Should the Toa's Gender Be Changed? (More female team members?) [Worldbuilding] [Pitch]

Let's hypothetically say we wanted to change the gender of one of our traditionally male Toa characters, who should it be?

We at TTV personally feel Lewa and Pohatu are good contenders for this, as they're personalities are the least tied to their gender. But what do you guys think? Let us know in the poll below.

  • Lewa
  • Pohatu
  • Neither
  • Both
  • Other (please clarify in topic below)

0voters

Votes are public.

Original Post by @King_Ved:

I feel that we should have more than just one female toa(Gali). So here are my thoughts on how to "even the odds".

  1. Make the toa of lightning a girl
  2. This is probably going to be a very controversial subject but, change one of the original characters into a girl

Please don't hate me for this :frowning2:, but if I were to go with number 2 I would pick Lewa to make the switch. My reasoning behind why Lewa is personality and possible future color scheme(you'll know what I mean the next time I post). I couldn't imagine Tahu, Kopaka, or Onua but I could see Pohatu and Lewa but when it came down to it Lewa had the better personality. Please let me know what you think of 1, 2, and my explanation.

16 Likes

I think it would be best if a second female character was introduced later in the Story as opposed to one of the non Gali main character's being one.

10 Likes

so rule 63?

4 Likes

Quite a few people have suggested this already (myself included), so I could see it being accepted.

I see (and partially agree with) your points here. But honestly, I'd rather have future female Toa that are brand new characters.

6 Likes

I will point out, a 5:1 male to female character ratio is still a thing in newer Lego themes, Ninjago for example: started with four male ninja, one male sensei, and one girl (who became a samurai/ninja later on). True they added Misako later on, but before that they added Lloyd, So they have a 3:1 ratio in more recent times. I'm not saying that this isn't a problem, I would in fact like to see other female Toa introduced later, but I am saying that this:

For me is a big fat no.

5 Likes

If they introduce a new character that was female I wouldn't really care, but don't take a previously established character and swap their gender.

Regardless, I think the 'evening the odds' argument is dumb, it shouldn't matter how many characters are either gender, it doesn't matter. Why do we need more female toa?

And it's a problem because?

10 Likes

I'm not saying it is a problem either. I'm more saying: "a little more diversity would be nice, but don't mess with established characters."

5 Likes

Diversity of personality is nice, I don't think gender is important, as such as long as the characters are interesting I don't care, there's no problem with gender imbalance, if the team was 5 females and 1 male I wouldn't care, as long as the characters are good.
That said,

6 Likes

I agree, to me, gender isn't really that important. That being said, it is to some people, and those people tend to be loud, and like to cause problems. So, if we are approaching this theoretical G3 from the mindset of "if we were on Lego's design team," then adding some extra gender diversity at some point (probably halfway through year two at the latest) would probably be wise to avoid theoretical bad publicity. That being said:

1 Like

And they're never satisfied, so don't even bother trying to appease them.

5 Likes

You're right, they are never satisfied, but that's no reason to give them more cannon fodder. At least making some sort of apparent effort generally takes the wind out of their sails and makes their arguments seem far less valid. It's the differece between one angry dude on a forum, and major news coverage.

Trying to appease them is their cannon fodder, it implies there's something wrong, which gives them justification to screech louder.

Had to delete a post, literally no reason to get uppity here. Relax.

5 Likes

Sorry Eljay.

@Payinku to refrase: we seem to have the same opinion. I don't know why we are arguing.

I actually wouldn't mind if one of the original characters' gender was changed personally, the whole 5:1 thing seems like the remainder of that wacky old rule about gender-element correlation.

This could help appeal to a broader audience by subverting Bionicle's presentation as a "boys'" toy as well. If girls aren't just presented with ONE character that shares their gender it might be more appealing a line. I know this doesn't matter so much to more mature people, but kids identify with characters on a more simplistic level than we do.

