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About Xboxtravis

Year 13
  • Rank
    Stalwart Defender
  • Birthday 02/18/1994

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  • Gender
  • Location
    United States, Utah
  • Interests
    Current: Lego, Trains, Video Games, Science Fiction,Cartoons and Animation
    Interests when joined in 2006: "Bionicle,legos,star wars, science, and BZpower."

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  1. Just curious, when was the last time you bought anything Bionicle related; be it a set or collectibles? Just kind of curious to see how often other people are buying new stuff. For example today I got a package from Bricklink containing a few parts. A new white Akaku for my 2001 Kopaka, the original from his set has a few scratches and scuff marks; the 2004 Disk of Time (always wanted one of those) an orange Ruru (bringing my collection up to three Rurus, so I have one for display and two in case I ever rebuild the Manas set), a light blue Noble Rau and Noble Komau for my G2 style mocs of G1 characters (beats stealing a mask from the original 2001 set); and finally two complete (but used) sets; 2015 Skull Basher and Skull Slicer. Meaning that now Skull Scorpio is the only retail (as in excluding polybag promotions and rare convention/inside tour masks) set from 2015 I have yet to purchase. So... in short; what have you all been buying of late?
  2. Is the Brown Ruru and Green Matatau and Trans-Neon Green Skull mask still available?
  3. I think plot armor is the only reason Spherus Magna wasn't destroyed the second the Great Spirit Robot took its first step! Rule of Cool wins that battle. Anyways, the length of the island according to BioSector01 is about 486 km from tip to tip. Here is a few views of what that looks like on a real globe for scale. I guess Takua did a lot of walking in MNOG we never saw:
  4. Its possible the MU might be hostile to human life. We do know at least the MU's inhabitants are oxygen breathers so the soldiers should be able to breath. Madu and Vuata Maca are the only fruit trees I know off the top of my head that exist in the MU, and we don't know if those are edible to humans. I doubt a Rahi or other creature in the MU has enough biomass to form a suitable meat source for humans. Probably most concerning, is the fact the MU is mostly full of liquid protodermis and not true water. We know liquid protodermis is similar enough to water that its basically interchangeable for a Toa of Water... but we don't know if its safe to drink and use for humans. Now if liquid protodermis was safe to drink, and could even be used to cultivate crops maybe the Romans could establish farms on their first islands and slowly build up their resources before moving 'up north' to greater conquest. But if liquid protodermis is poisonous to humans... it could end any attempt at conquest right there.
  5. I am pretty sure someone here has probably mentioned it once already sometime... but a scroll through BS01 made me notice something about the overhead views of Mata Nui the island we got all the way back in 2001: Notice anything funny with the way the shallow waters surrounding the island are? Let me highlight the area a bit... Yep... that's the effect of Mata Nui's head and shoulders underneath the island. I don't know why, but catching these hidden bits of foreshadowing nearly 20 years later still gives me a kick. Interesting to note a Faber concept art from 2006 that showed the planned Ignition arc offered a 'zoomed out' view of the area and the full effect of Mata Nui underneath the waves: From what I can tell, the original artwork (or one very similar to it) must have been used on the Bionicle.com website. It can be seen, very blurry in a screengrab from Bionicle Comic 4 that shows the Bionicle.com website: Oddly enough, the "Expedition To Mata Nui" fansite by Binkmeister from that era has its own art showing the shadow cast by the Great Spirit Robot's head and shoulders in its files:
  6. The thing is from a storytelling perspective, soft magic is actually very appropriate for a mythological setting where the themes of the story are more important than how characters solve problems using their tools. So Bionicle, especially in its earliest years; felt very mythological and as such a looser system makes sense. Its why we have early story material mentioning Turaga Matau flying, and the Toa creating storms while fighting each other... which really aren't seen or shown in the later canon. Look at the stuff that is 'soft magic,' Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, actual Greek Myth... and you can see how the first three years of Bionicle in particular fit that myth style of fantasy stories. I think following Metru Nui, and as Greg took on a more active role in presenting the story things began to lean towards a hard magic system. If the early years were fantasy-myth, the later years were most definitely a more sci-fi setting. Yes it killed some of the mystery from the early years, but generally most weird powers were explained by story's end as part of a hard rule of what residents of the MU were innately capable of. Like the clarification all Toa must come from Matoran of the same element; and the retcons explaining Takua as a Av-Matoran in disguise instead of a Ta-Matoran who became a Toa of Light; all seem like attempts to shift towards a hard magic rule set. There were still a lot of soft elements left over from the earlier years; but they were often retconned to have explanations or just limited to the specific characters that used them originally. I don't know if that was a successful shift or not. Add in the fact Greg spent years answering fan questions... even if somethings were never meant to be explicitly explained, they were eventually codified as canon due to countless Q&A sessions that whittled every mystery down to fact and hard rules. As for G2 since I am a bit more familiar with that story than it sounds like you are; definitely fully a soft magic system if by the de-facto reason the world-building was lacking and never was deep enough to explain how things actually worked in the G2 world. Remember, its was up for debate in G2 if the islanders were called Matoran like the G1 characters, Okotans, or just simple 'villagers' because the world building at best was inconsistent. Okotans is what BioSector01 lists as their canon name, but it includes the mention of them as Matoran from Lego Club Magazine as either an alternate name or just a typo on the magazine's part. Since G2 was meant to harken back though to the earlier years of G1, I have no doubt it would have had a 'soft magic' feel even if its world was fleshed out even more. Anyways... the best piece of media I know that leans towards hard magic is Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. It usually works well when introducing new magic to fit it into the existing laws of the series.
