BIONICLE G2 Discussion Topic

There are definitely extremes on both sides of the argument. For the fun of it though: I’d like you to try this argument on for size. There’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to the enjoyment of a franchise, as is true with G2 Bionicle. Sure, some people hate the sets, other people love them. I’m somewhere inbetween, personally. Some people think the story was simplistic and childish, and not very well thought out. I lean more towards the negative side, and honestly Ryder Windham’s tireless work trying to perform CPR on the series through the books and graphic novels are most of the reason why I’m not decided.

But let’s put all that aside, let’s look at a foundational element of this franchise’s premise.

The Golden Years of Bionicle G1 (01-03, in case you were wondering), are renowned among fans for their atmosphere and air of mystery. This is the era G2 was trying to emulate, and you’ll see why this is important once I finally reach the point. :stuck_out_tongue: Some older fans go so far as to claiming that later years destroyed what had been perfectly good in the first place. I’m… undecided on this. I can definitely see where the argument is coming from, but I tend to counter with this: mystery is really a lot of questions. Bionicle asked a lot of them, it was a great appeal of the series, but as far as we can tell from every person who worked on it, from the very beginning those questions were always posed with the intention of answering them someday (answers that were actually planned ahead of time, unlike some people… :stuck_out_tongue:). Does this detract from the overall story? Perhaps. But that’s a whole other argument.

One of these fundamental questions is there from the moment you step into this world, even if you aren’t aware of it, or are just so familiar with Bionicle at this point that you don’t even think about it. The question being: why are they robots? (yes, I’m aware that they’re biomechanical, which actually adds further to the theme, but the point is they’re entirely synthetic and man-made - somebody clearly built them, they didn’t just pop into existence one day for no reason)

No, seriously, this is supposed to be a tropical island, and they’re living a tribal lifestyle, so, why are they robots? This question underpins the entire franchise and its whole premise: the natural and the artificial, the biological and the mechanical. The Toa, despite being robots, control the natural elements, shaping the world around them. Mata Nui, despite being a robot, is stricken with a sickness similar to that of a living creature.

This is intentional, this contrast was deliberate. It was designed from the very beginning to make you question everything you were being told. How did these robotic beings arrive here? Where did the scattered remnants of technology come from? Are these legends and tales that they believe the whole truth? As the hard work of Maku/the Shadow Emperor shows (as found here), there were likely several more plans to add layers of misdirection and intrigue into the story such as a possible creation myth involving the Toa.

Now, for a number of reasons the religious elements were toned down, but even what we did get, the legend of Mata Nui, was enough to serve the purpose of the story well enough as a half-true tale that the truly knowledgeable characters - the Turaga, could tell their followers for whatever reasons they had. It’s obviously easy to take this for granted: it’s Bionicle, of course they’re robots, but they were robots for a reason, a deliberate and specific reason that served the story that everyone in that wonderful team wanted to tell. It was a red flag cluing us in to what was really going on, that we weren’t being told the whole truth. That their lord and saviour Mata Nui was in fact not a formless spirit, but a giant robot that was made to fix a broken planet and also gather knowledge or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

All this to say: what was the point of it in G2 then? What functional reason did having the Okotans, Toa, wildlife, Skull Raiders, Skull Spiders, etc. be robots (or at least very robot-like), serve? Well… it’s… Bionicle, they have to be robots! They just are! Stop questioning it! Don’t get me wrong, this is an easy trap to fall into. Pretty much every Bionicle project that reinvents the concept ends up doing it. Even the semi-living shamelessly plugged Bionicle Eternal project that I’m a part of is guilty of this oversight. But it’s there.

And I think it shows a lot about how G1 and G2 approached building their world. G1 was carefully plotted and planned (if rewritten half a dozen times in its subsequent 10 year run :stuck_out_tongue:) while G2 looked mostly at the surface level: trying to recapture that same magic without considering the deeper layers that made it so magical in the first place.