Besides, if you really don't care about gender then why would you be upset that an old character has theirs switched for the reboot? They'd be the same character; it would just be an aesthetic change made in the interest of looping in a broader audience. In a technical sense this wouldn't be any more obtrusive than a major colorscheme change.

1 Like

To clarify, I don't think gender balance really matters, or more specifically, I don't think that it should. I do however care very much about the gender of established characters.

1 Like

First of all, this is a reboot; there are no established characters. We're not pulling the Toa Mata out of g1 and giving 'em the rule 63 effect. These are characters that represent reincarnations of old concepts in order to harken back to the original franchise. We could change personalities drastically and they wouldn't be any less the Tahu or Gali of their generation.

Secondly how come we can change things like colorscheme, but gender arguably also being a physical trait, can't be touched? This wouldn't actually go to affect the character in a significant way, it would just be a move to broaden the diversity and in turn, target audience of the line.

I don't think the gender ratio is what makes bionicle a 'boys toy'.

Did you only identity with male characters as a kid? Because I didn't, are you implying girls can only identify with female characters?

Indeed, 'I like the red one' is simplistic, but it has nothing to do with gender.

Because the character is already established, there's no need to change it.

Again, if some kid isn't interested in bionicle, adding a female character isn't going to change that.

Yes there are, the previous incarnations of the toa.

In name only, and at that point you may as well change that too.

Again, the target audience of a product doesn't hinge on the characters genders.

1 Like

I'm, that's kinda what a reboot is, new takes on established stories and characters.

Actually that's pretty much exactly what you are proposing...

That's the definition of a reboot, yes.

Technically true, but if I can just:

I would argue that it would make them less of who they are.

Because the changes to the color schemes are minor. Gender is binary: male or female. There are no small changes there. Changing the gender of one of the established Toa is the equivalent of changing their primary color: like if you made Tahu green.

1 Like

I think this is entirely arguable. Look at how lego lines dictate what their gender ratios are in respect to their marketing; Nexo knights has a 4:1 M/F ratio whereas Elves boasts an inversion. The former and latter are both marketed as gender specific lines. You can't tell me there isn't a correlation there.

To be clear, I'm not claiming that it's the only reason, but think it's foolish to dismiss it as not being a factor.

Of course not, and I'll concede this point; it was poorly conceived and expressed. Most of my reasoning was backed by anecdote and I suppose more legitimate research could be done on the topic.

HOWEVER, a point I neglected to make is that it's not just the child who purchases the media and toys that introduce them to the line. Perhaps little Jane likes the look of the Bionicle sets she sees at the toy store, but buying this building set with a bunch of robot guys may not pass through grandma's mind when she's making her Christmas orders. There are more factors, which is why historically Lego has marketed their lines with target groups, but in my opinion this looks awfully like self-limitation. Many children might actually thoroughly enjoy toys intended for the other gender if they were actually given a chance to play with them and supported by their elders and peers in doing so. I think that perhaps bionicle might be one such case if handled correctly. And having more female characters in the main cast might help keep consumers from simply dismissing the line as an option because it's a "boys toy", perhaps only just for the sake of a double take.

I understand that this is arguably moot because most consumers don't associate action robots with girls' toys to start with, but once again marketing could help that mindset change. And isn't Bionicle having an awfully narrow audience the main reason we assume it failed, why we're moving from constraction to system? Suppose there's any way to broaden that, even one this minor, isn't that our prerogative to take?

But they aren't the Toa Mata. They're redeveloped characters based on certain traits of the Toa Mata.

And reboot characters are more than just the old characters "In name only"? They aren't part of the same continuity, they don't live in the same universe... But they are based on the same ideas. Gender doesn't necessarily play a significant role in that.

Lewa could still be that adventurous Toa of air that gets in over their head in trouble and happen to be female in this iteration.

Sorry if I didn't touch on something, you two threw a lot at me there. If I missed anything, be certain to let me know.