Posts tagged with "hot rod" - 1
Posted December 18, 2020 at 10:49 am

One of the things Hasbro's seemingly trying to establish recently is that a toy's price point isn't necessarily related to its size.  They've been making the case that it's more about budget.  Which is true!  And it's always been true.  But it's faced an uphill battle versus customer expectations.  But maybe a Leader Class toy isn't necessarily a very tall guy, but a Voyager Class-sized figure but with more budget and extra parts.  Maybe a Deluxe Class figure could range from the size of Bumblebee to the size of Prowl to the size of Ironhide.  It's about the size of the character more than $20 = 5 inches always.  

This has understandably upset some folks because they look at the size of, say, Optimus Prime in his Leader Class package, and he's relatively small, even though he's flanked by a giant semi trailer.  They're expecting a figure that fills the package.  On the other hand, it means we get toys like this Studio Series '86 Hot Rod, who's the size traditionally of a large Deluxe, but has way more parts and paints and complexity than you'd manage at the Deluxe Class pricepoint.  

There's always been trade-offs for having toys at certain pricepoints.  For example, a toy at a certain pricepoint only has so many plastic sprues budgeted, so you end up with a lot of, for example, Hot Rods with orange fists, because even though his fists are gray in the cartoon, they're the only thing that's gray, and so they end up being included in one of the other plastic sprues.  So if you upgrade Hot Rod to a Voyager, then, bam, you've got more plastic colors to play with.  He can have light gray plastic fists, and his lower legs can be a darker gray, and he can have a yellow spoiler without having to paint it.  

(He may end up having yellow other things, though, as is the case with Studio Series '86 Hot Rod, because even Voyager Class toys have their limits.  And so the yellow spoiler shares a plastic sprue with other small jointing parts that need to be cast in unpaintable plastic for durability.)  

What I'm getting at is that this Hot Rod feels luxurious for his size.  A larger size class of effort went into this smaller toy, and you can feel it.  He's a near-perfect representation of the Animated Movie character, and probably the most perfect you could manage at the size.  He scales properly with other recent Transformers figures, with him being about the height of Ironhide and Ratchet, taller than Earthrise Arcee, and shorter than Stege Springer.  

His head opens so you can flip out magnifying goggles over his eyes.  His right hand folds in to reveal a wielding torch.  His left hand folds in to reveal a 5mm peg so you can attach his buzzsaw accessory.  He comes with both of his rifles and two effects parts that can plug into his exhaust pipes so it looks like he's either zooming in car mode or firing out of them in robot mode.  He comes with a Matrix of Leadership, which his hands can hinge open to hold, and there's also an effects part that fits over the Matrix itself so it looks like it's glowing with energy.  And as with all other Studio Series toys, he comes with a cardboard display background.  Hot Rod's is of the interior of Unicron where he opened the Matrix.  

As with SS86 Scourge, you can appreciate the equal care given to these guys versus the live-action movie toys.  They're trying to achieve an onscreen look, and in that metric they succeed handily.  

And, yeah, his transformation involves his arms spinning around on a central axis so that they flip sides, just like in that one transformation sequence in the movie that everyone's always wanted to see replicated in toy form.

Posted October 14, 2017 at 1:01 am

I always hang with Kup, got The Touch, go fish to unwind

okay enough of that

Very recently, the Tumblr ran a bit explaining why Hot Rod's red sometimes and other times magenta.  No point rehashing it so soon afterwards here, so grab yourself a link and a read and come right back here!  

I like magenta Hot Rod!  It's so much more interesting for the Heroic Protagonist Main Dude to not be boring ol' red but, like, y'know, practically pink.  Depending on your video transfer.  It's just... not normal.  I dig it.  And so I like when Hot Rods are animation colors rather than original toy colors.  Legends (Titans Return-ish) Hot Rod(imus) is one of those things.  He's not quiiiite as pink as I like my Hot Rods, but I demand a pretty pink Hot Rod, probably a level beyond anything we're ever likely to see.  

He's also painted fairly meticulously, too, compared to the relatively bare domestic version.  He's got his litte yellow forearm bits painted, he's got his dark gray legs, there's darker magenta trim everywhere... there's a paint budget here.  

