Universal Monster Army

Chitter Chatter => General Discussion => Topic started by: MonsterArt on September 20, 2008, 01:49:46 AM

Title: Collectiblism
Post by: MonsterArt on September 20, 2008, 01:49:46 AM
Not that long ago, I agonized about selling my AHI Creature, and expressed this regret to my dear friend, author David J. Schow. David responded with this rather poignant letter, which put me at ease. In the end, it's about the love you receive from owning the object at the time, and what that love will mean for others when you "pay it forward."

From David:

I once had a long-ago discussion about the "collector's market" versus the
*intrinsic* value of such items, and was reminded that the collector's
market is essentially a totally made-up thing.  It's "imaginary value," if
you will.

I've always detested that AMAZING STORIES episode where Mark Hamill or
somebody is essentially a shunned geek until it turns out his old crap is
worth a lot of dough.  The mood of this triumph is very celebratory --
marginalized guy turns out to have had pretty good taste after all -- but
I got exactly the opposite message from it:  Stuff only has value if it's
worth hard cash.  That may be very American and capitalist and all, but I
thought the sentiment was just rancid.

Alternately, it forces us to keep prized stuff with history in secret
rooms, like art thieves, to only whip it out and gloat over it in private.

I have found a "who cares?" attitude to be quite instructive.  Love can be
leveraged by the unscrupulous (in the literal sense of the word).  This
goes for everything from diamond hierloom jewelry to Pez dispensers, and a
sellout -- if you're selling out your ethics -- is never worth the payoff.

I think you have a very smart attitude, one that I think a lot of "us"
have developed, and one that can be developed solely over a lengthy arc of
time:  Certain possessions held an innate warmth.  Once you've enjoyed
that warmth, the battery is drained and you can let the object go with no
regrets, preferably to someone else for whom it arrives "fully charged"
because of its novelty.  People wonder why fanatic collectors give up
their stuff after a certain period of time, and it is because that stuff
has served its purpose, and can move on.

I also think monster stuff in particular was more precious when there was
a lot less of it.

Famous Monsters wasn't subject to deconstructionist scrutiny when it was
the only mag in town.

I only have a few select issues of FM, but most have been with me since I
first bought them.  Oddly, I enjoy smelling them more than reading them.


David, in his own inimibitable fashion, makes a wonderful point here. The treasure is transferable. One persons leftovers can be another persons appetizers. In respect to the passing of Linda Miller, all that she acquired will move on, by intent or by accident, to some new person, who hopefully will find new joy in its history.


Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: MonsterArt on September 20, 2008, 02:48:28 AM
A footnote, if you will...

Many years ago, when I was working as an animator for Disney, I was given a real treasure from Tom Case, who was one of the painters on Bud Westmore's team on CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. It was a photo from his personal collection, and the ONLY known COLOR photgraph of the Gillman suit from the original film. For a long time I hoarded that photo. I had something nobody else had. After a while, I released five copies to people I knew would appreciate its significance. Bob Burns, Danny Roebuck, Taylor White and two others. Eventually the photo was leaked out, to the point where it turned up in the documentary on the Universal CREATURE DVD release.

But I didn't care at that point. It had served its purpose to me as something special for a certain amount of time, and now it was time to share it with all those who loved the character and wondered what he really looked like. My little nugget of joy became a worldwide joy, and I was happy to be the one who made it happen.

In the end, to have taken that photo with me to the grave would have been pointless, and would have denied the horror community something of great interest and historic value.

The stuff we collect provides a certain sense of comfort. We feel good when we look at it. We can't take it with us, as the saying goes, but while its here it has great emotional value. At some point, whether by choice or by nature's design, those treasures will move on. And the best we can do is hope that, like that Creature photo, these things will provide inspiration and joy to some new Monster Kid.

Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: avenger on September 20, 2008, 09:27:00 AM
Bravo,Frank !!  Well Said.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: typhooforme on September 20, 2008, 11:42:17 AM
I like what you say, Frank.  I've been a collector all my life--well, Sara Karloff says I'm not so much a collector as an accumulator!  And that may be.  Semantics--and towering heaps of junk--aside, I've been collecting since I was about 12.  Everything from rocks and insects to stamps and matchbooks.  A few favorite mineral specimens remain, and some framed butterflies, but the rest passed to other hands in their time.  I collected Civil War memorabilia and McKinleyana, German bisque and Indian brass.  When I had to leave the old farm to come live here in my present home, I packed up more than 150 cartons and sent them to be sold.  Not enough room to keep it all, and--as you say, as David said--I had got my charge from it by then anyhow!  Even the collecting that is fired by the most powerful emotive forces in my life--books, movie memorabilia--even those collections shift, some things leaving as new items come in.  One thing you learn if you are a collector for a long time is that your collection is often bumped up because previous collectors' holdings are dispersed and become available.  "To everything there is a season--"--and whether you learn that from the Bible or "Turn, Turn, Turn" or life experience, it's as true as can be.

No, I'm not going to try to take anything with me.  I do have hope that I will be able to move some of it along, though--I've been assembling my Vincent Price collection in hopes of seeing it become--along with the holdings of two likeminded collector friends--a Vincent Price Collection (with a capital "C") at Yale University, Vinnie's alma mater, for future scholars' use.  Three collections to become one collection.  If the Fates allow...
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Wich2 on September 20, 2008, 12:37:39 PM
Well writ, Frank - and David, and Robert.

What really does repel me is that small, insecure, "nyah, nyah - I've got one of only five in the world, and you'll never have one!" dementia that a few collectors have. It is the polar opposite of what you describe here; and most emphatically, of that Spirit of Giving that Linda lived.

Whether it's bragging about having more red-haired (?) Mego Draculas than anyone, hoarding the original discs of Van Heflin's radio turn as Philip Marlowe, or being the jerk who probably stole the technicolor tests of SON OF FRANK., it is a sad thing - and a sad comment on a soul that doesn't understand the "warmth" concept that David aptly described.

Best,
-Craig W.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: ServoCrow on September 20, 2008, 01:25:38 PM
This is a poignant place to be, and I'm very happy the topic was started, Frank.  Your friend, David is right, the treasure is transferable and the posts that have followed yours attest to that. 

It hit home again for me this morning when I received an email from Meek's address, stating she had passed.  It had been quite some time since she and I exchanged private emails.  Needless to say, a flood of emotion ran through me again, and here I am  once again trying to unmaterialize what may seem to some to be a materialistic hobby.

Not for me,it isn't...as I know it isn't for many others.  I used to collect Barbies (so does my sister, she started collecting first).  I bought my sister the 1988 Holiday Barbie (Barbie GOLD).  I worked in retail at the time, and worked my managerial mojo to snag one for her as I KNEW it would be hard for her to get.  Seeing her face that Christmas, was pure joy for me.  She ALWAYS kept her dolls in the box, and to this day, if she gets a doll she doesn't take them out.  When I decided I wanted to collect, I swore I wanted to enjoy them for their BEAUTY.  I always thought they were too pretty to stay in the box.  So DISPLAY, I did.  Later, as financial times got snug for us, I was forced to sell off my collection, except for a few sentimental pieces.  Because I had OPENED THEM...well, you know the story.  Other collectors didn't see the dolls as I did, so I took a HUGE loss.

But that's part of it.  I don't regret that.  I enjoyed the doll-collecting while I was in it.  Occasionally, I will see a pretty one, but I haven't bought one in years.  As Elder Robert so eloquently quoted,  "for everything there is a season".  This is true.  If we aren't enjoying the season we are in; we cannot enjoy the seasons to come.  Otherwise, we will toil in the regretful seasons of the past, if we are not careful.

So, as I continue to think about Meek.....and those who..."shall inherit the Earth"......I shall remember that we are not promised tomorrow, the next hour, the next minute; however, we are promised NOW.  Right now, I will think of my collections, the friends I have made along the way, and say a prayer or two.  In all that, I know a tear will come to my eye as I smile as whisper, "Goooooooooooood."

Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Jscareshock on September 20, 2008, 02:25:32 PM
This is a wonderful posting and a good place to come down to Earth.  Sometimes, being collectors, we forget that the items will out last us.  What you have all written is true and a nice wake up call.  We are what we collect, but we can't be owned by our collections.  Sometimes our collections own us.  They become a burden.  Sometimes it's just nice to get a little space.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: neonnoodle on September 20, 2008, 02:32:38 PM
"Luminous beings are we; not this crude matter"

--Y
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Monster Bob on September 20, 2008, 02:48:20 PM
I think everyone is an accumulator to some extent and of one thing or another. We just accumulate different things. I like to think I accumulate friendships, of which I have been blessed.

People collect different things and for different reasons, and I guess there is a small percentage of  people who do it for the wrong reasons. Yes, there are some people who collect 'to have more than anybody else', but I try not to be cynical of anyone.

I personally like to think of myself as a preservationist, collecting and saving what I think is important and what I think is worth preserving.  And I "collect" to counterbalance the rest of the craziness in my life.

For years I had a sick Mom, who was more ill than anyone, including myself, realized. She not only ran a business, but was my Dad's caregiver- he has Multiple Sclerosis. Mom suddenly died five years ago, and not only was I hit in the face with the reality and ramifications of that (I had to disperse and shut down her rather large business single-handedly), but I was suddenly thrust into the responsibility of being Dad's caregiver. A responsibility that is quite a physical and mental challenge all by itself. And as time and his disease progresses, the time and pressures grow larger. And of course, this is on top of the daily grind of two jobs, a wife, and a teen-age daughter.


Yes, people collect for different reasons; and some of us collect just to keep hold of our sanity in our otherwise insane world.  :-\


Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: typhooforme on September 20, 2008, 02:58:54 PM
"Luminous beings are we; not this crude matter"

--Y

I was struck how Shakespearean that Lucas line sounds.  I'll add:  "We are such stuff as dreams are made on...."

Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: BrotherD on September 20, 2008, 09:20:40 PM
I don't have much to add here except to say that I just sold my Star Wars toys that I've been lugging around with me since I was a kid.  It was a little sad to see them off (especially knowing the person who bought them is going to break up the collection and sell them off in pieces himself).  I was about 99% at peace with the idea of letting them go (I mean, when was the last time I really even took them out of the old wardrobe boxes that housed them anyway?), but after reading this thread, I'm content to have let them go.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: fmofmpls on September 20, 2008, 09:42:35 PM
The following post was originally posted in the Passing Of Meek thread. I decided to re-post it here because I felt it was relevant to this thread too.

It is during the sad, senseless moments like this that I start pondering why I bother to collect all this stuff.   It gives me great pleasure, of than I am certain, but...I can't take it with me, and perhaps it might be better to spend the monster money (and time) doing things and going places and building memories with my loved ones instead of building a vast pile of ponderous plastic and paper for them to sort through to sell in a garage sale one day.

I'd be a liar if I said I've never asked myself that very same question. But then I remind myself that if it weren't for these vast piles of ponderous plastic, I would have never met you Gary back in 1993. And the long, long, list of friendships that were to follow. All of you guys are like family to me. And when you lose some one like Meek, it hurts real bad. I know it sounds corny, but I cherish all of you. In some ways more than my own family. It all comes back to where we choose to place our priorities. Owning a Frankenstein Head Speaker means absolutely nothing to me if I can't share it with someone else who happens to share my strange obsession of such junk. The toys for me are simply vehicles to a more cherished collectible - fellowship. I was just talking with Richard Olson the other day (before the sad news of Meek's passing) and he happened to mention that we're all just caretakers of this stuff until it's time for us to pass it on to somebody else. His words are still resonating with me this evening. It's so true.

