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Greetings, everyone, and welcome to LEGO Rewind, where we take a look at old retired LEGO themes!

"Hey guys, today I want to try out something new, as a side thing to go along with my game reviews: welcome to Nick on Aqua Magna's LEGO Rewind. Despite whatever impressions including "Aqua Magna" in my username might give people, BIONICLE is not the only LEGO theme I like, and I felt like showing my appreciation for a few of LEGO's many other themes, the ones that have really clicked with me. Some of these will be themes I collected while others will be before my time that I later discovered and wanted to introduce the next generation to."
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LEGO Rewind is a series of YouTube videos by graphic novelist and video game reviewer Nicholas Anderson (username "Nick on Planet Ripple", formerly "Nick on Aqua Magna"). From August 2017 to December 2019, Nick reviews various LEGO themes, specifically (but not exclusively) focusing on retired cult classics, analyzing their concepts, design elements, story, and impact on LEGO's history and fandom. The series is divided into three 13-episode seasons, with the season finales recapping his thoughts on prior episodes as well as correcting any errors or missed details.

The complete series is on this playlist.

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Themes covered:

  1. Ice Planet 2002
  2. LEGO Life on Mars, LEGO Mars Mission
  3. Rock Raiders, LEGO Power Miners
  4. Technic Star Wars figures, Slizers/Throwbots, RoboRiders, Cyber Slam/Competition
  5. LEGO Adventurers, LEGO Pharaohs Quest
  6. LEGO Studios, LEGO Spider-Man Trilogy
  7. LEGO Alpha Team, LEGO Agents, LEGO Ultra Agents
  8. Galidor
  9. LEGO Exo-Force
  10. Duplo dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, LEGO Dino Attack/Dino 2010, LEGO Dino, LEGO Jurassic Park
  11. LEGO Race, LEGO Racers, Tiny Turbos, LEGO Speed Racer, LEGO World Racers, LEGO Speed Champions
  12. Aquazone, Divers, LEGO Aqua Raiders, LEGO Atlantis, Deep Sea Explorers
  13. Season 1 recap
  14. LEGO Vikings
  15. UFO, Insectoids, LEGO Alien Conquest, LEGO Galaxy Squad
  16. LEGO Arctic
  17. LEGO Sports
  18. LEGO Trains
  19. LEGO NASA, LEGO Discovery
  20. Dragon Masters, Fright Knights, LEGO Monster Fighters, LEGO Scooby-Doo
  21. Knights' Kingdom, Knights' Kingdom 2, Nexo Knights
  22. LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Spybotics, LEGO Boost
  23. LEGO Western, LEGO The Lone Ranger
  24. Girls' themes: Scala, Paradisa, Belville, Clickits, LEGO Friends, LEGO Elves, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
  25. Blacktron, LEGO Space Police, Futuron, Blacktron 2, Space Police 2, M-Tron, Space Police 3
  26. Seatron (unreleased), Season 2 recap
  27. Hero Factory
  28. LEGO Island Xtreme Stunts
  29. Res-Q, Mega Bloks Dragons
  30. LEGO Time Cruisers
  31. LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Star Wars
  32. LEGO Space round-up: Classic LEGO Space (as recreated by The LEGO Movie), Spyrius, Unitron, Exploriens, Roboforce, Mars Exploration
  33. Fabuland, Legends of Chima
  34. LEGO Pirates, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, Metalbeard from The LEGO Movie
  35. Ninja, Ninjago, The LEGO Ninjago Movie
  36. "Dank" themes round-up: Cybermaster, Znap, Extreme Team, Outback, Muji, LEGO McDonald's, LEGO Factory, LEGO Master Bulder Academy, LEGO SpongeBob SquarePants, LEGO Avatar: The Last Airbender, X-Pod, Mixels
  37. LEGO Castle round-up: Lion Knights, Black Falcons, Crusaders, Black Knights, Forestmen, Wolfpack, Royal Knights, Dark Forest, Castle (2007), Kingdoms
  38. Vintage LEGO: Automatic Binding Bricks, Homemaker, Minitalia, Modulex, Dacta/Education, Hobby Set, Model Team
  39. Season 3 recap, Jack Stone/4 Juniors, Hidden Side
  40. BIONICLE, BIONICLE (2015)
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Tropes:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Averted. Nick is fairly even-tempered, and while he doesn't withold any of his criticisms, he has mostly positive things to say about the subjects of his review. About the closest to caustic he's ever gotten were his thoughts on Mars Mission. When reviewing Jack Stone, Nick admitted he probably would have been a lot more scathing had he tackled it early on, but is now a lot more willing to commend it for at least trying to act as a little kid's entry point into traditional LEGO, flawed as the execution may have been.
