Thursday, March 16, 2023

Walt Disney's Pinocchio - Mega Post!!!

Walt Disney's animated classic, Pinocchio, was originally released in February of 1940.  According to Wikipedia, it was re-released theatrically in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1984, and 1992.

This was the poster for the film's 1971 re-release.

While going through some things at my mom's house, I found a section of the Los Angeles Times from 1971, which had been used as "packing material."

Here's a higher resolution scan of the photo showing the fountains at the Department of Water and Power building, in Downtown Los Angeles.

Inside the paper, was an advertisement for the 1971 re-release of Pinocchio:

Just for kicks, this is what was on the backside of the Pinocchio ad.  It's an ad for the "hagsploitation" film, "What's The Matter With Helen?"  While that does look like Shelley Winters in the artwork, I have to say that really doesn't look like Debbie Reynolds.  It looks a little bit more like a blond Leslie Ann Warren from Victor/Victoria!  I probably should have scanned more of the 1971 movie ads from this paper, but that's all I have......for now.

That 1971 Pinocchio ad inspired me to put together an "all-things-Pinocchio" post.  So here are some other Pinoke-related items from my personal collection.

My brother received this Pinocchio marionette for Christmas, in 1967.

My parents purchased it at Sears.  I know this, because my dad worked for Sears at the time.....all of our toys came from Sears!  Here's a page from the Sears Catalog/Wish Book.  The description mentions that the puppet was made in England.

I posted these marionette images, previously.  You might recognize my brother, seen here once again.  We looked alike when we were kids.  ;-)

In 1969, this Pinocchio-themed float appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade.  My dad snapped this picture after the parade.

And two years later, Pinocchio was in the parade again, this time on a Disneyland-themed float.

Here's another item that belonged to my brother.  It's an issue of Walt Disney's Comics Digest, featuring Pinocchio and dated August 1971, the same summer that the film was being re-released.

Oddly enough, the story had Pinocchio teaming up with Donald Duck.

 Honest John and Gideon both appeared in the story..... well as Monstro!

The following summer, Pinocchio and Geppetto appeared on the June cover of Disneyland Magazine (the "Magazine For Young Readers").  I had a subscription to the magazine at this time, even though issues were available at our local Lucky's supermarket.

And one year later (July 1973), Pinocchio was once again, gracing the cover of the magazine.  While checking on eBay, I noticed that Pinocchio was frequently featured on the cover of Disneyland Magazine.

In the early 1970's, I received this "mini" card game in my Christmas stocking.  The cards are only about 1.5 by 2.5 inches in size.

The cards were made by the Russell Manufacturing Co. 

I also received a "mini" Donald Duck card game at the same time.  I'm not sure if they made a card game for each of these characters depicted on the back of the cards, but a "Mr. Toad" game would have been pretty cool!

 Here are the various characters featured on the cards.

And the instructions, just in case anyone is interested:

While growing up, we had a children's record player (as seen in that earlier photo of my brother).  We also had a large selection of children's records, and we listened to them quite often.  Our record collection included many of the smaller "45 rpm" records.



We also had quite a few of the larger "33 1/3" record albums.  This particular one was part of a series of "Magic Mirror" albums, which included a storybook.

The front cover had an oval cut-out in it (the "Magic Mirror"), which allowed you to see a portion of the image on the first page.

Somehow, my family missed seeing Pinocchio during it's 1971 re-release.  My very first viewing of the film, was during it's 1978 re-release.  The Fall 1978 issue of Disney News Magazine featured a "coming soon" ad for the film, on it's back cover.

Some years later, I was able to acquire one of the original posters from the 1978 re-release.

I also purchased this original 1978 "half sheet" poster.  Like many other Disney-related items in my collection, both of these posters came from the former "Comic Castle" shop, in Fullerton, CA.

I purchased this souvenir Pinocchio button from Disneyland's Main St. Emporium, shortly after the film's 1978 re-release:

During that same Disneyland visit, I purchased this Little Golden Book from the Story Book Shop (located in the back of the Main Street Emporium and sponsored by the Western Publishing Company, publishers of the "Little Golden Books" series).