The toys, the movies, the actors and actresses are what brought us here together. It's the fellowship and blossoming friendships that have been forged from 'ponderous plastic' that makes those piles of junk valid. I say keep collecting, but enjoy in moderation.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: BARON TIMOTHEUS BGG on September 20, 2008, 09:50:39 PM
Dear FAMILY,
... You've, all, written, so much, of what I'd be writing, about, from 8 AM this morning! Distracted, by the day's duties, I've returned, to find the same wisdom, issuing, out, of your hearts!
... Ah, yes; SURRENDER, out, of LOVE, to LOVE, and, IN LOVE, Unshakable!
... The lesser motive, eclipsed, by the Greater Motive & Awareness, to fulfill a Greater Purpose!
... We are The Collectibles, Treasured, by the Ultimate Person, Who takes us out of our packaging, and, into True Life.
... "Before Enlightenment, one chops wood & carries water. After Enlightenment, one chops wood & carries water."
EXANIMO EVERNOW,
TIMOTHY, B.G.G.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Gareee on September 21, 2008, 07:49:55 AM
Ah.... us "collectors" are just grown up pack rats.. LOL!

Some times it's actually nice to be free of the junk. I relocated to Florida 15 years or so ago..only thing I took with me, was my clothes, and my video games and computer.. everything else went into storage.

I got by just fine for a year, and then finally relocated all my junk down to florida.. and was again overwhelmed to the point my house looked like a museum.

Half my stuff now is in storage tubs, and I rotate displays out every few months.. and it's always nice to revisit old freinds, without that "packrat" look to my house.

(Course that said, I've put up 8 new 8'x15" shelves in the last week for more display space.. LOL!)

Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: hhwolfman on September 21, 2008, 11:36:07 PM
Yes it is true, we are caretakers. I had to shift some of my collection off to a few new caretakers. I know they will take real good care of them. My house is getting fixed and this is paid for. I  have sorted out What I Really love and all is good. HHW
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: ProfGriffin on September 22, 2008, 08:36:32 AM
Outstanding posts...and an outstanding topic.

Yes.  Mr. Schow is correct.  There IS something personal...and the ENERGY one gets from these treasures in rubber and plastic is invigorating.  I love to stand in my monster room and just absorb these energy. 
Touching them and holding them, and get a real smile on my face and a glow in my jack o' lantern heart, but just seeing the 'square' glow in the dark box art to an Aurora Frankenstein.

I smell my toys from time to time.
There.  I've said it. 
I LOVE the faint small of a new Mego in the bag, and hold my dear Mad Monsters close so I can inhale deeply.  I smell my AHI Rubber Jiggler Frank...and enjoy his oily petroleum stench.

Now that I think about it.  Most all of my childhood memories can be associated with smells.  There were sights, and music as well, but smells are powerful. 
The Tea Rose perfume of my first real girlfriend, the smell of hot chocolate breath inside a latex mask, the smell of spirit gum and tempera paints...gum from the bottom of collectable monster sticker packs...wax lips, and the smell of old FMs.

Oh, and Frank,  when next you see or talk to David, be sure to thank him for me.  His writing has been an inspiration to me on a lot of levels...and 'Monster Movies' gave me the name of my show.  The Midnight Shadow Show.

Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: fmofmpls on September 22, 2008, 09:01:03 AM
I smell my AHI Rubber Jiggler Frank...and enjoy his oily petroleum stench.

I couldn't help but to quote this line. There's something terribly wrong about it.

All kidding aside, that was a wonderful reply Griffin. Agreed on all accounts; even the "oily petroleum stench" part.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: poseablemonster on September 22, 2008, 02:43:55 PM
OK...I admit it...I'm a toy smeller, too.   ;D  I guess, in all seriousness, the sense of smell is one of the senses most closely related memory, and for me it is an instant flashback at times.  Not long ago, Ray brought over a bunch of Imagineering stuff; and when he opened the box it was like a time machine for me - because of the smell of that stuff!  It was great.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: HARRY HAMMOCK on September 22, 2008, 07:17:22 PM
I have to agree on the smells.I love the smell of my Famous Monsters,Castle of Frankensteins,Monster Times,old Aurora models,the smell of a plant/bush that use to grow along the sidewalk  as we trick or treated(don't know the name of it,but when I smell it now Halloween comes to mind).Certain perfume reminds me of a aunt.Oh well smells do bring back memories.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: hhwolfman on September 22, 2008, 07:46:54 PM
Yes the plastic smell on the toys, Like on the GI Joe Headquarters. Ramond is right the Dracula Blood, smell of the tube,  is amazing. The Smell of Jack O Lanterns and the right combination of temperature, on Halloween night. My Grandmothers perfume. I smell it every once in a while , just out of old habit I turn to see if she is there. Certain Smells of a House. I have no Idea What it was, but my Favorite Aunts house, Had a smell,  Id give anything to smell that smell again.  . She passed away a Month ago.  I have boxes of Monster Mags in my room And 250 Thousand Comics at my Store,  So that News print   Smell ,is always about.   :) Yes it is a great that a smell can transfer you back to those Happy Care free Days of your child Hood. HHW
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Hepcat on June 24, 2019, 03:41:53 PM
Not that long ago, I agonized about selling my AHI Creature, and expressed this regret to my dear friend, author David J. Schow. David responded with this rather poignant letter, which put me at ease. In the end, it's about the love you receive from owning the object at the time, and what that love will mean for others when you "pay it forward."

