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REVIEW: 6227 Breez


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#1 ZORK64

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:42 PM

I know, I know... I'm really late with this review, but since I took the pictures back then, I still wanted to write a review, so here we go.

Breez ventures to the bee planet to capture the insectoid criminal Thornraxx. Armed with a new powerful launcher, jet boots, an energy shield, battle blades and a new powerful suit, she's more than ready to accomplish her mission.

Set name: BREEZ
Set Number: 6227
Price: 12.99 Euro
Pieces: 55
Year of release: Late 2011/Early 2012
Size: Deluxe set
Unlike the previous waves of Hero Factory (and Bionicle), the sizeclasses of the sets were slightly altered. Breez could be considered a medium-sized set (if you want to call Black Phantom a large set), but being a Transformers Nerd, I'll call her a "Deluxe" set.

The bag
Gone are the days of black plastic canisters, the new sets come now in plastic bags. Those bags are a lot sturdier than I'd expected, which is a good thing.
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The front of the bag shows Breez flying through the inner of a giant bee nest, looking for the evil Thornraxx, who's apparently sneaking on the heroine with his buds from behind. But with her beam cannon charged and her energy shield ready, she'll put up a fight for sure. The bright background also creates a nice contrast to Breez's colours and the silver of the bag.

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If you turn the bag around, you'll find a picture of Breez which focuses on her new powerful equipment, alongside with a 1:1 size comparison of her head and an advertisement for that game you can play online. The lower half of the bag contains - surprise, surprise - the choking hazard warning in many, many languages other legal text.

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What would be a review of mine without a size comparison? As you can see, the larger bags of the 2012 wave are even larger than the canisters of the Glatorians from 2009, which were among the tallest canisters of Bionicle.

Opening the bag
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While the torso piece comes separate, the other parts were packed into two transparent bags. I must say, the increased amount of plastic bags is arguably a downside of the new packaging.

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The instruction booklet, which is...
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...pretty much standard. So let's move on to the pieces!

The parts
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Breez contains a total of 57 parts, though according to the parts list at the end of the instructions, the set contains only 55 pieces. You'll probably already had noticed that she comes mostly with lime and some red parts. She also got a few white pieces for some reason.

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The new core is quite small and features two instead of one rod connections, which omits another piece of armour to attach it securely - it may looks less impressive that way, but gives you far more freedom for the sake of MOCing.
(and no, the picture above is not the same as in my Surge review!)

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The new shield piece is pretty awesome and probably one of the best reasons to get Breez in the first place. It connects via technic pins (or whatever those cross-shaped things are called, I'm sorry for mixing up the proper part names).

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The new swords are also pretty neat, although I wish they had a few more points for connection, similiar to the older swords of Bionicle.

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Breez got the new launcher in bright red, which makes her launcher a bit more exclusive. The design itself is glorious as in gunmetal.

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The new torso armour features a pattern similiar to that of Breez's energy shield, although the red isn't exactly the same as that of the shield or the other bright red parts. Oh well.

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This is the new shoulder armour, also known as "Bubble armour". A very nice piece, and I really hope it will be featured in more colours in the future (I'd like to see it especially in orange).

In case you want to see the cuff pieces, jump over to my review of Surge.

Building the set
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Unlike other sets, Breez' build starts in a lying position, probably because of the foot joints.

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But once she got feet, she's flipped upward like her brethren. I'd like to mention that I accidently attached the armour on her upper left leg wrong, it's supposed to face forward, not sideways like the other one (I didn't noticed that mistake until just right now when I started to write that review).

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After that, she gets her armour, her tools, eventually the head, helmet and hero core, and then, we have...

The finished set
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Breez is well equipped and looks quite impressive, thanks to her bulky shoulders. Due to her sleek hips and feet, combined with the round shoulder pads, she sure looks a lot like a certain female bounty hunter (which is also the reason why I want the bubble armour in orange). Despite the bulky shoulders, Breez maintains a somewhat feminine look thanks to the feet and helmet of her first incarnation. Her ankles are also far more poseable this time, thanks to the absence of the leg armour of the HF1 sets (those things were a quite bizarre part anyway).

