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. 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!

A Golden-Red Horizon


Reboot vs. Continuation

Posted by Aanchir , Sep 23 2014 · 574 views
I made the following analogy in a BIONICLE-related Facebook group I'm in, and my twin brother Lyichir says I should post it here as well, so here goes.

Think of BIONICLE as horse racing. LEGO is betting on a horse race for the first time in five years. If they win, they will have enough money to bet on future races (future waves of the theme). If they lose, they give up on betting on horse races forever, because it's no longer worth their time and money. There are many, many horses (potential customers) in the current race that are young, fit, fast, and enthusiastic, just like past winners have usually been.

Then there are a small number of older horses that were regular winners years ago, but they were already getting old the last time LEGO bet on a race, and haven't raced at all in five years. They are by now becoming too old for racing, they run slowly (in this analogy, don't tend to buy sets as regularly), and they have every intention of jumping the track the minute they get the sense that they don't like how the race is turning out.

Which horses do you think LEGO should put their money on? Remember that this is their only chance to get this right. If they lose, they quit betting on horse racing (in other words, give up on BIONICLE) entirely. As Greg said on the LEGO Message Boards, this is something that LEGO only really has one shot to get right.


I'm going to Comic Con?

Posted by Aanchir , Sep 09 2014 · 436 views
I'm going to Comic Con. And since Eurobricks is graciously providing two passes (one for me and one for a companion of my choosing) I'm bringing my brother Lyichir along. I'm honestly somewhat grateful that it's only going to be for one day, because this is going to be a VERY new experience for me and I'm sure having to plan for three or four days on such short notice would be incredibly overwhelming.

I also realize that I haven't blogged about BIONICLE's return since the initial leaks back in July. Honestly, I'm tremendously excited based on what I've seen of the new BIONICLE. So if the NYCC new theme reveal happens to be the new BIONICLE, it will be amazing to be one of the first people to witness the official reveal! Of course, if it turns out to be something else, I'm confident it will still be an amazing experience. After all, I'm generally very impressed with the quality of modern day LEGO designs, no matter what the theme — even if it's a theme I don't personally intend to collect.

This might also be good practice for BronyCon 2015 (which I'm also registered for, yay!). Brickfair is the largest fan convention I've ever been to, and it's a lot different than your typical pop culture convention, so learning how to plan and maneuver around the inevitable crowds should be helpful.

It's too early to plan out everything I'll see. My pass is only good for Thursday, October 9, and includes admission to the con itself, the 1:00 p.m. LEGO Group panel, AND the evening event when they'll be announcing a new theme for next year. But since the main NYCC schedule is not posted yet, I have no idea what I'll do for the rest of my day there. I guess I'll have to keep a close eye on that in the weeks to come! In the meantime, I will be enjoying the rest of Ninjago Month here on BZPower — glad to see another of my favorite themes getting some much-deserved recognition. All things considered, I have a lot to look forward to!


70162 Infearno Interception Review

Posted by Aanchir , Aug 25 2014 · 630 views
LEGO, Ultra Agents, Review and 1 more...
A little over a month ago, Tim Johnson (owner of one of my favorite LEGO blogs, The New Elementary) approached me asking if I'd like to review some sets for his site. I jumped at the opportunity, and today I can announce that my first review for TNE is now live! Click here to take a look at this amazing set and the many interesting LEGO elements it offers!

I am very proud of how this review turned out. I am already working on another review for the site, and will share it here when it is complete!


The serials and their function

Posted by Aanchir , Aug 22 2014 · 411 views
I was just reflecting on which BIONICLE books I liked most and least, and I got to thinking about something. While the serials are often heavily criticized for being bloated, aimless, and an obstacle to new BIONICLE fans, I'm starting to get a sense of why they were introduced in the first place (other than as a free online method of story dispersal).

The books in the year 2006 were among my least favorite. At many points felt like the characters were rushing from one battle or crisis to another without pause, and the characterization in these books (in my opinion) was very weak. Subsequently, Prisoners of the Pit ended up being one of my favorite BIONICLE books because it got to explore the Toa Mahri, their relationships with one another, and how becoming Toa had affected them much better than the 2006 story had done for the Toa Inika.

