As I stated, the desire for an homage or whatever is not the problem, and I guess I should clarify that neither really is the desire for it to come back. It’s the militance of which that desire is enforced, with no clear idea of what that means or why we should even want it - the attitude of “We deserve BIONICLE’s return” that clouds any actual discussion.
It means a lot of different things to different people, and passion plays a very big part in it for some.
Asking a fanbase as diverse as this to have one collective “why” for getting something they love back just isn’t possible. Some people are going to be civil and want smaller things, and others are indeed out there with the idea that somehow G1 could come back (which, don’t get me wrong, won’t happen).
And I want to stress that you shouldn’t have to feel like other peoples’ desires should reflect your own. “Why should we even want this” doesn’t really apply if you don’t want it yourself, you know? We’re all allowed to have our own wishes, even though some of them are literally impossible. And it definitely doesn’t make you any less of a fan if you personally would rather see Bionicle left alone (anyone who says otherwise is just speaking garbage gatekeeping).
Can it be a bit annoying when I see people on Faber’s posts spouting ideas for how G1 continues, or similar? Sure. Just a side-effect of being on the internet. But some people just don’t have or want to have a “why” for wanting something they’re very passionate about.
I do think it’s interesting though, to know the possible reasons some people have. But more just out of a curiosity and less so out of some attempt at finding a singular truth to the matter (I don’t believe there is one).
For me, personally, yes.
Even if it can’t be a direct continuation of the unfinished serials (as much as I’d love that), there was so much left unexplored in the G1 universe.
I never thought about this, but… yeah.
I could absolutely see Lego doing this.
Because moar parts.
Reason 1: I want buy more sets.
Reason 2: Bionicle sets now cost 5 times more than modern sets are. So, it is hard to collect them now. And I really want to. Everyone really wants to, I believe.
Reason 3: G1 had many senseless things or flaws. Thay could’ve been corrected.
Reason 4: To have an actual end od story. Just to end all unended ends, maybe 2 or 3 more books. Not a 10-year continuation.
Why do Bionicle fans want more Bionicle? Well, for the same reason LEGO Castle fans want more Castle, Space fans want more Space, and Pirates fans want more Pirates. As someone who has interacted with all those fanbases, I can tell you right now, we are not much different than the rest of the LEGO community in that regard. Sure, those people just got stuff like Pirates of Baracuda Bay and the Medieval Blacksmith, but that still didn’t satisfy their hunger. That’s why so many people voted in the 90th anniversary poll, because everyone wants a chance at seeing their favorite theme return in some form.
Personally, I just want LEGO Constraction to continue. Whether that’s trough Bionicle, Hero Factory, or something else, I just want to see this building system continue to evolve. I know several people seem to be in favor of the idea of Brickonicle, but honestly, that would take away from why I like Bionicle in the first place: Because its different from the rest of LEGO.
Let’s be real here, if LEGO were to bring back Bionicle in the form of Brickonicle, realistically speaking, the sets would most likely be comprised of the typical Ninjago-esque vehicles, like Cars, Mechs, and Jets. Would you really want Bionicle to be like that? I personally don’t what to. That’s why I’d much rather stick to Constraction, a very underrated aspect of LEGO’s portofolio that deserves to continue in some way or another.
I don’t understand why people don’t bring up the LEGO World Builder platform more often. Do you want to see a new creative spin on Bionicle? You can do that there, and LEGO might end up picking up some of your ideas you suggest there. Or do you want to suggest an idea for a brand new theme that would continue the legacy of Constraction? You can also do that there. In fact, you can suggest pretty much any idea to this new platform, and LEGO might take note of it (they just recently accepted a project there and they will be developing a TV Short based on it).
this is unrelated to the thread but where do I find out more about this
Here is a link to the page of that project:
Why can’t we let Bionicle rest? Why can’t we let Batman rest? Or Spider-Man? Or Metal Gear? Or any of the old Greek/Roman mythologies of old? Because as humans, we always want more of something we find to be great, even if things repeat or have terrible retellings along the way. People expressed how much they wanted a Pacific Rim 2 before even, if ever, considering if a sequel was need, possible, or would could even be good. It’s not a trait unique to Bionicle.
So then, why do we specifically want Bionicle back? Plenty of other have expressed many of the reasons why the fanbase would want it back. Story continuation, return of the old Bionicle parts or at least constraction, the general aesthetics and grand Fantasy Sci-Fi epic, etc. Bionicle has simply offered something that few, if anything, since has ever given. And while in the decades to come perhaps more Bionicle-esc things will appear, that is not the case currently. Still an itch that has yet to see a proper replacement.
