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  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
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Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 07 2015 · 242 views
bionicle, lego
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I built a few small things to show off my early-received Bionicle pieces at December's WAMALUG* meeting (remember?). While that's not much to brag about now, I still enjoyed breaking out the Bionicle pieces and trying a few things out, and at the very least making use of new masks, weapons, and ideas.

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I had been wanting to use Gali's new golden mask (especially on red), and saw this as a great chance. (Hand design borrowed from Bundalings.)

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You've heard of Figbarfs? Fiddling with minifigs to see what gets made? Think of these as Bioni-barfs.

And I've been doing a little bit more building too. I should have some new stuff for BrickFair!

-CF :kakama:
*My local LEGO Users Group


Attack on Winter Vilage

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 02 2015 · 235 views
lego, winter, village, mr freeze and 1 more...
As I see my mom's classic Winter Village display, I'm suddenly regretting not collecting the winter sets LEGO makes just like these. This will have to do:

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Because really, that's an impossibly absurd amount of snow.

-CF :kakama:
(This almost as great as me putting a TARDIS in the Creche under the tree.)


LEGO Justice League!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 20 2014 · 208 views
lego, comics, batman, superman and 1 more...
As you may know, LEGO and DC Comics released 22 variant covers for their comics in November to promote LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. I, of course, had to have some of these for my collection! Here's what I was able to snag:

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(^Link. Also: Flickr.)

Some of these are gracing my collection (and will look great when/if I frame some favorite covers), some are being donated to the BrickFair charity auction, and some I'm saving for sale/trade later (or now, PM me).

Some of the variant covers paid homage to covers that appeared a few years back:
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And just to be clear, only these variant covers are LEGO-ized. The contents are the exact same normal art as one would find in the regular cover comic.

While variant covers are most certainly an easy gimmick to boost sales and perhaps gain new readers to a title, sometimes the price is right and the cover is cool enough to accept that. (What I won't do it pay way too much for a cover.) LEGO did this with Marvel last year for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, and I was able to grab two (donating Wolverine to BrickFair's auction).
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What's next? I'll continue to collect and build superhero minifigs from all my favorite titles!

-CF :kakama:



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 18 2014 · 282 views
lego, minifigs, dc, comics
You know when you're working on something cool hoping it never gets usurped by official things? Well, I just want to go on record as having made Green Arrow, Cyborg, Supergirl, Captain Cold, and Hawkman minifigs.


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Seriously though, I'm becoming obsessed with making my own figs from DC and Marvel comics, and have a list of 20 more I want to make. Good guys, bad guys, known or obscure. And as soon as I figure out water-slide decals, they'll look even cooler.

-CF :kakama:


The Last Toa Team

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 14 2014 · 251 views
bionicle, mocs, building, lego and 1 more...
I built a Toa team back in 2008. They've appeared at BrickFair many times since then, but I never posted them because I always wanted to do something more with them. Enough procrastinating though, I'm not solid on some of these names and don't have backstories for half, but I like what I've built (though will probably experiment with CCBS shells, especially with the Water Toa's torso).

I've put pictures on BrickShelf and Flickr.

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The team itself is composed on six Toa who were the last surviving members of their respective teams. They've banded together with a new destiny as a new team. My goal while building was to give them some similar characteristics (due to my building preferences), but make them all different given their origins. I gave them all Rahkshi legs and Mata feet since those are my favorite, but after that anything was fair game.

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Lekia, Toa of Air, nimble and wielding a boomerang.

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Korou, Toa of Earth, inspired by other diggers.
(Rahkshi legs on the arms here instead, but those are arguably more powerful on Onu-Toa.)

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Kapiro, Toa of Fire:
Kapiro likes to make a solid flame sword and, when necessary, spirals of fire. (His mask of telekinesis helps with this.) He has also forged his own backup blade (just in case).

