Meta:Fan Community

From BIONICLEsector01
Fan Community
RLFM Meet and Greet KET Presenting.JPG
Kim Ellekjær Thomsen (former AFOL Relations Manager) presenting to fan communities
Community
Years active 2001-present


The characters, themes, and settings of BIONICLE have inspired a dedicated fan community that has interacted with the creators and writers of the series. Popular fan activities include creating custom models (known as MOCs, or My Own Creations), recording toy reviews on platforms such as YouTube, and writing fan fiction. For over two decades, the BIONICLE fan community has thrived, continuing to create, illustrate, design, and explore in the world of BIONICLE long after its cancellation. This page is dedicated to many of its most notable exploits.

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:

  • BIONICLE Wikis
  • BIONICLE forums
    • BZPower - The largest BIONICLE forum on the web and one of the two oldest BIONICLE fan sites on the web.
    • The TTV Channel - Another major BIONICLE forum
  • Mask of Destiny - One of the two oldest BIONICLE fan sites on the web and an umbrella network of other notable fan sites.
    • BioMedia Project - Online database of various BIONICLE media
    • The Great Archives - A comprehensive guide to lore that hosts a wiki and an index of the various Greg topics over the years
    • Wall of History - Online compendium of story-related BIONICLE media
    • Myths and Legacy - Online collection of fan stories drawn from across the web
    • Red Star Games - A versatile team known for their various multimedia endeavors, most notably their tabletop RPG and 3D Kanohi molds
    • Litestone Studios - A game development and writing team formed to finish development on the cancelled BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui
    • Team Kanohi - A game development team known for their work on Masks of Power and Trials of the Great Spirit

Fan Interactions with the BIONICLE Team

Since BIONICLE began, the community has interacted closely with professionals involved on the BIONICLE team. Greg Farshtey and Christian Faber have routinely made themselves available to the community, while others have taken interviews, taken commissions, and made their work more accessible publicly.

Official Greg Topics

Over the years, fans have regularly had access to Greg Farshtey, where they could ask questions about BIONICLE and its lore for the chance to have them answered. This began on BZPower where members would regularly ask Greg Farshtey storyline questions via the site's personal messaging service. Members compiled Farshtey's answers in the "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 identification of the shape-shifting Dark Hunter featured in The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet as Triglax; a number of Kanohi; and the element of Psionics. However, Farshtey and the BZPower staff emphasized that Farshtey only accepted 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 changed its policy so that employees could not interact with children under the age of thirteen outside of LEGO.com. This policy prompted Farshtey to stop answering questions on BZPower. As a consequence of BZPower's server crash, the three quote topics were deleted, but their content was saved by BZPower member fishers64 in three text documents (not including 62 pages of the Official Greg Dialogue topic that were lost in another server crash). In May 2017, the documents were adapted into a website called the Official Greg Discussion Archive by BZPower and BS01 member Planetperson.

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 answered questions posed by fans on the board. On 28 February 2017, the LEGO Message Boards were made "read only", and on 6 March 2017 they were shut down completely, along with Chat with Greg Farshtey.[1] These, too, were archived in the Official Greg Discussion by Planetperson.

Months after the closure of the LEGO Message Boards, Greg accepted an invitation from the TTV channel to answer fan questions in a dedicated section of their site titled Ask Greg. This he continued to do for years, and the section remains available for use.

In addition to official topics, Greg Farshtey has been interviewed several times, had his own blog in the latter years of BIONICLE, and answered questions on the MaskOfDestiny forums. He remains available for fans who continue to seek him out.

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.

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? Name it! - 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.[2] The winning phrase was "Chutespeak" by Visorak-Kal.[3]
  • Bohrok In Maze Of Shadows Mini-Contest - Members were tasked with writing an explanation for 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).[4] The grand prize winning entry was the short story "Protection" by InnerRayg.[5]
  • 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.[6] 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).[7]
  • 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.[8] The winning Matoran was Kopeke, and his first appearance as Chronicler came in BIONICLE Legends 8: Downfall.[9]
  • 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 were the Energy Siphon Blade, Earth Claw, Devastator, Griffin Gauntlet, Vortixx Rhotuka Battle Axe, Impact Crystal Launcher, Lightstone Rifle, Firework Revolver, Hagah Plasma Cannon, Kanoka Blade, Twilight Blade, Judgement Cannon, Eccentric Rock, Electro Chute Blade, and Energy Extraction Rifle.[10]
  • 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.[11]

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 magazine hosted 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.

