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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes
  • Participate in raffles to win LEGO prizes
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"


Posing Heroically

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 07 2016 · 448 views
LEGO, Nexo Knights
LEGO sure has a great thing going on with the new Nexo Knights line. I've already bought $110 worth of sets, and I don't think I even spent that much on Chima and I certainly didn't on Ninjago. But these Knights are something different entirely: They've got the sci-fi aspect which I love mixed in with the Castle theme I respect and want to eventually build. Plus all the new parts look fantastic! I would have bought more Ninjago and Chima sets if I wanted their parts (I might get some steampunk ninja pirates this year), but the stuff the Nexo Knights has is getting me excited: The shield power-ups, the dark blue lightsaber hilts, the pyramid cheese slope, and the new 4x4 pointed slope brick to name a few.

So I got slightly worried when I realized we'll be getting even more sets like these this summer, and next year and the year after and on until LEGO feels like stopping. So I'm going to need to rethink my budget with everything LEGO is putting out this year.

Right now I'll just be integrating these Knights' torsos into space suits.

-CF :kakama:


Christmas Carols

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 24 2015 · 382 views
Music, Christmas, Songs
I enjoy hearing some festive songs on the radio for about a month every year. But what I am getting tired of is the feel of the same old Christmas standards sung by the same standard artists from a few decades ago. I know there is a larger variety out there, just look at my Christmas music collection, but I wish the radio would realize this too.

Now, I realize the radio has some newer things. Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights is a good laugh whenever it's played. The Waitresses have their Christmas Wrapping song that is pretty catchy. And there are a few standards by contemporary artists like Michael Buble, Pentatonix, and a special favorite The Calling's Carol of the Bells. (Oh, and don't forget lots of Trans Siberian Orchestra.)

But the radio can do better. The Barenaked Ladies, Relient K, Colbie Caillat, and more all have their own renditions of favorites, and I'd like to emphasize that there are also some great original songs out there too: Elf's Lament by BNL, Chrion Beta Prime by Jonathan Coulton, and Lumberjack Christmas by Sufjan Stevens come to mind, to name a few.

Would it hurt for a little more variety, dear radio stations? It sure would be nice.

-CF :kakama:


Spoils of War

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 10 2015 · 515 views
LEGO, Bionicle, pieces
And by "war" I mean running a Bionicle event by myself for 30 children.

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Unfortunately, I didn't get any leftover purple limbs. But I got plenty of trans-green and keetorange shells, which means I won't have to buy a second Protector of Jungle (though should BrickLink some of his swords).

Of course, parting out this grab-bag of leftovers makes me think I need to sort out my Bionicle collection again before I actually put these to use. I've got a box full of scrapped MOCs to disassemble before some ideas are realized.

-CF :kakama:


Filler Words

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 04 2015 · 884 views
language, english, people
Working retail, I interact with a lot of people. More than I'd care to on a daily basis. And people, as a whole, seem to like to talk a lot. Again, more than I'd care to let my ears hear. So, the less words said the better, right?

One thing that I really can not stand is the phrase "you know" when describing something. It's as bad as "like," "um," and "uh," when it comes to filler. Something involuntary to cause a pause when your brain can't quite put the right words in order in conversation.

Whenever a customer (or even someone closer actually conversing) injects "you know" into their sentence when going into detail on something to better help me understand, my immediate thought is, "No, I don't know, that's why you're telling me."

I'm not perfect either, but it's a habit I've broken pretty well. I've even winced when I said it recently.

I just need a super-villain weapon that changes the brain waves of everyone across the world to be more precise with their language!

-CF :kakama:


Imagination Situation

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 24 2015 · 545 views

Today I participated in a LUG display at a local museum's Halloween event (I went as The Eleventh Doctor, btw). It was plenty fun displaying MOCs and interacting with the public, as it always is. But there was something about the way people looked at the creations that seemed a little short-sighted: They couldn't reach their creativity past licensed themes.

