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

Team J.A.F.


Kopaka Phantoka

Posted by xccj , Apr 20 2008 · 937 views
Didn't I say that I didn't have enough money to afford the Phantoka until they went on sale?

Just ignore that part and I'll put off eating for a day to compensate.

Now for a picturefied review!

Well, well, well. Here I am with the last Toa Phantoka, and the team leader, Kopaka. Does me meet up to his counterparts from previous years?

Kopaka Mata was super WIN. Not my favorite Mata, but still an excellent and unique design (with the shield and all). Anyway, I spent two months searching through retails stores in 01 looking for him... whenever my mom went somewhere they might sell Lego sets, I went too, but he was just never there! bigeek.gif Kopaka Nuva was okay, but overly bulky. So far with the Phantoka, I must say the new sets do look better than the Nuva, but not the Mata. Just so I have that cleared up.

The most disappointing thing about Kopaka is his Inika-ness. His basic design is almost identical to the Inika, with only a few minor changed. Sure, he does look okay, but I won't truly say that Lego's moved away from clonism. I remember somebody saying in a blog review that they have seen Lego move away from the clones, and now they want them back. I laughed at the time, but they're right. Even if the sets are semi-clones, if they're decent sets like the Bohrok, Rahkshi, or Piraka, they'll probably do well. The Kal were a problem because they weren't just clones of each other, but clones of the previous villain line of Bohrok. I hate to say this, but Kopaka just looks like a clone of the Inika. If Lego started making cloned sets again, then they would be able to afford to make new limb and torso designs for just one set of canister sets. I thought the Inika were okay, but now I'm just bored down the line. (Although bonesiii did point out that there's not much they can do to improve on the mobility of the set, so why change a good thing?)

'll talk about the limbs for a moment... they consist primarily of Piraka leg pieces. While they do make excellent lower legs... and I'm fine with Kopaka's legs... they make horrid lower arms. First, having the same piece for the arms and legs is bad. The arms should be shorter or thinner, preferably both. The Mata all work, as do most of the Nuva, and Kongu and Jaller Inika can pass as well. But the same pieces for arms and legs blow the proportions. Gali Nuva wasn't amazing when it came to arm pieces, and I said the same thing with a majority of the Inika, and Kopaka as well. Worst, with the shoulder armor, it's impossible for Kopaka's shoulder to go into a 90 degree angle because the arm piece and shoulder armor collide. It's irksome, and I might switch out Kopaka's arms later on for something better (like Rahkshi leg pieces, I think I might have a few of those in Metru grey). And, while I'm on the limbs, I will say I like the white Inika feet. They be cool.

The major new thing that Kopaka has that the Inika don't are the wings. The design for them is somewhat basic but effective. The airplane wings do work for Kopaka, in my opinion. Kopaka's always had a super technologic look about him... something to do with a mask with lenses in it. Plain and effective airplane wings would suit him fine, much better than propellers or jetpacks would. And dragon wings... no, I don't see that for a Toa of ice. The wings do look a bit awkward if positioned incorrectly. They aren't meant for flapping, after all. The best position is to push them in until they're blocked by the back piece that's made to hold Solek. (BTW, I said earlier that Lewa's connection piece was a unique design compared to Pohatu... but I guess Kopaka has the exact same design. Oh well, it still works, and is better than the Makuta's.) Anyway, the wings make for great potential MOCing pieces... much better than either the jetpack pieces or Pohatu's propellers.

The weapon... unfortunately, Kopaka is mostly limited to a Midak blaster with a scope. I prefer him to hold the blaster in one hand, but they leave the other hand feeling empty. But when he's holding onto it with both hands, the pose-ability (understandably) goes down. Oh well, maybe I can fit a custom shield in his spare hand. I've already gone over the Midak... excellent shooter that holds the spheres pretty well, but bulky. Bu I truly do like Kopaka's scope. It's what Lego's Matoran need more of; smaller silver weapons. I really hope that it is used again in smaller sets of years to come. because it is a nice piece. For Kopaka, it makes a rather puny melee weapon, but for my custom Matoran, it's ideal.

