Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disney Finds Its Leading Man In Depp

Johnny DeppAfter helping Disney to earn $2.6 billion with the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, the House of Mouse is locking down Johnny Depp with a three picture deal. (link) Depp has proven over the past 5-10 years that he really is a top tier talent with the ability to open even the most eclectic of movies. It is just unfortunate that this deal includes Depp reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in a fourth Pirates movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Johnny Depp as Captain Jack SparrowDon’t get me wrong, I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But similar to the Matrix trilogy, each subsequent movie has gotten worse. Now the Pirates sequels are no where near as bad as the Matrix sequels, but you get my point. Hopefully the upcoming fourth Capt. Jack Sparrow movie will benefit from a new and unconnected storyline. Also as part of the deal, Depp has agreed to star in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced remake of The Lone Ranger as the masked hero’s sidekick, Tonto.

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton
And rounding out the three movie deal will be Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Depp will star as the Mad Hatter, a role he was born to play. The movie, scheduled to be released in 2010, “will be shot using 3-D and performance capture technology similar to that used for Beowulf.” (link) It sounds like a very cool project, and I cannot wait to see Burton’s bizarre take on this children’s classic. Alice in Wonderland will mark the seventh time Depp has starred in a Tim Burton directed feature film (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
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Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs Meet Their Doom

According to multiple sources from around the web, all of the Indiana Jones themed toy lines are coming to an end relatively soon. It sounds like all previously announced Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs waves have been canceled, but I am not sure if this also applies to the EE Exclusive Mighty Muggs figures or not.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones Action Figure - Indiana Jones with Whip Cracking ActionMost movie themed toy lines don’t typically survive once the films they are based on leave the theaters, but I thought these would at least make it until the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released on DVD. I believe there had been some hope that Indy would prove to have stronger staying power than previous franchises and Hasbro would be able to carry on producing the various toy lines centered around the Harrison Ford character.

Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs - Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones Action Figure - Young IndyBut, no matter how popular a movie is its toy line is sure to fail eventually. Just look at the Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films, combined those movie franchises have grossed billions, but you’d be hard pressed to find their action figures on store shelves today. The fact that Indiana Jones action figures have taken up so much shelf space the past six months actually says a lot about the character’s (and Harrison Ford’s) pop cultural significance. How many other 60 year actors could be selling this many toys of a WWII era hero? Definitely not Arnold or Stallone!

Indiana Jones Action Figure - Mola RamThe only movie franchises with real staying power has proven to be Star Wars and DC Comics/Marvel Comics’ super heroes, but that is primarily based on those properties’ abilities to expand into other formats in order to sustain their characters' popularities. Unfortunately this is something Lucas has been unable to do with Indiana Jones. If only they had come out with an animated series!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

G.I. Joe Enlists the Leader of M.A.S.K.

M.A.S.K. LogoAs a child of the 80’s I think this is one of the coolest crossovers to hit a mass produced toy line in a really long time, if ever. Hasbro is releasing a tribute figure of the leader of M.A.S.K., Matt Trakker. As many of you may remember M.A.S.K., which stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, was an animated television series from the mid-80’s that featured a G.I. Joe type task force with a twist, their vehicles could transform into a completely different vehicle, both of which were controlled by their driver’s mask.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
The Forces of M.A.S.K. Led By Matt TrakkerIt just so happens that M.A.S.K. also fought against a snake themed villainous organization similar to G.I. Joe’s Cobra, V.E.N.O.M., which stood for Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem and was led by the evil Miles Mayhem. It seems to me like this team-up between two classic 80’s cartoons/toy lines was meant to happen. Who could have imagined that over 20 years after M.A.S.K. left the airwaves we’d have our very first cross-over between G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.

G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Action Figure Line - Specialist Trakker
The reason all of this is possible is because Kenner, the original holder of the M.A.S.K. toy license, was purchased by Hasbro in 1991. Since Hasbro also owns G.I. Joe, the two teams were finally able to join forces to protect the world from evil.

G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Action Figure Line - Specialist Trakker Without Mask
Specialist Trakker, as the character has been renamed, will be a part of G.I. Joe’s 11th wave of its 3 3/4” 25th Anniversary action figure line. The figure is schedule to be released in November 2008 with a suggested retail price of $6.99.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace Final Theatrical One Sheet Movie Poster

While I have always enjoyed the 007 film franchise and really loved 2006’s re-start of the series starring Daniel Craig as the debonair British secret agent James Bond, nothing I’ve seen concerning the Quantum of Solace has really gotten me excited for this, the 22nd James Bond film.

