This past week has been a real adventure for me! I have already talked about a lot of what happened but I wanted to put all my thoughts in one place for future reference. On Wednesday my twin brother and I took the train to New York City for New York Comic Con. I stayed with my mom's camp friend Carson, whom I had previously stayed with back in 2012 when I attended New York International Toy Fair. Once again, she was an extremely hospitable host.
The reason for going to New York this time, of course, was that my brother and I had won two invitations to New York Comic Con on behalf of the LEGO Group. The invitations included not only one-day admission to the show itself, where LEGO had set up a beautiful booth promoting the new BIONICLE sets and story, but also admission to two special invite-only events. The first of these was the LEGO BIONICLE panel at 1:00pm, at which the theme’s creative director, art director, marketing director, and U.S. brand manager talked about the process of creating the sets and media for the new theme and showed off some of the sets. Those wanting to see this panel in video form can see it here on BZPower News, and those just wanting to see the presentation slides in clearer image form can see them here on the LEGO BIONICLE Facebook page.
As amazing as this was for a die-hard BIONICLE fan like me, it was just an appetizer. The main course came at the second event, which was held at the new LEGO store in the Flatiron District (which didn’t officially open until the next day). Upon entering the store, not only were the sets and 14-karat gold masks shown at the panel on display, but the bins that LEGO stores normally fill with basic System and Duplo bricks for kids to play with were instead filled with parts from the six new Toa sets. For an hour and a half (an hour, in my case, since I arrived late despite my best efforts), we were free to play with the parts to our heart’s content. To top things off, we were able to keep whatever we built! I had thought even coming home with one of the new sets would have been a pipe dream, but coming home with my choice of their amazing new parts was arguably even better!
In between the two LEGO events, I had some downtime when I got to plug my phone in and upload some of the photos I had taken at the BIONICLE booth and panel. Taking so many photos (not to mention trying to keep up with Twitter while waiting in various lines) really took a toll on the battery. In the meantime, my brother checked out the Artist's Alley and got a sketch card of Unikitty illustrated by Katie Cook, one of the writers and illustrators for the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic comic series by IDW. We then got to attend the Legend of Korra panel, where last week's episode of the show was presented a day early and the creators and some of the lead voice actors talked and joked about their experiences working on the show. This was to be their last big event while the show was still airing, so in some ways it felt a bit bittersweet, but on the whole it was a great reminder why the show and its universe are so great.
Navigating New York could be exhausting. As I mentioned, my brother and I arrived a bit late to the LEGO store event in the evening. There are a couple reasons for this. First, we stopped to eat beforehand, which took a bit longer than we anticipated. Second, Google Maps very nearly directed us to the wrong LEGO store. We knew the new Flatiron District LEGO store was on Fifth Avenue, so it seemed like it was sending us to the right place. But we realized shortly before it brought us to (not) our destination that both the LEGO stores were on Fifth Avenue (but very, very far apart), and that Google Maps only knew of the Rockefeller Center store's existence since the new Flatiron District store was not technically open until the next day. Thankfully we were able to navigate to the correct store and only arrived half an hour late, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the event.
The next couple days I had hoped to do some shopping in New York City (for instance, visiting the Toys 'R' Us at Times Square, either of the two LEGO stores, or the Nintendo World store at Rockefeller Center). But after this whirlwind experience on Thursday, not only was I fatigued from so much walking around and navigating, but I had gotten behind on following the various LEGO fan communities that were now ablaze with discussion of the new BIONICLE theme. Plus, my brother and I were already coming home with more amazing loot than I anticipated — getting MORE stuff was hardly a priority! We each had a custom BIONICLE hero built from the parts of the new sets, a BIONICLE 2015 T-shirt, two exclusive transparent BIONICLE masks, a BIONICLE Skull Spider, a BIONICLE 2015 T-shirt, and two BIONICLE posters. So I spent most of Friday and Saturday online, reporting on my experience and helping to clear up people's unanswered questions.
When we got home Saturday evening, not only did we get to show our family what we had gotten (and share some of that loot with our younger brother, who was not able to make it due to school), but also I was greeted by two boxes containing books I had preordered from Barnes and Noble earlier in the year: The Daring Do Adventure Collection by G.M. Berrow, The Legend of Korra book two art book, LEGO Ninjago: The Visual Dictionary, and "Shouldn't You Be in School", the third book in Lemony Snicket's ongoing series All the Wrong Questions. So I have those books to look forward to reading in the months to come!
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that my experience Thursday was the experience of a lifetime. Comic Con was definitely fast-paced and hectic, but getting to meet so many LEGO employees and be one of the first to experience the new BIONICLE sets and story for 2015 was more exciting than I had even dreamed. I also got to spend not quite as much time as I would have liked with a lot of the great folks from here on BZPower. I'm not quite through with this experience just yet — I'm in the midst of writing about and taking photos of my new BIONICLE parts for The New Elementary. Also, I have to get back to "real life" responsibilities like visiting the Zolo studio and putting together some new Zolo creations for their Facebook page. But throughout all of that, I will have some very memorable experiences to look back on, and many great new experiences to look forward to!
For those who want to see Thursday's events from my own perspective, I have a slightly disorganized photo gallery here with photos from the BIONICLE booth, panel, and LEGO store event. Enjoy!