Also available in the Emporium, and purchased around this same time period, were these ceramic figurines of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

A few years later, Disney released a series of six souvenir plates, sold exclusively at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  The "Disney Classic Plate Collection" included a plate for Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Alice In Wonderland, and Peter Pan.


The plates sold for $6.50 each, as shown on the original price tag, below.

In 1980, Disney started releasing a series of "picture disc" records.  These were sold in both the Emporium and the Character Shop at Disneyland, and could also be found in the toy section of some department stores and local grocery store chains.

The songs were all taken directly from the film's soundtrack.  There weren't any of those Marnie Nixon or Ginny Tyler "covers," which were sometimes used on Disney children's records.

My family realized that I was a Disney fan at a very young age, and to this day, they still pick up Disney items for me.  Not too long ago, my aunt gave me this vintage playing card, which she found in an antique mall.  There was just one single card, and it's from a regular deck (the other side is the two of hearts).

My aunt also gave me this vintage plastic charm, a few years back.  It was in a bag of similar charms, which included Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Dumbo, Grumpy, and Practical Pig.

When I was about 12, my grandmother gave me this 1940s bisque figurine of Pinocchio.  She had found it at her church's thrift store ("The Galore Shop," in Redondo Beach, CA).  Even at that young of an age,  I was able to appreciate a much older item like this.

In 1983, Jiminy Cricket made an appearance in the animated short, Mickey's Christmas Carol.  This lobby card is from a set, which I also purchased from the Comic Castle in Fullerton.

That same year, both Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland opened their own Pinocchio-themed dark rides.

These attractions will have to be the subject of another post at another time, but for now, here are some photos of the attraction facades.

Tokyo (opened April 15, 1983):

Anaheim (opened May 25, 1983):

I took the shot above, three days after the opening of the attraction in Anaheim.  The figure of Pinocchio above the entrance was not added until many years later.

And here's the attraction at Disneyland Paris, which opened along with that park, in 1992:


Also in 1992, Pinocchio had it's last theatrical re-release.  These posters were hanging in the foyer of the El Capitan Theater, in Hollywood.

Pinocchio was released on VHS (and Betamax) for the very first time in 1985, at a cost of $79.95.  It was released again the following year, at a reduced price of $29.95.


The film was released on DVD for the first time in 1999, for it's upcoming 60th anniversary (in 2000).

In 2002, McDonald's Happy Meals included figures from a wide selection of Disney characters.  There were 100 different characters available altogether, including Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, and the Blue Fairy.

The 2002 McDonald's promotion was a tie-in with Walt Disney World's "100 Years of Magic" celebration, which was a celebration of what would have been Walt Disney's 100th birthday.  (His 100th birthday would have actually been in 2001.)

Meanwhile, back over at Disneyland.......for many years, Pinocchio had his own "section" within the old Disneyland parking lot.  However, when the lot closed in 1998 (for the construction of Disney's second park in Anaheim), Pinocchio received his very own parking lot.  This lot was located just west of Disneyland.  The Pinocchio lot remained in that same location (in some form), until the recently-built "Pixar Pals" parking structure replaced it.

Here's one of the signs from the former Pinocchio parking lot.

And here is a card that was given out to guests who parked in the Pinocchio lot, back when it was new.  There were also cards for the newly-opened Timon and Simba parking lots.

The cards were created to eliminate confusion for guests, as to which lot they had parked in, and which tram they should catch when leaving the park at the end of their day.

In 2005, some of the original animated scenes from past Main St. Emporium window displays, made a return for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. This particular window contained scenes from Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

And just for fun, we will end with this image of Grumpy Cat as the Blue Fairy.  The artwork was created by digital artist, Eric Proctor (a.k.a. TsaoShin at

****UPDATE****  (3-24-23) 

While growing up, my family had a set of plastic placemats with various Disney characters on them.  I remember eating many childhood breakfasts on these placemats.  One of the mats featured Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

The mats all had the RCA logo on them.  I don't remember where we got these, but I found a set online, in their original plastic bag/packaging.  Printed on the bag was, "Compliments of Your RCA Victor Dealer," and "RCA The Most Trusted Name In Electronics."