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Koji, Toa of Ice:
Koji fought to his last breath--before being wrapped in a cocoon of ice. While the rest of his team fell while defending their home island from an invasion, he released a nova blast of ice, first drawing in the cold to make the surrounding area molten hot, and then releasing a wave of ice that enveloped the whole island, stopped his enemies, and encasing him for a millennium in ice. When he finally thawed and emerged on a new island, where he would meet his new team, the ice had become a part of him and his armor.

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Roxoro, Toa of Stone, as tough as they get.

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Makoa, Toa of Water
Makoa is only partially healed from being infected with Visorak venom. While she was able to get the cure before being permanently transformed into a Hordika, the rest of her team was not so lucky, and she still has flecks of her Hordika side in her armor and mentality. A fin resides on her back and blades on her arms, along with her "shark's tooth" stinger. Furthermore, she has a bit of a taste-for-blood temper, which is especially present when moving through the water.
(This was my first attempt at a movable waist, but I need to implement it better.)

I realize since these MOCs are 6+ years old, CC for something where my skills have changed is a moot point ("It seemed good at the time"). But I don't mind small tidbits anyway. Mostly I just wanted to finally post these officially, before I change them. (I might also dismantle a few to make way for new MOCs. "Kill your darlings" and all that.)

And a reminder, I've put pictures on BrickShelf and Flickr.

-CF :kakama:



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 09 2014 · 289 views
books, life
The good news is I organized by bookshelves that I've improved the storage capacity, mostly by stacking mass markets up and putting hardbacks behind other hardbacks. (Sure, I can't see all the mass markets at once, but I've put the important ones on the top.)

The bad news is I will probably just have to lay any new books out flat on top of stacks rather than spine out.

The good news is I probably shouldn't be buying any more books anyway?

The bad news is I have about 60 unread books.

The good news is I'm working on reading books I believe I'd be inclined to give away/lend which means they won't be on my shelves then.

The bad news my structure of reading every day in 2013 kind of fell to pieces in 2014 with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, LEGO building for a March display and then BrickFair and then a non-existent January 2015 display.

The good news is I want to change that and read every day and hopefully knock out a bunch of those books!

The bad news is I'd feel kind of bad not reading books given to me as gifts or books I've bought (so, all of them), which means I'm not going to just ignore some in favor of others.

The good news is: books!

-CF :kakama:


Things to Come

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 07 2014 · 304 views
lego, bionicle, moc, wip and 1 more...
Showed off some things at WAMALUG yesterday. LEGO comic covers, custom purist minifigs, and some experimentation with the new 2015 Bionicle parts:

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I also got to hang out with 55555 after, continuing to prove that meeting people from the internet isn't a bad life decision! (Seriously though, kids, be careful.)

More photos to come!

-CF :kakama:


LEGO Trading Cards!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 25 2014 · 317 views
lego, cards, afol, collecting
Way way way back (like two years) an AFOL made a Kickstarter project for LEGO trading cards, called STUDS, to showcase various renowned builders in the fandom and their MOCs, among other aspects like conventions, publications, and achievements.
Through a few LEGO conventions I was able to collect a handful of cards from people who had contributed early and had their own card(s) or packs to sell. Fun stuff! They finally made them available to the public and I eagerly ordered some (splitting shipping costs with a LUG friend and 55555). With some luck and a bit of trading I've got some cool stuff:

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On the back of the cards is a short bio of the creator/thing. My favorite is Paul Lee's LEGO Avengers card, which I'm showing off in the middle of a sheet. I also obtained 4 of Nathan Sawaya's cards. I've had a few things like Cajun's card and Norbert's card. After getting lucky and getting a signed card (by Bram Lambrecht, who I think was at BrickFest '06), I realized there were quite a few here I should have had signed when I first received them. Oh well.

Some of these are just plain cool (Cole Blaq's Dragon, Mark Borlase's Hoth), some of them are from people I know personally (Dan Rubin's mech and Cajun's HR Giger), some I've met briefly (like meeting Megan Rothrock at NYCC for her LEGO Adventure Book we have at work), and others for other reasons either IRL or online.

My goal is to put these on my wall like a poster to show off some cool LEGO art. (And I've got a few I'm still willing to trade, mostly in those last two pictures.) I'm quite happy with these additions to my LEGO collection.