But I'm not, like, sold on the remolding done.  TakaraTomy has a higher threshold of "IS THIS MATCHING THE ANIMATION ENOUGH" than Hasbro that they seem to try to adhere to, and so Hasbro's Hot Rod chest/hood is gone, with the bare midriff, and in its place is a new chest that's more animation-accurate, but really just kind of looks like a huge bib.  That midriff was the right choice, visually.  Without it, the torso just looks overly long.  Yeah, sure, it has a rotate-y piece that hides the exposed engine and replaces it with Hot Rod's standard collarbone thinger, so the number of moving pieces is conserved, but it just doesn't look nearly as good of a torso.  And the flame's pointed pretty low on there, too, which doesn't help.  A tummy flame isn't a great look.

The translucent flame hole on his chest is a neat idea, and I'm also not sure that it works terribly well.  But points for trying to do at least something different than usual.

(i've included an older photo of hasbro's hot rod, as i kinda totally repainted mine so a direct comparison image isn't strictly possible)

But the real reason I was after this release was I wanted Hot Rod's new Targetmaster parter, Firebolt.  In America, Firebolt transforms into Hot Rod's head, which is a departure from Firebolt's usual weapon mode.  In Japan, Headmasters aren't two guys, but a smaller robot piloting.... well, himself.  Themselves, I guess, since Windblade's on the way.  But with Hot Rod's head guy also being Hot Rod, that frees up Takara to give him a "real" Firebolt.  A transforming guy-to-gun robot.  And Targetmaster Hot Rod's always been my jam.  So I was gonna be after that.

...mind, i didn't really foresee the mini-comic that comes packaged with him recasting Japan's Firebolt as Hot Rod's Kiss Players parter Shaoshao Li, but whatcha gonna do

if you don't know who that is, good

Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I own Titans Return Hot Rod because I wanted Getaway.  As mentioned yesterday, Getaway was shortpacked, and so he was only available from BigBadToyStore in a set of everybody from the case.  I am not super into the market of Deluxe Hot Rods Who Don't Look Terribly MTMTEy, and if I were, I'd probably prefer one in magenta with solid gray boots, which is what TakaraTomy is likely to do with him.  And so my plan was to skip Hasbro's Hot Rod and wait to see what TakaraTomy did.  I've got Cloud Rodimus, which is phenomenal, and so any additional Hot Rod would have to be amazingly fantastic to not be surplus-to-requirements.

But, again, if I wanted a Getaway, I had to get a Hot Rod as part of the package deal, so here we are.

And, actually, I'm pleasantly surprised with him.  The 2006 Classics Rodimus which this Hot Rod essentially replaces is... well, yeah, it's ten years old.  And even then, for its time, it was a little awkward.  Its cardoor skirt was interesting, but constantly got in the way of itself.  It had no rotational bicep articulation, and so its arms couldn't point outwards to shoot at anything.  It was pretty scrawny for a Deluxe of its time, as well, being hardly larger than his wavemate Bumblebee, who was small but came with a little jetski on a trailer to compensate for his lack of mass.  And so 2006 Classics Rodimus existed for a long time, filled an important character role, and had some neat ideas, but was often a chore to do anything with.

I was sort of ambivalent about New Titans Return Hot Rod ever since seeing images of him.  He seemed to be kind of a boring direct update, the same toy again-ish, even more than Transformers collectors tend to be used to.  He's got real similar arms, with the oversized shoulders, and his hot rod engine still ends up on his sternum, which is something he and Classics Rodimus share but few other Rodimi/Hot Rods do.

In hand, though, I've been enjoying him way more than I thought I would be.  Titans Return Hot Rod is a sizeable Deluxe Class toy (the tallest in the line so far by a smidge), and his engineering removes all of the little annoyances of the older toy.  His arms are set out from his torso, giving them room to move, he's got that bicep articulation, and his thighs are unencumbered by any sort of door skirt kibble.  Also, hey, he's got waist rotation, which is a bonus.

Oh, and his head pops off and transforms into a little dude who can ride inside him in car mode.

The car mode is more appealing to me, I think, as well.  The 2006 toy's car mode is a wedge -- which is fine, because Hot Rod's car has always been this doorstop with wheels, but the new 2016 toy adds some more interesting curvature in there to keep things interesting.  

