Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting  (Read 14865 times)

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2005, 03:19 PM »
Hasbro has really showed signs of genius at times, but then continues to take a couple steps back in quality.

I don't see why Hasbro couldn't continue with VOTC quality sculpts and poseability (****-3PO aside), without charging the higher prices.  Those figures were obviously designed for collectors only, and Hasbro knew we'd pay more for them, especially since it was a very limited line of only 12 figures.  The packaging added a premium as well, but obviously isn't necessary for the future.  The VOTC quality would allow the resculpting of many figures, like those listed by Jesse above, which really begs to be done.

I really think the 2004 SAGA release pattern was the best they've done.  I like getting them released in waves that have a theme, perhaps 3 or 4 a month.  This would allow them to switch each wave between OT and PT, to satisfy everyone interested.  I think this pace allows retailers to sell without a glut forming on the pegs.  On the other hand, to only release 20 figures a year is too little because there wouldn't be enough figures to keep a consistent presence on the pegs.  (That was the idea behind the Hall of Fame wave for SAGA, but they shot themselves in the foot by rereleasing figures we'd just recently seen for the most part.) 

So to sum up, we need super-articulation at a reasonable price, released about 4 a month in themed waves, mixed with both PT and OT.  Come through with this, and I think the line will survive a long time because fans will be happy and retailers will be able to support it.

Simple, right?   ;)

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #31 on: June 5, 2005, 09:55 AM »
A good sign at least right now for the future of the line is this.  There actually seems to be a lot of littler kids actually into Star Wars this time around.  At least in the toy aisles and theatres.  I don't remeber seeing this many kids for AOTC.   Hopefully this will indeed spark some new blood into the collecting community.  I have been pleasantly surprised by that.  It can't hurt. 

As far as the future is concerned.  I think Hasbro will have to scale back after the middle of 2006.  Back to stuff like VOTC.  Make things a bit more high quality than just strictly rehashing figs.  I hope they can sprinkle in "new" figures of stuff like the Tonnika Sisters or Hem Dazon.  That would keep me buying at least.  Some resculpts of Tarkin, Bib Fortuna may not be bad either. 

I don't know.  We shall see how successful this TV series will be.  Eventually Star Wars is going to die out with no more movies on the horizon.  Again I would not be surprised to see a new SW movie several years down the road to kick everything into overdrive again.  Although it would probably be mostly unrelated to the Vader/Luke story.


Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #32 on: June 5, 2005, 01:17 PM »
I've probably said this several times (possibly in this very thread; I'm too lazy to look) but Hasbro seems to be putting an emphasis in quantity over quality with the SW line.  There's a definite sense of (especially right now with ROTS) "We have to have as much stuff out at once as humanly possible."  Never mind the fact that some of these products (BARC Speeder/Spider Droid/Deluxe Obi-Wan/etc) are pure garbage and should never have been released in their present forms in the first place.

56 figures in three months (which is probably what we're looking at right now) is just ridiculous.  That is about how many Saga figures were released in the whole of that line's 2002 debut.  Hasbro has put out quite a few needless figures (two Obi-Wans, two Anakins, and two Yodas on opening day is a huge  ::) for me) that are of dubious quality when they could have concentrated instead on doing one version of each of those characters very well.  Instead we get two Anakins that can't sit in the cockpit of their fighter, ditto with Obi-Wan, and two Yodas that are practically Happy Meal toys.

I would love it (although some wouldn't I know) if Hasbro would do 24 new figures a year, all of them at a pinnacle of quality.  Do about 6 Unleashed figures, a few vehicles, and the Galactic Heroes and be done with it.  Actually make the toys of a higher quality instead of just cranking out more and more substandard stuff.  If you have to do repaints, do them of army builders like the Clones and release them all in equal numbers (none of this Red/Blue RG nonsense). 

Back in the day, they put out 13-15 new Joes for the RAH line every year and reshipped figures from the previous year that were difficult to find.  SW has a bigger cross over appeal than Joes (this is pure speculation, I could be wrong), so why 24-28 figures every year when there is no movie to tie it into is a bad move is beyond me. 

And the thing that gets me more and more is that they don't just do "ultimate" versions of the main characters and just reship them over time if demand is there.  Do one Tatooine Luke, with ball jointed head, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, standard wrist and waist joints, pack in a poncho, a floppy hat, binoculars, rifle, lightsaber, Stormtrooper belt and blaster, blast shield helmet, and headset, and be done with it.  Instead we get POTF2 Luke, POTF2 Deluxe Luke, POTF2 Blast Shield Helmet Luke, POTF2 Gunner Station Luke, POTF2 Purchase of the Droids Luke, POTF2 Flashback Luke, POTF2 CommTech Luke, VOTC Luke, and Early Bird Luke.

