Website / BZ Power
(content from BZPower's history page)BZPower.com
was the result of months of planning between the two largest unofficial BIONICLE
sites on the web: Kanohi-Power.com and BZcommunity.com. The four administrators of BZPower worked very closely together to merge the two sites together, and on July 20, 2002 BZPower was born. The birth of BZPower.com was only made possible by the success of the two sites the came together to create it.
Prior to the creation of BZPower.com, Jon was the founder and Administrator of BZCommunity.com while Rich and Kelly also served administrative roles. Over at Kanohi-Power.com, Mike was the founder, while Rich and Kelly were staff members. Somewhere around May 2002 we decided that since all four administrators work together so well, we should combine our sites and work together to bring one giant BIONICLE news, reference, and discussion site to the BIONICLE
fan base. Two months later that decision led to the creation of BZPower.com, the largest unofficial BIONICLE site on the web.
BZPower is still the largest BIONICLE
fan site, having over 50,000 members, with its numbers growing daily. Fans can discuss anything from the sets themselves to the storyline. There are forums for Fan Art
, Fan Fiction
, and even Fan Games. Building contests are held on a roughly monthly basis with writing and art contests on a less frequent basis.
Of particular note is BIONICLE
writer Greg Farshtey's former close relationship with the site. Mr. Farshtey had an account on the site and used to answer any question members send his way (though some met an inevitable Shrug of God
). He isn't active nowadays, though — his account had to be blocked after a hack, and his private life and the passing of a new policy keep him from getting into contact with the fans.
This website provides examples of:
- And Now For Something Completely Different: the forum Completely Off Topic
- Apocalypse How:
- In early 2009, a server error caused everything posted on BZPower posted from Sept. 2008 to March 2009 to vanish, and there was much angsting. The event has become known as the Great Dataclysm, punning on the BIONICLE apocalypse, the Great Cataclysm. Some also refer to it as the Time Slip, referencing a six-month period in the BIONICLE storyline wherein all records were erased by the Order of Mata Nui (appropriately enough, it was six months of data that was lost in the server error).
- In February 2013, a hacker deleted the user database and Forum Archive. The staff had an archive of the user database, thankfully, but only a month back, meaning two whole months of new users were deleted. The Forum Archive, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.
- April Fools' Day: There's usually some sort of prank, some more elaborate than others.
- One of the most infamous April Fools' Day pranks was the VahkiPower prank in 2004. Hapori Dume, an Evil Counterpart to Hapori Tohu, took over the website and "enforced" his rule by means of his Vahki Squads. This split the entire BZPower population into two camps: those that remained loyal to Hapori Tohu, and those who pledged allegiance to (or were otherwise Brainwashed and Crazy by) Hapori Dume. After an intense twenty-four hours of war between the factions (during which the site had either slowed to a crawl from load issues or had crashed altogether), Hapori Tohu returned, restored BZPower to its original state, and blocked Hapori Dume's account for good.
- One of the most interesting was April Fools 2010, where it was apparent that the staff had split, and were fighting over who would take control of the forums. One of the Administrators was banned, and the discussion topic turned into a roleplay thread as different subforums and groups of members announced their allegiance to one administrator or another. It could be pretty well compared to the War Of The Roses, but with raving fanboys instead of knights.
- It was made even better by the fact that after 2 days and nights of an intense forum-wide civil war, one of the admins put a stop to it with an amazing speech and turned the entire thread into a hippie-filled, sandbox-sitting, enemies-turned-friends singalong of Let it Be.
- Ban on Politics: Any topics remotely relating to politics or religion are always locked or edited by mods, reasoning that it's a kids' forum. This also applies to some subjects that aren't overtly political or religious, as the result is usually the same.
- Contest Winner Cameo: There have been lots of contests concerning minor aspects of canon, from designs for minor characters to weapon designs.
- Dramatic Readings: Some of the members recorded some for the first eight issues of the comic series (spanning the Toa Mata's arrival on Mata Nui up through their defeat of the Bahrag.)
- Fan Art: Has its own forum. Has many examples of Sturgeon's Law (both sides)
- Fan Fic: A few forums are devoted to them, broken down into Epics (chapter stories), Short Stories (one chapter), and Comedies, as well as a Comics forum. As always, Sturgeon's Law.
- Some members have become downright famous through their stories. At least one, member Lady Kopaka, is reworking her much acclaimed story, Glitch in the System, into an original novel with plans to publish it.
- Many members are well known in the community for their stories. Occasionally referred to as the "Library Demigods." When one such writer, Inferna Firesword, opened a thread for collections of her stories, it reached #2 on the Most Unique Member Posts list for the day. The only time a Library thread ever did so. Inferna was stunned.
- The Comics forum is mainly composed of Sprite Comics, featuring artwork from "kits" made in a different forum. Sturgeon's Law indeed applies, but the amount of good ones possibly exceeds 10%, and sprite comic making is practically a subculture. There are traditionally drawn comics, and even flash movies, which are in there mainly due to being related to a comic series. Perhaps the most popular of the comics series and movies are Dark 709's, whose comics reached over 220 pages of talk since 2004 and his three movies (two complete and one half-finished and in Development Hell) each reaching over 50 pages of posts. It essentially popularized '[[Work Com studio comics]]' with two certain types of characters: idiots obsessed with some type of food and evil geniuses obsessed with taking over the comics studio.
