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Invitation to give input to new LEGO Play Themes

 
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Olog
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Invitation to give input to new LEGO Play Themes Reply with quote

Here's some great news from Tormod Askildsen from the LEGO Ambassador program! Looks like the designers from LEGO are in need of our opinions, which is awesome!

Quote:
My name is Phil McCormick; I am a Senior Designer at the LEGO Group working within a small concept group specializing in new theme generation.

We are looking for new LEGO set opportunities within the Play Themes line-up. Play Themes are sets involving characters and stories, where the minifigure always plays a key role. The big theme this year is Power Miners. Some sets from the past include: Agents, Aqua Raiders, Exoforce, and Mars Mission. Usually the stories are conflict-based (good vs. bad) and revolve around treasures or missions. The stories that accompany Play Theme sets help spark the imaginations of our target group: boys aged 7-9.

Currently we are in an “insight phase,” gathering inspiration for the next big Play Themes opportunity and we would really like your input. We hope to involve you as much as possible for the next few months as we take in the ideas. Please submit ideas for themes as detailed below. Limit your words to a few sentences; we encourage you to submit pictures, drawings, MOCs, to accompany each story. Feel free to involve your greater fan community at this point--the more ideas the better.

Things we do look for:
-Simple, well understood themes (Usually, placing a “twist” on a known universe works well).
-Unique Model expression, or play experience to accompany the set.

Things we do not look for:
-Castle, or IP (Star Wars/ Indiana Jones/ Sponge Bob/ etc…). They each have devoted project teams which are separate from us.

The deadline for submissions is Jan 12, 2009; but we do encourage you to post earlier. Thanks and we look forward to your input!


Create a new, never-before-seen, LEGO Play Theme! (Place words and images under the following categories)

Theme Name
(something short and catchy):

Characters
(who is good and bad guys?):

Conflict (why do they fight, and what do they fight over?):

Setting (where does the story take place?):

Background Info (if relevant):
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Joedward
Hoover


Joined: 23 Jun 2005

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long before somebody suggests Classic Space gets a proper homage/ makeover...

Thanks for the info Adrian, I'm gonna have a think about it.
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I'd love to see a non conflict Space line. Everything having conflict and missions over and over again gets boring. I'm not going to bother putting more thought into a theme though seeing as LEGO is intent on a formula where they're just filling out a Mad Libs sheet. Ice Planet 2002 was my favorite Space them and they were a stand alone faction. M-Tron was great too. I'm not saying any past theme needs a rehash, but did those two lines sell significantly less than Blacktron and Space Police back in the day that made TLC decide it has to be a distinct good vs bad match every time?

That's all the feedback that comes to mind, and I'd like it to be passed along even though it's not what they're looking for. I'm sure the members here can come up with something though.
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Grand Zombie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current Value Added Focus Groups on a Go-Forward Basis have determined that kids like conflict-based play with lots of Nerf missiles and hoses and shooters in their LEGO sets.

All the Special Snowflakes these days need a story spoon-fed to them so they know how to play with their toys.

/me waves old man cane
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Big Z
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

/me shoots Mark with a Nerf missile
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Grand Zombie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get off my lawn!
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ZombieAthos
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I don't care if they focus on conflict, as long as the sets are well designed. In a way, the conflict is nice, because it gives us some angry/villainous heads, which were lacking in the original lines.

Steve
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Dalek Zombie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought gangsters were cool. However, it may not comply with LEGO's violence policies.

Theme Name (something short and catchy): Gangsters/Mobsters/Raiders

Characters (who is good and bad guys?): Generic mobsters. Different colours show different gangs.

Conflict (why do they fight, and what do they fight over?): Control of the city. I.e. "land".

Setting (where does the story take place?): London or America. Maybe 1960's-1990's (but maybe modern).

Background Info (if relevant): Think Bugsy Malone. Minus the songs.


For reference - thanks obxcrew!
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Thunder-Zombie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure Lego doesn't want anything military related...

Dang... I am really drawing a blank here! I guess it's because all I ever buy is Star Wars.. Laughing
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infallible



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalek: I like that idea. Only thing I'd change would be to move the focus from the mobsters to an old-style police unit. Then you can get the mobsters, but also don't put it in terms of the bad guys being protagonists.

