As the world building is nearing completion and narration of the G3 tale within sight, I figured now is probably the best time to bring this up to consideration. That being, what level of fan involvement will G3 fans have on the line?
To clarify what I mean by fan in this case, I do not mean anyone following the G3 discussion, giving suggestions, or those here on the boards. We are just the semi-focus group after all, just here to give feed back, opinions, and try to help develop the line. What I mean by fan are those that purchase the sets, watch the show, and get into the new theme that is Bionicle G3. Completely new fans and fans from other themes also coming into this line. How would you have these hypothetical fans be involved in the line or would you have them not involved whatsoever?
By involvement in G3, I am referring to fans affecting and having an impact on theme aside from their wallets. Such as perhaps a certain character, the design of a character, or some kind of Rahi, mask, and so on appearing in or playing some small role in the story.
In G1, some of things I loved the most from it were the Dark Hunters and Rahi, of which many were fan created. I imagine that on some level, their creations not only winning being incredible, but also that their creations were affecting the world of G1 made their investment into the theme feel worth it. Granted, most of these were only giving side stories and minor roles, rarely appearing in the main story. The few instances that did were Tahtorak and the Piraka Fusion, which were only for visual appearance and did not include whatever story the original creators had in mind. But these were more than just small cameos and did have an affect on the main story, even if it’s minor and only applied to appearance. Similar instance with the big Silver Drone from HF in Rise of the Rookies. Alpha Team went as far as to having the fans compete for how the final battle would end.
In comparison to G2, fans had no affect on its world and as we know, the contests were terrible and poorly handled. The closest it ever came was the mask cameos from the mask building contest, but it was just that, a cameo. Unlike G1 that had entire books dedicated to tell of fan winning entries’ names, stories, abilities and so on, as far as we know just something that happens to look like those masks are in G2 and nothing more. Ninjago has also had many, ultimately worthless, contests that have no impact on its world.
So my main suggestion is that there should be contests for G3 that offer more than just sets as prizes, but also affect the world of G3. More than just cameos (though perhaps buildings/structures would work well for cameos), but characters, the design of characters, Rahi, and so on. Especially at least one instance that appears in the main story, even if it’s for a minor role. Now I am aware that the main story would be told through a TV show, so not sure how far in advance a contest for that last one would have to happen. Probably for something to appear in year three if it is something you think would add further value and fan involvement.
Granted, not every contest needs to affect the world or story of a theme some way to get fans feeling justified in their investment. One thing I did like about G2 was the Insert Element of Month promotion they did on Facebook. While Lego sadly didn’t use these months to have specifically themed contests, many fans did make contests themed around that element or region. If G3 where to have some contests based on holidays, festivals, or whatever kind of celebrations sprinkled throughout the year, I think it would keep fans more interested into the line. As well as a way for fans to participate in the fictional holiday with the G3 characters in a way.
Shoehorning such holidays in the show probably wouldn’t be the greatest idea. So perhaps they would be promoted through other means, such as on Lego.com itself, YouTube, a game, and/or whatever other platforms that most kids would likely have access. And then have a section of the G3 website dedicated to just these winning entries, to show other fans that they can have an official imprint on the world to further encourage investment in the theme.
If fans are allowed to affect and add to the world of G3, they will become more invested in the theme than sets and TV show alone. Since the G3 narrative is relatively close to being written, consider possible places where fans could affect the story more than just a cameo, even in very minor ways. Unless you think that there will be enough content (or lack of budget) to satisfy future fans, or this is too far for a hypothetical fan creation, then sorry for wasting your time.
Also, if anyone has ideas for what specific contests should be done if G3 where to actually happen, then post your ideas below.