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The Evolution of a Fan

Posted by Sumiki , in Rants, Not Essays!, MOCing, Life, BZPower, BIONICLE/LEGO Nov 18 2012 · 233 views

(Sumiki continues the Rants, Not Essays! series after failing to open a pickle jar. He had a tomato instead.)

I used to be a hardcore completist.

Somehow, every year that BIONICLE existed, I was able to get every set from every wave. Once I had gotten every 2002 set, every 2001 set (they still sold 'em in '02) then got every 2003 set, it took on a life of its own. I felt as if I had gotten too far into the collection to turn away, past a point of no return. In the world of business, this is a phenomenon known as "escalation of commitment." If BIONICLE was still going, I'd still probably be a completist.

It wasn't just the sets, though; I was enthralled with the story as well. I'd memorize every new bit of story I could get my hands on. I remember thinking about how so incredibly epic the Rahkshi were (*gasp* knee articulation!) and wondering how they could possibly make the story any cooler. Whether or not they succeeded is a point of contention amongst fans, but I found 2004 to be a pinnacle of awesomeness when it arrived. (*gasp* Elbow articulation!)

At some point, subconsciously at least, it became something I did simply because I did it, and the sheer inertia of the tradition was enough impetus for me to continue doing so, year after year. It became a game. I waited until the sets went on sale and scrounged them up. 2009 was especially like this, and marked a sea-change in my time as a LEGO fan. I still enjoyed building the sets, no doubt about it, but I began a transformation. For the most part, I avoided the Bara Magna story. I simply had no interest in learning it like I had learned the story of previous years. It wasn't an active avoidance, not at first - I just lost interest, plain and simple. I still watched TLR and figured out that Metus was the traitor, but I never got myself into any other '09 story.

Then 2010 came along, and with it came confirmation of the dreaded rumors surrounding the end of BIONICLE as we knew it - and I felt fine. Of course, I felt an obligatory twinge of sadness at the loss of something that had been a constant throughout most of my life, but I recognized what I unconsciously had for so long: I had lost interest in the BIONICLE story to the point where I didn't care what direction it went in. What I was a fan of transformed from story to the building system. I cared about the parts in the sets, not the sets or story. That's why it makes no difference to me what LEGO decides to call their main constraction line. Hero Factory's sets are the natural continuation of BIONICLE's sets. I couldn't care less about the story.

The MOCs that I built, beginning in 2004, became the single most defining aspect of BIONICLE, its constraction line cousins, and LEGO in general. As I drifted away from the story, it was replaced by a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the LEGO system of building, the virtues of which I must extol in another entry, for it is too long and tangential to put here.

Oddly, I'm not particularly nostalgic for those olden times when story and sets mattered significantly to me. Greg's recent story revelations failed send the expected waves of nostalgia over me. I view it as closure, and I'm certainly glad we have it, but I don't want BIONICLE back. Let's face it, ladies and gentlemen: BIONICLE's return would most likely suck, as it would be a continuation of the downhill trend it exhibited in its waning years. It would be like Hero Factory all the way around: similar sets, simplistic story, etc. (Well, maybe it'd be like Ninjago a bit ... but that's another entry.)

My evolution as a fan of LEGO is, statistically speaking, rather stark: I haven't purchased a constraction set since 2010, when I got most of the first Hero Factory wave. Despite the interesting parts, I was unimpressed, and I swore off completeism - not like I really had to or anything. Since then, I've gone completely cold turkey on official sets. I've certainly gotten my fair share of parts from both part orders and BrickFair vendors, but I really have no interest in the new sets themselves. When new LEGO catalogs arrive, I'll only nonchalantly flip through them if I have nothing else better to do. Many times, I'll just recycle them.

Can LEGO get back to those olden days? I don't know. We'll just have to see.

But even if they do, I don't expect to return to my old days of completeism ever again.

NEXT TIME: SUMIKI GETS FRUSTRATED THAT THE PART HE JUST SAW A SECOND AGO ISN'T THERE ANYMORE. DANG IT, WHERE DID IT GO. I JUST SAW IT.

