Review: 10259 Winter Village Station

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I've always looked forward to getting the new Winter Village set each year. It's become as much of a tradition in my household as Christmas itself. After last year's 10254 Winter Holiday Train Winter Village Train, this year's offering of a Winter Village Station hardly comes as a surprise.

Initially, it looks a bit small - and the question of value for money has raised a few eyebrows. So in order to answer that question as truthfully as I can, I've stumped up my own cash (well, with some VIP points) to see if we're full steam ahead, or at the end of the line.


Packaging

Looking at the box first, it's a pretty standard affair for the WV theme. It's nicely designed in the usual blue tones depicting a Winter feeling. It's no heavyweight, being 48x28x7.2cm and just over 1.1kg. Annoyingly, the box has press-in thumb tabs instead of seals - a bit of a shame for a set that will likely go into storage and come out year after year. However, a bit of careful teasing along the seam can avoid ruining the box.

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The back shows the various play features and of course its partner train set pulling up at the platform.

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Opening it up we find 9 bags and 4 straight pieces of track. One of the criticisms of the Winter Village Train was that it only had curved track supplied, so this adds to the layout quite nicely.

View image at flickr

There are two thin instruction manuals and a sticker sheet, thankfully with only 9 to be applied. Book 1 deals with building the level crossing and bus, book 2 with the station itself.

View image at flickr


Parts

If you're not so interested in parts, then just skip to the next section. There are 902 parts, with some recolours and lesser spotted items included. The 1x2 Technic Brick with 1 Hole and the 1x1 Brick With Scroll are recoloured in Medium Dark Flesh. The Wedge 4x6x2/3 Double that was first available in the 60154 Bus Station Bus Station is recoloured in Dark Blue. The Microphone Accessory gets a recolour in Light Bluish Grey and while 1x6x2 Arches have been done in Yellow before, they haven't been produced since 2007. This is the new medium thick top mould variant.

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Aside from the scrolls, the other interesting part to MOCers is the new clock face. This is printed on a black minifigure shield which gives it a lovely convex surface. It's an attractive design, and is a very useful size.


Minifigures

There are five minifigures included – all fairly generic with no new prints which is a shame. You have a Bus Driver, Barista, Small Boy, Grandma and Station Master.

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All of the heads have single sided prints and four of the five torsos feature back printing.

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The most interesting figure in terms of parts is Grandma. Her head has been in a mere three sets so far, and her jumper print in just one - 60134 Fun in the Park - City People Pack. Her braided hairpiece in Dark Bluish Grey is another rarity appearing in only 70751 Temple of Airjitzu. It's a nice wig, but it will cause some problems – which you'll see later on. As such, there are no stand out figures but they all complement the set just fine.


The Build

On to the build, then. To be honest I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Book 1 is 46 pages long with 40 steps. Most of it concerns the minibus.

First up is the level crossing and the lamps which get added onto the station platform later.

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Next is the minibus, beginning with a simple chassis with seating for four, and a hinged door.

View image at flickr

Add in the arches and some seasonal decorations.

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Nearly there - windows, lights, stickers.

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Whack on some wheels, fill the roof rack with presents and it's all done. That really didn't take long.

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The roof pops off easily to allow access to the seating. We'll look at this properly in a bit.

View image at flickr

Now on to the station. Book 2 has 64 pages and 92 steps. All six bags numbered 2 are used for this, which might sound a lot but after I'd ripped them open and spread them all over my table, it made quite an easy pile to work with. There's a good mix of pieces.

First is a basic foundation frame with an oddly placed turntable within.

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Add on the plates, some snow, and a postbox with a very poorly aligned sticker (damn my sausage fingers!) and there is a gaping hole left over the turntable area.

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Building on upwards, the ticket office and coffee shop start to take shape. It becomes apparent why the turntable is set into the foundations – it's a nice technique for angling the porch area on top.

View image at flickr

Stickers again – thankfully I did it much better this time and the first parts of roof goes on.

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Now to the clock tower - it's actually a little more intricate than the picture belies with some SNOT work behind to hold the faces and tiles in place. The station is complete. It's quite a pretty little thing from the front. The colour scheme is appealing, and the little patches of dripping snow on the platform look great.

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Spin it around though, and it's purely practical. It doesn't seem too attractive from this angle. There's access to the play areas, of which I count the vast total of three – coffee/newspaper counter, ticket counter and, hmm, well, a door. It all looks rather unfinished.

View image at flickr

It's hard to put the exact build time on it as I kept stopping to take pictures and faff about. I'm not an especially quick builder, but I reckon there's only a couple of hours here for the whole lot. Saying that, I found it to be really enjoyable. There's nothing repetitive and it has a good variety of bricks, plates, tiles and colours. I didn't expect any interesting techniques, but the angling of the porch is both simple and clever, and the clock tower has some good goings on behind it. The use of microphones to hold the chain rail up on the entrance slope is a nice touch. The stickers are few, and all of a nice design which really enhance the set. Put all of the different elements together and at least it looks a little bit bigger.