  • Actionized Sequel: Nick has noted (with much dismay) that whereas older LEGO Space themes had an emphasis on exploration and a decent balance of heroic, villainous, and civilian factions, whereas newer ones focus solely on generic good guy humans fighting off villainous aliens.
    Nick: We'll see LEGO Space themes again someday, and maybe it will be amazing, maybe it will blow us away like never before, but personally, I hope they don't fall back on the same Cliché conflict between humans and evil aliens again. I understand if people who grew up with these later combat-driven themes like it that way and don't see any issue with it, but I just find it limiting, inward-looking, not very imaginative. I want to see how see how grand and overwhelming and mysterious space can be, just going out there for the sake of it again, the joy of exploring other realms and meeting other races! You can say it isn't LEGO's job to inspire us that way, but they had no trouble doing it before, so I don't know what's changed aside from maybe us.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • Nick's 8th episode at first appears to be the long-awaited review of Exo-Force... only to trail off into a review of the highly controversial Galidor toys instead. The kicker being that the review has a Framing Device, being set an Alternate Timeline.
    • The 29th starts as an otherwise average review of the Res-Q line... only for Nick to run out of things to say after about a minute. He spends another minute stuggling to come up with more to say about the line, until a Ominous Visual Glitch briefly turns this into a Mega Bloks review show! The Alternate Timeline Framing Device is used yet again, with the narrator instead being Eljay Johnson from Pandemic Panda.
  • Bias Steamroller: Downplayed in regards to licensed LEGO themes. He doesn't hate them — in fact he's fond of quite a few and can easily see the demand for them (he'd personally jump at the chance to license Planet Ripple sets) — and appreciates how they contributed to LEGO's evolution throughout the Turn of the Millennium. Still, they give him far less to say then LEGO's original themes; those come with their own concepts, designs, and lore that he finds deserving of more attention, whereas licensed themes just have to be accurate to a pre-established world that's already well-known.invoked Not to mention they potentially discourage LEGO from coming up with their own ideas — why would consumers bother with Johnny Thunder when they could get Indiana Jones? — and the licensing fees add to LEGO's hefty-enough price tags.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The first thing Nick notices in the Castle revival? A particularly gruesome-looking siege cart.
    Nick: Now, that's a man-kabob waiting to happen...
  • Book-Ends: At the very end of the final episode, the entire series completely rewinds to the very beginning.
  • Contested Sequel:invoked This is how Nick feels about Mars Mission compared to Life on Mars. The spiffy designs are all the line had going for it, but it's otherwise a nadir of homogenization and lack of personality. He even admits that it marks the first time he's ever gotten buyer's remorse from a LEGO set.
  • Deliberate VHS Quality: Seen in the show's intros and outro.
  • Distinctive Appearances: One of the thing Nick praises about the first and third years of Exo-Force, Legends of Chima, post-movie Ninjago, and several waves of BIONICLE.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The show's first intro displayed LEGO's "cascading bricks" animation before rewinding as if on a V/H/S tape. Episode 5 formally discontinued this intro for a shorter original one using an ocean graphic.
  • Extra-Long Episode: Most episodes run for an average of 10 minutes (give or take about three), with a few entering the 15-20 minute ballpark. Of course, they all pale in comparison to the BIONICLE episode, which clocks in at an hour and 19 minutes long!
