Communicating the Story: Bionicle G3

So, one of the things that has struck me (and many, many others) as a critical difference between G1 and G2 is the effectiveness with which the story was communicated to the consumer. With G3 in mind, I had an idea I wanted to toss around and see what you guys thought.

So one of the most underused components of the Lego kit in my view is the instructions. They are quite spartan, doing only what they need to, which is great. However, I imagine that using the instructions as part of the storytelling device could be very useful - Bionicle G1 used a full page to show the canister pouring parts onto the beach. My idea is that instead of using the page for a single image, actually use it for a full character description. More specifically, each time a character is built in the set, a full page or so is given to some good pictures of the character in action and a basic character bio giving information about that character. Even further, maybe there could be callouts as you build the set explaining the significance of elements of the set to the story, similar to what is done on IDEAS sets and Architecture sets.

The second half of my idea is an expansion on this. I think we all would like a line of collectible Bionicle minifigs, and they could play into this as well. Important characters who don't appear in sets necessarily, like village political leaders, various Matoran doing jobs like fishing, and most importantly eccentric carvers would be the figures to collect. Not only do these figures expand on the breadth of the world and make it deeper, they give reason to explore the world further. And, as before, in each bag, a character bio is included in some capacity, on the sheet already provided with figures, or a second sheet.

The reason I want to bring this to the fore is that communicating story is increasingly difficult, and furthermore it seems that the podcast is getting towards a complex story, which isn't bad but is more difficult to communicate to people just buying sets. A TV show is great, as are well designed sets, but for that kid who receives a set for his birthday and hadn't ever been introduced to Bionicle before hand, a good set only goes so far to really hook the kid. You want to suck him or her into the story, and having that story be told to they as they are assembling the kit could be a solution.

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That's a fantastic idea, but I don't see how the first part would work well with minifigs and not constraction figures.

Love the second part, though! Awesome idea.

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Thanks! Allow me to clarify: basically, each time a minifigure is assembled, that's when the character bio would occur.

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Using the instruction manual as a visual medium that tells about the character's personality and traits is an interesting and ingenious idea that will certainly engage newcomers to be more invested to BIONICLE, but this could only be put into practice with constraction figures. Especially if they have an interesting function that is built into it. For something such as minifigs, a separate sheet like a collectible card with the bio info about the figure.

The closest example to your idea would be the Transformers toys, which has the information in the back of the toy's box.

I could see this work very well.

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A collectible card could be perfect - it would fit into the collectible minifig bag well and would also last longer than the instructions for rereads, which is important! Great idea!

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They are both good ideas. Story blurbs about the significance of different parts of sets sound like a great idea to expand upon the story value of what you're building, while cards are more collectable.

This is actually a great concept.

Noice idea... now I has ideas...

I like the idea conceptually, but you also have to understand why LEGO loves including comics and images in with their instructions. English isn't the only language used in the world, and LEGO would have to have multiple different translations for all different markets. That costs money. With an image or comic, they can make one illustration and have that put anywhere in the world.

So story content being on the instructions gets way more expensive very quickly. That amount of money could be poured somewhere else into the promotion of the line. Additionally, we don't know the effectiveness of how many kids would read that blurb on the instructions vs looking at a cool image that has a link to the website posted on it. The engagement statistics for that might be way different that what you expect.

All in all it's not a bad idea, but it would cost too much to be viable.

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Thank you so much for the feedback! That's definitely something I had not considered - the language barrier. I'm going to try to think of a way that could be worked around for sure, though. For better or worse I really want to find a way to communicate the story straight out of the box. Thanks again for point this out, however!

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Oh well, maybe we can still use the trading cards (we wouldn't be the first line to use them)

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The problem I see is that they still have to be written in a language - this sort of regionalizes a set. This is already done to a degree - European boxes have less info on them than the American ones. However, just as these boxes have a wide variety of languages on them, it would be important to somehow do the same for the trading cards without cluttering them. However, a line of collectible figures is totally feasible still, though that's far from my original idea by any stretch of the imagination. :stuck_out_tongue:

I know Lego has included trading cards on sets (early Ninjago, and those old knight sets) before, but I'm not sure how much writing those had on them.

Well, I just so happen to have a couple of those on me.

The only writing on the back says "Knights Kingdom" and "Lego". Also I don't know if they all had french translations or if it was just the Canadian ones.

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Ok, so that still works. Unfortunately, I lost mine years ago so I can't check if they have the translation as well.

From sifting through pictures I googled it seems like all of them have the French as well.

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I like the idea.

I miss the Old comics there was.

The trading cards could just have there stats. And like transformer toys they could have symbols, such as a fist for strength, or a gun for fire power.

"NO GUNZ, CENSORSHIP COMING YOUR WAY"

I like the cards idea, by the way.

I think that could make it a little too gimmicky. That sort of thing tends to be dropped without explanation after the first or second year (see Ninjago).