Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 6, 2013.

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Fight fears and encourage a child’s imagination in open-ended, role playing games of plush toy swords, shields and creature companion

The journey is just beginning! Consumer Inquiries | Facebook | Twitter | Press Inquiries | Wholesale Inquiries

Honor Won by a Hero’s Quest 

Are games just escapist fantasies or idle pastimes? We don't think so. We believe honor won on a hero’s quest is the essence of childhood’s daring and imagination. We believe it is also the essence of adulthood, but too often forgotten. Games of the imagination teach us actions have consequences in a realm that can be reset. They teach us to take risks, to embrace challenges and face change. But why are all these heroes’ quests taking place in a computer-generated world? You can take a break from that heroic screen time and engage in an imaginative game of swordplay and monster hunting with your kids — in the house or in the yard. You’ll love it, and they’ll love you for it! 

“‘I want the purple sword, daddy.’ Now what gamer dad in his right mind would deny their child such a request? I know I couldn’t. And next thing you know, she’s calling her little brother over and asking which one he wants. Now, my daughter is asking me to look at the Kickstarter page any time I’m on the computer.” -- Hand Cannon Online

ALL STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED!!!

"As a gaming parent you invite monsters into your home on a regular basis. Sometimes you slay them. Sometimes you become them. That’s cool." -- Geek Native

"Plush swords, shields, and animals that help protect your child from monsters in their room and encourage the use of their imaginations. I’m in love. Am I too old to get this for myself?" -- Geeky Hostess

"If your little one has monsters, ducks or some other boogeyman on the brain, you may want to invest in a Targimal, a Bordor Blade, or a Bordor Shield" -- Geek Mom

Effective immediately, all backers pledging at THREE SETS and higher will get a bonus Targimal for free. 

Update #17: Color-Swap Swords UNLOCKED

Update #12: Color-Swap Targimals & the BLACK KNIGHT!

Update #11: Add-Ons: Want more swords or Targimals?

Update #10: Target Game: A game for all ages ($25,000 stretch)

Update #9: The future Forge of Honor books (spoiler alert)

Update #2: Stretch Goal: $20,000 2-in-1 Sword Holder

I've made my LinkedIn profile public so you can verify my experience, recommendations and connections. Feel free to connect with me there: Dale Alan Taylor's profile on LinkedIn

Rough-and-tumble, open-ended play

Rough-and-tumble, open-ended play is a reward in itself (there’s plenty of science behind it). I promise you, you will be amazed at the spontaneous laughter and creativity that erupts when you engage your children on their own level. Your child’s eyes will light up when they see “the rule makers of the house” abandon their stern personas and truly engage in all out play — nothing in life is more natural and more true to your core as a parent. Family bonding is guaranteed! 

That’s Enough Grown-up Talk… 

From this point forward, we will speak of Forge of Honor and the Targimals as toys come to life. We encourage adults to play along! We believe in the magic of stories. We’ll interject and start talking like adults again at the serious business parts.

Here’s a little glimpse into the World of the Targimals as planned in a series of children’s books.

Meet the Targimals

Welcome to the world of the Targimals, the legendary warriors who live to protect children against bedtime monsters and other scary creatures. Combined with the Bordor Blades™ and Bordor Shields™, these soft and cuddly toys stoke imagination, encourage play and instill more courage than any nightlight could.  Each Targimal has two shields -- one in front of its chest, the second on its tail. A slot at the top of the shield helps the Targimal stand watch in two ways: Attached facing forward on the child's shield, the Targimal is ready for battle; flip the shield over into "pillow mode" and the tail shield slides into the same slot allowing the Targimal to watch over the resting child.

Targimals fit on shields 2 ways: Battle mode and guardian mode (nap time). These toys are designed for children ages 3 and up.
Targimals fit on shields 2 ways: Battle mode and guardian mode (nap time). These toys are designed for children ages 3 and up.
Targimal prototypes and renderings of the Bordor Blades & Shields. Final product will vary little from these designs.
Targimal prototypes and renderings of the Bordor Blades & Shields. Final product will vary little from these designs.

2-in-1 Sword Holder UNLOCKED!

Every complete set pledged will get a sword holder. The sword holder has adjustable straps that connect to the shield handles or a belt. Attached to the shield, the whole set can be carried in one hand. Attached to the belt, it allows for imaginative play when roaming through a kingdom without your sword drawn.

The sword holder has adjustable straps that connect to the shield handles or a belt.
The sword holder has adjustable straps that connect to the shield handles or a belt.

By your side on your side

The Targimals are friendly and look out for the child. They’re not going to do homework or get kids to eat their vegetables. Their pact is not to interfere with ordinary life but to protect against trespassing monsters. They are also great for playing with friends, travel and sleepovers, thanks to the pillow-soft shield. There are six Targimals with matching swords and shields. But children can mix and match their favorites and create their own powerful Forge of Honor combination. Each creature has its own story and personality you can read more about on our website and in future story books.