View image at flickr

The last set I built was 10253 Big Ben, and after the mind numbing tedium of placing all the 1x1's in that, I was just about ready to rip out my own fingernails and give up building for a while. I'm glad I didn't though as this little set has been the breath of fresh air that I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed the construction. Like many WV sets before, it has a feel-good factor about it.


Play Features

As an AFOL I still find it a bit weird talking about play, and I have to remind myself of the real target demographic. In this case, it's the bus that provides a lot of opportunities. Let's not forget that many lower priced LEGO sets are purely vehicles of some description and sell very well. This is a smart move to include it and must be a big draw for kids.

It's a very attractive retro design. There is one hinged door for the driver and his passengers to use. The pop-off roof has a rack for loading all the presents onto and there are two panels next to the wheel arches inside rear which fit suitcases nicely.

View image at flickr

There is a small problem – and not one that is unique to this set - but a general annoyance of how certain LEGO elements are designed. The driver sits in his seat fine. The small boy of course has to stand because of his stubby legs – no surprise there, but as they've given grandma a hairpiece with long braids, she doesn't fit back in the seat. She doesn't connect to the seat studs and ends up rattling around. OK, so we can switch her hair out ourselves to cure this, but surely it would have been better to supply her with a hairpiece that worked within the set in the first place?

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It's a great little bus for running passengers to and from the station. Remove the holly wreaths and you've got a vehicle that would work well anywhere else in a city layout too.

View image at flickr

The level crossing has barriers that raise up and down easily. Not much else to say about it.

View image at flickr

The station itself, pretty as it may be, doesn't have a lot in the way of features. You've got a ticket office and a coffee bar/newstand to play with - it's all up to the imagination and your inner child. Go up the ramp clutching your LEGO dollars and onwards to buy your tickets.

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The station master can relieve city folk of their cash and dispense train tickets through the small gap under the window which is a neat touch.

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Newspapers and coffee are available on the platform. The window swings upwards next to the scroll detailing and the sand green profile bricks give a nice stained wood effect.

View image at flickr

Shown from the rear, you can see there's not a whole lot of room for the barista to get to the window – sandwiched between the coffee machine and the till. Fortunately the till and counter is a standalone item and I found that putting it behind her works a bit better for me. The coffee seems reasonably priced here too.

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There is a small sheltered bench where the good citizens can wait for their train to arrive – perhaps with a newspaper or hot beverage.

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All 5 minifigures successfully populate the set – there's not too many or too few. The platform certainly works, but with more holiday season commuters, it could become a bit crowded. Fortunately, it's a very easy set to modify - a platform extension using just a few dark tan plates and some beams underneath is something even a novice builder can do. In fact it's crying out for just that. Which leads us to the next question – how does it go with the Winter Village Train? Well, judge for yourself...

View image at flickr

Again, it does make the station seem a little small. I think it'd struggle with the original 10173 Holiday Train pulling up here. If you have modified last year's train to be a bit longer you'll need to extend your station too.

For my own personal tastes, I would have probably preferred more station, less bus, but I'm sure any small boy or girl would disagree. I would agree there's certainly fun to be had loading the train with pressies though.

View image at flickr

Despite my reservations about “playing” with a set, as with my previous reviews, I've certainly enjoyed a few moments placing and posing characters in order to photograph them. Adding it all together with the bus, crossing and track, it really is rather charming. That's not a word I use in my vocabulary very often, but I think it's very apt here.


Price

Now to the issue of money. It's a bit of an oddity as it one of those sets that has regional differences, so firstly I have to look at it from my UK perspective. It costs £74.99 here, the same as last year's train. If we look purely at the part count, it has 902 pieces compared with the train that only had 734 so it would imply there's more brick per buck. Looking back at the 10249 Winter Toy Shop which is still available, you get 898 pieces for £64.99 – so something doesn't completely add up. I guess train tracks are quite expensive then, as that's the message I'm getting.

So I've paid for it myself and do I feel cheated? Yes, maybe a little. It's easy to look at the station building alone and think it's small for the money, but as a whole collective it's not a long way off the mark. I think I would have been more comfortable if it were priced at £67.95 – I was cogitating quite a bit over the window display before I finally pulled the trigger.

Delving into the facts some more though, it seems that in Germany it costs €69.99 – equating to just under £62 at todays rates. Now I definitely do feel cheated! France/Belgium price is €74.99. I think if you live somewhere where you can buy it at that price, then it's well worth a punt. US price seems an equally reasonable $79.99. If you're a UK buyer, I'd say think long and hard about how much you want it in your village.


