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About Aanchir

Year 13
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    The Chir Sister
  • Birthday 03/29/1991

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    Virginia, USA

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  1. It was fun, but I think it had a decent run and had stopped following it closely by the very end. Plus, even from the start I wasn't anticipating that it would last more than three years. Generally themes like that aren't expected or even intended to continue on and on, year after year the way that Bionicle, Ninjago, Friends, and City have — that kind of decision is only made after they've demonstrated some really extraordinary levels of popularity. I also think that while it's a bummer that there was no new TV season to tell the story of Nexo Knights' final wave and conclusion, the story presented in the sets and app make for a very good "final battle", with Monstrox himself taking digital form just as Merlok did and attempting to turn the very technology that always gave the Nexo Knights their edge back against them. I don't know whether there's any new story arcs they could have introduced after that which wouldn't feel tacked-on or otherwise underwhelming compared to such poetically high stakes. And anyhow, if LEGO kept all their themes running as long as they remained successful in any capacity, they wouldn't have nearly enough production capacity left over to introduce entirely new themes like Hidden Side. I will say that I have much more bittersweet feelings about LEGO Elves ending. Certainly it had a satisfying conclusion in its own right, with the forces of light vanquishing the shadows that threatened Elvendale, but at the same time I had a much closer connection to those characters and that world than I did with the Nexo Knights, and I felt like the sets always found new ways to excite me. The Elves story also varied much more from year to year than that of Nexo Knights, which always focused pretty intently on the war between the heroes of Knighton and the forces of Monstrox, so I feel like it could have continued in new directions without that same sense of detachment that comes with having to redefine the entire premise after three years defined by conflict against one very specific adversary. Moreover, a lot of the stuff I enjoyed about Nexo Knights was similar to what I still enjoy about Ninjago, whereas Elves had many much different forms of appeal that this year only the LEGO Movie 2 sets and story come close to delivering. I'm hoping that there's some adequate "spiritual successor" to LEGO Elves in the works for 2020 and beyond.
  2. I know that some people (kids, parents, and AFOLs alike) have legitimate reasons to want to glue certain creations, but what exactly does this product offer that an ordinary water-soluble glue like Elmer's school glue would not?
  3. Truth be told, I think it's a neat way for LEGO to market buildings and structures to kids that might not be as exciting to the LEGO City target audience as fire trucks and police cars. Same with some of the buildings or scenery used as crime scenes or crook hideouts in the past several years of police sets and civilian boats appearing in recent Coast Guard sets. I remember that with other toy brands of the 2000s with a similar emphasis on action-packed real world careers like Jack Stone or Rescue Heroes, it was a frequent frustration that most toys only featured heroic characters, and not more "everyday" characters for them to "protect and serve". With the ubiquitous and near-constant presence of police, fire, and construction categories in LEGO City since 2005, and the shift among many of the less constant subthemes to other types of adventure/exploration scenarios, it's nice that LEGO has found a way to make other types of scenery needed to flesh out a city setting readily available in spite of that.
  4. ClicTime's website for their LEGO branded watches and clocks refers to them as the LEGO licensee for 18 years, so it's safe to say that they were in charge of producing the LEGO branded alarm clocks and watches at that time — though it's possible that at that time, LEGO's tendency to try and manage so many aspects of their brand extensions like video games and LEGOLAND parks in-house might have meant they were kept under a tighter leash. I suspect that any Bionicle G2 branded alarm clocks might have been in the shape of Bionicle masks and/or heads, which are probably the only element of either generation of Bionicle that's as iconic and standardized as bricks, minifigures, or mini-dolls are in System themes. Anyway, these and clocks and watches are as cool as ever, but not much about them stands out to me as unusually groundbreaking. Of those shown, I could possibly see myself getting the Unikitty watch. Otherwise, though, none are really calling my name. I still kind of regret not getting the Nya watch from the LEGO Ninjago Hands of Time series, and hope that she is featured in future ClicTime products, since that version of Nya remains one of my favorite minifigure designs of all time, and Nya herself remains my favorite Ninjago character from Season 5 onward. But i'm sure that if another watch never gets released that appeals to me as much, I will still be able to find that one at a reasonable price online, or just continue my current habit of not wearing a watch.
