(Topic ID: 92436)

John Popadiuk update thread……MAGIC GIRL, RAZA, AIW…..

By iceman44

7 years ago


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#8301 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Yeah, I think that's where we're at... nothing makes sense on paper as a business.
I think Ben guessed the BOM at $6k/game, which is probably a fair guess, and may very well be low. Then you look at the work that is still left to do.
I don't invest in businesses without business plans. I don't know how anyone would invest in John if he can't provide numbers and a road map to success.
My first rule for business investment is "Is there a strong demand for this product or service?" and unfortunately for just about everything pinball related, that answer is "no", which has stopped me from getting involved in any pinball business. Let alone something set up as a zidware with extremely high costs and extremely limited revenues and extreme risk for my money.
Any investor will judge things the exact same way. The only "easy" money was by crowd funding and getting people to send money in who don't have the same criteria and had a desire to see the final product. There was no need for a regular investor, he had sidestepped that. Raising $1M is a big deal.
John unfortunately screwed that all up.

Well, on the plus side, PDXmonkey is still involved apparently, even despite him almost rage-quitting because John hired Kaneda as his PR guy. Maybe he has the combination of funding and John's cooperation to pull something off. I just hope whatever their solution is, JPOP'd vendors are made whole, and ALL zidware customers are taken care of. Nothing is solved if RAZA and AIW owners are left hanging while a few MG owners get their games, and any solution that involves converting existing customers into additional MG games needs to involve compensation for the original buyers.

#8302 6 years ago

All buyers for one game MG & raza would be 250 buyers paid in... Not sure how many aiwa

#8303 6 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

All buyers for one game MG & raza would be 250 buyers paid in... Not sure how many aiwa

Not quite

MG 26
RAZA 124

Total 150

14
#8304 6 years ago

A pattern is emerging how to succeed as a boutique, and it's "develop as much as possible on your own time and money" When the risk is on the developer shit gets done!

Dutch, Spooky, P3, Heighway, Riot all had finished games before coming with a price and asking for money. In cases like Riot the price ended up high, but better to know that at the start and regroup than price something too low and lose money.

Spooky, P3, Heighway and Riot also had the.. How shall I say... "Challenge" of not having money thrown at them like JJP, Skit B and John, so we had no choice BUT to spend wisely.

Design time, wages, taxes overhead all must be paid from the game's profit. If you start with a price (10k, 16k, 6500) and then work backwards designing to get to a BOM you're shooting in the dark.

I don't think the moneys all gone, he's still paying rent obviously (the vendor you can't NOT pay But if he's spent down into a few hundred K, even with the back end payments there won't be enough for parts (6000-7000) or labor (750-1000 per game)

#8305 6 years ago

OT but I'm still not sure how JJP is making out. I know they have a large war chest from preorders, but if they are paying workers to stand around, that is not productive. It would be better if JJP were able to develop pins quicker because if they have a bad product (like Stern WWE) they can move onto the next title instead of having 2 years of waiting for the next pin to be on the line.

Look at WWE and WWE LE, has combined 28 owners and 32 'wish list' on Pinside. So if JJP comes across a dud, there could be a lot of standing around waiting for the next title.

I am not sure anyone except Stern can support a full time factory and trained workforce.

#8306 6 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

.
Design time, wages, taxes overhead all must be paid from the game's profit. If you start with a price (10k, 16k, 6500) and then work backwards designing to get to a BOM you're shooting in the dark.
I don't think the moneys all gone, he's still paying rent obviously (the vendor you can't NOT pay But if he's spent down into a few hundred K, even with the back end payments there won't be enough for parts (6000-7000) or labor (750-1000 per game)

Just looking at MG if it was 26 games at $16,000 that's $408K (total) and if you say half of that is for BOM and production, you are left with only $208K for everything else. Even if we push back the BOM and production to $6K. You are left with $260K for everything else!!!!!!!!

So obviously John was trying to leverage several games to pay for the groundwork to build MG. This in itself is troubling. I see ho reason why John picked 26 pins to be produced instead of 50 or 100 which would have given him more money to waste on developing the pins.