- Fan Film: Two rather large movie endeavors making movies about various portions of Canon are currently deep in Development Hell. The original project, Quest of the Toa, went through several phases of "existence"note , only to be scrapped again. The other, titled The Next Generation, met a similar fate, although a remnant of its crew is still said to be working on salvaging it.
- First Post: Averted; the words "first to post" is actually filtered to say "Nobody cares about me. I need attention so I wanted to be annoying."
- Flame War: Averted. Flame once, and you get a warning. Flame enough, and you get banned. Except if you are an admin.
- Forum Pecking Order: Describes BZ Power to a tee. From GregF to the administrators (notably Black Six) to the moderators to the newbies.
- Gambit Pileup: The whole point of the Steal the Mask forum game. Players have to kill the player holding the mask and take it for themselves. Methods of getting the mask range from Humorous to Epic to Insane.
- Insane Troll Logic: There are vast examples of this, especially coming from the staff, usually turning into Double Standard, Screw The Rules, I Make Them!, or just plain Trolling.
- Mascot: Hapori Tohu, a standard 2001-2003 BIONICLE head with red eyes and a pair of golden gears.
- During the winter season, Hapori Tohu is replaced by Snowpori Tohu, who has the same eyes, mouth, and gears as Hapori Tohu, but has the face and carrot nose of a snowman.
- During the time of VahkiPower, Hapori Tohu was replaced by Hapori Dume, an Evil Counterpart who was visually represented with the head of the Vahki Keerakh.
- Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: averted, seeing as Bionicle caters to younger boys. For all appearances, there are roughly the same amount of both genders in any of the Fan Fiction forums.
- Newb: Considering how long the franchise has run, there are a number of Newbs running around the forums. However, BZPower is very accommodating towards new members, having a section devoted entirely to new members' Q&A, balanced by the administration's less than desirable way of treating people.
- Original Character: Most members' avatars, most Fan Fics' characters, and most MOCs (My Own Creations), which leads to...
- Loads and Loads of Characters: It's not uncommon for fans to create entire islands with their own Toa team (six on average), a counsel of Turaga, and a Matoran population. In fact, stories built entirely around Canon characters are extremely hard to find.
- It's a pretty common trend in the Library forums for an Epic(multi chapter story) to start out primarily focused on Canon characters, and then switch the focus to the Original ones more gradually. Of course, some of the Original Characters are so recognized that one can start with them, and then switch to yet more original characters, and get the same effect.
- Promoted Fanboy: Kelly McKiernan, once an administrator/webmaster for the site, was temporarily hired by LEGO (the makers of BIONICLE) in 2007 to serve as webmaster for the official BIONICLE site while the then-current webmaster was on maternity leave. Even after the main webmaster returned to work in 2009, he stayed on at LEGO as the toy line's co-webmaster. Has since been moved to other projects, away from BIONICLE.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Purple is a very popular color. When polled on whether or not they'd buy a purple Hero Factory set, 95% of the voters, nearly 600 members, said "yes".
- RPG: The BZPRPG is one of the largest and longest running RPGs on the web. There is also a full forum of user-created RPGs.
- Although they usually do not receive as much attention, there are also user-created RPGs in the LEGO and Completely Off-Topic subforums. While most LEGO RPGs rarely last much longer than a couple years, Dino Attack RPG ran for nearly seven and a half years, making it the longest-running LEGO RPG on the site.
- In a similar vein to the Dino Attack RPG example, Pokémon: Rise of the Rockets has been running in the Off-Topic Culture subforum for over five years at the time of writing, and is thus BZPower's longest-running non-LEGO, non-BIONICLE RPG.
- Sailor Earth: Making a Fan Character/Fan Location is made incredibly easy by the fact that most of the Matoran Universe/Bara Magna has been described just enough, by the fact that very little has been seen in story, and by the fact that the world's internal laws are very well defined.
- There Should Be a Law: 50% of the members gave themselves signatures of gay kissing to annoy the other 50%. The 50% who didn't assume there was a rule against it. There wasn't.
- (Somehow, the fact that many BZP members have parents who would nix BZP for them if they ever saw those pics didn't occur to anyone.)
- The Shepherd: Most of the staff functions as Shepherds. When they are not doing something like pestering users and banning them afterwards or breaking rules.
- In the Storyline and Theories forum, bonesiii, the forum leader, will occasionally drop into a topic with an incredibly logical (if long-winded) post that will often put any flaming to a rather abrupt halt. That is, when it doesn't cause an even bigger argument.
- Squee!: The reaction at large when it was announced Michael Dorn, a.k.a. Worf would be voicing Mata Nui in The Legend Reborn.
- Watsonian vs. Doylist: Greg Farshtey tends to be a staunch Watsonian, though he sometimes strays into Doylist territory. (See Word of God entry below.)
- Word of God: Greg Farshtey kept in close contact with the fandom via BZPower's PM system. Members could ask him questions about pretty much anything, and sometimes he would reveal tidbits of info there before they were made public. He was also an active forum-user and had his own blog. Although he hasn't posted for a very long time now, due to a new law that forbids him from talking to kids under a certain age on-line — and his account being suspended due to getting hacked didn't help either —, he occasionally still shares some info about the unrevealed details of the storyline with the forum's higher-ups.