Media

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Media

From its outset in 2001, the BIONICLE storyline has been told through a plethora of Media. Debuting in an Online Game and later appearing in a series of Comics, Books, Movies, and Animations, the BIONICLE franchise has utilized many forms of consumer-oriented media.

Media Types

Websites

The main BIONICLE website, Bionicle.com, was launched in 2001 to promote the line. Since then, LEGO has also utilized numerous microsites, occasionally hosted by other companies, when distributing specialized types of media.

Video Games

The Mata Nui Online Game II

Many types of video games supplementing the line have been released; one of the first BIONICLE media was the Mata Nui Online Game, a Flash-based web game with puzzle and adventure elements. There have been three major online games, as well as numerous home and handheld console experiences.

For BIONICLE's reboot in 2015, video games came in the form of smartphone apps.

Comics

Comics have appeared as a visual media for BIONICLE starting in 2001, with the first comic written by story written by Greg Farshtey and art by Carlos D'Anda and Randy Elliott. The series went through a number of different artists during its tenure, including Stuart Sayger in 2006 and 2007, Leigh Gallagher in 2008, and Pop Mhan in 2009.

Movies and Animations

Animations have been used in BIONICLE to promote sets, the storyline, and other BIONICLE-related material. Many animations were created by ADVANCE and Ghost.

BIONICLE's first generation had four direct-to-DVD movies made for it: a trilogy of movies from 2003-2005, created by Miramax and Creative Capers, and a fourth in 2009 by Tinseltown Toons. The second generation featured a 3D television streaming series on Netflix, The Journey to One.

Books

BIONICLE books made their debut in mid-2003, with a series initially written by Cathy Hapka before being taken over by Greg Farshtey. They were published by Scholastic in the U.S. and Harper Collins Children Books in the U.K. In 2015, a new series debuted, written by Ryder Windham and published by Little, Brown and Company.

Competitions

LEGO has periodically hosted contests featuring BIONICLE, dating back to the innagural year. Many contests in the earlier years featured celebrity endorsements, such as Andy Macdonald's skateboarding tour, or the All-American Rejects starring in the Free The Band campaign.

Tours

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Other

Card Games

The original BIONICLE Trading Card Game appeared in 2001, followed by one expansion pack as well as three other games.

Board Games

Seven BIONICLE board games were released during the first generation of BIONICLE. The first was released in 2001, the second and third (which was based on the first movie) in 2003, and one per year through 2007.

CDs

Promotional CDs were inserted in sets for many years, starting with the Toa Mata Mini Promo CD. They contain information about the set, including promotional videos and biographies of the characters.

Desktop Toys

Desktop screenmates which featured Takua, Tahu and Bohrok, were originally made downloadable on BIONICLE.com.

An example of the desk toys

Fan Community

The characters, themes, and settings of BIONICLE have inspired a dedicated fan community, one that grew to be able to interact with the creators and writers of the series.

Websites

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There are many notable fan websites that serve different community subsets, ranging in scope from local to global. Below is a list of some of the most prominent ones:

Fan-made Storyline Additions

There have been a few occurrences in which author Greg Farshtey has turned to the online fan community to create official storyline, or BZPower and BIONICLEsector01 has held competitions where Greg has approved that winners will be accepted into the official canon. These contests are as follows:

