11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

Pixl Play Camera

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids.

JBuddies Studio Headphones

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen.

Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active.

My First Lab Wow Scope

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature.

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device.

Bluebee Pals

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice., reads them a story and provides narration for your device

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.

KidiZoom Smartwatch by VTech

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a durable smartwatch that lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more

Jimu Robot - Astrobot Kit

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs

Cubelets® Robot Blocks by Modular Robots

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.

 

Holiday gift shopping for kids can be so hard!  Tech is changing rapidly and kids always want to have the latest and greatest toys.  Below are some of our top picks for top kids tech that will have kids learning as well as being active. If you are looking for the latest, must have kid tech for gifts any time of year this guide contains some great ideas for the best tech gifts for kids.

For more great ideas check out our previous gift guides including our #STEM guide.

Gifts Under $30

 

Pixl Play Camera

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids. It is designed to look like an old 35mm camera but chunky enough for little hands to hold it securely. The tough plastic case has a screen protector and provides protection against drops and dirt. The pixlplay connects to your smartphone via the headphone jack, allowing kids to use a shutter button to take their pictures. It comes with a free companion app that encourages your child to explore and take pictures whilst learning about colors, numbers and shapes. Compatible with  iPHONE 4, 5, 6,  and similar sized Android phones, can be used with iPhone 7, 8 with lightning  adapter (as no headphone jack.) Available from Amazon for  US$29.99 Recommended for Ages 3-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen. They are volume limited (to 85db) to prevent hearing damage and are adjustable to fit different head sizes from age 6-16. Older kids will appreciate the fact they ae styled to look like adult headphones and come in a range of color options. They have in-line controls, a built-in microphone and tangle-free braided cable. The headband and ear cushions are padded and comfortable for extended wear.The JBuddies Studio Headphones fold when not in use for easier storage and transportation. Available from Amazon and Target  for US$19.99 . Recommended for Ages 6-16

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone. It has a strong plastic spring clip which is used to hold the microscope in place over the smartphone camera lens.To use simply switch on the smartphone camera and place the Smartphone Detector over the item you wish to magnify. If extra illumination is required the small but bright LED lamp can be switched on simply by turning its top. The light is powered by 3 watch batteries which can be easily replaced if required. It is a fun way for kids to examine small objects such as coins and stamps and can also be used for close ups of shells, leaves and other items. The Smartphone Inspector features 60X magnification, giving you great clarity on the items you inspect and it’s easy to take pictures too using your smartphone camera.
 Available from Amazon for US$12.99 . Recommended for Ages 12+ (but can easily be used by younger kids with supervision)

Gifts Under $100

 

Garmin Vívofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active. It is available with bands featuring characters from Star Wars, Marvel and Disney. The Vivofit Junior 2 has a color screen that can be customized with different character step icons. It not only tracks steps, sleep and active minutes but also tells the time, reminds kids to do chores and has built-in timers. Each character band has a corresponding app where by logging 60 active minutes a day the child can unlock new levels encouraging kids to keep active. Each character theme has 2 band options- a stretchy band designed for smaller wrists, and an adjustable band for older kids. The vivofit Jr. 2 is waterproof, has a 1 year battery life and can be worn 24/7. To encourage friendly competition kids can compete in a leaderboard with other family members with Garmin devices and can compete in Toe-to-ToeTM step challenges with friends with also have a vívofit jr. 2 device. Available from Garmin.com Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers for US$99. Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

My First Lab Wow Scope

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature. It is a binocular microscope with interchangeable 10X and 25X eyepieces, giving a total magnification of 20X and 50X. The WOW scope can be used with traditional glass microscope slides but also allows viewing of 3-D objects such as feathers, rocks and leaves. This lets kids view objects they find when out exploring in nature, without needing to do any slide preparation. My First Lab is a division of C & A Scientific who make scientific and educational microscopes so they use good quality glass optics for clearer viewing.  Read our full review. Available from myfirstlab.com for US$69.99 Recommended for Ages 7+

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device. Inside the box are 51 flashcards, 12 non-toxic erasable markers and a QR code which activates the app. Cards inside the box include everything you would find in a home ranging from bathroom items (sink, tub, toilet, towel rack); bedroom (crib, loft bed, bunk beds, lights, flooring, characters, clothing for the characters,rocking chair, bookshelf, ); kitchen (table, counters, plant, laundry basket, stove, cabinets and living room (couch, stereo system, chair.) Note these are not all of the items – they are selected ones that I picked out. Read our full reviewAvailable from Amazon and Apple for US$39.99  Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

Bluebee Pals

Sammy the Bear pro -Talking Educational Learning ToolBluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice.  My son loves Sammy the Bear which we pair with our iPad Mini.  He enjoys having Sammy read him stories, helping him interact with apps and even speaking with his Grandmother.  My son also listens to Pandora while we drive or sometimes I will stream video’s without giving him a tablet so he can listen to the storyline without having #screentime..   Available from Bluebee Pals or Amazon for US$64.99 Recommended for ages 2+  and special needs families.