  5. Since Bionicle has been one of the only other real story-driven IPs to last as long or longer than Ninjago has, we can't necessarily assume that its rise and fall will become a trend for similar themes. Ninjago's already had a much different development history in a lot of respects: launching with a TV special that paved the way for a multi-season TV series having the most successful first-year sales of any new theme to date (at least as of that time), but seemingly never becoming the LEGO Group's single best-selling product line of the year (as Bionicle had been every year from 2002 to 2005) getting a third season and a new wave of sets on relatively short notice after what were intended to be its final wave and TV series finale being adapted into a cinematic movie with an alternate continuity in its seventh year ranking among the five best-selling themes well into its eighth year and of course, having much different pricing and marketing strategies to begin with, more comparable to other System play themes than an action figure theme like Bionicle that tended towards much lower price points focusing on individual characters.Frankly, I would not have been at all surprised if Ninjago had ended for good in its third year as intended, similar to the lifespan of previous themes like Knights' Kingdom II and Exo-Force or later themes like Legends of Chima and Nexo Knights. If it was able to defy that precedent that was typical of themes that typically entailed much more similar characters, scale, builds, and price points, then I'm not sure that it makes sense to assume it's simply shifted to behaving like Bionicle, a much more different theme, rather than charting its own new course that can't be neatly predicted according to how themes of the past have stood the test of time. That's not to say that Ninjago is an unstoppable force and cornerstone of the LEGO portfolio to the same extent as, say, LEGO City (which is in its 16th year under that brand name, which was itself something of a rebrand/reboot of previous product lines like Town and World City). What I am saying is that the challenges that Ninjago might face going forward might very easily be challenges that no other theme has previously needed to overcome. For example, I wouldn't be at all surprised if at some point, even in the near future, LEGO replaces the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV series with a sequel series, in sort of the same way that there have been separate cartoon series in the Ben 10, Transformers, Pokémon, and Dragon Ball franchises with the same continuity. This can both help create an easier starting point for new viewers, and an opportunity for the creators to re-imagine the show's visual style without it being as jarring as an abrupt mid-series change (I'm not just talking character redesigns or costume changes like Ninjago has had several times in the past, but rather bigger changes to the overall design language like the color palette, shading/lineart style, or switching between more realistic and more stylized body proportions). Managing to both retain the show's existing appeal and create new appeal to draw in new themes could be a considerable challenge that LEGO hasn't really had to deal with in any similar theme. Bionicle never kept the same visual style of its comics and animated media or series titles and numbering for its books and comics the same for as long as the Ninjago TV series has, so by the time it was as old as Ninjago is now, older fans were already used to those sorts of changes. For most of Bionicle's lifetime it was also more or less the only theme of its kind — in fact, there were questions within the design and marketing teams about whether the Hero Factory storyline intended as the Bionicle storyline's successor should still be branded as Bionicle (like how Power Rangers/Super Sentai series that don't share the same universe or continuity are still considered part of the same franchise) due to having a similar building system and similar set and character design principles, or as its own separate thing. They eventually decided on the latter. Ninjago, on the other hand, has always been one of many minifigure-based play themes with similar design languages, building styles, and play features. As such, it's doubtful there will be a scenario where the bigger category it belongs to is perceived as needing a total refresh/rebranding, or that its production costs in terms of new molds and recolors will be both irreducible and unsustainable — but there's a much greater possibility of another in-house theme launched within Ninjago's own lifetime could surpass its popularity among its own target audience, thereby displacing it. This is probably not something LEGO would bring about by design (they'd rather make new themes that can coexist with already popular ones than ones that already devoted LEGO fans will be forced to choose between), and so far other themes like Legends of Chima and Nexo Knights have neither surpassed Ninjago's sheer popularity nor rendered it redundant. But it's not a possibility Bionicle's designers ever had to be particularly concerned about as long as it remained the only in-house IP theme defined by its particular marketing/merchandising strategy, play patterns, and building system. Long story short, though, Bionicle was not doing nearly as well this far into its lifetime — not so much as mentioned in the LEGO Group's 2008–2010 annual reports, nor listed among top-selling themes beyond the 2005 annual report in which it was "still the LEGO Group's biggest selling theme. However, sales did not live up to expectations in 2005". Seeing as the 2018 annual report still cites Ninjago as one of the five best-selling themes, just as it was in the 2015 and 2016 annual reports around when the theme was first described as evergreen, I don't think it's in any danger of disappearing in the short term any more than other reliable best-selling themes like LEGO Friends, LEGO City, or LEGO Star Wars. If it ends at any point, it will almost certainly be after some more noticeable decline in popularity and sales.
