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"Is he alive or dead? Has he thoughts within his head?"

Bionicle Guru




From the song, not the movie; anyway, looks like it is that special time of the year they let us crazies come out and play with the Blog machine. I haven't participated in the last few years (thanks, work), but here I am now, on a whim, deciding to share some thoughts with all you whippersnappers.


I joined BZP a long time ago. July 28th, 2003, to be exact. This was shortly after I got my first email address, and I was only 14 years old. I'm 25 now, and soon to be 26. That means it is highly likely some of you weren't even born when I joined the site (and many of you were still soiling your diapers). This blows my mind.


In a much shorter span of time (between 2010 and now), I've witnessed BZPower become just another Lego news site on an Internet now teeming with them. I can't say if this is a bad or good thing, but I will say one of the reasons I don't visit BZPower that often is because I am a high-and-mighty AFOL that doesn't consort with the likes of low-brow BIONICLE and constraction figure collectors like the lot of you. I hope you took that as a joke. BIONICLE fans are all becoming (or already are) AFOLs, so don't let the especially old fogies tell you ###### like that sarcastic statement I made above. Aanchir knows what I'm talking about.


The truth is that BZPower served a niche for me, and that is what is still in the site name to this day. "Your source for BIONICLE news, reference, and discussion!" But there is no more BIONICLE. There is nothing to keep up with. Aside from nostalgia, I feel no need to talk about it, so I returned to a pre-BIONICLE state of Lego fandom, in which I already visited several other websites for news and discussion over. There's FBTB.net for Star Wars Lego, Brickset for general Lego collecting and buying, and Eurobricks for obsessive hyperventillation over minifigs and Fabuland.


BZPower hasn't really found a new niche yet. It's not "HERO Factory-Power", and it certainly is too soon to tell if Legends of Chima or Ninjago will win the war for supremacy amongst discussion here. And of course, people still talk about BIONICLE. After all, it only ended four years ago. Anyway, without some special role, BZPower no longer draws me here for anything I can't (and have already) find elsewhere.


I see progress. BZP is doing some neat things, like this raffle system they have, and their approach to Lego site standards, like set reviews, are novel (if not entirely appealing), so there is good reason to celebrate this site 13 years after its founding as Kanohi-Power.com. A new dawn is breaking for this site.


Will I be a part of it? I doubt it, especially since I am virtually a new member again. Who remembers me? Will I recognize anyone after four years and countless name changes, avatar changes, and weird memes? Maybe. But lest you all despair, I will check in. Maybe some old BORNICLE fan will dig out a cached version of my silly saga and re-upload it for me. Maybe someone will recognize me from other websites and chime in with similar sentiments. I don't know. But I suppose the most important thing to reiterate is that I still am a huge BIONICLE fan, just like the rest of you dinosaurs that may be creeping around from the "good old days" of Bohrok clones, Vahkipower.com, and official GregF discussion mayhem.


I moved into a new apartment recently, and I brought some Lego sets. Tower of Orthanc, Grand Emporium, Jango Fett's Slave I. You know, real impressive stuff for a bachelor to show off behind the curio cabinet. However, I also brought a secret box that no one will get to see. Inside is my complete collection of BIONICLE comics, from #1: Coming of the Toa all the way to the last part of Journey's End. Those will forever define what anchored me to the saga in the first place, and I can't live without them. Even if BZP crumbles into digital dust like a derezzed program from Tron, I will still hold BIONICLE dear.

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I personally feel like BZPower does have a sort of a niche, in that constraction themes and story-driven themes in general are not all that well-received on other sites. Eurobricks has been improving in this regard in recent years, since (as you mention) more kids who grew up with themes like BIONICLE are becoming AFOLs day by day, but discussion of things like LEGO-related movies and TV shows is still squashed to the "Culture and Multimedia" section — basically like if discussion of the BIONICLE movies on BZPower were put in "Completely Off-Topic"! Discussion of the sets takes priority to discussion of the story in the theme-specific sections. And you still see little to no discussion of themes like Ninjago, Chima, or Hero Factory on sites like the Brickset forum.


I feel that BIONICLE gave this site a fairly unique perspective. I remember back in the day there was a surprising amount of positive discussion of Knights' Kingdom II, a theme that is hated on most other LEGO sites I've participated in. Exo-Force has also gotten much more attention here than on any other LEGO fan site where I've been active.


I'd like to see BZPower continue to evolve in this respect. Discussion of non-constraction story themes here is still frustratingly sparse. BZPower News does not report on new Ninjago and Chima books, graphic novels, and TV episodes as frequently as it used to report on new BIONICLE comics, movies, and books. But still, I think there's plenty of reason for this site's continued existence. The community here just isn't like the communities on sites like Eurobricks and Brickset. It's something special, and we should capitalize on that.

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See, that's what I figured, Aanchir. There's something unique to BZPower, even without BIONICLE to perpetuate it alone, so maybe it should continue with focus just on the constraction and "toy saga" lines (like Legends of Chima and Ninjago). Maybe now I see the real reason I've gravitated towards Brickset more often, and it's because the themes that BZPower focuses on are ones that do not interest me, and I have been blinded by that. But Brickset gives plenty of press to Mixels and Chima, less for Ninjago and almost none for Hero Factory, so perhaps that was my initial response upon switching to BZP News, then back to Brickset, and seeing little in the way of differences. I always assumed BZPower would just focus on Hero Factory and Ninjago, the obvious heirs to BIONICLE's legacy, but it seems it can operate as such for all toy lines that Lego makes for the (typically) 6 to 10 year old age range.

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