TTV Contests

In 2020, after nearly a decade since the last canonization contest, Greg Farshtey told a fan that he would accept the results of further contests into canon if it were something the community were interested in. At once, TTV held a public poll to determine the community's stance on this, and when a majority voted in favor, they prepared a list of characters to hold visual contests for. That year, moccing and art contests for Helryx and Artakha were held, and the following year contests for Gaaki, Bomonga, Pouks, and Kualus were also conducted. TTV also planned further contests for a number of other characters, although these were cancelled when Greg announced on March 1st, 2022 that his time at Lego would end that summer.

Incomplete Contests

Some contests have been 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 or considered decanonized.

Polls

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Several fan polls have also been hosted, primarily on BZPower, to canonize specific details of the lore. These include masks of the Toa Mangai, the species of Conjurer and Tyrant, and others.

  • Hero Agori's Tribe - The tribe of the Hero Agori from the My LEGO Network BIONICLE Campaign was never officially revealed. A poll was later held on BZPower to determine his tribe, in which Jungle was the winner of the raw results. However, there were illegitimate votes, so second place, the Fire Tribe, won.[17] Greg Farshtey has never directly confirmed the Hero Agori's tribe,[18][19][20] or his confirmation has since been lost.
  • Naho's Mask - A poll was held on BZPower to determine Naho's mask, where the final options were the Mask of Healing, Kakama, and Huna,[21] in which the Huna was in the lead.[22][23] The results of the poll were never canonized.

Registered LEGO communities

LEGO recognizes certain communities that help promote engagement with fans, primarily in the Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) demographic.[24] There are multiple designations: Registered LEGO User Group (RLUG), primarily used to denote in-person groups; Registered LEGO Online Communities (RLOC); and Registered LEGO Fan Media (RLFM). BS01 is one such group (originally an RLFM, later reclassified as an RLOC) as are several other notable BIONICLE fansites.

External links

References

  1. Message Boards Community Retirement, 4 January 2017
  2. BZPower: Official S&T Contest #1 treespeak in Metru Nui? Name it!, 18 November 2004 (archive)
  3. Island of Doom. BIONICLE Legends 1, p. 20.
  4. BZPower: Bohrok In Maze Of Shadows? GregF's Mini-Contest, 6 April 2005 (archive)
  5. BZPower: Results: Bohrok in Maze of Shadows Mini Contest, 15 April 2005 (archive)
  6. BZPower: S & T Contest #2: A Thousand Years Untold, Until Now! Three Islands--Three Short Stories--Three Winners, 22 June 2006 (archive)
  7. BZPower: > S & T Contest #2: Results Topic, 4 August 2006 (archive)
  8. BZPower: The Next Chronicler, Who should it be? You decide!, 10 February 2007 (archive)
  9. Downfall. BIONICLE Legends 8, p. 1.
  10. BZPower: S&t#4 Results Topic!, Xian Weapons S&T4/EU1 Results topic!, 15 September 2008 (archive)
  11. Disguised Great Being Revealed!, 27 August 2012
  12. A Thousand Years Untold 2 Results, 11 January 2012
  13. BZPower: Lesovikk's Hiatus Contest, 3 September 2012
  14. BZPower: Lesovikk's Hiatus Contest, 29 November 2013
  15. BZPower: S&T Contest #7: Memoirs of the Dead, 15 July 2012
  16. BZPower: Memoirs of the Dead - Results!, 27 April 2015
  17. BZPower: Hero Agori, 15 August 2014
  18. "Official Greg Dialogue", page 197, post 7842. BZPower. (archived on The Great Archives)
  19. "Official Greg Dialogue", page 199, post 7948. BZPower. (archived on The Great Archives)
  20. "Chat with Greg Farshtey", page 422, post 10850997. LEGO Message Boards. (archived on The Great Archives)
  21. "Massive BSS-Aktivitäten." Der Chronist, 16 March 2011.
  22. "Sea Gates, Kodan, and the Toa Mangai," page 1. BZPower, 26 September 2012.
  23. "Did Naho wore the Kakama," page 1. BZPower, 6 December 2014.
  24. https://lan.lego.com/aboutus/overview/

See also