Example One: The Rancor. I displayed a six-module long Pharaoh's Labyrinth, including a hollow pyramid with a tomb and an excavation attacked by a mummy army starting outside that to tell a little narrative before getting into all the dangerous rooms. This included The Doctor and TARDIS landing somewhere he'd rather not be, the Stargate and cast in a perfect Egyptian setting, and a Munchkin Level 8 Gazebo which few people noticed. The fourth room was more Munchkin Bricks minifigs attacking several monster-types. This included a Rancor. But as people saw the Stargate and the TARDIS, they noticed the Rancor as "Star Wars" instead of just "monster! AHHH!" to my dismay.

Example Two: The Exuberant. I love showing off my SHIP because I put a lot of work into it, plus big things get attention. But among several original space MOCs, they suddenly see this big thing and immediately ask what it's from. Uhhh, my mind? It's not "from" anything you might have seen on TV, the movies, or a video game. (Unless you can spot the slight inspirational points I took from Stargate Atlantis' Aurora and Orion.) It's a microspace SHIP for LEGO's 1998 Exploriens space line, and I had complete creative freedom in building it.

Example Three: Jurassic World. My Bubble Helmet Retronaut is the most fun I've had building Bionicle in years (because it's been years since I properly build Bionicle). Now, I'm not entirely jaded that people started mentioning the theme where I took his bubble helmet from, but there comes a point where it's not being inspiring as NPU and instead being a distraction for mentioning where parts are from. Luckily my Steampunk Sleigh didn't have that same problem, much.

Bonus example: The LEGO Movie: I also had Emmet and Wyldstyle in peril in the Labyrinth, and kids were calling it "LEGO Dimensions" and "The LEGO Movie," to the point of asking why they're here instead of, say, the Wild West or the City. Note to self: No more off-hand nods to fun.

At this point, I'm reconsidering how I want to display the Pharaoh's Labyrinth at BrickFair next week, if at all. I could parse it down to Stargate and TARDIS vignettes. Scratch the Munchkin Bricks and monsters. But there might be a better crowd there, as BrickFair VA was very promising in people enjoying those portions. I'm definitely staying away from things that might distract from the overall feel of building whatever you want, so the Rancor is out and I'll give the monster dungeon more narrative with less busyness. I think I'll replace the Rancor with this guy, and rubberband a Bionicle mask to the head.

And hopefully something can be figured out for the public to appreciate genre-mashing.

-CF :kakama:


Costume Time!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 22 2015 · 542 views

Costume Time! Help! I can't choose what costumes to wear for Halloween celebrations!

I'll be wearing one on Saturday for a Halloween LEGO event, and then I'll need two costumes for BrickFair public hours next week.

I've got three options: Eleventh Doctor, Indiana Jones, and Jayne Cobb. Jayne works best for Saturday because I know I'll be more comfortable in a t-shirt. It works best overall because I have a trimmed/maintained beard, but I'll ignore that feature for the other two. But the Eleventh is also easy because I can forgo the tweed jacket if bodyheat/internal temperature rises. But Indiana Jones is fun too, though I no longer have the whip. So I feel like the Doctor and Jayne costumes are more favorable for the events. Beard and all.

Still, it's a tough choice. What do I want to cosplay right now?

-CF :kakama:


Comic Con of Weekends Past

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 01 2015 · 617 views

Last weekend was Baltimore Comic Con, and I attended with a BZPower Press Pass on my shirt and comics in my backpack. I hung out with 55555 on Friday and went solo on Saturday. Both days I had a blast, got many autographs, bought some stuff, and attended some fun panels. (And I interviewedBionicle's Pop Mhan.)

And just as I was hoping, I got to meet Charles Soule again, and Greg Pak and Mark Waid finally. They're all really cool, and some of the panels I attended featured them.

Unlike New York Comic Con, panels here are much more accessible and definitely don't need to require waiting in line for an hour to get in (just show up on time). BCC is a tenth of the attendance size of NYCC, so there's that. It was much more feasible to fill up my time with panels at this event, which made the overall experience more enjoyable. NYCC was more of a scavenger hunt to get autographs on comic covers without waiting in line for an hour, but this was an even mix of everything I wanted to do because the time allowed for it.

Which included getting some awesome swag! A favorite online artist, Mike Maihack, from the webcomic/graphic novel Cleopatra in Space, was there and offering a great deal on watercolor commissions, so this was my best chance to finally get a custom piece of Kitty Pryde by him. (His style is really cute, especially his Batgirl and Supergirl comics, and as you can see he does a great Kitty Pryde too.)