-CF :kakama:
(PS, Arpy is hidden in one of these cards!)


Lost Tribes of Chima

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 19 2014 · 220 views
lego, chima, minifigs
Chima has some great humanoid, anthropomorphic animal characters, and the sets are really cool too.

But we all know LEGO could do more. We've seen snakes in Ninjago. Atlantis had some great aquatic life minifigs. The Collectible Minifig Series has had their fair share of animal figs. So let's see the exploration and go deeper into the jungle:

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Not only can we dive deep with some stingrays (and sharks, which I don't have), but buzzing around with bugs makes sense too. Mosquitoes and other creepy-crawlies found in the jungle.

But let's not stop at things like snakes and lizard-men. Embrace mythology and throw in the legendary Lost Griffon Tribe (and maybe search the maze for the Minotaur, but watch out for the Medusa (or rather, don't watch out)).

And of course, let's have some samurai pandas.

Time to make some Chima MOCs?

-CF :kakama:


Addition to My Fleet

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 17 2014 · 243 views
lego, star wars, tantive iv and 1 more...
Man, that Toa Lhikan Hordika guy is awesome. Especially when he (and Turakii #1 Lavasurfer, maybe?) decides to send me a LEGO set not found in the USA! Realizing I desired the micro Tantive IV (with Alderaan globe) from the last LEGO Star Wars Micro Planets series, which was not released in the states, he kindly set me up with one!

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Sure, he builds up his own LEGO collection bit by bit, but then making sure his friends have some cool additions to theirs as well? It's great knowing he's got me covered with the little things.

I love all sorts of micro sets because it lets me show off some cool ships and vehicles without having to break the bank (and find shelf space) on the larger ones. Plus building in microscale is so fun because of all the details implied by clever uses of pieces.

My current lineup of micro (and midi) Star Wars ships and vehicles:
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-CF :kakama:
(I've also got a micro Batman Tumbler I'm debating giving to my brother or keeping for myself.)


Skull Spider Play Time!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 20 2014 · 319 views
lego, bionicle, skull spiders
I'm having way too much fun with the new Skull Spiders:

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I plan on putting these out among MOCs at a LEGO display on Saturday. Hehe.

-CF :kakama:
(My favorite is the radioactive one.)


Comic Con Loot

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 14 2014 · 350 views

Between all the great comic writers and artists at New York Comic Con last weekend, there were more than a few I wanted to meet. I was able to get some great artwork and even a few autographs, all of which make some of my comics prized possessions in my collection.

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I first saw Ben Hatke's book Julia's House for Lost Creatures at work two weeks ago, and have since been hand-selling it to customers and I even requested some of Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series with the popular rise of kids' graphic novels. I was delighted when I heard he would be at NYCC, and even more so when he gave me this small sketch planning out a page in the picture book before doing the larger painting. Awesome!
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Another artist I've greatly enjoyed for a about two years is Yale Stewart and his webcomic JL8, with 8-year-old Justice League members. I picked up some prints for my siblings and myself, and commissioned him to draw on my blank Swamp Thing cover. We haven't seen Alec Holland's green avatar in the comic, and as far as I know this is the only JL8-version of him around (so far). It's definitely a favorite.

I was debating the logistics of standing in line just to get an autograph, but there's something rewarding in meeting someone you appreciate on an entertainment level in the form of a signature. I stood in a few lines, but for the most part simply had to say "hi" at a booth in Artists' Alley. And man, it's really cool being able to do that. I couldn't get some of the big names (Scott Snyder, Dan Slott, Geoff Johns, Matt Fraction) since they weren't signing or their lines were too long, but I was able to get some stuff from writers and artists I really like:

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Jeff Lemire is my favorite writer at DC Comics, so meeting him was amazing. (Better yet, the next day it was announced he'll be writing Hawkeye for Marvel in March 2015!)

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Swamp Thing is also one of my favorite characters, and I was able to get artist Yannick Paquette's autograph on Issue #0 and rising writer Charles Soule's autograph on a great cover of his Swamp Thing run (he's set to start a Marvel exclusive contract early next year).