Also, you DO NOT need to spend tons of money on the developing/whitewood stage. I mean Kevin is not a shining example of anything, but he was able to put together a working pin in his basement (with code I might add) for less than $20K (total) I am guessing on this figure, but come on, does anyone think Kevin could even come up with $20K in his life to spend on a pin? Riot also (I am not saying how much they did spend but I am sure it's not 6-figures to develop a working pin, maybe Ben can say. But I just don't see it). Boutique means you don't have a pinball industrial complex like Stern with Millions of dollars expenses per year. You should be working small and lean, not spending on 6000 sq ft workshop.

#8307 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

OT but I'm still not sure how JJP is making out. I know they have a large war chest from preorders, but if they are paying workers to stand around, that is not productive.

I am not sure of much, but I am sure JJP is not paying factory workers to stand around all day as a standard part of business. They are building WoZ, or if really not needed they would be laid off temporarily. That's just the way business is.

Quoted from rai:

It would be better if JJP were able to develop pins quicker because if they have a bad product (like Stern WWE) they can move onto the next title instead of having 2 years of waiting for the next pin to be on the line.

Everybody agrees with this including JJP; with their current model to date, if they have a dud, they are dead. One pin that does not sell like hot-cakes? Shut 'er down.

#8308 6 years ago

"Kevin Kulek built this in a cave! With a box of SCRAPS!"

A flipping Whitewood is no big deal. Few thousand Tops or less if old used parts. You don't even need an OS just wire secondary coil winding through end of stroke old school!

If a Whitewood was really that difficult you wouldn't see Frozen, Nightmare before Xmas or any of these other homebrews. The scale and manufacturing is the hard part.

The math should be simple. How much do buyers still owe + cash on hand - BOM - labor.

It's going to be a negative number no matter what, but HOW negative is the question any investor needs to know.

#8309 6 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Yeah but BBB was $4500...the fact that it shot up took years (and sheer "luck").

Actually, it didn't take years. The first BBB hit Ebay a couple days after the IPB pick up day. It sold for $13,500, thus quickly establishing its market value.

I still have my meal ticket for the IPB pick up day. I got my sandwich, fries, and drink and they forgot to take my ticket so I kept it as a little memento. Should be worth thousands by now. Taking offers!

1431272495560-1827736615.jpg

#8310 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I don't think you can apply a clear coat over a sticker.

Yes you can if the sticker is reverse printed. Not that I'm recommending that.

#8311 6 years ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

Actually, it didn't take years. The first BBB hit Ebay a couple days after the IPB pick up day. It sold for $13,5000, thus quickly establishing its market value.
I still have my meal ticket for the IPB pick up day. I got my sandwich, fries, and drink and they forgot to take my ticket so I kept it as a little memento. Should be worth thousands by now. Taking offers!

1431272495560-1827736615.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Sorry rarehero, dude is right. BBB was instantly worth over twice what it sold for. That was a gamble that lots of people wish they'd taken - but I was very wary of forking over $4500 back then on a pipe dream. Just not my style, then or now.

#8312 6 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Sorry rarehero, dude is right. BBB was instantly worth over twice what it sold for. That was a gamble that lots of people wish they'd taken - but I was very wary of forking over $4500 back then on a pipe dream. Just not my style, then or now.

BBB is not really my thing, but I figure if a potentially vaporware game that might not be made is going to be worth say a 8K gamble on my part, then I should also be okay forking over $13K for a known quantity (e.g. is the game any good now that it acutally exists?).

My limit is around $5K anyways, and I am out of space, so my opinion is moot as a new buyer...

28
#8313 6 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

vacuum forming is SO cheap, especially low quantity as he's doing. If you have a 3d model you can print a positive, send it to any of the local chicagoland vacuum forming vendors, and get ramps for just a few bucks a piece.

That's over simplifying it a bit. Making a ramp won't break the bank in most cases, but the cost per ramp in a production run of 20 ends up being pricy.

