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Everything posted by Xboxtravis

  1. The use of the Shimmel torso from Galidor is mint. 👍
  2. Yeah I assume they meant the Makuta Challenge (not Makati); and for those wondering what the references is I believe they are pointing out the villager style Makuta wearing a Mask of Fire in all black: Ala 2001's Matoran Makuta in MNOG:
  3. That is true from a power balance perspective, but the Matoran were already capable of forming Matoran-Nui in the story which had strength comparable to a Toa as is... and that is a feature we only saw happen once and they kind of glossed over and ignored it for the rest of the franchise. In that sense I think mask powers would actually prove to be more useful from a narrative perspective, and also easy to nerf by removing the mask... and if its clear the mask powers are much much weaker than the Toa or even Turaga mask levels it could not shake up the story that much. Like say on a Matoran a mask of x-ray vision doesn't fully make them see through walls, but say gives them better vision, or a mask of water breathing allows them to hold their breath longer but not full on water-breath like the Noble and Great masks could. It would still be weaker, but their masks would have more use beyond just decorative functions.
  4. I don't think I mentioned this one yet, but I would have loved to have seen all the Matoran masks have minor power levels. I get there was a desire to make the Great and Noble Masks more heroic, but it would have been neat to give the regular masks some small buffs. Especially since the ability of say an Onu-Matoran being able to use a Kaukau as a brief breathing device in a flooded mine, or a Le-Matoran using a Ruru in the dark underbrush, etc. would have been great story possibilities. Even if they were "nerfed" compared to the Toa/Turaga masks, it would have been a fun possibility to have seen explored in the series.
  5. Alternate title: "Sabrina in the Bionicle Aisle" If you indeed somehow get all the references I am indeed sorry, you are a nerd!
  6. Its wild to me, as somebody who only is loosely familiar with Ninjago; how there seems to be every few years a new controversy as people start complaining that Lego is holding back a season of the TV series or only releasing it in select markets. If the TV series were the #1 marketing driver for the toys that would be dumbfounding, why only release it on weird schedules and then make it hard to watch? But it just goes to show how much the game has changed since those "Great Toy Lines" in the 80's; and that Lego has many alternative paths to keep Ninjago selling product without the TV series always being front and center. It further highlights though just how much work would be needed to get Bionicle back in the game again though with no one singular marketing path which can dominate the conversation really available anymore.
  7. I think an alternative argument could be made that oversaturation and a bigger competition field are the reasons for there being a lack of "great toy lines" of late. In the 80's, when the entire of kid's television could be focused on "Saturday Morning Cartoons" a series such as TMNT, Transformers, the GI Joe relaunch, He-Man, MLP, etc. could have an entire captive audience. Toy companies had a vested interest in funding animated cartoons, and even characters that didn't originate in toys were heavily influenced by a push to market their action figures (see Marvel's Secret Wars comic line up which was a tie-in with the action figure line of the same name). Then by the 90's a demographic shift occurred. Partially political interests saw toys to TV series as unfair marketing towards children and made a push for greater educational content on children's television in the USA. Disney and Warner Brothers both entered the children's animated TV market in the late 80's and capitalized on it in the 90's, with stuff like the Disney Afternoon, Batman The Animated Series, Animaniacs, etc. More and more of TV was focused on original characters, or old IP that was given a fresh take; and less on toy marketing. Not to mention cable/satellite TV networks such as Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network were dividing and expanding the children's TV market elsewhere without the same restrictions as their broadcast counterparts. By the mid-00's, Saturday Morning Cartoons were practically dead on most broadcast "free" TV networks, and all the remaining children's TV was edutainment on PBS or cable-locked series on the premium channels. Bionicle came at the tail end of all of that, and it shows. Bionicle had to do multimedia marketing to even make waves, it had to have movies, comics, internet games, skateboard events, promotional mask giveaways, fan forums, etc. to even mimic a fraction of what Transformers or He-Man could do with just a TV series and comic line in the 80's. Bionicle worked hard to get into the public eye, and even then it sort of feels like at best its popularity is overshadowed by what those 80's toys could accomplish with their captive audience. By the time Bionicle had its own TV series with the G2 reboot, it was a drop in the bucket on Netflix and lost in the ocean of competitor series across multiple platforms (even a small fry compared to Lego's own Ninjago series at that point). That is without factoring how YouTube toy series such as Ryan's World has completely changed the way children are exposed to new toys, and how exposure from a child star "influencer" can be more valuable now than a high budget story. Its hard work to become a "Great Toy Line" now with how the competition has grown, and while I think we will see plenty of familiar names like Transformers or TMNT for years into the future, and Lego will probably continue to rely on Ninjago for the time being; it will be rare to see any completely original in-house toy IP such as Bionicle reach those same heights again. The toy lines that will remain big will probably come from mass media IP, think of like Star Wars or Harry Potter; or even to a lesser extent the tie in toys for Minecraft or Fortnite; because the IP creator be it a video game, TV series or movie franchise will foot the costs of exposing it to the public; then bring on toy makers as third party licensees.