GRRR.


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SUMIKI
You need to get some of the HF shells.
They are the best for building.
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SUMIKI
You need to get some of the HF shells.
They are the best for building.

I have, and I've used them.
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The MOCs that I built, beginning in 2004, became the single most defining aspect of BIONICLE, its constraction line cousins, and LEGO in general. As I drifted away from the story, it was replaced by a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the LEGO system of building, the virtues of which I must extol in another entry, for it is too long and tangential to put here.

Basically this sums it up for me. I got into BIONICLE for the story back in 2001, stayed because I liked to build and BZP really pushed and inspired me in MOCing. I have to say, the lack of activity even in the BBC makes me sad, because who knows what my life would be like had that not existed.
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Paleo, on , said:

SUMIKI
You need to get some of the HF shells.
They are the best for building.
I have, and I've used them.

I'd forgotten about those.
But they're very pretty.
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I used to be a completist (completionist? I always used completionist) myself, but for me it was a lot easier. With two siblings who also collected the theme, I only had to get one-third of the whole lineup, and it definitely helped that the sets I liked the most weren't necessarily the biggest or most impressive (Rockoh T3 is still my baby).

I obviously could never afford to be a completionist in both constraction and the System themes that interested me (which isn't to say I didn't try, back when Exo-Force was around). Most of the time I just tried to get whatever sets would get me the widest range of minifigures and other collectible items at the lowest price, though obviously personal preference came into play when I had multiple options. Ninjago is the closest I've gotten to being a completionist in System, since my brother and I put together a buying plan in 2011 that would get us every minifigure with all equipment, every Golden Weapon, and every dragon, which came out to quite a lot (and many of the sets we didn't get we ended up receiving as gifts).

Anyway, when BIONICLE ended I appreciated the ability to cut constraction sets out of my budget. That didn't really help too much, of course-- LEGO Atlantis and LEGO Space Police ended up eating up a lot of my budget, especially when my brother and I were building our contest entry "Rise of the Dread Colossus" for another site and needed more parts. And it was only a matter of time before the Hero Factory 2.0 sets came out. Liking the systemic nature of the parts, I picked up Stormer 2.0 as an experiment and soon had a nearly-complete collection of Hero Factory sets from that wave (well, I held off on getting Nex and Drilldozer for quite a while, and never ended up getting Nitroblast). The next wave I was able to give up on completionism (getting only Stormer 3.0, Bulk 3.0, and my beloved Raw-Jaw), in part because I had been saving up to start a Ninjago collection during Brickfair, and had more than enough sets to satisfy my LEGO cravings over the next half a year. And as of this year, the Hero Factory lineup for the full year is once again divisible by three (nine heroes and nine villains), so it's back to a three-way split between me and my two siblings in that regard. I guess in a way it's come full circle, although Hero Factory doesn't have nearly as many high-dollar sets as BIONICLE had so I can collect the sets with a much clearer conscience now.
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Dangit Sumiki, stop making good entries! >:(
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He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life

How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six

[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker

Sumiki is magic. - Cholie

Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles

Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo


"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker


LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie


Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva


BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex


What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus


I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh


EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru


Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok


Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker


Sumiki - hat-wearing ladies man. - Black Six


He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist


I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens


I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig


I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk


I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome


Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex


Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz


10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome

    

Sumiki
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17th All-Time Premier Poster
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.

10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith

11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)

    

1/3/12 - Daiker
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/13 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
8/27/13 - 8/5/14 - None
8/12/14 - Another Chro Original
8/19/14 - Kanohi Zatth
8/26/14 - Miniland Hatpile
9/2/14 - S. S. Starfish
9/9/14 - Special - Claude Hairgel
9/16/14 - Green Flame
9/23/14 - Avohkah Tamer
9/30/14 - Special - The Havoc Wreaker
10/7/14 - Fire Snake

    

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Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Leaders:
Sumiki
Waffles

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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:

You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.

just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle

so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay

nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION

[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange

Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra




You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.

Also a long line of really great hats.

Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.

have we mentioned hats

To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.

It's a long story.

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