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About masterchirox580

Year 06
  • Rank
    Stone Champion Nuva
  • Birthday 04/26/1999

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    UK, England
  • Interests
    Gaming, the legend of Zelda, bionicle,

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  1. I would completely change Bara Magna. In fact not only that but the entire set up of 2009. Bara Magna never stood a chance at giving bionicle a soft reboot for a new audience. Partly because it was a completely uninviting world for kids. Part of the reason I loved Mata Nui so much as a little kid was because it was a completely three dimensional world. The different tribes lived in peace with one another and had different cultures between the tribes. There was plenty of media highlighting Mata Nui as something other than a world of toa and monsters. Compare that to Bara Magna with its focus on battle and the shaky relations between each tribal group. It just didn't present a world where people actually lived. Just one where people fought and it simply wasn't as enjoyable. I would make Bara Magna much more similar to Mata Nui and make it a world you would actually want to live in. The other problem is that it simply had too much connection with the first saga and thus couldn't have pulled in a new audience. I would have given Mata Nui and amnesia to begin with and would have given a new name to coincide with that fact. Instead I would have had him gradually relearn his past as the story goes on.
  2. I mean the average bionicle fan is 30 at the maximum so you won't really see it yet. Farshtey on the other hand, you can see it. And it feels so strange.
  3. Quite heartwarming. It's weird to see Greg Farshtey ageing but that's how things go I suppose. The community still has some influence and I'll always appreciate that. Also speaking of community influence: Anniversary set_question mark What is that box?
  4. Asking such a question is certainly an interesting hypothetical. When trying to answer such a question you have to consider the fact that both lines are very much a product of the time they came out. Both in terms of Lego's own internal management and general pop cultural trends. One thing to understand about the Lego company is that it has a very conservative attitude with regards to its management. When I say conservative I don't mean that in a political sense so much as in terms of Lego's own image of itself and what it wants to make. They have a clear comfort zone that they generally don't like leaving. Bionicle was relased at a time when the company was in a sink or swim situation where the entire company's continuation relied on them creating something which could be a break out hit. Bionicle was very much opposed by a number of higher ups in the company because it strayed so much from the company's own self image and many believe it violated the founders' principle of no depictions of warfare in Lego sets. At the time the company had no choice but to step out of their comfort zone and take a chance on something radically different for them. Not only that it was also created by a small handful of creatives who had a lot of control over the project and were given generally free reign. Ninjago on the other hand was a product based more upon marketing surveys and internal collaboration between executives, researches, and designers over the course of three years. The theme itself was initially meant to launch in 2010 but got delayed by one year. Bionicle on the other hand had a fairly quick development cycle of around one year and being more defined by a small team. With this in mind I'm going to break how each theme might have looked in the place of the other. We're gonna go by story, set design, and marketing/media. STORY Ninjago 2001 In this hypothetical ninjago 2001 we would have to assume that the theme was created in similar cirucmstances. A tanking company with a small crew to save them. Now we have to consider wider cultural trends at the time. Stories with darker themes were more popular around this time so one thing I could say for certain is that the story would have taken itself a lot more seriously. The characters would probably be better fleshed out and more indepth in comparison to the ninjago we have today which (last time I checked) was a lot more silly with the characters' backstories and motivations really didn't matter all that much. I imagine the plot points would have stayed as the one we got in 2011. However Garmadon would probably be a bit more imposing and speak in a more brutal manner. Sensei Wu would likely be a bit more down about what happened with his brother. Kai would likely be much more distressed by what happened to his sister Nya. Zane would be a lot more bothered by where he came from. And Jay and Cole I can't say. The story would be told more through comics as Lego didn't have the funds to make a TV series at the time. If they had choosen to make one it would probably look very different with much lower quality CGI. Bionicle 2011 This would probably look almost identical to what we got in G2. G2 was very much following the modern trend of stories which don't take themselves seriously. In fact it's likely that the names of the characters would be very different due to Lego's focus on dumbing itself down for a younger audience around this time. There's not really much to say here. Just watch journey to one and you'll get an idea of what it would have been like SET DESIGN Ninjago 2001 Now you have to consider how the average Lego set looked in 2001. Back then Lego had only just stepped in to the world of more complex moulding (as can be seen in harry potter). The set design would likely involve minifigures which