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  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
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Enjoy your visit!

Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 09 2014 · 470 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 · 482 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 · 599 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 · 379 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 · 424 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 · 554 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 · 612 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 · 482 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 · 577 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 · 958 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.


Review: Minifig Display Case

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 21 2014 · 425 views
lego, minifig, display
I was able to snag these for $10 each at Barnes and Noble yesterday, which is half off and a more reasonable price I was willing to pay.

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I like them! They look great. I can fit two figs per section, mostly. As you can see here, I've (mostly) put custom figs up front and an official fig in the back (the more impressive fig, so to speak, shown off). They even have openings in the back to a wall-mount via screws. They also stack snugly. Unfortunately the top studs are slightly larger than 4 regular studs, so building something to fit on top will take a bit more work than just building a base with a 4x4 hole in it.

This isn't the final display. I'll probably move the Firefly figs back out onto my shelf. And even when I do that I won't have room for ALL the Marvel figs (and with the chrome Star Wars figs, which definitely need to be protected from dust and fingerprints here, they take up more space from DC figs not housed here).

While I would love to get more, having these kind of cases to display everything I want to show off would get extremely pricey. I think the next step is to get some small display cases, like one might have for model cars (or a LEGO DeLorean) and actually build some step-like features with staggering steps and figs, like I already do:

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(Also featured: Lots of figs.)

However, all in all, I really like these and have no regrets purchasing them. It's just a matter of deciding which figs get to live dust-free.

-CF :kakama:



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 19 2014 · 303 views
lego, pirate, metalbeard
Ahoy! We can't be forget'n that today be International Talk Like a Pie-rate Day, aye?

Be sure to put yer sea-legs on an' wave at that horizon over yonder, and don't forget to give your timbers a good shiverin'!

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-CF :pirate:


Mass Quantities

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 11 2014 · 337 views

Being in a LUG has its perks!

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My favorite portion of this is 50 white lightsaber hilts!
I'll probably use the tan for another Pharaoh's Labyrinth, unless xccj and I make another Warehouse 13 collab, in which case it'll turn into a pyramid. The 1x2 grey and white slopes will probably be used on future space MOC endeavors.

I also got these leftovers after our March LEGO event at work:
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Luckily these are sorted. I still have a large box (for me) of pieces to sort soon.
-CF :kakama:


LEGO Buttons!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Aug 21 2014 · 384 views

The LEGO button market is something that is truly lacking. I have some, I know some friends who have some, but I heard quite a few lamentations at BrickFair this year about how the lack of LEGO buttons is disappointing.

It just so happens that a friend has a button maker, so we punched these out, and a few others, at WAMALUG after BrickFair:
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So who wants them? I think there's a real market for LEGO buttons at the BrickFair Yard Sale. $2 each, and deals if you get 5 or 10 or a large bunch. All kinds of themes, including whatever LEGO catalogs from the mid-2000s I have lying around contain.
Except...what's the legality of selling these? They are LEGO's product images, yet I want to repurpose them for my own profit. Where do I start to figure it all out?
(That said, PM me and I'll get you the Joker, Emmet, and Wyldsyle buttons for $5 (+ $2 shipping) and the Gandalf, Elrond, Urak-Hai and dead King for $8 (+ $2 shipping).)

I have a handful of LotR/Hobbit instructions, some superhero stuff and some LEGO Movie stuff, plus a bit of Hero Factory and maybe a few other things. I also have some catalogs ranging from 2000 to 2013, including Rahkshi and Metru Nui, plus my own instructions dating back from the 90s to today and anything LUG members give me for the button endeavor.

What kind of buttons do you want to see? These are an inch-and-a-quarter, which I think is perfect.

-CF :kakama:


Stargate MOC--New Pix!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Aug 11 2014 · 556 views
LEGO, Stargate, MOC
UPDATE: BrickFair display photos!

It has been an ambition of mine to build as accurate of a Stargate as I could, and I'm ecstatic to finally have built one! Check out my topic in SBC to comment.

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My BrickShelf has a few more photos, and my Flickr has the pictures featured currently.

This particular diorama is designed to fit right in with the Pharaoh's Labyrinth display at BrickFair VA 2014, as another portion of the Egyptian rooms leading to the pharaoh's tomb and treasure, such as the other two vignettes I've made.

Speaking of, here is what it looked like with everything else!
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(And my TARDIS.)
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Next, I need some golf clubs to recreate the best episode ever!


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
EmperorWhenua His Blog
Nukaya Cloud Fire Her Bubble Wrap
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Lady Kopaka Her System
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Bionicle Rex
Total Nut (well, now he's Ancient Builder)
The dude that worked at Tyson's Lego Store
Toa Meiko of Meikoes
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)
Other Cool members

Bundalings the Bunny His Burrow

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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