A ramp first has to be designed and drawn in a 3D cad program. The program isn't cheap and neither is the person who has the talent to draw the ramp. Drawing a ramp isn't like drawing a box (but you know that). In John's case we will give him a pass on these costs for the sake of simplicity. Then a renwood mold has to be made and a prototype ramp has to be made from it. After test fitting various changes will have to be made to the drawing and to the mold. The renwood mold costs around $1200. Once the ramp is finalized a polished aluminum mold has to be made. These cost around $2500. Running 20 pieces would be expensive because you will have your $400 setup charge to pay no matter how many pieces you run. Actual piece price for the 20 plastic ramps will be about $15 each. The ramp flap, ramp protectors, lamp sockets, ball deflectors, decals, and wiring harness still have to be made. 20 of each of these items would be 10 times as much as if you were running 1000 pieces. Total cost for these finishing pieces would be no less than $100 per ramp.

Total cost per ramp on a run of 20 ramps would be at least $300 per ramp by the time it was completely installed in the game.

Pinball manufacturing is a numbers game, pure and simple. You are correct that ramps offer a lot of bang for your buck in a production of 1000 games or more. This same ramp would only cost around $25 per completed ramp.

I told John from the very beginning that a run of 20 anything is almost surely not profitable. If profit is not the point, then go crazy and make whatever number of whatever you want. However, if you take people money and don't have a plan for profitability they are going to get grumpy. I think that's exactly where we are at.

(Typed on my damn phone so please excuse typos)

11
#8314 6 years ago

Terry is dead on about the production number making zero sense, lots of us have said that, but it's great to see some real world figures from someone with experience to give that notion context. Thanks for taking the time to break that down.

#8315 6 years ago

I get grumpy when I don't gave coffee. I suspect people are a little more than grumpy.

#8316 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

It will pass Predator soon. Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

Will this make it the #1 thread on pinside? Talk about notoriety.

#8317 6 years ago

Not that it isn't still ridiculously expensive on a per-ramp basis, but couldn't one just use the wooden model if they were only making a couple dozen ramps?

#8318 6 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

Not that it isn't still ridiculously expensive on a per-ramp basis, but couldn't one just use the wooden model if they were only making a couple dozen ramps?

The ramp would tend to be cloudy, but you could possibly get away with not making the aluminium mold. This still leaves a 20 ramp run at around $200 each.

#8319 6 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

Not that it isn't still ridiculously expensive on a per-ramp basis, but couldn't one just use the wooden model if they were only making a couple dozen ramps?

You can get great results that way, as well. Check out these ramp done by freeplay40:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/swords-of-fury-custom-ramps

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/high-speed-clear-ramp

He also did Space Station and Genesis ramps.

Add Magic Girl ramps to the list if the playfield ever made its way out to our shop.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#8320 6 years ago
Quoted from vex:

nobody has the right temperament to work with john apparently...

Um, reverse that, John doesn't have the right temperament to work with anybody... apparently

#8321 6 years ago
Quoted from PBINTHESOUTH:

Sorry to chime in and not be an owner (several times close and spoken with him personally) BUT I just don't see this being resolved until he actually is threatened with jail time or being sued for his personal assets... THEN.. he would turn over whatever worth/less assets he has for Stern to actually produce.. JPOP obviously just can't ever get his sh(# together to even come close to producing an actual game...
Artwork on MG does look great...as a concept... have Stern like a vulture seize the assets... push JPOP aside and finish the game with an experienced production/code team..I would be a buyer then..

Why would Stern or JJP be interested? The money return is nil, and the run size is too small to gear up a production line - and if there's no code, its just a box of parts.

#8322 6 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Why would Stern or JJP be interested? The money return is nil, and the run size is too small to gear up a production line - and if there's no code, its just a box of parts.

If Stern could drop the PF into their standard boxes, have a traditional DMD, just standard Stern parts. They could have a ready made non licensed pin by a famous designer that they could sell for ~ $8k or about what MMR costs.

I'm not saying the current owners would get anything out of this arrangement, but if Stern was interested in paying a fee to get the art and design rights, and then Stern codes it. I think it could be a modest success.

Not saying Stern would be interested if it was 26 units. But Stern could probably make a profit selling 500 or more pins.

