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Macross/Animation Cel Collection Thread


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Got some questions to actual cel collectors:

What do you see as the future for your cel collection?

Do you feel you might be compelled to stop? Perhaps due to family financial responsibilities, saving for retirement, caring for elder parents, children, or job loss?

Partly asking because most collectors I've known over the post 30+ years, quit. Thanks for sharing.

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I set out to collect a cel from each Macross animated series that still used cels....and I think I met that goal a while back...

right now, unless it is an exceptionally nice cel at a good price (mutually exclusive conditions it seems these days) I don't see collecting very many more cels than what I currently have....

I would imagine I would want to start selling them off at some point...as I doubt my kids would want them...same goes for my Macross collection in general....the trick is to figure out when to do that....

I think we will start seeing a sell-off from other Macross collectors within the next 10 years or so.... I am not sure what effect that will have on the value of Macross cels and other rarer items...I guess it depends on what value is placed on these items by the new generations of Macross fans....

I'm afraid that value and the group that remains interested in these items shrinks each year.....

Edited by jvmacross
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Got some questions to actual cel collectors:

What do you see as the future for your cel collection?

Do you feel you might be compelled to stop? Perhaps due to family financial responsibilities, saving for retirement, caring for elder parents, children, or job loss?

Partly asking because most collectors I've known over the post 30+ years, quit. Thanks for sharing.

I have mostly stopped purchasing cels. The main reason is due to scarcity of quality examples from shows I like. A second reason is money (of course). I have two goals for my collection:

1. Pare it down and actively sell examples of which I am no longer fond.

2. Specifically acquire amazing examples of Macross TV cels of Misa Hayase (nearly impossible at this point as they almost never come up, or it's a one day auction and you've got to stay glued to your computer to get in on them).

To answer your questions - I do (and have) felt compelled to stop collecting due to financial reasons. At some point, it just becomes irresponsible to put the collection ahead of other priorities, especially the ones you mention. However, if it's the right image, I'm still very tempted. Also, the current product for sale in the marketplace is not very good, so the market has made the decision easier for me.

To JV's point - If a sell-off is coming, which I think we've already seen from time to time on YJ and Mandarake (less so on ebay), I think the prices will still be high if the quality of the product is there.

While I agree that there may have been more Macross fans in the past and fewer as the years go by, nothing I've seen in aforementioned auctions for very high quality cels indicates that prices will be be low when quality hits the market. The buyers, however few, are there. This sort of reminds me of the luxury watch auction houses--they offer merchandise at insanely high prices with only a very few bidders; but, the product sells. It only take two to tango and keep prices high.

The thing about cels that's both wonderful and terrible is that they are singular, unique pieces of art that are volatile. They are disintegrating as they get older, so any investment in them is a sentimental investment and should not be undertaken with an idea for recouping funds later, as the product may have, literally, melted away.

But, for the few who collect, we do it because we love it.The art, however impractical to own (and maintain), means something to us.

And with that said - if you've got high quality Misa...PM me :)

Edited by tepidarium
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Thank you jvmacross and tepidarium for sharing your thoughts. :D Hopefully BaronV, Mokman and other cel collectors will chime in too.

I concur in the future more cel collectors will continue to liquidate. Much like tepidarium, I believe we have already been experiencing collectors liquidating in cycles for over the last decade. When you examine the sales of 70s-90s anime production cels and particularly original Macross TV, movie, and OVAs cels/art, the sales were steady. I am tracking sales back pre-90s until present and Macross cel prices have gone in cycles; high-end cels commanded a premium and prices for B to C grade cels remain in flux. Naturally there are some non-Macross cel series that just are not in demand, or the sellers overprice causing the inventory to sit (think our good scalper/gouger friend urbantreasurehunter). But as a whole cel collectors are selling now. In the future will the demand for anime production cels hold compared to currently levels? Personally I feel the demand of anime cels as a whole will decrease with the exception of certain key films/series (e.g. Ghibli, Macross, Gundam, etc). Historically former 'kings' of anime such as: Z Gundam, Urusei Yatsura, Ah Megami-sama, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma, Sailor Moon, Ghost In the Shell, and Fist of North Star, have cooled considerably. Also, if you examine the demographics of active cel collectors, it tends to fall within the Baby Boomers, Gen X to Gen Y groups. These are the very same group of collectors that are now selling mainly because they are preparing for the life experiences such as starting to build a family, buy a house (or two), and basically moved on... living life. More often than not, younger (potentially new) collectors are not interested in cel collecting as a hobby, they prefer buying the newest tech devices and entertain themselves with social media and games. Try visiting the cel forums, ask cel dealers and you will find very few teenagers in are the hobby, it is mainly mid-late 20s up to mid 30s. Additionally within the online cel community activity is quite stagnant; point in fact, 2015 was the first time the face-to-face cel gathering at AX was cancelled due to the lack of attendees. :o

In my experience most cel collectors sell their collections to solve increasing financial responsibilities. As I previously shared, almost all of the original cel collectors I knew (during the last 35 years) sold off their collections, quit entirely, and just stopped engaging with the community. I discovered the most common reasons why cel collectors quit were: marriage, buying a home, paying the mortgage, starting a family funding college, aging parents, saving for early retirement, and traveling, etc.

