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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. 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!



Aging STAR WARS fans

Posted by Jean Valjean in Kraggh's Works ♫♪, Apr 24 2018 · 38 views

:kaukau: Some people act like the people who were there to see the original 1977 STAR WARS are the only real fanbase and that they are the main fanbase, that Disney is capitalizing on STAR WARS because 70's kids are where the money's at.

Look, I hate to break it to them, but the median age in America is 38 years old. Most people living today were not alive when the original came out. STAR WARS is not successful today because the 70's kids are such a powerhouse demographic. It's a success because STAR WARS appeals to new generations. That goes for many properties from the 70's and 80's, actually. I never saw Alien in theatres, but I didn't have to in order to be a fan. You don't have to belong to a specific generation to know that the Xenomorph is a classic monster.

Seriously, though, it's really weird and rather arrogant when people who saw the movie in 1977 act like they're in the majority. I don't know how they come to that conclusion.

Also, I've noticed by actually testing this that people who grew up with the Special Editions get a little upset when they see the originals. Most people see the originals and ask, "Why did they change that? It's not what I grew up with." Increasingly, more and more people are growing up with Lucas's final cut, and growing attached to those, and the changes from the originals are merely trivia to them. I don't know how some STAR WARS fans think that they outnumber this kids and grandkids.



I Forgot That I Can Name My Switch

Posted by Pahrak #0579 in Mt. Coronet, Apr 23 2018 · 55 views

There's an option in the system menu where you can create a name for your Switch for some reason. It defaults to "[Username]'s Switch", but that's boring, but I don't know what to go with.

Currently taking suggestions, I think the character limit is around 30?


Toys R Us Liquidation, Michigan, and Bionicle

Posted by JMSOG in Odd Thoughts by JMSOG, Apr 23 2018 · 44 views

I was given hope by someone who claimed they managed to get old Bionicle promotional stuff from a liquidating Toys R Us.

If you happen to live in michigan, let me save you some time: I just called all of them. They don't have it anymore.


Letting Lara Down

Posted by Ta-metru_defender in TMD's Creatively Named Blog, Apr 21 2018 · 50 views

Essays, Not Rants! 317: Letting Lara Down

I was pretty excited for the Tomb Raider movie that came out a couple weeks ago. I’m a huge fan of the game it was based on, the Tomb Raider reboot that came out in 2013. The game was an origin story for Lara Croft, one that gameplay-wise took cues from the Uncharted series it had partially inspired but then been eclipsed by. One thing I really liked about the game was how it made Lara less of a sex object. Gone were the catsuits, short shorts, and crop tops; in were the khakis and tank top (it mayn’t sound like much on paper, but the difference is marked). In addition, the game turned Lara into a survivor; shipwrecked on a mysterious island, she hunts for food, searches for her friends, fights bad guys, and uncovers a mystery. If the movie could capture that then we were in for a ride.

And, well, it kinda does, but more than anything the adaptation really plays down its women. Which is as frustrating as it is odd.

Heads up, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of plot here, so spoilers abound as we dig around.

Let’s talk Lara, since she is, after all, our protagonist. In the film, she’s a down-on-her-luck heiress who can’t receive her fortune because she refuses to sign the papers confirming her father is dead. She’s a courier struggling to make ends meet who only ends up going on her adventure when circumstances force her to her inheritance and the discovery of her dad’s research into the mythical island of Yamatai. There’s nothing quite bad here (except that pacing-wise this takes up a solid third of the movie); it’s honestly fairly typical as far as hero stories go and all that. But it really does the Lara of the 2013 video game a disservice.

Lara, in the game, is an archeological grad student; so right of the bat Lara is presented as being both intelligent and educated. She’s clued in on the myth of Yamatai by her college friend Sam Nishimura, who herself is a descendant of the Yamatai people. Lara’s subsequent research convinces the Nishimura family to fund an expedition looking for Yamatai and to find the fate of its mysterious Sun-Queen, Himiko. In the game’s version of events Lara is given a lot more agency in the story. The expedition to Yamatai is of her own design, not something she takes on from her father. So not only is Lara an archeologist by trade, but she’s one competent enough to make an expedition happen. You could argue that the movie makes her more relatable, but Indiana Jones is a university professor and no one says he’s unrelatable.

