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Peter Johnson

Bionicle Or Hero Factory?

Bionicle Or Hero Factory?  

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For the sets themselves, I prefer HF. For parts, definitely Bionicle.


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bionicle, most definitely. The story was amazing, and the sets were inovative and new (for a time). Most people I've seen don't like the story because it was huge, but that was one of the things I liked most about it. There was so much of it. As long as you had dedication for knowing the story, you could memorize it. I know I did.


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Hmmm, hard to say. In terms of story, Hero Factory doesn't demand as much of an emotional commitment or as much of a time commitment as BIONICLE did. It's not something I'm as passionate about as I was about BIONICLE, but it's also less exhausting. In terms of sets, also, BIONICLE sets and Hero Factory sets were both great in their own ways.I think that as a building toy for constructing articulated figures, Hero Factory is far more natural and intuitive than BIONICLE. I have a lot more fun building with Hero Factory parts than I do building with BIONICLE parts. Again, it's less exhausting. It feels like, as a builder, I have a lot more control. And I also like many of the official sets more as figures, to a great extent. In many ways they feel more naturalistic. Some BIONICLE sets were of course brilliant designs, like the 2008 Takanuva set. Witch Doctor is probably the only Hero Factory set that has matched that in terms of sheer brilliance, which is understandable, since he's also the only Hero Factory figure who is really comparable in terms of size.Quality of design is to a great extent about working with constraints, and both BIONICLE and Hero Factory have succeeded admirably with that in their own ways. BIONICLE was trying to fit action figure building into a building system that was designed for less naturalistic machine models like cars and construction equipment. And even in 2001 it did all right with that! The Rahi truly evoked the creatures they were meant to depict (well, except perhaps Tarakava). The Toa Mata were more naturalistic, but it took several extremely specialized parts for them to do that. Later sets improved on this, like the Toa Metru, which simplified the lower body into something with more versatile applications, or the Toa Inika, which did the same with the upper body.Hero Factory had the benefit of its own building system, at least starting in 2011. And it is a building system designed with efficiency and compatibility in mind. But that is, in and of itself, a triumph. Furthermore, it has continued to explore the potential of that building system in many ways, and there are many ways the sets have not even begun to explore on its potential. I fully expect that the building system will have the potential to outlive the Hero Factory theme itself. Previous attempts at making action figure sets intuitive, like Galidor or Ben 10 Alien Force, meant reducing freedom and versatility. Hero Factory's building system instead adds freedom and versatility. A Hero Factory shell can attach to a figure's upper leg beam in far more configurations than a typical BIONICLE shell and leg beam could allow.Overall, I feel Hero Factory is better than BIONICLE, because I feel its role as a building toy is far more important than its role as a story franchise. It is, after all, a LEGO theme. But Hero Factory had the benefit of lessons learned from BIONICLE, just as BIONICLE had the benefit of lessons learned from Throwbots and Roboriders. Hero Factory is a more advanced stage in the evolution of constraction sets, and understandably so, because some of the designers who made Hero Factory what it is today have been working on constraction themes for years.Christoffer Raundahl, one of the inventors of this building system, has a lot of credits to his name, including, among other things, the original Tahu and Kopaka sets. He's credited as an inventor on patents for the Throwbots foot and disc elements. I think it would be incredible to hear about the development of the constraction category from his perspective, because he's played a formative role in those themes since before BIONICLE began. He saw the clunky worm-gear-driven functions of the Throwbots give way to the simpler and more lively gear functions of the Toa Mata. He saw molded knees and elbows give way to the more naturalistic articulation of the Toa Metru and Toa Inika. He saw specialized BIONICLE shells give way to more versatile Hero Factory shells, and saw specialized BIONICLE beams give way to more versatile Hero Factory beams. Overall, I think he is probably proud of where constraction sets are today. And all things considered, so am I.

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It's obvious that Bionicle is better than Hero Factory. Hero Factory is nothing but a cheap immitation of Bionicle. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up with Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. They've really missed out on things that are better than what they have in this day and age.

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Most definitely Bionicle. The sets are great and so is the story. I think Hero Factorys' sets are to simple and there's not really much story.


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It's obvious that Bionicle is better than Hero Factory. Hero Factory is nothing but a cheap immitation of Bionicle. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up with Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. They've really missed out on things that are better than what they have in this day and age.

Obvious to whom? I much prefer Hero Factory.