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Other creators I met were Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato from The Flash, Andy Lanning from 2008's Guardians of the Galaxy, Ben Templesmith of The Squidder (his own title), artist Ivan Reis from Aquaman and Blackest Night, and Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder from Rocket Girl.

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Finally, the LEGO events on Thursday yielded me some quality time with some CEE Team members, including Julie's business card minifig and some great building parts! The pioneer Duplo came from the new Flatiron LEGO Store's opening weekend celebration!

Of course, the best thing I took away from the weekend was the memories made by hanging out with good friends. (Or is it the LEGO? Priorities, hmm...)

-CF :kakama:


Secret Identities

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 03 2014 · 323 views
super heroes, dc, marvel
Marvel: No secret identities!*
DC: This small piece of fabric covering their eyes protects their identity!

Marvel: Legacy characters!
DC: Maybe some legacy characters.

Marvel: New tone in character, new costume!
DC: The same costume for 50+ years.

Accurate? Or am I being too harsh on DC?

Have any more?

-CF :kakama:
*To an extent


Ooga Chaka Ooga Chaka

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 01 2014 · 382 views
lego, models, sets
Usually I build a set and take it apart a few days later for the pieces. And while the Milano has plenty of great pieces I want to use, I decided to spare it for a while and show it off.

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While usually any sets I decide to keep around are displayed on my shelf, the Milano is pretty big. Luckily I've got this plant hook in my ceiling to take advantage of!

I've hung stuff before at the LEGO Store displays I've done, so I knew fishing line would work and the best way to coordinate it.

Looks good!

-CF :kakama:



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 28 2014 · 612 views
Bionicle, LEGO
All this quibbling over a reboot or a continuation of the Bionicle story has been getting overdramatic, IMO. I feel I have a much more simpler take on it that doesn't negate the 10-year story we've all deeply loved:

Think of the "reboot" (as it will inevitably be) in terms of an alternate universe (despite LEGO probably not ever admitting it's like that or doing a "crossover."). Look at Marvel and DC comics. They all have a main universe for most of their stories, but then they've branched out to other universes with the same/similar characters but with a few different traits in their characterization/portrayal/origin.

For example, many Marvel stories take place on "Earth 616." This is essentially our own universe but with superheroes. Every now and then we see someone hop over to another universe, with changes like other people being alive/dead that are dead/alive on Earth 616 or the social status/business position or someone (like a bad guy) being different. In 2000 Marvel started a comic book line called with the Ultimate universe, the Earth 1610 version of Marvel heroes. Things were different, but similar. Fans could enjoy the different stories now able to be told without worrying about continuity or repeating the exact stories (though sometimes the original story is retold with a twist somewhere).

DC Comics currently has Earth Prime and Earth 2, and every now and then we see Earth 3, or Earth 23, etc. Earth Prime is our Earth but with heroes and stuff, and Earth 2 currently has experienced a slightly different timeline. While there are many heroes that are recognized, they are vastly different from the Earth Prime heroes we know. They are getting entirely new stories without risk of rehashing things. Similar elements still might appear though, just with little tweaks.

So, I expect the same kind of treatment from Bionicle. We're going to see many similar things that remind us that yes, this is the Bionicle world we feel comfortable in. But we're also going to see many new things, from character armor* to bad guys and goals. Some of that is obvious with the whole "Mask of Creation" thing, some of it just might be wishful thinking in the hopes for change, familiarity, and some changes that are rooted in the familiar. Takua might not be the Herald of the Mask of Light, for example, but we might see the Avohkii pop up eventually. See what I'm getting at?

While a continuation of the story would be a great way to take what we know and grow with it through new stories, seeing a reboot will still take the familiar and still make new stories. And it makes it accessible to new fans ready to take in the new mythology.

-CF :kakama:
*Armor/looks isn't that big a deal. Superheroes change their outfit looks all the time. Even the Toa Nuva did it in 2008.

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

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