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I’ve had this sitting around for a while, because I wanted to do some more work on it before posting, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen so I’ll post it now.

While in a bit of a semi-sleeping state, I had the idea of how to build a completely rearrangeable LEGO structure.


Sections of the building can be removed and replaced with others very easily. I had intended to build the inside of the “rooms” as well, but unfortunately never got around to it.

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty neat system.

Also, I’ll probably be posting another review of the upcoming new episodes of Journey to One once they come out, so keep an eye out for that.

Sigh.

So, as you probably know, a few days ago Bionicle: The Journey to One was released on Netflix. I, of course, watched it as soon as I had found out. The following hour or so was mostly filled with cringing at most points and laughing at how bad it was the rest of the time.

I’ll start this off by being positive. There were a few things I liked. I enjoyed the animation. It was an interesting blend of styles, or that’s what I thought anyway. There was a brief scene that had an Easter Island-y stone statue thing, which I thought gave off some nice G1 vibes. Umarak also has the power to teleport through shadows and create shadow semi-clones of himself, which is kinda cool, though they may have already told us that before somewhere else. There’s a massive (I say massive because it looks massive, but we don’t really spend much time with the Toa going through it) labyrinth island thing that Makuta’s mask is hidden in, which is (not very subtly) hinted at being connected to the Toa’s origins. I also liked that Umarak tried to take Makuta’s mask for himself but instead was taken over by Makuta. That part, I guess, was “the twist”, though it really wasn’t surprising whatsoever. Taking people over via mask is basically Makuta’s MO. Predictable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

So there are some things I like about it, yeah. But there are far, far more many things I dislike about it.

One, the writing. The plot is very linear, we already knew about 75% of it, and anyone with a brain could’ve guessed the final 25%, so there really wasn’t much of any ground broken with the story. Shouldn’t the show tell us something new? Or at least add depth to what we already knew? I wouldn’t say this does either. But what’s even worse than that is the dialogue writing. Oh god, it’s bad. I mean, really freaking bad. Pointless one-liners, stupid one-liners, cliche one-liners, and that’s it. Besides monologues and the narration, I think one-liners are about the only speaking anyone does. (I’m exaggerating to some degree, yes, but one-liners are the majority of what’s said in the show.) But even the non-one-liner dialogue isn’t good by any standard.

Okay, but a good actor can take a crappy script and turn it into something good, right?

Well yeah they can, but these actors certainly didn’t. I really don’t have much to say about the voice acting, because it’s so darn forgettable. A lot of the characters sound mostly the same, and I swear the voice actor for Lewa and Umarak must be the same guy. But what makes the voices worse is this filter that, I guess, is supposed to make them sound sorta robotic. It’s mostly just irritating and makes it difficult to hear what they’re actually saying.

The characters are also flat-out stupid. Just… stupid. I know G1 characters weren’t too bright either, but wow, they look like geniuses compared to their G2 counterparts. Especially Pohatu, who apparently can’t see far enough past his “fear of scorpions” (aka, his terrible ailment of plot convenience) to realize he needs to work together with his Creature to, y’know, save all of Okoto. Not until his heart opens up to it for… some reason, once it’s too late and Umarak has Makuta’s mask anyway. This is just one of the many, many examples of their stupidity.

 

I think what upsets me most about it is that this is really the first big chance they had to build the world, story, characters, atmosphere, etc., and they pretty much just threw it away. And the first (and only, so far) game we’ve gotten is just a fighting game sorta thing. I’m just really not feeling the passion they had in G1. Yes, I know G1 got absurdly complicated and a bit too convoluted for its own good, which ended up making it harder for new fans to get into, but why does G2 need to go the exact opposite route and make it beyond simplistic? It’s roughly the same audience they’re targeted to. G1 wasn’t complicated and convoluted in the first few years, but it was still amazing. They made something that felt like far more than just a story dictated by the toys they were selling. They gave it atmosphere, they built the world, they built the plot and hinted at what was to come. But so far in G2… none of that, really. Sure, G1 had its share of not-great stuff too, but at least it had more than enough awesome stuff to make up for that.