Within the different backstories is a key difference: Sam. In the movie, Yamatai is something Lara investigates because of her father. The game positions it as something she’s into and found out about because of a (female) friend. Look, there’s nothing wrong with a young woman going on a quest to find her father (heck, it’s a trope I’m fond of), but the game’s plot both shows us a Lara with more agency and offers a version of events where Lara’s quest doesn’t revolve around a male character, rather displaying the friendship between two women.

And without Sam, we’re also without a lot of what makes Himiko interesting. In the movie, she’s a long-dead queen with a disease that, when infected, makes people disintegrate, and so was sequestered away on Yamatai. The Himiko of the game, however, was a supernatural queen who ruled Yamatai with an iron fist, transferring her soul into younger bodies to gain a sort of immortality. When a rogue successor took her own life rather than be a host, Himiko was trapped in her body and her kingdom declined. Along comes Sam centuries later, and Mathias (who’s the main antagonist in both versions) wants to offer her up as a new host. So it’s up to Lara to save the day. Once again, the game, by being a little more over the top, has a narrative with a lot more women doing stuff. Himiko isn’t Plague Victim Zero, she’s an immortal queen who was thwarted by a brave young woman. The present day sees Lara saving her best friend and putting to rest a vengeful, weather-controlling spirit. In the movie it’s Lara’s father who, once infected, blows up himself and Himiko’s remains. Lara still stops Mathias in the movie, but she’s given one less thing to do.

Look, the movie’s flaws are plenty and they mostly fall into the realm of plotting and structure. But the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise offered a new vision of Lara Croft and her mythos, one that featured a new rendition of Lara that was surrounded by other women of note. The film offers a perfectly fine Lara, but she’s a far cry from the one in the game. Like I said, it’s frustrating to see a movie take a narrative that’s so female driven and, well, take away its women’s agency. The source material was so rich; had so much going for it. And yet. Here we are. A decent enough strong female protagonist who could have been so much more.


Whoops, it slipped my mind!

Posted by Makuta_of_Oz in Through the Eyes of Madness, Apr 21 2018 · 46 views

Feb 21 marked 10 years since I joined BZPower! And it completely slipped my mind to pay a visit! I'm so sorry! :'(


Review: Gahlok Pen

Posted by xccj in Team J.A.F., Apr 19 2018 · 64 views

There was some talk in the forums a while ago about the Bohrok pens, an abstract collectible item from the era of excessive Lego merchandising. In looking up some pictures, I discovered a relatively cheap copy of a Gahlok pen on BrickLink, and because I have no impulse control, I now own it. And since I previous wrote a review on the Lewa and Onua Mata pens, I decided to do the same with this one. So without further ado...

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It seems like the standard pen case for the Lego pens at the turn of the millennium. (Although I guess it's missing the plastic backing that would hold the spare beads on display.) A cool design bit is that the top is somewhat shaped like a Bohrok faceplate.

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(Click for larger images)

The leaflet shows off some of the other various pens, including the original Toa Mata pens, the rest of the Bohrok pens, and a collection of the Toa Nuva pens. (I have the masks from all the Mata pens, but I haven't found any of the Nuva pens. There are a few available online from ebay and such... but I think they're going for $40 to $60. So that's a no from me.) There are some quirky descriptions of the pens (with a tip to add them to your collection ASAP, subtle marketing there) as well as a bio for the Gahlok Bohrok. (Which sounds vaguely familiar, so it's a little more official than the Mata Bios on the previous pen leaflets.)

