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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!

Team J.A.F.



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SDCC Exclusives

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jul 28 2015 · 64 views

The funny thing is I didn't go to the event at all! In fact, the entire time I was in my office at work because, y'know, weekend shift and all.

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So these are the two SDCC Exclusives I was able to get ahold of. Sam Wilson Captain America was actually a win from Lego's Twitter raffle, which was very cool! (Like yeah, I tried reporting more on that for a reason.) I wasn't the only winner... I think they gave out 10 each of the figs and the masks over Twitter, but still a little mind boggling that I won.

The Skull Scorpio mask was bought off ebay for like $35. Which is I guess relatively cheap, but that's the most I've ever paid for a Bionicle mask. (Previous high was $25 for trans light blue Kaukau.) The Skull design is okay, although it would've been nicer to have one of the Toa's mask instead. (Mask of Jungle, anyone??) Still, looks rad under a black light, so I need to make a decent TNG MOC to use this one on.

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Cap Sam Wilson is super detailed, with great printing on the front and back. And those legs aren't just printed red; they're two toned, so the entire lower leg is red, even on the back. I wonder if they'll put that level of detail into future mass production figs. He doesn't have his wings, but I did buy the regular Falcon, so they can swap out and Cap Sam Wilson can take to the skies. Overall, a highly detailed fig and a great example of an exclusive (AKA one you can live without but gosh it does look really cool in hand.)

Okay, I'm done with my bragging. (Although I guess winning also caused the Lego twitter to start following my twitter account... which, to be fair, has primarily been used on Lego contests in the last year. I did post a ton of picts for the Bionicle mask hunt.)

:music:


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I Still Don't Like Ants

Posted by xccj , in TV Jul 17 2015 · 154 views

But Ant-Man was a good movie.

Some great action, some decent characters. Pacing felt a little off near the middle, but the finale was solid. But it played it high with the humor, which I really appreciate. A lot of LOL moments, especially with his "crew". But quite a few deaths in this one too, and although a lot weren't a huge focus, there were a few that were emotional. Still, would see again. Probably will see again.

Still, some of the swarm scenes with the ants creeped me out. I'm not a big fan of ants IRL. It was cool to see them acting like a team (and god forbid ants actually learned how to do that IRL our species would be toast) but there were a lot of scenes that felt more realistic and thus squeamish-worthy.

Spoiler


Make sure to stay until the very end... there are TWO end credit scenes here, and both are worth it.

:music:


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Review: Raptor Rampage

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 16 2015 · 41 views
Jurassic World, Dinosaur
So the other day I finally got my copy of 75917 Raptor Rampage (otherwise known as the Chris Pratt V3 parts pack) in the mail. I had ordered it for double VIP points in June, but it was backordered, so it took three weeks to get here. :shrugs: Full disclosure, I haven't seen the film, and don't feel inspired to see it in theaters either. I just assume that the raptors chase and eat people. And Owen takes them on friendly motorcycle rides.

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The figs are... decent. Owen's okay, pretty much like a cross of Indiana Jones and Star Lord. (Maybe I'll attach the Piece of Resistance to his back, just 'cus.) Claire has a good printed torso that I know I can use in custom figs, so plus there. ACU guy is boring, IMO, but I see potential for space army building stuff. Too bad this one is just a boring white guy.

The two raptors are also fun, realistic depiction aside. Movable arms and legs and neck and jaw... kinda odd that the tail doesn't pop off, but okay. I didn't get into the dino theme last time, so these molds are new to me. Nice printing and colors, and it is cool that we get two. Think the theme could've done with a few more herbivores, but I guess those aren't the exciting action ones. (For the record, I still have my Johnny Thunder Dino Island dinos, and they're great even if they're mostly large molds.)

The vehicle is... blocky. Like, this can be positive and negative. On one hand, it's large and bulky, looks like something that could take a beating. It's made up of some useful parts, particularly large plates and bricks, which I can certainly find useful, and an interesting chassis that keeps it pretty high off the ground. On the other hand, the design is fairly unimaginative. The back, in particular, is a mostly uninspired box, and there's not a whole lot of interesting designs in the cab either. Maybe I'm just jaded now as an older, more experienced builder, but I'm just disappointed in something this basic, even if I do like the pieces. Although I must admit, the clever way the turret slides in the back works. But to end on a sour note... there are stickers everywhere. I applied the one Jurassic World sticker to the hood, and that was it. For me, this set is a parts pack, so I'm not going to sully the other bricks and panels with dino scratch stickers. Meh.

