Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

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. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. 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 and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

A Golden-Red Horizon


Brain Attack Musings

Posted by Aanchir , Sep 09 2015 · 199 views
LEGO, Hero Factory
I was just thinking about the Hero Factory Brain Attack sets and was struck by something unusual. Obviously, from a story perspective, it's obvious that the theme for the year was a combination alien invasion/zombie apocalypse. But has anybody noticed that the sets almost had more of a historical fantasy flavor to them?

Think about it — the heroes had helmets with visors that folded down over their eyes, and segmented metallic armor. Rocka, Furno, and Stormer all carried a traditional sword and shield combo, Breez carried a staff and shield, Evo carried a polearm, and Surge carried some type of lightning lance. Furno even had a cape. The villains had elemental themes and included a dragon, an ogre, a minotaur, a rock giant, a frost giant, a spider monster, and some type of sea or lake monster, and those that carried weapons also carried very traditional sorts of weapons like swords and flails.

Needless to say, this "robot knights" theme was a lot different than the "robot police" theme of 2012, in which every hero carried a pair of handcuffs and some type of shooter as either a primary or secondary weapon, and the villains looked more like the sort of theme villains you'd expect to see in a superhero comic.

I wonder if the sets and story for the Brain Attack arc might have been better if they didn't have to balance these medieval-inspired design sensibilities with a 50s B-movie storyline about genetically engineered mind-controlling brain creatures from SPACE! A time travel arc, with the heroes stranded in their robotic world's distant past, might have suited the designs better.


Why are certain themes perceived as "childish"?

Posted by Aanchir , Aug 25 2015 · 232 views
LEGO, Ninjago
(cross-posted from Brickset)

This is just something I've been thinking about lately. When #70751 Temple of Airjitzu was announced, a question that seemed to be on a lot of people's minds is "how many AFOLs will be interested in buying a Ninjago set?" (or conversely, "how many Ninjago fans are even old enough for a set this size?") This is something that I see a lot of in the AFOL community — themes like Ninjago being perceived as "too childish" for most adults to take a serious interest in.

And yet at the same time, that seems to fly in the face of the actual target audience for these themes. Many AFOLs are perfectly fine with buying LEGO City sets, and yet even the largest LEGO City sets such as #60097 City Square (1683 pieces, $190) and #60098 Heavy-Haul Train (984 pieces, $200) are recommended for ages 6–12. By comparison, the smallest Ninjago sets like #70752 Jungle Trap and #70739 Airjitzu Kai Flyer are aimed at ages 6–14, while the largest non-exclusive sets like #70732 City of Stiix and #70738 Final Flight of Destiny's Bounty are aimed at ages 9–14. The Temple of Airjitzu itself is aimed at ages 14+.

Some might point to the "silliness" of the story as evidence of the Ninjago theme's childishness, what with the colorful ninja piloting sci-fi vehicles and fighting robots, ghosts, and fantasy monsters. And yet there are plenty of AFOLs who have no trouble enjoying LEGO Super Heroes sets (and the corresponding Marvel Cinematic Universe movies) that portray fights between Norse gods, robots, aliens, mutants, mech pilots, and B-movie monsters. I've also heard plenty of AFOL excitement for the Scooby-Doo theme, based on a series in which a bunch of teenagers and their talking dog solve formulaic cartoon mysteries perpetrated by middle-aged men and women in goofy monster costumes. Are these things honestly any less silly, or is it just the veneer of nostalgia that makes AFOLs less afraid to enjoy these "old-school" cartoon and comic book adventures?

For what it's worth, the LEGO Ninjago TV series can be quite cerebral compared to what you might expect from a merchandise-driven cartoon, with plenty of character development, complex storylines, and moral ambiguity. The LEGO Ninjago sets are intricate and full of creative part use, elaborate action features, and intricate details. So why is it that so many AFOLs who casually enjoy themes aimed at an even younger audience have a hard time seeing Ninjago as anything other than a "kiddy theme"?

The only explanation I've been able to come up with is that character-driven, genre-blending themes like Ninjago are so different than the themes many older AFOLs grew up with like Town or Castle. Because so many kids, teens, and young adults like these themes in a way they can't begin to understand, these older AFOLs assume that themes like Ninjago are simply more childish than the LEGO themes and movie brands that they continue to enjoy from their own childhoods.