  • Fair for Its Day:invoked Something Nick notes in LEGO's depiction of Native Americans in his "Western" video: on one hand, the advertising for their sets was... pretty cringe-worthy, but on the other hand, the line never fell into the all-too-easy trap of depicting The Savage Indian.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The timeline seen in the Galidor review is one where, instead of failing miserably, the line became the rousing success LEGO had hoped for, leading the company to fully commit to this direction and eventually abandon building toys altogether. Other causalities of this timeline include BIONICLE only lasting until 2005, Hasbro and Mattel merging, and Nick never finding the inspiration needed to become a graphic novelist.
    • The timeline from the Res-Q episode is one where LEGO never acquired the rights to produce Star Wars sets, and as a result didn't survive its infamous Dork Age. Mega Bloks then rose to power as the dominant force in the building toy industry, due to its grittier aesthetics standing out in a market glutted by shoddy knockoff products. Since LEGO didn't last long enough to develop BIONICLE (with only Voo-Doo Heads concept art remaining), Nick is just a run-of-the-mill Sonic the Hedgehog Youtuber, and "Mega Rewind" is hosted by Eljay Johnson, who seems to have some Wistful Amnesia of the timeline that actually did come to pass.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto:invoked Naturally discussed in-depth in his "Girl themes" episode.
  • Grand Finale: Nick pulls out all the stops for the final episode, reviewing that long-requested favorite of many, including himself: BIONICLE.
  • Halloween Episode: Episode 20 focuses on several "spooky" themes.
  • Loophole Abuse: LEGO Rewind is ostensibly focused on "old retired LEGO themes", so how would Nick justify talking about Ninjago, LEGO's current Flagship Franchiseinvoked? Well, it turns out that Ninjago was originally allotted the standard 2½ year run that most other themes were and are given, only to be Un-Cancelled by fan demand, so technically it was retired, even if only temporary.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: On the Lighter and Softer approach taken by Dino:
    Nick: ...And they sure to include nets and nice, big, easy to see tranquilizer darts with nubs that don't even look sharp, just to make it super-clear to moral guardians that no actual dinosaurs were harmed in the making of these sets.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Nick admits in his "Arctic" episode that the "Early Technic" episode is a bit of a misnomer, focusing more on early Constraction. This is because the Arctic theme extends into a few classic Technic sets, allowing him to touch up on early Technic proper.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: On Hero Factory FM: "Yes, this was a thing".
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story and Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game:invoked Variant: When comparing Rock Raiders to Power Miners, Nick notes that the former has a far more engaging story and characters and a more memorable color scheme, but the sets are held back by the "juniorized" set design of LEGO's Dork Age. The latter, meanwhile, has far more involved and creative set designs, even though the characters aren't as interesting.
  • Police Are Useless: Nick is somewhat bemused by how the civil services seen in Jack Stone accomplish absolutely nothing other than cheering Jack on.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Nick shoots this mentality down in his "Western" video.
    Nick: And before anyone jumps on me for being "overly sensitive" or "PC", let me stop you right there, because you're using the term "political correctness"... incorrectly. The origin and proper usage of the term refers to a narrative that denies objective reality to uphold the status quo. Say, if a leader of a country can see the truth of things and says "yeah, I don't care what's factually correct, because that doesn't help me keep power. Tell the rabble what helps me politically! It doesn't need to be true, it just needs to be correct... for me!" Some of you might know this already, but I don't think enough people do, and some people who cry about "PC police" and "virtue signaling" do intend it that way, be only to the extent that they think their outdated or messed-up attitudes are the objective reality, and it is i nfact those who confront them or try to challenge the status quo who are the weirdos, the deviants denying the true natural order of things and should just leave well enough alone. But the culture isn't becoming hypersensitive, its just wisening up as hard truths become ever-clearer instead of willfully ignoring them like we always have. This shouldn't even be political to say, but enough about that.