As a reminder, I’m not saying this to make you, or anyone, hate G2. All I’m doing is giving a point that has occurred to me on why it’s always felt so… off, to me personally. If you enjoy it, all the power to you - I just can’t. So who’s the real loser in this scenario anyway? :stuck_out_tongue:

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you can’t just tell me to enjoy it and call me a loser for liking it

anyway, I kind of get why people don’t like it I understand a bit. but most people were and still are Harsh about it, too the point where it was one of the reason why it failed. you remember that “you Killed Bionicle” video that TTV made in 2014? yeah THAT what happened to G2 and it really upsets me.

maybe I just can’t get over it and I want someone to blame. it just hurts when something I really love dies probably forever.

I was calling myself a loser, for spending this much time on the internet talking at length about a subset of something I like that I only kind of like, but okay :stuck_out_tongue:

Still thriving but massively reviled franchises exist, as is demonstrated by… well, Star Wars for the last I don’t know how long, the Michael Bay Transformers movies, and many others. Simply being panned by a vocal minority (or even a vocal majority) doesn’t kill a franchise. A franchise, any franchise that wants to be successful, relies on mass appeal. People willing to go out and buy whatever you might be selling, both in tickets and in merchandise.

In the case of a franchise like Bionicle being rebooted, this would necessarily mean drawing in a new audience. New people who have never even heard of a Bionicle, or only in passing. People who missed it the first time, children who were too young to be exposed to it in its prime, etc. Nostalgia-filled fans with expendable income is a bonus, sure, but without that fresh audience you’re bound to stagnate.

Your audience would only ever be as big as the one you once had, arguably smaller. It’s been five years now. Those people have grown up, maybe gotten jobs, maybe gotten married, maybe they’re not interested anymore, maybe they have other things to worry about than spend money on a toyline they used to like in the past.

As frustrating or unfair as those harsh reactions may be, they aren’t the difference-maker here. The “blame”, if it belongs anywhere, belongs squarely on Lego’s shoulders for banking on a fractured and shrunken (if highly passionate) fanbase being able to near single-handedly return their investment while barely making much effort to reel in a new audience. Would it have possibly been financially successful if those vocal fans who refused to give it a chance had instead paid up? Maybe. But it would’ve been a slim chance at best.

I find it a tad ironic that you keep coming back to this point. I have seen the video before, I’d given it a like apparently so I must’ve resonated with the message, but I confess that I haven’t seen it in a while, so I decided to give it another watch. And I think we’re getting two wholly different takeaways from that video.

As far as I can gather, “You Killed Bionicle” is an entirely metaphorical phrase. This video was created at a time when Bionicle G2 was on the verge of arriving, and doubt was beginning to be sown in the fanbase, people were signing cancel Lego petitions, and it was all getting a little bit out of control. It was preempting the very common phrase “x killed my childhood” to generalise fan backlash against a reboot for being different or inferior or whatever, and turning it on its head. It’s an entirely personal experience. Just like nostalgia.

Bionicle isn’t (at the time, consider context :stuck_out_tongue:) dead, Transformers isn’t dead, TMNT isn’t dead and Star Wars sure as heck won’t die anytime soon as much as some people might be calling for it. What the title means by “You Killed Bionicle” is: “You Have Allowed Yourself to Believe That Bionicle, and by Extension Your Childhood, Has Been Killed”. If you ask me, the former seems like a more concise title :stuck_out_tongue:

The ironic thing being, you seem to be (indirectly, to be fair, it’s not exact) a target of this video. You fear the change that comes with Bionicle G2, and by extension Bionicle as a whole, being over. In denial, rage and frustration, you lash out against someone, anyone, to put blame on, for taking this beloved, nostalgic thing away from you. You refuse the idea that things can be positive, wallowing in the negative.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, G2 was cancelled, coming up on four years ago now (man does time fly), but the Bionicle community was not. It’s still here, living and breathing on sites like TTV, or that Bionicle subreddit, or Maskposting. Yes, we’re not a big community, certainly not big enough to be financially viable most likely, but what we lack in numbers we more than make up for in raw passion and dedication. Yes, the story has ended, content has stopped flowing, but there are innumerable fan projects to rally around like the stuff being rolled out by Red Star Games, or Bionicle Dark Souls Quest for Mata Nui, or heck, even the actual Christian Faber’s ever mysterious 3IONICLE. Yes, there aren’t any new sets, but canonization contests are returning (approved by Greg!), MOCing is very much alive and well, and there is still every possibility that Sokoda’s amazing 20th anniversary diorama will become an official Lego Ideas set that we can purchase, and build, and cherish.

Bionicle the product is gone, maybe for good, and I can’t deny that it kinda sucks. A lot. But that’s just the way of things. As a horribly parsed Bob Ross would say: you can’t have light without dark, you need to have bad stuff happen so you can appreciate the good times. But Bionicle the product was only ever going to have a limited shelf life (pun unintended). Bionicle the idea? Theoretically, that could live forever.

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Amazingly well put (as have the entirety of your responses). I give a big salute to you.

Yea, everyone felt the exact same way when G1 ended. People were treating it like the end times and were willing to do anything to seek “justice” in their eyes.

I remember seeing Hero Factory. Me and my other 11 year old friends at the time even wanted to boycott it. I remember all of it, the anger, the sadness, the vitriol, the blame game, the plots, the petitions.

But that’s not the right thing to do. I actually really like Hero Factory now, believe it or not. It’s because I’m older, I’m wiser, and I’ve grown past that level of immaturity that made me lash out at change because I realize I always have a choice, and that each new thing around the bend deserves to be taken in stride.

But here’s the upside: you can and will (and should) get over it. I echo @TheMightyObsidianDude’s sentiment, it does suck. All change sucks at first. But like he said, it’s been four years now. Pretty soon we’ll be at the exact same juncture we were at back in 2014. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the things that came before, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t ever love something again.

There’s so much in the world, in your life, that you will find, you will love, and you will eventually lose. Everything is finite, it’s an inevitability that we all need to come to terms with. What we do not do is wallow in that loss; we cherish the love we have (or had) and we continue to do so for each new thing. Could be a person, a pet, an experience, and yes, even a LEGO toy line.

And personally, I am of the camp that is glad we even had a G2. I like it because it existed, and it was a meaningful experience to me in many more ways than the toys or the story.

With that, I leave you with this:

"It is said that all endings are merely beginnings, waiting to be born."

  • Mata Nui
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Equally beautifully put. I especially agree with this sentiment:

Regardless of my opinion of the product we actually got, G2 meant much more to me than just that. I was born too late to fully appreciate G1 in its prime, and truly got into the franchise during the interim, probably 2013-14-ish, spending hours on BS01 just reading and reading and falling in love with the franchise in a way I never had when it was alive. I started to actively consume Bionicle media: the miramax movies (somehow I ended up watching web of shadows first lol, talk about confusing), the comics and games on the biomedia project, and even collecting the occasional set that my cousin would gift me when we visited.

When G2 was announced, I finally had the opportunity to truly be a part of this community, to join in the collective excitement of something we all loved returning and bringing new content. And that was the main thing for me: community. This passionate, dedicated, die-hard community. I wouldn’t pass that up for all the comics and sets in the world, frankly.

G2’s ending hit me pretty hard, initially, if only for just how sudden it was. I remember the day vividly. I was at my cousin’s house (yes, that cousin) at the time on holiday, and while I was over there the final episode of Journey to One dropped. So I was like “sure, why not, let’s watch it”. When it was over, and the Toa returned to the stars, I felt kind of numb. Wait, that’s it? Surely not, it’s three years, not two. And I took to Lego.com to read the very message I dreaded. I couldn’t believe it, I just couldn’t. I’d prepared myself for the idea that G2 might only finish one three-year cycle as per Lego standard, but this had come completely out of left field. This just didn’t make sense, how did it go this wrong?