But... I thought you were dead!

Moving onto the New Akaku, it's a interesting mask. I think mine may be slightly deformed, because it has trouble being placed on the Metru head... there's some overlap in the plastic that doesn't quite fit until the mask is all the way on, and it makes that process tricky. (Has this happened to just me, or is it a common trait for the new mask?) I think this ne is more of a merger between the great Ruru (Whenua's mask) and great Matatu (Nuju's mask). It no longer holds the "roundish" shape of the original Akaku, but it sure makes Kopaka look dead serious about everything he's doing. Of the new Phantoka masks, this one probably best matches his earlier styles... and hey, it's been a while since we've seen a mask with a scope, right? The red laser is a bit tacky... a good piece, but why would you want that sticking out of your eye. I found a much better use for it.

I stick my tongue out in your general direction, Makuta!

And, just for fun, I tried out a new weapon design that allows Kopaka to more easily handle his Midak blaster with both hands. Of course, I disassembled his back connection piece and had to rearrange some of his armor, but it's kind cool with him pointing this new massive Midak.

Seriously, Lego, don't take this for inspiration. If I saw this weapon as a set, I'd break down and cry at the horribleness of it. But since this is a total amateur design with limited pieces... I can hold back my tears.

Color wise, Kopaka disappoints, but that's to be expected. Like Pohatu, his main white pieces are his armor, feet, and mask. Kopaka gets the extra boost by also having his body pieces be white, but who really cares about those. The armor and limb pieces are all an ugly dark grey... the armor especially. Don't you remember, Lego, that Kopaka came with light gray? But I guess it goes with all the other Phantoka Nuva, who also have grey as their secondary color. I really wish that the chest armor hadn't come in gunmetal gray, but silver. Yes, Silver works well with white... get over it, all you silver haters. And since Kopaka has silver wings and weaponry, a silver Inika chest piece would've have killed, right? Oh well, the contrast isn't too bad.

Overall, Kopaka has a lot of pieces to offer. I like his wings and scope, and the mask is okay. The limb pieces are good for MOCing, but together they don't work too well and are far to reminiscent of sets of the past. Of the three Toa Phantoka, I must say that Kopaka is my least favorite, behind Lewa (2nd) and Pohatu (1st). But he's cool enough, the the trio look great. Besides, I'm planning to make this my last big set collection year, and I will probably honor Lego by getting most of the Nuva in their third form. (Except maybe Gali).

So, what I'm trying to say is, Kopaka's good for a few pieces and if you like white (and grey), as well as those nostalgic fans. But if you only want one Phantoka Nuva... I might be temped to point out the other two first.



I Is Annoyed

Posted by xccj , Apr 20 2008 · 67 views

I know I should probably try and learn to work with my new roommate. Get along. Live together happily for the rest of the quarter.

He complained that my light was too bright, and that I must turn it off so he could fall asleep in our dark... hot... and silent room. After an illogical argument on his side, I finally agreed so that he'd shut up. I am now getting back by spending my time noisily typing on my laptop... although it's hard to read the words on the screen with so little light.

This is a perfect example of what not to do if you get a new roommate. Don't follow my example; try to compromise first, and then keep at it.

But I'm angry and prone to making rash decisions. Oh well, it's my sanity (and eyesight... I want my light on!)

Anyway, there might also be another set review later on. It'll be my last until summer comes along. Of course, I'll wait until I have light to write it.

Now going to bed... Time: 5 AM.

Okay, shoot me.


Oh, I forgot!! New Chapter to Many Adventures is up. Read it. (That means you too, Kumata, you'll enjoy the question this time around, I have a hunch.)


Springtime... Snow?

Posted by xccj , Apr 19 2008 · 183 views
News and Updates
Now that was the oddest thing. I heard on the radio that it was "snowing", but I couldn't see any snow. The little white things that fell from the sky? Hail. I know... I had just walked into the dining hall after braving the weather, and it was hail. But it had turned into rain. Not snow. Obviously the radio people, or their sources, were exaggerating.

