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Bionicle Guru

Outstanding BZPower Citizens
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About Bionicle Guru

Year 17
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  • Birthday 10/19/1988

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    Houston, TX
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    Drawing, reading, Lego(especially Bionicle), Star Wars, fantasy, science-fiction, tennis, cartography, history, and engineering. To learn more about me, I suggest you ask me yourself. I have quite a bit of stories to tell. And thank goodness I have not filled my interests space with ridiculous self-proclamations of my religion, whiny teenage personality, or peevish tendency to just want to take up space. You're very welcome.

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  1. As someone who was with BIONICLE from the start in 2001 and who still has strong memories of that time (I was 12 years old), I think I am qualified to chime in. There is a lot of context to this time period that will of course vary from person to person, but I speak as a United States, small-town citizen who was already a LEGO Maniac of many years by the time BIONICLE appeared on the scene. First of all, remember BIONICLE released in Europe first. All the Toa and Turaga were widely available at the start of 2001, while people in the USA and Canada had to wait until July 2001. Regardless, if you were like me and got some 2001 LEGO sets (like Life on Mars) for Christmas in 2000, you undoubtedly saw BIONICLE advertised in the catalogs included in the box. These were not teaser images; these were the original six CGI images of the Toa. No words or descriptions were given other than their names and "BIONICLE", so it was very enigmatic from even a casual perspective. I had seen the Throwbots in 1999 and Roboriders in 2000, though, and they were equally-enigmatic, but once you bought the set, the mystery wore off really quickly and it just became a strange addition to your collection. This would not be the case with BIONICLE! So, in the USA, in lieu of sets, we were hooked on the story first. The BIONICLE website was live in early 2001, so you could learn about the whole original legend, the Toa, the Makuta, and more without owning a single set. Plus, there was a music page for making sounds inspired by BIONICLE and the island of Mata Nui. Finally, there was the much-lauded third component, the Mata Nui Online Game. Unlike the worlds of the Throwbots and Roboriders, you could actually enter and explore the world of BIONICLE...whatever that was. And as you did, more mysteries presented themselves. It was like exploring a new place when on vacation. It seems like around every corner, some new and exciting could pop up to engage you. Of course, LEGO did allow for a trickle of actual BIONICLE sets to the USA before July. In March, LEGO Mania Club members could buy Tahu and Vakama for $10. That made BIONICLE truly real for me, building and holding the characters I had only glimpsed in animated form online. Then in May, the same club made all six Turaga sets available, which I also got, duplicate of Vakama be darned! A bigger feature in May, however, was the release of the first BIONICLE DC comic, #1: The Coming of the Toa, wherein we all finally got a firsthand look at the Toa personalities as expressed by themselves in their quest for the masks. It introduced us primarily to Kopaka and Pohatu, as well as Tohunga Matoro and Turaga Nuju. But it really was all about Kopaka, and he was so...cool, he is still my favorite BIONICLE character today. So you see, by July 2001, I (and likely many others) had slowly been introduced to the world of BIONICLE by increasing degrees of promotion, marketing, and product. It was a wonderful strategy, because by July, I was giddy with anticipation to obtain the other six Toa, the Rahi, and (eventually) the Tohunga. I entered the Build Your BIONICLE website contest and practically taught myself HTML coding over the summer in order to compete! Anything I found with BIONICLE on it, I got. And as the story rolled on through the comics and the MNOG, I became so invested in the storyline that there was no way I wouldn't see it through to the end. The 2001 BIONICLE line was special not just because it was the first, but because LEGO (through marketing and promotion) worked hard to make it feel special, like a major series of events. I'm not saying LEGO stopped doing that in BIONICLE's subsequent years, but by the reality of having already introduced the world, a lot of work was lifted off their shoulders so they could focus more on promoting new characters (i.e. sets) instead of the world in which they inhabited. But you only cared about the characters because they "existed" in a unique and fascinating world that, before you could buy the sets, invited you into it. So because of that, 2001 is very special!
  2. @Binkmeister alluded to a the idea of a high-end art book meant to show off and celebrate the behind-the-scenes artwork and models that lead to BIONICLE's creation and development in its early years back in a blog post he wrote in 2009! Back then, that idea was rather immature, but eleven years and a failed reboot later, I think the 20th anniversary of the theme is a perfect time to do so! I hope he is still out there, somehow connected to his LEGO colleagues, and can help make it happen. I, too, expect that outside of a fancy book, the only LEGO-related commemoration may be a small GWP (gift with purchase) item or set that comes only at Shop@Home or at the LEGO Stores. I hope it's more than a 2x4 tile keychain. I envision perhaps a new series of minifigure torsos with the original six Toa Kanohi printed on each one, or perhaps even a small vignette model of brick-based homages to a character or two. Maybe a 2001 Rahi set redesign and miniaturized? Regardless, it's going to be small. No second reboot of the theme, though I suspect for all we know still four months out from 2021, anything is possible.