  6. IDK, the supplemental builds are small but I think they're pretty complex in their own right: The spinning eggs ride has some atypical SNOT builds for the egg-shaped seats and uses Technic and the new gear plates together in a way we've never seen in sets before, to create a function we've likewise never seen in sets before. The fences are nothing too elaborate but likewise use parts in some unconventional ways, and certainly ways we don't see in Juniors sets, to allow the right side of the fence to be torn down in a very realistic looking wayThe quad bike, despite being one of the smallest builds in the set, is way more elaborate than many LEGO Friends or City quad bikes, let alone a Juniors one. Ordinarily you see those types of vehicles use parts like this and this from old LEGO Racers sets, not a combination of parts like 2x4 double inverse slopes, 1x2 curved slopes, and 1x2 and 1x4 plates.Really, the only part uses that I might typically expect to see in a Juniors set is the basic vertical stacking of the 2x2x3 bricks and slopes in the front gate and the 2x4x4 half-cylinders in the egg ride's support columns… but I don't feel like there'd be any benefit to using smaller parts for either of those thing. And it's not uncommon even to see parts like those used similarly in highly advanced builds like the Death Star (with 11 of the 2x2x3 bricks), Haunted House (with 49 of the 2x2x3 slopes), and Taj Mahal (with 32 of the 2x4x4 quarter cylinders).
  7. The Triceratops appears to be the same as the one from the Dino theme in 2012, just with different colors and printing. I don't really see how it's any more "juniorized" (as in, using big and specialized pieces instead of smaller and more versatile ones) than most of the other molded LEGO dinos, particularly those from 2005 onward. Yeah, even without a license, big molded dinos like this pretty much invariably drive up the price per piece of a set beyond what you'd typically expect. Believe it or not, the non-licensed Dino theme from 2012 had sets with higher prices per piece than any of the Jurassic World sets to date: 14.7 cents for an average set, with a maximum of a whopping 18.4 cents per piece for 5885! I suspect the only way LEGO could release minifig-scale dino sets at a more reasonable price per piece and still make money on them would be with more heavily brick-built dinosaurs, like the dragons, dinosaurs, and other big creatures in LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Elves, and LEGO Creator 3-in-1. Anyway, I don't care at all for the Jurassic World brand or theme, but it's fun to see designs in this theme get a little more wacky and imaginative. I'm sure many AFOLs who have been experience mech fatigue are groaning at the T-Rex mech, but it seems to be a pretty creative and cool-looking build in its own right. It's also amusing to see more stuff focusing on amusement park type kiosks and attractions. And I'm sure many people will appreciate more variety in dinos, even though they're still hampered by the way the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies since the first one have overwhelmingly failed to keep up to date with current science of what real dinosaurs looked like, and the way that's likewise stifled the average person's expectations of how dinosaurs should look in media.
  8. I love the construction of the magic carpet in this set, since one of my first thoughts when seeing both the Ninjago tassel piece in 2016 and the Joker Manor funhouse mirror panel in 2017 was "this would be great on a new version of Aladdin's magic carpet!" I agree that the LEGO Disney Princess sets are often pretty basic and underwhelming as far as building is concerned. It's kind of understandable with this year's in particular, since regardless of size/price, they all have a 5+ age range (aside from the 4+/Juniors ones). In other themes like Friends and City, it's more typical for the target age to scale a little more according to the size of the sets, so medium-sized sets might have a 6+ target age and bigger sets might have a 7+, 8+, or even 9+ target age. Perhaps LEGO feels like older kids will be more drawn to the new or recent Disney IPs, rather than the classic princess movies and toys associated with them. After all, I feel like a lot of sets from other Disney subthemes like Frozen, Moana, and Tangled: The Series have done a better job in terms of both accuracy to the source material and impressiveness of the finished build than the ones with Disney Princess or Whisker Haven branding. I think the redesign of the Jasmine mini-doll and the new Aladdin mini-doll look quite good! Both use the Nougat skin tone that first appeared as a mini-doll skin tone on the redesigned Olivia from LEGO Friends, whereas the old Jasmine mini-doll used Medium Nougat. This seems to compare favorably with many of the movie's more brightly lit scenes. This also means that Medium Nougat can be used as the skin tone for the new Tiana mini-doll in 41162. Compared to many animals in the Disney sets, the bird in this one is rather generic, and a part of me preferred how the previous set featuring Jasmine used a LEGO Friends tiger cub as Rajah… even if he was way smaller than he ought to be! That at least was an animal that felt more distinctive. But I do approve of this new songbird element, which because of its small size and minimal printed detail will be equally suited to minifigure and mini-doll themes… much like other animals often shared between those themes like the spider, or baby bunny. The "collect and swap" feature of this set is a carry-over from last year's Disney Princess sets. I'm not too enthused by it myself, as it doesn't seem to mesh as naturally with the source material as the modular designs of the early 2000s Harry Potter sets, or offer as much versatility as the Creator 3-in-1 modular houses. But it does help seed the sets with some cool building elements.