I envision in the future I will entertain offers to sell and trade. Fortunately I never viewed cel collecting as an investment, so I do not feel the need to sell to recoup initial costs. I am open if the offer prices are right. The longer I collect (30+ years) I find I am happiest with more freedom and shared experiences instead of things. In the future when I look back on my life, I know I will not wish I spent more time buying more things. If there is any sense of regret, it will be associated with not spending more time sharing life experiences connecting with people during my limited lifetime. Perhaps most importantly, I would not want to rob my future self; I might wish for a Mustachian face punch earlier and learn frugality so I could save more and gain financial independence sooner. Lastly, I find the more things I own just creates more stress and worry; I prefer to be live a happier, healthier and balanced life. :) Just my ten cents; your mileage may vary.

Questions to cel collectors: What are some tips and/or lessons that helped you? ;) A couple cel collecting lessons that helped me include: budgeting purchases, networking, and to always save more for your own retirement. The last lesson is key and has helped some of my friends to achieve early retirement (which may or may not be your goal). Looking forward to hearing your ideas and other thoughts on cel collecting too. Thanks! :D

Edited by Fortress_Maximus
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I don't think I will stop collecting any time soon. I do it because I love it and I only buy what I can afford. If I couldn't afford it I wouldn't do it.

And if it is true that collectors are/where selling off their collections I don't think it is happening right now. I see fewer cels coming to market now than a decade ago when I started, and those that are are of lesser quality in my opinion, and being offered for higher prices. If many collections were being liquidated we would be seeing a lot more cels offered and prices would be lower because of the higher supply.

i don't see prices dropping any time soon either. Unless there is a mass liquidation of collections which flood the market, or interest in anime and Macross specificially completely evaporates, there is always going to be a demand on a limited supply of items. Of course it is going to be true that as the years go by and Macross fades further into memory there are going to be fewer interested collectors, but there will still be those who love it and will stick with it. Look at the current generation of anime collectors. I would say a majority of them don't also collect old-school Disney, but there still is a base that does, and quality cels from that genre still claim quality prices. But hey, if I'm wrong and there comes a point that no one wants to collect Macross any more that is just fine with me. Sell off your collections at fire-sale prices. I'll buy them all!

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Fortress Maxiums – A agree that, in general, the demand for cels as collectibles will decrease as time goes by. The cels, themselves, will degrade in quality and the paint and plastic of which they are composed will eventually degrade and reveal their true nature as investments (much like real estate in south Florida): sunk costs.

Part of my feeling that the market for cels will naturally decline is that most anime of created during the period of hand painted cels will be alien to younger generations. Also, future generations may have a completely different feeling about what is art. With all of this modern technology, the notion of owning a piece of decomposing plastic compared to many other ways of spending disposable income may not be as interesting.

However, there is a counterpoint to the above argument, that I made in my previous post, and also alluded to by Mokman. That is, the staying power of very popular animation series/franchises. Mokman points to Disney as an example. I think Disney is both a good and bad example for this argument. Disney has maintained high popularity in popular culture, thereby bridging the gap between its modern properties and older cel animated properties. This has successfully introduced younger generations to the old Disney “classics” and kept the perception of quality Disney cels as a valuable item (worth good money). I think the Disney example fails when compared to anime, because the staying power of the shows just isn’t there (maybe in Japan it is?).

Macross, may, possibly be a different animal because it is so iconic. Fortress Maximus correctly points out the decline in value of cels from once popular anime like Ranma and Urusei Yatsura. However, the difference between those shows and Macross is that they had many, many more episodes (hundred(s) more than the 36 episode run of Macross. Factor in the fact that a good percentage of Macross artwork was farmed out to Korea(?) and has sub-standard art, and you realize that quality examples from the TV show are rare. And, again, it only takes one buyer to purchase a cel at a high price, or two bidders to bid-up a great image.

