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.
(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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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. 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.)
This chapter is entirely made up of Krika trying to defend Nynrah from the army sent after Zaekura. Admittedly I don't have as much experience writing this sort of battle, but I think the result turned out well, and I'll of course strive to improve in either event. Makuta and Rahkshi give you so many options to play around with, though I do have to keep reminding myself that I can't use Shattering or Disintegration. No slip-ups in this part, at least!
Next Section will introduce a new Makuta with a very unique skill. I hope to have it for you soon!
Oh you thought I was kidding? Here we go.
Star Wars takes a lot of cues from Westerns. Characters like Han Solo and places like Mos Eisley’s cantina make it pretty obvious. But it’s also apparent in where it takes place: the fringes of society. Be they remote planets desert or frozen, these stories take place away from economic and cultural hubs. Which, given that we follow the good guys, makes sense: implicit in the Star Wars movies is the idea that places of wealth and opulence are the breeding grounds of evil. In other words, the real villain in Star Wars is capitalism (and the Sith too but bear with me here).
Let’s look at where we spend time among the wealthy in the Original Trilogy. Outside of Imperial Battle Stations, the only place we visit that is remotely 'first world' is Cloud City, a gorgeous city whose wealth is built on Tibanna Gas mining. It’s beautiful in the way sci-fi modernity is. But its gleaming hallways belie a darker secret. It is when the Rebels come to Cloud City (the richest civilian place we’ve seen) that they are sold out. Han is tortured and frozen in carbonite, Luke is lured into a trap and told that the bastion of evil is his father. But Lando’s a good guy, you say. Well, he was. He’s Han’s friend, turned ‘respectable’ by the capitalistic influences of Cloud City. It’s when he’s compromised as such that he betrays his former friends, but he finds redemption when he leaves Cloud City and joins the Rebellion on the outskirts of the galaxy.
The Prequel Trilogy brings us closer to civilized space, with the planet of Naboo, an idyllic, peaceful planet. The villains in The Phantom Menace are the Trade Federation, an economically driven group who, in the wake of a tax dispute, blockade the planet and invade it. It is a financially-driven, militaristic, occupational force that the heroes strive against. When the Republic and the Confederacy go to war, the Trade Federation is joined in leadership of the latter by other corporate entities; such as the Banking Clan and Corporate Alliance. The war is marked by economic entities turning against the government; the villains in the story are capitalists fighting against economic control.
In addition, there’s Coruscant, the glittering capital of the Republic. Like Cloud City hopped up on steroids, it is a hub of wealth beyond compare. Here is the Senate, a governing body locked into inaction; a Jedi Temple stuck in orthodoxy unable to adapt to the changing times. Not much good comes from the rich capital.
It’s in The Last Jedi where the anti-capitalist bent of the films comes to a head. In an effort to undermine the villainous First Order, Rose and Finn go on a desperate mission to Canto Bight, a rich city most known for its casino. Finn quickly learns that the city’s wealth is built on the back of the military industrial complex. The rich folks wheeling and dealing are profiteering off a war the Resistance is fighting for survival. Though maybe not outright evil, they are decidedly not good people. The codebreaker who Rose and Finn ally themselves with ends up selling them out, simply because the First Order offered him more money. It’s money, and the unfettered pursuit of it, that tends to create villainy in Star Wars.
Throughout the films, lesser antagonists are driven by a want of money: Greedo wants the bounty on Han’s head, Watto refuses to sell anything for cheap, Unkar Plutt is miserly with his rations. Luke and Obi-Wan use Han’s love of money to get to the Death Star and rescue Princess Leia; but it’s when Han stops caring about the money that he really becomes a hero. Star Wars makes it pretty clear: the capitalists tend to be villainous, those who don’t emphasize making money are heroic.
By taking place primarily on the outskirts of society, with its interactions with society dominated by free enterprise tending to lead to misfortune, Star Wars takes a stance against unfettered capitalism. To be heroic in Star Wars is to do things for more than economic gain. To pursue money above all else, to be motivated by capitalism, well, that might not make you the Empire, but you’re certainly not a good guy.