Hot Rod's hips were, however, a little loose, causing him to do the legsplits constantly, but dabbing some floor polish into his balljoints and sockets fixed that easy-as-you-please.  

It's also nice, I GUESS, that Hasbro was able to finally get that "Hot Rod" trademark back after so many damn years.  But with a Hot Rod showing up reportedly in Transformers 5, I guess this was the time to put all your trademark ducks in a row or whatever.  "Rodimus" isn't a great name, but "Hot Rod" isn't super swell either.  It's... just what he is.  It's like naming Ravage "Cat."  (Sidestepping for the moment, of course, that Ravage's name in Japan IS "Jaguar.")

Being a Deluxe Class-sized guy fits better scale wise into my MTMTE/Lost Light display, but the Cloud Rodimus I have, while way too tall, looks more like MTMTE Rodimus, with his pointy head and yellow fists and yellow forehead.  This means Deluxe Titans Return Hot Rod is a little surplus to my requirements, but the toy is fun enough I don't regret owning him.  I like him enough I might still buy the TakaraTomy one if it's decoed in a way that pleases me.  I only own this guy as the "cost of doing business" of needing to get Getaway, anyway.

That motherfucker.


Posted March 18, 2016 at 6:00 am

I wasn't super sold on the last MP Rodimus, in general.  I got him strictly because he was a large Hot Rod-type guy who could be more in-scale with my Beast Era Wreckers toys than the original Hot Rod toy.  Nobody who got the toy seemed to like it, and also it kind of liked to break easily.  But I needed that large Hot Rod, and all he really needed to do was stand at the back of the shelf and be a big Hot Rod, so I got him.  

But seriously, he was not great.  I've never successfully transformed him.  I've gotten close, but at best I end up with a convex automobile, with the vehicle mode sort of bent in the middle in a way that keeps both axels of wheels touching the ground.  There was something I was doing wrong, but just transforming the thing was such a chore I couldn't be bothered to investigate.  What a fiddly mess.

The experience left such a bad taste in my mouth I didn't really pay much attention to the NEW Masterpiece Hot Rod for the longest while.  But folks seemed to like him when he came out.  He was relatively simple to transform.  (I mean, he'd have to be.)  And he was play-withable.  And he wasn't a clusterfuck.  But I didn't really see a need for a Masterpiece Hot Rod, so I continued to not really care.

...until I went back and looked at that Beast Era Wreckers groupshot and realized that its Rodimus is shorter than Primal Prime, not taller.  Huh!  I could get the new, smaller toy and chuck the old piece of garbage that I hate.  And so I did.

Yeah, I like this Hot Rod.  Other folks weren't lying, he's much easier to transform.  He's a bit of a shellformer, to be sure, as a large chunk of his altmode folds up and compacts onto his back, which is one step down from the older larger version.  However, he's otherwise a billion steps up.  All that kibble pegs together very securely at every step of compression and the result is not as bad to see in person as you'd think from photography.  

In fact, this new guy tends to be, as a rule, better in person than photographed.  Our first photographs of the test shot caused people to scoff at his flat chest and kibble backpack and skinny legs, but when he's in front of you, the three-dimensionality kind of smooths those flaws over.  

This new Hot Rod comes with almost all the same stuff the older Rodimus did.  He comes with his buzzsaw arm attachment, and his two guns (but they don't combine), and now he comes with a fishing rod.  I wish I could set aside my extreme fatigue with the animated Transformers movie long enough to enjoy how objectively awesome it is that a Transformers toy comes with a fishing rod.  I should be tickled by the goofiness.  But, well, eh.   I'm all TFTM referenced-out.  Hot Rod does not, sadly, come with a transforming Targetmaster Firebolt partner like the American Rodimus did.  This Hot Rod can hold him fine in robot mode, though.  Not, like, properly, with the notches fitting into the sculpted slots or anything, but he can get a good grip around the handle regardless.  Unfortunately there is no way to attach the Targetmaster gun to vehicle mode other than friction and gravity.  

Have I mentioned I like that this guy's pink?  Hot Rod in the animated Transformers movie was pink.  Pink and yellow orange and gray.  But when he become Rodimus Prime, he's red, and his toys are invariably red, even the non-Prime ones.  I appreciate that this toy is the proper hue.  