#8323 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I see ho reason why John picked 26 pins to be produced

It was actually 13 originally based on my RGP search.

#8324 6 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

"Kevin Kulek built this in a cave! With a box of SCRAPS!"
A flipping Whitewood is no big deal. Few thousand Tops or less if old used parts. You don't even need an OS just wire secondary coil winding through end of stroke old school!
If a Whitewood was really that difficult you wouldn't see Frozen, Nightmare before Xmas or any of these other homebrews.

The most expensive part of a whitewood, for me, is:
1) x2+ Flipper assemblies
2) x2+ Jet assemblies
3) x1 Trough assembly
4) Driving hardware (P-roc in my case right now)
5) Hard to find parts like drop targets, kickers, poppers, troughs, ect... that fit in where I want to put them.

-A computer is cheap shit, just get a $40 Pentium 4 windows xp off of craigslist, and BOOM! You have a game brain. ALL my games use XP pro or home, it doesn't matter both are perfectly stable for running a simple pinball machine. Is this the best choice for a final product? naw... but for prototyping and development why the hell not? Set your code up right and it doesn't matter what OS or driver you're using. [Game Logic] <-> [Hardware]
-Posts are easy, $0.4 or something each when ordered in bulk? meh
-Targets can add up ($6 to $12 each depending or style) but still, meh.
-Sheet guides can be hand cut from a sheet of $20 metal from home depot or lowes
-Wood $20 or so from home depot or lowes
-blah
-blah
-ect.

I built the Frozen whitewood in under $600 worth or raw parts/materials... 2 flippers, 1 jet, 10 targets, scrap metal for guides, 20ft of solid core grounding wire for the wire ramp, some switches, an old trough from Bally blackjack, $100 tv from best buy, old p4 3.2 computer I've had since 2003, ~$100 of various frozen toys (took some time to find the right ones), P-Roc I already had from Tail of the Dragon, etc. Programming and wireing time is another story.

Tail of the Dragon, similar story. less then $800 worth of raw parts (not counting computer or proc).

Fairyland Tales never really got too far, basic flipping using raw power like what Ben described, but no real code.

Haunted Cruise is a different beast all together. Many $Ks worth of parts, revisions, etc. But still under $7k total in raw parts used over it's lifetime.

I'm not saying all my games are OMGWTF Innovative! in design or toys, they don't really need to be as long as it's fun to shoot and the rules/gameplay is fun. Obviously JPop feels like he's doing something new, though I don't think any of us have seen it yet from the videos and images shown. Which again goes back to the "what's taking so long" question all you owners have. It's a very good question!

Quoted from benheck:

The scale and manufacturing is the hard part.

Amen!

-Lin

#8325 6 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Sorry rarehero, dude is right. BBB was instantly worth over twice what it sold for. That was a gamble that lots of people wish they'd taken - but I was very wary of forking over $4500 back then on a pipe dream. Just not my style, then or now.

I mean that BBB sold for $4500 - took years to finally be completed and ship...then shot up. But even after the initial shoot up it kept climbing. Now it's what...$30k for a NIB? Holy moly...

#8327 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

If Stern could drop the PF into their standard boxes, have a traditional DMD, just standard Stern parts. They could have a ready made non licensed pin by a famous designer that they could sell for ~ $8k or about what MMR costs.
I'm not saying the current owners would get anything out of this arrangement, but if Stern was interested in paying a fee to get the art and design rights, and then Stern codes it. I think it could be a modest success.
Not saying Stern would be interested if it was 26 units. But Stern could probably make a profit selling 500 or more pins.

And the code would come from.... where? for how much? Its the software that will make or break the machine, and will likely cost the most of any missing pieces. And JPop's mechs would have to be proto and made, many / all aren't likely drawn or engineered for a vendor to produce.

#8328 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

If Stern could drop the PF into their standard boxes, have a traditional DMD, just standard Stern parts. They could have a ready made non licensed pin by a famous designer that they could sell for ~ $8k or about what MMR costs.
I'm not saying the current owners would get anything out of this arrangement, but if Stern was interested in paying a fee to get the art and design rights, and then Stern codes it. I think it could be a modest success.
Not saying Stern would be interested if it was 26 units. But Stern could probably make a profit selling 500 or more pins.