 

In terms of sets, Hero Factory has had consistently good designs since the new building system was introduced. Last year's sets were a prime example. The heroes were diverse in terms of size, appearance, and equipment, and the villains were more diverse than any villain sets from Bionicle ever were, with some of them even eschewing the common bipedal humanoid physique of all Bionicle sets post-2006. And this diversity comes not with the overly-specialized part designs endemic to Bionicle (such as the stylized armor from the Barraki sets), but through the repetition of simple, versatile elements and the introduction of new elements that are consistent with those already in production. Each individual part is more usable in more ways, and as a result building has never been easier. And, in my opinion, ease and simplicity are not things to be discouraged, but celebrated.

 

In terms of story, while the core Hero Factory story is simpler, and the core story medium (the TV show) is weaker than Bionicle's (the books), the openness and lightheartedness of Hero Factory's story makes it easier for me as a fan to craft my own characters and stories within its framework. Contrast that with Bionicle. I once tried to write a story in Bionicle about the Chronicler's Company going on a quest and becoming Toa. My screenname here on BZP, Lyichir, comes from a character within that story. But the Bionicle universe has rigid rules, and over the course of the theme's lifespan most of the gaps in fan understanding was filled in. I gave up on my story because I had been forced to adapt to these changes until my story was hardly recognizeable as what it was supposed to have been. Hero Factory has reinspired me in part because, with the police-procedural nature of the stories it tells, it's easy to craft missions that don't interfere with current or future stories, and the universe it depicts is not structurally limited like Bionicle's was, meaning there are no limits on what settings or characters you can create.

 

I don't feel sorry for the kids who grow up on Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. Because I was one of the kids who grew up on Bionicle, and Hero Factory gives me opportunities Bionicle never provided. Does it provide the same level of passive entertainment as Bionicle did, with its epic sagas and well-crafted characters? No. Rather, it provides a level of active entertainment that Bionicle could never match, and that I feel is more in-line with the creative promise Lego holds.


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Personally I much prefer Bionicle in almost every way. I don't find hero factory system or story neerly as stimulating, but it does have it's merits. Lack of continuity makes it much easier to jump in at any point. But there are no rules which I find rather annoying.In reality Bionicle and hero factory are very different lines. It's like trying to compare ninjago and space police.(for the record, ninjago wins)

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It seems that we are considering merely sets and story here as comparison factors. While those are important, that is not the full picture - but I'm going to start with those anyway. Sets: This one's rough. Yes, I think HF sets are more versatile, and I want them to expand the new building system. I like the MOCing possibilities there. But the sets don't strike me as creative as the Bionicle ones were - there was always some unusual concept in them that I liked, especially near the end with the flying sets and the strange snake guy, etc. Then again, I've seen stuff like that in HF sets as well, like Breakout Stringer, Thornraxx,and Speeda's purple bike. Bionicle had more of this, though (Bohrok, Titans, Vehicles...).So I rule this as a tie. HF is easier to get my head around, Bionicle is cooler and more eccentric. I feel that the HF building system has a lot of potential that they haven't used which could tip the scale its way, but so far it hasn't added up. Also, the Brain Attack wave...was really bad. Breakout was awesome, but Brain Attack...no. Story: Bionicle, absolutely no contest. And whoever said Bionicle story was passive entertainment - sorry, I don't buy that. If a story takes time and effort to understand, it is not passive - you must be an active thinker in order to appreciate it. I would even argue that the Hero Factory story inspires passivity, as you need zero effort to appreciate it. And while I applaud recent attempts at mystery and depth in HF, it feels forced, like they are trying to force depth into a shallow story. I don't mind it much on its own, but compared to Bionicle it falls flat on its helmet. (Although I will be honest and admit I haven't read the recent HF books. I blame life circumstances and lack of interest.)Online Games: Bionicle. Yes, I will admit Bionicle had more games, but even the worse ones had redeeming qualities. Yes, I will admit the Breakout game is top-notch and is probably one of the best Lego games I've played (never played some of the previous Lego games that I hear are better, so I can't judge much). But aside from that, Von Nebula...er, got boring. Ordeal of Fire...no. Brain Attack is just...I played a Mega-blocks game that was better. Not kidding. Was there even a Savage Planet game?Music: Bionicle. Hero Factory music...just isn't as epic. Sorry. Video quality/Web Shorts: I have to admit that I liked the humorous short "Assembly Testing" videos over the Ordeal of Fire wave. And the TV show, despite the fact that that it stole all of it's ideas from Bionicle, wasn't half bad. Until they hit Brain Attack. Then it was bad. And Bionicle was epic cinematically, in the videos they did. But I like laughing at all the HF/Bionicle resemblances, so I'm going to leave this as a tie even though it's probably cutting HF some slack. Names: Bionicle is just a plain flat cooler name, and the wave names were just better. All I have to say is 2.0 for you to get the picture. And I could go into all sorts of other things, like web site design (Bionicle wins) cult following (um, Bionicle has theorists still demanding answers three years after it ended), and character development (Bionicle: Vakama and Evo).Conclusion: Bionicle. Which you knew I was going to say before I even began. I just like listing out the reasons for fun. I do think it is possible for Hero Factory to improve on itself and surpass Bionicle in time, but so far it hasn't done that yet, and I doubt Lego will allow it to.