I felt numb for the rest of the day, and quite a few days after. But I had friends in this community that I could talk to about it, people experiencing the exact same thing, some of them for the second time. And, after a little while, and with their help, that loss became a part of the past, a memory. And I could look more objectively at what we’d been given. But those memories of enjoying the theme in the moment, the friends I’ve made, that’s what’s going to stick with me. Not what I lost, but what I gained.

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Lol, Web of Shadows was the first of the films that my family and I saw, too.:rofl: (Not the best film for someone whose first conscious exposure to the story was a Bara Magna comic.)

It’s 2014, and I hear some good news: the Lego Bionicle action figure line, which he cherished throughout his elementary school years, was being brought out of retirement. Even though the line had ended four years before, this kid still had his old Bionicle collection, and he still MOCed with the pieces, even though his supply was limited. Then the images are revealed, and they’re…pretty decent. Sure, the figures use CCBS, thereby making them feel different from the classic Bionicle, but the designs were pretty cool, and they even retained some aspects of their 2001 counterparts. It was enough to please anyone who had grown up with the original line.

Of course, when you’re a high school freshman, you’re not exactly rolling in dough, so I was only ever able to get my hands on Tahu. Part of the problem was that, by that point, lines like Ninjago, Hero Factory, and Chima had filled in the gap that Bionicle had previously left, so to have Bionicle back while those themes were still around was…overwhelming? No, that doesn’t feel like the right word. But it still felt different, to have the situation be that way.

And what didn’t help was that the new Bionicle wasn’t connected to the original line. Back when the original line was still going, I had gotten accustomed to seeing new versions of the Toa every year, and a new set of bad guys for them to fight as part of the package. So to see another set of six Toa, in new forms, felt like the norm. At first, I thought that this was a continuation of G1. But, alas, that turned out not to be the case. This Okoto island wasn’t part of the Matoran Universe, or Spherus Magna, or any of the worlds from G1. This new line was a complete reboot. It was disappointing at the time, but in hindsight, I can understand this decision. Since G1’s lore got rather complicated near the end of its run, it would’ve been hard to draw in new fans, especially kids of the 2010s that hadn’t heard of Bionicle before.

And yeah, the theme itself got pretty lackluster pretty quickly. The villains we got that summer were…alright, but they were no Piraka, or Rahkshi, or Barraki, or Makuta, or even Skrall. It just felt so generic. And then the 2016 Toa came around, and those may have been the least interesting designs from any Bionicle year. This is kind of a nitpicky point, but the fact that Lewa’s weapons were held to his hands using blue pegs…

That was a pretty awful design choice, in my opinion. I didn’t need to buy the set to know that those weapons would just flop around when I tried to move his arms!

Not to mention, the fact that Lego tried to merge the gritty, realistic asthetic of G1 with the smooth, simpler style of G2, and it didn’t mesh very well. And, like I said, the designs just weren’t very interesting.

Then we get to the villains, in the form of Umarak and the Elemental Beasts. Those were just…ugh. It’s easy to see why the line ended so quickly after this wave. If the lack of marketing didn’t keep consumers away from these figures, the mediocrity of the sets might’ve.

I’ve seen people on these boards discuss what the cause of G2’s failure was, and the general consensus is because Lego didn’t market G2 very well. They knew that the G1 fans held the original theme in a very high regard, so they assumed that they would be delighted to see it return in a new form, and that they would be the source of positive word of mouth. But…that didn’t work out. Partially because the G1 fans hated G2. They hated the dumbed-down story, they hated the mediocre set designs, and they (unfairly, if you ask me) hated the usage of CCBS. It was as if they couldn’t find anything good about G2. But there were redeeming qualities to it. The fact that the CCBS joints didn’t break was a positive in and of itself. Almost every G1 set that I collected from the 2007-2010 time period had pieces that ended up breaking (or at least cracking). And Lego clearly listened to the complaints about their quality control issues, so they improved it with CCBS.

