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The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Though we don't cover them in detail on FBTB, we all still love our Castle, Pirates, and Space LEGO too.

The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Staff » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:35 pm

It is the the end of an era. January's Bionicle assortment to be the last:


Dear BIONICLE Fans,



In reviewing the business across all of its play patterns and properties, the LEGO Group faced a tough question: should we take on a new creative challenge in the world of buildable figures that we pioneered in 2001?



BIONICLE re-invented the way consumers think of and play with the LEGO system. Through many chapters of compelling story and innovative product development, BIONICLE became a very strong property and an important part of The LEGO Group’s business. We think there is a significant opportunity to grow the buildable figure category, but it will take a more flexible platform that appeals to a wider range of ages through a variety of different entry points than BIONICLE has proven to deliver.



The easy decision would be to stick with a known entity in BIONICLE; but as history has proven, The LEGO Group achieves its greatest success by embracing the uncertainty that innovation brings. After all, BIONICLE almost never launched because it was such a big risk to the company’s way of doing business.



Because you have been such an important part of building the BIONICLE franchise and have been among its most valued fans, we are writing to tell you that the six BIONICLE Stars launching in January will be the last BIONICLE sets for the foreseeable future. Beginning in summer 2010, The LEGO Group will debut a new, more flexible buildable figure property created by the same people who brought you BIONICLE. At the same time, we are also expanding the category to appeal to a younger audience through an established third-party property, starting in January.



Since its beginning, BIONICLE has reflected the union of great product and a compelling story. Although there presently are no plans for more sets, the BIONICLE story is not ending. BIONICLEstory.com will remain an active site, with new story content updated by long-time BIONICLE writer Greg Farshtey. In addition, LEGO Group hopes to work with you, the fans, to continue to grow and expand the BIONICLE story universe.



This was an extremely difficult decision for all involved. But as seen in the tales of the Toa, striving for success in any mission requires imagination, new ways of thinking, and the willingness to take risks. We hope you will share the same level of enthusiasm we have for our plans for the buildable figure category.



We invite you to remain a part of the BIONICLE universe—a universe you have helped to build, and that we are confident that you will continue to build—in the future. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the BIONICLE and LEGO brands.



With our very best regards,

Jan Faltum, Global BIONICLE Director

Lincoln Armstrong, Senior Brand Manager, BIONICLE Team Member since 2002

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Permalink: http://www.fbtb.net/2009/11/24/the-end-of-an-era-bionicle-to-end-january-2010/
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby KarolRabalski » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:56 pm

Excuse me for offending anyone with this wall post...

BUT THANK GOD!

Bionicle was getting really...too much and iffy.
I stopped following the story around the time when they changed artists and started with the Piraka. It was pretty good artistry, and the story was decent, but then it was just the same old stuff over and over and over again.

I understand that this was a huge project for LEGO, and sold very well, but the story just kept going and going and really had no point, and I was just too old for it. The models got too fancy and big and expensive, and came with too many features and bricks anyone could create from their previous Bionicle models.

For anyone that did like it, I think it's great that they're continuing the story and stuff online, it gives hardcore fans a chance to experience more story, and imagine their own action.

So again, excuse me if you guys really enjoyed Bionicle, but I knew this was coming. Had to happen soon.
Future prospects? Maybe LEGO has some really great ideas up their sleeves, so we should be looking forward to the end of Bionicle as well.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Daz Hoo » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:07 pm

I'm not a fan of the BIONICLE line, far from it. But ending this serie is, IMHO, a really gutsy move by LEGO. BIONICLE is very popular among pre-teen boys, and the line kinda saved LEGO (along with the Star Wars line) back when the company was in trouble financially.

Replacing BIONICLE with another action figure theme is taking a risk. So I gotta say that I, for one, am impressed.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Morgan19 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:21 pm

Interesting that they're saying it'll be replaced by similar third-party "action" figures... Surely that's not Ben10 or Toy Story?

I won't miss the line itself one bit, but (assuming the style of parts disappears too) I'll miss some of the crazy pieces Bionicle's introduced over the years.