James Bond 007: Quantum Of Solace Final Theatrical One Sheet Movie Poster
The trailer made the film look just like any other generic action flick and the movie’s final theatrical one sheet promo poster (which you can see above) is a total snoozer. The color of it is bland and worst of all, it’s just plain boring. Didn’t anyone tell Craig that Bond always holds his gun up in the films’ movie posters? I think if the franchise is really trying to regain that old school, retro feel they should have gone back to the 70’s style James Bond movie posters with those groovy multi-colored illustrations.

Quantum of Solace sneaks into theaters on November 14, 2008.
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Kidrobot 15 - KidReaper Vinyl Figure by Andrew Bell

Kidrobot 15 - Kidreaper Vinyl Figure by Andrew Bell
Kidrobot is really pulling out all the stops this October in celebration of Halloween. First there was the creepy Hello I’m Insane 8” Dunny, then there was the Nightmare In Jeremyville 8” Dunny and now The Blot is excited to highlight the upcoming Kidrobot 15 – KidReaper vinyl figure.

Kidrobot 15 - Kidreaper Vinyl Figure by Andrew Bell
While I’ve never been interested in collecting the Kidrobot line of figures based on the company’s official mascot, I’ve always really enjoyed seeing the different variations and characters Kidrobot has come up with over the past few years. Next month’s Kidreaper character might be my one of my favorites, coming up a close second to Huck Gee’s Kidrobot 14 – KidNinja.

Kidrobot 15 - Kidreaper Vinyl Figure by Andrew Bell
Designed by Creatures in My Head creator Andrew Bell, Kidrobot 15 features a glow in the dark skeleton, a fabric cloak with flexi wire trim and a bloodstained scythe. Best of all, this figure has a chase! No word yet on what the chase looks like or how limited it is, but I am sure it will send collectors scrambling to find one in order to complete their collections.

Kidrobot 15 - Kidreaper Vinyl Figure and Box by Andrew Bell
KidReaper will be released on October 16, 2008 and retails for $50.00 each at stores worldwide and at Kidrobot’s online store.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eddie Vedder - All The Way

Eddie Vedder Throwing Out The First Pitch At A Chicago Cubs Baseball GameAs a die hard Pearl Jam fan I had to blog about this. This week Eddie Vedder released the single “All The Way,” a tribute to the Chicago Cubs. While baseball is probably my least favorite sport (although I would rank it ahead of hockey), I do hold a special place in my heart for those lovable losers the Chicago Cubs. Plus, how can you not love the nostalgia of Wrigley Field? I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few Cubs home games over the years, and there really is no better place to catch an afternoon baseball game.

Eddie Vedder - All The Way Single Artwork
According to Pearl Jam.com, “Eddie threw together a song for the Cubs (“All the Way”) at the request of Ernie Banks.” (link) How cool is that? It was recorded live at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago this past August and is now getting heavy rotation on local Chicago radio stations. Thankfully, Pearl Jam has decided to make the song available for download at their online store for 99 cents. So, whether you’re a PJ fan or a Cubs fan head over to Pearl Jam.com and pick up Eddie’s latest single “All The Way,” a tribute to the Chicago Cubs.

Pearl Jam.com is also teasing that EV might be making some hard copy CDs and souvenir 45 singles of the song as well, so if you might be interested in picking up one of these keepsake collectibles keep checking back at Pearl Jam.com for all the latest info.
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Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs Wave 5

Hasbro gave us a sneak peek of this latest wave of Marvel Mighty Muggs last July at San Diego Comic-Con 2008, but today The Blot is happy to share a picture of the final product. Marvel Mighty Muggs Wave 5 includes Iron Man Version 1, an alien Skrull, Ultimate Captain America and the android Avenger Vision.

Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs Wave 5 - Iron Man Prototype Armor, Skrull, Ultimate Captain America & Vision
You know I’m really not feeling this wave at all, and I can’t imagine there has really been that much of an outcry for a Skrull Mighty Mugg. But who knows? I am glad to see the Vision is finally getting some love from the folks at Hasbro. I might even have to pick this one up and add it to my ever so slowly growing Mighty Muggs collection.

The Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs Wave 5 are expected to hit stores in December 2008 and are available for pre-sale now.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Rebirth of NBC's Heroes

Heroes - Season 3 Villains LogoFor months now the buzz around Heroes’ third season, Villains, has been out of control. Everyone who had already seen the two-hour season premiere could not stop talking about how great it was, and NBC was really emphasizing to fans how accessible this season would be to new viewers. It was almost the anti-Lost marketing campaign, telling anyone who would listen that you don’t need to have watched any of the show’s previous episodes to enjoy this season.

Heroes - Season 3 Cast Photo
I have to say that I was really impressed with what a great job the show did last night in establishing its large cast of characters without bogging down the season premiere and boring loyal viewers. Monday night’s episode actually lived up to the hype and did a good job of introducing a handful of new characters in a way that was not off-putting. Both Heroes and Lost have had a hard time in bringing in new core characters to their respective shows and I think Heroes did a nice job of it Monday night.

Heroes - Zachary Quinto as SylarBest of all, I can honestly say I am really excited to see what’s coming up next. The introduction of future Peter brings a whole new dynamic to the show and I am really jazzed about potential pairing of Noah Bennet and Sylar by the Company as it tries to round up all of its recently released villains. I am a little annoyed that Heroes decided to rip off the recent X-Men Summers brothers (i.e. Cyclops and Havoc) plot line and tease the fact that Sylar may be Peter and Nathan Petrelli’s long lost brother.

Heroes - Season 2 Cast Photo
Heroes - Dania Ramirez as Maya Herrera and Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder SureshBut, all in all I’m happy with the new direction the show has taken. Mohinder is finally being given an interesting storyline, Wonder Twin Maya is no longer a whiny cry baby, Linderman sort of returned from the dead, and Zachary Quinto’s Sylar looks to become a major focal point of the show. I just want to know how the Company plans on keeping Sylar under control.

Heroes - Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura vs. Brea Grant as the Villainous Speedster DaphneAs for the show’s female characters, the only one that really seems interesting to me anymore is the multifaceted Angela Petrelli. Ali Larter’s Niki Sanders lost my interest long ago and it always seems like Hayden Penettiere’s Claire’s storyline moves at a snail’s pace. Although, she did have some pretty cool scenes with Sylar this week.

Heroes - Ali Larter as Tracy Strauss
Heroes - Milo Ventimiglia as Future Peter Petrelli and Adrian Pasdar as Nathan PetrelliSo, what did you all think? Hopefully most of you saw this week’s season premier as Heroes has definitely gotten out of its sophomore slump and back on track with the same quality storytelling that made Season 1 so popular with television fans. I’d love to hear some other viewers’ takes on the show, so give The Blot a shout or leave a comment.

Heroes airs Monday nights on NBC at 9/8c.
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Kaws x Star Wars Storm Trooper Vinyl Figure

How awesome is this figure? Kaws kills it with his newest Star Wars collaboration produced by Medicom Toy. In fact, the Kaws Storm Trooper figure is so great that it almost makes me wish I had purchased the Kaws Darth Vader figure when I had the chance last year. Seeing the Kaws Vader figure in person almost convinced me I had to have it, but there was something about the figure’s $700 price tag on the secondary market that kept me from pulling the trigger.

Kaws x Star Wars Storm Trooper Vinyl Figure
The new Kaws x Star Wars figure will be released on September 27, 2008 exclusively at the OriginalFake store in Japan (meaning no online sales). The store will hold a lottery for the opportunity to purchase the limited edition figure and you must be 15 years or older to even qualify for the lottery.

Kaws x Star Wars Darth Vader Vinyl Figure
While the figure’s price and run size is currently unknown, this figure will sell out immediately and should fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market. It’s too bad really, because I would love to add one of these awesome figures by the legendary street artist Kaws to The Blot’s vinyl collection.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barneyism of the Week - How I Met Your Mother Season Premiere

It’s not sweet. It’s…it’s like a disease.

I slept with Robin one time and I caught feelings.

I caught feelings bad. I used protection and everything.

How I Met Your Mother - Barney and Robin In Bed The Morning After Sleeping Together

- Barney Stinson

"Do I Know You?"

