Why all the hate for Legends of Chima?

There was a discussion that was going off topic in Sokoda’s thread regarding Chima, so I decided to create a special topic in here.

Legends of Chima was one of the first “Big Bang” themes, and it was originally intended to be Ninjago’s successor, but due to the fact that Ninjago continued past it’s planned three years, it resulted in both themes being released and competing against each other for sales and popularity. Of the two, Ninjago was obviously the winner, and Chima was left in the dust, being mostly disliked by most fans and even outright hated by some.

Personally, I loved the theme back when it was on shelves, and got quite a few of the sets… and I am a fan of it even to this day. This may piss off a lot of people, but in retrospect, I actually like Chima a lot more than Ninjago. I loved the world building, and the animal-inspired vehicle sets are in my opinion a lot more interesting than the generic good guy vehicles that Ninjago keeps making every year. Even the TV Show, which wasn’t very well received by most people, had the best looking 3D animation out of all of LEGO’s TV Shows, as stated by Tommy Anderson himself on Twitter. And although the writing wasn’t the best in the first year, the show did improve as time went on, and even managed to get a solid conclusion to the story, unlike something like say, Nexo Knights, which ended very abruptly and never got a proper ending.
It is also worth noting that unlike many other themes, it did manage to attract a small, yet still very active community. There actually is a surprisingly active Chima Discord server out there, with 400+ members.

So I do want to know… why do so many people hate Legends of Chima? Was it the fact that it supposedly tried to replace Ninjago? Was it the TV Show? Was it the sets? I really want to know, because I never understood why this theme was so hated.

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Nick on Planet Ripple covers this in his retrospective

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I honestly thought it was great… cool minifigures… constraction figures… cool pieces. It just was a bit weird…

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In what ways was it weird? The fact that it was based around anthropomorphic animals? That isn’t really something I would consider weird myself, personally. If anything, I’d say the unique concept and setting is what makes it stand out compared to other LEGO themes, similar to how Bionicle stands out because it is starring robots as the characters… which could also be considered weird to outsiders.

The sets were pretty good, but the show was borderline unwatchable with unlikable characters and ridiculous writing. Also while the first waves of sets were pretty interesting and kept things unique, once they introduced this whole “fire vs. ice” conflict every set was either fire-themed or ice-themed, resulting in things getting boring and repetitive pretty fast.

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The TV show definitely marred it. It was legitimately dreadful, yet I still somehow managed to buy all 3 seasons on dvd.

The voice acting was ok, but for some characters it was atrocious. It’s especially bad that the main character, Laval was one of these characters. The actual storyline had pretty good ideas but they were rather… poorly executed.

It did produce some weird concepts though, for example, there’s one episode where Cragger entirely accidentally disturbs one of the gorillas’ religious celebrations. The gorillas go completely insane and decide that it is now time to commit genocide on the entire crocodile race, chase Cragger back to the swamp and annihilate every croc in sight. To make matters worse, the other “good” tribes see this as completely reasonable and in fact aid in this unwarranted massacre, bringing air support and further ground assault forces.

If anything the “evil” tribes seem more like the good guys. The Lions and Eagles look unmistakably rich, with all their fancy gold-plated armour and buildings, high-tech weaponry and greater firepower. All the “evil” tribes look hopelessly poor, appearing to just wear rags most of the time. Heck, the Ravens don’t even have clothes, just several belts. Their vehicles look more thrown-together and less modern, the Wolves just live in what is essentially a campsite surrounded by metal fence panels. The poorer tribes’ pursuits of Chi appear completely justified, as they simply have not been given enough to begin with.

I’m writing a whole in-depth analysis of the story as a whole if anyone’s into that kind of thing. I’ll probably make a topic when I’ve finished.

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I would be interested in reading that for sure.

But… you said Chima was your 5th favorite LEGO theme, so what can you say in its defense?

I love the sets. They’re extremely well designed and have some great features to them. The figures too are insanely detailed for the time and arguably a lot more detailed than figures we get today. It normalised the use of rarer colours like olive green and dark azure and provided many excellent new pieces. The Speedorz were and still are the best value for money out of all of the impulse ‘figure with game’ things they made like the Spinjitzu spinners, as while the spinners were just the figure, the spinner and assorted weaponry, the Speedorz also included adequately sized builds and obstacles for the exact same price point.

Admittedly, the later years of the theme are nowhere near as good as the 2013 range, so as of now those are the only ones I aim to buy. I’ve completed my Wave 1 collection, I just need to focus on Wave 2 now.