For me specifically? That answer has changed much over the years. Initially it was so that the story could continue and have it’s final ending. It was a bummer we never would get to see those dinosaurs as sets, but as long as the story concluded on Bionicle Story that would be fine. And while I would still very much like to see that conclusion, I don’t need necessarily need it anymore.
As previously stated, the universe that is Bionicle was, and still is, unique. Even among Lego lines, only Slizers/Throwbots and Roboriders really come close. A hightech people living in an antiqued lifestyle and setting. Every other story theme has been the reverse of that. Ninjago and Nexo Knights are Medieval/Feudal eras and people, but with high tech, Legends of Chima are tribal people with advance tech. They aren’t advance people with antiquated technology living as though they are in that older style. And even when they go full futuristic and high tech, it comes more as an evolution of their original base.
There are plenty of stories to tell in it and it is fun to play around in. It would be neat to see something like it come back and do more with its world as it was never allowed to fully live up to its potential. I don’t believe it can do so with Lego at the helm. Any good story has always been accidental and coincidental with Lego. And while I’d like to see it, or something like it, come back with at least that world design principal, I also don’t believe Lego is capable of doing it.
Theme without stories generally don’t interest me as much. Not always the case, but is a general rule of thumb. And it never takes much to get me really into a theme. I really liked Ultra Agents for example, and there isn’t a whole lot there story wise. A good or fun story can turn me around on themes I otherwise didn’t have much interest in, like Hidden Side. There were only a couple sets in Hidden Side I had considered buying but the shorts and mini-movie convinced me that I wanted the entire line. But it can just as easily destroy my interest if done poorly, like Ninjago. I honestly wanted the Ninjago Movie sets more because film was so not Ninjago it made it more appealing to me.
These days however, I would be more interested in constraction returning. And if Bionicle returning would mean the return of a true constraction system, then it would be worth it. Or even, at the very least, some new theme that uses Technic parts in ways that aren’t currently being done with sets.
If we must separate Lego into a couple pillars, System/Duplo, Technic/Robotics, and Constraction, System is my least favorite of the three. Constraction is my favorite, swiftly followed by Technic. Don’t take this as me hating System, I do love System, Aqua Raiders is one of my favorite themes of all times. And with few exceptions, I do enjoy or like almost every System theme that has come out. But I’m also that weird guy who tends to like the “not Lego” products more. Your Znap, Xalax, Knights Kingdom II, and Galidor, I love them all.
But ultimately, even if I prefer a world and plot more story wise, I enjoy building characters and creatures more. The Minifigure is not a workable substitute for creating custom characters in Lego. And as the years continue, the less and less appeal Minifigures have for me. Not just because lack of complex customization, but availability. When I was growing up, the idea of Superman getting a Minifig was a pipedream and so it was exciting to see him get one. Now? I can’t get excited by a character getting a Minifig, because it seems it will only be a matter of time. The Minifig will come, no need to get worked up.
And since a lot of Lego sets are built around the appeal of Minifigs, most of System has lost its appeal for me. In addition, I find System to be more confusing to build with because of the Minifig. Minifigure scale is oft praised and talked about with sets and MOCs, but can you really tell me what that is? They’re so oddly sized that to make the inside of something scaled to a Minifig relative to a person would make the outside enormous. While making the outside perfect to relative scale makes the inside tiny. It’s something I never figured out, but I guess I’m in the minority on that front.
Thank goodness for Creator though. And when it comes to building larger brick figures…Well, they don’t have the aesthetic appeal to me. I didn’t much care for the Nexo Knight mech suits, I especially don’t like the Marvel ones. I don’t care much for Minecraft, so those figures don’t mean much to me, but I do think they work thanks to their simple blocky nature. It may be possible to build larger figures using Mixel joints and the like, but System is general incapable, especially as presented as sets, to give the same visual appeal to me as Bionicle or Hero Factory. And while I have seen excellent attempts, I think too many compromises have to be made.
I’d like to see BIONICLE return because I’d like to see LEGO to innovate again.
The original idea of BIONICLE was to take Technic, which was basically a vehicle-building system, and use it to make creatures and people. Combine that crazy idea with a deep fantasy story, and they had something really unique.
LEGO were willing to take a last big gamble when they were close to bankruptcy, but now that they are doing well there seems to be no desire to think outside the box. (System sets are mostly vehicles, sometimes mechs, and new themes are minor variations of safe past ideas. G1 BIONICLE evolved into a generic action figure line and the following “constraction” lost out to better traditional action figure lines.) Should the only interesting sets come from Ideas and 18+?