I get that I’m being harsh. I get that it isn’t really the best to go around comparing G2 to G1, something that I’ve loved for over a decade now. So I’ll compare it to something else that was targeted to about the same audience, Avatar: The Last Airbender. That had a great story, characters, writing, music, and atmosphere. Point being, kids at the age of the target audience are capable of appreciating and understanding quality things. Why is that consistently done? I get that it’ll probably appeal to a lot of kids, but why can’t we infuse good taste into them instead of this? What is the fear of consequence connected to making something good?

 

Anyway, I think that’s about all I have to say on the matter. I was harsh and critical, yeah, but this is a review. (I also exaggerated for emphasis a few times, but that should be obvious.) There were a few things I enjoyed, but the rest was mostly a cringe-fest. And this is just my opinion. If you liked it, that’s fine. I’m personally biased towards G1, but that certainly wouldn’t stop me from enjoying this way more if it was just… better.

But maybe that doesn’t really matter to LEGO. After all, they did get me to watch the show.

 

P.S.: I actually watched this four days ago, so unfortunately I couldn’t point out many exact examples of how freaking stupid the dialogue and characters were. Sorry for that, but you’d probably thank me if you knew how bad they really were. If you’re a die-hard Bionicle fan like me, you’ll probably still want to watch it, and I know I’m going to watch any new episodes that come out. But that doesn’t make the show itself any better.

Snowspeeder-esque Ship

Well, I finally got back around to building something, and this was the result:  

 In shape it’s fairly similar to a Snowspeeder, though this is more of a in-space ship than those are. I’m thinking of eventually building a docking port and stuff for it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it.

  
The front and back are both able to open:

  
In other news, I’ve gotten a bunch of the new Bionicle sets, and I’ll hopefully post something about them (or the story) soon.

There’s a thread on BZPower right now about member’s self-MOCs. I posted a picture of Kopeke (obviously), then went on to describe ways I’d change him if I were to make a MOC of him. Those ideas made me want to actually do it.

So, I give you my upgraded Kopeke:

   
   
He has some major articulation, as you can see, especially rotation in the hips, which I’m not sure if I’ve seen before in a MOC. (It was actually somewhat accidental that that happened.)

Skakdi

This guy is a little over-the-top. Initially, I just built his weapon, then decided I should build someone to wield it.

   
    
 The launcher is a modified Kanoka disk launcher, changed so as to be able to launch it by pulling a chain (which, I thought, suited a Skakdi pretty well).

The actual guy’s build is really simple, as you can see, though I had a lot of fun making his head. Also, he’s able to detach the weapon from his hand and sling it onto his back.

I actually forgot that I hadn’t posted about this guy on here already; this is my attempt at making a CCBS-style McToran.

I would’ve liked to have used actual McToran feet, but I didn’t have a matching pair, so I had to make due.

He’s an engineer kind of guy, perhaps a friend of Nuparu. He’s armed with a screwdriver and a little chisel thing.

   
   

      

This guy, obviously, isn’t finished yet, but I hope to work on him more in the future. 

He’s kind of a hardcore dark hunter. He wears a bandolier made of skulls of his defeated enemies (the final photo) and carries a custom handheld guillotine (the first two).

It actually does work. The hand-part is directly connected to the main pole of the weapon, and it has a moveable piston sort of thing that swings the blade up and down.

Suffice to say, this guy should be pretty awesome and threatening once he’s finished.

My friend (the same one who made the Demorahk and the grim reaper) suggested to make Tamaru into a Turaga.

   
This was the result. I tried to give him somewhat of a “crotchety-old-man” look, and envisioned him saying “You whippuhsnappuhs, get off my treehouse” to some little Matoran. 

New Videos!

Sorry it has been a while since I’ve posted, but there hasn’t been much (notable) Bionicle news, and I haven’t really built any MOCs or anything in a little while.

Anyway, LEGO has been updating the Bionicle.com website every once in a while, mostly just minor updates, but we now have some small pages about the skull spiders and Protectors, and larger pages for the Toa, which now have small (30 second) videos introducing them. We also have small pages for the different Wahi of Okoto, as well as a cool zoom-able map that is fun to look around on.