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Definitely Bionicle. Hero Factory never really interested me at all, but I really liked the Bionicle storyline. In terms of just sets, I'd still have to say Bionicle overall.


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Hero Factory has a lot less crazy overly serious fans, so.(Also the sets are great and the enire aesthetic is neat, it's more in-tune with general LEGO themes, and is also just fun. Also, Nex is the best. And Toxic Reapa is still one of my favorite sets. And Hero Factory FM was just so good. I miss 2010, if only for the more involved Hf website. )


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Slizers were pretty cool.

 

I agree.

 

I kind of like both. Bionicle for the story, awesome sets and nostalgia factor, and Hero Factory for...similar reasons, actually.


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Bionicle, by a long shot. Hero Factory is okay, but Bionicle drew me in way better than hf, and actually made me want the sets. Nowadays, I only get a hf set when I'm bored, and even still, it takes me 3 minutes to assemble it at most. I like the complexity of early Bionicle sets much better than the ball-and-socket design that hero factory is.


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Most definitely Bionicle. The sets are great and so is the story. I think Hero Factorys' sets are to simple and there's not really much story.

This. Bionicle in every way.


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Bionicle, by a long shot. Hero Factory is okay, but Bionicle drew me in way better than hf, and actually made me want the sets. Nowadays, I only get a hf set when I'm bored, and even still, it takes me 3 minutes to assemble it at most. I like the complexity of early Bionicle sets much better than the ball-and-socket design that hero factory is.

The complexity of... which early BIONICLE sets exactly? The Toa Mata weren't all that complex. The Bohrok were marginally more complex. Rahkshi were somewhat complex, but I'd almost be willing to say that they were complex in the wrong ways. Really it wasn't until you got up into the larger, more heavily Technic-based sets that things got REALLY complex. And we see a lot of the same thing in Hero Factory with sets like Stormer XL, Speeda Demon, Bruizer, Dragon Bolt, and Jet Rocka. And in the smaller sizes, any complexity tended to come at a cost: it wasn't until 2007 that we had a series of six characters that weren't near-clones of one another.Anyway, complexity isn't always a good thing. There are different kinds of complexity, and some are not as desirable for action figure building. Part of what makes Hero Factory builds less complex is that they're more efficient and intuitive in a lot of ways. If complexity alone were what made a set enjoyable, then the ideal BIONICLE figure would be more along the lines of an Erector set, requiring lots of nuts and bolts to assemble. But in truth, BIONICLE's simplicity was part of what gave it its charm. A classic Toa was in many ways simpler and more intuitive to build than a classic Slizer/Throwbot or Roborider. Hero Factory is really just another stage in that progression.

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I've finally given Hero Factory a fair chance, and I have to say, I am a bit of a fan now. Now don't get me wrong here, I will always prefer BIONICLE by a longshot. The storyline was much deeper and more immersive than HF's will ever be, even in it's very first year. Some people say that this was a bad thing, because it made it harder to follow. That's true that it was harder to follow than HF, but it was this commitment to the story that made me love BIONICLE. My first taste of the storyline was MNOLG. An HF game will never even come close to the magical and mysterious feeling that game brought me back then and still does today.

 

That said, I do find the HF story to be enjoyable, and I was even compelled to visit HS01 for the first time after watching the TV series to learn a bit more about it.

 

The sets are less of a landslide in BIONICLE's direction. Yes, I prefer BIONICLE sets, but mainly due to 2001-2003, and the other good ones in the later years. You have to look at the BIONICLE sets as a whole when comparing to HF, not just the Inika build sets. And when you do look at all the BIONICLE sets in comparison to all the HF sets, you won't find anything like the Rahi of 2001 in HF. The 2001 Rahi are my favorite Lego sets of all time. Nothing can compare to their greatness, in my opinion. 2001-2003 and nostalgia aside, even, I still prefer BIONICLE sets to HF sets in general. There are exceptions, though.