  9. Glad you didn't design any sets I actually want. I'll leave it at that.
  10. Yeah, and I felt that Ninjago is the next Bionicle. Legends of Chima, Nexo Knights, and Bionicle 2015-2016 seemed to try to live up Ninjago’s standards, but they are cut short because Lego didn’t let them continue on for some reason (I think Lego is just focusing on other successful stuff, but that broke our hearts a lot). Thus, those themes’ efforts were never enough because Lego didn’t care for them longer. Ninjago is also the only original Lego franchise that I follow the most since Bionicle ended (Hero Factory didn’t do a good job much, and Nexo Knights is like a mix of Legends of Chima, Ninjago, and Hero Factory while that theme didn’t do well much, either). One of the big reasons LEGO has for cutting their themes short (even sooner than might sometimes seem necessary) is to free up resources for newer stuff. A lot of business in the toy industry is driven by a sense of novelty, and while LEGO has expanded their production capacity over the years, they still usually don't have too much wiggle room in terms of how many sets they can produce in any given year. Also, retiring a theme before its reputation as a strong seller wears too thin makes it easier for LEGO to promote NEW themes to retailers and media partners as a spiritual successor to older ones and have that increase rather than decrease those partners' confidence in the new brand. But overall, I don't get any sense that Ninjago is on the verge of concluding altogether. There are several plans in store for Ninjago as 2019 goes on: We've been promised around 6 hours of animated content in 2019. Of that content, the four episodes of Season 10 will make up only about hour and a half, and the Legacy shorts make up slightly more than 20 minutes. That leaves around 4 hours of content unaccounted for — enough length even for a typical a ten-episode season in the second half of the year.At least one new character, Antonia, has been announced who will be making her on-screen appearane in the second half of the year.LEGOLAND Japan is preparing to open their own Ninjago World area comparable to the ones that have already opened at the LEGOLAND parks in Billund, Windsor, California, Florida, Germany, Malaysia.12 new sets have been revealed at Nuremberg Toy Fair, with German prices ranging from €8.99 to €129.99, although many details about their names and contents are still unconfirmed. From what has been revealed, they do NOT appear to be connected to Season 10. And in any case, that's far from the kind of modest final wave we've seen for themes such as Bionicle, Legends of Chima, or Nexo Knights.If Ninjago WERE going to end this year… why not end it with Season 10 and the show's 100th episode instead of a whole additional story arc beyond that?
  11. It's already confirmed that there's more Ninjago sets and animated content coming in the second half of 2019, which for the most part don't seem closely related to Season 10 or the Legacy sets from the first half of the year. Of course, it's not clear whether the animated content would be in the form of a new season, a TV movie, or something else entirely. But overall, I've seen nothing to suggest that Ninjago is on the verge of concluding.
  12. It’s kind of sad that every toy nowadays has to connect to a mobile phone in some way in order to sell. Why can’t a toy just be a toy? It's strange of you to say that, considering Bionicle pioneered a lot of that sort of digital integration (albeit in a much more low-tech way) with stuff like the mask codes in 2001, mini-CDs packaged with sets from 2001 to 2003, and the Kanoka Club/B.I.O. codes from 2004 onward. You can draw a pretty clear line of progression from those sorts of codes (along with similar printed codes in Exo-Force and Hero Factory sets) to stuff like the Ultra Agents theme's "App Bricks" and the Nexo Knights theme's scannable Nexo Powers. Ultimately, the main reason stuff has shifted from computer integration to mobile device integration is that a lot of families these days have more access to mobile devices, and also it makes it easier to take advantage of newer technological innovations like camera-based or touch-based scanning rather than inputting codes manually using a keyboard. If smartphones and tablets had been as widespread during Bionicle G1 as they are now, I guarantee you a lot of Bionicle's digital media and the ways of integrating it with the actual products would have been optimized for mobile devices. That’s not really the point. I’m saying that the main motivation for buying the toy has become the digital reward rather than the toy itself. A good example of this would be amiibo and Skylanders. And I can almost guarantee you that nobody was buying Bohrok-Kal for just the mini CDs or Vahki for just the Kanoka Club codes. Edit: There’s also that fact that G1’s multimedia integration was largely groundbreaking for a toy line. G2? Not so much. Amiibo and Skylanders are rather different than mainstream toys in that they're basically sold as video game accessories/peripherals. In fact, when LEGO Dimensions was a thing, most stores sold them in the video game department rather than the toy department. Even today they are pretty much outliers compared to most toys, where any digital integration gimmicks are marketed as a bonus rather than as the toy's primary function. And naturally, G2 didn't do anything nearly that groundbreaking as far as digital or multimedia integration goes. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything?