But the most notable thing is that they recently added three more videos to the site, which tell about how the Toa were summoned (Time Temple!), the Toa arrived, and the Toa began fighting the skull spiders.

There are also several more Mask of Time “easter eggs”, which, combined with the official mention of the Time Temple, could continue pointing towards the time-travel thing.

Check them out! I’ll [try to] keep you posted on further updates on the site, and other things pertaining to Bionicle.

(Sorry I’m getting this out so late.)

This is going to be a big post, people. You might want to get a drink and some food. (I’ve actually been writing this post over the period of about nine hours, though I obviously did a lot of other things during that time.)

You’re going to need it.

Anyway –

I mean, it’s been announced/released officially several times and ways by now. But this time, they’ve really done it.

NYCC has started, and, as we had expected, Bionicle was the “new theme” that they were releasing.

And there is so much that they have released.

To start, and tidy things up, though, I’m going to put out right at the start the various sources for what I’m going to be writing about.

Bionicle’s Facebook Page

BZPower’s Home Page

BZPower’s Twitter Feed

Kahi’s Twitter Feed (from TTV)

The Official Bionicle Website

As well as some info gleaned from TTV’s great summary post, which contains stuff that the TTV staff actually asked people at NYCC, apparently.

To start, on October fifth (sorry I didn’t post about it earlier, I’ve been pretty busy recently), a clever guy on BZP found that, by going to the Bionicle page of the LEGO video section, then viewing the page source, this message could be found in a meta tag:

LEGO BIONICLE is an epic legend set on the mystical island of Okoto where elemental heroes fight for masks of power against a rising evil

From that, we knew that, obviously, Mata Nui (the island) was no more, at least for now. Honestly, I’m not thrilled about this. Perhaps it is nostalgia, but I find Mata Nui just so much more… mystical. Another reason, though, might be that, by having it as two words, “Nui” created a bit of a language that was continued later on.

Then, two days ago, LEGO posted on the Bionicle page this video:

It was teasing the Bionicle display at NYCC, and didn’t give a whole lot of information, other than just increasing the already tense excitement of Bionicle fans.

Then, the Bionicle website had a very minor update (you can read about it on the home page of BZP), which apparently made the Mask of Creation have an animation, or something. That only lasted for a day or so, though, because…

Well, not yet. First, somebody on Flickr posted a picture, from NYCC (even though it hadn’t officially started yet, or something), of a gigantic MoC (Mask of Creation), built of LEGO bricks. Pretty cool. (See more on the BZP home page.)

Okay, now I can resume my suspenseful saga of the ever-changing Bionicle website. It changed then to it (now) current state: filled with pictures of the Toa, with short bios for each of them. (Which, as I’ve seen, are much the same as they were in the “Mataverse” (what TTV has begun calling the “old” Bionicle, with “Nuvaverse” being reserved for the “new” one. I like the name scheme, so I’m rolling with it.)) Something interesting I just noticed: there are two rows of the Toa, each with three. The top one is Gali, Kopaka, and Lewa, and the bottom is Onua, Pohatu, and Tahu. These are the same combinations as create the Toa Kiata, so, maybe…

After that, they posted on their Facebook page this picture:

(It’s big, I know, but just so beautiful. Click it to view the whole image directly in your browser.)

I love this picture, though. It shows that the new island is going to be a bit different style than Mata Nui – in some places, it looks more Mayan-influenced, in some places it looks almost modern, and, as we’ll see later, somewhat Asian-inspired.

Then, also on their Facebook page, they posted new pictures of the six Toa (or, as they are called in some places, Masters. Honestly, I much prefer calling them Toa as, really, that’s what they are); a picture of each of them in much the same position as we’ve previously seen, and another photo of them in a new, more active pose, that also shows off a lot of their set design, which I am loving more and more (even more on that later, though!).

Then! Oh, then. Then, oh glorious then. This video was posted on Bionicle’s Facebook page:

It is a video showing a intro to the story of the new Bionicle. Watch it. Now. Seriously.