are a lot less detailed than today. I imagine we would have seen a lot more baseplates in grey or black (maybe green). In fact I imagine the skeletons would have involved samurai elements. It would likely have taken more from medieval Japan generally as Lego weren't as afraid of incorporating real world cultural elements in a manner that might be considered unflattering. Which also means that Lego themes that came after this hypothesised ninjago 2001 wouldn't have had the same unease around the use of foreign cultural elements thanks to the fact the Maori people wouldn't have sued the company. The ninja themselves would likely have been the same and certain elements like the sai and shuriken would have been created much earlier. And of course there is the two most important elements in the success of bionicle. That is affordability and collectibility. Now if Lego would have done this is up in the air but for the sake of the hypothesis let's assume they had done. What sets could they have made which were both collectible and affordable. They could have gone the spinner route but part of me doubts it as it would have been territory Lego weren't particularly confident in. So I imagine mechs would have been used instead. Yes that's right. This ninjago would likely be similar to exo-force in a lot of ways. In fact it's very likely Lego would have used anime styling like exo-force. The mechs would have been the collectible and affordable thing they needed to get the cash they needed to stay afloat. I imagine it would have perhaps involved certain special bricks as collectibles. Something a bit like the light up bricks of the actual exo-force. This would have been the only way such a line at the time could have saved the company. Bionicle 2011 Now this one is a lot more tricky to imagine as it would all come down to one thing. Had bionicle not existed in 2001, and run for ten years, would CCBS have been introduced? This would depend on one of two things. In the scenario where Ninjago was released in 2001, would they have kept making constraction figures. I think in this scenario there is a heavy possibility that Lego would have released boneheads of voodoo island. Needless to say it would probably fail. Would Lego have continued making constraction figures? I don't imagine they would have done if both roboriders and voodoo heads were failures (I think roboriders was a failure). In this scenario we would have to assume that there was some kind of upward trend in the action figure market later in the 2000s resulting in Lego taking up interest once again. So after such a long pause would CCBS have been created? The more I think about it the more I'd have to say no. For the simple fact that CCBS was something of a backlash to bionicle from within the company. They had decided that after a decade, technic pieces were not appropriate for creating constraction figures. Without the prior experience I doubt Lego would look to create something as drastically different as CCBS. So in this scenario it would be technic based as what happened in our current timeline. One difference I could probably note is that the sets would be bigger and much more detailed. Likely featuring more robotic elements and would perhaps look something a bit like mindstorm. In fact given that the smartphone was just picking around 2011 it's very likely they would have combined it with more technology like smartphones. I imagine something like a miniature mindstorm with an elemental theme is what this bionicle would look like. MARKETING/MEDIA Ninjago 2001 Now back in 2001 the internet was still a relatively new and upcoming thing so all the hallmarks would be there. That is flash based animations. However unlike bionicle it would probably have anime stylings (much like exo-force). It would likely use a lot of anime tropes as well. There would probably have been an emphasis on collectibility and possibly might have used actual Japanese. Now we get to a bigger question, would there be a film? My answer to that is probably. Despite Lego's financial issues at the time they still funded three films so I don't see why this hypothetical ninjago would be any different. I'd imagine the film would be similar to the forty minute pilot for ninjago that we got in 2011. Only it would be longer and would take itself much more seriously. I imagine there would have been more on the backstory of the ninja as well as more world building. Overall it could have been better than the ninjago we got. Bionicle 2011 Now this is much more straight forward to imagine. The media we would have gotten would have been the same in tone and style as in journey to one. There really is no need to use your imagination because journey to one is 2010s bionicle. One difference however is that it wouldn't have used those flash animations as those were created to harken back to the series' origin. Seeing as in this scenario bionicle wouldn't have that history, it would rely purely on CGI instead. The advertisements would likely be similar in style to G2. The main difference would be its use of apps. Apps would likely play a heavier role. It's possible that masks would have been imprinted with QR codes which, in turn, would make for a collectability appeal. Conclusion Overall I'm happy with what we got. I never cared much for ninjago anyway so I'm glad I got bionicle. Of course if I had grown up in this hypothetical timeline there is a good chance that statement could be reversed. But it does leave the question of if Lego could have survived with this ninjago. And the answer is quite possibly yes. If they had managed to work out a decent price point it could have matched the sales of bionicle which kept the company afloat. That's all. Thanks for reading.