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The full pen can hold about six beads, and comes with a handful of extras to let you customize the design. I mean, neat concept, but Lego played that out for a ton of different pens back in the day, so it's not exactly revolutionary here. The grip is kinda cool with the swirly blue design. Alas, the ink is long since dried up (it's been 16 years now) and I have yet to find a replacement cartridge. (I have looked through a few craft stores... if somebody more knowledgeable knows anything, please share, it would be kinda cool to make these pens usable again.) The main unique feature here is the Bohrok faceplate. Unfortunately, it's attached to the top of the pen (and as such to the pin that runs down the center of the entire thing) so you can't really use it to make a mini Bohrok. But it folds up and down nicely to cover the krana and keep it from falling out. (Kinda.)

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You get 11 beads plus the mini krana. The cooler beads, IMO, are the printed ones. The giant black one with the Bionicle logo appears in all the Bionicle pens, as far as I can tell, but it's still a decent design. Then you've got some medium blue beads with the Bohrok symbol, Gahlok shield, and a silhouette of the Gahlok Va. Then there's a blue bead that has an outline of the Mata Nui island on one side, and the name spelt out on the other. The rest of the beads are generic filler, including a blue, orange, trans orange, and thin medium blue bead (the latter of which it still on the bar in the image above.) The last large bead is actually molded after the Bohrok limb piece, which is clever.

Of course, the beads are largely superficial decorations. Yes, they do roughly fit onto a system stud, but there's no real practical MOC use out of them. Instead, everybody's interested in the krana and the head bead it attaches to.

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The head bead does attach to a minifig neck... kind of. It attaches as well as any of the other pen beads, which is to say barely. Unfortunately, while the original Toa Kanohi hung down and covered the neck gap, the krana does not. (The head bead also sticks out quite a bit in the back, making it even more awkward to place on a minifigure torso.)

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The krana is a hard plastic orange Krana Yo (the tunneling mole krana, for those who haven't memorized the powers). It has a small pin connection that fits exclusively into the mouth of the head bead. It is too small to fit into a traditional system bar hole, but too large to fit into the small accessory holes seen in minifigure hairpieces. Basically, it's useless without the head bead to attach to. And the attachment is weak... I don't know if that has to do with age or not, but the clutch power is barely there.

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It's not to say the head bead is completely worthless. It attaches firmly to a stud, so it would actually work nicely to incorporate a small krana into a system MOC. There's potential... but not enough for me to go and track down the other five Bohrok pens. :glare: Unfortunately, it looks like the Toa Nuva pens also have unique masks that clip to the same head bead, which means that making Toa Nuva minifigures using the pen masks does not seem like a feasible project either, even if the pens were moderately affordable.

So the pen is only sorta meh, and the beads and krana aren't quite as worthy as the Toa Mata pen masks. There's a nice nostalgia kick for those of us who grew up in the Bohrok saga, but honestly it's not a must-have collectible.

And standard disclaimer: the Toa Mata masks pictured are from the *spoiler* Toa Pens from 2001. The torso decals were done by Nuju Metru (I gave him a handful of collectible minifigs for them.) I already did a post about maybe getting a bunch of torsos printed on commission, but there was no interest and instead people just griped about my color choices.)



Who Wants To Be A Makuta

Posted by Bfahome in You're attacked by a Repair Nektann, Apr 06 2018 · 161 views

Who Wants To Be A Makuta See this is what happens when I get ideas.


BZPower T-shirt Contest 2018!

Posted by Brappy Hour in Raptor Paddock, Apr 05 2018 · 382 views

Imagination Takes Flight!

9th verse, same as the first. Welcome once more, friends. It's 2018, and that means it's the 10th anniversary of the Karda Nui saga. So rather then limiting the contest to a set or group of characters. You all have artistic freedom with this project! The only requirement is that the design must be based on the sets and story of Bionicle 2008. Something serious, or something comical? The choice is yours!

Rules: Your design must be a simple design, one color, and must be medium sized. A previous winner and decent example is linked here. https://www.flickr.c...nk/27382260865/
Your design must also be black on a clear white background. This makes it easier for the screen printing process.

You may post your entries in this thread, and have until the end of May to submit your design.