Old-fashion Fun and Open-ended Imaginative Play

Forge of Honor is not trying to eliminate iPads, Gameboys, Xboxes, streaming TV shows, battery-operated toys, or even the host of excessively electronic contraptions passing as toys — they certainly have their place in our increasingly complex world. Forge of Honor is about keeping good, old-fashion fun and open-ended imaginative play in your child’s life during these crucial wonder years.

Honor Won by a Hero’s Quest

We believe honor won by a hero’s quest is the essence of childhood’s daring and imagination. We believe it is also the essence of adulthood, but too often forgotten. Games of the imagination teach us actions have consequences in a realm that can be reset. They teach us to take risks, to embrace challenges and face change. Pious cowards make virtues of inaction and subservience. But real heroes take action despite the risks. Heroes heed the higher calling of Honor – and it begins when we are young. Be our hero and support our Forge of Honor project by selecting a reward in the right-hand column – now, before time runs out. Summer days are long and tiring, especially with children. If you want to support Forge of Honor, don’t put it off, you may never make it back to this page while the project is active during the busy summer. You can make all the difference. 

Close-up of quilting and detailed embroidery. Each character/set has a unique symbol representing earth, water, air or fire.
Close-up of quilting and detailed embroidery. Each character/set has a unique symbol representing earth, water, air or fire.

What's the Difference?

Sure a stick or a cheap foam sword works in a game of make believe just as well as Forge of Honor’s more expensive, higher-quality plush swords and shields. But, there is a difference to the discerning and imaginative: These toys create a sense of story and participation, a sense of ownership and of pride. Kids are not mere regurgitators of stories, they actively invent and re-invent the stories as they immerse themselves in play. There is attention to details in each of the designs that curious kids can’t help but notice. It’s in the quilting and embroidery, the logo designs, the tough stitching, and the magic reflective “bordor” along the edges. The presence of the shield-borne companions, the Targimals, with their distinctive markings, completes the total enchantment. Your child will be delighted and proud to play with these toys. The Targimals are a big part of the package. Their legend and story increase the play value of the set exponentially beyond owning a toy a sword and shield. We have seen the Targimals engage in all sorts of activities from shield surfing to fort building among our test subjects. A few of our test subjects have been known to cry when we’ve had to take away the prototypes (we apologize for the tears). 

A Toy Company’s Biggest Salesmen

Kids themselves remain a toy company’s biggest salesmen. Seeing the smiles and giggles on the faces of children playing with Forge of Honor toys in person would melt away any resistance you had. But as powerful as the internet is, I still can’t use a quantum transporter or hologram to put the Targimals and Bordor Blades and Shields in your child’s hands for a test run. You’ll have to use your own imagination and make your best judgement. The fabrics are high quality and quilted, inside they are over-stuffed for stiffness (who wants a limp sword?). The swords and shields are built with dog-toy tough technology to child safety standards (ages 3 and up). Neither you or your child will be disappointed.

Kids can't get enough of our prototypes. Help us make this project a reality!
Kids can't get enough of our prototypes. Help us make this project a reality!
If you already convinced about the need for Forge of Honor’s products in the market place, please contribute now. Without your support our company will not exists. Thank you for being our hero! For those of you wanting even more of the backstory, there are a lot more details on our website. 

Why support our Forge of Honor project?

  • We offer a creative remedy to imaginary bedroom monsters.
  • Our toys are powered by a child’s imagination – no batteries or electronics required.
  • Multi-purpose, soft, plush toys are fun for play and rest (shield doubles as a pillow).
  • Premium materials, quilted fabric for durability and detailed embroidery -- it's all in the details.
  • All supporters get a cool door hanger that says, “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor.”
  • Fun for grownups too!
  • Support a home-grown, family business based in Denver, CO.
  • Led by a plush-toy industry veteran who has designed and developed top-selling dog toys for more than 10 years, we have the experience but not the funds to get products to market. Keep reading to find out why creator Dale Taylor is so passionate about this toy project.

The Prototypes

Our prototypes, which may vary slightly from the final product, have stood up to the roughest play. The swords and shields are over-stuffed to add stiffness, have reinforced seams and piping, and are quilted on both sides with artistic embroidery representing the Forge of Honor world.

Everything about the toys is soft, pliable and cuddly. There are no hard edges. We are targeting children ages 3 and up.

The process of designing toys: From sketches and foam board cutouts to sewing the prototypes. Next up: Kickstarter!
The process of designing toys: From sketches and foam board cutouts to sewing the prototypes. Next up: Kickstarter!

Kickstarter Rewards

These are truly early bird, early adopter prices in all our reward tiers!