  5. Funny that this comes up right after I made a post on this topic. But hey, may as well talk about it some more as I have quite a story with that game. Once again I was a closed beta tester and a pre-order member (so I got access to the game two weeks early). That game is probably the single best Lego based game ever developed. At the time I loved it. After years of licenced TT games lego unvierse was exactly what I wanted. It felt like a return to the pre-2005 days when Lego games were based on in house Lego themes with more variety in terms of gameplay. Sure it borrowed many elements from the TT formula but it also was able to expand upon and deviate from it as well. The combat system was actually really good. Especially in comparison to the TT games. You could go through many different weapons which all felt different plus the faction kits which gave you extra abilities. Summoner was my preferred assembly faction kit solely for the fact you could summon a monster during battle. The fact it also included lego digital designer was also a nice bonus and some really cool stuff got made with it. The racing game was also incredible. The control was really fluid. It was just great. Listening to the podcast does help close up a few things for me. Back during September of 2011 I couldn't help but feel like the game may have been having problems behind the scenes. This was because there was this members only promotional during that month in which you could get an egg that hatched a crocodile that was effectively a massively overpowered weapon which could kill countless enemies. I remember just scoffing at it but part of me at the time said "something's going wrong". Needless to say I was correct and it was a pretty depressing month to say the least. I remember having a rather hairbrained scheme to get the game back at the time. I assembled a small crew with my idea of going to other MMOs at the time like club penguin and bin weevils and advertising the game there in the hopes of starting a sales surge which would change Lego's mind. Of course it didn't work but hey it was better thought out than protesting in game. Ultimately though I still can't help but feel a little bummed out knowing Lego's actual reasoning. It was due to the very mindset they had going in which ultimately was the reason I lost interest in the company around that time. They no longer supported themes long term and instead wanted the big bang strategy for every theme. It seems to back my assertion that Lego Universe should have released in 2008 instead and maybe the company would have been kinder to it. I also can't help but notice the issue with moderation which is part of what drove this games costs up astronomically. I remember the in-game censorship and even I think it was a bit overboard. All numbers were censored. In both written and numerical form all numbers were censored. I remember that we had to resort to using words to stand in for numbers and the player would just have to figure it out. So in order to say 1/one you would say "won", two/2 was "too", and 3/three was "tree". To this day I will insist that censoring numbers was pointless and outright counter intuitive as it made trading awkward to say the least. In fact it reminds of a romour I heard around the time of its cancellation that Lego disapproved of the game because too many players were outside of its target audience. I was 12 at the time and I remember being one of the youngest in the game. Most of my friends in game were in their early to mid teens and one of them was in his mid 30s with children. Needless to say I actually don't remember coming across many kids under 12. I don't know if the romours were true or not but it does seem to confirm one of my theories that the smartphone was part of what damaged the game. In all honesty though I didn't like the direction it took after the summer 2011 update. The inclusion of the ninjago world felt jarring to me as it was a seperate story and aesthetic within the game. It felt like a blatant advertisment for ninjago and didn't seem to fit into the aesthetic of a big mix up of Lego themes. Overall I can't help but feel Lego would have run it into the ground through theme tie ins. Sad to say that we'll never know how it could have turned out. Either way I won't forget it. If any of my friends from the time are reading this you can feel free to contact me. I was Wakko/Yakko/Freakazoid/VentureJones in game.
  6. Old LU. I had quite a connection to that game. I was a beta tester and still have my pre order copy to this day. I played it nearly everyday throughout 2011. It was fantastic for what it was. In 2010 the main online game offerings for kids consisted of flash games like club penguin and bin weevils. Whilst these games were fun in their own way, they never allowed for those deep role playing elements that so many other MMOs at the time did. Mind you, those MMOs usually weren't meant for children and thus most kids of the 2000s were stuck with flash games. Lego Universe did something truly unique by taking that more complex style of gameplay and aiming it at kids. The game provided a much softer version of the RPG elements missing from other games on the market at the time. The game however suffered from issues of repetitiveness and a lack of story. New worlds came out at too slow a pace to provide enough content. However I stuck around for the combat. The combat system was really fun. You had a multitude of weapons to choose from and special moves that came with your faction kit. It was a blast having all these creative ways to kill enemies. Too bad Lego never learned from this and incorporated it into their modern games. However I can't help but feel like the game would have died anyway for the simple reason that it was kinda dated by the time it came out. Let me explain what I mean by that. The game got its full launch in October of 2010 and was made due to the MMO craze of the 2000s. Everyone had one. Even Lego's biggest rival, mega bloks, had flash MMOs on their website. Lego just had to get into the scene. The game was originally slated for 2008 but got delayed by two whole years. By the time it released the MMO craze was in its very last days which gave them very little time to make a profit out of it. Couple that with the fact that it came out just months before smartphones and social media became mainstream which in turn killed the MMO craze. If Lego had choosen to continue it beyond 2012 it would probably have died by 2014. Not only was it dated in terms of the demands of the market but it also suffered from a problem that many pre-2010s games suffered from. That was large amounts of incompatibility on PCs. PC games in the 90s and 2000s were often very sensitive to what parts and OS you had on your computer. It's not like today where you can have a GTX 970 and run just about anything. If the box said (intel pentium core 3) you had to have that component or a very limited number of other components which were equivalent. Lego universe did not run well on consumer grade PCs from 2008 (and this was a game released in 2010). Simply put it was just too much of a product of the 2000s to have lasted all that long. But overall I had a lot of fun on that game and I hope one of those private servers releases soon so I can play it again.
