Bionicle discontinued after 2010 [News]

LEGO has just announced that 2010 will be the last year for new Bionicle sets; starting summer 2010 a new line of similar buildable figures will be released. This will mark the end of nine years since the arrival of the first Toa in 2001. Below is the official announcement from LEGO:

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

21 comments on “Bionicle discontinued after 2010 [News]

  1. cjedwards47

    The third-party property starting in January is obviously Ben 10. I got a chance to see the Ben 10 figures a few days ago (prototypes, anyway). They’re about the same size as Bionicle figures. They use the same ball joints as Bionicle, but the pieces are more solid-looking (i.e., not full of technic holes and other gaps). There’s a standard torso with bar-sized holes in various places so that spikes or other things can be attached (in fact, there were at least two new small spike parts in different shapes).
    It’s hard to say what the Bionicle-haters will think of it. The parts are still more like Bionicle than Galidor. It will be interesting to see what directions LEGO goes with it after Ben 10. The mention of a wider range of ages makes me think some of the figures will have more complicated construction, maybe with more System elements thrown in the mix.

  2. JDHinten

    I’m somewhat disappointed by this. Despite what some people have always thought, Bionicle has, if nothing else, provided many interesting pieces that are almost always System compatible. Ben 10, on the other hand, looks alot different. Based on what I’ve seen, although the pieces are Bionicle-esque, the sets themselves still look way too much like just another Galidor. Oh well…

  3. Brady G

    I wonder why they still target children, producing lines based off of American children’s shows. Didn’t TLG say; “LEGO is a building toy for all ages..” I mean, put aside shaming down LEGO’s 2nd most popular line, heck, why not they make a substitute from a terrible TV show? I saw an episide when I came down to your little country, and man, was it terrible! What are TV producers pumping into your kid’s heads? I grew up with Discovery channel, not TV shows where some kid can turn into an Alien by whacking his watch! Goodness, LEGO is going over the side here. Sure, we all stick to the internet, but look what they’re doing. They’re falling into the same trap Jim Davis fell into. Movies, TV shows, publicity gimmics, clothing, tablewere… what next? Cereal?

  4. Fred

    I was never a fan but, I was under the impression from Financial reports that it was a strong line -especially over seas. It’ll be interesting to see what fills it’s place. Maybe something a little closer to traditional Lego to help broaden appeal from one line to the next. I’m glad a have a healthy collection of bionicle parts. They occasionally have their place in a MOC or now, in history.

  5. Benjamin P

    Bionicle is my favorite theme, and I am sad to hear that it is being discontinued. But I trust LEGO in their decisions to continue making quality toys.
    I hope the new sets can be integrated with Bionicle as well as Bionicle can be integrated into the System, etc.
    The “younger audience” thing irks me a little, as the target audience is already near the beginning age range.
    As for Ben 10: it has no relation to Bionicle and LEGO’s decisions, as far as I am told. Also, not many Bionicle fans (or at least BZPower from what I can tell) are too excited for that theme. As someone pointed out, those sets are a bunch of big, bulky pieces attached to a torso, even more-so than what Bionicle seems to be.
    Brady: After sifting through your ranting, let me say that, as I said, Ben 10 isn’t the new Bionicle. Also, LEGO has done many licensed products: Star Wars and Indiana Jones being popular among us AFOLs, but Sponge Bob, which is not to my tastes, are popular among the younger audience, etc. (LEGO also did some Discovery stuff with Space.)
    In the end, what it comes down to, is patience. Also, buying what interests you and letting others (even us Bionicle fans, or the Ben 10 fans) buy their own sets.

  6. Creative Anarchy

    I never had anything good to say about Bionicle during it’s time amoung us. It went from headscratch to boggle to annoyance to frustration. I never bought bionicle even from the bargin bin when they were under 2 bucks. I just couldn’t see the benifit of overspecialized technic pieces that riddled the figures. Over time I’ve seen bionicle used very creatively in a lot of MOCs but still no appeal. Still I’m sorry to see them go. I think the line fosterred a lot more creativity than what is following in it’s wake. It’s my hope that Lego will understand that children still need to create and that the company that defined the building block has an obligation to give them better tools to do so.

  7. LegoFace42

    Wow…Brady G. you must be so smart only watching Discovery Channel growing up. Us Americans in our (as you say)’little country’ strickly make our children watch Ben 10. Yes, that’s all we watch don’t you know. Funny though this Discovery Channel that you’ve watched and molded your mind was founded by an American, John Hendricks. Hmmm…funny.