The Prize: The maker of the winning design will receive a free T-Shirt!

The winning design will be chosen through a voting process of the members of BZP.
Colors will be suggested and chosen by the members as well.

Feel free to ask any questions if needed.
That's all for now. Have fun, and good luck!

(I apologize for the cut and paste. Life has gotten really busy.)


15 years on here

Posted by Angel Beat in ~ Canterlot's Sparkling Jewel ~, Apr 02 2018 · 88 views

That's about half my life. :blink:


The Jazziest JtO Spoof

Posted by SPIRIT in SPIRIT's Blog, Mar 31 2018 · 100 views

Back when Journey to One came out two years ago, I said to myself, "hey, remember all those movie spoofs you wrote back in the day? Weren't those fun? You should totally write one for this Netflix thing because it's going to be around forever."

Then they announced the cancellation.

"Hey, it's still cool, it'll be nice to do one last thing with Bionicle before saying goodbye forever."

Yes, well, little did I realize that it would end up taking two years! Granted, I was finishing a master's degree, moving countries, and starting a career, so there were a few more things taking my attention than when I was a teenager going to school for 6 hours a day, but this was still pretty difficult. My standards as to what constitutes a joke have certainly risen since I wrote my first movie spoof back when I was 14, but also the dialogue in Journey to One was harder to intersperse with jokes and I've just become a lot more susceptible to writer's block in my old age.

However I did finish it.

There were many times I wanted to give up. It certainly didn't help that this didn't have nearly the readership the previous instalments in the series had, but I kept telling myself that I didn't get into writing for the praise. I did it because I had something to say.

Even though it was hard work, I'm glad I did it. A final homage to a franchise I loved so well. And now my legacy as someone who finishes everything he started on this site remains intact. (Please ignore all memories you may have of my many unfinished projects.)

If you'd like to check it out for yourself, I encourage you to give it a read.


Summary of Entries Previously Deleted

Posted by Windseeker in Wind's Weblog, Mar 25 2018 · 192 views

1) I'm so dang trans

2) Blessed Blade = gf of over a year now

That's all I remember but that's probably the gist anyway.


What's a Good Way to Paint Pieces?

Posted by Illuminatus in The Minimalist, Mar 24 2018 · 101 views
paint, lego, pieces, black and 1 more...

You can make the entire Toa Mata team in all black, save for Lewa's axe and Pohatu's feet.

What's a good way to paint those in black? Spray paint?



Posted by Lucina in Great Games, Mar 21 2018 · 131 views

can i be paid for this


BrickLink Store Back Open!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs in Scientific Progress Goes "Boink", Mar 20 2018 · 113 views
LEGO, BrickLink

Hey! Long time no blog.

After a short hiatus, my BrickLink store is back open!

Mention BZPower and get 10% off!

More stock coming next week!

-CF :kakama:


Love, Simon

Posted by SwagtronYOLO in Designated Tekulo Crying Corner ♡, Mar 18 2018 · 176 views
Love Simon, LGBT+, Movies

I just got back home from the movies. I'm normally not a movie person, personally. Movies tend to be about heteronormative romances on the side of some other quirk designed to sell tickets for whatever special effects the industry wants to show off this time. Okay, maybe that's a tad unfair because I'm not a movie person, but that's how I generally view them. And it's not like I dislike every movie. But mostly I stick to Disney movies. That has changed lately as I am now a bus ride or a decent walk away from a movie theater these days. And hey, I actually have an income now, so I can actually justify going out to enjoy my life. I digress.

When I first heard that this movie was about a gay romance with a PG-13 rating, I pretty much knew I was going to see it. LGBT movies tend to be too trashy or too heartbreaking or too esoteric for me to notice. Granted I haven't seen too many of them, but in general none of them really quite fit. It's kind of like "even when it's LGBT oriented it still doesn't really pertain to me." Maybe I've just seen the wrong movies.