However, in writing this and thinking of it, it made me think of an idea:

Theme Name (something short and catchy): Old World Detective

Characters (who is good and bad guys?): Good guys can be Scotland Yard-types (but maybe more stylized) along with a generic Sherlock Holmes; bad guys would be these kind of steampunky mad scientists and over-the-top criminals

Conflict (why do they fight, and what do they fight over?): Bad guys do crimes, steal, hurt people, etc, and the forces of justice catch them.

Setting (where does the story take place?): Late 1800s in England, I suppose, but it can be ambiguous. Think Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for the kind of setting (please, don't think of the movie, though).

Background Info (if relevant): This can allow for some creative designs in buildings and vehicles re-creating that older style. Also, designers can go nuts with the types of devices that the bad guys use or drive.
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Olog
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds a lot like a late 1800s version of the current Agents theme Very Happy . It's a good idea though, but I'd like to echo Don, I want a new theme with the same vibe space themes had in the early 90's. Concentrate more on good designs and not so much on gimmicks.
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Darth Zach



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theme name-Uniforms of the times.

Characters-Generic soldiers (the Indy troops or new ones like doghboys).

Conflict-The wars of there times.

Setting-varius places (North Africa would come with some Indy troops and some new UK troops).

Bacround info- Its just uniform sets from different times. Would be labeled 14+. You could also make vehicles (you guys made the Red Baron a while ago)

It may not fly well but they already have soldiers out and since its 14+ nobody could complain its bad for kids.
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theZombieAbides
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I do tend to agree that "conflict" in lego themes does tend to be a bit trite, I also recognize that it tends to give us more color variations (Agents: good guys were dark blue and black while the bad guys were orange and black). I generally don't care too much about the "conflict" part of themes as much as I care about the sets price to part ratio and the quality of the parts and minifigs.

What I would like to see is a new Space theme with several (read: more than 2... lots more) subthemes. Each subtheme would be a faction that is good, evil or neutral. You could start out with two subthemes, and then each year after add 1-2 subthemes in while phasing older subthemes out, much the way it was done in the early 90's.

Theme Name: Space: The New Frontier

Characters: Initially, I would recommend some smuggler-type group, perhaps Blacktron-esque (Blacktron III?), and a Space Police type force (Space Police III?). Later on, you could introduce other groups like shippers (M-Tron-esque), spys (Spyrius-esque), and explorers/colonizers (Space Planet 2002 & Unitron based).

Conflict: The smugglers are trying to smuggle illegal goods (gold, crystals, spice, or something else) and naturally the space-police force is trying to stop them. Later, the smugglers would try to steal from the shippers and would hastle the explorers/colonizers. The spys would be distrusted by all since they spy on everyone.

Setting: In Outer Space, on new planets, etc...

Background Info: (If you choose to go with Blacktron and Space Police.) After thinking they'd destroyed Blacktron over a decade ago, the Space Police have become complacent and overconfident. Meanwhile, the few remaining Blacktron agents went into hiding, rebuilding their numbers, weapons, and ships. The time has come at last for them to have their revenge! (It would so be awesome if there was a "holiday exclusive" set that featured Blacktron agents "smuggling" Christmas presents to orphans on an abandoned planet while the Space Police pursued them, showing everyone just how corrupt they are. Twisted Evil)

I know its "cliche" to ask for classic space but damnit, I want classic space!! So sue me. Rolling Eyes
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all well and good Jude, but it's not new at all.
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maggosh
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don't shoot me and/or cause bodily harm or otherwise for the following statement(s).

I'd seriously like to see some anime themed sets. I've had my mind set on .hack sets myself. A Hulle Granz set would be sweet.

Killworthy statements end here.
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theZombieAbides
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonSolo wrote:
That's all well and good Jude, but it's not new at all.

I never claimed it was. I'm not saying they need to do things EXACTLY like the space sets from the past. Far from it. I look forward to new color schemes and new ship designs. One of the things I would most like to get out of it are some of the new windshields in colors other than trans-black and trans-orange. Trans-yellow, trans-green, trans-blue, and/or trans-red would be nice. Oh, and definately some new spacey minifigs. Wink
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm right there with you about wanting new space, but you just seemed to retell the previous lines with "but new versions" tacked on.

I have an idea that's spacey, but not a space theme... I'll get back to you on that.
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Cei



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theme Name (something short and catchy): No idea!

Characters (who is good and bad guys?): The "good guys" are a group of freelancing merchants and law officers, along with the normal residents of the world. There's the mad scientist who creates the new machines, the charismatic Captain who leads his motley crew on their escapades. If you've seen Firefly/Serenity, that gives you a good idea for crew...