I also appreciate that it's not fragile, untransformable garbage.

Posted August 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm

I've probably mentioned it in this blog before, but when I was a kid, I designed a Transformers combiner.  Powermaster Optimus Prime and Pretender Classics had just happened, and I noticed that we were starting to get old guys (Bumblebee, Jazz, Grimlock, Starscream) redone as new toys with current gimmicks, and I hatched a plan to get me other new toys of guys I wanted years earlier but never got toys of.  And so, using allll the creativity that a ten-year-old can muster, I designed a Transformers gestalt guy made of Ratchet, Ironhide, Prowl, and Wheejack with Optimus Prime as a torso.  It was very creative.  So wow.

Anyway, twenty-five years later, the dream is nearly being realized.  I've got my Ironhide and Prowl, Wheeljack's coming, and there's some art of a possible Ratchet that leaked, and of course there's Optimus Prime.  I am so into this.  I want everyone to be a combiner.  I want to rebuy my entire Transformers collection as combiner limbs and torsos.  Combiner Wars is the shit.

Anyway, all these new limbs here (Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Prowl, and Mirage) are retools of the Stunticons.  Ironhide was Offroad, Sunstreaker was Breakdown, Prowl was Dead End (well, okay, he's a retool of Streetwise who's a retool of Dead End), and Mirage was Drag Strip.  They all get new heads.  They're officially supposed to combine with "Battle Core Optimus," a white redeco of the first wave Optimus Prime torso with a new also-Optimus-Prime head retool, but I'm cool with the first wave Optimus Prime I already have.  My childhood combiner guy didn't have a white redeco of Prime in it.  Also Legends Class Rodimus forms the chest armor.  Sort of.  He likes to not stay on so well.

My favorite of the four is Sunstreaker, since his toy incorporates the big fist/foot/cannon accessory into the robot mode itself.  Plus Sunstreaker's yellow, and you know me and my yellow.  

One thing I don't like is how the fist/foot/cannon accessory on each of these guys is split up between silver-painted plastic and silver plastic.  Some of the plastic in these toys are nylon for structural integrity reasons, and nylon won't take factory paint, but it still makes the weapon modes of each toy look even less cohesive than before, like a piece of gun with some fingers in it.  It's just more conspicuous.  Which, again, is why I'm happiest with Sunstreaker, who can peg his fist/foot/cannon accessory onto his back.  

I've seem some folks complain that we're getting new toys of these four guys when we already have toys of them.  Well, maybe you do!  Those toys came out in 2008!  That was a while ago!  And, like my childhood self, sometimes you don't get to get everything you want during the first pass, so second chances are nice.  And it's even better if these second chances combine into a larger robot.  

Now where's my Wheeljack and my Ratchet?

Posted December 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Thrilling 30 Springer is amazing.  I've said it before, but it's relevant again.  It's a fantastic robot who somehow also becomes a good car and a good helicopter.  Triple Changers are rarely great in all three modes, and yet here we are.  But on top of that, the dang thing's versatile.  With some retooling, it also became a great Sandstorm.  It's also been custom fodder for most Transformers under the sun -- Drift, other Drift, Alpha TrionObsidian, Dinobot -- and that's just stuff Cheetimus has done.  (The Dinobot is mine, seen in the photo.)  And it always turns out well.  

So here's friggin' Cloud Rodimus.  And it's a great Rodimus.  It might be the best Rodimus -- though it helps that the competition isn't terribly stiff.  Who knew that a redeco of Springer would make the best Rodimus?  

Mind, there were some steps along the way that smoothed this over.  The More Than Meets The Eye comic book ongoing series presented a Rodimus design that's more spikey and pointy than usual, including a departure from Rodimus' usual simple dome head.  That prescendent is admittedly part of what makes this Rodimus easier to swallow as Rodimus.  But, hey, I am friggin' okay with it.  I wanted a Rodimus that would pass for the MTMTE guy, and none of the previous Rodimuses really stepped up to the plate.  This guy definitely approximates MTMTE Rodimus without actually being that design.  He's got the yellow forehead, the spikey helmet in general, the red feet, the yellow hands, the orange abs... all designs I wouldn't have expected in the otherwise dogmatically-original-cartoon coloration of the rest of Rodimus's fancy-pants Transformers Cloud line.  And so I'm pretty sure he is supposed to take after MTMTE Rodimus.  Those comics seem to be pretty popular in Japan among Transformers fans, so I wouldn't be surprised.

