BIONICLE... not selling well?

So today I called about 15 of my local toys stores asking for BIONICLE sets. In between answers like "what's a BIONICLE," "I haven't heard that in ages," "you're a few years too late," "not yet, try again in January," and "it's called hero factory now," I got one reply that kind of shocked me: "we don't sell it anymore because they don't sell well."

Granted, one reason why it was discontinued is because of sales, but the other key factor in its discontinuation was the complicated storyline. Did BIONICLE sell worse than we think.... to the point that stores stopped selling it to make profits?


Yes, they weren't selling very well. Sells decreased at around 2008 or earlier. It was one of the reasons why LEGO canceled the beloved theme.


And to tack on to what @Collector said, Lego felt that at least one reason the theme had lost momentum and wasn't selling as well was because the nearly ten years of backstory was simply to complicated and detailed for newcomers to understand so the lore drove away potential customers. Sadly, it seems that what made it so amazing was part of what brought about its end.


It's obvious why the sales decreased, but did they really drop to the point that retailers just stopped selling them altogether?

The variation of answers kind of proves that none of them actually are fully informed about it, only one of these actually seems aware the sets are returning. The rest are likely just toy store members who don't really have a clue about how the industry works.

To clarify, it was not directly due to sales being poor as this insinuates. It was just a lack of new people buying the sets. They were achieving the goal they wanted, but they still wanted more than they were getting.

For example; They wanted to sell 1000 sets but they sold 1001. They still made a profit and sold the sets they wanted but they didn't sell a lot over the amount they wanted to sell.

I keep seeing this complaint, however Bionicle's storyline was incredibly simply 'good guy toa vs. bad guy makuta' it never really fluctuated from that. The storyline itself was never complex unless you chose to delve into the comics and stories. You could easily buy the line or follow the story without delving into it too much.

Granted the main story spanned 10 years, but every year it was essentially the same storyline over and over. Eight years of which could be summarised in less than 12 minutes;

Bionicle always made a profit, the issue was that it wasn't making enough. Stores didn't stop selling the sets because of a lack of profit.


To finish up what Scar said, they also wanted to know if the decline in sales was due to a lack of interest in the constraction genre, or rather a lack of interest in the BIONICLE theme itself. Thus, Hero Factory. They ran the first wave of HF as a bridge for fans still grieving the loss of BIONICLE, then broke into CCBS for wave two so as to test the new system.


Not quite. lego was smart and pulled out before things got really bad: That way, if they still wanted to revive it later on with new life and such, retailers would be willing to still sell them.

That's part of the answer at least.

@Scarilian made a much better and well-thought out point tho.


I don't think BIONICLE ever sold poorly but the sales had been dropping after 2002. LEGO felt that it was better to end it while it was still on a high note rather than drag things out.

Of course I don't know much about retailers and what I do know is from my involvement in the Transformers fandom. All I can say is that LEGO better not make any Bumblebee toys. I still have nightmare over the endless seas of yellow.