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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

What or Who is a BOOMER BILL?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - OK Boomer Bill.

Yesterday, I wrote about Zoomers. Today, I'm going to write about Boomers. (Though unlike the Generation Z demographic, Baby Boomers are a minuscule fraction of KoopaTV's audience, so I'll end up offending much less of my audience today.)

Specifically, I'm here to question the existence of the Boomer Bill. What's a Boomer Bill? Well, at first glance, it's a made-up variant of the Bullet Bill, only seen in the troubling collaboration between Nintendo and LEGO that KoopaTV has been covering for months. Indeed, today they announced, on top of the costume packs from last month, there will be ten total expansion packs. Note that the base product still isn't even out yet. Here's the full expansion set list, per LEGO press release: 
  1. LEGO® Super Mario™ Guarded Fortress Expansion Set (49.99 USD/EUR) 
  2. LEGO® Super Mario™ Desert Pokey Expansion Set (19.99 USD/EUR) 
  3. LEGO® Super Mario™ Whomp’s Lava Trouble Expansion Set (19.99 USD/EUR) 
  4. LEGO® Super Mario™ Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set (29.99 USD/EUR) 
  5. LEGO® Super Mario™ Boomer Bill Barrage Expansion Set (29.99 USD/EUR) 
  6. LEGO® Super Mario™ Mario’s House & Yoshi Expansion Set (29.99 USD EUR) 
  7. LEGO® Super Mario™ Toad’s Treasure Hunt Expansion Set (69.99 USD/EUR) 
  8. LEGO® Super Mario™ Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set (99.99 USD/EUR) 
  9. LEGO® Super Mario™ Thwomp Drop Expansion Set (39.99 USD/EUR, available only with select retailers) 
  10. LEGO® Super Mario™ King Boo and the Haunted Yard Expansion Set (49.99 USD/EUR, available only with select retailers) 
On top of all of that, there's a gacha-esque set of character packs (or “blind bags”), where you don't know what's inside of them, but one 4.99 USD/EUR pack can contain one of:
  1. Paragoomba
  2. Fuzzy (the spiky black furry screaming things, not the guys that make you dizzy if you touch them)
  3. Spiny
  4. Buzzy Beetle
  5. Bullet Bill
  6. Bob-omb
  7. Eep Cheep
  8. Blooper
  9. Urchin
  10. Peepa
Honestly, not sure who'd want to keep dumping $5 hoping for one of those, unless they're an old Paper Mario fan hoping that one of them will become a partner in Paper Mario: The Origami King and have a unique hat and name and backstory or something. Unfortunately, it only comes with the buildable character (modeled after their official artwork) and an “action brick”, but you can pretend you're making a roleplay, I guess.

Going back to that list of ten expansion sets, one of those really stands out to me. All of these take direct inspiration from previous Super Mario games, be it Super Mario 64, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Super Mario World, and others.

And then there is the Boomer Bill Barrage Expansion Set. See, there's no such thing as a Boomer Bill in a Mario game. There's the Bullet Bill. There's the Banzai Bill. There's the Bombshell Bill. There's a squadron of Torpedo Teds. There's even King Bill, named as such for its size and not for any position of actual royalty. 

LEGO Boomer Bill piece assembled Super Mario
Close-up of Boomer Bill.
Human hand isn't mine, but of just2good, who reviewed the set on YouTube here.

But no Boomer Bill. That's brand-new. What makes Boomer Bill unique is that it's not allowed to fly on its own, but it's instead perpetually attached to a spinning pole and trying to knock off Mario from his platform as Boomer Bill revolves around.

My best guess is that Boomer Bill just doesn't have the energy or durability to be shot out from a Bill Blaster due to being old and worn out, so the spinning pole is basically the Bullet Bill equivalent of a retirement home. A very dizzy retirement home, but at least it no longer has to deal with the effects that combustion can do to one's body.

I'm quite sure that Boomer Bill was formerly a Banzai Bill until it had to retire. Just look at the picture above and compare it to a young, vibrant, zooming Banzai Bill:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Banzai Bill Princess Peach's Castle Bowser Jr. Ludwig Von Koopa
Me posing with two Zoomers.
(Banzai Bill to your left and Bowser Jr. to your right. Subsequently, they both got hurt.)

...You know, this WOULD make a nice Paper Mario partner backstory after all...

Anyway, my conclusion is that Boomer Bill is not a new species of Bill. Just an existing one. (Well, the set comes with two.) One that has existed for a long time, resigned to a retirement pole, and ranting to anyone who comes near them about how spoiled the younger Bills are. Sometimes they go out and vote to preserve fiscally unsustainable government payments to them.


Boomer Bill Barrage LEGO Super Mario expansion set in action assembled play knock Mario off platform pole
Boomer Bill's still got it! You kids are just too lazy to beat Mario!
(Screen-capture also from just2good.)
 

Ludwig doesn't recommend you buy any of the LEGO Super Mario sets, due to the dangers they pose on the world. He hopes this is the last time anyone has to hear about them, and finds it quite presumptuous on LEGO and Nintendo's parts to develop such an extensive ecosystem of costumes, expansion sets, and character packs, all before a single LEGO Super Mario starter set has gone to market. All of that investment could turn out to be a flop, and Ludwig hopes it will be. Do you agree with him on anything in this article? If so (or if not), let him know in the comments section below!