And in person, the toy is glorious to behold.  Its red has this vague magenta to it that isn't seen on enough Rodimus toys.  That combined with the orange and yellow makes the damned thing glow.  And it's painted meticulously -- it kind of has to be if it's gonna turn Springer's color layout into Rodimus's.  

Summing up, Cloud Rodimus was pretty, one of the best Transformers toys, and vaguely modeled after some of the best Transformers fiction.  The only downside is he's an import and an exclusive, so as such he's gonna run ya.  Sell all your other Rodimus toys and get this one.

Tags: hot rod, cloud
There is no post with this ID.
Posted August 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm
Man, I'm intimidated by writing this thing about Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.  He's a Masterpiece, as just noted like five words ago, and so there's a lot of stuff going on with him.

Let's start at the beginning.  Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first released over in Japan, where he had a billion more paint apps and he came with the trailer to make Rodimus Prime's altmode.  That version transforms into Hot Rod's robot mode, Hot Rod's car mode, Rodimus Prime's robot mode, and Rodimus Prime's truck mode.  It cost $250.  It was kind of a lot, but it was a big trailer, I guess.  I was happy not to buy it.

Our version drops the trailer.  And so you get Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime's robot modes, but only Hot Rod's car mode.  Really, I don't feel like I'm missing much.  You don't really transform Hot Rod's car mode into Rodimus Prime's truck mode so much as you put the trailer around the whole thing like a shell.  There's not much of Hot Rod's car mode visible.  The car just fills in the bottom, supplying wheels and the spoiler.  Meh, I say.

And so I'm happy to get the American version for $60.  Yeah, it's missing one of its four modes, but that mode was formed dumbly and I'm not a huge Rodimus Prime fan anyway.  No, I'm in this for the idea of having a huge Hot Rod toy.  Back in the 2000s, Hot Rod starred in some BotCon fiction set during the Beast Era as one of the leaders of the Wreckers.  And since Maximals and Predacons are tiny dudes compared to Autobots and Decepticons, Hot Rod was a giant among them.  However, his original toy was not very large, and was in fact smaller than most of the Maximal and Predacon toys.  This was annoying.  WELL NO MORE.  I now have a huge Hot Rod to put with my Beast Era Wreckers.  And because Hasbro is clairvoyant about my desires, they even decoed the domestic version to look like Hot Rod's toy, instead of like Hot Rod's animation model like the Japanese version.

Also, because Hasbro knows I love Targetmasters, only the domestic version of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime comes with a new Masterpiece version of his Targetmaster partner.   His name used to be Firebolt, which apparently Hasbro's lost the trademark to, so now he's "Offshoot."  Whatevs.  He's a Masterpiece Nebulan, which is awesome, because now the ranks of the Masterpiece toys are Optimus Prime, Starscream and his redecoes, Megatron, Grimlock, Hot Rod, and... this Nebulan guy.  Ha ha ha ha.

Hot Rod is not fun to get into vehicle mode.  Some Masterpiece toys aren't so bad about this.  Prime, Grimlock, maybe Starscream it's been so long... but Hot Rod is just difficult enough to drive me wild.  It always starts out easy, and as I start plugging along, I start to think maybe I've finally learned how to get him back and forth easy-cheesy and then BAM I hit his legs and I get things as far as they'll go and I have a car mode that's bent at the middle like it melted in the sun.  And I'm sure I'm doing something really tiny and trivial incorrectly, but do I really care?  I'll just put him back in robot mode.  It's not worth the effort to dissect the process.

Which is part of the reason I applied his shoulder stickers.  They're intended to be optional, because putting his original-toy-accurate shoulder stickers on his shoulders means there's shoulder stickers on his car mode.  But I'm not ever gonna keep him in car mode.  I'm really not.  He's gonna stand at the back of my Wreckers display, looking rightfully huge.  So there you go.

Getting Hot Rod into Rodimus mode is very easy.  You open up the head and swap faces, and then you finagle his hips down a notch, making him taller.  Oh, and you can spread his spoiler out wider, but that's kind of an imperceptible change anyway.  ...Oh, right, and his two Hot Rod guns combine to form his Rodimus Prime rifle.  That's pretty great.  Almost forgot.