    That's the thing about culture: things don't suddenly become weird overnight. Some things... have always been weird, and if you're used to ignoring the voices that have said as much since day one, and were just now listening to them, that doesn't mean it just now started being a problem! Maybe for some of you, but not for the people who are already being affected the whole time. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Nick does admit to finding Paradisa's aesthetics very appealing. He also admits that he would be very eager to invest In the brick-built dragons from the Elves sets... were he a bit more secure in his masculinity.
  • Recycled In Space: Several commenters have noted that the format of these videos is evocative of RebelTaxi, specifically due to the commercials played at the end of each video.
  • Shout-Out:
    Nick: "Is that Vsauce? I knew he was a time traveler."
    • When discussing Unitron:
    Nick: I could make a Transformers reference here, but eh.
    • Nick brings up the invitable comparison to Thunder Cats 2011 in his Legends of Chima episode, and takes a moment to gush about the episode "Song of the Petalars".
    • When talking about just how Ninjago has its finger in most of LEGO's Action-Adventure ideas, Nick hopes that any future original themes "aren't lost in the shadow of this colossus."
    • In the "Vintage LEGO" episode, Nick compares a LEGO car suddenly bursting from the screen in an old commercial to a Chest Burster, as illustrated by Spaceballs.
    • In his Season 3 wrap-up, Nick notices two LEGO Minifigures that are dead ringer for Jacksepticeye and Ashly Burch.
  • Something Completely Different: Due to the Time Cruisers line having only seven sets, Nick devotes most of the episode to reviewing the tie-in comics.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Nick notes that the two pseudo-Castle themes that ran concurrently, Nexo Knights and Elves, each deliver on one half of what fans expect from Castle sets: Nexo Knights (being the boys' theme) focuses more on battlements and militia, whereas Elves (being the girls' theme) focuses more on domiciles and daily living.
  • Stylistic Suck: Nick notes that certain elements from the LEGO Studios sets (such as the awkward-looking brick-built Velociraptors and the conspicuous support beam) add to the feel of the sets depicting a movie backlot.
  • Take That!:
    • Nick notes that the artwork for the Exo-Force characters sharply declined in quality in its 3rd year, trying to resemble something like Slayers, only to wind up looking like My Life Me.
    • On the dinosaurs in Dino Attack:
    Nick: if you ever wanted to see how 1998's Godzilla would've continued if all the babies didn't get destroyed at the end, basically this.
    • In the "Island Xtreme Stunts" episode, Nick reveals he isn't very fond of the LEGO Club mascot Max and "that dumb permanent smile!"
    • Nick speaks positively of Legends of Chima, just "not the TV show, that was garbage."
  • Thanking the Viewer: Done in spectacular fashion in the last episode: several prominent LEGO and BIONICLE YouTubers (Eljay Johnson, MandR Productions, Brickitect, DTinaglia Studios, BrickTsar, just2good, Maniac4Bricks, JANGBricks, and Nick himself) come together to tell all the viewers that "you are LEGO Rewind".
  • Tough Act to Follow:invoked Nick notes that Legends of Chima had a huge uphill battle upon its debut that had a hand in its tepid reception; not only was it intended to succeed Ninjago, it also had the very unfortunate timing to come off the heels of Thunder Cats 2011.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • The "Western" episode touches upon cultural sensitivity in regards to changing values, and political correctness. This follow-up video goes further into his thoughts on the matter.
    • The "Girl Themes" episode discusses the Girl-Show Ghetto and the segregation of boy and girl markets.invoked
  • Waxing Lyrical: Nick takes a line from the show's theme song (titled "the Weekend Whip") when talking about how Ninjago has cemented itself as LEGO's Flagship Franchise.invoked
    Nick: In all likelihood, it'll still be jumping, kicking, whipping around, spinning, and doing it again in 2029...

Well, that's it for today. If you want to support my work, please check out my graphic novel series Planet Ripple. You can buy the books on Amazon or read an early draft of the first book for free! And for the BIONICLE fans in my audience, there's The Toa, my ultimate love letter to the original series. Links to everything in the description. Up next, it's something a little less likely to ruin anyone's lives. Toodles!
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