Looks like the re-launch of LEGO BIONICLE didn’t go as well as the LEGO company and original BIONICLE fans had hoped for. A few days ago it was announced on the LEGO BIONICLE website and the official LEGO BIONICLE Facebook page that the theme will be discontinued by the end of this year. Below is the full announcement, so we can discuss…
The Conclusion of “The Journey to One” marks the end for LEGO BIONICLE Generation 2
Fans, today we have to share the news with you that we have made the tough decision to discontinue LEGO BIONICLE at the end of 2016. NETFLIX has just started streaming the final two episodes of “The Journey to One” the ending of which, will put an end to any speculation about the future of LEGO BIONICLE.
With the 2015 re-launch of LEGO BIONICLE, we set out to revive a childhood favorite of fans worldwide, and bring it to a new group of children who were too young to have known and played with LEGO BIONICLE Generation 1. From your wonderful feedback over the last year, we feel very proud to have performed that task. Currently, the last wave of LEGO BIONICLE products is launching in Europe and North America. These products will, however, not reach the shelves in Asia and the Pacific markets.
Next up is the #BIONICLEbuildmakuta ReBrick Contest, starting August 1st, that will give you a chance to compete for some unique prizes. All you have to do is to give us your best shot at the Evil Overlord himself. Through the rest of the year, we will keep sharing artwork and other things that may be of interest to you on LEGO.com/bionicle and facebook.com/LEGOBionicle.
On behalf of the LEGO BIONICLE team we would like to say that it has been absolutely thrilling to work on a theme that evokes so much interest, dedication and emotion. We would like to thank you for taking in LEGO BIONICLE Generation 2 and sharing all your builds, stories, artwork, joy, criticism and praise. By doing so you have not only expanded the universe but also made the amazing BIONICLE community even stronger and more amazing. We are confident that you will ensure that BIONICLE lives on.
The BIONICLE Team
Based on the feedback I have read on Facebook, the announcement was quite a shock for LEGO BIONICLE fans. But in many ways the writing was on the wall. LEGO BIONICLE was one of the most successful product lines by LEGO between 2001 and 2010. After much begging and prodding by original fans, LEGO BIONICLE was rebooted in 2015. While Generation 2 had some good updates and upgrades, it never really satisfied the nostalgia of old fans, nor did it grab the imagination of younger kids the way Generation 1 did in its era.
I believe that the lack of sufficient marketing also played a role in BIONICLE Generation 2 not catching on. At least in my area only one store carries BIONICLE sets with any kind of consistency. And kids are mostly preoccupied by toys based on licensed franchises like Star Wars, Super Heroes and digital games. LEGO also has been releasing an unusually large number of sets and themes (both franchised and their own lines), resulting in LEGO fans having to plan and budget more carefully. Thus it seems like BIONICLE sort of fell through the cracks.
I also wonder how this will bode for other LEGO sets and themes that fans have been asking for LEGO to bring back, like LEGO Classic Space, LEGO Classic Castle, and Monorail. I remember reading that LEGO tends to shy away from re-releases because they usually don’t do well. No matter how loud and demanding fans are, the failure of LEGO BIONICLE (which was undoubtedly the strongest candidate for a re-launch), only reinforces LEGO’s belief that bringing back retired sets and themes is a bad idea.
LEGO BIONICLE however won’t go out without a bang. As you can read in the announcement above, LEGO is running on awesome contest on ReBrick, to build the evil overlord himself. The Makuta Challenge runs until September 1st, and the prizes include the entire 2015-2016 LEGO BIONICLE collection, and a limited edition LEGO BIONICLE Art Book signed by the LEGO BIONICLE team. In the video below you can watch the introduction to the contest, and you can also read the full description, rules and other details on LEGO ReBrick.
While the LEGO BIONICLE saga is ending abruptly, it did introduce some very interesting pieces into the LEGO Constaction Figure line that I hope LEGO designers will continue to use. Even if you are not into LEGO BIONICLE, the pieces are great for giving some interesting details to your LEGO models. Most of the LEGO BIONICLE sets are on sale (and will probably continue to be on sale until they are all gone), so if you would like to get some, you can find them under the LEGO BIONICLE section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? Do you believe that LEGO could have done something differently to make the LEGO BIONICLE more successful? Why do you think the reboot failed? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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