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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Jargon » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:21 pm

Thank you LEGO.
I'm not a mindless Bionicle-hater (I was, for a while, a fan). But the story and products stopped being compelling about four years ago. I hope that the freshness and quality of the original Bionicle lineup will be brought to a new theme.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Tyrant » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:21 pm

Reading between the lines (unless I missed it actually being stated in the article), I assume the "established third party property" is the Ben 10 license? They look to be "acting figure like" sets, so I am assuming that is it. I am curious about the summer project. I bought a few of the Bionicle sets a while ago and I thought they were alright. They weren't really for me, but I know they apparently sell pretty well. I can only hope whatever replaces them is as big a hit for them.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Draykov » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:24 pm

Jan Faltum wrote:Beginning in summer 2010, The LEGO Group will debut a new, more flexible buildable figure property created by the same people who brought you BIONICLE. At the same time, we are also expanding the category to appeal to a younger audience through an established third-party property, starting in January.


I wonder if that latter reference is to Ben 10 (the former reference being goodness knows what)...

Oh, well. I liked Bionicle solely for what it did to keep LEGO going. I imagine any future "buildable figure" lines will be similar, so we'll still have weird bendy parts coming into the inventory. All in all, interesting news, but it won't affect the way I collect LEGO outside of what affects it has on the company as a whole...which is a longer way of saying I don't really care much about Bionicle.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby irmasturcheeflol » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:39 pm

I for one am sad BIONICLE is ending. Even after I stopped buying the figures I always had a soft spot for them, even after they started getting too far fetched. I was always happy they did so well, after being a mega-fan when I was younger I could understand the delight the line brought to kid's. So RIP BIONICLE. :(
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Lt. Kettch » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:28 pm

I'm just sad they chose to end it this year instead of last year, one year into what was meant to be a whole new story arc. That means we'll get some half-arsed attempts to tie up loose ends and a totally unsatisfying ending to what could have been a reasonable story.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby THX 1138 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:48 pm

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I was a fan a couple times, but am not currently. It has been going downhill lately (although the vehicles look pretty cool) but most of the figures themselves haven't looked all that good. I'm worried that the license will be replaced by Ben 10, which, in my opinion, is one of the worst lines Lego has ever done. I doubt Bionicle fans (or at least the older ones) will take this very well. Bionicle's demise is reminding me of Exo-Force. It started out great and popular, but by the final year (in my opinion, at least) it wasn't all that good, and there wasn't much of a story, which I doubt there will be for Bionicle.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby onions » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:34 pm

Let me put all rumors to rest, and i'll use red, big font, and blink to let you know i'm serious:

BEN 10 WILL NOT REPLACE BIONICLE. THERE WILL BE A NEW LINE BY LEGO TO REPLACE BIONICLE.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby banthafodder » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:49 pm

^ So just what are you trying to say. Could you make it a little clearer. :)
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby RocketClone » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:06 pm

Like the big bold red letters werent clear enough let me say this, The bionicle line will be replaced by something that is (hopefully) better than bionicle.
(Insert funny sig later)
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby onions » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:15 pm

RocketClone wrote:Like the big bold red letters werent clear enough let me say this, The bionicle line will be replaced by something that is (hopefully) better than bionicle.



i realize the facepalm smiley has been used, abused, and overworked, but seriously:

:facepalm:

banthafodder was kidding.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby meeotch » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:32 pm

Bye-bye-onical?

And that'll be tree-fiddy, Ace.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby fredjh » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:47 pm

I'm honestly greatly saddened. I feel really disappointed in LEGO these past few years; discontinued my beloved 9V trains, and just when my son started really getting into Bionicle (he bought two sets last Sunday), they discontinue that... on top of raising prices (despite profits that outpaced sales), and it's getting harder to remain a fan, always lurking and waiting for sales.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Draykov » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:07 pm

onions wrote:i realize the facepalm smiley has been used, abused, and overworked, but seriously:


I think that one was certainly warranted. I've got an avatar idea: a clone watching a rocket fly right over his head.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby ThinkingImpaired » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:18 pm

I thought the first 6 were pretty cool in 2001. Then the next 6 weren't bad. Then the 6 after that were decent. Then when the next 6 came out I gave up....I'm afraid to ask how many there are now, but it's about time this line ends.
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Robzula » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:33 pm

Honestly, the new Glatorians aside, Bionicle only grew story-wise in my opinion. The undwater series actually had some pretty deep emotional parts. I'm sad to see the toy ending even though I don't collect anymore. They are still planning on keeping the story going still, correct?
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Re: The End of an Era: Bionicle To End January 2010

Postby Erahtapivar » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:35 am

I have one word to say: YES!

Ok, never mind, more words: I was never a fan of Bionicle. The whole idea and concept was, in my opinion, weak and sort of childish. Also, the whole thing with the Technic-like parts never really had me interested.
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