So I’d like to see today’s designers try something a bit different, under LEGO’s most innovative brand name. Maybe revisit the brief of “Technic subtheme of people and creatures” using modern techniques. Mixels, as a rare example of innovation, had a good scale and collectability thing going on so could be another route forward if combined with (non-specialised) Technic components.
And for the record, there are some things I think are common but unrealistic ideas:
- G1 continuation - just doesn’t make business sense, sorry.
- Rereleases of G1 sets / Ideas submissions using G1 parts - the moulds are gone, sorry again.
- Minifig scale theme but with “BIONICLE” story - we have that already, it’s called Ninjago. (Six elemental heroes, yearly bad guys / power-ups, mysterious island etc.)
- New constraction / CCBS “G3” - as far as I can tell, “constraction” as a concept failed commercially. If even the Star Wars IP couldn’t attract enough customers to CCBS, the issue is probably that LEGO can’t hope to compete in the action figure market and should try something more “LEGO” instead.
Working with the understanding that Lego is capable of doing it right the third time around, Bionicle has grand potential for worldbuilding and narrative, and its fundamentals contain the necessary tools for a narrative at least as good (if not better than) the best Transformers series. It has a unique premise and aesthetic, and it can be used to explain very complicated ideas to kids in the way TLA does, especially if certain abandoned story concepts are brought back.
Let’s just take the very earliest building blocks Lego began with. (Not, uh, literally, I mean stuff that Bionicle’s narrative started with.) The Toa were originally going to be seen more as gods to the Matoran, so ask yourself: what if you woke up in a place you didn’t know, with no memories, and the locals showed up and tried to worship you? What if you didn’t agree with their customs or their assumptions about you? What would they do? And what if you had to deal with this while challenging some cosmic horror you’re not even sure the local experts understand?
If Lego doesn’t wanna explore these questions, I will. Probably not as Bionicle fanfiction, but as something I can make money on without getting sued. (Unless it’s legal to run a Patreon for fanfiction?) There’s so much untapped potential in Bionicle that not even G1 managed to properly explore. And G1 proved that it didn’t have to dumb itself down for a young audience–it got edgy and gritty, probably more than it should have, but it got away with it.
Everything Bionicle needs is already there–it just needs to be used.
Why did I read this as “while I have seen excellent armpits?”
I think it’s because Bionicle was a big part of our childhoods, and we feel a lot of nostalgia towards it. Even though it may have ended a long time ago, we can’t change the fact that it happened. It helped influence lots of kids’ childhoods, and it’s a proven fact that a person’s childhood affects them for their entire life.
This is why, I think, so many Bionicle fans feel as strongly about wanting Bionicle back as they do. They have such precious memories that they hold dear, they want more of them. They remember following the stories, they remember buying and playing with the sets, they remember writing up their own stories, they remember playing the online games, and they would like to have those good old days back.
I was born in 2000, and I first got into Bionicle in 2006. I’m too young to have been there from the start. But, without giving away any details about my personal life, I’ve proven to be a pretty sentimental guy. I understand what it’s like to miss the better days that have gone by, and how hard it is to let go of the past. That is why I’m part of the Bionicle fanbase; I sympathize with the older fans’ nostalgia.
Well, that and because I loved Bionicle while it was still going, and I feel some of that nostalgia myself.
And besides, Bionicle is a Lego theme just like Castle, or Pirates, or City. As other users have said…
Everyone in the Lego community has a theme that we feel attached to, whether it’s Ninjago or Hero Factory or Knights’ Kingdom or whatever. I feel attachments to all three of those, plus others. The bottom line is, if people ask us what theme we’d like to see Lego bring back, of course we’re gonna say “I’d like to see [insert name of theme that you’re attached to].” Feeling attached to a long-dead IP is nothing to be ashamed of.
YOU, @Winger, HAVE PUT INTO WORDS WHAT I HAVE BEEN THINKING FOR LITERALLY WEEKS
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS TOPIC
To be honest, I think there’s lots of different reasons why people can’t let Bionicle go. You can make the argument that it’s a unique concept, “robots” in an organic setting, and several people have. And that’s a fair argument. One could also make the argument that that setting is used in
Horizon Zero Dawn
Breath of the Wild
and others, I’m sure.
For others, it’s a compelling story about a hero who has no memory of their past, but is guided towards saving the world to fulfil their destiny; set in an expansive world filled with a myriad of different races with lore galore.
Hello Hollow Knight.
For some it’s fun toys to play around with, and that’s perfectly fair (I miss constraction too), but when you really break it down,
how different are these from a Bionicle set?
My point is that you can find Bionicle in other places, and will continue to see Bionicle in other places. So why do we care so much about Bionicle? I have the belief that it’s because of lack of closure. And not just with the story.