What changed for the BIONICLE storyline in 2007? The biggest change was the introduction of BIONICLEstory.com and the first story serials. And I think that while their own quality may be contested, they helped to relieve some of the bloating that the main story had undergone in 2006. Instead of the main story having to make room for minor characters from the sets like Umbra and Irnakk or combi models like Protodax, Botar, and the Kardas Dragon, the story serials could deal with these kind of characters (as seen in Dreams of Destruction, which focused on the store-exclusive characters Lesovikk, Karzahni, Sarda, and Idris, or Brothers in Arms, which focused on the store-exclusive characters Mazeka and Vultraz). Instead of the main story having to keep tabs on fan-favorite characters from previous story arcs like the Toa Nuva, Roodaka, the Rahaga/Toa Hagah, the Order of Mata Nui, and the Dark Hunters, the story serials could keep tabs on their adventures (as seen in the Toa Nuva Blog, Federation of Fear, Destiny War, Dark Mirror, and Dwellers in Darkness).

These things freed up the main story as told in the books to focus on the characters who actually mattered most: the current Toa team, their current allies, and their current enemies. The books could spend more time on characterization and world-building. They didn't have to do so much jumping around between spatial and temporal settings. They didn't have to have so many characters who got in the way of the Toa just because there was a set or combi model to promote and the designers didn't give a lot of thought into how to fit those characters or situations into the main storyline.

I can't tell you for sure whether the serials are every bit as bad as people remember them. I just skimmed through the 2007 ones to remember what they were about specifically, and the writing is weak compared to the books — in some cases, weaker than I had remembered. The fact that my memories of the later serials were not fond enough to even go back and skim them is telling. Perhaps part of the reason the serials got more tangled and bloated as they went on is because, with more and more characters being introduced to the story and fewer and fewer books to fit them in, they started to suffer the very same fate they were meant to save the main story from. In any case, I definitely don't think that the serials are themselves redeemed by the purpose they served, but perhaps I still owe them some thanks for what they were: a pressure release valve of sorts to reduce the out-of-control expansion the main story was losing the ability to deal with on its own.


Brickfair Highlights

Posted by Aanchir , Aug 08 2014 · 523 views
BrickFair, LEGO, BZPower and 2 more...
I am way behind writing up my Brickfair recap, so I'm going to just go over some of the highlights.
  • Shortly after I arrived, I learned that Delwyn Buckler got featured on the back cover of the event program! Awesome!
  • Here's my haul from vendors and yard sales. It includes a lot of cool stuff, including a bunch of useful Hero Factory parts, six LEGO Friends mini-dolls for customizing, and a UV light for my MOC during the World of Lights event on Friday.
  • At the live auction on Friday, Nukaya's Benny painting became set a BrickFair record for the highest bid on a single item, selling for two thousand dollars! It was amazing to be there to hear the bids continue to climb!
  • The World of Lights was AMAZING! Not quite as great as it could have been, maybe, because the convention center's emergency lights flooded out some parts Here's my submarine all lit up. I will have plenty of uses for that blacklight in the future, I'm sure! This guy was also amazing!
  • On Sunday I participated in the BZPower parts draft. Five other participants and I chose parts from ten copies of 44021 Splitter Beast vs Furno & Evo. Here's my haul — I chose some of the largest and heaviest pieces, apparently, but I have already found some great uses for them!
  • I participated in the Hatpile, contributing just one hat. Maybe I'll bring more next year.
  • My Blacktron Vivisector won the Brickee award for "Best Small Space Craft"! I was totally surprised when I found out! Here's a picture of it with the trophy (sorry it's blurry)!
  • I went to dinner with fourteen other BZPower members on Sunday. Overall, the food was mediocre and the service was execrable (I'm probably going to do my best never to eat at a Longhorn Steakhouse again), but the company of my fellow BZPower members was fantastic.
Overall, I had a fantastic time at BrickFair this year. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again next year! Especially since next year *drum roll* BronyCon and BrickFair are going to be on different weekends! So for the first time, I'm going to be able to go to both events! Yay!


Brickfair and Other Plans

Posted by Aanchir , Jul 28 2014 · 682 views
Brickfair, LEGO, community, life
Welp, I'm pretty close to prepared for Brickfair. Got my clothes, MOCs, name badge, and art all packed up.

MOCs I'm exhibiting this year include Caitlyn Gauss XL, Delwyn Buckler, Blacktron Vivisector, Kit Martello, Hero Factory Canine Buddy, Rise of the Dread Colossus (submarine only — I had to borrow some of the Dread Colossus's tentacles for Delwyn's hair, so he's out of commission), and My Little Tahu. I think Delwyn Buckler and Caitlyn Gauss XL will probably be the most popular of those seven.