  7. Most of my MOC's are built in CCBS; so most of my collection of parts are ex-Hero Factory set components stripped down to pieces. But... I have never bought a single Hero Factory set to stand alone on its own and not be cannibalized for Bionicle MOCs. I kinda thought Hero Factory was neat, but it really struck me at a time I was not that interested in Constraction at all. I stopped Bionicle collecting in 2007 after the Barraki, and didn't pick it up again until the 2015 reboot. During that time, all my Lego collecting was focused completely on System sets. I was still in the Lego hobby, so I saw the ads for Hero Factory and even read bits of its story. I remember getting that 2010 advertisement booklet that the Lego Club members got. It had my name printed out on it "Jacob, we want you to join Hero Factory!" or something like that with the big "From the Creators of Lego Bionicle" splashed on it. Then for an issue or two it seemed like Hero Factory was going to get the Bionicle comics treatment, with a few comics written by Greg himself coming out for Preston, Furno and the gang. It was cool... but I was a teenager learning how to drive my car and stuff like that so my mind was elsewhere; it seemed I thought these 'wanabee Bionicles' were beneath me as Lego sets, and just a neat little story to read once a month with Lego Club. Then... the comics just stopped. I heard Hero Factory had a TV show, even Mark Hamill himself was voicing a Von Nebula; but nothing to really get me interested in actually watching it other than a "oh that's neat." Then I left for Argentina in 2013, had no clue Hero Factory was cancelled in 2014; and during those two years I saw more bootleg Hero Factory sets in cheap shops than I saw real ones. I wish I had bought at least one bootleg... it would have been such a neat and trippy little thing to bring home with me but I never did. Then I got home summer 2015, walked in a Lego Store less than 24 hours after arriving in the USA... only to see Bionicle back on shelves and I left the store with Tahu Master of Fire in hand. Hero Factory wasn't even a concern on my mind at that point, Bionicle was back and all Hero Factory parts I got a hold of were sacrificial lambs to creating more Bionicles. That is my experience with it at least. I know some others probably had a greater connection to the line, but for me Hero Factory continues to be a MOC parts source for me, and not much else. Maybe someday I might pick up a few that looked neat in retrospect, but for now bits of Breez live on in my Matau revamp, bits of Stormer live on in my Matoro revamp, etc...
  8. May I remind you?
  9. Don't know specifically about the 2005 contest; but one of the current owners of a Solid Gold Hau is Andre Hurley. He also owns the Platinum Avohkii from a 2003 contest which he bought secondhand for about $15,000. The Platinum Avhokii is considered the most expensive Lego piece ever sold. Andre used to be on these forums, but he isn't anymore; although he still posts stuff on his Facebook page showcasing his collection. He actually lives about an hours drive away from me here in Utah, I wonder if he ever does open houses of his collection? I'd love to see that stuff in person. Speaking of Utah... one of the prototype Sand Tarakava's was sent to Saffire Studios in Utah as a reference model for the Legend of Mata Nui and Tales of the Tohunga games. It was allegedly handed as the trophy for a company bowling party in 2001... so yeah... somebody won a rare prototype Lego set in a bowling tournament. I wonder if they still have it 19 years later? As for other contest prize stuff... that is beyond me. I don't think the winners of any of the Solid Gold G2 masks from 2015 are currently known; although I do think a few of the winners of the G2 Art Book are known. EDIT: The owner of the 14K Mask of Ice just posted about it on social media; so there is one more known contest prize location found. I also found the 14K mask of creation winner on Beyond the Brick: And the 14K Mask of Earth:
  10. I think there are a few factors that lead to the "B-stories" in 2004. First off, of the people credited with creating Bionicle; only Faber was still around by the end of 2004. Alastair Swinerton left sometime before 2003, and I think Bob Thompson left in 2004. Greg was moved into a much more important story role, now having to fill out ten novels for the 04-05 arc for Scholastic & the ongoing comics for DC; and fielding questions for fans online. The loss of Swinnerton and Thompson, and the increased influence from Greg shifted the style of the story being told. Then the toy release schedule limited what was available at the time of publishing certain materials. The Vahki didn't show up in set form until summer 2004, same with Dume and the Dark Hunters. The only sets physically available were Toa and Matoran. As such 2004 ended up becoming a waiting game until the Vahki were released in the summer. So the Toa faced the b-plots to keep things moving. All the villains were intangible things kids could imagine (The Morbuzka plants), villains made as combiner models from the Toa (like that one shapeshifter Rahi), or recycled villains from old waves (like the Rakshii in the Archives or the 2001 Rahi the Toa would encounter). It was all filler until the real villain sets were released at the years end. They kind of avoided that in 2005 by mentioning the Visohrak horde from the beginning, although again the complete sets weren't available until summer. 2006 & 2007 released the villains first, then focused on their b-plots before the Toa arrived in summer. 2008 split the villains and Toa to have three Toa and Makuta come out per canister wave as a solution to the whole issue. G2 tried to avoid it by releasing one large villain (LoSS, Umarak) and smaller villains (Skull Spiders, Shadow Traps) along the Toa winter wave; while the villain summer wave also included some form of Ekimu in hero form to aid the Toa.