So my experience started when I first entered the theater. I was second in line at the ticket booth. I had gotten there about twenty minutes before the theater opened for the afternoon (they open 15 minutes before the first movie is scheduled to air). After I got a small soda and popcorn, I was the first person in the theater. Now, I live in a more conservative area so I honestly wasn't sure if anyone else was going to show (even though it was opening weekend for Love, Simon).

The first group to walk in was this group of teenagers. Not wanting to be a total creep, I didn't make eye contact, something I rarely do with anyone I don't personally know, and I browsed my phone. I couldn't help overhearing them, however. They were talking about whether or not they had come out to their family. Most of them had, but one of them said they hadn't. "My mom thinks I'm confused." One of them said and in response their friend said "Hahaha, it's cute that [she] thinks that." They talked about their orientations "I'm pan." "I'm grey asexual" and so on. One of them made a point to say that none of their group was heterosexual.

This struck a chord with me. I had known there were other kids who were out when I was going to school. I decided to remain closeted for a long period of my life. I went through most of my younger days dealing with everything on my own. It was difficult at the time. It made me really happy just to overhear these young adults. Throughout the entire movie they were reacting (just like I was) to the events onscreen.

Most of the people who came in after that seemed to be young women. There was one elderly couple.

One thing the theater seemed to lack were problematic men. That suited me just fine.

After the previews aired, the countdown for the movie started. I honestly didn't realize how excited I was to see this movie until just before it started. I was really optimistic. For the first time ever, t h e... f i r s t... t i m e... e v e r, I felt like I was seeing a movie that was made for someone like me. Even if I wound up not liking the movie, which I knew was a very real possibility, I knew that this was something that I never had before. Going to the movie theater to see a movie about a gay teen as the average joe. I never thought I'd have that experience, so to actually have it... I don't even know what words to use to describe how that felt.

As for the movie? Well, without spoiling anything, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wish I had seen a movie like this one when I was still a questioning teenager. It touches base on a fair amount of issues that I personally related to, even if they weren't exactly the same situations. There was more than one scene where I felt like "Oh, Simon, I feel you, bro" and there was definitely more than one scene that got an emotional reaction out of me. In my opinion this movie doesn't waste a single minute of its screen time.


After the movie my head was filled with so many thoughts. This was an incredible experience and all it took was one movie that did a good job representing someone like me.



BricksCascade 2018

Posted by DeeVee in What You Want is Now, Mar 17 2018 · 138 views
MOC, Portland, Convention

Just a few more days! I built a MOC for it.

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Posted by Obsessionist in Chronic Obsessions, Mar 16 2018 · 128 views

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Ehhhh character design is not my strong suit but I was trying.

Not sure what kind of legs to do; I've had a couple of horrifically poor prototypes.


Life is ACTUALLY good!

Posted by AZBlue in Okoto-Nui, Mar 15 2018 · 160 views

Hey all, its been a while. Life got crazy right as the holidays started, and I want to start with an apology to XCCJ, who was my secret Santa pairing over the holiday. I really shouldn't have signed up for that, and realized too late that I wasn't going to get anything done, and for that I am sorry.

TL;DR: I might have a girlfriend, and a childhood retail chain is closing.

Things have been consistantly going up since I was last really online, my mental health is finally under control *knock on wood*, and my confidence has gone from a spark to a pretty good fire. On Saturday December 16th I went to an ice skating party with people from my church congregation and had tons of fun. That's where I finally asked someone out for the first time in ages. I had interacted with this young lady at a lake activity over the summer, but figured she was way out of my league. The Monday before the skating though, I started to get to know her better. We talked about my Game Design class, and some of the art I was struggling with for the Design Document. Earlier we'd partnered up on a 'Minute-to-win-it' relay challenge where we had to wrap then unwrap a present with one hand each. That ended spectacularly with us running into the table as we slipped on the hardwood floor and sent the table flying WHILE still managing to unwrap the present together! I literally couldn't get the feeling of needing to ask her on a date out of my head for the rest of the week. Finally, after the skating and the KC BBQ dinner, I got up the nerve to ask her on a date. She agreed and we exchanged numbers before she left. That date didn't happen until February 8th, due to the Holidays and a brief illness.

