Reviews with Pizzazz: Bionicle 2015 is Officially Canceled by Lego

Boss-Bot covers the recent cancellation of Bionicle 2015:

To much widespread disappointment across the Bionicle community, Lego has officially given the 2015 reboot of the franchise the axe.  This is incredibly disappointing.  I can’t stop using that word: disappointing.  Bionicle was and is a huge part of my life, personally.  I got my first set of Mata Lewa back in 2001 at a local carnival.  I was a fan of the original run of the franchise.  That being said, the Glatorian years definitely were a turn off, but when the STARS were released in 2010, I was devastated that the line had been canceled.  When rumors of the line surfaced in the summer of 2014, I was so excited.  I relied on Target and Toys R Us who often put the sets out a few days or weeks before the official release date to provide me with my first sets of each wave of the reboot.  But, enough of my story.

The official reason of the reboot’s cancellation according to Lego’s official Twitter page is that it was cut for financial reasons.  With mixed reports of the line’s sales, it could be interpreted that it ended because it did not sell enough.  If this is the case, it sadly makes a lot of sense.  Aside from the commercials in late 2014 and early 2015 for the initial relaunch of the line, Bionicle Generation 2 never saw much promotion.  Thankfully, the reboot had several books and graphic novels, as well as convention and other event exclusive masks in 2015; not to mention the four episode Netflix series.  But Hero Factory, I shudder writing this, had an animated series on Nicktoons with a much longer run than Netflix’s Journey to One Bionicle series.  Even then, this Netflix series was barely advertised.  The main reason Bionicle 2015 did not sell well, if that is the case, is because it seems Lego did not try to promote it.  The logical assumption is that Lego expected such a previously successful theme, which essentially saved the Lego Company in the early 2000’s, to do well on its own.  While old fans from those years were most likely a good factor of Generation 2’s sales, the entire concept of attracting a new generation was ignored.  Rather than relying on social media activity, Lego needed to do more television spots and promotion to make the reboot succeed.  Bionicle’s first run from 2001-2010 was unique for using online promotion and websites especially in the early years, as the connection between toys and the internet was rare.  Bionicle was groundbreaking in using the internet to advertise and support the line; but in this new generation, nearly every toy line does.  Relying on social media and the internet to market is no longer unique.  The fact that Lego dropped the ball advertising for the relaunch sadly sealed the line’s fate.

I wish Lego didn’t cancel the line before the planned 2017 conclusion to the current story.  In 2015, it was confirmed the story would last three years, through 2017.  This means that an entire year of planned story has been scrapped.  The ideas of the Mask of Time and the potential connection between the Generation 2 and Generation 1 universe are apparently never to surface.  What truly does not make sense to me is that only a few days before today’s cancellation, Lego announced a Bionicle Makuta building contest; they even showed off models of Makuta.  I do not understand why Lego would show off the Journey to One Makuta set, if it will not see the light of day.  All in all, this news is incredibly disappointing.  I sincerely hope Lego considers sharing the rest of the potential 2017 story as well as the instructions for the Makuta sets shown off in the contest video.  Considering Bionicle was brought back once, I am sure somewhere down the line we’ll see it again.  Remember, after Transformers Generation 1 ended Hasbro launched Transformers Generation 2.  Transformers Generation 2 bombed and the franchise was thought to be buried.  But, only a few years later, Beast Wars Transformers was released and the franchise was revived for years to come.  I must thank Lego for relaunching Bionicle in 2015 and giving fans memories and a happiness that will not die.  To conclude, in the words of South Park’s loveable Butter, “’Well yeah, and I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness.’”

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