  13. A couple things to note. First of all, "just got revived in the last few years" may be true now, but in, say, 2021? By then it will have been a good five years since Bionicle G2's cancellation. Second, everyone from LEGO I've heard from about Bionicle G2's cancellation asserts that it wasn't related to poor sales. If anything it seems to have had more to do with its marketing costs, particularly considering that it coincided with a lot of internal changes that came about as the LEGO Group's previous 10 years of consistent sales growth came to an end. Many LEGO Friends, LEGO Ninjago, and LEGO Nexo Knights books and book series started being cancelled, released in fewer numbers, or released in more limited markets around the same time as the Bionicle ones. Overall, I think LEGO wouldn't be opposed to bringing Bionicle back when and if the time seems right for it. It’s kind of sad that every toy nowadays has to connect to a mobile phone in some way in order to sell. Why can’t a toy just be a toy? It's strange of you to say that, considering Bionicle pioneered a lot of that sort of digital integration (albeit in a much more low-tech way) with stuff like the mask codes in 2001, mini-CDs packaged with sets from 2001 to 2003, and the Kanoka Club/B.I.O. codes from 2004 onward. You can draw a pretty clear line of progression from those sorts of codes (along with similar printed codes in Exo-Force and Hero Factory sets) to stuff like the Ultra Agents theme's "App Bricks" and the Nexo Knights theme's scannable Nexo Powers. Ultimately, the main reason stuff has shifted from computer integration to mobile device integration is that a lot of families these days have more access to mobile devices, and also it makes it easier to take advantage of newer technological innovations like camera-based or touch-based scanning rather than inputting codes manually using a keyboard. If smartphones and tablets had been as widespread during Bionicle G1 as they are now, I guarantee you a lot of Bionicle's digital media and the ways of integrating it with the actual products would have been optimized for mobile devices.
  14. In my case what made it worthwhile is that as a college student I can get a Prime Student account, which offers a 6 month free trial and is subsequently $50 per year (half the price of a normal Amazon Prime membership). Also, since I don't drive it saves me the trouble of taking the college shuttle out when I want/need to go shopping. Lately, most of my LEGO shopping has been via Amazon — Brickset has a useful Discounts on Amazon.com page that tells you what sets are marked down and by how much. 20 to 30 percent discounts are pretty frequent and definitely help take some of the bite out of LEGO prices. Even as streaming alone goes, Amazon Prime's $100-per-year price tag winds up considerably cheaper than Netflix, which costs about $11 a month ($132 a year). But admittedly fewer of Amazon Prime's original shows/movies have piqued my interest like Netflix originals such as Stranger Things, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Voltron: Legendary Defender, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Little Witch Academia, Aggretsuko, Trollhunters, 3Below, The Dragon Prince, Hilda, LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One, and LEGO Elves: Secrets of Elvendale. Huh… I've watched more of those than I realized. If I have any misgivings about Amazon Prime, it's less about the cost to me and more about Amazon's unscrupulous tendencies that make me feel a little ashamed of helping to line Jeff Bezos's pockets.
  15. The most comprehensive option I know of is Amazon Prime Video. If you have an Amazon Prime account, Amazon Prime Video is included for free and allows unlimited, on-demand streaming of seasons 1 through 9, including the pilot episodes ("Way of the Ninja" and "King of Shadows") and the "Day of the Departed" Halloween special. Honestly, i don't take advantage of Amazon Prime Video nearly as often as I should, considering that I've had an Amazon Prime account for a year or two at this point.
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