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He also had a Rey and BB-8 print he just did recently, so I picked that up too (but it was really hard to choose between that and something with other heroins he's known for). The Sandman print is from another artist (Angela McKendrick) who has a great style, and I wish I could have afforded the 3-for-$25 deal. (Another issue: wall space.) I also got to meet Otis Frampton, who works on the art and animation for the How It Should Have Ended videos!

As you can see, there a few comic covers with autographs, which is a great way to show who I've met:
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Someday I'll frame a bunch of these.

Finally,I also bought some fake LEGO. (Gasp!) It's not like LEGO will ever make Fantastic Four minifigs anyway...
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Though hopefully they'll eventually do Reverse Flash. Daredevil will hopefully happen too (Marvel Collectible Minifig Series?), and I skipped a few other figs like Doctor Strange out of hopes for official figs come Avengers 3 and 3 Part 2. And the FF Spidey is something I would expect in a DK LEGO Marvel guidebook like LEGO Batman has, if I'm allowed some wishful thinking. (These are from Amazing Heroes Minis.)

Alas, I missed out on getting Scott Snyder's autograph. He's a big name and a great writer, but there just wasn't enough time to get to everything and get to him. But that's OK, because the panels matter more. It's the con experience! Plus I like Charles Soule more, and I saw him plenty.

It was a good comic-focused weekend, and I had a blast. It's more comic-oriented than San Diego Comic Con is, or even NYCC is. Though NYCC is big enough to have panels and stuff on the comic-inspired movies and TV shows while still being about comics and geekiness. A broader audience. If there's ever something like this locally that suits your interests, I definitely recommend it! It's a great way to connect with your hobbies.

What's next for me? Probably BrickFair NJ.

-CF :kakama:


Baltimore Comic Con Cometh

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 23 2015 · 401 views
baltimore, marvel, dc, lego and 1 more...
Baltimore Comic Con is coming this weekend, and I am getting more and more pumped with anticipation with each day!

On Friday I'll be hanging out with 55555, and on Saturday I'll be going solo unless a friend actually replies to my texts.

There are plenty of exciting panels happening, so it's just a matter of if I can get in to see the awesome comic creators talk. So I guess it's a matter of getting in line in time. There's a talk about the 90s X-Men series New Mutants, one about comics as myths and working mythology into your story, Mark Waid talking about writing great characters, a spotlight on Waid and Charles Soule, looking at the science behind superheroes and their powers, and more!

I also hope to get a handful of comics autographed by some favorite creators, like Mark Waid, Scott Snyder, and Charles Soule:

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That's five issues by Charles Soule, two by Greg Pak, two by Scott Snyder, two by Mark Waid including my Kingdom Come graphic novel, and a few others by some more cool comic creators. And eventually I'll get some of these signed works of art framed.

I'm hoping to get some cool works of art in Artists Alley too. So we'll see what happens by the end of the weekend.

And I'll be back in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A beautiful part of the city!

If you're going too, drop me a message!

-CF :kakama:


Buy in My BrickLink!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 19 2015 · 406 views
lego, bricklink
I've had a BrickLink account for quite some time, and a BrickLink store for a few years too, but now I can confidently say I have an intriguing amount of parts to make something of it.

Not like huge, just a respectable size for my needs and parts.

So please, check out Chocolate Froggy Pieces and buy buy buy!

I've just added some Bionicle parts there and hope to add some more System parts soon. And I've recently put in some Star Wars figs that are marked as NEW--heck, I still haven't taken them out of the sets yet. They're that fresh.

Tell me promo code "BZP2015" when you check out and I'll take off 10% on all orders through the end of the year.

Happy shopping!

-CF :kakama:


Rhymes with Bubble

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Aug 26 2015 · 617 views

Great things come in pairs. (That's a thing, right?) This year has been a good year for doubles for me. Double Green Lantern sets in January (for this), double Jurassic World helicopters in July (one a gift!), and most recently double San Diego Comic Con Trans-Neon Green Skull Scorpio masks!

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Yes, they all looked super-cool at BrickFair (my second convention of the year, but that double might turn into a triple in October), so I checked eBay again and found a great deal on two! (I'll be selling one off eventually.) Doubles, hurrah!