 

I think the HF skeleton build is absolutely spectacular. Its such a smart solution, and its very robust. I never get tired of it, like I got tired of the repetitive Inika build. There will come a time when the skeleton build will need to be replaced, but now is not the time. I am now interested in expanding my HF collection beyond my one Breakout Nex. And that's really something I didn't think would happen for a long time. I never thought I would be able to enjoy HF. Sure, I got over BIONICLE's demise long ago, but I had dismissed HF as a rather silly and immature theme. I was absolutely wrong. BIONICLE is my favorite, and it always will be, but HF ain't too bad either. :)

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Is it wrong to like both? :P

 

I'd probably pick BIONICLE because it has larger possibilities for MOCing and it had a very intricate storyline.

 

I like HF because of the parts in the sets, not so much the characters or the poor excuse that they call a story.


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It's obvious that Bionicle is better than Hero Factory. Hero Factory is nothing but a cheap immitation of Bionicle. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up with Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. They've really missed out on things that are better than what they have in this day and age.

 

This.

 

Bionicle wins. No contest.

 

Many seem to prefer the HF sets, but I do not see why. They are simplistic, unimaginative and pretty ugly. Bionicle had some inventive designs to them and they still looked neat. HF sets have been made to look more monstrous. I can understand that on the villains, but even the heroes look like they would kill for fun. That does not serve its purpose.

 

And don't even get me started on the horrific story of HF.

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It's obvious that Bionicle is better than Hero Factory. Hero Factory is nothing but a cheap immitation of Bionicle. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up with Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. They've really missed out on things that are better than what they have in this day and age.

 

This.

 

Bionicle wins. No contest.

 

Many seem to prefer the HF sets, but I do not see why. They are simplistic, unimaginative and pretty ugly. Bionicle had some inventive designs to them and they still looked neat. HF sets have been made to look more monstrous. I can understand that on the villains, but even the heroes look like they would kill for fun. That does not serve its purpose.

 

And don't even get me started on the horrific story of HF.

 

OK, the thing you said about HF sets being terrible...

I just got into HF/Bionicle lately, so I like HF more. (For the sets.) It seems that people who have been playing with bionicle sets, when they sold them, in their childhood, like bionicle better. Don't get me wrong I love bionicle, but the story is just too big for me to fit in my brain XD I tried starting out with the story on biosector01, it just didnt work.

Anyway, to sum it up people starting bionicle in their childhood like bionicle better and the new peeps like HF.

 

Now the second thing you said about the story of HF being horrible, in my opinion, it isn't THAT bad. I mean, they ARE only selling HF to get a lot of money, but still, the story isn't pure horror.


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OK, the thing you said about HF sets being terrible...

 

I just got into HF/Bionicle lately, so I like HF more. (For the sets.) It seems that people who have been playing with bionicle sets, when they sold them, in their childhood, like bionicle better. Don't get me wrong I love bionicle, but the story is just too big for me to fit in my brain XD I tried starting out with the story on biosector01, it just didnt work.

Anyway, to sum it up people starting bionicle in their childhood like bionicle better and the new peeps like HF.

 

Now the second thing you said about the story of HF being horrible, in my opinion, it isn't THAT bad. I mean, they ARE only selling HF to get a lot of money, but still, the story isn't pure horror.

 

 

No, the story is pure cheese.

 

And I disagree with that statement. I grew up with Bionicle, yet still like HF sets.

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It's obvious that Bionicle is better than Hero Factory. Hero Factory is nothing but a cheap immitation of Bionicle. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up with Hero Factory instead of Bionicle. They've really missed out on things that are better than what they have in this day and age.

 

This.

 

Bionicle wins. No contest.

 

Many seem to prefer the HF sets, but I do not see why. They are simplistic, unimaginative and pretty ugly. Bionicle had some inventive designs to them and they still looked neat. HF sets have been made to look more monstrous. I can understand that on the villains, but even the heroes look like they would kill for fun. That does not serve its purpose.

 

And don't even get me started on the horrific story of HF.

 

OK, the thing you said about HF sets being terrible...

I just got into HF/Bionicle lately, so I like HF more. (For the sets.) It seems that people who have been playing with bionicle sets, when they sold them, in their childhood, like bionicle better. Don't get me wrong I love bionicle, but the story is just too big for me to fit in my brain XD I tried starting out with the story on biosector01, it just didnt work.

Anyway, to sum it up people starting bionicle in their childhood like bionicle better and the new peeps like HF.

 

Now the second thing you said about the story of HF being horrible, in my opinion, it isn't THAT bad. I mean, they ARE only selling HF to get a lot of money, but still, the story isn't pure horror.

 

 

That's why you need to start with 2001-2003. ;) It wasn't as complicated back then. Read my guide to BIONICLE in 2001-2003 that I posted in your topic. I think you'll even come to like BIONICLE better than HF eventually if you start in the right place.