Even at double VIP points, this set is overpriced at $50. I like the figs (well, two at least) and the two Raptors are nice. I'm disappointed with the truck, but don't mind the pieces that make it up. So yeah, I stand behind my statement that this is a Chris Pratt parts pack. (I haven't gotten it yet, but I think the Dilophosaurus Ambush might be a better value set. Even though the Gray fig is boring, at least the ACU trooper is non-flesh.) For the Raptor Rampage, maybe wait until you can find it on sale. (Assuming these do go on sale. I still think they're mediocre sets, but they've been flying off the shelves thanks to the movie's popularity, it seems.)

:music:


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Earthquake in the PNW

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jul 15 2015 · 74 views
earthquake
So I guess the other day was "Massive Earthquake awareness in the Pacific Northwest Day" due to an article posted by the NewYorker detailing the chances and consequences of a massive 9.0+ quake in the region. I knew most of the science behind it, but I didn't quite realize how woefully unprepared we are. Like, best estimates, we won't get electricity back for three weeks, running water for two months! Come on, my life it totally online, I don't know how I'd manage that! (I mean, I've done extended camping trips, but this would be a pain...)

I also reflected on how I'd fair in such a quake. At work... well I'm in the top floor of an older brick building, AKA the ones sure to go down. At home, I'm on the third floor of an apartment building, which probably wouldn't stand because what landlords are cheap. (Maybe, I don't know for sure? More importantly, would my Lego collection be salvageable?) Commuting to work, at least I don't cross any major bridges anymore... but I do spend 20+ minutes a day in the train tunnel, which is probably like a terrible place to be.

So yeah, just been thinking about natural disasters and whatnot, and now everybody else is too, so when I'm online reading questions about various scenarios, I'm like "Hey I already know about that 'cause I researched it before." Because, honestly, natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and stuff are scary as Karzahni, and understanding them and how to avoid them helps but there's no avoiding this and when this hits WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. (Maybe, probably.)

But hey it will probably take care of the hipster population in Portland. And might also wipe out the people who complain about hipsters, who are just as bad. B-)

In other news, PLUTO! SO COOL!

:music:


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Review: Flash Speeder

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 13 2015 · 106 views
Star Wars
The other day I ordered the 75091 Flash Speeder Star Wars set. I was planning to pick it up anyway, but I decided to wait until the Star Wars collectible poster promo, so I got that too. The set was actually pretty delightful, and I'm glad I made the purchase. Although, honestly, I don't remember this vehicle from the movie very much, but it's green, so yay!

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First off, the figs. I may or may not have wanted this set primarily for the medium nougat not-super-frowny head of the Naboo Security Guard. (I was tempted to get the $90 MTT for him last year, but that was too costly and the fig's Bricklink price was also too steep, so glad he showed up in a cheaper set.) (Also i guess it's the same head used for the not-white ACU Trooper in Jurassic World, so maybe a new standard head for diversity?) (I have a fig who needs it.) Anyway, I guess nice design, with a fancy hat, but it's the head that's important. There's also the security officer, who is just another frowny flesh-toned guy (who apparently reuses the head from Hobbit style Legolas), showing that half the people in Star Wars (and I suppose also Middle Earth) are just not happy ever. (That probably affects the force.) I do like his sand blue arms and legs, but otherwise he's kind of meh. Then there's the Gungan guy. (Do we hate him because he's Gungan, or do we just hate JarJar and the others are cool?) I wasn't too excited about him until I realized he had lavender arms... and then got less excited when I realized it was the lighter shade of lavender. (Still, a fairly uncommon arm color, just not my favorite.) Then we got two Battle Droids, and I realize that I don't like Battle Droid figs because they are way too flimsy. So, in conclusion, I guess there are a few rarer fig parts here, and while the figs themselves are detailed enough and fit with the scene, they're otherwise nothing too special.

But once you get over the disappointment of the figs, the actual ship actually is pretty neat. First of all, its green, and I like green and can always use more green pieces. But this is also a cool green design, with a lot of smooth curves and SNOT techniques. Like, there are a bunch of curved green slopes, and I like that. (I guess I wish there had been some green cheese slopes, cause I could use more of those, but you only get two 1x2 cheese slopes.) Another interesting design bit is that the interior has offset seating for four, which is a neat trick, and I like the backrest designs too. Even cooler, IMO, is the door design, in which the sides just entirely lift up. Wasn't a feature I was expecting, TBH. The blasters on the back have a decent range of motion and such, so I guess they're okay. Oh, and there are small hidden compartments in the headrests in the back, which ends up working quite well.

The set comes with 312 pieces (plus a few extras) and a bunch of them come in green, so as a parts pack it definitely excels, at least in my book. (Granted, not a lot of rare pieces, but the 10 length green curved slopes are exclusive, so I'm pleased enough.) The figs are worth more for their parts than their whole selves, and end up being a little underwhelming, even if I can find a use for those parts. And the set itself has a great, smooth design, a bunch of nice features, and it's fairly sizable and swooshable. And it's only $29.99 USD, so it's fairly affordable. (Gosh, I used to think $10 were affordable, and now I'm stretching it and saying $30 counts... so maybe less "affordable" and more "won't break the bank.") I think it has enough pros to be considered a decent set for most folks. But if you just don't need green slopes or really dislike the Phantom Menace, I guess maybe look elsewhere? Works for me, anyway!