  8. 55555

    Two things are being changed here, the sets and the story.

    The sets are being changed into two lines, which seems to me to be an expansion of BIONICLE style sets in general. But the line we’ve seen so far looks really simplistic, even compared to the more basic BIONICLE sets, so let’s hope the other line is tilted towards an older audience. All I want from sets really, is good MOCing parts, which I’m not really seeing in Ben 10.

    Then there’s the story. The story can only really get better, seeing the limitations that will be removed now that Lego is no longer marketing sets through it. I’m really looking forward to future developments.

    Also, to those of you who disliked BIONICLE from the first, I really don’t see what you have to complain about. The line had decent to great storyline, and amazing parts for MOCing, what more could you ask? The parts are awesome, and as Creative Anarchy says above, they have been used very creatively over the years. Just look up the 50-ish MOC contests there have been on BZPower if you disagree with that.

    Overall, this will be nothing but good if we can continue to get good Technic-BIONICLE style parts, and if Greg Farshtey lives up to my expectations in the future storyline.

  9. greenglo

    I am at a loss of words for how idiotic Brady’s comment is. I will forever wish I had never read LegoFace42′s reply, forcing me to go back and reread Brady’s mind fart.

    Why can’t trolls stay under bridges?

  10. gambort

    LegoFace42> Brady G may be from Canada in which case the US is a ‘little country’. His frothing rant style suggests that he’s a native English speaker so I won’t list the other countries bigger than the US.

  11. David4

    Party at my house where everyone can bring the useless Bionicle pieces they got through the years and throw them in a huge fire! :)

    I see Bionicle coming back in 2011 once whatever they plan on replacign it with fails. lol

  12. Dablackcat

    I actually glad to hear this :D. Bionicle’s glory days ended in 2005. Everything after was just kicking the corpse of a dead theme. The story begins to make less and less sense with each comic. Thank you lego. now come out with something cooler. (Hint: IT’S NOT BEN 10!!!!)

  13. Brady G

    …Mind fart?
    *Rereads comment*
    Well, you may have a point there. But really, would that justify CN’s attempt at children’s television? Sure, the kids love it, that’s why our freind Sean’s site is falling apart.
    Not the first time I’ve been mocked for calling US a small country. You guys seem so patriotic aboot it, defending it in every way possible. Does the size give a part in the power? Well, let’s take a look at Iraq. They’re a small (ish) country, and look at the casualty rate they’re inflicting on your guys’… Er, I’ll shut up now, before this gets too far. (o_o”)

  14. peterlmorris

    Is it China and Russia?

    Brady G’s took-covered ramblings aside, it seems like I’m one of the few AFOLs actually encouraged by this news. I never liked Bionicle save for a few of the parts (a very few), and I’m interested to see what kind of train wreck replaces it.

    Because it’s fun to watch trains wreck.

  15. Catsy

    Kinda right there with you, Peter. I never much cared for Bionicle, though my son likes it. It did result in a number of interesting pieces entering System usage to good effect, so I won’t entirely dismiss it.

    Everything I’ve heard about Ben 10 has Fail written all over it. With that said, I hated the Power Miners when I first saw them and now it’s one of my favorite themes, so who knows.

  16. Cpt. Mayhem

    this is some major bull$#! . I used to play with this stuff all the time. Now im going to need to buy everything online for like $50.

  17. frosto_m

    Hey, if any of you bionicle users, like Cpt. Mayhem want tons of bionicles I would be happy to give them to you. I’ve got more than I could ever need.

  18. legomaster4est

    I for one have heard ENOUGH!! Seriosly, I love bionicle. And I know tons of people who would agree when I say bionicle rocks! And brady G, there is something seriosly wrong with you if you think Ben 10 is dum. But I agree ,lego is going over the edge if they think THAT will replace BIONICLE. And if I had to choose between BIONICLE and Ben 10, I would choose bionicle in a heartbeat.

  19. Matt

    This news is sad to me. I’ve been a big big fan of Bionicles and still is.
    I have at least one from every series. After a while, I got bored of the ones from the box,so after I took them all apart. Then after I made my own. In my version of them, here are the names of the good ones.

    Jaden: color white and black element air,wind and gust.
    Lance: color red and black element Fire
    Chainaex: color green and grey element earth
    Spinlea: color yellow element earth
    Reaf: color gold and gray element all (mask of light) or is it mask of life
    Evil ones
    The hole reaper group
    The hole destoyers of the world group
    The nobodies ( over 100 of those )

    hopfully bionicles will come back soon

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