Could BIONICLE Work as a Model Kit Line?

Hello everyone on the Boards!

So, I’ve just finished assembling a model kit Megatron, and although my hands are sore, I’m extremely satisfied with the experience and the final product.

Now, this has only solidified something I’ve been thought experimenting with for a while now, and that is applying the model kit concept to Bionicle. Right off the bat, the idea, to me, has a lot of positive aspects.

Since model kits require extensive assembly, the construction toy aspect of the Bionicle theme is still intact. I always liked the idea of Bionicle as a standard action figure line, but model kit figures are one step up from that. Model kits are also highly modifiable in terms of applying paint or modifying pieces via kit-bashing, meaning it would still be possible to make customized figures and original characters, especially if the pieces are standardized to be interchangeable. Since parts can be molded into more detailed forms, like in the Transformers figures, it makes room for a lot more detail in Bionicle figures.

There are a couple drawbacks, namely that, since the pieces aren’t always designed to be reused, customizing figures won’t be as accessible as it is with LEGO. That being said, I’ve always loved thinking about this idea and the crazy paint-jobs or custom parts that could come with it. Add on a similar emphasis on story and environment, and I think you have something very reminiscent of the original Bionicle.

I know some people might be LEGO purists and wouldn’t want to see Bionicle in any other medium, but let me know what you think and feel free to discuss this potential form of the property!

As always,
Comment and Discuss!

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I think… I think it could be neat, but it would also kinda shifts the target age-range up a bit. As well as the “build your own hero” aspect that I’ve always enjoyed.

With a model kit, Tahu will always be Tahu. He may have a different paint job, weapon, and/or equipment, but in the end it’s still Tahu.

So, while it’s a neat idea, I personally wouldn’t want it.

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If it was a system much like the Bandai HG Iron-Blooded Orphans line, the interchangeability would work quote well.

It’s not a bad idea, although it would take some work to design everything.

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I think it could definitely work well, especially because of the painting aspect of model kits. I would expect to see kits of extra parts sold along with the individual models, to encourage people to really design their own models. You’d just need the right company to handle it, and not one that brings shame to the models and miniatures communities.

glares at Games Workshop

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While individual pieces may not be entirely meant for interchangeable use, kit bashing is still a huge part of the community.

Personally, the Bionicle design might end up more flimsy than we want so it might need to be changed a bit for a model kit.

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Not if it was manufactured by LEGO, or at least not without them putting a lot of effort in to set up a whole other department, because the manufacturing precision standards they hold themselves to for LEGO bricks would make cutting a full new sprue for every kit prohibitively expensive.

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I really don’t have the hours to spend on an unsatisfactory paint job of lewa so my answer here would probably be yes but also no.

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How big would the model kits be? As large as Gali Master of Water? How accurate do you want the anatomy to be? Every bionicle figure ever made has blocky oversized feet, hands, weapons, and sometimes heads. Not to mention how large the technic sockets are. Most lego elements are designed to fit in an eight millimeter grid, which does not allow for accurate proportions at Gali MoW scale. Then you have the problem of not being able to accurately represent musculature with the parts available, at Gali MoW scale, while retaining a sturdy build. End of day, you’d have to make all joints with frail 3.18 mm bars and clips then design incredibly specialized shells of the proper size, raising the price.

Anyways, TLG currently has this odd fascination with trying to replicate organic shapes at small scale. They tried with CCBS in SW Buildable Figures and failed spectacularly because the shells lacked detail and correct proportions. Now in Speed Champions they’re trying to make scale model cars with new wedges, wheels, and windscreens. IMO the cars are still wrong because they’re still engineered with an 8 mm grid that you simply cannot use unless you specialize the parts to galidor levels or raise the scale like they did in the Ford Mustang.

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The Megatron I have is in the 6 inch figure scale, so a bit smaller than your average Bionicle figure. There is a surprising amount of detail you can get at that scale, some of the detail pieces on my figure are probably 2-3 millimeters.