I also got double Ultimate Spider-Man sets for a Superior Spider-Man:

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Admittedly, in the comics his chest webbing is black on a red background, but that's purism for you. And the Doctor Octopus lookalike legs need to be dark red, but those tiny details are forgotten about between comic book readings (plus LEGO doesn't make them). I guess TT Games did it better. (Oh, and the sets come with two 2x2 rotor stickers each, and I can use all four!)

Furthermore, I got two of the Ant-Man ants! My manager wanted just the figs, so we worked out a deal on the set and now I have two ants (plus the rest of a full set), which means two pairs of those sweet, sweet bug wings. I've already got some things in mind.
We'll see if anything else catches my eye, twice, the rest of this year.

-CF :kakama:


Hot Dog Army

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Aug 09 2015 · 509 views
LEGO, Minifigs
I currently have 7 Hot Dog Guy minifigs.
Granted, six of them are sealed in the bag and in my BrickLink store, but still. Just imagine a whole lineup of Hot Dog guys in some sort of MOC. Craaaaaaziness.
I also have 4 unicorns, all sealed.

Oops, or yay?

-CF :kakama:


BrickFair was Lovely

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Aug 05 2015 · 623 views
LEGO, BrickFair, Friends
What a fantastic time! I miss you all. I love you all.* I say that ever year. But hey, there was merriment, there was fun, there was friendship, there was building, there was a bit of everything. I will definitely remember this year fondly like I do every year.

And boy did I had a good time with everyone! Granted, I didn't get enough time with everyone, and I like to take my "everyone" in separate chunks, but putting everyone together in the same place really makes BrickFair feel like a LEGO Christmas. It's those moments that really make it special, even if it's 2 AM in a giant hotel room with a cool drink in hand.

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BrickFair highlights for me include my SHIP being nominated for two Brickees (though I didn't win), meeting set designer Marcos Bessa who made a ton of superhero sets like the Milano (and even took a picture holding it on the set of the actual ship) and is a big X-Men fan, seeing the LEGO Brickumentary for free (everyone should see it), and getting lots of good deals and free swag (bubble helmets!).

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I also walked around with a huge BrickBadge, as usual. This was my 11th year going to a LEGO convention, and my 12th convention under my belt. (And I might get to BrickFair NJ this October, making a third for this year.) My BrickBadge looked something like this all weekend:

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It's actually a great conversation starter! People always say "you've been doing this for a while!" or something, and then a few other bricks point out themes I'm active in that they should definitely check out. This year I made a tiny Pharaoh's Labyrinth vignette which I think really adds to the pizzazz.

We should really just make this thing two weeks long. We could actually plan movie nights that don't start at midnight, take plenty of photos, build to our hearts' content, visit DC, sleep in, and tell each other our deepest darkest LEGO secrets.

Until next time, play well!

-CF :kakama:
*BrickFair theme tehe.jpg


Steamboat Shenanigans

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jul 28 2015 · 439 views
lego, steampunk, brickfair, MOC
Steampunk fans! Have you heard the sweet tunes of the Steam Powered Giraffe? For the uninitiated, they are a steampunk-themed rock band (with a slight hint of folk), and at shows they even act the part of being automatons through their movements and way they talk with each other. They have all kinds of songs, from things about steamboats to pirates and suspenders to magic. It's not a gimmick, their singing is really good and the songs are catchy!

So I immortalized them in LEGO for BrickFair's Steampunk theme:

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Furthermore, I'm bringing another new Steampunk build, utilizing the Pteranodon:

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And, almost surprisingly, there are more MOCs to come! I've been keeping busy the past couple of weeks, seeing as how I procrastinated on LEGO building for a while. Stay tuned!

-CF :kakama:


Adults Who Ask Too Many Questions

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jul 16 2015 · 610 views
life, rant
This is a rant. It's about adults. Not adults like me, but adults much older than me who have some life experience and know what they're doing, and thus think nothing of the consequences on my psyche when conversing. Granted, I do know adults who have their life together--solid job, living on their own--but most of my complaints are coming because of even older adults.

It's about conversation. And while I definitely dislike small talk, it's unavoidable. And while I'm learning how to ask small-talk-like questions that are actually meaningful, the same usual small talk queries are addressed to me whenever I meet new adults.