  7. I completely agree. Reddit rewards conformity through its user curated post system based on points. The communities will always upvote posts that confirm their biases the hardest. This in turn leads to a stifled environment in which dynamic conversation no longer occurs. Even the old Lego message boards had more freedom of expression (and that required mod approval for every post). People as recently as the early 2010s used to bash on fandoms for having constant arguments which could sometimes become very aggressive. But honestly, I miss that. I would much rather be insulted every day on the internet if it meant I could hear a discussion between multiple people with multiple different opinions. Simply put I will always prefer environments like BZP because here you aren't rewarded for conforming nor are you punished for not conforming. It's an equal playing field.
  8. The internet has been dying since 2013. Now we're stuck in this increasingly colourless, centralised, and curated web that is run by only a few companies.
  9. When it comes to ninjago I'm generally indifferent towards it. That is I don't think about it all that much as I was maybe (depending on your definition) just barely in its target audience at the time it came out. As such I never formed a bond of any kind towards it. That being said I did collect the spinners (I'm a sucker for collectables) and did in fact watch the first two seasons of its TV show. Asking someone like me this question honestly isn't very insightful due to the fact that virtually all followers of the bionicle franchise are now adults and as such were never really in the age range for ninjago to have an impact. So of course indifference is going to be your typical response. That being said I will offer my own critique of the franchise. On top of the criticisms already stated and the general impact it has had on the Lego company ninjago has always felt very.... artificial to me. And what do I mean by artifical? Well in the sense that ninjago lacks a cohesive aesthetic and vision. Ninjago always felt to me like something made up of various marketing surveys rather than a visionary with an idea. I mean look at its first year. In 2011 it was Ninjas vs Skeletons. At the time when images of the then new theme leaked I and many others found it... confusing. Many of us expected a theme based more in Japanese mythology rather than a weird combination of some Japanese Elements with more European style mythology. It just felt strange. And then you got to its second year which consisted of Ninjas vs snake people which once again felt... odd. And this has been consistent throughout its run. It just feels like a combination of everything the stereotypical boy likes. Ninjas, pirates, robots (etc) all in one theme. And whilst sure it is great from a marketing perspective it isn't that great from the perspective of someone like me. Someone who had bionicle from a very young age. Bionicle by contrast was its own thing through and through. It didn't feel like a reaction to marketing surveys. Where instead of crudely appeling to a stereotype of what the manufacturers think you like and pandering to it, bionicle did the opposite. Bionicle was an original story set in its own unique universe which appealled to you through cool design, character, aesthetics, and story. It shaped you and not the other way around. Which also brings me back to aesthetic. With Ninjago characters they have such a wide array of looks and designs with so many different design philosophies going about that it's hard to believe it takes place in one single universe. But with bionicle you can always see it taking place in one single universe. Place a Matoran from Mahri Nui next to a Matoran from Ta-Koro and you can see the two existing side by side with each other. You could see them sharing a singular world. This added to the collectibility feel because it allowed you to put all the characters together on one shelf and have it feel like they were all related in some way. It humanised it in a weird way. Ninjago just feels more cynical in comparison to bionicle. It doesn't have the same emotion or passion attached to it. And as such, I feel no passion or emotion towards ninjago.
  10. Biotube? That died in 2013 last time I checked. With the exception of TTV all the major bionicle channels (at least major relative to the size of the community) either moved on or went defunct a long time ago. By 2013 Hero Factory had gotten stale and thus everyone started jumping ship. 2015 lead to a brief revival that lasted around a few months before those people moved on with their lives (again). And Jaller three is certainly a sight to behold. I started watching that in early 2009 I think. It's nice to know he didn't forget in the ten years since then. Watching it now is a very nostalgic moment. The humour hasn't changed at all. Everything is how it was. And nothing comes next. Biotube is already dead. The few remaining people will grow older and with time will gain new priorities which will gradually overtake bionicle.