As an artist and designer, I appreciate original art and memorable touches. I'm including a special monster-beware door hanger at every reward level. And I will design a special, limited-edition, hand-pulled screen print of the Targimals, available to early supporters and top-tier fans. A limited-number of supporters will also get a signed original sketch.

Why do we need your support?

These are not cheap, costume swords and shields made of flimsy foam or inexpensive materials. They are not intended to be disposable party favors. To ensure a high-quality product, we don’t want to compromise on the process or materials.

Prototypes for all six Targimals, plus three shields and three swords are completed. We have a manufacturer willing to make the rest of the line but we are required to make a minimum order to cover the fabrics and supplies cost. We’ve invested hundreds of hours plus our own funds to create the prototypes and get the dream started.

It's been wonderful to work on this project with my 5-year-old daughter and my wife. Their ideas and assistance have really helped make this dream project a reality. Reaching our Kickstarter goal will give us enough funding to get the Targimals, Bordor Blades and Shields made.

Your support is truly appreciated. You can make a difference in the world. Be our hero and contribute now.

Be our hero!
Be our hero!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've been designing plush toys for over 10 years. I've learned there is no real way to discover the stress and wear points without actual testing in the field -- this has been done, and changes have been made at each round of prototype testing. We've been through multiple rounds of prototypes, which unlike 3D-printed models, are actual replicas in scale and materials of the finished product. The one major difference between the prototype shown in the photos above and production versions: Each is still a singular creation and not created by a defined pattern and set of rules. Converting these prototypes into a reproducible, manufacturable plush toy isn't easy, but it's not rocket science. And I've been through this process many times before -- just not for Forge of Honor.

The real challenge is getting the product made quickly and accurately to deliver as soon as possible. As such, there are always first-production-run issues that need to be addressed as they arise and there may be minor changes to accommodate a production line assembly sequence. Fabrics, piping and threads are subject to the whims of supply and demand, and until we place our first order, material costs are estimated within a narrow, but still variable range.

FAQ

  • The easy answer is, yes. There are definitely books in the works. Kickstarter guidelines require a specific project and funding goal without vague promises. So, while the books are definitely coming, don't count them as part of this kickstarter project's goals. I will begin adding free coloring and activity PDFs for children to download on our website before this kickstarter project ends.

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  • The Targimals' Honor Code is to protect children from transdimensional, trespassing monsters who are "illegally" interfering with the earthly development of children's own Quest and Honor. The flip side of the Targimal's Honor Code is Targimals should not interfere with a child's earthly challenges. Challenges such as eating their vegetables, doing chores and homework, or dealing with bullies. The Targimals are themselves young and learning to live through an Honor Code, so sometimes they do skirt the rules and interfere in the ordinary life humans (mostly parents!) -- and everyone learns a lesson along the way.

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  • They are role playing swords. We encourage parents to play along with the magic of the Bordor edge which is designed to attack monsters – but not humans. We don't recommend them as sparring toys, but should a child swing one wildly in your vicinity, they are much softer than eva foam swords or plastic ones. Plus our swords have no sharp edges. Nor will they be mistaken for a toy gun in your kid's backpack.

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  • As for manufacturing, we will use a small to mid-sized, audited factory in China that meets international standards (by surprise audits) and only makes plush toys that meet or exceed the standards of US and European markets. The size of the factory is important, because big factories don't care about small orders and small companies. At same time, we will not use an untested factory just because they are small.

    We had considered using trusted manufacturers from the dog-toy industry that we previously worked with, but it proved too much trouble due to the different standards and customs requirements between dog and human toys. Simply put, a factory needs to pick a specialty to make compliance easier. We are considering several small factories that specialize in meeting US/European standards, we have one picked out but no contracts are signed.

    We are not doing this alone, we have a Chinese-speaking, US citizen, US-based agent we have worked with for years who regularly visits factories. I, myself, have visited factories in the past, and if this order is big enough to justify it, I will go again (I have my passport and "permission" from China, and I can provide backers with photos!) With specialized, small factories, every production line produces toys to code. There is no line of substandard products to get mixed up.

    There's actually very little testing required of plush toys without paint, plastic, metal or moving parts. I've been in touch with some 3rd party testing agencies that could do further testing beyond what's required by law. Much of the problems in China at the major toy companies came from undisclosed subcontractors hired by very large factories to cut corners. Our contract will specify no subcontractors. Most sources of lead in toys comes from paints. Forge of Honor's toys use dyed fabrics, not painted fabrics. The eyes are embroidered and not plastic.

    You can see a list of CPSC recalled toys here: http://bit.ly/toyrecalls . There have been very few plush toys recalled over the years. Those that have been recalled are for choking hazards for 0-3 aged toys, magnets, plastic and metal parts that become choking hazards. And lead paint on plastic parts such as plastic faces. We will remain vigilant, but textile-only plush toys are one of the safer toys to make!