Basically, though, it starts out with two “brothers” (this could be a literal familial bond, or it could like how Makuta was Mata Nui’s treacherous “brother” in ~2001), named Ekimu, who wears the Mask of Creation, and Makuta, who wears the Mask of Control, on the island of Okoto, which looks quite similar to Mata Nui.

We see the “Protectors” that I’ve written about already sitting around (literally) various places on the island. (As I alluded to earlier, there is some obvious Asian styling around this section of the video, though it be more musically than anything else.)

Makuta’s “Mask of Control” looks somewhat like a minotaur, in a way, with horns curving down the face.

The brothers are the “mask makers”, although, apparently, each mask is only allowed to have one element. So, no Kanohi powers. (And, they are called “masks”, not Kanohi.) Frankly, I’m quite sad about that – I love Kanohi, and all of their awesome powers. Although, as I’ll be talking about later, this could change.

Anyway, Makuta obviously wanted to put more than one element into a mask. I know that’s what I’d want to do. Apparently, that goes against some ancient law, and he makes the Mask of Ultimate Power, which looks like flames made of shadow. He puts it on, and it consumes him and starts destroying the island. Luckily, Ekimu has enough time to knock it off of his face. It creates a shockwave through Okoto, which, by the animation, seems to somewhat shroud the island in darkness.

The shockwave sends both Ekimu and Makuta into “endless sleep” (or slumber, or whatever, though I really doubt that it will be “endless” whatsoever, just as Mata Nui’s wasn’t). It also sends the masks (the animation, here, shows the MoCre, MoCon, and MoUP, though I think it is probably referring to all masks made by the two brothers) flying all over the island.

Now, of course, we know that the Toa are going to have to find the masks.

(A quick note – the animation is similar to that of what I’ve seen Mixels is, and I’m not particularly a fan of it. I don’t mind it too much, really, but I prefer the older style of animations. This is blockier, and has more odd angles, sort of, and looks, well, somewhat kid-y (I hesitate to use that semi-adjective, but I can’t really think of another way of saying it). I think it fits, somewhat, though, with this mythology-giving story, having it somewhat… cave-drawing-y, or something (again, bad semi-adjective). I dunno.)

But something that we don’t know about is where the “Skull Spider” or “Skull Krata” or whatever comes from – I still think it is Makuta-spawn, though I don’t know.

Now, before I get onto the really interesting NYCC stuff, let me put out the finalized set pictures of the “Protectors”, from this site (I didn’t list it in the list above because, actually, I discovered it had been updated while writing this post, as well as that it isn’t really directly related to what the majority of the post is about).

As before, there are sets with and without backgrounds, but I’m just going to post the with-background ones. Go to the site linked above to view both. And, oddly enough, we still don’t have Onua. I don’t know why.

 

Now, back to NYCC stuff.

Well, one thing: if you have a Twitter account (or, if you don’t, and make one), simply re-tweet this tweet by LEGO, and you’ll be entered in a chance to win a clear version of Tahu’s mask:

From here on, I’m mostly going to be referencing BZPower’s Twitter feed, Kahi’s Twitter feed, and that TTV summary, so I’ll just abbreviate them as such: @BZP, @Kahi, and TTV, respectively. That way, I won’t have to keep writing them out.

First of all, both @Kahi and @BZP have a nice selection of pictures of the sets. Look at both of them to get a feel for them. (@Kahi, in particular, has some very nice, detailed pictures of the Skull Spider.)

Secondly, gears. Lots of gears. Gears are back. The Toa have arm movement! (And, also, I see some gears on the Skull Spider, so we should be expecting some functions from it.)

There will be no Bionicle TV show, sadly (or is it? Yes, I think so), but there will be several 90-second shorts released on Bionicle’s website, which should be fun, though I’m hoping the animation will be different from that of the intro video.

@BZP has a lot of pictures from a display LEGO gave on Bionicle, with some in-development pictures of the Toa and Kanohi (I’m probably going to still call them that) and stuff. Worth a look.

(Also, apparently the new heads are going to have noses. Which strikes me as somewhat odd.)