So I hop on a bus, heading to Target to (not return Lewa) but to buy a table for my room... and as the bus moved towards the mall-like area, the weather outside began to change. The rain grew white... not hail white, but snow white. I had to take back my insults to the radio people... IT WAS SNOWING! In the springtime... in Seattle of all places? I know we get rain year round here, but snow?

In the end, I didn't pick up a table, because I was lazy, and because of the snow. I walked through a virtual blizzard between the store entrance and the bus stop. True, it wasn't great snow... very wet, made my hand watery and cold when I tried to condense some of it into a snowball. But it was legitimate snow... and some things were under a couple inches of it already. (As long as the things weren't disturbed. For example, the trash cans and street signs had a layer of snow. The sidewalk had a thin layer of mush... and my shoes got wet.

And here's the craziest thing... I got back to the university, and it wasn't snowing at all. (Only raining) And people said that it hadn't snowed either. The mall was only a couple of miles away (five, I think) and not at a much different elevation. I don't quite understand how the mall got a lot of snow, but we got totally passed by at the school.

Oh well, I don't understand weather. After all, the only reason I got the weather merit badge was because my friends and I hung out with a camp counselor for an afternoon as summer camp, and he let us breeze through a couple of MBs... of which our troop leaders later revoked because we didn't put enough work into them. Oh well, cheating the system there didn't work...

And now for something... different.



An Update On Lewa

Posted by xccj , Apr 18 2008 · 98 views

Okay, here is the new Lewa in which I redesigned his armor. Actually, I think it's rather nice myself... it makes him look slimmer, which fits a Toa of Air (boo on you, Kongu Mahri) Although it is kinda too thing, and the blue friction pins don't help... but I went with what I had.

I was actually planning on following some members advice and returning it to Target... I need to go to Target again anyway. glare.gif of course, it had to wait until after my classes were over for the week. But then, as I started to put that plan into action, I noticed something of importance... I don't have the receipt! I must've thrown it out with the bag last week, and I've taken out the trash already. (I have a new roommate who moved in, so the inflow of garbage in our room doubled, to say the least). So, I haven't had an extensive history with returns, but I'm pretty sure the receipt is a necessity. Darn.

So I went back to Plan B: Call Lego. I had a number, and it was still daylight hours, so i figured somebody would be on the other end, right? I talked to a salesman, and before I knew it, he was filling out a form. I had the most trouble getting my dorm address right. annoyed2.gif He's a was a pretty nice guy, and we even discussed what I could do with broken pieces (yeah, he pointed me to the right link on the website that I could've probably found on my own, and mentioned that the problem with weak lime green plastic was solved... ha, I had Ehlek, Hahli, and Tanma break, that's from sets spanning about 1.5 years!) Nonetheless, it was really helpful. Now, I don't know if I'll receive the part anytime soon (he said 2-3 weeks) or if I'll receive it at all, but so far things are flowing smoothly.

And, until that piece arrives, Lewa is doing just fine with his slimmer armor. Which is grand, as he's not really doing anything but posing on my shelf in my room. I know I said that I wouldn't bring many LEGO Bricks with me, and I still don't have a great percentage of my sets here... but my side of the room is crawling with these plastic figures! They might creep out a person with a weaker heart... ohmy.gif

Or not.



A New Style To Match The Title

Posted by xccj , Apr 17 2008 · 117 views
News and Updates
Enter Team J.A.F. This blog is their's now! If you would like to meet to meet the members, please look over to the new content blocks. Most of them are just hanging around, ready to direct you to the entires you want to read most. AKA, MINE! tongue.gif

Eh, just some new art I put together. I was getting tired of looking at my face over and over again, to tell you the truth. I came up with a good set of poses while doodling in class (sue me) and decided to use Powerpoint Vectors to make it real. Of course, I had a huge collection of these characters in Powerpoint before my computer got stolen... as it is, I only had one file saved on my home computer with the first images I ever drew of them, so I used it to recreate the heads and then styled some new bodies. I think the scene is pretty good myself, except there's an annoying white space between News and Reviews which totally ruins the continuality of the whole thing.