You'd think one figure that can be reused/reissued umpteen times would be more financially sound in the long run, but apparently Hasbro has some book on economics that I don't know about.  ::)

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #33 on: June 6, 2005, 12:37 PM »
I loved reading everyone's perspectives. As for the future of collectiong, I thinks it's imposible to say, yet I know what to expect. Over the years it seems Hasbro has been trying to adapt to what everyone wants. Granted, it's taken almost ten years, but  I think they're getting the hang of it. Sure there's going to be less than stellar figures out there, but that's to be expected.

Overall, I'm optimistic. I think were going to see a lot of quality figures for many more years to come.
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Offline Nathan

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #34 on: June 6, 2005, 04:39 PM »
And the thing that gets me more and more is that they don't just do "ultimate" versions of the main characters and just reship them over time if demand is there.  Do one Tatooine Luke, with ball jointed head, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, standard wrist and waist joints, pack in a poncho, a floppy hat, binoculars, rifle, lightsaber, Stormtrooper belt and blaster, blast shield helmet, and headset, and be done with it.  Instead we get POTF2 Luke, POTF2 Deluxe Luke, POTF2 Blast Shield Helmet Luke, POTF2 Gunner Station Luke, POTF2 Purchase of the Droids Luke, POTF2 Flashback Luke, POTF2 CommTech Luke, VOTC Luke, and Early Bird Luke.

You'd think one figure that can be reused/reissued umpteen times would be more financially sound in the long run, but apparently Hasbro has some book on economics that I don't know about.  ::)


My thoughts exactly!

The "this line is for the l'il kiddies" stuff notwithstanding, I suppose they do it since they know us collectors will buy all or most versions. But of course a good percentage of those will buy all the recarded rereleases anyway....
« Last Edit: June 6, 2005, 04:41 PM by Valin Kenobi »
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #35 on: June 9, 2005, 04:54 PM »
And the thing that gets me more and more is that they don't just do "ultimate" versions of the main characters and just reship them over time if demand is there....You'd think one figure that can be reused/reissued umpteen times would be more financially sound in the long run, but apparently Hasbro has some book on economics that I don't know about.

I don't know if it is as much economics as it is Hasbro's fear of putting the stake in the ground and saying "This is the final, ultimate version of ___________" (insert character name)

As far as I'm concerned a Tatooine Luke decked out with articulation and accessories as described by DoctorPadawan above would indeed be an ultimate version of this character, there will always be some jerk who thinks that (a) the figure could have more articulation, (b) could have included more accessories or (c) a better sculpt.

You could do this with LOTS of figures and at times Hasbro has shown us that they COULD get there if they wanted to - anytime a figure includes extra arms, legs or a second head, to me that is one step closer to the ultimate version.

Ultimate Luke from ESB --
Arms:
1 Set in the Bespin Jacket Sleeves, fully articulated and have a removeable right hand
1 Set bare-armed like he was during training on Dagobah, again fully articulated with two sets of hands, one regular to hold things and the other spread out to duplicate the hand-stand pose

Torso:
1 for the Bespin Jacket
1 for the tan "muscle" shirt seen during Dagobah training

Legs:
1 set of legs & boots that would be fully articulated with ball joint hips, knees and ankles

Head:
1 Head Regular
1 Head with "Battle Damage" from the fight with Vader
1 Head for when you want to put him doing a Handstand

Accessories:
Lightsaber lit
Lightsaber unlit
Equipment Case
Lantern
Foodkit
Removeable belt with working holster
Blaster that fits in the holster
Backpack for the "ultimate Yoda" figure

Come out with a 4" SW figure that covers all that and I'd gladly pay $15 - $20 for that figure, but instead if you made that the be-all, end-all of Lukes from ESB (with the exception of Pilot and Hoth Gear) then you could keep re-shipping this figure over and over and over and over again.

Like I said, Hasbro is trying to get there - look at ROTS #50 - the Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar figure - interchangeable Arms and Head just like the OTC Dagobah Luke - but the arms aren't articulated and neither came with articulated legs - so they take some steps to solving the problem and then fall short in others.