He comes with two Matrixes.  (Matrices?)  One is small enough that it can fit into his chest.  It is ridiculously tiny.  The other Matrix, another accessory that's exclusive to the American release, is one that's scaled large enough for him to hold.  It opens, which is neat.  (It's not the same as Masterpiece Optimus Prime's, which also opened.  This appears to be original tooling.)

Hot Rod also has flip-down binocular shades, a wielding torch hand-replacement and a buzzsaw hand replacement, all things which Hot Rod used in the 1986 animated film.  Those I'm not terribly excited about, but I guess it's nice they exist.

The Japanese release of this toy had the trailer, but apparently it also had a bunch of engineering and quality control problems.  Those have been fixed, so I'm told, for this American release.  They've also been fixed for the Japanese versions going forward, I think, so, uh, if you get a Japanese version, make sure you get a new one.

Man, where'd I put my Wreckers symbol Reprolabels...
Posted April 13, 2011 at 2:10 am
A photo I took of the box before I opened it. It's tall and huge! Asuka's tweeting about it.

The second guy from Scrapheap's e-Hobby three-pack is this translucent redeco of Classics Rodimus.  He's blue and greenish with some yellow.  He's supposedly intended to represent the scene in The Transformers: The Movie where Hot Rod is at Optimus Prime's deathbed and he catches the Matrix of Leadership as it's being passed from Optimus to Ultra Magnus.

He's sort of pretty.

That's about all I have to say about him.

Also known as "Yoink!" Rodimus.

I'll be auctioning him soon, whenever I get around to it.  I mean, he is sort of pretty, but I don't need him.  I've got two many versions of this mold in the house already, and one of them I also need to sell!  (Challenge at Cybertron Rodimus)  And I've got a Transformers Club Side Burn on the way.  Yeah, this guy's got to go.  I'll let you folks know when that happens.

I'm actually much more interested in the box's art than I am this little blue Rodimus.  We'll see if I can cram in images of both it and this toy.  If not, the box wins out.  Sorry, Rodimus!

UPDATE:  Whoops, looks like you'll have to go to TFWiki to see the car mode.
Posted December 25, 2010 at 2:01 am
A human, a fake Nebulan, and a Nebulan.

It's a Christmas post!

This is my new Fansproject Sidearm.  He's a "third party product," or "we pretend Hasbro doesn't own this intellectual property" toy.  So I'm kind of a jerk for owning one, but him just being an accessory to a Hasbro product I already own makes me feel a little better.

He's nominally an add-on to the "Not Rodimus Prime" trailer upgrade for the Classics Rodimus toy, but I didn't care about that.  Thankfully, you could buy this fake Firebolt toy all by himself.  What's crucial is that he's designed to fit into Rodimus's hands (sorta, more on this later), which have non-standard pegholes.  His fist pegholes are way too small to accommodate the usual 5mm weaponry.  That was always annoying, and kept me from just using the original Firebolt with my newer toy.  So, hey, woo, something fits.

Man, Rodimus is watermelony! I'd nearly forgotten.

...but as I said, sorta.  I have no idea why they did this, but riiiight behind the right-size-for-Rodimus peg is the right-size-for-the-Rodimus-Prime-add-on peg.  Right behind!  What the hell!  So, really, Rodimus can't hold it at all.  ...unless you tuck his hands inwards at the wrist, at a half-transformed placement, so his other peg can have room to go.  whyyyyy

So that was a major disappointment.  At least the rest of him was pretty neat.  I mean, he transforms into a gun, and in a different way than in the character he's pretending not to be.  Plus he clips onto the spoiler while Rodimus is in car mode, which is appreciated.

Aaand there goes all pretense of aerodynamics.

He also comes with some other "intended for use with the bigger Rodimus Prime upgrade" parts, some chrome spoiler pieces.  These are not pictured.  They're also supposed to be able to clip onto the side of Sidearm to make a sort of crossbow thing, but this does not actually seem to be feasible.  The parts won't clip on.  So oh well.  Not a big deal to me.  Those parts can go in a baggy up in the attic somewhere and I'll never care about them again.
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