Greg Farshtey has been involved in creating the story, but will not be writing the books (apparently, there will be new writers, plural), which I’ve actually found somewhat odd, since Greg has said himself that he goes into writing a book without a plan, other than, for example, the characters that he needs to use in it. So, it seems somewhat odd to use him in the “big story” planning group, when it seems his strength is more in the “small stories”. Either way, I’m still very glad he’s involved.

Apparently, they’re trying to keep it simpler, without having “complex names” and terms in the story, which I somewhat am taken aback by – sure, there are the Kanohi, with all their names and such, but it’s no different, in fact, I’d argue it is simpler, than something like Pokémon, where there are hundreds of names, and the fans seem to keep up with them no problem.

There are golden masks, one for each of the Toa, and one of the MoCre. I don’t know whether these are the kind that will be randomly inserted in mask packs or something, or if they’re real gold and going to be used in a contest or something. Either way, sounds fun.

More recently in @BZP’s stream, we see a poster, that talks about “Six mighty heroes, the Toa, crashed on the island of Okoto…” I’m quite interested in the “crashed” part, since, presumably, this isn’t on the Great Spirit Robot, so I don’t know where the Toa crashed in from. Interesting.

It looks like there are Bionicle sets, already available, in the LEGO store in New York City! I might actually get there in a few days, which would be seriously awesome. I’d love to get some of these new sets.

Also, it looks like all six Toa’s Kanohi will be available in each colour, which is nice to see again, and it looks like the spider mask/body things will be available in a few colours too.

Now, turning more towards @Kahi’s stream –

Apparently, each Toa’s weapons/tools can turn into some other thing/use, which LEGO is calling “Adrenaline Mode”.

Now, gonna get really speculative on this one. Adrenaline is a compound that is put into our bloodstream from a gland when we’re endangered or excited or whatnot, which is largely a biological feature, so could these Toa be more biological than the previous ones (in addition to having noses, apparently)?

Pshhh. That’s kind of convoluted.

There is something called “The Temple of Time” on the island of Okoto, which is interesting when taken with another bit of information in a moment…

Apparently, the main medium of media for the story (aside from the online animations, I assume), will be the books previously mentioned. While, I guess, comics haven’t been ruled out per se, it doesn’t sound like they’ve been mentioned. I’m quite disappointed by that, actually. I always loved the comics, plus I don’t really want to be forced to buy the books to catch up on the story.

Yes, Lewa has been changed from being a Toa of Air to being a Toa of Jungle, since (somewhat obviously) that fits in with the colour green more than does air.

Also, I just read on @Kahi’s stream that apparently the actual sets of the “Protectors” are elders in the villages, though “Protectors” in general are actually just the villagers. It sounds like the differentiation between Matoran and Turaga has been somewhat discarded, which I’m also somewhat disappointed about.

Now. The time-thing that I mentioned. Apparently, people at the display have hinted to the “Mataverse” Kanohi Vahi is actually half a mask. Also, in the animation, somewhere around ~0:50, when Makuta and Ekimu are shaking hands, there is a cloud on the left that looks a darn lot like the Vahi. All of this together seems to imply that there is some time travel involved, or some time-related stuff in general.

Also, @Kahi posted this:

We asked if the Toa Mata were the same Toa from the Mataverse. Our answer was if we remembered if Time Travel was used before.

I’m intrigued. Very.

While I am somewhat hesitant about the video, since it seems to kind of give too much information, in a way, telling a lot of the mythology that could be kept secret and slowly revealed, there seems to be a good amount more in store.

Also, on TTV, they say that the people at NYCC said that there is at least three years for this “new” Bionicle planned out, though that could easily go longer. (For example, the original Bionicle was planned to only go one year, and it went for ten instead).

I’m really excited, yet also somewhat skeptical. Probably, I’ll mentally separate the “new” and “old” Bionicle. This new one looks like it’s gonna be awesome, and I’m really looking forward to it, but the original holds so much nostalgia and… everything.

 

May both Mata Nui and Ekimu be with you, traveler, and let not Makuta shed shadow on your way.

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