  8. As a self professed G2 apologist, I do have to disagree with the take that the problem lied in the toy design (with one exception, using the same mask for all six Protectors was a bit of a flub). If anything the G2 designs were almost too well designed, bumping up the price point to pretty high costs due to using more parts than their G1 counterparts. Each G2 Toa was almost a small G1 Titan in terms of parts count. But, I don't think the CCBS shells and bones were the main flaw. Yes they could have used more texture and detail parts to really get the mechanical aspects down, but it meant that even the smallest G2 figures (excluding say, LoSS which is a pretty respectable tribute to the 01 Rahi honestly) had more points of articulation than comparable G1 characters had. The 2001 Turaga had arms that could move (one attached to a lever function) and hips that could move their legs, and that was it, the 2001 "Tohunga" likewise were static pieces that always kept the same pose until you pulled their flexible arm back. Yes there is a $7 USD price increase from a Turaga to a 2015 Protector, but the Protector comes with full head articulation, shoulder and wrist articulation, most had elbow articulation, all of them had hip, ankle and knee articulation. Yes the price increase was a shame, but it meant the 2015 figures had a lot more toy action to them. If anything 2001-2005 Bionicle design was heavily reliant on single molded pieces (the Toa Mata legs and Slizer arms are obvious examples), while the 2006-2009 Bionicle designs are almost more of a Proto-CCBS, reliant on bone pieces and detail shells which attached over them. Now that is not to discredit the Bionicle 2001 designs for their ingenuity in terms of using a limited parts catalog to make all the Turaga and Toa Mata slightly unique. Making Onewa tall, making Whenua and Onua hunchbacks, giving Pohatu and upside-down torso, Nokama long arms, etc. It doesn't really change though that Tahu, Gali, Lewa, and Kopaka are all mostly clone builds with variations in just color, hip/shoulder attachments, arm pieces used, tools and mask type though. 2002 really though started to show the clone-ness take over in G1, with 12 identical Bohrok sets with only shield types and parts colors changing between them all, and eventually leading to the Toa Metru an almost factory line clone team where only masks and tools made any difference between the characters (I guess hip length and neck mounting also changed them up slightly, but its such a subtle difference not many people are going to notice Nuju and Whenua as a height comparison until they get up close to the toys in person). Don't get me started on the Hordika... As far as silhouettes though go, G2's 2015 Toa wave knocked it out out of the park. Kopaka had padded bulky shoulders, like cold weather gear. Onua was W I D E like a tank, Pohatu short and lanky, Tahu tall and heroic like a mix of ancient Samurai armor, Lewa thin and gangly, and Gali had a subtle hint of curves to her, feminine grace and the flow of water in one. The 2016 team wasn't as well diverse unfortunately due to the chest piece being the same, but even then the addition of the Creatures to all of them breaks them up via giving them new shapes once the Creatures are mounted on their back. I know G2 wasn't perfect, but personally I think a lack of distinct character design in the silhouette department was hardly the issue.
  9. I mean it is a photo of the Vahi used with it. Not to mention I think infected Hau's maybe came in mask packs as well. But as MartinCollects says, it seems weird to think Lego just let a production line run producing 12 different mask varieties with two molds and six colors on "accident." I suspect there was likely plans for all the Noble masks to be included in the primary Toa colors, but a late production decision made them switch to the noble masks being the Turaga colors instead, so rather than toss out what was made already they just dumped them into mask packs as a surprise. As for the Kaukau "misprints" that is harder to guess what happened there.