The thing that most surprised me is the clever ways the articulation is introduced. There are a lot of clever slides, levers, and hinges, and a few ball joints in key areas. The ball joints are more in line with the Mixel joints that LEGO produces, which to me seem to have quite a lot of advantages over the traditional Technic/Bionicle/CCBS ball joint. For one, they mesh a lot easier with System by nature, and their small size means you can basically cover them almost completely up.

In terms of things like accurate anatomy, I don’t see much of an issue with it for Bionicle specifically. In essence, it would be like the Transformers line; a lot of large, somewhat-blocky, robotic-aesthetic parts. This does mean that the design style of Bionicle characters would have to change to be a bit more streamlined, but there are already plenty of artistic interpretations that are a close fit to my vision of Bionicle model kits:

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As long as they do a better job marketing it than they did G2 I think it would work fine as a line of model kits. Lego should probably talk to Bandai about designing and producing the kits themselves though since imo they are the best in the business when it comes to articulated “action figure” type model kits.

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I suppose I should add more to this topic…

I feel like anything, in concept, could work as a model kit. Like Pakari showed, there are a lot of different interpretations of Bionicle and honestly, most/any of them could work as a model kit. I mean, Bandai’s proven that they can get some crazy stuff out of a 6 inch figure… just take a look at their Gundam Real Grade line.

The major problem, I feel, is that Bionicle’s kind of… died.
I feel like the last waves of CCBS bionicle left a rather bad taste in everyone’s mouths, at least compared to what the sets were like and what the marketing was like way back with the first go. It’d take a lot of work on Lego’s part to ramp up the excitement again.

I feel like something that could greatly improve marketing Bionicle as a model kit line (theoretically, of course) is having some of the concept art be leaked/released, just so that people can get a taste of what’s going to happen. Plus, working with Bandai would also appeal to a lot of people, especially those of lego and those of Bandai. There are a lot of people in both categories, and even more who actively buy both products, so I feel like a Bandai/Lego team-up would work really well and appeal to a lot of people.

Though, Lego would have to choose a specific art style or modelling style to stick with. Either coming up with their own or seeing what fans can come up with… both are viable options. There are so many individual styles that could be developed. Personally, I’d want Lego to just put a lot of thought into it so that they don’t end up with something like CCBS.

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It would be cool, but I worry about the price tag…

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I really agree with you, and I appreciate the extensive thoughts! This seriously was on my mind for quite a while.

That being said, I’d like to know what you’d think of the idea if all prior history with Bionicle just didn’t factor in. When I originally posed the question what I really meant was what could Bionicle be or look like if it was a model kit line and not a LEGO line. Or alternatively, what a model kit line with Bionicle elements could be like.

It seems to me like a lot of people seem to be taking this as if I meant “what if Bionicle was brought back as a model kit line?” or “what if G3 was a model kit line?” or “what if LEGO did model kits for Bionicle instead of normal sets?” Don’t get me wrong, those are all interesting questions in their own right, and everyone’s input on it has been fascinating, but I’d really like to see what “Model Kit Bionicle” would be if it was a completely fresh thing, no LEGO, G1, or G2 attached.

Well, assuming Lego and Bandai (again) worked on Bionicle model kits…
I think a retconned version, or a version without all the history, would be interesting. It could allow for some more interesting story, especially with the versatility if model kits as opposed to Lego.

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If anyone’s seen them too something like that snap ships line could work for all targets. No need for glue or paint just a kinda mugenbine like building set.

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However it gets done, you would need to include interchangeable Kanohi.

I’m sure that’d be very possible. You could either just use something like the official Kanohi systems or use traditional tabs that model kits have.

Personally, I think the G2 style of mask connection might work well for model kits.

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Honestly, the G2 connection system is the superior mask connection system overall.

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Or just the pegs, much like the initial Kanohi, kind of like Kotobukiya’s Hexa Gear line.

http://en.kotobukiya.co.jp/product-title/hexa-gear/

But then you limit the facial expressions, since the mouth is open for the mask.

That’s fine for Lego sets, but a model kit such as the hypothetical one we as are talking about would probably want actual facial expressions under the mask.

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