This Pinocchio PEZ candy dispenser is another item that I received one year, in my Christmas stocking.

Back in the 1990s, I purchased this small plastic Blue Fairy figure at Disneyland's Star Trader shop.  I previously posted a photo of the plastic Disney villains figures, which were sold in the Villains Shop in Fantasyland, around the same time.

About 10 years ago, Disneyland was selling a set of magnets, designed to look like business advertisements for Jiminy Cricket, and a few other Disney characters.  (There was also a magnet for "Snow White's Forest Friends Cleaning Co.," "Poppins' Penguins Catering Co.," and "Cinderella's Crafty Critter Sewing Service.")

 ****UPDATE****  (4-24-23)

While working on some future blog posts, I came across this photo of another Pinocchio item, at Disneyland.  This was (is?) located in the Penny Arcade/Candy Palace, on Main Street.  The photo was taken in the summer of 2011, so I'm not sure if it is still there or not.  It's an arcade machine that you put a quarter into, and then you can make Pinocchio "dance" by pushing buttons that move his arms and legs.  Note the little Jiminy Cricket figure, inside the glass case.  I believe that he moved up and down automatically, since he is also hanging by a string.  Many years ago, there was a similar machine in Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade, located in Bear Country.  That one featured "Henry," the host of the former Country Bear Jamboree attraction.

*****POST UPDATE (April 2024)***** 

I just came across this Los Angeles Times advertisement, for the December 1984 re-release of the film:

****BONUS****  I've scanned the entire Pinocchio Little Golden Book, which I purchased at Disneyland, in 1978.  Enjoy!


Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, this really is a mega-post. I thought, “How much can TM post about Pinocchio?”. A lot.

That 1971 poster is unusual, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. The “All Ages” really looks like it was added by a kid later!

There’s no way that’s Debbie Reynolds in that “What’s the Matter With Helen?” ad. Very weird.

The marionette… I had a marionette when I was a kid, but found it too frustrating to play with. Plus the strings always got tangled up, almost by magic. Love the Rose Parade shots!

I remember when we moved into the house where my mom still lives, there was a pile of those Disneyland magazines still in the closet of my bedroom (along with some “Disney News” issues), I considered that a good omen! I don’t remember getting rid of the magazines, but they are long gone.

We had a record player too, and man did we abuse it, and our records. We loved to spin the records backwards for a good laugh, I’m sure that was great for the mechanism inside. I LOVED those “Magic Mirror” Storyteller records (did Ginny Tyler narrate the Pinocchio version?), I listened to some of them over and over. And over.

I think it’s amazing that you seemed to already be consciously collecting certain Disney items, even when you were pretty young, I think I got started much later, not counting some books. The ceramic Emporium figures brought back some great memories!

The illustrations on those plates and records remind me of a friend of mine who was a Disney background painter (for feature animation). He would take side jobs doing paintings for Disney plates and that sort of thing. He’d procrastinate until the day before it was due, and then knock it out in a matter of hours. And it would look incredible.

I have a little bag full of those same plastic charms! And I have that bisque figurine too.

I personally love the Pinocchio dark ride, though some people seem to think of it as an inferior attraction. I guess I like that the line isn’t usually that long! But it seems to me that it is a perfectly fine addition to all of the classic dark rides that had been there since the 50s.

I saw Pinocchio in the theater with my grandma (!) in 1991, she knew how much I loved Disney and spontaneously decided to take me. I remember a little kid looking at me (an adult well into my 20s) standing there with my grandma, probably thinking, “What the hell?”. It was a thrill to see the movie on the big screen.

I think our friend DrGoat has one of those Pinocchio parking lot signs!

I have some night shots of Main Street coming up (thanks to Lou and Sue), and you can see that the Emporium windows have scenes from Pinocchio. Very cool.

Thank you for this fantastic MEGA POST!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, how funny! I never even noticed the way that "All Ages" was written on the poster. Maybe a theater manager did that? I actually got that image from the internet, because I thought it would be too difficult to get my poster out, and photograph it since it is so large. I know that you do that with your attraction posters, but I'm just guessing that it isn't all that easy to do. Anyway, thanks for pointing that out to me!