Regarding cel collecting impacting major life decisions – I don’t think my collection is nearly significant enough to allow for early retirement (if only)! If I did have a collection that would allow me to retire early, I would seriously consider a major sell-off! Yes. if major life problems develop, the cels will go.

I imagine I will sell a good portion of what I have at some point and keep (or acquire) just a very few. I have most of my cels in a book, and I cannot view them often. This is probably an indication that I need to trim the collection. If I cannot look at them, why own them? Also, preservation and care is a major issue with this type of merchandise, and that is a hassle.

As the old adage says, you can’t take it with you. I agree that many other aspects in life are much more important.

Still…the collecting bug isn’t dead yet…

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  • 4 weeks later...

I hope its OK that I post the cels I have up for auction right now - I have them listed for less than half of what I paid.

Have a few from Patlabor, Votoms, Dangaioh and Galient ---

http://www.ebay.com/sch/darrin6649/m.html?item=181947539841&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

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If anyone is curious as to why I'm selling, I really didn't want to, I still love the hobby.

But I'm moving and switching from following sci-fi and anime over to hunting, fishing and camping. Not having grown up hunting and fishing, I need to switch my focus fully for obvious reasons. I know, kind of weird . . . : }

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is the envelope it was stored in. Can anyone read it?

ポスター = poster

イラスト = illistration

右中 = right center

sorry, can't read the kanji after poster.

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attachicon.gifIMAG0236.jpg

I bought this cel from Yahoo Auctions Japan. It's really big! About 15"x21". I really like it but I'm not sure if it is published or a fancel.

attachicon.gifIMAG0234.jpg

This is the envelope it was stored in. Can anyone read it?

Nice....looks like a hanken...glad you got it...most Macross cels are now being bought on yja and sold on eBay for more than triple the final auction price... ;)

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I'm sure I asked this before. But I'm watching Southern Cross and just thinking about scenes. Anyway, how many of you guys were collecting or knew about cels in the 80s and 90s? I was purchasing anime stuff then but I didn't know about cels. No one told me I could own a scene from the show. Did you guys that were collecting cels then see a ton of Southern Cross cels? What about Mospeada?

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Yes....I remember Macross and other "Robotech" cels being available from different shops, including Books Nippon....I might still have a listing of what they were selling at the time via "mail order"....they were cheap relative to today's cel prices

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@ JetJockey, yes anime production cels from SDFM TV, DYRL, Mospeada and Southern Cross were available in the 80s in North America. I acquired many during that period and throughout the 90s too without going to Japan. As jvmacross commented some businesses offered them via mail order and depending on your location, there were brick and mortar stores that sold them too. Some local stores in Northern California sold cels too, but most businesses were forced to close due to the increasing costs of keeping the business profitable pre-internet boom. Also, if you research more about anime cels in general and the history of existing online cel businesses / brick and mortar stores, you will discover there are only a handful of active dealers (the rest are defunct).

Edited by Fortress_Maximus
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My wife and I both buy cels, and I don't see myself selling them. My reasoning behind that, is that they are art works. Whether or not it's specifically Macross or not, each one of these original cels are one of a kind, and at some point, I'd like to frame a number of them. As far as collecting in general, I may, at some point, start selling stuff off, but money is never an issue when it comes to buying hobby stuff. Not in the fact that I'm rich by any means, it's just that I buy when I can, not when I can't. If it gets to be a problem where I can't, I simply pass. Stuff comes up all the time that I'd like to get, so it's just a matter of self-control and knowing the limits. The good thing is, at least this stuff would sell well if it needed to be sold.

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Yes....I remember Macross and other "Robotech" cels being available from different shops, including Books Nippon....I might still have a listing of what they were selling at the time via "mail order"....they were cheap relative to today's cel prices

I would like to see scans of those listings. I remember Books Nippan. I would order from them and Nikaku. I remember Nikaku had a small foldout brochure. Also someone told me they found their amazing Macross DYRL gengas at I think a US Mandarake store. But I might be wrong.

All I ordered at that time were artbooks, soundtracks, pencil boards, and posters. There still weren't many subtitled VHS anime shows. So most anime I watched were bootlegs. The most expensive thing I ever saw back then was the Gold Book for $100 at a comic shop. And that was luck as it was high on a shelf and I only recognized it by the Robotech logo. Or what I thought was the Robotech logo at the time. And $100 was out of line for a book to me then. I thought they were lying. On a side note, I find it funny how everyone calls it the Gold Book. I called it that by default and when I went searching for it before eBay I would say I'm looking for the Robotech Gold Book. Anyway, with a $100 book, I even wonder what good cels would have been priced at back then.