 

 

 

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase. Rug-Ed plans to offer an iPhone case in the future as well.   Read our full review. RRP $39 USD and the case is available from Rug-Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

KidiZoom Smartwatch by V Tech

Do your kids always ask what time it is?  Do they want to track activity but you are afraid to give them a more expensive device?  Enter the VTech® Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX, this durable smartwatch lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more.  The watch also includes a calendar and calculator, eight games using the touch screen and a motion sensor for action. Available from Amazon for US$58.00 Recommended for ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $200

 

Jimu Robot – Astrobot Kit

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs -Astrobot, Rover or Astron or they can create their own. The kit is designed for ages 8+ and includes  371 snap together parts that are similar in style to Lego Technics, 5 robotoc servo motors, a speaker, 2 16 color LED light, an infrared sensor, ciontrol biox, rechareable battery and the JIMU robot app. When they are ready to build the app has step by step 3D 360°animated building instructions. Once they have finishing building the robot the STEM fun and learning continues as the child learns to program it using Blocky drag and drop programming. They can also use their imagination to program new moves with pose, record, playback system.

The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit is a really great STEM gift as it allow the child to both build and program a robot. The 3D building app is a great way to make the building part easier and Blocky programming is a great way to allow novice programmers to quickly feel comfortable coding. The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is available from Amazon, Apple Stores for US$199.99. Other kits available from $99.99.  Recommended for Ages 8+

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $300

 

Cubelets® Robot Blocks  by Modular Robots

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.  Kids of all ages will love putting the blocks together using magnets, and making them move.  My older son and his friends also built a creation using Lego® which they used in conjunction with their Cublet creation.  Cublets are expandable as well and you can buy additional blocks as needed including the adapter for Lego.  Cubelets TWELVE includes 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters.  They also have apps for iOS and Android which allow you to code, control

Note: if you purchase directly from Modular Robotics and enter promo code “iMumFreebie” you get free Brick Adapters.  You must add the item to the cart prior to checkout.

Available from Amazon and Modular Robotics for US$269 Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

For additional gift ideas check out all our Christmas Gift Guides

 

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

ProLock Mini by Rug-Ed – Review

 

 

What we love…

easy to install protective case for your device which includes great drop protection.

What we’d love to see…

easier way to clean your device while in the case – particularly the screen

Summary

very protective lightweight case which protected my iPad mini from drops

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase.

As a mom, I do let my kids use my device.  Although I typically don’t worry about my younger child trying to remove the case – I have seen my older son pull the screen off of our Griffin Survivor to try to clean it.  With this case, he can’t remove the iPad without the tool – nor do I want him to.  The case is lightweight – it doesn’t add a lot of bulk or weight to my iPad Mini which generally lives in my bag for on the go usage.  The case itself was easy to install – as was the included screen protector.  You simply laid the case on the table, inserted your device tightened a few screws and within moments it was ready to use.  The screen protector took me a bit more time because I wanted to ensure it was lined up and I didn’t get bubbles in it.  I also liked that the stand was integrated rather than removable as sometimes when they are removed the stand can get lost.  The case provided great drop protection – we dropped it from a height of about four feet – my son lost his grip on it and was holding the side instead of the handle when he went to get into the car.  It fell face down on a tar surface.  There were no bumps or scratches to the iPad and I was able to wipe the dust off the case easily.  The case is easy to hold and is ergonomic for usage especially with the integrated plastic  stand.  There is also a soft cloth cover that can be used as well.  Ports are easy to access both for headphones and the charging cord.  You can also easily access the camera without having to remove anything from the case or anything to uncover.

In terms of improvements – I do like to wipe down my cases for devices on occasion because of germs and multiple kids using them.  I felt comfortable enough taking the outer case off to wipe that down and let it dry, but wiping down the screen was a challenge.  I settled for using a dry cloth to wipe it off.  In addition, I understand why the case does not include a holder for the tool – but I did misplace mine once.  I settled for putting it in a drawer the kids could not access so that I would not lose it in the future since it’s the only way to remove the case.

The case is available for iPad Mini 4 as well as iPad Air, Air 2 or the iPad Pro 9.7.    It is priced from $45 USD (iPad Mini) to $49 USD (iPad Air, Air 2, iPad Pro) and can be purchased directly from RugEd. Overall this is a great protective case which ensures that your iPad investment is safe and kid friendly.  I love that kids can’t remove this case easily on their own!