Honestly, I would think this would be a good scenario for everyone.

1/ JPop gives his design to Stern for free (ie no cash or residual commission)
Stern completes the development and the code. They can make as many as they want. If it plays nice and the code is good, they may sell a thousand or more.

2/ In return, Stern gives JPop 16x populated playfields, spikes etc

3/ JPop makes 16x "wanky cabinets" with special hinges and artwork (he's got plenty to choose from) and installs the Stern playfields and running gear. These go to the 16 original dudes, who get a very limited edition model as thanks for 5 years of being tooled around. Making 16 cabinets (he already has some) and slotting in the running gear is a pretty simple job.

That'd be a win-win for all.

Stern wins ... They sell some games.

JPop wins ... His design gets made and he has a model he can use again goin forward (say 50 LE JPop Raza with stern selling the rest)

The customers win ... They get their games, and it's a 1 of 16 LE model.

How's that scenario sound?

rd

#8329 6 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

vacuum forming is SO cheap, especially low quantity as he's doing. If you have a 3d model you can print a positive, send it to any of the local chicagoland vacuum forming vendors, and get ramps for just a few bucks a piece.

Really ? Have you done this ?

Maybe everything changed with 3D printing but as pinball ramps were traditionally expensive (and years ago couldn't be made again until the original tooling became available) I'm still under the impression that vacuum forming ramps are expensive.
If you can get them for 'a few bucks a piece' then why are ramps for other games always $100 and more ??

#8330 6 years ago

Still nothing from John on the blogs... Cointaker posted again, so obviously he hadn't heard anything from the first time. Sad.

I posted this in response to someone else saying things were getting ridiculous:

"ridiculous" was showing up at expo 2014 with empty cabinets pretending everything was A-OK in zidware land and everyone saw through that. Then pretending the games would be done and have their "reveal" (on a rug) after coining the phrase "The Lebowski Effect" about what a great reveal that was that took over the entire expo. Then we learn 6 months after the magic girl "reveal" that the game still had paper ramps on it and only a barely functioning whitewood.

At some point "ridiculous" becomes "criminal" or "fraudulent" when there is a million dollars that can't be accounted for and a history of deception going back over a year pretending that the games are somewhere they aren't. Then when the questioning becomes too intense to just ignore those same people that fronted you all that money.

#8331 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Cointaker posted again, so obviously he hadn't heard anything from the first time. Sad.

Where are all these posts?

#8332 6 years ago

RAZA owner's blog.

Because Cointaker is a pinsider, I'm not reposting, he can do so if he chooses to.

#8333 6 years ago

If Chris (Cointaker) is posting on the blog that means John is not talking to him privatly like phone or email or text.

Chris is like his partner so this is a bad omen that things are worse than I had feared. Fast approaching Skit-B territory.

#8334 6 years ago

Chris has the most to lose out of everyone.. He is the biggest investor.. Great guy, suck john is treating him this way too

#8335 6 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Chris has the most to lose out of everyone.. He is the biggest investor

No kidding, how could any outside investor even consider putting money in when the track record of treating the previous investors is so poor?

#8336 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

No kidding, how could any outside investor even consider putting money in when the track record of treating the previous investors is so poor?

If I won the lotto for 100+ Mil, id consider backing JPop at $1 Mil.

#8337 6 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

If I won the lotto for 100+ Mil, id consider backing JPop at $1 Mil.

I'd buy him out, no way I'd back him.

#8338 6 years ago

This thread is 20 pages more from the last time I was here. No MG pictures yet? See you in 20 more pages.

-2
#8339 6 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Chris has the most to lose out of everyone.. He is the biggest investor.. Great guy, suck john is treating him this way too

I really think "investor" is not the situation here. John Popaduik sold pinball machines, not stock in Zidware. My paper work from Zidware / John Popaduik says nothing about being a investor. Does anybody else's contract mention being a investor? Maybe I'm missing a page of my agreement.

