I used to be a hardcore completist.
Somehow, every year that BIONICLE existed, I was able to get every set from every wave. Once I had gotten every 2002 set, every 2001 set (they still sold 'em in '02) then got every 2003 set, it took on a life of its own. I felt as if I had gotten too far into the collection to turn away, past a point of no return. In the world of business, this is a phenomenon known as "escalation of commitment." If BIONICLE was still going, I'd still probably be a completist.
It wasn't just the sets, though; I was enthralled with the story as well. I'd memorize every new bit of story I could get my hands on. I remember thinking about how so incredibly epic the Rahkshi were (*gasp* knee articulation!) and wondering how they could possibly make the story any cooler. Whether or not they succeeded is a point of contention amongst fans, but I found 2004 to be a pinnacle of awesomeness when it arrived. (*gasp* Elbow articulation!)
At some point, subconsciously at least, it became something I did simply because I did it, and the sheer inertia of the tradition was enough impetus for me to continue doing so, year after year. It became a game. I waited until the sets went on sale and scrounged them up. 2009 was especially like this, and marked a sea-change in my time as a LEGO fan. I still enjoyed building the sets, no doubt about it, but I began a transformation. For the most part, I avoided the Bara Magna story. I simply had no interest in learning it like I had learned the story of previous years. It wasn't an active avoidance, not at first - I just lost interest, plain and simple. I still watched TLR and figured out that Metus was the traitor, but I never got myself into any other '09 story.
Then 2010 came along, and with it came confirmation of the dreaded rumors surrounding the end of BIONICLE as we knew it - and I felt fine. Of course, I felt an obligatory twinge of sadness at the loss of something that had been a constant throughout most of my life, but I recognized what I unconsciously had for so long: I had lost interest in the BIONICLE story to the point where I didn't care what direction it went in. What I was a fan of transformed from story to the building system. I cared about the parts in the sets, not the sets or story. That's why it makes no difference to me what LEGO decides to call their main constraction line. Hero Factory's sets are the natural continuation of BIONICLE's sets. I couldn't care less about the story.
The MOCs that I built, beginning in 2004, became the single most defining aspect of BIONICLE, its constraction line cousins, and LEGO in general. As I drifted away from the story, it was replaced by a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the LEGO system of building, the virtues of which I must extol in another entry, for it is too long and tangential to put here.
Oddly, I'm not particularly nostalgic for those olden times when story and sets mattered significantly to me. Greg's recent story revelations failed send the expected waves of nostalgia over me. I view it as closure, and I'm certainly glad we have it, but I don't want BIONICLE back. Let's face it, ladies and gentlemen: BIONICLE's return would most likely suck, as it would be a continuation of the downhill trend it exhibited in its waning years. It would be like Hero Factory all the way around: similar sets, simplistic story, etc. (Well, maybe it'd be like Ninjago a bit ... but that's another entry.)
My evolution as a fan of LEGO is, statistically speaking, rather stark: I haven't purchased a constraction set since 2010, when I got most of the first Hero Factory wave. Despite the interesting parts, I was unimpressed, and I swore off completeism - not like I really had to or anything. Since then, I've gone completely cold turkey on official sets. I've certainly gotten my fair share of parts from both part orders and BrickFair vendors, but I really have no interest in the new sets themselves. When new LEGO catalogs arrive, I'll only nonchalantly flip through them if I have nothing else better to do. Many times, I'll just recycle them.
Can LEGO get back to those olden days? I don't know. We'll just have to see.
But even if they do, I don't expect to return to my old days of completeism ever again.
NEXT TIME: SUMIKI GETS FRUSTRATED THAT THE PART HE JUST SAW A SECOND AGO ISN'T THERE ANYMORE. DANG IT, WHERE DID IT GO. I JUST SAW IT.
The long-awaited Season Three of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is out, as of last week's two-part premiere and this week's Pinkie Pie-centric episode.
To preface what I'm about to write, I pretty much dropped out of "brony-dom" during the latter half of Season Two. To be fair, I never was really a part of it to begin with. During the Great Downtime last year, MLP and its fandom served to fill the Internet void, as strange as that might sound. But even then, I was rarely much more than a passive observer. I found the show to be lighthearted and legitimately enjoyable, but certain portions of brony-dom took it a little too far. My solitary contribution to the fandom took the form of an absurd one-shot fanfic where Pinkie Pie discovers pizza.
Since my "brony drop-out," I've not kept up with the release of episodes from official sources or popular fan sites, as was my norm during the last season. In fact, I credit Bambi's blog for pretty much all the advance knowledge I have before episodes of this season air.
So last week, I sat down and watched the two-part Season Three premiere.
I didn't very much care for it.
Here's five reasons why.
1) The villain. King Sombra had very little backstory, and what we knew was utterly generic and/or terribly lacking.