You think this is presumptuous? LEGO and Nintendo have announced a kit for adults pining for NES nostalgia.
There will be even more Super Mario sets coming January 1, 2021, with more expansion sets and character packs, including a Poison Mushroom.
If you want a Pink Yoshi instead of a Green Yoshi, look to Luigi's set.
Bullet Bill will join Lakitu's Expansion Set as a guaranteed piece on August 1.

21 comments :

  1. Me: (Sees the word "Boomer" in the title of an article on a site that does cover political stuff sometimes)
    Article: (Is actually about LEGOs and the fact that they seem to have maybe sort of invented a new type of Bullet Bill)

    False alarm, everybody! False alarm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a piece of legislation written by boomers.

      Delete
  2. I guarantee you they changed it to boomer Bill from bullet Bill because Lego didn't want to use the word "bullet"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just saw this commercial on YouTube and did a double take. Can't believe you're the only person on the internet talking about this. Keep on bringing the truth to the people!

    ReplyDelete
  4. soon they ae gonna call it a black bill!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd bet my trousers that LEGO determined "Banzai" to be a racially insensitive term and axed it in favor of something that sounded "explode-y".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they got a Bonsai Tree, which is FASCINATING.

      Apparently on the POLISH LEGO site, they call it a Banzai Bill in the title but Boomer in the body. And that's all the Banzai on the site.

      So "Banzai" being "insensitive" is pretty likely for English LEGO, despite the fact they're working with a Japanese corporation, which ought to provide cover for them.

      Delete
  6. I think some millennials came up with the idea for boomer bill also when are you (or your brothers and sister) coming to lego?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is one of the first things I caught wind of with the Super Mario Legos. As a hue fan of both Legos and Mario, I was very excited for the crossover. Knex's partnership brought some nice figures, but was lackluster. Knex is just not a display piece and hard to look at.
    I was very disappointed with the art style Lego has went with for the licensing. The cubic style just doesnt fit well with me. And my biggest gripe has to be the lost detail and scale of the enemies to Mario. A koopa goes up to his nose, and even larger enemies never go wider than him. Except for huge enemies, like the Sumo Bro or Giant Spike. And of course, Bowser.
    This set caught me off guard with the fact they just created a new bullet bill. Especially when it looks just like a Banzai Bill.
    But the longer the series has gone on, its grown on me. To the point where I now own a small collection. I still don't like the art style, and I hope this prolonged license leads to more opportunity and experimentation. Its already confirmed there will be another 18+ set for Mario later this year. probably revealed in todays Lego Con. I just hope they branch out to more audiences. I would love nothing more than medium scaled sets that are statues of enemies. Like they are doing with Star Wars helmets, and the smaller scale UCS sets. Like BB-8 and the Probe Droid. Having medium sized detailed buildable recreations of the in-game enemies would be a dream. Its honestly something im going to do myself eventually. But having official sets would make it all that much better.

    Also, the biggest injustice so far has to be Grrrol. I dont know if you covered him in another blog, Tumblr is annoying to use on desktop for me. But his incarnation in the Reznor Knockdown set, is just a gear. I do like the representation of more obscure enemies they have, but a gear is just lame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, you're right... Character Pack Series 5 was announced. Featuring the likes of... Purple Toad.
      https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/character-packs-series-5-71410


      Speaking of obscure enemies, Toady is in that. (Kamek's minion from Yoshi's Island.) That's actually excellent.

      Delete
    2. I was very excited to see Nabbit and Toady. I do like the representation they give to some more obscure enemies. Its just a shame most of it is through weird means.
      Purple Toad was very much dissapointing. And even worse, if you checked the alternate images, they are packaging them in boxes now instead of baggies. So feeling for a specific character is out the window. In previous packs, there were very few enemies I was interested in. Id much rather get a Bully, Coin Coffer, or Mecha Koopa compared to the amazing selection of SM3DW Bee, SM64 Baby Penguin, and Freezie. Its certainly not the greatest character choices. It wouldnt be that upsetting if they werent intentionally random. But they obviously pad out the space with junk characters to sell more.

      Like I said in my original post, I just hope the license lives on and slowly shifts to more mature audiences. It feels very kindergarden right now, and I would love to see it go towards teen or adult audiences. Especially since they are running out of content pretty fast. They have exhausted most classic Mario scenarios. Introducing Luigi and going straight into the Luigis Mansion IP. Either the license agreement will stagnate with a lack of ideas due to some corporate factor keeping them in a fixed age bracket, or it will proliferate into an mainstay for Lego.

      Delete
    3. Purple Toad himself is a pretty rare colour variation!

      Nabbit is in Super Smash Bros. and also was a playable character in one of the NSMB games for some reason. Dunno if he's obscure!
      If the licence stagnates, they'll probably spread it to other Nintendo franchises.

      Delete
    4. By the way, I wrote the article about the Character Pack Series 5, the change from bags to boxes (and the extra dollar price increase), the Big Bad Island Expansion, and THE MIGHTY BOWSER: https://www.koopatv.org/2022/07/lego-super-mario-iggy-mighty-bowser.html

      Delete

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