There must be a govenor on how much any one figure can cost - if a figure exceeds cost to Hasbro of $1/figure then they must scrap the idea of making that figure altogether. That's the only thing I can think of. As we already pointed out however, if you're shipping that one figure from now until 2018 what's the difference, the more you make and sell the overall cost per figure goes down. Simple econ 101. At least I think it is, but what do I know.  ::)
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2005, 09:37 AM »
Last week I was just looking back at the POTJ days, and the more I was reading/thinking about it...I wouldn't mind seeing things return to that type of line overall.  Of course, I'd like the figures to have the VOTC/ROTS sculpting and articulation, etc., but the releases would be easier to manage.  From what I can see, there was 25-28 basic figures released each year in 2000 and 2001, and I think that would work well for me to only have that many to hunt for throughout the year.  Plus, POTJ seemed to have a fairly good mix of background/supporting characters, while still infusing in the main characters here and there as well, to keep everyone happy.  Plus, for the most part, it seems like there was usually only one version of each main character per year...which shouldn't bother people.  I've always kept track pretty well of what I spent on Star Wars, and this year (obviously) has been especially pricey...and I sure wouldn't mind returning to the years of 25-30 figures, 3-5 larger vehicles, and a few midsized things in between.  Sorry for just the random thoughts, but I guess although I knew there was a ton more stuff coming out this year (and last) for Star Wars...I didn't realize the difference with the POTJ days.  No wonder I could afford to collect even back then on a much smaller budget.  I never would have made it collecting (keeping up) in college or my first year out with the number of releases we're having this year.  Its always nice to have more new stuff, but I'd be ok with a slow down for 2006 and beyond.  I do still kind of like the "themed wave" idea we had for much of 2004, leading into the OTC line, and combining the best aspects of current figures (sculpting/articulation), Saga (sculpting/themed waves), and POTJ (mix of entire Saga, fewer figures...focusing on quality), I think we could have a nice line that could survive quite well on collectors alone for many years.

Offline knashdx

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2005, 10:12 AM »
I would like to see Hasbro start working more of the Expanded Universe into the figures. After all there is only so many Luke Skywalker's, Darth Vader's, Han's, and Princess Leia's that people will buy before they stop buying all together.
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Offline Scott

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2005, 10:23 AM »
I would like to see Hasbro start working more of the Expanded Universe into the figures. After all there is only so many Luke Skywalker's, Darth Vader's, Han's, and Princess Leia's that people will buy before they stop buying all together.
Hmmm...

I'd still like:

Luke (Stormtrooper)
Luke (Ceremonial)
Luke (Bespin SA)
Luke (Medical Frigate)
Luke (Endor)
Luke (Jedi Final Duel SA)
Leia (Hoth)
Leia (Medical Frigate)
Leia (Endor with removable goods for Leia General)
Leia (Ewok)
Han (Stormtrooper)
Han (Carbonite)
Han (Endor)
C-3PO (SA including Bendable Knees)

I think Super Articulated resculpted versions of the main characters would fly off the shelves...resculpted hit and miss junk will sit.  I don't need another crap Endor Han...Hasbro watches other toy lines.  The success Toy Biz has with its Super Articulated Marvel lines and the fact that people are rebuying Super Articulated LOTR figures should mean something.

Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2005, 10:37 AM »
I agree with you Scott, and I'd like to see all the figures you have listed there as well.  Although I might be the minority, I'm someone who likes seeing the main characters in the line periodically, and I think the line needs it as well.  I think if we had SA versions like you have mentioned, and just re-release them every so often so they are on the shelves alongside supporting/background characters, it would be a pretty good mix.  I think having figures like VOTC Han, Chewie, Stormtrooper etc just released and re-released in the basic line alongside new figures would be a pretty good formula.  Add in the new, SA versions of the main characters in their "other outfits" and I'd be all for that.  I hope that is what we'll see in the future.  I think it is good for the line with both kids and collectors to at least somewhat regularly have characters like Luke, Han, Chewie, Vader, Stormtrooper, Yoda, Leia, the Droids, on the pegs.  Add in prequel characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padme, Palpatine, Clonetroopers, etc., and you have a pretty good mix.  Just supplement those with a POTJ-like assortment of background characters, and that would be a great line to me.

Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #40 on: July 7, 2005, 03:48 PM »
After these recent rumors of the end of the Unleashed line, it got me to thinking about the future of Star Wars again.  Going into the post-ROTS era...and for the first time in a long time not having a new movie to look forward to....the Star Wars line(s) could be quite different from now on.  With the likely tightening up of the license (which, after all the new lines this year, we could probably use), what would you like to see the overall makeup of Star Wars collecting look like?  Which lines would you like to see stick around (or do you think, will actually stick around), and which would you like to see go away...for good :)?

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the following:

Basic 3 3/4" - Rumors sound as if we're heading towards OTC-style line, mixing new figures with repacks.  That is ok with me as long as the ratio isn't quite as repack based as the first round of OTC.  I wouldn't think it would be with it not being a "promo" year with the excess pumping out of merchandise.  When you take the 2004 Saga, and VOTC, into account the new figure ratio is closer to 40 new figures for the year...which would be plenty for me I think.  VOTC/ROTS style sculpt and articulation on the figures would be nice, and Hasbro is more than capable.

Vehicles - I'm guessing this will lean more towards repacks/repaints/retools...and likely focusing more on OT-vehicles.  I don't really have a lot more room for vehicles, so I guess that is ok with me.  I kind of wish they would re-release the AT-AT, even though others might not agree (I missed the POTF2 one).  A new Cloud Car would be nice, and since it is smaller, might be possible.  3-4 Vehicles in a year (like the POTJ days) would be ok with me.

Unleashed - I personally would like to see this continue, but it isn't sounding good at this point.  It seems like the perfect collector-driven line, it doesn't need to necessarily take up a lot of retail space (only 3 figures per wave, 2-3 waves a year), and it is growing in popularity.  However, as mentioned, prospects don't sound good at this point.  I doubt I will transition to the rumored 2" line, unless it is in the style of the old micro sets which would open doors to a number of larger vehicles/playsets.  Even then, I don't know.  Plus, I don't think it is too likely.

Galactic Heroes - Another line that I really like, but I'm unsure of where it is headed.  If we were to get some more vehicle sets (TIE Fighter, Slave 1, AT-AT, Jabba's Palace), it would be pretty cool.  The figure 2 packs are fun, and affordable as well.  There is some more potential with this line, but its really been pretty quiet on this front this year.  I guess I would be ok if it ended up going away, if only because I could justify further delving into the Kubrick line (hopefully).

12" Figures - Never really collected them (I have 5 I think), so I'm not really sad to see them go.  I feel bad for the 12" collectors though.  I don't know if I see them coming back.  I always did look at them when they were released, and it just doesn't seem like the quality is there much anymore.  Supposedly these were "replaced" by Unleashed...but now that might be gone too, so who knows.  Another license could probably do a little more in this scale.

Basically all the other lines that have popped up this year could go away.  I haven't really collected much of the others, although I have picked up a few Jedi Force and Force Battler figures.  That said, I wouldn't miss them if they were gone.  I usually pick up the Han and Chewie from the "other" lines, and it sounds like by the end of the year both of those lines will have supplied those...so I'll be set.  I guess if there was going to be one "kiddie" line, I'd lean towards GH.  Other stuff (miniatures, 2" Unleashed, Attacktix, etc.) can go away as far as I'm concerned.  Other miscellaneous exclusives here and there can as well, unless they are good.  I like the Target cups, but I'm not a fan of the price.  If they priced them lower, or just sold the glasses seperately, I wouldn't mind seeing a few more.  We don't really need a ton of them though, either.  An odd-ball collectible here and there...ala the Mpire figures, Darth Tater, Clone Wars Animated lines are welcome to me.  Not all-consuming lines, but something different every now and then to pick up.  Anyways, what would you like to see in the Star Wars line(s) going forward from late 2005 and beyond?
« Last Edit: July 7, 2005, 04:01 PM by mosnab »

Offline dafoo

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #41 on: July 7, 2005, 11:45 PM »
--3.75 line should continue. It has no reason to die.  There is a built in market for the figures no matter what really. Sure production runs might get smaller but they just keep reissuing till we all get what we want.  Sales will drive it.

Plus they have endless EU to build off of.  I'd like to see some nicely done sublines "Thrawns Trilogy," "Dark Empire", and "Dark Forces;" to name a few.

--Galactic Heros. I like this line too. and I see it selling with the smaller kids.  That other copy of Rescue Heros is just going to fall falt, it just has a few figures.  If the keep putting out playsets for GH it is set, and that'll be great!