From David:

I once had a long-ago discussion about the "collector's market" versus the
*intrinsic* value of such items, and was reminded that the collector's
market is essentially a totally made-up thing.  It's "imaginary value," if
you will.

I've always detested that AMAZING STORIES episode where Mark Hamill or
somebody is essentially a shunned geek until it turns out his old crap is
worth a lot of dough.  The mood of this triumph is very celebratory --
marginalized guy turns out to have had pretty good taste after all -- but
I got exactly the opposite message from it:  Stuff only has value if it's
worth hard cash.  That may be very American and capitalist and all, but I
thought the sentiment was just rancid.

Alternately, it forces us to keep prized stuff with history in secret
rooms, like art thieves, to only whip it out and gloat over it in private.

I have found a "who cares?" attitude to be quite instructive.  Love can be
leveraged by the unscrupulous (in the literal sense of the word).  This
goes for everything from diamond hierloom jewelry to Pez dispensers, and a
sellout -- if you're selling out your ethics -- is never worth the payoff.

I think you have a very smart attitude, one that I think a lot of "us"
have developed, and one that can be developed solely over a lengthy arc of
time:  Certain possessions held an innate warmth.  Once you've enjoyed
that warmth, the battery is drained and you can let the object go with no
regrets, preferably to someone else for whom it arrives "fully charged"
because of its novelty.  People wonder why fanatic collectors give up
their stuff after a certain period of time, and it is because that stuff
has served its purpose, and can move on.

I also think monster stuff in particular was more precious when there was
a lot less of it.

Famous Monsters wasn't subject to deconstructionist scrutiny when it was
the only mag in town.

I only have a few select issues of FM, but most have been with me since I
first bought them.  Oddly, I enjoy smelling them more than reading them.


David, in his own inimibitable fashion, makes a wonderful point here. The treasure is transferable. One persons leftovers can be another persons appetizers. In respect to the passing of Linda Miller, all that she acquired will move on, by intent or by accident, to some new person, who hopefully will find new joy in its history.

The part I really like is the paragraph I've highlighted in red.

 8)
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Monsters For Sale on June 25, 2019, 08:34:26 AM

I found this paragraph interesting:

I think you have a very smart attitude, one that I think a lot of "us"
have developed, and one that can be developed solely(slowly?) over a lengthy arc of
time:  Certain possessions held an innate warmth.  Once you've enjoyed
that warmth, the battery is drained and you can let the object go with no
regrets, preferably to someone else for whom it arrives "fully charged"
because of its novelty.  People wonder why fanatic collectors give up
their stuff after a certain period of time, and it is because that stuff
has served its purpose, and can move on.


Explains how a car enthusiast can spend 3 years and a lot of money restoring a vintage classic - only to sell it once it is perfect and buy another junker.


Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Hepcat on June 26, 2019, 10:26:57 AM
With me it's quite simple. Acquiring what I either owned or coveted as a kid fills me with delight! Moreover viewing the items in my collection is a pleasure and just knowing I have them in my possession leaves me with a sense of quite satisfaction. NOT having these items in my possession would also now leave me with an incredible sense of both loss and actual failure.