 

Anyway, HF's story extremely cheesy, but it's alright to like it, and it can be enjoyable. I'm not a full fledged fan of it by any means, but it is fun at times.


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Bionicle wins. No contest. Many seem to prefer the HF sets, but I do not see why. They are simplistic, unimaginative and pretty ugly. Bionicle had some inventive designs to them and they still looked neat. HF sets have been made to look more monstrous. I can understand that on the villains, but even the heroes look like they would kill for fun. That does not serve its purpose. And don't even get me started on the horrific story of HF.

This. So. -blam!-ing. MUCH.I mean, I don't even see how Lego chooses the set designs. They're about the quality of the MOCs I made back when I was three.And that's me being generous.:a::k::i:

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Bionicle. Duh.Like I will turn down one of my absolute favorite things in the world for some cheap imitation that will probably never find its way out of Bionicle's shadow. If you're a fan of HF, I won't criticize you, I'll respect your opinion nevertheless. But that definitely won't change mine, and hundreds of people around the world.

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Pretty obvious which one is going to win here. I prefer Bionicle also, though that's not to say I dislike Hero Factory. If I'd been the age I was when Bionicle began when HF started, I'd probably prefer that.

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CyberSlam > Everything else.

 

...

 

What? It... existed.

 

Seriously though, nothing's ever going to compare to BIONICLE. The story, while it had its flaws, was overall incredible. And the aesthetic of the sets is just better. Honestly I haven't bought a single Hero Factory set, so maybe they look better in person (some BIONICLE sets certainly did), but they just haven't jumped out at me like the Toa Mata did all those years ago.


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The sets are less of a landslide in BIONICLE's direction. Yes, I prefer BIONICLE sets, but mainly due to 2001-2003, and the other good ones in the later years. You have to look at the BIONICLE sets as a whole when comparing to HF, not just the Inika build sets. And when you do look at all the BIONICLE sets in comparison to all the HF sets, you won't find anything like the Rahi of 2001 in HF. The 2001 Rahi are my favorite Lego sets of all time. Nothing can compare to their greatness, in my opinion. 2001-2003 and nostalgia aside, even, I still prefer BIONICLE sets to HF sets in general. There are exceptions, though.

I'd say 2010's Drop Ship is every bit as complex and stylish as the 2001 Rahi sets. I regret not buying that one myself. Witch Doctor and Dragon Bolt are also excellent designs, with Dragon Bolt even having plenty of play value, just like the old Rahi did. Really, the 2001 Rahi were great and imaginative, with awesome functions, but in my opinion plenty of later BIONICLE titan sets and vehicle sets matched them in terms of artistry.Hero Factory hasn't had too many sets of that caliber, but it's not exactly an even playing field: after all, the Rahi ranged from $15 to $90, whereas Hero Factory has never had more than two sets a year above the $20 price point. I would love if we could eventually get a really big Hero Factory set, perhaps something along the lines of this MOC by veteran BIONICLE and Hero Factory designer Christoffer Raundahl. I estimate it'd cost between $50 and $60, which is hardly an exorbitant cost, all things considered.

I think the HF skeleton build is absolutely spectacular. Its such a smart solution, and its very robust. I never get tired of it, like I got tired of the repetitive Inika build. There will come a time when the skeleton build will need to be replaced, but now is not the time. I am now interested in expanding my HF collection beyond my one Breakout Nex. And that's really something I didn't think would happen for a long time. I never thought I would be able to enjoy HF. Sure, I got over BIONICLE's demise long ago, but I had dismissed HF as a rather silly and immature theme. I was absolutely wrong. BIONICLE is my favorite, and it always will be, but HF ain't too bad either. :)

Glad to hear you've been loving the Hero Factory building system! I've had a very good experience with it myself. I also loved BIONICLE's building style, naturally, and had some MOCs back then I was quite proud of. But sometimes it felt like I had to agonize over a BIONICLE build to get it to look cool and unique, whereas with Hero Factory I can manage to snap a bunch of parts together during short building breaks until I finally have something I'm really proud of. Perhaps part of this is just a matter of me growing up and improving as a builder, but I think the new building system is also a definite factor.I don't know if Hero Factory will last a whole lot longer (we know there'll be sets in 2014, but with Advance and Ghost working on the TV episode for next year, it might very well be moving in the direction of a finale). However, it's managed to do quite wonderfully in just a few years, really revolutionizing action figure builds. I think the character and creature building system that came out in 2011 will be sticking around for quite a while, regardless of what happens to Hero Factory as a theme. And who knows? There might very well be ideas in the pipeline to make it even better in the years to come.

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