:music:


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Today is Just Too Hot

Posted by xccj , in News Jul 01 2015 · 140 views

I'll just preface this in saying that I have no heat tolerance.

So, I spent all of last summer in an apartment with no Air Conditioning and it was terrible. I decided to get ahead of the curve and got an (expensive) portable AC unit a few months ago. But its loud and is constantly filling up with water that needs to be changed every 40 minutes when its on, but as needy as it was, it did provide cool air for a bit.

But it's been in the upper 90s here this week, and then the bloody interior fan decided to break, causing it to make a really irksome high pitch whine while running. So, yeah, not working. I am not very pleased with this at all, and it is still way too hot out. Man, summers suck. At least I can take comfort is knowing that I have full AC at work... yay.

Also, I guess a lot of people liked my last review of Skull SLICAHR! But apparently I also upset a bunch of other people, to the point where a few are asking me to never review anything again. So, YAY, I upset Youtube Trolls!! But there are still some out there, so I will continue to post sub quality reviews until I hath angered every last one of em. Muhahaha.

Curse the heat.

:music:


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Reverse Engineering Contest IV: Thoughts On It

Posted by xccj , in News Jun 06 2015 · 16 views

So for the past 10 weeks I have been partaking in the Reverse Engineering Contest IV on Flickr. It's been my first real Flickr contest, and it's been interesting to interact with a different community of builders. Anyway, the idea was the host would post some small, convoluted Lego design and we would have to show how it was built. Lots of odd dimensions, from 1/2 plates to 1/4 plates to mind-numbing 1/8 plates. Not a lot of room for technic, mostly system. But it's been fun. There would be two challenges a week, although a couple of times five were squeezed in.

I initially started it just to see how well I could do, but I managed to get all the main challenges, but I lost in the second round of the tie breaker, so I'm officially out as far as prizes are concerned. But I've learned a few new techniques and such, and now to see if I can use any (of the legal ones) in some MOCs...

While I can't blame this contest for all my inactivity from the last couple of months, it is a big reason why I haven't MOCed much. :sly:

:music:


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Lego Slingshot

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts May 22 2015 · 131 views

I finally managed to track down some Collectible Minifigures: Simpsons Series Two, and got the only one that I really wanted: Bartman. Even then I don't care much for the fig itself, since I have a generally negative view of the Simpson figs. However, he does come with a slingshot accessory, which is the first time Lego had produced one. (Although they've been printed on torsos before, my self fig torso has one printed on it.) (I'm also annoyed that, while the Lego Hobbit game gave Ori the Dwarf a unique slingshot ability, he did not get one in the set.)

The reason I am so interested in this slingshot element is that it's for a story I've written. I've minifigure-ized most of the characters, and I tried to give them Lego weapons based off the story. That works when the weapons are standard, like a sword or bow, but one of the characters uses a slingshot, and until now I haven't had an accurate assessor to give him. (I've used one of the fork-like Bionicle minifig weapons from back in the day instead.) So now his character is now properly armed. Yay.

Granted, two characters are still unrepresented. I need Lego to make minifig-sized accessories of a boomerang (preferably black, but dark brown seems like a natural choice) and a yoyo. Why does one of my characters use a yoyo as a weapon? IT SEEMS LIKE A COOL IDEA AT THE TIME, KAY! And it still is; it's like a metal ball you throw at people and then draw back cause it's attached to a string you're holding, what's not to like? (Oh, in the story the yoyo can also emit a blinding light to use against your enemies, but that doesn't need to be represented in Lego necessarily.)

:music:


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I Saw Ultron

Posted by xccj , in TV May 01 2015 · 154 views

He was actually a far more interesting character than I thought the trailers made him out to be.

The movie was good overall. A lot of cameo or guest appearances. Except for one that I was hoping for...

Spoiler


But, of course, the most critical part of the movie must come under some scrutiny, and that is... how well do the Lego sets fit in with it? Spoilers beware:

Spoiler


Anyway, good movie, glad I saw it. Based on first impressions, not necessarily my favorite Marvel movie (that might go to Winter Soldier, and even the first Avengers was a bit better) but still a very good movie, especially for all the characters it managed to handle, and all of the future plot lines it left for future films.

:music:


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Wait... Do Kanoka glow in the dark in the story?

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Apr 05 2015 · 265 views

The Kanoka discs in set form glow in the dark, but was that ever canon-ized?

I found I sudddenly need to know this but have never considered the idea before. I guess.

:music:






August 2015

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He Totally Is.


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Blog Subtitles

Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

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