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Being a Deluxe set, Breez got her back covered in the literal sense with yet another HF1 foot. I'd like to mention that the design of the lower section of the new torso armour bears some resemblance to the pattern of the HF1-feet, which really helps to give Breez a consistent design all around. The small rockets molded into the feet also support the concept of Breez' specialization for aerial combat in this version.

Or to make it short: Breez' design is amazing.

Well... almost.

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While Breez looks certainly cool and is also fun to pose, I'm personally not too fond off the colour scheme. Lime green, bright red and white clash a bit too much for my taste, even on a Deluxe-sized set.

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The worst offender would be the red parts, because there are even various shades of red on Breez. The solid parts (the sword, the launcher, the small rockets at her ankles and her upper legs) are bright red, while the red on her torso armour is a bit darker.

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On top of that, her head is trans-orange while the shield is trans-dark red. It's not a big issue, but it annoyed me a bit. In addition to this, I think her left arm is a bit overloaded (with both the dualsword and the shield) in comparison with her right arm. But being LEGO, that can be easily fixed, right?

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Since I hadn't one of the new villains around back then, I tried the handcuffs on one of my older MOCs. They work quite well there too, so don't worry - the Hero Factory will catch and cuff all kinds of bad guys!

Final thoughts
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Breez is basically Samus Aran. Only in lime green. And with a neat energy shield. Do I have to say more?
Put aside the questionable choice of colours for Breez (and of course the fact that lime is one of the most used colours in the Hero Factory line) and she's with no doubt a great set, both in terms of design and parts she comes packed with. Besides, someone has to take care of the hordes of Thornraxx sets we all have already bought, right?

As long as you're not totally allergic to lime green, you should go for Breez. Even though her arsenal doesn't include a morph ball.

Edited by ZORK64, 20 April 2012 - 12:22 AM.

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#2 zero1312

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:09 AM

Nice review.... :thumbup:
Speaking of Samus Aran: Are the new pieces available in LDD yet? :wink:
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#3 Aanchir

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:46 AM

View Postzero1312, on 20 April 2012 - 12:09 AM, said:

Nice review.... :thumbup:
Speaking of Samus Aran: Are the new pieces available in LDD yet? :wink:
Yes, most of them are! Only a few villain heads and the new friction joints are absent, along with some of the heads from the Savage Planet wave. There might be a few other things I'm forgetting, but in general you can build any of the early 2012 Heroes unless there are collision errors with the parts.

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#4 DarkSurgeXL

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

Great review! I always loked Breez, especially her last version. Although i'm quite confused about those "Torpedos" on her ankles. I already lost one :blush:

#5 zero1312

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

View PostAanchir, on 20 April 2012 - 01:46 AM, said:

Yes, most of them are! Only a few villain heads and the new friction joints are absent, along with some of the heads from the Savage Planet wave. There might be a few other things I'm forgetting, but in general you can build any of the early 2012 Heroes unless there are collision errors with the parts.
Not really..... Except Black Phantom's helmet and the new hero core all 2012 stuff is missing on my version. I have currently the brick version 604.1 and program version 4.2.5.
Is there a newer one?
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#6 Aanchir

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:32 PM

View Postzero1312, on 25 April 2012 - 09:11 PM, said:

Not really..... Except Black Phantom's helmet and the new hero core all 2012 stuff is missing on my version. I have currently the brick version 604.1 and program version 4.2.5.
Is there a newer one?
No, that version should have most of the new parts including the new torso shell, shoulder sphere detail, plasma launcher top and bottom, Hero cuffs, Breez's sword piece, Rocka's shield piece, Rocka's ammo belt, and all the Hero masks for the current wave.

From what you describe, you're using the basic LEGO Digital Designer mode. Several of these parts aren't yet in that mode, but they are in LDD Extended Mode, which is now available by default unlike previous versions of LDD where it had to be unlocked with a text string in the preferences file.