Wow! You moved into a house that had a stack of Disneyland Magazines and Disney News Magazines? How cool!

That's funny that you said you listened to your records "over and over...and over." I almost typed that exact same thing when writing this post. And my brother and I also played our records backwards. I seem to remember that besides the "78," "45," and "33 1/3" rpm speeds, there was an "N" for neutral. Unless I'm just thinking of automobiles! But there was a way to stop the turntable from spinning automatically. Maybe it was a matter of putting the speed setting in between the designated speeds. I just remember using our fingers to make the turntable go backwards, and also to make it go even faster than 78 rpm.

I wonder if your friend designed that Pinocchio plate, or any of the others in that series? That's amazing that he was able to come up with the completed artwork in a matter of hours.

I remember you sharing at least one of your plastic charms with us. The one I'm thinking of was "Sniffles" the mouse, from Warner Bros.' cartoons.

Awwww, my grandmother used to take me to see Disney movies when they were released. And I went to plenty of Disney films when I was in my 20's....and beyond. I would have told that kid in line to turn around and mind his own bloody business! Either that, or I would have given him the Pee-wee line, "Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer!" :-)

Dr. Goat does have one of the Pinocchio parking lot signs. He shared a photo of it with us, in the past. I should have asked him if I could share his pic here.

Ooooh, I'm looking forward to seeing Lou's pics showing the Emporium windows. There just aren't very many photos out there of those past window displays. I have a few photos that I took of "The Little Mermaid" and "Mulan" displays, and some video footage of the "Beauty and the Beast" and "Hunchback" displays. I wish I had thought to document more of them.

Connie Moreno said...

Wow. Just wow! Hello guys!
Those newspaper movie ads brought back a flood of memories. I remember scanning those weekly and so many of them caught my eye, I couldn't decide which movie to go see. My parents would drop me off at the local theater on Saturday morning. What a blast!

Wen I saw that souvenir button, I drooled. The very first item I started collecting were the buttons that were sold at Disneyland. I miss those!

I too, love the dark ride. It makes me smile.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hi Connie! It's good to hear from you! How have you been?

My brother and I would spend a lot of time looking through the movie/entertainment section of the newspaper. And I remember especially poring over the ads for the Disney movies and any Disneyland ads, too. You're right, going to the movies as a kid was a blast.....and everything was a "double feature" back then!

The buttons were also one of the earliest DL souvenirs that I started collecting. My first one was the flicker/lenticular "I Like Disneyland" button with Mickey on it.

I'm glad you enjoyed this post. And thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Holy Moly!!! (that's the highest form of moly) WOW, TM! I had no idea this much Pinocchio stuff even existed! When you "Mega-Post," you REALLY "Mega-Post" by golly! I'll have to come back when I'm not supposed to be working and read all of it, but just from first brush- great post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Stu, thanks! Just reading your comment got me wondering, if I had really included every single Pinocchio item in my collection, and I just now remembered an item that I left out! We had some laminated Disney placemats when we were kids, and one of them had Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket on it. I'll have to see if I can locate it.....


TOKYO: what great mega post! I love seeing the unusual re-release poster. I think your Pinocchio marionette made in England is a PELLHAM PUPPET. PELLHAM puppets were often sold in import toy stores like TOYS INTERNATIONAL and FAO SHWARTZ. American department stores offered a small selection of them as well in their catalogs.

I too like Major really like Pinocchio’s Daring Journey … I know it was pretty much completely designed by 1973 and did open till 1983, but it feels like it was always part of the family of Fantasyland dark rides.

The attraction poster for Pinocchio’s Daring Journey was intentionally designed to be slightly simple to appear more like a 1950’s or a 1960’s style attraction poster compared to the highly elaborate and intricate designs of the 70’s and 80’s.