And since I'm sure my approval seal creeped people out as well, I crafted a new one with my favorite minifigure head on it to act as a new one. Best of all, I named it the same as the first approval, and posted in in the same maj account, so if you had my old approval up earlier, you have the new one up now too. See, no work for you at all. smile.gif

And I updated my whole blog approvals thing, just because I haven't done so for eons. I might start handing out my own approvals to some new blogs, so watch out! And if you've sent me an approval in the past but I don't have it up now, send it again! I think there are a few in my PM box that are lost and deleated. Oh well.

Blogs I Have Approved

Kumata Nuva
Kopaka’s Ice Engineering
Chocolate Frogs

Members I've Earned Approvals From

Kumata Nuva
Images To Come When I've Had Time To Shrink Them

Now, tell me what you think of my new style. (It better be good, I spent a couple hours on this, when I should've been doing HW)



Old Habits Die Hard.

Posted by xccj , Apr 16 2008 · 200 views
News and Updates
*Entry Bumped*

Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it...

But it turns out you also have to put effort into not making the same mistakes as before.

Anyway, this entry from last week now describes me this week. Uhg.

I'm still pulling all nighters.

This time, it's Calculus Homework that I haven't completed. It's due tomorrow.

Somehow, I really don't like / understand Calc 3.

And the only physics lab with chemicals in it... I break the beaker. Luckily, it was just some sort of alcohol, but still, the irony stings.

Another note, I am brainstorming cool things to do in Many Adventures when I should be working on math.


I'm schizophrenic right now.



Why Are These Prototypes?

Posted by xccj , Apr 15 2008 · 85 views
Well, with the release of the new Toa Ignika game, there's also new bonus content when you get so many points and such. I actually like this game, and did rather well, and got the max bonus content, and had a look at it. Now I just must make a blog about it.

Bonus Content: Prototype Masks

I'll move from top to bottom, left to right.
  • First Tow Row: Obviously a plastic prototype of Lewa's mask. Only it doesn't look like Lewa's mask. I'm pretty sure the reason this one didn't make it through is because it looks like a Halo guy's mask. I don't even play Halo and even I recognize it. While I don't think it would've made a great Miru, I think it would've been an excellent design for a Kaukau. It has the blue tinted visor of the Kaukau Mata, with a semi-triangular nose, and even the vent openings on the cheeks. Plus, it's designed to look more aerodynamic. It's a pity this one didn't make it into the final sets for Gali, but it was obviously good enough to actually be made into plastic.
  • The other two masks on the top row depict the final Miru Phantoka, in it's plastic form and drawn form (respectively). I don't have anything new to say here about those.
  • First Middle Row Mask: Looks like a hood with pinchers. It might make a good Makuta mask... maybe even resembles one (I don't really know the shapes of the Makuta Mistika masts yet, and I'm too lazy to look 'em up.)
  • Second Middle Row: This appears to be more of an early version of the new Hau, with a more helmet like appearance. The ridge down the front seems a little much, though.
  • Third MR: This looks like a more rounded version of the final Miru, with spaces in the forehead and the visor eyes. Personally, I think this would've worked as a good Hau, as the vents in the side resemble the traditional Hau. Even the Hau Nuva had wrinkles that could've turned into vents. tongue.gif
  • Forth MR: This looks like the Miru with it's ridges from the Nuva form still on. Although I personally think it better resembles a Kakama... it keeps the ridges from the Nuva form and the basic shape better resembles the Mata form. Plus, the think looks like a fighter jet or something, which screams speed (to me).
  • Fifth MR: This one looks like a flattened version of the final Miru. While it probably wouldn't be a bad mask, it doesn't look too much like a Nuva or Mata mask, so I'm okay with it not making the final cut.
  • First Bottom Row: Okay, this one shouts out "Knight Helmet with Visor". It could also resemble a bird with a beak... reminds me of the moviefied Nivhawk. Good for flying types, but not for Nuva.
  • Second BR: This looks like a non-scarified version of Vamprah's mask. Okay, but far too basic.
  • Third BR: Lol, this doesn't look like a mask, this looks like a Space Ship! Maybe, but not for the Nuva.