To open LDD Extended Mode, click the black LDD Extended tab on the welcome screen. To switch an already-created file to LDD Extended Mode, click View>New Themes>LDD Extended on the toolbar at the top of the screen. Files will open in whatever mode you save them in, so if you save them in LDD Extended Mode, you will not have to switch to it every time you open the files.

The disadvantage of LDD Extended Mode is that parts aren't colored in for you, but this is a small price to pay for a wider parts palette with unlimited part and color combinations. And since the basic LDD mode doesn't adhere strictly to existing part and color combinations, it offers few real advantages.

I will offer some warnings: the Hero Cuffs cannot be hinged properly due to a glitch that, oddly enough, causes the parts to shrink, and the plasma launcher bottom half is a preliminary version that never appeared in any sets. Hopefully these will be fixed in a future update.

-----

Anyway, I realized I've never actually commented on this review itself! These are very good pictures and Breez is still my most-wanted set for this year.

The reason the red on her torso looks darker than her other red parts is just that it is printed on a contrasting color (lime green) and thus takes on a darker brownish tint. A second coat of red printing might have solved this, or perhaps not.

The fact that her shield doesn't match her eyes is not a problem for me, as the glowiness of her Transparent Fluorescent Reddish-Orange head is preferable for eyes IMO to the glassier look of the Transparent Red shield. There was, at one time, a color called Transparent Fluorescent Red, used for Tahu's eyes in 2001 and 2002-- this was discontinued shortly thereafter, and most sites don't recognize a difference between it and the still-available Transparent Medium Reddish Violet. I can't say I'd prefer her shield or eyes in that color anyway. :sceptic:

I do like her color scheme, but I am not a complete fan of how it is organized-- I would have preferred a black and grey skeleton, possibly with white bones on the lower arms if they didn't have shells covering them, because it is odd having red used for the skeleton of the model as well as on exterior details like the shield, sword, launcher, and ankle-jets.

I'd also prefer her legs and arms to be one or two modules shorter... while I don't mind differences in the sizes of the various heroes, it bothers me that her legs are longer and her torso is not. It looks a bit out-of-proportion to me. My modded version of Breez (on LDD) can be seen here.

I find it ironic that while this year's sets are some of the most appealing to me so far, they're also the ones I feel inclined to modify most heavily. I suppose this is in part because unlike the fairly standardized designs and color schemes of the 2011 sets, the Breakout heroes show a great amount of diversity, and can thus be modded more heavily while looking as consistent or more so than the "official" versions. The early 2011 heroes were rigidly consistent in terms of piece count, color schemes, and color layering, with the summer 2011 sets breaking slightly from that pattern, but this year's sets have great differences from one another while still looking like a fairly cohesive team.

Edited by Aanchir, 25 April 2012 - 10:46 PM.

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#7 zero1312

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:44 PM

There is something wrong: The launcher top piece is not in the list, even in extended mode.....
O, should I rather ask this via personal message? :sceptic:

Edited by zero1312, 25 April 2012 - 10:45 PM.

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#8 Aanchir

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:27 PM

View Postzero1312, on 25 April 2012 - 10:44 PM, said:

There is something wrong: The launcher top piece is not in the list, even in extended mode.....
O, should I rather ask this via personal message? :sceptic:
It's there on mine, which is the same version. If you're having trouble finding a part, it's always worth trying to type its number into the search box at the top of your parts tray (in this case, the number is 98563). In cases where you don't know the official part number, Superkalle (EB's LDD moderator) has a downloadable resource called LDD Manager that lets you search parts by Bricklink part number.

It should be noted also that the sequence of parts in LDD is pretty much according to size, so it won't appear near the other launcher pieces. However, it is in the same category (the category marked with a 5M Hero Factory shell).

Probably a better question to ask via personal message in the future, or in an appropriate topic in the LDD and Other Digital Tools subforum here on Eurobricks. But hope these tips help you with what you're building!

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#9 zero1312

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

Thank you very much and now back to topic....
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#10 ZORK64

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

View PostAanchir, on 25 April 2012 - 10:32 PM, said:

Anyway, I realized I've never actually commented on this review itself! These are very good pictures and Breez is still my most-wanted set for this year.
Thanks. I got always the feeling that my pictures are not as good as those of some other reviewers on this site. Perhaps I should try a different background for future sets (especially red ones, red looks always weird on my cam).