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I loved Legends of Chima, as everyone else is pointing out, the sets were great. My only problem with it is that the whole thing seemed a little childish, but I still bought a lot of the sets and watched most of the show. I even played the online game (literally just called Chima Online), which I’m surprised no one has even mentioned yet. I really liked Chima Online, it was a lot of fun, although you couldn’t get very far without buying the membership. In fact, I had just convinced my mom to buy the membership, when they shut it down (luckily we hadn’t actually made the purchase at the time it got shut down). I actually wish I could’ve gotten more of the ultra builds, especially the second wave, but I only ended up getting one or two of them.

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Honestly, the sets, at least in the first wave or two, were quite good. But it didn’t take long for the originality to really decay. At some point all the vehicles just devolved into, as I said, varying flavors of motorcycle and glider, with the occasional outlier like that helicopter or the spider with the snapping claws; and the fortresses were ultimately just reskins of each other. And then, when it became fire vs. ice in the last season, this was exacerbated even more.

I guess the general premise of anthropomorphic animals having a drug war wasn’t entirely what made the worldbuilding bad, but in that case, it was executed very poorly.

The story was even worse. I mean the most compelling character was the villain in the first “season”, and then when they were “UNITED THROUGH THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP NOW WE HAVE TO GO STOP ALL THE BAD GUYS BEYOND THE JUNGLE”, it just got really monotonous. “Lets go fight even worse bad guys, spiders and scorpions and bats! OK, that’s done, let’s go fight even worse worse bad guys, SABER TOOTHED TIGERSSSS”.

And then the Netflix show: I mean, come on, just stick to comics, or at least get palatable voice actors and write a story that makes characters at least halfway compelling.

It could.

But you don’t see nearly as much hate for BIONICLE as for Chima though, do you? Which means no matter how similarities you can draw, there is something fundamentally different about BIONICLE that appeals to a larger audience.

… you didn’t even respond to a single thing he said

Doesn’t Bionicle get a lot of hate from AFOLs all the time though? I would even argue it has been the target of hate even more than Chima, because Chima at least is a system theme. That hate only got worse with the 90th anniverssary poll, in which Bionicle had to compete against the so called “classic themes” which those AFOLs are so obsessed with.

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so you’re saying Bionicle gets just as much hate as Chima does

if you’ll permit me to put words in someone else’s mouth for a second:

BIONICLE has more verbal detractors, sure. But BIONICLE also has more verbal proponents. Arguably, a lot of its detractors have issues with BIONICLE because of the attitudes of its proponents, which I’m pretty sure has been discussed on another topic.

Chima… seems to have dropped from the discussion once it ended. No one really talks about what they liked or didn’t like about it as much, or with as much investment, if the dearth of Chima topics post-2016 is any indication.

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Maybe some of the hate is due to the Chima characters being furries? Around that time there was alot of furry hate going around, I think a furry convention even had a gas attack around this time. And maybe Ninjago fans who couldn’t get over Ninjago basically being canceled briefly?

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I mean, you can’t really judge Chima’s popularity based on how much it is discussed on this particular site… At this point, the TTV Message Boards has become a Bionicle-only forum, with barely any general LEGO discussions.
On the other hand, as I said before there is a very active Chima Discord server, where people continue discussing what they like and don’t like about the theme all the time.

From AFOLs who don’t understand the theme (and don’t even want to understand it), I’d say probably yes.

That was indeed a big trun off factor for people back then, but obviously it doesn’t apply anymore, does it? Yet still many people still hate the theme even today.

I’m not talking about individual AFOLs. I’m talking about the quantity of hate for Chima.

Chima was fine enough I think. It’s not the most beautiful peace of art to ever exist, but its necessarily awful.

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Why when somebody posts “why so much hate” topic, it turns out that there is no so much hate actually

I’m going after it.

So my opinion on Chima.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It’s my second favorite theme in Lego, sharing that place with Hero Factory, right after Bionicle.The first year was just awesome. The Outland story was pretty cool. The Fire vs. Ice was nice from the start, but did not continued on the same level. Story got messy, sets got repetitive. But what really astonishes me is that they managed to actually end it beautifully (remembered the experience with Bionicle, did they…). For me Chima, just like Bionicle and Hero Factory, has a lot, a lot of unused potential, which was wasted on releasing many personal vehicles for Cragger and Laval and almost no development for Bears or Beavers etc. I believe it also felt as the very first victim of Ninjago, and (personal opinion) was the only theme that could’ve beaten and replaced it.

Maybe if Chima was released now, when Ninjago’s got rusty…

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Good sets, good ideas, insufferable show

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I was just kindof indifferent to it as a kid, I was mostly into hero factory back then. (which I regret a little now since I missed out on a lot of good ninjago stuff from the time)