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Dr. Panda Town: Mall from Dr. Panda Games – Review


What we love…

fun interactive mall that has a number of great activities for kids to play ranging from hair, dress up, cinema, food court and more!  Lots of great role play and language activities to describe the scenes.

What we’d love to see…

ability to add photos in the app to the camera roll, also more “boy” themed dress up and characters like a security/police officer

Summary

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.

Our Rating

Get ready to shop until you drop!  Dr. Panda Town Mall the newest app from Dr. Panda Games is a free app with IAP for the full game.  Inside the mall there are six different locations to visit on three floors including a cinema, pet store, food court, hair salon, clothing store, toy store and even a place to snap a selfie!  This app features the traditional Dr. Panda characters and now adds some fun children to the mix.  Game play is simple – open ended role play which allows your child to go through the mall picking and choosing from their favorite activities with no rules – just fun!  There are sixteen different characters you can choose from within the app which means everyone has a chance for fun!  You can even open and close the shops by a simple tap.  You can read more reviews of previous Dr. Panda apps here.  I also helped my son narrate as he played which let us practice language, naming items and more!

Inside each of the shops at Dr. Panda Mall there are different activities that you can do and when you have finished you can use Dr. Panda money from the ATM to pay for your services, a crane game to try to get a favorite toy (how i wish the real life one was this easy!), a bouncing car, an interactive fountain and lots of fun elements to tap and touch!  There are also a wide variety of interactive elements including wrapped gifts (and the ability to wrap you own), a restroom and more!

Hair Salon: Activities in the hair salon include: styling hair, coloring your hair, washing your hair, getting a quick snip/.style, having a drink and reading a magazine.

Cinema: Buy your ticket and head into for a show.  The cinema features three different movies and a variety of activities including: getting a drink, snacks at the concession stand, picking up your 3D glasses and even trying on fun costumes while you wait for the movie to start!

Food Court: Hungry for a snack?  Simply hop on the escalator up to floor three and you can get your character their favorite snack.  Items range from coffee/juice to muffins, rolls, sandwiches, smoothies and more.  My younger son loved making his own smoothie.

Pet Store: Head inside the pet store to play with a variety of animals including a hamster, kittens and lizards.  You can also buy pet food, carriers for your pet, accessories and more!  A favorite of my son was dressing up the animals in the pet shop.

Selfie Snap: No day at the mall is complete without photos.  Gather your favorite characters, pets and accessories for a quick photo which you can then post on the photo board.

Costume/Clothing Shop: Head inside and gather your favorite outfits and costumes for dress up!  Head inside the dressing room for a quick change for your next destination!

Toy Shop: This is a toy store of any children’s dreams – it features a flying rocket, airplane, ring stack, dinosaur and many more toys!  As a parent I personally loved the train.  My kids also loved the various dress up options, bouncing balls and musical instruments.Having the performance on stage was a bonus – they especially liked opening and closing the curtains.

I loved the open ended play of this app.  My son could spend as much or as little time on each activity as he wanted to.  He enjoyed each of the shops and the various games and interactions within.  I noticed that each time we played – he would often go back to the hair salon and cinema before heading up to the food court for a snack and a selfie!  He also enjoyed the pretend play with various dress up objects and we pretended that we were a variety of Dr. Panda characters as well as a Mom and a child heading to the mall.  As a parent I liked the diversity of the characters and variety of dress up clothes.  Navigation within the app is straightforward and you can always go to a map to start over in a new clean mall.   Inside the parental gate there is the ability to turn on/off sounds and background music as well as promotions.

My son wanted to be able to save the photos to our camera roll – but right now they are just saved within the app and when the board gets full there is no way to save your favorites.  My son also asked for additional dress up options like a construction outfit, security/police and a firefighter.  My older son asked for a toy building where he could construct his own stuffed animal – we found lots of clothes but he couldn’t make his own animal.

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.  A great new addition to your Dr. Panda library.  This app is free with in-app purchases for the various stores/games within the app.  In app purchases range from $0.99 – $4.99 for all the shops and add ons.


Dr. Panda Town: Mall Dr. Panda Town: Mall by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Go on a fun-filled shopping spree in Dr. Panda Town: Mall! With so many shops and other things to discover, there are endless stories to be told and adventures to be had.

EXPLORE THE MALL
Explore.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Article: Role play – kids apps to help kids process a new situation with play

Kids learn best through play and explaining what they are seeing and doing. Recently, every time I turn on the television news or tune in to the local radio, I am prompted things that I know I do not want my child to see or things that I might consider to be scary for them.  Research has shown that children learn best through play — and playing out situations via role play can help them to better process and understand them.  With the recent Hurricane Harvey here in the United States – there has been a lot of news on the television and radio that is overwhelming.  As such, I started thinking about some of my favorite apps that would help kids in these situations. Helping children process traumatic events they seen in the news such as the recent Hurricane Harvey and other frightening news, can be overwhelming.  Many children learn better with play therapy.  Below are a few apps that involve role play, social stories and more to help them process difficult situations as well as explore new situations.   Below is a list of some of my favorites.