I just can't imagine a time when I could get a good cel with background of Dana on her hovercycle or commanding the 15th in her hovertank. I've yet to see one to this day.

@ JetJockey, yes anime production cels from SDFM TV, DYRL, Mospeada and Southern Cross were available in the 80s in North America. I acquired many during that period and throughout the 90s too without going to Japan. As jvmacross commented some businesses offered them via mail order and depending on your location, there were brick and mortar stores that sold them too. Some local stores in Northern California sold cels too, but most businesses were forced to close due to the increasing costs of keeping the business profitable pre-internet boom. Also, if you research more about anime cels in general and the history of existing online cel businesses / brick and mortar stores, you will discover there are only a handful of active dealers (the rest are defunct).

California seems to be the place back then to get cels. I lived in the Midwest. So it was only mail order for me. California also had the comic and anime conventions. Do you remember if those brick and mortar Japanese cel stores were like the older I think WB or perhaps Disney Gallery Stores? I remember there were a few American animation companies with art stores in malls. This was perhaps in 1990 or 1992. Around the time Disney was releasing popular animated movies.

My wife and I both buy cels, and I don't see myself selling them. My reasoning behind that, is that they are art works. Whether or not it's specifically Macross or not, each one of these original cels are one of a kind, and at some point, I'd like to frame a number of them. As far as collecting in general, I may, at some point, start selling stuff off, but money is never an issue when it comes to buying hobby stuff. Not in the fact that I'm rich by any means, it's just that I buy when I can, not when I can't. If it gets to be a problem where I can't, I simply pass. Stuff comes up all the time that I'd like to get, so it's just a matter of self-control and knowing the limits. The good thing is, at least this stuff would sell well if it needed to be sold.

More and more I think good cels are one of a kind. When I see a good cel it's rare to see multiples from that sequence. For example I've been looking at the recent Dirty Pair OVA Opening cels on Yahoo Japan auctions. I've never seen those before. If I wasn't focused on Project Eden I would probably try for a few of those. But I have a feeling that if you miss those, you'll be lucky to see them again. And forget about good cels, there are some shows that I've never even seen cels from.

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@ JetJockey: The brick and mortar anime stores carrying anime production cels, posters, books, LDs and CDs in Northern California were often owned by small entrepreneurs. These were smaller stores, nothing like the corporate Warner Brothers stores/cel galleries. Most of these stores have closed down due to a variety of reasons. I knew many of the owners and they typically visited Japan to build connections and obtain their cel inventory. The thing to remember is anime production cels/artwork just was not in high demand in North America in the 80s-90s. I saw many great cels from GunBuster, Battle Angel Alita, Ah Megami-sama, Urusei Yatsura, Iczer-1, Dangaioh, and Macross etc, literally sit unpurchased for months. However, after the net internationally collectors started to connect with many of these boutique sellers and the inventory dwindled.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@ JetJockey: The brick and mortar anime stores carrying anime production cels, posters, books, LDs and CDs in Northern California were often owned by small entrepreneurs. These were smaller stores, nothing like the corporate Warner Brothers stores/cel galleries. Most of these stores have closed down due to a variety of reasons. I knew many of the owners and they typically visited Japan to build connections and obtain their cel inventory. The thing to remember is anime production cels/artwork just was not in high demand in North America in the 80s-90s. I saw many great cels from GunBuster, Battle Angel Alita, Ah Megami-sama, Urusei Yatsura, Iczer-1, Dangaioh, and Macross etc, literally sit unpurchased for months. However, after the net internationally collectors started to connect with many of these boutique sellers and the inventory dwindled.

That's amazing that great anime cels would sit unpurchased. Do you remember the prices back then? I can't remember exactly when I realized that you could get a cel from an anime show. When I became aware of cels or just drawings or prints from cartoons for sale it was for Disney or other animation in gallery stores. But I know I saw cels at Disney and it clicked that this was what was on screen. And that you could get a cel, pause a cartoon or anime, and say I have what's on screen. That's the coolest thing.

Perhaps these Japanese dealers didn't do a good job in the early days of making collectors or fans aware. If there was a photo in one of those Nikaku catalogs of Robotech on TV and of the matching cel from the scene next to it, that would have clicked for me. I would be surprised if Nikaku sold cels back then. We always used to look forward to those catalogs and would go through them multiple times looking for good stuff. And I would order with a friend of mine. He would have said something about cels.

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I'm sure I asked this before. But I'm watching Southern Cross and just thinking about scenes. Anyway, how many of you guys were collecting or knew about cels in the 80s and 90s? I was purchasing anime stuff then but I didn't know about cels. No one told me I could own a scene from the show. Did you guys that were collecting cels then see a ton of Southern Cross cels? What about Mospeada?