  10. I still get to say happily I touched the Platinum Avohkii once. No I don't own it, that thing is pricier than my entire net worth... BUT I did touch it. 🤣
  11. In the case of what Wikipedia is mentioning its the patent for the original Lego brick. Patents in US law at least only last 20 years, with the possibility to extend it somewhat through new innovations. Patents are meant to expire, to allow the inventor a brief monopoly but then allow competition by recreating specific parts. Lego has tried to fight imitators, but if copycat systems aren't using any active Lego patents there is nothing stopping them from recreating basic 2x4 or 2x2 bricks quite easily and legally. Hence why Mega Construct/Blocks is a thing for example. In theory any patents for Bionicle pieces that Lego made in the late 1990's or early 2000's now might be expired so legally speaking, if one was aware of what patents were tied to Bionicle it would be 100% possible to recreate those parts. BUT, patents cover mechanical designs and IP of constructs. IP gets hazier in regards to the creative ideals. Copyright for example covers individual creative works, so in the case of Lego it would cover Bionicle's comics, games, books and music, etc. The law in the US at least traditionally covers the author's lifetime and then 70 years after their death. Upon the expiration of that time those works can enter public domain. So while we might have some expired patents to recreate Bionicle parts legally, we cannot say market those parts by including say "Each copy of our Bionicle bootlegs comes with a disk with Legends of Metru-Nui on it" since that is still protected under active copyright law. The strongest element in Bionicle's arsenals of IP protection though is trademark. Trademark if in active use, can be extended indefinitely. Ever wonder why, even in years with zero Bionicle sets the reason Lego continues to include Bionicle references in their stickers, mentions Bionicle on social media or includes this disclaimer at the end of their website? Simple, in a legal court that proves Lego is maintaining the trademark to Bionicle. Bionicle is in active use, even with no new sets in the theme because Lego can prove they are still using the name somehow. As long as they do such in the US law, Bionicle will be protected forever. So in the year 2074, when all the patents are expired and we can include a copy of the "public domain" Legends of Metru-Nui with our Bionicle knockoff, we still can't call it a Bionicle set because if Lego is savvy and still active they will have the trademark still! Now this comes with a caveat, I have mentioned already "as in US law." Similar laws exist in Europe and other parts of the world, but China has no such law or at least refuses to really enforce it. So, the knock-offs continue regardless. Sure Lego could attempt to have ports inspect cargo and seize and destroy any inbound knock-off sets into the US or Europe, but that is really such a time consuming process its not worth their time. As for enforcing it in China itself, its near impossible although Lego has tried to shut down some of the bigger knock-off brands. But, ironically that same Lego disdain towards chasing knock-offs is the same thing that protects a lot of fan creations. Every piece of fan art, those custom resin masks from Socketball or Zios, those fan Bionicle t-shirts and stickers, etc... every single one of them is likely in violation of trademark, copyright or patent law (or all three!) Lego's decision not to pursue legal action against those creations is more a sign of good faith than anything, and an understanding that some guy making $100 on a fan t-shirt set is not any sort of competition to the multi-million industry Lego runs. Arguably the only ones that fall under a "fair use" argument is something like BioMediaProject since you could argue there is an "educational" and "research" reason to preserve the media there, but if they ever decided to start selling say MNOG on a disk Lego would hit them with a lawsuit fast. But everybody in the fan community needs to understand that the only reason we get away with it is because Lego just views it as too small to compete with them and ruin their finances, just like those knock-off bricks.
  12. Updated my G2 Matoro MOC lately to more accurately capture the original figure's colors. Captions in the linked Flickr posts below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/96380166@N07/52294526504/in/photostream/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/96380166@N07/52294264923/in/photostream/
  13. Can Bionicle be successful with kids now? I mean, my niece likes to play with my Galidor figures sometimes. She is too young to appreciate the "story" (not that anybody is in a rush to share Galidor's story) but she has fun with the figures. She has not taken as much interest in the Bionicle figures other than for the ones with "balls" (Zamor spheres) and she likes watching me fire the Zamor launchers. When it comes to Lego figures in general she recognizes the Disney characters from the CMF line though, since that is more in line with the stuff she watches at her age (she also refers to the big monster dude from Hidden Side as "Daddy Jack" though since that figure does look like Jack Skellington). She does also enjoy AT-AT and AT-ST models as well because she likes the walkers stomping around in Star Wars. So as toys, the appeal of all this stuff is timeless even if many of it is much older than her. So yes certainly kids will find appeal in Bionicle still if they are exposed to the toys, even if they don't know the "lore." I think its a fallacy to assume that kids don't have the same interests in kids of generations past. Yeah, I played video games, had satellite TV, and got on Bionicle.com to read stuff as a kid; but contrary to what Boomers may lead you to believe I also rode my bike around, hiked through the woods, slept in sleeping bags under the stars, drank from garden hoses and put rounds through a BB gun against tin can target ranges. Kids still enjoy a lot of the same stuff, its just the digital age has offered new competing interests. But give Bionicle good enough toys, and appeal will be there just as it was in the past. Kids are not a magical enigma that change drastically, that is more-so an imagination of the adults around them. But can the Bionicle story work now? That I think is a more interesting question. The early 2000's were a time of big ideas in fantasy and science fiction. The adaptations of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, the Star Wars Prequels etc. I look at stuff like Halo, Atlantis or Treasure Planet as sharing a lot of that same DNA with Bionicle; a mash up of science fiction and fantasy with elder races and big giant objects and the like. Avatar the Last Airbender also dived into elemental powers and elemental tribes as well. The DNA of an era that made Bionicle is imprinted on a lot of its peers from the same age. Now though we are more in the realm of super-hero stories, and the tonal shift is subtle but visible. Yes, Greg gave the Toa personalities more akin to the Justice League and gave Makuta a sense of "Lex Luthor meets Dr. Doom but he's a robot" as well... so the elements of superhero vibes are there in Bionicle. But I think themes like Ninjago with their focus on a core cast and a "villain of the week" formula captures the era of superheroics more than Bionicle ever did, with its focus on mythology and the habit of changing out Toa teams every few years. Bionicle's story is convoluted because in a way it wanted to imitate that expansive world building of its peers at the expense of having more fleshed out character dynamics that have become more the norm in later years. So its not impossible to bring Bionicle up to the modern era, but a lot of what made it so great is a relic of a past time. And as others have mentioned, Lego would have to invest a lot to make sure Bionicle stood out against their own offerings; something they failed to do for G2 and well G2 suffered as a result. Maybe someday the nostalgic gold mine of Bionicle will appeal to Lego when they want to tap into Millennial and Gen-Z nostalgia baiting, and we'll end up like Transformers with endless tribute toys trying to capture our nostalgia and wallets. But if Lego wants Bionicle to have the same cultural impact it had back in the day, it would require a very heavy investment to top and surpass Lego's own offerings elsewhere.