Trying to stop them are the dastardly mob of pirates and layabouts who use stolen technology and goods to fund their wicked ways. The head honcho is an evil, peg-legged figure who likes to be titled Commodore... His gang generally smell bad, but they can cause real problems for anybody they come across.

Conflict (why do they fight, and what do they fight over?): The pirates just want an easy life, full of loot and women - fighting against them are the police force with their shiny new ships, and the freelancing merchant ships who have to bear the brunt of the pirate attacks...and are now fighting back! In the world however, there's a shortage of metal - which means it's all rather expensive, crippling technological advances (such as planes), so wood and other materials are far more common.

However, it's mainly gold and women.

Setting (where does the story take place?): Steampunk-esque world (basically Earth) with environs ranging from towns to mines to everything in between. Technology is a weird mix - there's a shortage of metal, so there's still plenty of wood being used, but flight has been achieved with airships and small propellor based craft. Towns are Victorian-esque, but with a smattering of more advanced items.

Background Info (if relevant): Steampunk is a fairly well established genre, but not really touched on in Lego sets (well, there's MOCs floating round). In essence, you get flying airships being the "big" sets (one Pirate, one merchant, one Police/Sheriff/Constabulary) and a bunch of smaller bases/mines/houses and so forth. You can get the Lego playability of traps in the pirate base, jails and so forth - but all in a totally different style to what we currently have.
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theZombieAbides
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought of another one:

Theme Name:Ninjas

Characters:Ninjas of the ancient Japanese variety, or perhaps modern ones.

Conflict: I really don't see the point of releasing a new Pirates theme if they don't have anyone to fight. Razz

Setting: Ancient Japan

Background Info: The epic battle continues. Will a true victor ever be determined?
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Joedward
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is LEGO allowed to build a line of sets that can transform. Or does copyright come into it?

Just have a good guy side and bad guy side. Vehicles and aircraft that can change form by bending and rolling and twisting, all into robot type things, or other vehicles and aircraft and stuff?

Maybe it'd be too comlicated, I don't know.
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theme Name: INVASION!
Characters: Aliens Invaders vs the people of Earth.
The aliens need some sort of overlordy guy in charge and a couple styles of drones.
The Earthlings could either have a Men In Black style governemnt faction or random militaryesque people.
Conflict: The Invaders want Earth, the humans want them gone. Pretty classic story.
Setting: Earth, of course!
Background Info: It's pure pulp sci fi... the aliens show up, try to take over, and we get to fight them off and send them running back into space. Sets could include pairs like a flying saucer vs a helicopter and a tripod walker thing vs a tank or other ground vehicle, maybe an agents style truck for human scientists to capture and study the aliens, smaller impulse sized sets could feature aliens running around with ray guns and so on... it would work great with any of the new town/farm sets because heaven knows these aliens are going to want to go abduct some cows and such. Gimicks could include various glow in the dark elements for the aliens and plenty of those flick fire missiles on the defense vehicles since kids apparently love gimicks. Great way to get some military sets while keeping it all pure fantasy.
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Zombiesoup64
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theme Name: Environmental Task Force!

Characters: A scientist of some sort, some hip, young teenagers, and careless, CO2 emission causing bad guys.

Conflict: Save the world from global warming!

Setting: A park of some sort, a factory, a car lot, etc.

Background Info: One more way to push being green on people.
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Cpt. J.Dubb



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not sure if this is a great idea but here we go...

Theme: Galactic Frontier (Space)
Characters: Stranded space colonists vs alien monsters (brick built)
Conflict: Crash landed astronauts must survive in hostile space as they try to establish a permanent colony on planet X
Setting: some planet
Background: year 2468...earth tries to colonize planet x. however, their ship is damaged among re-entry and a few of the characters are scattered over the surface with part of the main vessel. The main party goes to salvage their 'colony' base/ship and has to find the other important parts/surviving astronauts. What i thought might be interesting is that if customers buy all the sets, they can collect the parts to rebuilt the main ship to promote collect-ibility. In addition, the 2nd largest set should be some comm. part or energy core which allows the colonist to contact earth. This can lead to a second year where earth sends reinforcements to help colonize and better fend against creatures. in addition, i think that there should be a lesser stress on military-weapons..down-grade from agents or mars mission vehicles.

i think it is around a mix of aqua raiders, mars mission and agents.
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Grand Zombie
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joedward wrote:
Is LEGO allowed to build a line of sets that can transform. Or does copyright come into it?