Overall

Both the bus and station ooze character and charm. It's a really enjoyable (but short) build, and a great addition to a Winter Village if you already have the Train. However, if you never bought into the Train set, there's little reason to get this. I feel it's overpriced in the UK at least, and the rear does seem a tad unfinished. If you can accept those irritations, then I suspect you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

View image at flickr

44 comments on this article

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By in Sweden,

Yes, the price is too high for this one even if the set itself is pretty sweet. With last year’s train, which was similarly overpriced, it makes a good combination. Don’t think this set would fit with a City-themed railway.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just feels too insubstantial to me, compared with previous Winter Village buildings. You'd probably have to buy two just to make it feel bigger and complete...

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By in United States,

Nice review! It does look a little unfinished. Why do WV sets always have such amazing recolors and exclusive parts? Those clock shields are just awesome.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review and photos, thanks! Definitely overpriced but the completist in me will still have to have it.

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By in France,

Seems to be a good set if you have the Winter Train. Weird it's overpriced in the UK while apparently in the rest of Europe and in the USA it's a fair price...

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By in Netherlands,

I bought the winter station first, and subsequently ordered the train which arrived today. As with all my WV sets, I won't start building until it's 'that time of the season', but thanks for a nice review. Now I know what to expect :-)

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By in Canada,

Thanks for the review, @iso3200. While I like the bus I too feel the building looks shortchanged. I'll probably still get it since we've got other WV stuff—and I have wanted something more than the lame platforms we have.

A tip for applying stickers as hedge against "sausage fingers": I use the tip of an Xacto blade to hold the sticker over the position more precisely and then can press down into alignment.

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By in United Kingdom,

This will make a great present for my wife. What a fun set and it looks the part. Great play factor for the uk kids using the bus for the replacement service. Its odd that it costs less in Germany. Must be priced for the market as perhaps allot more competition for the train enthusiasts.

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By in Canada,

If the train is that long, and only includes curved track, doesn't this mean you're four track pieces short of making a complete loop? Moving two pieces to the other side of the loop doesn't look that practical...

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By in Germany,

I skipped the train, so I will skip the station as well. Saving money for the new modular building.

BTW: Stickers again?

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By in Netherlands,

I really enjoy your writing skills! Added to the brilliant photography and you have my vote for the best review on Brickset for 2017!

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By in United Kingdom,

Do we know if there will be double/triple VIP points through October or November? That is what I am waiting for to make this a little more worth it.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Mr. Shiny and New - I would agree. The station platform can get away with only 2 lengths for the carriages, so you could configure it with 2 length per side and have the crossing placed opposite the station. It does cause the problem of not being able to drive the bus where it is supposed to be though.

I think most train people add a little track to their layouts anyway, but yes, if you only have 10254 and 10259 you'll want another 4 straights if you have room. It is a shame that they couldn't stretch to supplying 6 with the set in the first place - that may have been a good compromise, especially given the pricing and size winges noted above.

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By in United States,

Nice review! I agree that it could feel more substantial for the money. That being said, it will be the perfect set to pick up during the double points event in the US in October (which I will be doing).

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh dear, it does look a bit small once you add the train. I'd be tempted to add more bricks to build it up more overall, and make the back look a bit better. Love the bus, though!

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By in United States,

My first WV set. I don't have the WV train, but several other City train sets. Our family is planning on putting this station under the tree and running the motorized City train around the tree, a la '50's style/ theme. Really enjoyed the detail to this set.

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By in Norway,

Thank you for a great review and nice pictures. A must have for any WVcollectors as myself.

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By in United States,

I use two lego bars to apply stickers. Their round surface makes sure they easily come off and makes them easier to handle. My biggest gripe isn't making sure they go on straight, its making sure I don't leave fingerprints in the glue, man does that look awful.

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By in Ireland,

Hate the train so didn't get it but love this, will get it without the train.

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By in United States,

I love the bus and the way the tiled entrance is built is so clever. The station is charming, I agree.

I also agree there needs to be more in the interior. Another 6x8 plate should be added to enlarge the area with a bench, a heater, or Christmas tree.

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By in United States,

Nice review. Because I have all the other WV sets, I'll be getting this one also. I have fat fingers too so, I use an old set of tweezers, no more skewed stickers or big fingerprints on the back of clear stickers.

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By in United States,

Not the greatest WV set, but that range is so fun that I'll be buying it anyway. Hopefully it'll qualify me for the new multiple build advent calendar!

My 11-year-old son is showing signs of losing interest in Lego -- awful! Perhaps a motorized WV train a-chugging around the Xmas tree might lure him back in...?

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By in United Kingdom,

The train was £70 last year. If it's £75 now then it has increased.

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By in Australia,

I agree that it's not the best winter village set ever, but I adore the theme so it's a definite purchase for me. I think my favourite part is the bus and I know my 4 year old son will agree. I already have a station in my village so I am planning on building this as a grocery corner store.