LEGO Mini-Dolls

Posted by Aanchir , Jun 09 2015 · 76 views
LEGO, Friends, Elves and 2 more...
Is it bad that I think the ‪LEGO Elves are a lot cuter and more interesting as mini-dolls than they would ever have been as classic minifigs?
It seems like for a lot of people, the classic minifigure is sacred and untouchable. I disagree. It has some real, meaningful disadvantages. Mini-dolls aren't perfect either, but there's nothing wrong with sometimes or always preferring its advantages (more realistic faces and proportions, less blocky body shape, more detailed outfits) over those of the minifigure.

And it bugs me to no end to hear mini-dolls described as anorexic, because it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. To have minifigure-like body proportions, an average 20– to 29-year-old man in the United States (69.5 inches tall) would need an eighty-inch waistline, and an average adult woman in that age range (64 inches tall) would need a 73-inch waistline. Either way, that's twice the size of a waistline that would put you at high risk for obesity-related diseases. (Source: http://en.wikipedia....ist_measurement). By contrast, people those heights with mini-doll proportions would have healthy 34.5-inch (male) and 32-inch (female) waistlines.

Arguably if the minifigure and mini-doll didn't both have such exaggeratedly large heads (probably the most exaggerated feature of both figures), then both figures' waists would be even larger relative to their heights. And yet you don't see anybody complaining that minifigures and mini-dolls alike promote an unhealthy or unrealistic head size...


February is a Whirlwind of a Month

Posted by Aanchir , Feb 08 2015 · 522 views
Life, LEGO, BZPower
Hey everybody. Sorry it's been a while since I last blogged! But we're less than halfway through February and already there's been more than enough news in the last week and a half to fill a blog entry.

On Saturday, January 31st I was invited by Black Six to become a BZPower News Reporter. I jumped at the opportunity. I already report news to BZPower rather frequently, and this was an opportunity to both do that in an official capacity and help other people get the news THEY find on the front page. The news was announced two days ago. I'm still learning the ropes, but hopefully soon I can be posting news articles.

But in the meantime, something has come up that might make me even busier. You see, just a day earlier, I learned that the LEGO Group had liked an application I had put in for a design position in their girls' category and wanted a Skype interview with me that coming Monday. The interview was a great experience. I got to speak with Rosario Costa, the design director for the LEGO Group's entire girls' category. It was an honor for me to even be able to speak with a designer so influential, and I felt like the interview went well.

I was told I'd hear back within the next week about whether I would be moving on to the next stage of the recruitment process. In the meantime, I finished inking my Gali drawing from December and got set up to receive BZPower news e–mails. Yesterday I got another e–mail from LEGO recruitment. It was an invitation to an all-expense-paid trip to attend a recruitment workshop in Billund! The workshop will be on the 23rd and 24th of this month. The e–mail also included a design assignment to work on over the next two weeks (the LEGO Group will be shipping me bricks to use).

I recognize, if I get this job, I will have to give up my recently acquired BZPower news position. But even if I do well in this workshop, I have no idea how long it might be before I hear whether I got the job, let alone before I start work. In the meantime, I hope I will be able to help the news team report on LEGO news, including the impending release of the Elves theme which I've been eagerly anticipating.

Working as a LEGO designer has long been a dream of mine, and even if I don't get the job I'm thrilled to have made it this far, and that confidence will help motivate me to apply for other LEGO job openings in the future. And the workshop experience should also give me a taste of just what it will take for me to achieve this lifelong dream. :)


Stumbling through songwriting

Posted by Aanchir , Dec 26 2014 · 238 views

I was just catching up on BZPower blogs and came across Windrider's recent blog entry where she came out as transgender. At some point after I finished reading it I felt inspired, so I started typing on my phone until I had some decent-sounding song lyrics. Unfortunately, I neither write nor play music, so the chance of turning this into a finished song is extremely uncertain. But I figured I'd share them here.

The song is actually BIONICLE-related, written from the perspective of Takanuva after his transformation. But it's also meant to be able to be read from the perspective of a transgender person who is admitting their true gender identity for the first time. I apologize in advance if it sounds patronizing. I've never had to struggle to understand my own identity, but there's still something truly inspiring about a person who has acknowledging that their true identity is different than the one that was assigned to them at birth. Anyway, here goes.