2010 saw a rather unexpected and frankly rushed ending to the franchise, and IMO from a set perspective was not the greatest sendoff to Bionicle. 2011 saw the serials fizzle into oblivion as Greg became unable to write. 2014 came and fans hyped themselves up for something that could never live up to their expectations, and inevitably those hopes were dashed in 2015. 2016, the line was again canceled suddenly and without warning. 2018, we saw the death of constraction with retailers literally refusing to buy Star Wars sets that would not sell.
Bionicle fans have never gotten a true ending. Nothing that felt like, “alright, we can end it here.” And I don’t think we ever will.
I’m going to say something probably controversial, but hear me out.
Bionicle is dead.
And that’s okay.
Like, everyone always talks about keeping Bionicle alive. Why? We don’t need new Bionicle content to be Bionicle fans. We can still look back and say “hey that was pretty neat,” while appreciating other stuff. We can like other games, other books, other toys, because they remind us of Bionicle. I just listed a bunch of things that I like (sans Horizon, haven’t actually played that one) because they remind me of Bionicle, consciously or subconsciously. We don’t need to tether ourselves to something we’ll likely never see (in a way we like) ever again.
I’m not saying the Bionicle community should dissolve, or even that we should stop talking about Bionicle, because we’re still fans and always will be. I just think that we can stop being militant about bringing it back. We don’t need new Bionicle. We just gotta look for the Bionicle in other places.
This leaves out one important factor: Bionicle put these things together and explored them in the way that only Bionicle can. HK is brilliant, but it explores its mysteries in a radically different format, and the setting itself is radically different. HZD is a game about a human in a world we somewhat recognize, and LoZ is about a human(oid) in a conventional (though not cliche) fantasy world; Bionicle omits any creatures we’d recognize, substituting them for near-machine equivalents at best. Obduction is more about settings and worlds than its strange inhabitants from what I can tell. And that’s not really getting into all the more specific facets of the lore, aesthetic, and narrative that went into making the line what it was.
What if I want all the things Bionicle was at once? What if something is more than just the sum of its parts? There are pieces of Bionicle in other places, but like Lego itself, they are not Bionicle until put together. Were there a clear spiritual successor or other medium’s worth of Bionicle to engage with, your point would be stronger, but there’s a big reason why Bionicle had the impact it did: it was unique, and to this day, there’s nothing quite like it.
Given that it’s made by the Myst people, that’s almost certainly the case.
Another factor that wasn’t really considered with those examples is that all of them (except Hollow Knight, I believe, though I haven’t played it) take place in a world that involves humans or human-like characters. Bionicle is a rare example of a fictional world untouched by “humanity” and that aspect seems to appeal to a lot of fans because it’s so rare in fiction (and, obviously, nonexistent in non-fiction. )
That said, though I’m not convinced by the examples, I do agree with the general point Slime is making about being able to appreciate something that’s not actively running or “alive” so to speak. The things we loved about Bionicle become no less true merely because they are older.
I think Slime’s point accounts for this. He recognizes that, despite all those individual components being elsewhere, there’s nothing exactly like Bionicle. And that’s okay. That’s good even. Because Bionicle will always be there for you to go back to. But we don’t need Bionicle itself to be back.
I personally believe that there’s no real way for Bionicle to be “alive” again in the modern day. I just don’t think there’s any sort of way that the fanbase would accept that would actually sell. Lego’s proven that a hard reboot doesn’t exactly work perfectly, and a soft one would need to carry that baggage to truly appeal to older fans, but couldn’t actually do anything with it to draw in new ones. Just continuing the story would lead to unsatisfying conclusions and wouldn’t draw in any new fans. I think Bionicle is stronger for its ending, even if I think Greg disrupted that by starting the serials.
Honestly, and I made a whole topic exploring this, Hollow Knight has a very similar story and world to Bionicle in a lot of ways. I only focused on my main point there, and left out a few parallels because touching on them would have been distracting, and I think the thing that generates the strongest parallels is just that idea of this world being human-less, at least from what we can see. If you like Bionicle’s ideas and themes, then HK plays with them a lot, in a world that has just as much lore and history as Bionicle’s. I highly recommend it.
They haven’t. One thing that doesn’t get acknowledged enough when looking at G2’s failures is that, outside of about a third to half of their sets being really good, it sucked. G1’s story had holes aplenty, but G2 gave the audience next to nothing to sink their teeth into, and the poor marketing and presentation ultimately killed it. The issue is not Bionicle itself, but the lack of care that went into it. Had it gotten the same support G1 did, it would have at least been successful enough to warrant the full 3 years.