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By in Australia,

Great review. Might have to get it on sale. Why is there a Christmas tree above the coffee shop though? It seems so out of place.

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By in United States,

I loved your very personable narrative style and all of the bonus minifig-level photos. Very enjoyable.

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By in Australia,

Great review - the set feels like an oversized vignette.

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By in Canada,

The photography and narrative are most excellent.

So far I have opted not to buy either of the train or station. I have no other Lego train sets and don't think I will be getting any so figured with such a small layout it wouldn't be much fun. I do think it would be a fun combination although the train is a little large or the station is a little small.

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By in United States,

That was a great review. Thanks. Already picked it up and assembled. Couldn't wait.

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By in Austria,

Daddy, is that a bus station or a train station..?

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By in United States,

There's got to be a lot of parts in the bus and clock tower, because I'm not seeing 900 pieces here...

It would be a really nice set for $50. I would buy this set if it got discounted to about there.

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By in United States,

^Agreed on the size/price comment. It feels more like a $50 dollar set than anything else.

Thank you for the well-written review and the charming pictures. While they have improved my opinion of the set, I'm still not seeing the value for the price, so it'll be a pass from me without a discount.

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By in United States,

Every train station I use has more buses than trains at any given moment, making the needed local connections. Maybe it's the lack of comprehensive rail service here in the U.S. I appreciate the inclusion of a stylish bus, it's my favorite element.

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By in United States,

I actually like this one.

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By in Australia,

Great review! I will hopefully get this although it is $120 AU. Is this set a Lego Store/Shop @ Home exclusive?

By the way, I am very sure that 'Grandma's Torso' came in City Pizza Van as well.

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By in Canada,

Lots of comments about price = expensive. I see some value in this set. Let me put it this way, set 7896 includes only 8 straight and 8 curved tracks for a total of 16 pieces. This set is $25 Canadian dollars, or $1.55 per piece. There are 4 straight pieces in 10259, so the track alone accounts for $6.20 of the set. As 10259 is $99.99 here in Canada, the price without the track is $93.80, and at 902 pieces, that brings the price per piece to just over 10 cents each. Most MOCers consider 10 cents per part or less to be "value sets". By the way, that's 10 cents Canadian, which is about 8 cents US funds.

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By in United States,

Superb review! Very well-written, interesting to read, and fabulous pics.

The set itself I'm not sold on... I do love the quaint little bus, but the station itself is dull and bordering on ugly. Awkward, uninspiring design. What's up with all the weird color stripes along the bottom of the building? Horizontal stripes of three shades of brown plus gray... why? The roof and clock tower (such a nice, romantic idea, if it had been implemented differently) look clunky and awful. Not sure who signed off on this design.

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By in United States,

Great review! Can you link the set at the top of the article?

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By in United Kingdom,

Really nice review, good stuff. I purchased the winter train set last year and was a bit underwhelmed, so I'm not considering a purchase of the station but found your review really interesting.

I have the winter toy shop and Santa's workshop and I absolutely love both of those sets so will be bringing them out for display in a couple of months' time. The train set is going to be moved on...

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By in United Kingdom,

Not happy with this trend of giving you one wedge or wing plate without it's opposite also appearing in the set. At least that big white one in the base pairs up with the similarly lonely one in the 60161 Jungle Exploration.

Nice looking set, but as mentioned, over-priced. Maybe playing a bit too much on the goodwill of all those who bought the train last year.

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By in United States,

why is this 80 dollars? lol
@ggfile no average consumer is gonna think and be critical as you are with parts per ratio etc. An average consumer will look at the box, look at the size, and look at the price. This is failed marketing/pricing.

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By in Netherlands,

Thanks for the nice in-depth review! I really liked the added pictures of the building stages and your paragraph about the price was also well thought.

If it's not too much effort, it would be nice if you could deeplink some of the other sets you refer too in future reviews :)

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By in United Kingdom,

@TWP I've gone back and added the set links now I know how to do it properly.

@PicnicBasketSam I've counted the parts in the clock tower. If you look at the last two build pictures of the station, from the black plate on top of the porch up to the top white plate of the roof, there are 125 parts to make that section. These are mostly small plates, jumpers, tiles and SNOT.

And of course to everyone who commented on how much they enjoyed the review and pictures - many thanks indeed :-)

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By in Australia,

At today's exchange rates Australia gets one of the worst deals with regional pricing. Compare the set price: AUD199.99 = USD155.81 = GBP117.97 = EUR131.57! But, despite that, value is often subjective. I still think it's a charming set and I'll still buy it because I like finishing and building up collections, and this fits in well with last year's train. I like the little details like the snow/icicles edging over the platform and the train tickets.

Thanks for the detailed review and honest opinion.

(P.S. Not sure why this says I'm in the U.S. when I'm in Australia...)

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