In the early 80’s looking in the original Disneyanna Shop at Disneyland they sold original pieces of emporium window displays and also selected duplicates for sale … kinda of like a limited edition but rarer .. just randomly they might make a dozen duplicates of a window display figure to sell. PLEASE SEE PART TWO of this PINOCCHIO MEGA POST MEGA RESPONSE:


Response part two:

Anyway one visit to Disneyanna ( again in the very early 80’s) there was a fantastic figure of pinocchio as a wooded puppet and one of Jiminey Cricket .. they were both
So cool… !!!! But they were both very expensive at the time and I had no monkey like that to purchased something of that level. The Pinocchio display figure they sold looks almost identical to the one in the retro window display of 2005 … but the hair was different .. sculpted to look carved and it is strung … but it appears to be made from the same mold. In 1984 on a trip to Walt Disney World and a visit to their Disneyanna Shop , they had one of the Pinocchio Display figures …. And I had some money I could have purchase one … but then I saw a Nautilus scale display model ( movie version) and I decided to get that … and it was about 125.00 cheaper than the Pinocchio ! So I decided to go back later in the day and buy the submarine … and of course …. It had sold and it was their last one!! They explained they would randomly get them in … sometimes a group of 4 … Sometimes one or two … then months go by and they might not get any …

So I was kinda set on that nautilus model I kinda had the Pinocchio marionette out of my mind… the cast member told me that I could purchase one through mail order if they got the submarine piece in again …. And that I could have a catalog sent to me. They made it sound like I was going to be sent a Disneyanna catalog …. But it was just a WDW mail order catalog … and now nautilus model was ever in it …. BUT .. in a later WDW catalog the PINOCCHIO display marionette was available thru the catalog!! But now the price was $ 500!!!!


Soooo….. I never got the Pinocchio window display marionette …. However about 5 years ago I ran across someone selling one on eBay and incorrectly listed it as a Bob Baker marionette … I don’t know why because the figure had its Disneyanna Shop ( disneyland’s ) paperwork and nowhere is Bob Baker ever mentioned … I was able to finally purchase it for 400.00 bucks!

I also got a nautilus I bought with graduation money … but later sold it to buy Disneyland stuff .. several years ago I bought a replacement Disneyanna Shop Nautilus from the man who sculpted the original molds back in the late 70’s … he had three he sold on eBay he had forgot he had in storage …

I used to play my Aristocats record and my Bedknobs and Broomsticks records OVER and OVER!! “Beautiful Briny” and “substituti-ary-locomotion” was played sooo much it is a distinctly discolored from being worn down.!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thank you! I'm glad that you liked this post. And thanks for the info on the Disneyana Shop items. I used to love going in that shop (in it's original location) and looking through the animation cells and all of the other cool merchandise. I bought a few items in there over the years, but nothing on the level (or the price) that you did! I felt guilty about spending $50 on a set of limited edition "opening day" EPCOT Center plates! That was in 1982, so it was a heck of a lot of money for me, at that age (I was 17).

I knew that a Pinocchio dark ride was planned back in the 1970s. I remember seeing it mentioned in the "Preview of Coming Attractions" space on Main St. But I didn't realize the ride that opened in 1983, was what was originally designed in the 1970s. They tend to change their minds about things so darn much, I guess I just assumed that anything planned that long ago would have been majorly tweaked over the years. That's pretty cool that the plans go that far back. Does that mean that some of the "original" Imagineers worked on it?

My brother and I had an Aristocats album, too. I plan to post that in the future. A few years back, a friend of mine loaned me his turntable that could transfer vinyl records to CD. I transferred all of my childhood "45s", but only a few of the "LPs", darn it. Now I wish I had transferred everything. It was just a lot of work, and again, I was borrowing the unit. Oh, well!


TOKYO: oh yeah … I wasn’t buying anything that expensive back then either except the Nautilus Submarine …. But that was sold out. and if I had been able to it was 125.00 which was a lot of money … the Pinocchio was 450.00 I think now …. And that would have been really expensive the. Too but not obscene. Again I didn’t get the Pinocchio and the submarine till not too long ago - eBay and secondary Market and I was lucky with the price.

I think the first EXPENSIVE item I bought at Disneyland was a framed DL 30th pin set …. In 1986. Shortly after high school I bought a wooden DISNEYLAND 30th sign from part of the entry gates. They were like 95.00 I think. The sign is very Main Street looking but one side of all of them were oddly shaped to fit into sign frames that went to the left and right of each entry turnstile ( roof) this was during the days when after a promotion things like that or lamppost placards would be sent to Disneyanna.