The date went great, we went to the local mall and walked around while getting to know one another more. We both had a bunch of fun, between wandering around the various geeky stores, and eating pizza over a small food court table, ending at Build a Bear with two Pokémon plush. A few days later I asked her on a second date, only the third I've ever been on, with the first two only partially counting because of High School relationships forming before the actual dates. She once again agreed, and we went on March 3rd. That was the best date I've ever been on. We ate dinner at a local Sonic drive-in before heading to a nearby park to sit and talk and enjoy some good weather. I really, really like her, if you can't tell. We're already going on a third date on Saturday. A dance in conjunction with the nearby Anime convention.

On the Lego front, things have been really quiet. I don't want to say that I'm in a dark age, since I am still building some of my old sets every so often, but there really hasn't been anything from the current lines outside of the Archetecture sets that I've been truly excited about.

Yesterday had some sad news with not just Stephen Hawking's death, but also one of the worst blows to my inner child. Toys R Us is one of the biggest chunks of my childhood memories, of which I have too few of. I just watched a video from one of my favorite You-Tubers, Retail Archeology, visiting one of the already closing Phoenix, AZ stores. The TRU at Superstition Springs Mall in Mesa, AZ is literally my childhood store. I was going there long before the current layout was done, when they had a large books section in the back corner where the baby stuff ended up. I remember going down the video game aisle when the Sega Genesis and CD were in their heyday, and then visiting when I was older and playing the demo for Sonic Adventure 2 on the Gamecube display. Most of my family's new Genesis games were from that particular store, as were several of our N64 games.

The LEGO memories are just as old. I still have my Bionicle posters that they gave away in fall 2001. I have my TRU exclusive summer 2002 comic book, purchased at the Paradise Valley store while my mom was at a conference in downtown Phoenix.

Their demise is one of the most heartbreaking things to happen in my life. I dreamed of taking my future kids there to get Lego sets and video games, to buy their first bicycles like I had, to enjoy being a kid without resorting to Walmarts or Targets for toys and tablets for games. Alas, all good things...

Anyway, thanks for reading.


The Future of My Mocs

Posted by Voxumo in The Fikou Web, Mar 06 2018 · 129 views

So I've been thinking about why I didn't really Moc all too much in 2017, and I think I figured out why.

I was building for others, and not for myself. I do not mean this in a literal sense, but that when I went to build I was always trying to build to meet some standard I imposed upon myself based on those around me. I wasn't building what I truly wanted to build, but I was building to try and compare to the other MOCist's around me. If a moc didn't have a custom torso of some kind, it wasn't worth building was the mindset I'd worked myself into.

I think this is why all motivation to build in 2017 kind of went out the window. I wasn't enjoying building.

Now this isn't to say I'm suddenly going to be building only generic HF frame mocs, but if I have a simple concept in my mind, I'm not going to throw it out simply because it's "Simple". I'm going to build what I enjoy.

Also this isn't in anyway blaming anyone else. I solely worked myself into the mindset I did, I felt I had to build like so many of the popular builders, even if it was only a fraction of a fraction of what their builds are like.

So yeah, going forward, I might put out more lesser quality mocs, but at least I'll be enjoying it, and hopefully enjoying Moccing will in turn provide more motivation to build more complex mocs.


About to give my first final exam

Posted by Akano in Akano's Blog, Mar 03 2018 · 156 views

This week marks the last week of the first half of the semester, which means that my half-semester Optics course is coming to a close. It's been busy (hence my lack of presence), but I almost have one full course under my belt. So far there have been two lessons I gave that could have been better presented, but the students have been fairly engaged and seem more or less okay with the material. I guess we'll see how it goes once the final happens.

I did try writing a new Equation of the Day, but my schedule has been quite packed. I would like to get that rolling again after the end of the semester, since I greatly enjoy writing those entries. :)

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