Admittedly there's probably an element of compulsion in my character involving my desire to add to my collectibles. BUT, I lack the compulsions for tobacco, alcohol, drugs and over-eating that most other adults possess, and my compulsion to acquire things neither kills brain cells nor acts to shorten my life. And I'd much rather devote the time, money and effort that I might expend "treating" my compulsion to simply adding to my collectibles.

And screw what anybody else thinks! Everybody else can go to hell.

 C:)
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Hepcat on May 06, 2020, 02:57:03 PM
I found this paragraph interesting:

I think you have a very smart attitude, one that I think a lot of "us"
have developed, and one that can be developed solely(slowly?) over a lengthy arc of
time:  Certain possessions held an innate warmth.  Once you've enjoyed
that warmth, the battery is drained and you can let the object go with no
regrets, preferably to someone else for whom it arrives "fully charged"
because of its novelty.  People wonder why fanatic collectors give up
their stuff after a certain period of time, and it is because that stuff
has served its purpose, and can move on.


Explains how a car enthusiast can spend 3 years and a lot of money restoring a vintage classic - only to sell it once it is perfect and buy another junker.

Well sort of. I still find it difficult to understand/grasp the mentality of such people though. It's not like mine.

 :-\
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: horrorhunter on May 06, 2020, 06:12:10 PM
I once had a long-ago discussion about the "collector's market" versus the
*intrinsic* value of such items, and was reminded that the collector's
market is essentially a totally made-up thing.  It's "imaginary value," if
you will.
Some people like to sound profound when they speak about collectibles having "imaginary" value, but in reality perception is everything when it comes to assigning a fair market value for collectibles. Sellers check price guides and Sold eBay listings and other sources as well as drawing on memories of what was popular in the past and factoring in inflation and other variables to arrive at a price they think they can get for a given item. Try telling a dealer with a FN (6.0) copy of Vampirella #1 that his $400 price tag is just "imaginary" and he ought to sell it to you for buck.  ::)
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: John Pertwee on May 09, 2020, 07:26:43 PM
What a fantastic thread.
I have been thinking about my collection this year. I just turned 51 and my shuffling off this mortal coil has been on my mind. I  have been collecting since I was a kid, and when I started making money it mushroomed. Once I started buying and selling toys and comics I was able to trade up and get even more stuff. With my current income, I can moderately spend between one and two thousand a year on  my collecting but I feel like I am reaching a saturation point. I have begun focusing on gaps in my collection and the must have items I can find cheap. I went from mainly comics, to mainly toys, and now mostly books.

I recently realized that my collection is worth quite a bit, and that it is only worth this because I know what I have and how to maximize sales. My kids will not be able to do this, and that scares me to death. My current plan is to make a list of the "Heavy Hitters" in the collection and basically give them an idea of how to proceed.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: Therin of Andor on May 12, 2020, 04:03:46 AM
What I am coming to realise:

Many of my inherited treasures from my grandparents and parents, and the toys from my early childhood, come with very personal, oft-told anecdotes. I happen to have a good memory for stories, but my two brothers and their families live interstate and I have no kids, so even when/if they inherit my stuff, they won't know any of the stories, and will probably have no yearning to own the things for themselves. Furthermore, my brothers don't seem to have very accurate memories for the details of our cumulative, shared childhood memories.

No one will want my stuff...

I don't think I could bear to sell everything.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: marsattacks666 on June 21, 2020, 06:23:29 PM
Collecting has become a curse.
Title: Re: Collectiblism
Post by: BigShadow on June 21, 2020, 10:39:32 PM
Iím turning 40 and surprisingly main thing on my mind is my collection.  Iíve been selling some things over the years that I no longer want, but have been keeping about 98% of everything.  Being that I have two young nieces, I hope that when Iím in my 60ís or 70ís I can pass a bulk of the collection off to one or both of them.  They are 4 and 3 now (I think, lol), but I plan to plant the classic monster seed when they reach 7 or 8.  Maybe it will take on one of them.

Another big issue with my collection is space.  Iíve sold some lesser desirable items to make room for better one.  Pretty much robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Itís been working fine so far, but as the years go by I find that space has become the main issue, which I sure it is for most.

Itís a never ending battle...but itís fun...and nerve racking.


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