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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Review with Pizzazz: Transformation Tuesday

Review with Pizzazz: Transformation Tuesday

Boss Bot here again, with another quick review.  Today we’ll be looking at one of the Wave II Deluxe figures, Offroad.

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Offroad is the oddball-out of his Stunticon comrades. Offroad is a totally new character, with paint resemblance to a G1 Stunticon. Offroad is a pretty cool design on his own and works fairly well as a limb (either arm or leg). He’ll set you back anywhere from $14-$20 (here’s looking at you, Toys ‘R’ Us). Is he worth the money? Here’s my two cents:

Pros:

  • Fun Transformation- It’s relatively simple (which is a con for some), but gets the job done and does it well
  • Good Design- Again, he’s fairly simple (which is something I enjoy), has good articulation, and I love his head sculpt. In my opinion, it’s a good mold all around.

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  • New Character- For reasons I don’t understand, people are actually upset we have a new character. Rather than getting constant updates of 30+ year old G1 figures, we finally get something new and cool. I certainly give Hasbro props for finally trying to change things up in Generations (still waiting for Beast Wars Anniversary toys…).

Cons:

  • Backpack- The backpack/front of the truck can get in the way a bit in robot mode and is fairly chunky
  • Legs- The way his legs transform/are designed is a bit odd to me. The knees don’t always stay tabbed in with the lower leg and it can be a bit frustrating at times, when posing.

Overall, Offroad is pretty fun and for me, definitely worth it. Wouldn’t pay the $20 that Toy ‘R’ Us is charging for him, but anything lower is definitely reasonable. His backpack and legs are the only big negatives I can think of, but the good outweighs the bad. He’s a solid toy overall. Despite angering “Geewunners” (not G1 fans, but simply the ones who can’t accept the existence of a new character), he’s fun. Not perfect by any means, but a fun, solid toy.

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