  3. I'd only change Pohatu's Kaukau to be an actual translucent brown. Yes, I know they probably tried it back then and it didn't work out, but almost 20 years on, I think it could be down in a way to more closely match Pohatu's brown coloration and still be transparent. Otherwise, I wouldn't change any of the other standard Kaukau mask colors. I have always had a desire, though, to acquire the trans-yellow Kaukau misprint in order to give my post-Quest for the Masks Gali a Golden Kanohi that actually allows her to "see" out of. That solid gold Kaukau from the Krana packs is just atrocious; the silver one doubly so. As far as eye colors go, I was never a fan of Onua's (and other Onu-Koronan) eyes being that dark green color. It never shone as well when light passed through it. Maybe trans-violet would've worked? A very light violet?
  4. Now to find a sealed version of this type of Huki! That will be the real clincher, I think, concerning how widespread this little oddity was in that corner of Eastern Europe. Like others, I too hope the other five McToran will show up in this boxed form from Lithuania or the Kalingrad enclave.
  5. Well, nothing has happened to me yet, so I guess... P.S. Love how all the old emoticons are still here. I spent extra minutes before replying just admiring all the old BIONICLE-themed emoticons available.
  6. So, I know Bink's blog entry here has receded into the cobwebs of the Internet, but in the years since he wrote of this idea, I think now, more than ever, is a good time for it. BIONICLE's 20th anniversary is next year. What better time to release an adult-sized, coffee-table type book filled with high-res scans and pictures of BIONICLE concept art and models from 1999 to 2010? I am particularly interested in the early years (2001 through 2004), and especially in stuff no one has seen before (or at least, not in high resolution). Christian Faber did a wonderful gesture by posting some of this stuff on his blog, but that has fallen by the wayside since he has his own projects going on. Would the fact that the original story bibles, concept art, and prototypes are still considered by LEGO to be viable seeds for future sets be what's holding back the creation of such a book? Perhaps this was the case ten years ago, when it was hoped that BIONICLE would come back and constraction themes were still a mainstay in LEGO's lineup, but now constraction is dead and BIONICLE has rebooted and died again. C'mon Kelly, use that old LEGO employee clout to get us BIONICLE geeks the book we deserve!
  7. This topic made my unexpected visit to BZPower way worth the longer stay! At first, I just read Shadow Emperor's document to get the main breakdown, but the blog Mister_N is writing adds some nice flavor to the research as well. Being a real detail-oriented person (and kid, back when I first got hooked on BIONICLE in 2001), I remember lots of these "cut" details from the original BIONICLE website and the MNOLG. In fact, my early play and story-telling experiences with my first BIONICLE sets (Tahu, Kopaka, Onua, the six Turaga, and Hafu from the PowerPack) ventured coincidentally into these same liminal spaces the "official" BIONICLE story ended up discarding or altering. I distinctly recall aligning my perceptions of the Toa personalities based on their "ages", per the original biographies on the BIONICLE website and even writing a short story wherein Kopaka uncovers a secret cult of Makuta-worshipping Tohunga (only because they were wearing infected masks, which I created by using clear Elmer's Glue and sand on black Kanohi). How interesting to read 19 years later that there were ideas generated for a "seventh tribe" of evil-worshipping Matoran! I think my play experiences back then, as well as the behind-the-scenes facts uncovered and expounded on by Mister_N and company, reveal the ultimate secret behind BIONICLE's enduring appeal. Even with all that stuff cut out, forgotten, or retconned, there was still so much detail created for BIONICLE from the beginning that combined with the toys, LEGO birthed something that really was alive. I write "was alive", not "felt real", because that reflects the truth about BIONICLE in 2020. As a viable toyline and storyline, it is finished. But one can never discount that while it was extant, it didn't merely occupy space in one's mind like knowing how to tie your shoes or a shopping list. It was a living character that affected the lives of thousands of people, some who still celebrate it today. Don't we do that for cherished places, people, pets, or even histories? It would be a dream come true to have an official book published by LEGO next year that goes into detail on BIONICLE's creation, with official word from the people who conceived it in the first place. But perhaps it is still too soon. I was "old" as far as the target audience is concerned when BIONICLE launched in 2001--I was already 12 years old, so that means I'm on the old side for a BIONICLE fan. And I'm only 31 now. That means most fans from that long ago are probably still in their mid to late 20s. A potent age for remembering one's youth, but one also busy with careers, getting married, and having kids. Perhaps once the bulk of BIONICLE's first fandom is in its late 30s to early 40s (which means I'll be getting closer to 50. Yikes!), there will be such a loud demand for nostalgic BIONICLE content that LEGO will finally get Thompson, Faber, and Swinnerton (and hopefully GregF, too) together to author and document the "making of" BIONICLE officially. In the meantime, these fan-driven efforts are wonderful, and will do nicely until the day our collective buying power (and voice in the AFOLdom) is too great to ignore!
