon model. The sets are imperfect, they could always be changed or improved. But with some fan models, they can be good enough to the point where it would detract anyone from ever attempting to make their own version. Some are discouraged just by unofficial ones as is, an incredible MOC accepted as canon, even if it does not make the fan reject their own, could lead them to never try.
Granted, these are characters that most won't attempt anyways, so perhaps there is no long term harm. But it has as much potential to springboard and lead to more MOCs of certain characters as it does to stop them.
Lore/Fan Ficts: Though previously addressed in come other posts, I shall reiterate here. For some characters where mask, weapons, etc. aren't specified, what's given to them it can bring into question why it wasn't ever mentioned or used. While that will hopefully be mitigated, regardless it can destroy some fans' stories. Some fans are very fickle about keeping it as close to canon as they can, so for suddenly something like a mask to change could invalidate their story for them.
Yes, it was fanon, it was never going to become canon. But the idea that, even though it was best the chance for it, that it could fit in so seamless, has now been destroyed. Upended by a sudden retcon of sorts that came a decade after the fact.
There are always extremes and a bunch of in-between when it comes to these things. Some fans do not care whatsoever if their story works or goes against canon. They're happy it's an altverse and that's that. Others put a lot of time and effort in order to make things work. Whether either group should be given concern will need to be decided by each individual.
Regardless of what perspective is taken, be it these few mentioned or others further expanded, it will have an affect. For some, it will actively discourage and for others it may springboard new creation. And if the goal was to spur on creation, then by all means, I would say yes. But at this point, to add to canon in such a way, I would have to say no. Too much time has passed, too much has changed. Canon, as is, has inspired many before and it will continue to do so without the need of such additions.
Or perhaps I'm completely wrong. It seems the possible power to have such influence over a stopped story has brought many to life. Maybe it's legitimate or we still have hungry sharks seeking something to hold over others. Hopefully I am wrong in that aspect. But it does feel to me a lot like others asking Greg questions to get credit for certain things canonized rather than for the good of the fans.