Who I Am

I've been wandering aimlessly
For what was really in me all along
I wasn't sure what I was meant to be,
Like my identity was written wrong

People said I should settle down
And stop questioning what I should be
But I knew settling would just amount
To never knowing my true destiny

I always felt out of place
With the mask on my face
And I hope you all understand
That the mask that I've worn
since the day I was born
is not the measure of who I am

I may seem like a stranger, now
With a name that you have not known before,
A face and body that are changed somehow
From the familiar ones you knew me for

Underneath, though, I haven't changed,
And now I'm surer than I've ever been
That I've found just what I was looking for,
The me that long was hidden deep within

I always felt out of place
With the mask on my face
And I hope you all understand
That the mask that I've worn
since the day I was born
is not the measure of who I am
Who I am

Please accept the new name I chose
The path that finally I know is mine,
Don't insist that I am just confused,
Or that the name I had before was fine

United with the friends I have made,
My duty to myself and all will be
To chart a future where we're not afraid
To shine a light upon our destinies!

I always felt out of place
With the mask on my face
And I hope you all understand
That the mask that I've worn
since the day I was born
is not the measure of who I am
Who I am
Who I am
Who I am
This is who I am


Anyway, it feels a bit silly to post this, knowing that I have no experience with songwriting and it's probably not any good. But I also would feel terrible to put all that work into it and never even share it. Hopefully I did a better job than I give myself credit for...


BIONICLE 2015 Final Review and Drawing!

Posted by Aanchir , Dec 19 2014 · 920 views
BIONICLE, LEGO, Sets, Reviews and 1 more...
BIONICLE 2015 Final Review and Drawing! In my last entry, I shared my first two BIONICLE 2015 set reviews for The New Elementary. Now, I can share the third and final (for now, at least). Check out my review of 70778 Protector of Jungle, 70780 Protector of Water, and 70781 Protector of Earth right here!

In addition, I've managed to draw something I'm really proud of for the first time in months! Check out my drawing of Gali - Master of Water right here in the General Art subforum!

I'd love to draw some other BIONICLE characters, including maybe one of the Protectors I got, though I might want to wait to see if we learn anything more about their individual personalities in case that might inspire a particularly fitting pose.


BIONICLE 2015 Reviews and MOC!

Posted by Aanchir , Dec 09 2014 · 2,544 views
BIONICLE, LEGO, Sets, Reviews and 1 more...
BIONICLE 2015 Reviews and MOC! Two of my BIONICLE 2015 set reviews for The New Elementary have now been posted, with a third still forthcoming. I received six BIONICLE sets from the LEGO Group to review for that site: three Toa and three Protectors.

Check out my review of 70788 Kopaka - Master of Ice right here!

Check out my review of 70784 Lewa - Master of Jungle and 70786 Gali - Master of Water here!

And finally, because I was lucky enough to receive these three particular Toa, you can see my attempt at building a 2015 version of Toa Kaita Wairuha right here!

What's more, I recently finished writing an article on the BIONICLE theme's triumphant review for Blocks, a British-based magazine for the LEGO fan community! I believe it will be appearing in the January 2015 issue of the magazine.

I am thrilled to have had this opportunity to own, build, and play with these new BIONICLE sets, and for the opportunity to share that experience with the LEGO fan community! My hope is that the articles I've been writing will not only inform BIONICLE fans about the new sets, but also perhaps educate other LEGO fans about just what it is that makes the BIONICLE theme and its return such a big deal for so many people.


Humble Pony Bundle!

Posted by Aanchir , Nov 26 2014 · 287 views
Pony, Comics

Hey everypony! Right now there's a Humble Pony Bundle available, offering $165 worth of digital My Little Pony comics for as low as $15 (though of course, it's pay-what-you-want and a portion of your choosing goes to charity, so some people have paid $50 to $100). This is easily the best deal I've seen on digital My Little Pony comics to date so I definitely recommend it!

Included so far are:

Issues 1–23 of the main series
All ten issues of the My Little Pony Micro-Series
The first ten issues of My Little Pony: Friends Forever
The first two My Little Pony Animated volumes (comic book adaptations of the TV series, with two episodes' worth of story per volume).

This will continue to be available for a little less than two weeks, and more comics will be added to the bundle next Wednesday — but as long as you pay more than the average, those new comics will automatically be made available to you as soon as they're added! So there's no need to put it off until then.

Source: Official My Little Pony topic