As far as art is concerned, I will mostly be bringing the same collection of drawings I brought last year — sadly, I have not really made much cool new LEGO-related art since then.

I'm registered for the BZPower parts draft and will also probably be bringing a hat or two for the Hatpile. A number of my BZPower friends who I spent time with last year (Lady Kopaka, Turakii #1 Lavasurfer, Toa Lhikan Hordika, and Cholie) will not be making it this year for various reasons, so I think a good portion of my time will be spent trying to make new connections both within the BZPower community and the larger AFOL community.

I will also look at vendors to see if I can find anything that interests me. While packing, I came to the realization that I do not really have any light-colored LEGO T-shirts, except for old Brickfair T-shirts and a Barraki Kalmah T-shirt that is a little worse for the wear. So as with last year, I will definitely want to try buying some new LEGO-related wearables. I'll also be on the lookout for affordable CCBS parts and constraction sets. I got a steal on some pre-owned Legends of Chima constraction sets last year (basically half-off), and a bunch of useful CCBS parts the year before.

This will be my first time staying at a hotel for Brickfair (in the past my family has always driven there and back each day), so that should enable me to take part in more evening activities, including enjoying the brand-new "World of Lights" (sadly, none of my MOCs are going to have any light-up features, though). Maybe a visit to the vendors could change that, if they happen to be selling LifeLites or something similar, but generally the MOCs I'm bringing aren't characterized by a lot of transparent elements.

If you happen to be attending, come and find me! I will be wearing the same brick badge as the past two years, though it is larger than the one pictured and has more yellow (including a brick printed with my screen name, Aanchir). I should be spending a good amount of time at the BIONICLE table hanging out with the BZPower crew.

That about covers it, I think! If you're also going to be at Brickfair, leave a comment so I'll know to be on the lookout for you!


Ask me anypony... err, anything

Posted by Aanchir , Jul 24 2014 · 408 views

Because everyone else is doing it, and why not? I've never done one of these things before. So if you haven't run out of questions after replying to all the OTHER blog entries, here's one more.


BIONICLE Movie Soundtracks

Posted by Aanchir , Jul 15 2014 · 1,389 views
LEGO, BIONICLE, Movies, Music
I was just listening to some BIONICLE movie soundtracks on BioMedia Project. While it's good for a nostalgia kick, I'm finding that much of the music is just as generic as I remembered.

I don't mean that in the sense that it's not memorable or distinctive. It definitely checks both of those boxes. But there's nothing about it that makes it a particularly apt fit for the BIONICLE story and universe in particular. A lot of it sounds like it could just as easily belong to an adaptation of any adventure story, like an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Most of the instrumentation feels like very typical Hollywood adventure movie fare.

Anybody else remember BIONICLEmusic.com? Something that's always stuck in my head was the description on the mixer page: "The music of BIONICLE is a mixture of the mystical and the mechanical. Like the Toa, it blends the power of high technology with a raw elemental force." The only music that checks either of those boxes in the first three BIONICLE movie soundtracks (at least the selections featured on BMP — I don't know how much they might be omitting) is the end credits music. In the first movie, the end credits movie has some very clear tribal drum rhythms, while in the second movie it includes both those rhythms and some synthesized electronic/mechanical sounds. The third movie's end credits music keeps the exciting drumbeats but for some reason loses the electronic sounds once again.

I respect Nathan Furst's work here, and what he's capable of, but this is the reason these have never really ranked among my favorite BIONICLE music or my favorite soundtracks in general.

What kinds of soundtracks do I generally like? Well, the soundtrack to The LEGO Movie is one good example. The music in that has a feel that perfectly suits the janky, stop-motion-style action that characterizes the movie. Likewise, the soundtracks for Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra both do a fantastic job evoking the Asian-inspired fantasy world with their rhythms and instrumentation. Even LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu does a good job with this — give this playlist a listen if you want to hear plenty of amazing examples.

If next year's BIONICLE revival has a soundtrack even half as well-suited to the franchise as any of these franchise's soundtracks, I will consider it a major improvement. BIONICLE has had some fantastic music over the years, but I feel that in the movies in particular, it too often came at the expense of the soundtrack's sense of identity.