How I Met Your Mother

The great Barney Stinson is back! Did everyone catch How I Met Your Mother last night? It was a pretty great all around episode that highlighted all of the show’s five main characters. As I think about last night’s show I can’t even pin point my favorite part. Was it the Star Wars test that Ted and Marshall put Stella through? Or was it Robin’s hilarious lines at dinner with Barney? I guess I’m going to have to go with Robin as Barney’s wing woman. She really does fit the role so well, doesn’t she? I have a feeling this isn’t the end of the Barney/Robin love affair. I’m glad to see HIMYM has picked up right where they left off and is still bringing the funny.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Spirit Male Character Movie Posters

I can’t figure out what took so long for these new The Spirit character movie posters to be released. Especially since the first four The Spirit character movie posters, which featured the film's femme fatales, came out last June. Thankfully the movie’s hero and villain are finally being paid their due respect with these all new theatrical one sheet movie posters. The first poster features The Spirit’s star Gabriel Macht as Denny Colt a.k.a. The Spirit.

The Spirit Character Movie Posters - Gabriel Macht is The Spirit
The second poster features the hardest working man in showbiz, Samuel L. Jackson, as the movie’s villain The Octopus. Both posters follow the trend of the The Spirit’s previous promo posters by incorporating the movie's script directly into the poster image. Here the lines of dialogue form the buildings in the posters’ backgrounds.

The Spirit Character Movie Posters - Samuel L. Jackson is The Octopus
On a side note, it’s nice to see some additional shades of color finally making their way into The Spirit’s advertisements. For a movie that is supposedly not just black and white, so far all we’ve seen is a whole lot of black, white and red in the film's trailers and promotional artwork.

The Spirit hits theaters on Christmas 2008.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Set Your Calendars - How I Met Your Mother Returns This Monday

The Blot is heading out of town today for a much deserved long weekend. But before I depart, I wanted to make sure everyone and their mothers knew that the greatest sitcom currently on TV returns this Monday, September 22, at 8:30/7:30 C. Yes, that’s right the awesomeness that is How I Met Your Mother is back!

The Cast of CBS' How I Met Your Mother
Will Ted ever get married? Is Stella “the Mother”? Does Barney really have feelings for Robin? Will Marshall and Lily ever move into their new Dowisetrepla apartment? All these questions and more are sure to be answered in this, the fourth season of the hit CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother!

How I Met Your Mother - Sarah Chalke as Stella and Josh Radner as Ted Mosby
I can’t lie, I’ve missed Barney, the Bro Code and even McLaren’s Bar. But thankfully it’s time to Suit Up once again for a whole new season of Barney-isms. Believe the hype people and set your DVRs now!

The Cast of How I Met Your Mother
You know, I tried to hide my excitement for the return of HIMYM, but I think the overuse of exclamation points may have given it away.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux Album Cover by Luke Chueh

Luke Chueh - Possessed PrintI know I’ve never mentioned artist Luke Chueh before, but the Los Angeles artist is really awesome. It always amazes me when an artist can do one thing so well and in so many different ways that each piece of art looks unique and original. Much of Chueh’s work involves a sad bear and is the perfect “juxtaposition of cutenss with the macabre.” (link)

Luke Chueh - Bat Bear

Luke Chueh - Possessed Vinyl FigureIf you aren’t familiar with Chueh’s work I highly recommend going to his official website and looking through his extensive gallery. Whether as a print or the highly sought after Possessed vinyl figures, Chueh “stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy” in a way I have never seen before. (link) It is because of this that I was shocked and excited to hear Chueh would be providing the cover art of Fall Out Boy’s fifth studio album Folie à Deux.

Fall Out Boy - Folie a Deux Cover Art by Luke Chueh
Fall Out BoyI love the mixture of Chueh’s signature bear with Fall Out Boy's emo style. On the one hand I’m excited for Chueh because now a much larger audience will be able to experience his amazing talent. But on the other hand, Chueh is now sure to become an international sensation, causing the prices of his art and vinyl figures to go through the roof. Regardless, this is great news for Chueh and very exciting news for all of his fans.

Folie à Deux by Fall Out Boy will be released in the U.S. on November 4, 2008.
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Zack and Miri Make a Porno American One Sheet Movie Poster

Since Zack and Miri Make a Porno’s original movie poster was banned in the United States by the MPAA, writer/director Kevin Smith had to act quickly and come up with an all new theatrical one sheet movie poster to be used in U.S. markets. Since time was running out and the poster needed to be in theaters in enough time to properly promote the movie, Smith decided to go the simple route.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno American Theatrical One Sheet Movie Poster
To be fair, I love all things Kevin Smith so I am especially biased when it comes to reviewing this movie poster, but I think the stick figure Dick and Jane-esque approach is genius. Besides, when your movie’s title is Zack and Miri Make a Porno I think less is probably more.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Blot’s Hurricane Ike Update

The Blot is happy to announce I now have power, cable and internet again. Life is almost completely back to normal after the rumblings of Hurricane Ike last weekend. Now, if we can only get more gasoline supplied to the city so I won’t have to continually dodge the long lines of cars waiting for gas at the few gas stations currently open as I go out in hunt of open restaurants.