The questions are simple: "What did you study in college?" and "What do you do?" (The latter meaning jobs and money, not in life in general in your free time. More on that later.) I understand that my answers are in my control. I'm living at home and underemployed. I believe in responsibility and accountability, and I hold myself to my societal shortcomings. Though adults are always kind in talking about the troubled economy and job market. But it falls to me. But what falls to them are the questions. Why ask things that remind me of my shortcomings?

I understand it's easy, but even after that topic has been breached it remains the point of conversation. It's not like it's a lead in to other interests. Small talk like this would be so much better if we focused on, say, hobbies. "What do you do?" "Oh, I build LEGO creations and collect comic books." And there is so much conversation to be made going on from there. People are enthusiastic about their passions, and it allows the other person to continually ask questions and show/feign interest. And even if the job question has come up, my working in a bookstore is such a great lead for a deeper conversation about books. Everyone (mostly) reads! What isn't there to talk about in the world of books?

Until such ends are met, I will just have to live with my problems, work harder in any job, and steer the conversation into something more favorable.

Now, I know I have plenty of friends also living at home and not working in their field of study at school (if they even went to college). And I also have friends that are adulting better than I am either by making enough to move out yet remain underemployed or actually making a career out of their interests and studies. So I ask: What problems has everyone encountered? What have you done until better options came along? What kind of comments have been received; what kind of answers were given? And what is the best way to bear with the unbearable smalltalk?

-CF :kakama:


Collecting the Collector

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jun 29 2015 · 452 views
LEGO, minifigs, super heroes and 2 more...
You know what's great about having a friend who is extremely adept at making trades and scouring ebay for deals? He knows just how to grab something rad online. A few days later and bam!--Toa Lhikan Hordika puts in my hands the Collector, one of San Diego Comic Con's exclusive LEGO minifigs last year! (A trade, of course.)

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He looks good with the team, and by team I'm including the proper Nova, of course. And Drax has his signature energy axe.
(A second thanks goes to xccj for grabbing me Rocket in his Ravagers outfit.)

What is really cool about the Collector is the backing of the case unfolds to show a large image of him, scowling (the other side of his minifig head). Not that any sane LEGO collector would display this unless there was a safe way to do so, but it's a pretty neat bonus.

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But the exclusives don't stop there! I also have another benefactor: my manager who used to work at GameStop and snagged all kinds of extras for the LEGO video games. So now I have the exclusive Elrond figure and, better yet, Lex Luthor in power armor and, better yet, Plastic Man! Certainly exciting additions to my collection.

What's next? Making a display case for all of these (and my other exclusives)!

-CF :kakama:

The Me Brick

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My BrickLink
Location: Northern Virginia
Favorite color: Guess
Favorite smell: Campfire
Interests: LEGO, Boy Scouts (Eagle), Geeking, Comics
First LEGO Set: Renegade Runner
Roman Catholic
Convention history: BrickFest '04, & '06
BrickFair VA '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14 & '15.
BrickCon '13.
Bricks Cascade '15.
BrickFair NJ '15.
:flagusa: :kakama:


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Mosaic 2011

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(Thanks to everyone who helped!)

BḞ10: Mosaic

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^News Coverage^
Special thanks to Nukaya and xccj for getting this off the ground and making it work!

Cool Links/members

BrickFest web page

BrickFair web page
Brickworld web page
North West BrickCon site
My BrickShelf
Piraka Fusion
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Arpy His Something Completely Different
xccj His Team
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The dude that worked at Tyson's Lego Store
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The pangolin under E's bed
Bionicle Raptor

Avohkah Tamer


Turakki #1 Lavasurfer

One of my college buddies who forgot his username
(PM me if I forgot you)
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GregF His Blog
T-Hybrid His Haven
Tilius His Blog
Shine His...Hikarikagayaku
Brave_Dragon: Her Pyromania
Jack_Skellington: His What's This
Air-Master: His Ærospaċe
Nukora: His Land Beyond
Master Vahi: His Testing Center
Arch-Angel: His Yin/Yang Story
Kativa/Ka-Chan: His Dormitory
~GreenBioGuy~ His Forest
Ca'gerrin His Orbit
Creator of the Kanohi
Core: Matoran of Chaos (Spiderman 121)
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