Just have a good guy side and bad guy side. Vehicles and aircraft that can change form by bending and rolling and twisting, all into robot type things, or other vehicles and aircraft and stuff?

Maybe it'd be too comlicated, I don't know.


Maybe they could call them something catchy, like "Transforminators"
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ZombieDraykov
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theme Name: Space Haulers
Characters: Good guys are basically fun-loving space-truckers and their robot assistants...the bad guys are space pirates/bandits.
Conflict: Space-truckers use their cargo hauling vessels to tranport a variety of valuable goods across the galaxy. The space-pirates/bandits want this cargo.
Setting: Space, various planetary depots and spaceports.
Background Info: The space-truckers are good natured, every day guys just trying to make an honest living. The long treks through space can be tough and lonely, so stopping off at the occasional port-side eatery/trucker club is important. The bandits do their best to take everything they can from the space haulers while on their cargo hauling missions.

Theme Name: Space Explorers/Xeno-Archaeologists
Characters: Good guy explorers, bad guy indigenous aliens.
Conflict: Xeno-Explorers want the cool and interesting artifacts that are rich in alien technology. Aliens don't want it in the hands of puny "hoomons".
Setting: One or several alien worlds to explore/space.
Background Info: Good guys are curious scientists interested in finding out about abandoned alien civilizations. The bad guys are the aliens who haven't quite abandoned their alien civilizations. (This is sort of the opposite of Don's idea).

Theme Name: Jungle Planet
Characters: Adventurous zoologists and botanists (think Jane Goodall and Steve Irwin with spaceships) vs. alien plants and animals.
Conflict: Well intentioned space explorers seek out new life and find hungry, hungry danger instead.
Setting: The jungle planet and the human bases on its surface.
Background Info: Basically, a solid mix of adventure seekers and nerdy scientists types encounter Venusian fly-trap type plants and monstrous creatures while exploring the jungle planet in the name of scientific adventure. Could also be extended to ice planet, desert planet, water planet, etc.

Theme Name: Super Adventure Team/Danger Squad
Characters: Good guys are a team of 5-7 unique individuals, one of whom must be a female, one of whom might be a younger individual. Bad guys are some large, undeniably evil organization like James Bond's SPECTER or GI Joe's Cobra.
Conflict:The good guys use their special vehicles (1 or 2 space/air-based, 1 or 2 land-based, 1 or 2 water-based) to generally save innocents from the bad guys or the Earth from natural disaster/alien invasion. The bad guys, due to their dedication to evil in everything they do, try to stop the good guys.
Setting: The good guys operate from their large flying vehicle (preferably with space travel and submersible capability). Members of the good-guy team have smaller vehicles that utilize modularity to connect to or are housed in the larger vehicle.
Background Info: Think "Thunderbirds"/"Scientific Rescue Unit TechnoVoyager" or "Battle of the Planets"/"Science Ninja Team Gatchaman".

Theme Name: Mermaids' Lagoon
Characters: Girls, girls and more girls. Princesses, mermaids, snow bunnies, you name it.
Conflict: This one is for the ladies. Conflict need not apply.
Setting: Cottages, peaceful lagoons, palaces, parks and elaborate pink treehouses.
Background Info: Basically, my 6-year-old daughter inspired this. She enjoys the pink, femme friendly aspect of Bellville but seems to enjoy the standard LEGO minifig and his/her accessories more so than Belleville. Basically, this runs with the idea of the mermaid included in 6243 Brickbeard's Bounty and merges the concept with the Paradisa from the mid to late 90s. Sort of a Paradisa meets fantasy world that puts heavy emphasis on unique female minifigs.
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Groovybones



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thunder-blade wrote:
I am sure Lego doesn't want anything military related...

Dang... I am really drawing a blank here! I guess it's because all I ever buy is Star Wars.. Laughing



he speaks the truth!
just make more SW sets and I'll be okay.
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Olog
Ambassadargh!


Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Location: Romaniargh!

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone!

Apparently there's been a misunderstanding. Although not clearly stated in the initial announcement, LEGO did not mean for this request to be a public one. Because of this all the ambassadors have been asked to close all public discussions.

If anyone desires to continue sending in requests and ideas, you are advised to PM or E-mail me or Mike about this.

Thank you for understanding.

-Adrian
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