BZPower

  • Storyline and Theories Contest #1: Treespeak in Metru Nui - BZPower members were given the chance to create a name for Treespeak in Le-Metru, as the name "Treespeak" did not make sense in an urban area that lacked trees. The winning phrase was "Chutespeak".
  • Bohrok Short Story Contest - Members were tasked with writing a short story to explain the appearance of Bohrok when the Toa Metru were on their return journey from Mata Nui to Metru Nui (as seen in BIONICLE: Maze of Shadows). The winning story was "Protection" by InnerRayg.
  • Storyline and Theories Contest #2: A Thousand Years Untold - In 2006, BZPower was once again given the chance to create storyline in the form of a short story. The task was to create three short stories, one for each spotlight island (Mata Nui, Metru Nui, Voya Nui), describing what took place on each of these lands 500 years after the Great Cataclysm. The winning stories were: "Hope" by Lady Kopaka (Voya Nui Category), "Tentacles" by Turakii #1 Lavasurfer (Mata Nui Category) and "The Dweller Report" by SPIRIT (Metru Nui Category).
  • The Next Chronicler - In 2007, Greg Farshtey presented the opportunity to BZPower members to pick the next Chronicler of Metru Nui, since that previous Chronicler, Hahli, had become a Toa. The winning Matoran was Kopeke, and his first appearance as Chronicler came in BIONICLE Legends 8: Downfall.
  • Storyline and Theories Contest #4: Xian Weapons! - BZPower held a contest where the entrants were to design a weapon that could be produced on Xia. There were three categories; art, description and MOC, as well as three sub-categories within art; hand-drawn, computer and other. The five winners of each category (in art, two each for hand-drawn and computer and one for other) were accepted into the BIONICLE official universe. The contest is also BZP's first Expanded Universe Contest, and so all entries that were approved to go to the polls were also considered a part of their Expanded Universe. The winning entries are the Devastator, Earth Claw, Electro Chute Blade, Lightstone Rifle, Energy Siphon Blade, Eccentric Rock, Impact Crystal Launcher, Griffin Gauntlet, Hagah Plasma Cannon, Firework Revolver, Twilight Blade, Judgement Cannon, Vortixx Rhotuka Battle Axe, Energy Extraction Rifle, and Kanoka Blade.
  • Trinuma's Mask - Greg Farshtey launched a contest in 2010 where BZPower members could suggest titles and powers for Trinuma's mask; the winner was determined by a poll. The powers of the winning entry, the "Mask of Zealotry," were approved as canon, although the mask was renamed to the Mask of Charisma.
  • Name That GB - In the third chapter of The Yesterday Quest, an unknown character was revealed to be a Great Being in disguise. To coincide with the revelation, Greg Farshtey started a contest on BZPower, asking members to post their suggestions for who it is with arguments for why it is that character. He was originally to select the winning post based on the arguments provided, and distribute a prize. However, the storyline was left open in the wake of other projects, and the serials themselves remain unfinished. When contacted by BZPower member and BS01 user Erebus in 2012, Greg Farshtey revealed that the intended character was Velika.[1]

Official Greg Discussion

On BZPower, members would regularly ask Greg Farshtey questions concerning storyline via the personal messaging service (compiled in their "Official Greg Discussion" topic (19 March 2003 - 31 January 2008) and its subsequent incarnations, "Official Greg Dialogue" (31 January 2008 - 9 September 2010) and "Official Greg Quotes" (9 September 2010 - 13 April 2011). On occasion, members came up with suggestions for small additions to the canon, although few were accepted. Such additions include the naming of Toa Naho, Nektann, Tridax, and the Toa Mangai, the recanonization of the Kewa and Kahu, the identification of an unnamed Mata Nui Online Game character as Midak, the combination of the shape-shifting Dark Hunter featured in The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet and Triglax, a number of Kanohi, and the element of Psionics. However, Greg and the BZP staff had emphasized that he only accepts such fan submissions on rare occasions and that members were not to flood his personal messenger inbox with suggestions; as of March 4, 2011, LEGO had its policy changed so that members under the age of thirteen cannot ask Greg questions, ending the interaction.

BIONICLE Story Squad

On April 13, 2010, BZPower developed a group of members called the BIONICLE Story Squad to handle and coordinate members' suggestions to Greg. BZPower members were advised to approach Story Squad members, rather than Greg himself, with their suggestions. This system continued until BZPower's server crash.