I remember getting a number of nice voltron cels via the Mandarake in Torrance, California store. There was a wider range of merchants back in the 90's and cel collecting appeared to be more popular back then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been trying to collect Macross Cels but can never find them.... maybe i'm looking in the wrong places...

Anyway I recently bought my first cell from Yahoo Japan Auctions and hope that the seniors here can advise me (or point me in the right direction/link):

1. How do you tell if a cel is an actual production one versus something made for distribution?

2. I saw someone use the word Hanken? what's that?

3. How do you frame/preserve the cel? I'm quite worried to see comments that the cel will disintegrate over time....

Thanks in advance sempais!

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I have been trying to collect Macross Cels but can never find them.... maybe i'm looking in the wrong places...

Anyway I recently bought my first cell from Yahoo Japan Auctions and hope that the seniors here can advise me (or point me in the right direction/link):

1. How do you tell if a cel is an actual production one versus something made for distribution?

2. I saw someone use the word Hanken? what's that?

3. How do you frame/preserve the cel? I'm quite worried to see comments that the cel will disintegrate over time....

Thanks in advance sempais!

All you need to know.... :)

http://www.fukushuu.org/cels/celfaq.php?g=y

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What did you have in mind?

Well I thought about :

1. The cel framed and on my wall

2. Protective sleeve (like those for comics?) on the cel and it becomes the backdrop of part of a display shelf

Most of the options for storage have the cel in a dark place (where it can't be appreciated)....

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Well I thought about :

1. The cel framed and on my wall

2. Protective sleeve (like those for comics?) on the cel and it becomes the backdrop of part of a display shelf

Most of the options for storage have the cel in a dark place (where it can't be appreciated)....

I've had framed Macross cels and genga hanging on my wall for 30+ years using just low or mid-priced frames you can buy at Michael's....nothing has ever happened to them.....the only thing to do is place them in an area that will have the minimum amount of direct sunlight/general light.....so perhaps a basement or room that you can close the blinds when not in use....

As for storage, I have the majority of them in art portfolio's that I purchased from Michael's....they are safe there, plus it makes them easy to view or show to someone....

I like your idea for display....just as long as the display can be shielded from direct sunlight....so like in a room with either no windows or decent blinds.....

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I've had framed Macross cels and genga hanging on my wall for 30+ years using just low or mid-priced frames you can buy at Michael's....nothing has ever happened to them.....the only thing to do is place them in an area that will have the minimum amount of direct sunlight/general light.....so perhaps a basement or room that you can close the blinds when not in use....

As for storage, I have the majority of them in art portfolio's that I purchased from Michael's....they are safe there, plus it makes them easy to view or show to someone....

I like your idea for display....just as long as the display can be shielded from direct sunlight....so like in a room with either no windows or decent blinds.....

My apartment is actually designed for maximum natural light lol.... in Singapore space is super scarce so got to think about the placement. Thanks for the tips!

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My apartment is actually designed for maximum natural light lol.... in Singapore space is super scarce so got to think about the placement. Thanks for the tips!

No worries....might want to look into a higher quality glass frame to mitigate UV light

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Anyone here nab this one? Way to go! At least it won't get marked up on ebay....maybe! ^_^

http://page2.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b192540297

tam_taim17-img599x517-1453103038jmym0v16

I was going to bid but I overslept :/. Thanks for the link. Hope the new owner enjoys!

Ok I admit it.... I managed to get it .... and as a total newbie (even after reading the FAQs) I just had to fiddle with it. Thankfully there were already multiple layers of protection and a thin plastic sheet between the 2 production cels (marked A1 and B1) so I don't think I did permanent damage. Seniors please don't kill me for manhandling it! Thankfully I think there was no damage from me just pulling the layers apart. What disturbs me is the apparent mold on the plastic in the areas not already covered by the animation colors....

I aim to clean it but a bit wary of using even water... hope microfiber cloth will work. Will also try and frame it up... not sure if my local stores have UV resistant glass or how much they cost but will try and see. Thanks for all the advice and very excited to have my first ever Macross cel (I think its a production cel but not 100% sure).

Hope to share more with the community when I'm done!

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My apartment is actually designed for maximum natural light lol.... in Singapore space is super scarce so got to think about the placement. Thanks for the tips!

That's dangerous for anything. Cels, books, comics, etc. Even with UV protection I would be wary of sunlight hitting valuable paper or other materials. Maybe section off a room for that sort of thing.

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