All in all, I could pick out three masks here that would work better for the New Nuva than their current masks... First TR for Gali, Third MR for Tahu, and Forth MR for Pohatu. But, alas, I am not part of the target range, or any range that Lego is interested in, so I can't really say anything for sure. I guess the kids who did choose had a better look at the masks made. But, hey, there's potential that these designs could pop up in later years, right (like Jaller Mahri's mask, right?)



I Wub Bionicle Music.

Posted by xccj , Apr 15 2008 · 179 views
News and Updates
I was randomly searching the other day for the Power Pack... the old CD that came out in 01 with Hafu and the chrome Hau. More specifically, I was just looking for the CD. I was interested in hearing those tracks, of which I've never listened to before. And they don't sell it on iTunes... ripoff.

Anyway, a search through Google didn't lead me to any place that sold the music... but a BZP topic in the Software Forum or something. There was a file download, and it said it included the Power Pack music with it. (I think it was Project Bionicle Music or something, I didn't exactly save the page) So, I downloaded the file, and to my wonder, it includes sound clips not only from the DVD, but other Bionicle medias, like games, commercials, and even the MNOLG! _icon_joy_.gif Best of all, unlike the down-loadable MNOLG files Lego has available, these are in a type supported by Windows Media Player.

So I've been rocking out to select Bionicle music, ranging from the Le-Matoran band to Power Pack tracks. I'm sure I'll get over this crave in a week or two and start listening to real music again (as the only other song I'm listening to is "I've Just Seen a Face" from the Across the Universe CD... I just bought that one song off iTunes because I don't have a Beatles version available). But until then, I'm going to have my head stuck in flash images of Mata-Nui for a while now. Who knows, this may help my story writing. And I've been craving that Le-Matoran celebration music for eternity...

In other news, both Slizers on Mata-Nui and Many Adventures have been updated recently... so make sure to have a look in one of those topics if you haven't reviewed yet.

Oh, and I got honorable mention in the Sort Story Contest #4 Outcomes (that were finally posted)





_icon_joy_.gif _icon_joy_.gif _icon_joy_.gif _icon_joy_.gif _icon_joy_.gif _icon_joy_.gif



Lewa Phantoka

Posted by xccj , Apr 13 2008 · 388 views
Okay, I'll say this up straight. I was very disappointed in my Lewa Phantoka set. So disappointed that I'm writing to Lego about it. See if you can tell why.

How much time do you need to figure it out?

It took me a while. I purchased the thing at Target, along with some other essential supplies that could only be obtained through big scale retail stores. (Yum, Goldfish) I poured the pieces out and began to construct him, but I was kind of curious how the back of his body was constructed, so I looked at the instructions after I finished building his limbs. I got as far as to putting on his chest armor when I noticed that the piece wasn't on my table. Or under my table... or in the canister... or in my room in general.

Yes, my room is a mess, but not so much that a piece that big and bright could just vanish. This is surprising... I haven't had a set that was missing a piece since my first Gali set, in which I was unable to locate her eye piece (and I built that in the car, so it's likely that I lost the piece somewhere in it and it got vacuumed out later.) I'm sure it was just an innocent mistake, but I am still writing to Lego to demand my lime green Toa body armor! (Just watch... I'll get it and it'll snap in half or something).

Oh well. How about a review of the rest of the set.