  8. Only came back to look up the original BZPower review of Brutaka (which I finally built yesterday) and got sucked into the forums via a story on the frontpage about a boxed Lithuanian Huki! Looks like since the last time I was here, my profile picture was eaten and my blog was renamed. I had to fix all that, and I guess drop some posts along the way.
  9. You all have poor taste or joined too late, since no one yet has mentioned this epic parody of the entire BIONICLE storyline called "BORNICLE". It was started in 2003 and basically was a juvenile send-up of the BIONICLE comics, novels, corporate tie-ins, flash videos, and (eventually) DVD movies. It was a gem on the Comedies forum and many old-timers truly lament its loss to this day. If only I could remember who wrote it... In all seriousness, xccj is right in that any of the literature forums were PACKED. The front page was always cycling, so if you wanted to stay in people's minds, you had to be more than a decent story-teller; you had to be prolific! I remember "Maku and Makuta Get Married" and the works of lavaside_rahi or whatever their name was. I even remember that "Takua and Jaller Work at McDonald's" one due to its explosion on the scene. There were a lot of sitcom-style comedies featuring BIONICLE characters and boy, did the quality vary wildly! As the Comedy subforum was looked down upon by the more bourgeoisie authors in Epics, I rarely ventured there. While Epics I tried to read were generally better-written and less silly, many leaned too far into cringe territory and often became self-insertion fantasy fulfillment for the mind behind it. BZPower fanfiction (including my own) is probably what turned me away from the overall world of fanfiction before going off to college, and as result, I began to develop my own "writer's voice". I guess in retrospect, that was a good thing.
  10. Pretty sure I bought PMship twice in the pre-2010 days. Being a somewhat conniving teenager, I really only did it for the proto boosts. I think I was one boost away from achieving Outstanding BZPower Citizen status (which I thought I deserved! C'mon, I gave you people BORNICLE for years!), so I bought it one last time. This was all before the blog became a part of the perks, too.
  11. So, is it true? Can I add to my blog if I am not a premier member? Has the whole world gone mad?!? Quick! To the Bat-phone! I must come up with more things to write and blog about! Hopefully, this worked. If you are reading this, I managed to publish it. EDIT: Five years almost (to the day!) and I see that my blog is able to be edited and have new published entries without a Premier Membership! Ha! Something tells me, though, this isn't an accident, but a result of the deterioration of the site's functionality. Heck, my profile picture is gone, my blog has been renamed to "blogs_blog_128" (???), and my rank is reset to "Turaga". I guess the old forums are totally lost for good. What a shame. A good chunk of my teenage years (14 to 19) are gone forever. Press "F" to pay respects, as the kids say nowadays.
  12. I have the board game, too, and was going through it recently. The guidebook also repeats the Toa and Turaga bios seen in Quest for the Masks. I am also fairly certain the biographies for the Toa and Turaga were also posted on BIONICLE.com back in 2001. Since I didn't own the board game nor the card game back then, the website and the mini-CD-ROMs were my first exposure to the story, and I became engrossed by it mainly due to the "god-like" descriptions of the Toa and their temperaments. Basically, out of all of this, the stuff about Turaga Matau was most intriguing. Of course, the ability to fly is the most "out-there", but I can't help but think there was also a little bit of (accidental?) foreshadowing by mentioning the close friendship between Vakama and Matau. I guess after one is brought back from the brink of Hordika-ness, you'd become very close with the one responsible for helping with that!
  13. Here's my idea: we all know how film and music often have "deleted scenes" or alternate takes. Things that almost made it in, but due to time, budget, or some other constraint, couldn't be in the final product. Perhaps the Gifts With Purchase could be "deleted concepts" that the Lego set designers originally hoped or planned to include with a set, but by the final iteration, had to excise it for whatever reason. I suppose these gifts could range anywhere from just a minifigure all the way up to a small vignette or vehicle, depending on what set it was associated with. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but I do know there are stories from Lego product designers regarding certain sets and things they wanted to add, but it would have made the set too big for the price point, or would have delayed production.
  14. Welp, I just noticed the Bornicle quote in your signature. Caught me off guard and got a genuine IRL chuckle out of me- I feel like I should've read the source material back when it was still accessible. I really like the touch with putting 942 instead of 941- it's the little tidbits that make the moment for me.

    1. Bionicle Guru

      Bionicle Guru

      Thanks! I didn't imagine there was anyone left who would get a kick out of that. Too bad the banner GIF that someone made for the epic comedy is no longer active. I was really fond of that.

  15. Say whattt? Wow, Greg Farshety still comments on the BIONICLE mythos? Is he drip-feeding the public some random factoids from the story bibles, or are these just his off-the-cuff theories and extrapolations? I personally liked the idea that the "Great Beings" and their unrevealed nature was just Lego's cheeky way of hiding the human presence in the story. I.E., we the "builders" who created this universe, this "biological chronicle", if you will!
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