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The fact that her shield doesn't match her eyes is not a problem for me, as the glowiness of her Transparent Fluorescent Reddish-Orange head is preferable for eyes IMO to the glassier look of the Transparent Red shield. There was, at one time, a color called Transparent Fluorescent Red, used for Tahu's eyes in 2001 and 2002-- this was discontinued shortly thereafter, and most sites don't recognize a difference between it and the still-available Transparent Medium Reddish Violet. I can't say I'd prefer her shield or eyes in that color anyway. :sceptic:
I got to admit that the different colours of her transparent parts also doesn't bother me too much. In fact, I like the darker red of the shield since it reminds me of the trans-red parts of the older LEGO space ships. The brownish red on her torso bothered me far more.

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I do like her color scheme, but I am not a complete fan of how it is organized-- I would have preferred a black and grey skeleton, possibly with white bones on the lower arms if they didn't have shells covering them, because it is odd having red used for the skeleton of the model as well as on exterior details like the shield, sword, launcher, and ankle-jets.
That's also my main problem with her colour scheme. I think Breez would look a lot nicer if she would had more white bones instead of red ones, while the exterior details could have been red.

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I'd also prefer her legs and arms to be one or two modules shorter... while I don't mind differences in the sizes of the various heroes, it bothers me that her legs are longer and her torso is not. It looks a bit out-of-proportion to me. My modded version of Breez (on LDD) can be seen here.
When I revamped my Breez (here's the link) I wanted to make her shorter as well, but the shell armour hindered the poseability of her ankle joints, so I kept the length of her legs.

Quote

I find it ironic that while this year's sets are some of the most appealing to me so far, they're also the ones I feel inclined to modify most heavily. I suppose this is in part because unlike the fairly standardized designs and color schemes of the 2011 sets, the Breakout heroes show a great amount of diversity, and can thus be modded more heavily while looking as consistent or more so than the "official" versions. The early 2011 heroes were rigidly consistent in terms of piece count, color schemes, and color layering, with the summer 2011 sets breaking slightly from that pattern, but this year's sets have great differences from one another while still looking like a fairly cohesive team.
I would almost dare to say that they look even more individual then some waves from Bionicle. Various waves after the Bohrok looked very standardized even if said characters weren't swarm creatures like the Bohrok or the Visorak. The Toa Nuva and the Toa Inika were a good example. Luckily, it didn't happen too often since waves like the Glatorian were fairly individual (aside from the standardized Inika build, but the new Hero Factory Sets aren't better in this department).

Edited by ZORK64, 13 May 2012 - 01:30 PM.

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#11 Aanchir

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

View PostZORK64, on 27 April 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

I would almost dare to say that they look even more individual then some waves from Bionicle. Various waves from the Bohrok looked very standardized even if said characters weren't swarm creatures like the Bohrok or the Visorak. The Toa Nuva and the Toa Inika were a good example. Luckily, it didn't last too long.
True indeed! Of course, it has to be remembered that some sets from that time period were good for their time, just starting to break away from rigid design rules. For instance, the Visorak had color schemes and builds that adhered to a pattern, but it was less strict than previous sets, using a wide variety of joint pieces that lent them different-length legs and color schemes far different from those established in earlier series. The Piraka briefly went back to more standardized builds but continued to use never-before-seen color schemes. The Toa Inika, as alike as they were, had a great deal of variety-- different lower arms, never-before-seen color schemes, and color schemes that didn't adhere to any consistent pattern between all six.

The very next year the Barraki and Toa Mahri broke free of these sorts of rigid patterns almost entirely, besides some minor ones like all the Barraki having lots of blended parts. While some sets continued to feel repetitive to some people due to reused torso pieces and the like, after 2007 there was never again a series of six BIONICLE canister sets with rigid and consistent build and color scheme rules.