Well. That was fun to do again. It’s a lotta fun to dig into something I love as much as Star Wars and connect dots to create a meaning that may or may not be intended (though The Last Jedi railing against the military industrial complex is certainly deliberate). Is Star Wars itself anti-capitalist? Maybe a little. Will I do more of these oddly in-depth analysis? Maybe.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seriously - I've been trapped in what at this point is probably a month-long cycle where I just can't being myself to hit the sack before the wee hours of the morning roll around. My roommate probably hates it, but he's a pretty sound sleeper and he's never complained about it so I'm not really motivated to stop. That's the thing about this cycle - nothing is motivating me to snap out of it, and because of that I'll do nothing during the day knowing full well I have a 2-hour-plus nook carved out just around midnight where I get the bulk of my work done without any kind of disturbance (except, well, writing this when I should be studying for an exam I have tomorrow). When I come to my senses, I think I'll miss those peaceful hours.
All that to say, I'm in college now and the last time I wrote a post on this website I was still in middle school. Oh, how time flies.
I don't really recognize anything about BZPower's current state - everything I did here was before the Dataclysm (that's what we called it, right?) and the archives don't seem to really actually work, so even though my profile claims that I have over 600 posts, only 2 of them actually exist anymore. Heck, even Maj is dead now, so even most of the comics I made for this place are gone forever now too. I haven't poked around to see what this place is like, although I feel like I should, because I'm afraid I'll look around and just straight up not recognize any names. I have lots of questions about what happened to this place, mostly just about who stayed, who left, and how many new people actually ended up coming here. BIONICLE did come back for a while, so was there a revival of sorts?
At this point the post's gotten a bit rambly, but let me give a bit of background for anyone who doesn't recognize my username (read: everyone). I joined BZPower in 2007, because I had just recently become enamored with the BIONICLE line and after moving to Colorado didn't have many friends at first so I found fun in reading about my favorite toys on the Internet. I guess. I think I mostly posted pictures of my subpar MOCs at first but it probably wasn't even a month after I joined that I released a really subpar comic series, Coleanuva's Comics. Despite my blatant lack of wit or artistic talent, I stubbornly made a home for myself in the Artwork III subforum, and for the next 2 years that was basically the only place I went on the website. I made several friends who also made comics - though I figure they probably looked at me as an annoying little kid who tried to tag along with them, which I wouldn't at ll blame them for because that would be spot-on accurate. Lol. Anyway, I complained my way into the International Comic Continuity, which was composed of thirteen (maybe? idfk, it grew as we went along and most people didn't end up actually releasing much after the group formed anyway) comic makers who, but for a few notable exceptions - okay, maybe just the one - were all pretty darn talented. Unfortunately, pretty soon after that group came to be, some stuff happened and we kinda lost momentum, and then the Dataclysm happened and we pretty much just died. I'm not quite sure where the rest of them are today - they were all older than me so I figure they're pretty much not even thinking about this place, which is probably natural at this point, lol. Kahi I think is still part of TTV, which is pretty cool; I look at Tavakai's Twitter every now and then, and he seems to be doing well; and I was actually in contact with Gavla semi-recently, and that was really nice.
So that's my history on BZPower, which was kind of a long blurb for what amounted to a whole lot of nothing. Which, I don't know, that was probably pretty self-indulgent of me to write but this is my blog and my parents paid 35 buckaroos for me to be able to have it so you're gonna have to deal with it. At this point I feel like I've just been begging for someone to say they remember me, and how vain is that? (Pretty vain.) So I'm just gonna move on.
Since leaving BZP I've had a pretty good life thus far. I got a lot better at talking to people and that led to at least a halfway-pleasurable experience for me in high school, which was nice. I also got better at sports and played baseball on my school's varsity team, which I would not have believed if you had told me that when I used to frequent this place. (speaking of that, if there's a decent baseball community around here, I might be interested in contributing to that - I could talk sports for days with anyone, lol) I began college and I'm here now studying computer engineering, which I'm thoroughly enjoying. I'm living a lot better than I was before, and I'm just generally pretty happy with life. When I used to go on here a lot, I guess I wasn't so sure of that - but I was pretty young, then, so it's not like I knew much anyway.
If you're still here with me, thanks for reading! This is both something I've wanted to do for a while and an excellent way of not studying differential equations because I am so bad at it. If y'all have anything you'd like to tell me about the state of the website, what's changed, or your favorite memories of old (pre-crash) BZP, I think that would be cool! If not, I think that's also cool! I was just thinking about this place and wanted to run by the neighborhood again to see what was going on. Hope you all are doing well, and have a great day!
(also, the sidebars on this blog may no longer be accurate, lol)
- 1,895 Total Blogs
- 112,165 Total Entries
- 551,113 Total Comments
- ToaKumo's Blog Latest Blog
- CommanderKumo Latest Blogger
42 user(s) are online (in the past 20 minutes)
1 members, 39 guests, 1 anonymous users
Google (1), Exastiken