LEGO Group designed BIONICLE to be as big as Star Wars

In the latest Bits N’ Bricks episode, the early plans for LEGO BIONICLE were likened to the success of LEGO Star Wars.

The latest episode of Bits N’ Bricks was a deep dive into the history of the LEGO BIONICLE theme, starting out with its unusual beginnings. Hosts Ethan Vincent and Brian Crecente spoke to art director Christian Faber about what sparked the idea for the franchise.

Amongst the backdrop of an uncertain future for the LEGO Group as a whole, Faber remembers how the then-recent success of LEGO Star Wars led to the birth of BIONICLE.

“We were thinking, ‘OK, what if we had a story that was just as big as Star Wars with just as much content, and we were launching that, or we were launching a teaser for that maybe?'”, said Faber. “We were thinking about BIONICLE like that.”

LEGIO BIONICLE Kopaka featured

“Then, of course, it had a great effect that the LEGO Group saw the effect of storytelling. We actually called it…storyselling because it’s actually taking all the…positive things from a coherent story, with all the characters, and turning it into a sales argument…You get the sense that this is going to continue into next year and next year. I think BIONICLE had a lot of energy coming from the Star Wars launch.”

In the same way that LEGO Star Wars had so much room to grow and evolve around such a detailed universe, the creators of BIONICLE wanted to have a similarly strong narrative that could support a theme for years to come.

From that basis, the team set to work piecing together that story and imagining the characters that would go on to sustain 70 books, 50 comics and graphic novels, four films, a television show, a trading card game, and dozens of LEGO sets.

Learn more about the ups and downs of LEGO BIONICLE by reading the full transcript and an introductory feature from the Bits N’ Bricks podcast here. Watch a video of the full podcast episode, or find it on most major podcast services by searching ‘Bits N’ Bricks’.

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