2) The setting. A Crystal Empire sounds really cool (and some of the architecture and animation were neat), but it flopped horribly - again, because we were given very little information about it.
3) The plot devices. Every single season premiere has suffered the same issue. Season One's was cool because it was the first (though many agree that it's weak), and Season Two had Discord and some novel concepts. But this time around, everything felt rehashed.
4) The timeline. They're all 1,000 years: Luna was in the moon for 1,000 years, Discord was stone for 1,000 years, and this Crystal Empire was gone for, you guessed it, 1,000 years.
5) The Elements of Harmony. Where were they? Surely they could have wiped Sombra out without the rigamarole of the episodes.
Now, I totally understand the need for keeping the plot simple. It is, first and foremost, a show for young girls, and the aspects which draw bronies to the show rarely include the plots. But with Seasons One and Two, the villains which the Mane Six had to battle in the opening two-parters were awesome, and what they did (or tried to do) actually had some implications on the lives of the Mane Six, on Ponyville, and Equestria as a whole. There was fridge horror, logic, and brilliance. With the Crystal Empire, those implications weren't there, and thus the plot carried very little weight.
After watching it, I was disappointed, though not profoundly. I didn't see things to outright hate about it, just a lot of things that bugged me. Its sheer predictability made it boring.
(Side note alert: this was the first season premiere where Princess Celestia was actually able to personally intervene against the forces of evil, but chose not to. Heck, they wrote a logical reason for this into the Return of Harmony script. Trollestia indeed.)
Moving on. The first "regular" episode of Season Three was Too Many Pinkie Pies, wherein Pinkie Pie clones herself and madness ensues. I'm not going to go into specifics, as some may not have seen the episode yet, but I can give some thoughts on it.
Personally, I'm mixed. I had some issues with the resolution (it seemed strange, too forced, and unnatural), but my main qualm resides in the characters. The characters seemed too much like themselves, as if they were caricaturing their personalities. I don't know if this is brony fanservice or not, but I don't like it.
Here's an example.
Paula Deen, for those who don't know, is a chef and TV personality who got famous for her Southern hospitality, exuberance, and willingness to put too much butter into any recipe she made on the air. Her personality was infectious, and my mom enjoyed watching her show - not for the recipes, but just to see what she'd do and say. (A stick of butter is colloquially known in our house as a "Deen.")
As recently as a few years ago, Deen began to change. She no longer seemed like a real person; she seemed to be acting like an echo of the person she used to be. This, according to my mom, made her show not unenjoyable, per se, but significantly less enjoyable than it used to be.
If Too Many Pinkie Pies is any indication, My Little Pony is beginning to head down the same path.
Is it because the fandom has impact? I don't know. Like I said, I kind of dropped out a while back, and I have little interest in returning. A couple of episodes is a small sampling size, but from what I know of the upcoming episodes, this might very well continue. For example the Great and Powerful Trixie - a fan-favorite (for reasons I can't fathom) - will reappear in an upcoming episode. Considering that brony-dom has taken an absurd liking to Trixie, I suspect her return will have fan-service. If it does, I'll consider my earlier theory as being correct.
This isn't saying that I'm no longer a fan of the show. For as long as it is on, I'll still watch the episodes. But if bronies really do have an impact on the show and its characters as much as has been indicated by recent episodes, Friendship is Magic may have prematurely jumped the shark.
NEXT TIME: SUMIKI YELLS AT A PICKLE JAR FOR BEING UNOPENABLE.
"Send my greetings to the Queen of The Gambia. Furthermore, I own a stapler."
"We have invested in a raisin farm."
"Remember, the celery retractors will be there in the morning."
He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life
How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six
[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker
Sumiki is magic. - Cholie
Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles
Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo
"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker
Ah, Sumiki. - Electric Turahk
LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie
Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva
BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex
What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus
I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh
EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru
Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok
Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker
He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist
I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens
I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.
10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith
11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Popup2: The Camel
~System Of A Down~
Thunder on the Mountain
Toa of Vahi
WORT WORT WORT
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
The Oncoming Storm
Toa of Pumpkin
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Lord of Ice
Zarayna: The Quiet Light
Vorex: Keeper of Time
Toa of Smooth Jazz
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The Great American Road Trip II - 6 - Big Utensils, Little Flavorfishers64 - May 22 2013 04:40 PM
The Great American Road Trip II - 6 - Big Utensils, Little FlavorCyrix - May 21 2013 07:08 PM
The Great American Road Trip II - 6 - Big Utensils, Little FlavorJudge Alex Humva - May 21 2013 10:17 AM
The Great American Road Trip II - 6 - Big Utensils, Little FlavorDual Matrix - May 21 2013 10:00 AM
The Great American Road Trip II - 6 - Big Utensils, Little FlavorArchitect - May 21 2013 07:50 AM
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