So, I know my thoughts on the new story has been stated numerous times, and after actually putting thought to it, I will say, I am... Refining, my position. First of all, everyone here makes both good and bad points. Comparing a toy line with TV shows, and showing how LEGO is in a different position than 15 years ago.
Personally, I have always thought that comparing things like the last airbender and BIONICLE is a bit like comparing bagels and pancakes. Yeah, they're breakfasty things that usually have some manner of thing spread across their bready surface, and that's what makes them good, but pancakes have butter and syrup, while bagels have cream cheese. Honestly, have you ever had cream cheese on a pancake? It's disgusting. My point is, even though they're similar-ish you can't use the same things to make them taste good. The same goes for a storybased toy line and a tv-show. They're related, and there can be overlap (Jellies to serve the purpose of the metaphor) but they are definitely different things and need different things to thrive.
That metaphor probably didn't make any sense, but whatever.
Comparing BIONICLE to The Last Airbender is ineffective in this situation because they're trying to market two entirely different things, watching time and toys. Sorry to crush your dreams, but everything, EVERYTHING is made to market something. That's the reason LEGO bothers giving anything a story at all. To SELL you things. The reason people make stories to go with toys is to get you to buy them, and it works.
Also, you have to accept the fact that LEGO is in a totally different situation now than it was in 2000-2001. They were actually really desperate then, and were more willing to try out new concepts because they needed the money. Look at all the new themes that popped up from 1998-2006, and look how long they lasted. Most of them lasted maybe two-three years. BIONICLE was a gamble just like that, and it worked. It was a totally new thing and it stuck. Now, LEGO is a different company, they have higher standards they've set themselves to and put much more effort into set design than they do actually selling things because they know that they don't have to try nearly as hard to sell things, kids will buy them regardless of story, so why would you need to present world building and complex characters when you're already selling things? The thing is, they're comfortable where they are, and trying a new and gutsy thing like they did fifteen years ago may or may not work. Not everything new sticks, in fact, it's a miracle BIONICLE was around for ten years.
Then came Hero Factory, which was simple and rather lacking in story and world building, yet sets still sold reasonably well. They laxed for five years, and now the kids who buy the constraction sets don't care much for story. Introducing complex locations and characters would (And I admit, this is stupid, but true) ultimately turn off their target audience to it because they would become confused, and would end up not caring, which would be a waste of thousands of dollars in the extra time it spent to create that story. A simple story is the best way to sell toys, it always has been and always will be.
But who knows, maybe LEGO will do something with the new BIONICLE more than simplicity, only time will tell.
Now, my thoughts on this: I want to be optimistic about the future of the story. They're starting out with a fresh audience and they need to reel them in, so a simple beginning is always best. However, I am not totally sure if it will happen.
The thing to take away from this is that even if LEGO decides to send the story down the crapper, the fans can always build off of that story and make it however they so please. We can make the story better, collectively.
Anyway, that's my thoughts on that.
I didn't think they were disappointments, 2007 was my favorite year story-wise. That seems to be the consensus for a lot of fans =P It was set-wise that they started to fall behind unfortunately. The last year of the great titans... -salutes Gadunka-