As the ever so uncertain future of Bionicle looms over us, we can't help but speculate as to what will change and what will stay the same. Of course, while the big questions lie in what will differ in the official theme from the beloved Bionicle that we grew up with, there are still many smaller uncertainties that have seldom been speculated about. Today, I'd like to talk about one such topic: the future of the casual moccer.
Now, what exactly is a "casual moccer?" A casual moccer, as I define it, is an average fan of Bionicle that isn't so dedicated as to treat their mocs like art, but rather more like action figures or characters. Casual moccers tended to be kids who were interested in playing with and developing characters for their own short term stories, rather than for display or building skill. Additionally, this kind of fan is the kind that either dropped bionicle or "evolved" to another level of interest with the theme after it ended. Now keep in mind that while this may seem like a rigid definition, we're all on a spectrum of sorts. We're all somewhere between the story driven, carefree bionicle kid and the lego parts artist with little to no connection between moc and story. Even then, we all have our own "twist" on our place in the spectrum. Needless to say, I'm generalizing quite heavily when I talk about this "casual moccer". Just think of it as that general side of the spectrum.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get on to the main topic of this pseudo-article; what will become of this casual moccer's way of moccing? Well, let's look to the past first.
-Warping to pretend 2008
The Ignition story arch was the part of the Bionicle story that I grew up on, therefore it's easier for me to make observations on what the casual moccer's tendencies were at the time(seeing as I was one such moccer and was there to experience what other people were making at that time. Also, Biotube was at it's beginnings around then, so casual moccing was displayed quite readily in amateur stopmotion series' and the moc videos that accompanied them.)
So here's our example:
For the casual moccer, it's easier to copy lego's techniques as a standard for certain types of characters, that way, all your Toa are identifiably Toa, all your Matoran are obviously Matoran, etc. This was quite prevalent with the Inika build system because it was an easy to construct, commonly used, easy to obtain structure to build a character on. As shown in the example, the common moccer would use the mask, colors, and gear to make an otherwise generic toa have some identifiable character. That way, not too much skill was needed to make the character's traits show through the standard Inika build. Looking at the example, it's already easy to make inferences as to what the character's abilities are, and where the character might be located in time and place. We can tell that he's probably a Toa of air and has the abilities of the creatures in his environment thanks to the colors and mask. Reading into it a little more, you could probably tell that he's in adaptive armor set up for battle in Karda Nui or a similar environment. All in all, the moc conveys the character without being a work of art. The other thing that has historically been common of casual moccers is that their mocs include mostly newer parts(for the time they're set in). Reason being is that for the most part, casual moccers are relatively new to the fandom. Generally, fans either become more ambitious about their moccing, or drop it altogether. It's not often that we remain in the casual moccer state for more than a few years.
From my experience, that's been the trend in casual Bionicle moccers in the past, but the big question is the future. Now that you have some insight as to what I'm basing my predictions on, we might as well cut to the chase.
Pictured above is a concept of what I think our future casual moccers' creations will look like. I'm sure that if you haven't been under a rock for the duration of the last few months, you can tell that I was trying to imitate an average 2015 Toa set to a certain degree. This is part of the standard base concept that I introduced earlier. I'm rather sure that our casual moccers will continue building like lego (so to speak) because that's what's easy and standard. Additionally, the use of mask and colors will be more integral than ever before, seeing as CCBS makes it so easy for any two characters to look alike with it's nondescript armor bits and large, molded body pieces. Building on this, yet in contrast to the casual builders of old, I predict that we will see alot more use of older pieces(at the very least in masks and technic parts) in response to the standardized armor and limited amount of masks. If they want to build new characters, making a moc that has the same mask and tools as Lewa but with a different arrangement of armor isn't going to get the job done. Another thing is, I predict that we will see a good number of casual Hero Factory fans move over to Bionicle. HF didn't really have a driving story that kids could get hooked on to, so I imagine that they'll already be open to the change. Because of this, they are likely to already have some older parts(perhaps not as old as the parts in the concept moc I did, but at least parts like brain attack era visor masks and IfB beast heads) as well as plenty of spare generic CCBS parts. This will undoubtedly add to the use of interesting color schemes and identifying masks to give the mocs character. So, in conclusion, I predict that we're going to see the less dedicated builders continue to create mocs that imitate lego, but use color and identifying features such as the mask to set them apart. However, unlike they did with the old Bionicle, I predict that they will use parts older than their time in order to get those identifying features(at least for the first couple years).
Now, before I end this off, there is something I'd like to mention. The biggest flaw(that I can find) in my theory is that I largely based it off of what we did while we were in this stage. These people aren't us, so I can't say for sure that they will make the same kinds of decisions as we did! For all we know, Bionicle could attract an entirely different kind of fanbase than it did in our days. But maybe it won't. That's what makes this a prediction. I really don't know for sure, nor do any of us!
That's not to say that I won't be right. And that's not to say that you, who may have a different theory, won't be right either.
Let me know what you think the future of the casual moccer will be! Also, while you're at it, go ahead and tell me what you think of this kind of topic! If I get positive feedback, perhaps I'll do more of these sort of "Let's Chat with Garnira" topics.
Alright, well that's all. Thanks for reading!