  14. Blazing Saddles is an excellent movie worth seeing, but also 100% one that violates probably every forum rule this website has in its runtime so I can't quote some of the best scenes here. I think this video does a pretty good (and SFW from what I remember) summary of why the film is a classic:
  15. As for connections between the two settings, remember this from the official story bible: So the main true canon aspect is that the G2 Mask of Time is the upper half of the G1 Mask of Time. So the connection certainly exists, but how it does is up to your imagination. One more vague connection exists, the next page of the story bible confirms the Great Beings exist in G2 as well: Unfortunately we do not know more about the Great Beings, that is their one and only mention in G2's story bible.
  16. I mean in the case of Bionicle G1, there was an ending... Yes all the B-Plots that got opened up by the serials were never ended; but when we consider the meta-narrative or the A-Plot of the franchise was "Mata-Nui is asleep, the Toa wake him up, he goes on a journey to get a new giant robot body because Makuta stole his old body, and then there is a giant robot punching match and Mata-Nui wins." That story has a very definitive ending, and while the Velika plot and all that from the serials opened a new can of worms and unanswered plot points, its easier to brush those aside as trivial or just world dressing as a reminder that the world continues on even if the main conflict is resolved. So while it would be nice to see the serials resolved, lets be honest and admit G1 had a fine ending; that for 95% of the story wraps things up in a bow; and everything in the serials is just set dressing at best.
  17. Its my cousin's name actually... and he had an Xbox at the time. I thought that was cool. He later on invited me to create a Millsbury account to mess around with that game a bit, so since I was visiting his house I just smashed together the two things; his name and his Xbox. I kept the name when I created a BZPower account later in roughly 2006 or so, and its carried with me ever since. Although I do find it funny when people refer to me as Travis because its not my name, its my cousin's. But at this point going with XboxJake or XboxJacob wouldn't have quite the correct ring to it with 16+ years now of using Xboxtravis.
  18. In all seriousness though, I have said it on Discord and elsewhere but the fact Greg has several months of warning about being laid-off makes me think he is leaving Lego on good terms. Companies don't usually tell you if they are going to fire you, months in advance. So the most likely reason, is that Lego is planning on further shrinking their print-media publishing. I.E. they are going to curtail Lego Life or whatever the magazine is called now, and we are going to see less tie-in novels to themes such as Ninjago; since apparently web media, aps and TV series are likely seen as a bigger return in investment for Lego's advertising arm now than printed media is. Which I think is a shame, especially since I think young reader novels were such a great way to get kids to actually pick up a book and read back in the day giving Bionicle a surprisingly education bent... But alas, I think Greg's departure is just a bigger sign of shifting priorities in Lego marketing plans.
  19. Well Greg wrote the books, he wasn't supposed to be fighting in them!
  20. I don't know the full details beneath the hood, but obviously the preserved BioMediaProject versions of MNOG run without a Flash extension on browser. I don't know if there is a Flash emulator built into the downloadable MNOG or something like that. If you wanted a full non-Flash version, it would maybe be easier to rip the assets and reprogram the game in a newer engine. Of course that could lead to another project of upscaling and restoration... since so much of the audio and texture files are very compressed by modern standards.
  21. Such a wise Canadian philosopher. Has he ever written anything in song form? Or play any instrument, like IDK... the drums? Because such a wise Canadian philosopher musician would make a fine addition to my vinyl album collection. Anyways despite the rush of jokes I feel coming on, I think its time to fly by night out of this thread.
  22. Big Boy would certainly be a set I would love to see come to fruition, either via Ideas or a regular D2C release... but it would also highlight the current limits of the official Lego track system with its sharp curves. Still it would be along with the Maersk Train, Horizon Express, Crocodile and Emerald Night such a satisfying entry to large scale Lego train sets. I wish the project luck.
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