In general, he's an average Toa build of nowadays. Although there are more elements I like about him than in some of the Mahri. First of all... Toa of Air, and he's tall and powerful. Yeah, that fits... take that short and squat Kongu!! The nice thing about Lewa is that he comes with two different limb pieces for his arms and legs... they're parts of the wrong limbs in the official set, but I can easily switch them around. The Inika pieces for legs and Rahkshi pieces for arms work out very well for proportions. Also, I like the Mantax feet... certainly a breath of fresh air after so many repeats of the two Inika feet styles, and Mantax's feet look good too.

His weaponry is nice. The Midak isn't as cool on him as it was on Pohatu... carrying that huge thing really shows its size. All the Nuva should've had it mounted on their shoulders... although that would've been difficult for Lewa. Even though I'm not thrilled about the jetpack piece, the set up with it and the Matoro claws on Lewa's shoulders looks nice. I forgot that Lewa came with the Matoro claws... those pieces looked interesting, but I didn't really want to purchase Matoro to get them, so for a while I was considering buying Kirop for them, but not anymore. The claws hanging over Lewa's shoulders looks really cool... great shoulder armor. They do slightly restrict arm movement, but I can get past that. Now, Lewa's sword... that is wicked! It's long too... longer than Hewkii's war blade (the silver piece, not including the rod). Actually, it reaches up to Lewa Mata's chin... and that's just for one piece. besides it's length, the groves in it look really sweet. They put a lot more effort into making this a radical weapon than they did in, say, Jaller Mahri's sword.

The mask is a lot better than Tanma's. Sure, I don't connect it to the Miru... maybe the Faxon or Huna. The blue faceplate works really well, giving it a shinny look in the gaps on the mask. They do blur out the actual eyes a bit, but I can live with that. I also like the nifty propellers in his cheeks... I never really noticed than in the promotional pictures, but they certainly make it an air mask. Nice.

The Matoran attachment piece on the back has a cooler design than, say, Pohatu's or Mutran's. Well, it actually has a design, and not just a piece. however, as I took Tanma home and left him there, I can't experiment with the attachment. So, instead, I took the silver Inika shoulder armor and placed it on Lewa's torso, so it looks like he does have some body armor now. He's skinny, but that works for a Toa of air. The piece looks good from the front and side, but there is a substantial and noticeable gap between the armor and the neck. My camera's dead, but I might take a picture of it later.

Overall, the set looks pretty swell. Sure, he has the cliche's of a Toa since 06, but his weaponry is beefed up enough that you can kid yourself into saying that he's now an elite Toa. The silver, lime, and grey do blend well together. of course, I could do without the bley... always could. If they'd made some of the limb pieces and Inika leg armor bright Mata green, then the set's coloring would be supreme. (But if they'd made it dark Metru green, I would've been disappointed anyway). Lewa's a pretty good set, about on par with Pohatu. Just one tip... take a look in the canister before you buy it, and make sure it has that giant, lime green body piece. Because the simple fact that he's missing that totally ruined the experience for me. sad.gif



New Roomie

Posted by xccj , Apr 12 2008 · 155 views
News and Updates
My old roommate moved out at the end of winter quarter. He signed up in a fraternity, so he could party more than in the dorms. happy.gif Anyway, I got a couple of threatening e-mails from my university's housing and food services, warning my to keep my room nice and tidy for the next guy who'll eventually move in. They're a friendly bunch.

Well, two weeks went by and nobody showed up. From the sound of it, most people who lose a roommate at the end of winder quarter don't gain a new one for spring quarter. That's fine with me... I do my homework in my room, and I can do fine on my own... and I go out and hang out with other people now that me and my old roommate don't watch Family Guy all the time. But that was to end... for better or worst, I have a new guy moving in tomorrow. So I got his side cleared off and ready, so I can't get beaten to death by the ominous housing and food services. I'm not totally bummed... meeting a new person is cool. It's only if he's like my neighbors... loud and obnoxious 24-7... that I might be worried. Oh well.

I also further developed my lack of self control by purchasing another Phantoka. I am very disappointed, and I'll tell you why in a review I'll write this weekend. I'm too tired to write it up now.


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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

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio


Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.