BIONICLEsector01

  • Certavus Contest - During the course of March and April 2009, BIONICLEsector01 ran a contest to build Certavus, a famed Glatorian fighter who had died from natural causes. The winning model, created by Brickeens was accepted into storyline canon as the official representation of Certavus.
  • Core War Contest - In late 2009, BIONICLESector01 ran a contest to create a short story about the Core War. The winning entry, Decadence, written by BIONICLESector01 Staff Member Dorek, won and was accepted into official canon.
  • Alternate Teridax Contest - BIONICLESector01 held a contest in early 2010 to create a MOC representation of the Teridax of the Melding Alternate Universe. The winning model, created by BZPower Staff Member and BS01 user ToM Dracone, was accepted as canon as the official representation of the Alternate Teridax.
  • Stasis Toa Contest - In April 2010, BIONICLEsector01 started a contest to write a short story about Varian, the Toa trapped in stasis in the Dark Hunters fortress on Odina. The contest required contestants to write about Varian's past and how she was eventually captured by the Dark Hunters. The winning entry, No One Gets Left Behind, written by BZPower member Shadow-Nui, won and was accepted into official canon.
  • Tobduk Contest - Over the course of November 2010 to January 2011, BIONICLEsector01 ran a contest to build Tobduk, the Order of Mata Nui assassin. The winning model, created by BZPower and BIONICLESector01 member Artakha, was accepted into storyline canon as the official representation of Tobduk.

KanohiJournal

  • KanohiJournal Storyline Contest #1: Aqua Blaster Blade - The BIONICLE fan magazine, KanohiJournal, ran a contest to build the Aqua Blaster Blade, a Toa Tool of Toa Mahri Nuparu's that never appeared in the set. The winning design was accepted into canon as the official Aqua Blaster Blade, with the winner being Terakk.
  • KanohiJournal Storyline Contest #2: Surel Artwork - A second contest held by the unofficial BIONICLE eMagazine, KanohiJournal, was held from June to July 2009. The contest aim was to draw Surel, an ancient warrior who trained a pack of Iron Wolves, and the winner of the contest was KanohiJournal member Vastolorde, whose entry became official canon.
  • KanohiJournal Storyline Contest #3: Iron Wolf MOC/Artwork - A third contest was held by BIONICLE fan eMagazine KanohiJournal from March to May 2010 to create both an art and MOC representation of the Iron Wolves. The winning MOC entry, created by BZPower Forum Leader -Shannara-, was accepted as canon. An artwork section then followed, and concluded with three winning entries, two by BZPower member Toa Kinliku and another by BZPower member Vastolorde. Both were accepted into the official storyline canon as depictions of the Iron Wolf.
  • KanohiJournal Storyline Contest #4: Nikila Artwork - The BIONICLE fan eMagazine KanohiJournal held a fourth contest starting early July 2010, where participants were asked to create an artistic representation of Toa Nikila. The winning entry, created by BZPower member Vrahno, was accepted into the official storyline canon.

The Unofficial German Bionicle Magazine/The Chronicler

  • The Third Man - In the March 2009 issue of the Unofficial German BIONICLE magazine (Das Inoffizielle Deutsche Magazin), a contest was announced to create a visual depiction of the Agori Kirbold. The winning entry, drawn by InnerRayg, was declared the canon incarnation of Kirbold.
  • The Sentry - The Unofficial German BIONICLE magazine ran another contest to build the Agori Kyry. The winning model was created by Sparky and was accepted into official canon as the official representation of Kyry.
  • Desert Birdwatching - The Unofficial German BIONICLE magazinehosted a mini-contest in December 2009, where participants were asked to give details and a name to a species of bird residing on Bara Magna. The winner was KanohiJournal member Hot Pants and his Cave Shrike entry, which was accepted as the official description of the creature.

LEGO Message Boards

During BZPower's forum downtime, LEGO employees established a set of online usage guidelines that prevented them from interacting with segments of the fanbase due to age-related restrictions. A topic was later created on the official LEGO Message Boards entitled "Chat with Greg Farshtey", where Greg Farshtey routinely answers questions posed by fans on the board.

Decanonized/Noncanon

Some contests were held with the intention of being canonized; however, despite the contests' concepts being approved by Greg, he wasn’t permitted by Lego to continue on the Official Greg Discussion and hasn’t read or approved the results. They are thus noncanon.

References

  1. Disguised Great Being Revealed!, 27 August 2012