#8340 6 years ago
Quoted from PickleJuice:

I really think "investor" is not the situation here. John Popaduik sold pinball machines, not stock in Zidware. My paper work from Zidware / John Popaduik says nothing about been a investor. Does anybody else's contract mention being a investor? Maybe I'm missing a page of my agreement.

I think given Chris' commitment to ordering machines (~20-30?) and his role as the LED vendor, "investor" might not be the right word but he is no average customer either.

John seems to be treating eveybody equally though: Like Chumps

#8341 6 years ago
Quoted from PickleJuice:

I really think "investor" is not the situation here. John Popaduik sold pinball machines, not stock in Zidware. My paper work from Zidware / John Popaduik says nothing about been a investor. Does anybody else's contract mention being a investor? Maybe I'm missing a page of my agreement.

Hello new pinsider, thanks for joining the thread with your first post.

#8342 6 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

JPop gives his design to Stern for free (ie no cash or residual commission)
2/ In return

1) just because john in this scenario doesn't actually ask for cash doesn't mitigate the risk. The project is resources and time which is the same as money from stern, with no palpable guarantees of anything. Why take the project with any existing guarantees? Wait until he fails and take it for free.
2) pro bono work doesn't get to make any conditional statements. He gives it for free or stern doesn't even look his way. And honestly, John should be the one bringing cash to the table. In all scenarios.

#8343 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Still nothing from John on the blogs... Cointaker posted again, so obviously he hadn't heard anything from the first time. Sad.
I posted this in response to someone else saying things were getting ridiculous:

image.jpg

#8344 6 years ago

Apparently Stern met with jpop a while back. If there was a deal to be had, it would be done.

Because these games were designed as "Ultimate Editions" with no spared expense, it is probably impossible to take them as-is and turn it into something remotely cost effective to sell at normal price points.

And then again we're dealing with "unlicensed" pinballs, where it's debatable how big a market exists for them. Certainly huge risk, likely very little reward.

#8345 6 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Why take the project with any existing guarantees? Wait until he fails and take it for free.

No one is going to "take it for free".

If the business fails, all of the assets of the business (e.g., shop equipment, tooling, jigs, office furniture, computer equipment, parts inventory, intellectual property, customer lists, computer files, CAD drawings, specifications, BOMs, prototypes) will likely be tied up in an insolvency proceeding, and creditors of the debtor's estate will have first claim on those assets.

Any transfer after the business fails would likely be conducted via an asset sale approved by a court order to ensure that title transfers cleanly to the purchaser (i.e., free and clear of all liens and encumbrances). This would typically be done via public auction following proper notice to creditors (e.g., 21 days). Auctions are conducted at arm's length to ensure that no friends or family get "sweetheart deals" to the detriment of other creditors, so interested bidders would likely have to pre-qualify in order to participate in the auction. The purpose of the competitive bidding process would be to ensure that all sale proceeds are maximized for the benefit of existing creditors.

#8346 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

If Chris (Cointaker) is posting on the blog that means John is not talking to him privatly like phone or email or text.
Chris is like his partner so this is a bad omen that things are worse than I had feared. Fast approaching Skit-B territory.

Amazing when you think about it.

How many people are currently closer/more involved with JPop/Zidware than Chris/Cointaker and Zombie Yeti?

Not many. And what we know from these two paints a pretty dark picture.

And that's not including the prior individuals who have been involved to one degree or another, such as Ben etc.

#8347 6 years ago

167 pages, starting to think people are getting their money's worth in entertainment value. How many hours have we whittled away reading/typing about this?

#8348 6 years ago
Quoted from PickleJuice:

I really think "investor" is not the situation here. John Popaduik sold pinball machines, not stock in Zidware. My paper work from Zidware / John Popaduik says nothing about been a investor. Does anybody else's contract mention being a investor? Maybe I'm missing a page of my agreement.

#8349 6 years ago
Quoted from dung:

167 pages, starting to think people are getting their money's worth in entertainment value. How many hours have we whittled away reading/typing about this?

Far to many hours.........

-9
#8350 6 years ago

Let's just say, this game will blow anything else out of the water......

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