Kids learn differently than adults.  Introducing a new situation can be hard.  One of the biggest things I struggle with as a parent is helping my kids understand a new situation.  Helping my kids prepare for new experiences can be overwhelming as.    One of my favorite thing about the MyPlayhome apps is that there are no rules – kids can play and role play while narrating what they are doing.  I love to see all the different games that my toddler comes up with or see my son talking about an upcoming doctors appointment using MyPlayhome Hospital.  Using Social Stories like Kid in the Storybook maker can help kids better understand a new situation.  Dr. Panda has a series of role play apps including firefighters, daycare, school bus and more.  .

My PlayHomeShimon Young is a genius. Shimon is the developer of the universal My PlayHome app and has managed to find a way to keep my iToddler (2.5) entertained for more than just a few minutes. Not an easy task. My PlayHome brings the dollhouse into the digital age by offering an entire virtual home, complete with an adorable family of five that kids can explore and interact with. Also available on the iPhone (Pocket PlayHome!), this app features beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and realistic sounds associated with each interaction. My PlayHome also has a simple user interface very easy for little fingers to control.  This app caters for 2-8 year olds which is appropriate as it’s simple enough for the younger users to play with yet detailed enough to keep the older kids entertained too.” Quite a comprehensive app but still very easy to use by its intended audience. One of the best kids apps I have come across on the App Store!”  This continues to be a top pick of The iMums for kids of all ages.  Read the full review.

 

My PlayHome StoresWhen iMum Amanda reviewed the original My PlayHome back in 2011 she described it’s creator Shimon Young as a genius, and I have to agree. After being  installed on our iPads for 2 1/2 years my kids still play with My PlayHome regularly, and there are very few apps that retain their appeal long term like that. So when I told my children there was a new My PlayHome app out, to say they were excited is a definite understatement.  My PlayHome brings the dolls house into the digital age with an entire interactive house and garden to play in, and My PlayHome Stores expands the play by adding four shops to explore and shop in. The app stars the same characters as the original app – there are 3 moms, 3 dads, 3 girls, 3 boys and 3 babies from a variety of ethnicities and you can mix and match them any way you like to create the family in the app. The twist that my children really love (and that I have not seen in any other app) is when the family go shopping in the stores they can walk home with their purchases, and if you own My PlayHome they can take their purchases from the stores back to their home.  Read the full review.

My PlayHome HospitalIn the fantastic tradition of the Playhome Software Company, comes the latest My Playhome app, My Playhome Hospital. Fully integrated with the other My Playhome apps (HomeSchool and Store), this new app allows the player to explore all aspects of the hospital experience. When the app is opened, the child is faced with the view of the hospital and an ambulance. No settings tab, no external options, and no parental tab. The only extra button to press is the Tidy the Hospital wheel, which is a great option. It allows the player to actually erase the previous designs created and start fresh. The home page ambulance can be driven to the school, home or store; linking the other apps (one of my favorite features).  An interactive app that familiarizes children with the workings and people in the hospital setting. Multiple different scenes with many opportunities to interact with the objects and characters on each page.

 

My PlayHome SchoolOne of the best loved toys of all time are doll houses. It brings hours upon hours of enjoyment to boys and girls alike, and it’s only limitation is a child’s imagination. My PlayHome Software Ltd has brought this enjoyment in the most portable form possible in My PlayHome, My PlayHome Stores, and very recently, My PlayHome School.  While my children and I enjoyed My PlayHome and My PlayHome Stores, My PlayHome School far exceeded our expectations. It has almost everything you could find in an elementary school: a receptionist desk, the principal’s office, a cafeteria, boys and girls restrooms, a science lab, an auditorium, a janitor’s closet, lockers, and of course, classrooms.  Read the full review.

 

 

Explaining difficult situations to kids or helping them understand something new is the premise of  Kid in the Storybook maker.  This app allows you to take photos of an upcoming event — be it a doctors appointment, new school or even a vacation and use your own words, photos and voice to describe it to the reader.  I loved using Bluebee Pals with my son when we recently did a social story about his new school.

Kid in Story Book Maker:... iconEnuma, designs assistance and play-based learning apps to empower kids to be independent learners. they have a special interest in producing apps for children with special needs.  LocoMotive Labs is located in Berkeley, California and was founded in 2012, its design team includes many of the team who produced the Injini child development suite. Kid in Story was designed to help parents and therapists easily produce their own stories for children. As children with Autism often respond well to social stories that include them, they wanted to include a way to easily add the child into the story.  Read our full review.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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