Cars Lining Up To Get Gas In Houston, Texas After  Widespread Power Outages Due To Hurricane Ike Makes It Hard To Find A Working Gas Pump
Thanks to everyone who checked in to make sure Aly and I were ok and to all the men and women out there patrolling Houston’s streets and restringing our power lines! I can’t even tell you how glad I am to have power once again.
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MK vs. DCU - Bring On The Villains

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe Video Game Box ArtDid The Blot call this one or what? Ok so Raiden isn’t exactly a villain, but he is now included in the upcoming Midway game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. I could have sworn I read somewhere there was only going to be 16 playable characters, 8 from each universe, but boy am I glad that I was wrong.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe - Raiden
As for the villains I alluded to in the title of this post, there were two additional villains added to the list of MK vs. DCU’s playable characters. Along with Raiden, you will also be able to play as Mortal Kombat’s knife wielding villain Kano. The other villain added to the game is one I never expected to see in the game, the DC Comics villain Deathstroke.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe - Kano
Over the past few years Deathstroke has grown into one of the premier villains of the DC Universe and is now always included in the upper echelon of DC’s villain brain trust. Even with that being said, Deathstroke the Terminator has never been a mainstream DC character. I do think the Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans cartoon has vastly improved Deathstroke’s marketability, but he still is not on the same level as other popular villains like The Joker, Lex Luthor, The Riddler or even Wonder Woman's foe the Cheetah.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe - Deathstroke
I cannot explain how excited I am that DC decided to include good old Slade Wilson in MK vs. DCU. Deathstroke was made for this type of fighting game and I am pretty excited to one day play as Deathstroke against the likes of Batman, Green Lantern, Scorpion and Shang Tsung.
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The Nightmare In Jeremyville 8 Inch Dunny

The new Nightmare In Jeremyville 8 inch Dunny really signifies what I love about Kidrobot’s Dunny platform. Not only does this designer vinyl figure feature a very cool, unique design, but it introduces me to an artist I had not heard of before, Jeremy Ville.

Kidrobot - Nightmare in Jeremyville 8 Inch Dunny
The design on the front and back of this crying, pink Dunny actually tells the story of this figure’s horrifying nightmare and includes a comic strip poster detailing the Halloween themed adventure. This is the kind of 8” Dunny I have been patiently waiting for Kidrobot to release, especially after the last 6-9 months of generic characters. This figure returns to Kidrobot’s roots and actually pushes the boundaries of what an artist can do with a Dunny canvas.

Kidrobot - Nightmare in Jeremyville 8 Inch Dunny Comic Strip Poster
The Nightmare In Jeremyville 8” Dunny retails for $50.00 and will be released on October 2, 2008. This limited edition figure also includes a decaying carrot accessory and a 14 x 17 inch comic poster (as shown above).
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Cold War Kids - Something Is Not Right With Me Remixes by Richard Swift

The Blot has been impatiently waiting for the release of the Cold War Kids’ second album, Loyalty to Loyalty, for months now. While I refuse to listen to the album before I have it in hands, I made an exception for these two new remixes of the albums first single, “Something Is Not Right With Me.”

Cold War Kids
Richard Swift was given the task of remixing the single and pulled off two interesting variations of the song, an Onasis remix and an Instruments of Science and Technology remix. I haven’t heard the original track yet so it’s impossible to give a comparison, but it is good to finally hear some new Cold War Kids music after such a long time.

Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty Album Cover
What’s best of all is that the California indie band decided to release these two new “Something Is Not Right With Me” remixes on their MySpace page and is allowing fans to download the songs for free! So head over to the Cold War Kids MySpace page and get to downloading.

Cold War Kids - Something Is Not Right With Me Single Cover
Loyalty to Loyalty is scheduled to be released in stores and online on September 23, 2008 and comes in both a standard and deluxe edition. You can also pre-order the standard and deluxe editions of the album at Newbury Comics where every pre-order comes with an Autographed CD, or at the iTunes store where the album comes with an exclusive track entitled “Bullies Always Win.”
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