  11. Okay holiday season is over, time to whip up another figure... Another addition to the Turaga, a remake of Onewa. Full line up of the "Turaga of Okoto" I have built so far, plus Ekimu for comparison. Onewa was... a slow gestating one compared to the other Turaga. I had all the parts for him long before I completed it, but I ended up sort of sitting around with a half finished frame in my Lego parts bin for Onewa with no clue how I was going to finish the model. I thought using the Vorox shells, one of the few pieces to be used in both G1 and G2 was a fun addition to the character, but I didn't have enough to create a symmetric model. Fortunately, the Protector of Stone and Pohatu Master of Stone are both asymmetric designs, so it made sense to copy that in Onewa. I didn't know what to think of the big tan shell from Grievous as a body though, until I started to see how it looked once I began building the asymmetric arms and I finally felt like it clicked for me I guess to characters though from other media ultimately got channeled into the final Onewa build; Kuiil from everyone's favorite Baby Yoda show The Mandalorian and Rashid from the novel series Dresden Files. With Rashid a phrase that was used to describe the character for some reason stuck with Onewa... "that old desert fox." I can almost imagine it in my head; Onewa and his son the Protector of Stone leading a wandering tribe in the wildernesses of Okoto; having been cast from their village by the treacherous Ahkmou sometime after the events of Journey to One; with Onewa using every scarp of knowledge he has to survive the desert and lead his people to safety while being hunted by Ahkmou's loyal... Its a type of lone wandering story with parallels to Moses that just seem like the perfect place for Onewa in a G2 world.
  12. Yeah most European countries would read that as April 1. We're just weird in America for reading it as January 4 I guess.
  13. I wonder if there was a resolution issue. Most G1 stuff was made pre-HD televisions... while G2 was made in an era where high resolution TV was the standard... Still think the G1 stuff would have better fit the narration of the episode though; even if they included a bit of G2 to sprinkle in for the pretty HD shots.
  14. I mean if we look at it from maybe a corporate perspective, the 2010's were a good time for Lego. They became perhaps the most influential brand in the world. The Lego Movie launched them to massive fame, and made Lego a bigger powerhouse than Mattel or Hasbro. Not to mention the continued licensed lines like Star Wars, Harry Potter, superheroes etc. all were very successful; while Ninjago remained a huge powerhouse the entire decade for Lego. I don't know if the fame will last, the layoffs a year or so back and the failure of the last few Lego Movies makes me think that the "Lego moment" is over. But I think the company enters the 2020's in a much stronger position than where it was in 2000.
  15. I had a few weeks in 2001 where I seriously tried to reconcile Mata Nui as "The Great Spirit" with my religious beliefs on God. Like really, how did this Mata Nui guy fit in with Jesus? I swear I even drew a MNOG inspired doodle during that time with God and Jesus literally commanding Mata Nui to go be the Great Spirit to the 'Bionicles'; and somehow Gali's Tarakava battle from MNOG was involved in it too with me as a kid witnessing it (I had no clue the player character in MNOG was Takua and just assumed it was me wandering around the island)... the details have grown fuzzy over time about what I was actually trying to say with those doodles. I was seven years old at the time, and eventually I realized Mata Nui was you know... just a Lego character. I blame that confusion on the fact all the early Bionicle narrators actually sound like they might have well been narrating Bible videos in the 70's. Something about the tone and mystical atmosphere of Bionicle really had a spiritual sense to it in those early years that I may have taken a tad to seriously as a seven year old. This video the perfect example of such:
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