--ALL other lines they can just dump I don't care for any of them.  (that goes for Kubricks too, lol)

--I do want them to bring back Mirco Machines though, perhaps with better sized figures..
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2005, 04:23 PM »
Personally, I'd like to see them focus on 3 3/4", Galactic Heroes, and either Unleashed or 12".  Less lines = more attention paid to what's left. And pick either something like VOTC or Deluxe for the $10 range, though I'd like to see it stay the Deluxe line so I don't buy two each of the VOTC figures.

Keep those Evolutions packs going too. I want a Padme and prequel Obi-Wan set before this subset goes away.

I'm guessing any future vehicle releases from now on will be exclusives, which is probably better as long as they aren't Target exclusives. (Thoughts of post-TPM Skiff and Y-Wing dance through my head...)
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2005, 05:12 PM »
Ok - first off - completely agree with mosnab. Lines like Jedi Force, Force Battlers, Attacktix, the rumored 2" Unleashed and even though I have an almost complete collection of them - the 12" figure line can all go away as far as I'm concerned.

I'm pretty miffed about the cancellation of the Unleashed line - I display my open ones of these at work and everyone thinks they're pretty neat - one side of my cube is Unleashed and the other is the McFarlane Matrix line. So the fact that I won't be getting any "new" stuff after the Clone/Chewie/Han wave is disappointing. The fact that those three "new" ones are kit-bashes using pieces from previous figures is also a tad disappointing.

I would rather see them focus simply on the 3.75" figure line at a $5 - $6 price point, continue to have deluxe figures at the $10 price point and continue the Evolutions sets as a way of giving us VOTC style versions of both PT and OT core characters.

Multipacks of re-hashes are okay in order to give "new" collectors a chance to get original versions of main characters, but eventually that should stop and Hasbro and all retailers should just resign themselves to the fact that the fan base they have now is as big as it's going to get - they need to focus on KEEPING the current collectors/customers and stop trying to branch out into new **** to bring in new ones.

For the basic and deluxe figures, I would prefer to see a return to the "Themed Assortments" that crosses both lines. The Hoth and Jabba waves from 2003 Saga were great, but could have been tighter like this:

PT Tatooine Waves: (3 waves of basic figures, 2 waves of Deluxe)
Basic Figures
TPM Anakin Skywalker w/Soft goods, sa and pod racing helmet
Qui-Gon Jinn w/soft goods, sa lit and unlit lightsaber - compatible w/Eopie
Wald/Kitser 2-pack
Dud Bolt, Mawhonic or any other new pod racer
AOTC Anakin Skywalker (can just be an individually carded version of the AOTC Evolutions figure, but add ball-jointed shoulders, elbows and hips) - compatible w/Owen's Speeder Bike
Gray C-3PO
Beru Whitesun
Owen Lars
Obi-Wan Kenobi w/soft goods, sa, infant Luke Skywalker - compatible w/Eopie

Deluxe Figures
Eopie (if they can get the Wampa on a card, the Eopie can be carded as well)
R2-D2 pulling Anakin's Pod Racer cockpit
Cliegg Lars w/Hover Chair & two moisture vaporators
Owen Lar's Speeder Bike

If they were to release this stuff, I would be extremely happy.

The same could be done with waves dedicated to PT Coruscant, Geonosis, Clone Wars, Order 66, ANH Cantina, Ewok Village, Bespin, etc...

The reason I would like something like this is because for a little while after something is released, I keep it on my desk at home, what was nice about the 2003 Saga stuff was that I was able to make "mini dioramas" of all of the figures that came from the same piece of the Saga. The Hoth stuff was one of my favorites for this very reason.

Personally I don't see the line making it to 2010 - and that's being generous. I think it would live on AT LEAST one year beyond retail as an exclusive to www.hasbrotoyshop.com just like the 3.75" GI Joe figures are - now before you say "not economically feasible" - if Hasbro's choices are kill the line entirely and bring in $0 or sell it exclusively on their own site and make SOMETHING, I would think they'll choose "Make SOMETHING" over "Make NOTHING" since they paid for the license until 2018.

I think the TV shows will give the figure line a boost, but figures will be made in support of the shows and could almost be considered sub-lines from the main movie lines entirely - much like the previous Clone Wars line was. If all they're going to do is Animated Clone Wars repaints and no new sculpts, they should put that line to bed as well. More movie-style sculpted Clone Wars figures would be welcome though.

Peter

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Offline dafoo

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2005, 05:48 PM »
WOW, GI Joe is only sold via their site?  How'd I miss that!
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