This isn't to say I didn't like rules like this that helped teams feel consistent. But still, the beginning of Hero Factory felt a bit like a step backward with their strict design rules (rookies have identical builds and dual two-colored weapons, Alpha 1 Team heroes each have unique torso shells and molded weapon-arms). Now we are seeing the same trend as we saw in BIONICLE. The 2.0 heroes kept rigid color scheme rules but started varying armor placement a bit more. The 3.0 heroes had looser color scheme rules and build rules. The Breakout sets break almost entirely from rigid patterns, much like the Barraki and Toa Mahri. And yet I appreciate that not all patterns have been eliminated-- decorated chest plates are now standard for hero sets, all three of the original rookies have the same style of ankle shells, and there is "standard equipment" for all nine heroes such as the Hero Cuffs, Hero Cores, and plasma guns.

Sorry for rambling a bit, but it's interesting to compare BIONICLE's progression to Hero Factory's. It's not a reliable way of determining what future changes to anticipate, of course-- I don't think we'll ever see a series like the Glatorian where there are no strict patterns differentiating heroes from villains. But it's still interesting that a series in which the sets have become so different from BIONICLE's continues to follow in that theme's footsteps as far as diversification is concerned. It makes me wonder if this sort of diversification is just an essential part of making any theme that is intended to last for multiple years.

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#12 ZORK64

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:49 PM

View PostAanchir, on 27 April 2012 - 02:42 PM, said:

True indeed! Of course, it has to be remembered that some sets from that time period were good for their time, just starting to break away from rigid design rules. For instance, the Visorak had color schemes and builds that adhered to a pattern, but it was less strict than previous sets, using a wide variety of joint pieces that lent them different-length legs and color schemes far different from those established in earlier series. The Piraka briefly went back to more standardized builds but continued to use never-before-seen color schemes. The Toa Inika, as alike as they were, had a great deal of variety-- different lower arms, never-before-seen color schemes, and color schemes that didn't adhere to any consistent pattern between all six.
The Visorak and the Piraka were actually among the waves I pretty much missed (though I bought 3 Avaks a few years later when a toy store put him on sale for only 2 bucks).

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The very next year the Barraki and Toa Mahri broke free of these sorts of rigid patterns almost entirely, besides some minor ones like all the Barraki having lots of blended parts. While some sets continued to feel repetitive to some people due to reused torso pieces and the like, after 2007 there was never again a series of six BIONICLE canister sets with rigid and consistent build and color scheme rules.
But I do remember I wasn't too fond of the design of the Bohrok-Kal and the Rahkshi, though the latter were still a great breakthrough because of their knee joints.
I had also actually mixed feelings about the Toa Nuva. The nice silver armour they got was lovely, and it's definitely a piece I always enjoyed to use. On the other hand though, the Toa Nuva didn't feel as individual as their original forms to me.

Quote

The Breakout sets break almost entirely from rigid patterns, much like the Barraki and Toa Mahri. And yet I appreciate that not all patterns have been eliminated-- decorated chest plates are now standard for hero sets, all three of the original rookies have the same style of ankle shells, and there is "standard equipment" for all nine heroes such as the Hero Cuffs, Hero Cores, and plasma guns.
That's also something I appreciate about the Breakout wave. While each one of them looks really unique, they got some tiny details which clearly identify them as the member of a team. Besides, the villains who aren't really a team, offer a great deal of many creative and innovative designs.


Quote

Sorry for rambling a bit, but it's interesting to compare BIONICLE's progression to Hero Factory's. It's not a reliable way of determining what future changes to anticipate, of course-- I don't think we'll ever see a series like the Glatorian where there are no strict patterns differentiating heroes from villains. But it's still interesting that a series in which the sets have become so different from BIONICLE's continues to follow in that theme's footsteps as far as diversification is concerned. It makes me wonder if this sort of diversification is just an essential part of making any theme that is intended to last for multiple years.
If there is anyone out there who really doesn't need to apologize for his rambling, than it's you Aanchir. I always enjoy to read your posts, since they're well written and interesting. You know, if I would feel a bit safer about the English language myself (and have enough ideas for things I'd like to write about), I'd probably also ramble as much as you.  :wink:
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