Also, to be frank, I’m grateful Bionicle even got a second chance at all. I’ve witnessed a lot of themes come and go over the years. Exo-Force, Knights’ Kingdom, Nexo Knights, Chima, Monster Fighters, Pharaoh’s Quest, Mars Mission, Castle, Kingdoms, Space Police, Indiana Jones, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Dino Attack…I could spend all day talking about the different themes I’ve seen. But a good deal of them were cancelled and never revived again. Sure, there was the whole Rebooted situation with Ninjago, but that was, like, directly after the theme’s initial cancellation. Bionicle was brought back from the dead YEARS after it was canned. I imagine it took a lot to convince Lego to do that.

And of course, the Bionicle fandom is still active. It has its toxicity, sure, but at its core, it’s full of people that still care for a theme that ended ten years ago. It never stopped giving, and people are pining to have it back. They’ve even gone so far as to make Lego Ideas sets that showcased their love of the theme. The most famous example was Sokoda’s set that actually managed to make it to 10,000 supporters…and then get rejected by Lego. :frowning: I was one of the many Bionicle fans that was disappointed by this. But there are a good deal of other Bionicle projects out there. Just today, I found one that was pretty cool:

If this was made into a set, I would most likely buy it. I love how it has little figures of each Toa Mata, and each Toa Kaita, and even Takua and the Manas crabs. And the big ball of shadow that is Makuta. If Bionicle were a System theme, then surely there would’ve been a set like this back in 2001.

But what most people seem to want is an actual Bionicle constraction theme back. And yeah, it would be nice if constraction did come back in some way. But, as people on these boards have pointed out, G2’s failure proved that constraction won’t do well in this day and age, where Ninjago, Star Wars, and superheroes are dominating the Lego market.

And there’s something else that G2 has proven, at least for me. It’s that, as much as we all want the OG Bionicle back, it won’t be possible to recapture what made it so special. I believed that G2 would contain the same lightning-in-a-bottle that G1 provided, but I turned out to be wrong. Again, you can blame whatever you want-bad marketing, dumbed-down story, whatever. I’m sure we’re all hoping that G3 (if it ever comes around) can fix these problems. But G3 still won’t be able to be a beat-for-beat redo of G1, or a continuation of it. So we shouldn’t expect it to be. Instead, it’ll be something completely new. And we should accept it for what it is, on its own merits, rather than wishing it’s a retread/sequel to G1.

TLDR: It may not have been fun to see G2 have all the problems that it had, or see it fail, but from that experience, we can learn not to set our expectations too high, and to be more open-minded about whatever G3 might have in store.

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Hmm, interesting analysis. So how was it’s failure beneficial? I don’t recall any of the paragraphs explaining that statement exactly.

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My thesis was that, even though G2 failed, we can learn from its mistakes. Even when something bad like this happens, it’s all a part of trial and error. Sometimes you need a Batman And Robin before you can get a Dark Knight.

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Hmm, okay, I only kind of see where you’re coming from here, but only in relation to the Elemental Beasts.

But even then, I have to raise a dissenting opinion. There’s something good to like about every Bionicle set, and even the worst of the bunch still have positive qualities.

Yes, even this.

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Keep in mind G1 also released these:

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Not very good sets by any stretch of the imagination, but you’d be hard pressed to find a Bionicle fan that doesn’t think the Va or the Voyatoran have at least some degree of charm or cleverness to them as sets. I feel the same about even the worst of the G2 sets.

And let me be clear: even the worst sets of G2 are still not the worst thing ever.