  11. For the children of the 2010s I have no doubt ninjago will be their bionicle. Something they'll look back on fondly in a decade or so. For me however as someone who was only somewhat invested in ninjago during its first year it really has no significance to me. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Overall I echo Kek's views on the matter. Ninjago (at least last time I watched it in 2012) is rather flimsily written and doesn't have much merit on its own. The sets seem to have fallen into the same trap bionicle did in which they now follow a very identifiable pattern. Jet plane, motorcycle, off-road vehicle, a mech, a dragon, small shrine and large temple with vaguely Japanese qualities. A line that was once innovative in its earlier days has since fallen into repetition and as we saw with bionicle this normally doesn't bode well for lego themes. Overall ninjago just doesn't mean anything to me and I won't have a strong reaction whenever it gets discontinued. I wouldn't say it's ninjago specifically that's caused this to happen. This is largely down to Lego's strategy of focusing on licenced themes rather than new lines. In the past bionicle used to take up a huge part of the line up in a given year but it never stopped new themes coming to the forefront. The problem is that the licenced themes are taking up what would otherwise be the space for new themes. In a way Lego has fallen into their pre-1999 mindset of sticking with a proven formula and ceasing to produce diverse lines of in-house and innovative themes that can push the envelope. For example back in the 2000s when Lego released a line it would always be dedicated to a specific type of set. Knights Kingdom and castle were obviously medieval fantasy themed. Exo-Force was the theme for mechs (with anime styling). And you could get themes like Mars mission for spacecrafts (that weren't star wars). Each one would offer consumers a diverse range in each type of set. You had plenty of mechs and spacecrafts to choose from. However since then the philosophy has changed. Look at Nexo-Knights. Instead of being a dedicated medieval fantasy theme it instead decided to incorporate tanks, sci-fi future tech, and mechs all into one with a medieval fantasy theme. The goal seems to be to just sandwich as many popular themes as possible into one. This is part of what I think stifles their innovation. Instead of having a whole range of mechs for kids to choose from they end up releasing maybe two in one given theme and thus not allowing for much experimentation to be done as there is simply no room in the line up.
  12. At the time it wasn't as hard as you'd think. I've been into the series since circa 2002/2003 (very young) and I remember back in 2009 I was starting to feel disillusioned with the series. I remember sitting there looking at the new vehicle sets asking "is that what I got into all those years ago?". Whilst I was upset when it was announced to end it didn't initially have that deep an impact on me. It wasn't until years later and as I grew older I really appreciated it. And I didn't watch the pokemon films that much growing up so I'll maybe give it a try.
  13. As a life long fan I can see where you're coming from. Nowadays the sets just sit around in boxes and are deteriorating in condition. There really isn't a whole lot to look into now and the community has grown up. I'm one of its youngest members and I'm 20 now. When I get out the sets it feels like more of a memory and less like an actual thing that's still here. The sets feel almost alien to me now and project more memories of a feeling less than an actual feeling. It's the same for the movies and comics. I can't even watch the films anymore because I watched them so many times that I could probably write down the complete script, on my own, in less than an hour. And that's not mentioning the aspects that did age poorly. A lot of the online flash games were badly programmed and downright frustrating. It's draped in that 2000s edge which is once again only good in my memories. All of this makes for memories which I simply cannot recreate. I would say this is a mixture of growing up and over exposure. So much exposure that your brain just doesn't get that dopamine hit anymore. Growing up in that consumer products just cannot cause that same reaction it did when I was younger. I think the only way to re-experience it is to go back in time. And unfortunately that is impossible.
  14. One of the massive issues with the villain waves was that they stopped basing them on animals. Many of the villains of the original bionicle universe had an animal theme to them. Rahi, Rahkshi, Visorak, Barraki, Phantoka and Mistika. All of these had an animal theme to them. But what separated them was the fact that they felt distinct enough from the animals they were based on to make them interesting. What would stick out more in your mind? Sort of snake people (rahkshi) or just straight up skeletons? The reason it was great the way they did them was that it allowed for a world that felt separate from our own. This kind of creativity was common with the old technic system. This was sort of attempted in the early wave of G2 but it wasn't really that distinct from actual spiders and also was quickly discarded as an idea by the time of the second wave of that year. Why did this happen? It's because CCBS is not designed for animals which is one of it's greatest flaws. This can be highlighted in the 2011 hero factory savage planet wave. When animals were successfully created they required much larger piece counts (scorpio comes to mind) to feel even somewhat satisfying as figures. After 2011 not much attention was given to quadrupeds (creatures which walk on four legs) because CCBS with it's standardised piece system simply doesn't allow for cheap quadrupeds or textured and shaped moulding. Look at lord of skull spiders. That was a mostly technic set. CCBS is part of what the problem is. Whilst it has brought many great innovations I feel it has unfortunately standardised constraction to the point where the creativity has been largely sucked out of it. At least in terms of retail sets. Lego simply needed to find a way to incorporate quadrupeds and distinctly moulded pieces into the sets but they never did that.
  15. I liked the old one better

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