I think I’ve told this story before but when the Disneyanna Shop moved from the Emporium Crystal Arcade and into a ( slightly ) larger location in the old RINGS & THINGS shop across the street , they had several Disneyland mailboxes on the floor… two sizes .. the ones still in use around the park and the big ones they used to have at the exit fences … there were also these beautiful oak and etched glass stamp dispensing covers used to keep the real stamp machines covered up and keeping Main street looking Victorian . Anyway , I thought they were there because the shop had just moved …. Why else would they be on the floor!!??? But I found out later that day they were selling them!! They were like 50.00 each!! I didn’t even know!! Of course they were all sold out by the time I found out!! A cast member said the mailboxes were so heavy they had no place to display them so they set them on the narrow floor space!! after that … each Disneyland visit started with a beeline to the Disneyanna Shop …. And later the Disney Gallery!!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see the placemats! I had a Batman placemat when I was growing up that now fetches big (stupid) bucks. So, I shall never dine on the Caped Crusader again, I'm afraid, lol!
I read the whole post this visit and all I can say is well done, my friend!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks again, Stu! I found a few more Pinocchio-related items, including a Pez dispenser. I will do an update to this post, and add photos of the extra items, including the placemat. When I do, I'll leave a comment here for anyone who's interested and "following" the comments on this post.

Nanook said...


Mega post, indeed-! So much eye candy. Naturally, I was fascinated with the old LATimes movie ads. Of particular note was the 1971 re-release, where it referred to Gideon as "Giddy". (I thought only Honest John was allowed to call him that-!) And as hard as it is to believe, that really IS Debbie Reynolds-!

Thanks for this great post.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I really should have scanned more of the movie ads from that section of the newspaper. I'm not sure why I didn't. I'll have to locate it and scan the rest of it.

I hadn't noticed the shortened name, "Giddy" in the ad. Does Honest John really call him that in the film? I need to sit down and watch that one's time.

I know that is supposed to be Debbie Reynolds, but gee...I don't think it looks very much like her! Maybe it's just me. I haven't seen too many films of hers, when she was younger. I'm picturing her in her "Will and Grace" days.

Thank you for commenting on my post!

K. Martinez said...

Great mega-post of my favorite animated feature.

Love the art on those 45rpm Disneyland Records.

My favorite image today is the lobby card for Mickey's Christmas Carol". Such an iconic image of Jiminy Cricket who happens to be my favorite Disney character.

I remember those VHS covers.

Thanks for another fun post, TM!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks, Ken! I also like the art on those 45 rpm records. I should have mentioned that the first one, "When You Wish Upon A Star," was purchased during a trip to Disneyland, in the summer of 1966. I wouldn't remember anything from that year, but my brother reminded me of the date.

I remember you saying that Pinocchio is your favorite animated feature from Disney. I'm glad to hear that you liked this post! :-)

TokyoMagic! said...

For Stu, and anyone else who might be interested and following the comments on this post.....I've updated the post with four more "Pinocchio" items that I had kind of forgotten about. Two of them are childhood items, including a plastic placemat and a PEZ dispenser. The other two items are somewhat "newer," and were souvenirs that I purchased at Disneyland.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! I thought I had already commented, but I see that's not the case. Oops!

My first drive-in movie was Pinocchio - thanks to my friend's dad who piled a bunch of us kids into the car and off we went. Great memories!

I know that DrGoat has one of the Pinocchio parking lot signs...I wonder if it could be the same one in your picture?

Thank you for your fun mega-post! You put a lot of hard work into your posts - and us readers appreciate it.


TokyoMagic! said...

Awww....thank you, Sue!

For some reason, I was never taken to the drive-in when I was a kid . I guess my mom preferred to take us to matinee showings. My first drive-in experience (for Superman, in 1978) was when I was 14, and it was also with a friend's family.

I wondered the same thing about Dr. Goat's sign, but I compared the number on his with the one in my photo, back when he first shared it with all of us. The number and the letter are different, but the Pinocchio design is the same!

Dewalt said...
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