People have a tendency to exaggerate the low points of G2’s sets, but keep in mind that by modern LEGO standards, they are by no means the worst thing to ever exist, and certainly hold no candles to these:

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As perhaps strange as it may be, you can’t seriously claim that this:

is at least a tenth as bad as the worst LEGO sets.

But in general, I believe the major consensus of most of the community is that the strong point of G2 was its sets. In fact, many fans have gone so far as to say that G2 had some of the best Bionicle sets ever released, and personally I’m inclined to agree with that statement.

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G2 was arguably (I even say nigh undoubtedly) the most seamless blend of form and function we’ve ever seen in a Bionicle set, and to this day many people still praise its sets for that aspect alone, let alone its very unique elemental, tribal aesthetic that wasn’t even matched in the original line.

So I really do take issue with the idea that G2’s sets were somehow mediocre, or even that their design was a factor in its failure at all. Even over its short two year lifespan, a fair majority of its sets range from good to excellent, with only relative select few being actually poor.

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TTV please allow me to like a post multiple times

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I didn’t say every set was bad. In fact, I thought the 2015 Toa were pretty decent. And the 2015 villains could’ve been worse. But the 2016 sets were what killed it…for me, anyways. Some of the designs were pretty weird. Like, Gali having a spinning blade in the middle of her spear? And Onua having a drillbit at the end of his hammer? I’m sorry, those are just really weird!

And yes, the “Good Guy” and “Bad Guy” sets were trash, but that was kind of their purpose. Lego made them as afterthoughts, to throw them in with bundles of AA batteries or bubble gum or whatever. They were made just as disposable polybags and nothing more. The G2 sets were made with a much larger budget, and the results were…better than the disposable polybags, but with hit-or-miss results.

I’ll say this, though. The 2015 Tahu that I got was pretty cool. I liked the way he had two swords that could be turned into a lava board, and two extra swords to use while he was riding the lava board. And the way the CCBS was used in conjunction with the Technic arm-swinging function was pretty clever. I particularly liked that there were ball joints on the ends of the gear-operated arms, allowing you to either use the gear function or pose the arms as you pleased. On the whole, it was a nice figure. And frankly, I regret not getting more of the 2015 sets. And, despite everything I’ve said about 2016, I probably should’ve picked up at least one, just to give it a chance.

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Aww, Ketar! I saw him first in JtO, thought he was such a cool design idea (never had the set though. The rest of the creatures I thought were cool as well, but I think Ketar and Terak stood out the most for me, oddly enough.

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Even though Ketar is an objectively bad figure, he stands out to me, too. Probably because he and Akida are the least humanoid of the creatures.

For a long time Ketar was one of the only G2 sets I had-seemed decent to me, just not loveable. In hindsight maybe it’s that there’s too many colours going on? I don’t have a problem with most of the other design choices.

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The colors definitely don’t help. He has…silver, trans green (which makes sense cause trans green was associated with Stone in G2), The Green on the claws/stinger, looks like two shades of brown, dark tan. He looks better in JtO, imo.

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Ketar shares all his colors with Pohatu Uniter, but not many seem to complain about Pohatu’s color scheme (at least in comparison to Ketar, which makes no sense to me).

If you’re going to rail on Ketar for his colors, you should do the same for Pohatu.

I’m not saying it’s a great color scheme, but Ketar seems to get some disproportionate hate for many things he shares in common with other sets.

I still wouldn’t say Ketar is bad, though.

His tail is perhaps a little awkwardly built, but beyond that there isn’t very much of him that isn’t at least decent.

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That’s a good point that I didn’t think about. The color schemes do line up. Maybe Ketar could’ve done with a bit more dark tan, since that’s predominately Uniter Pohatu’s main color as well from what I can see. My only other main issue is the silver attaching to a gold helmet, but that’s not ketar exclusive, but applies to Akida and Uxar as well. Thank you for pointing that out and reminding me.

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Lewa and Kopaka '16 are epic

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