    If we have a very large order (much larger than our $18,000 goal), we will have some negotiating power, and we will query factories as to who can give us the best chance of delivery by Christmas.

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    14 backers

    Help support our dream project and we’ll publicly THANK YOU on our website. Plus, we’ll throw in some cool stickers, a window decal and a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor.” Every contribution counts!

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    TARGIMAL™ ONLY (retail value: $24.99): Befriend your favorite Targimal (your choice of six designs) by opting for this reward. We’ll also toss in some cool stickers, a window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    BORDOR BLADE™ ONLY (retail value: $29.99) Your favorite sword (your choice of six designs). We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    PILLOW POWER SET includes TARGIMAL™ and BORDOR SHIELD™ (retail value: $59.98): Combine your favorite Targimal with a matching soft-quilted Bordor Shield (your choice of six designs), which doubles as a pillow. We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website. Sword not included. For full set with sword, see next rewards level.

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    51 backers Limited (57 left of 108)

    EARLIEST BIRD SPECIAL SET: A complete set of a TARGIMAL™, BORDOR BLADE™ and BORDER SHIELD™ (retail value: $89.97) plus a LIMITED-EDITION PRINT and ORIGINAL SKETCH: We want our early bird special to be truly special to reward fans who've been following our progress. This is an excellent deal on a complete set of one Targimal, one Bordor Blade and one Shield (your choice of six designs). And just so you know we REALLY appreciate your early support, we’re adding a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimals AND an original sketch by Forge of Honor’s creator Dale Taylor. We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    6 backers Limited (282 left of 288)

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL SET: A complete set of a TARGIMAL™, BORDOR BLADE™ and BORDER SHIELD™ (retail value: $89.97) plus LIMITED-EDITION PRINT. This is your chance to score a complete set of one Targimal, one Bordor Blade and one Shield (your choice of six designs) AND a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimal. We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    4 backers

    KICKSTARTED COMPLETE SET (retail value: $89.97): One Targimal, one sword and one shield (your choice of 6 designs). Plus cool stickers, window decal, door hanger and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    35 backers Limited (1 left of 36)

    POPULAR REQUEST JULY 4TH EARLIEST BIRD SPECIAL: TWO complete sets of a TARGIMAL™, BORDOR BLADE™ and BORDER SHIELD™ (retail value: $179.94) plus a LIMITED-EDITION PRINT and ORIGINAL SKETCH: We want our early bird special to be truly special to reward fans who've been following our progress. This is an excellent deal on two complete sets two Targimals, two Bordor Blades and two Shields (your choice of six designs). And just so you know we REALLY appreciate your early support, we’re adding a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimals AND an original sketch by Forge of Honor’s creator Dale Taylor. We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website. Estimated delivery: Jan 2014 Add $20 to ship outside the US

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    36 backers All gone!

    LIMITED TWO-FER SPECIAL: TWO complete sets of a TARGIMAL™, BORDOR BLADE™ and BORDER SHIELD™ (retail value: $179.94) plus a LIMITED-EDITION PRINT: We want our early bird special to be truly special to reward fans who've been following our progress. This is an excellent deal on two complete sets two Targimals, two Bordor Blades and two Shields (your choice of six designs). And just so you know we REALLY appreciate your early support, we’re adding a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimals. We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    12 backers

    2 COMPLETE SETS (retail value: $179.94): Two Targimals, two swords and two shields of your choice. Plus stickers, window decal, door hanger and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    2 backers

    TARGIMAL LOVERS: All six Targimals plus your choice of one sword and one shield (retail value: $214.92). This also includes cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    18 backers

    3 COMPLETE SETS (retail value: $269.91): Choose three Targimals, three swords and three shields out of the six possible designs. Plus stickers, window decal, door hanger and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    17 backers

    You want the whole family? This reward offers ALL 6 Targimals, Bordor Blades and soft Shields (retail value: $539.82). We’ll also toss in cool stickers, window decal, a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor,” and a big THANK YOU on our website.

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    2 backers

    TEN COMPLETE SETS (retail value: $899.70): Choose 10 Targimals, 10 Bordor Blades and 10 soft Shields. You can go crazy and mix and match. This is WHOLESALE RATE & FREE SHIPPING USA. At this rewards level, we will also toss in a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimals. This also includes a kid’s sticker sheet, window decal and a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor.” Please storm castles responsibly. OUTSIDE USA: Due to the dimensional size of this package we cannot estimate international shipping accurately we may be able to refund some of the $120 int'l shipping fee post funding. You can contact us ahead time to estimate.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Forge of Honor Dating Game: RED VS. GREEN, FOUR ON FOUR (8 SETS) Adults-only. See update #4 ( kck.st/14OQiT6 ). You get 4 SETS of the RED DRAGON TANG and his matching red Bordor Blades and Shields. And 4 SETS of the GREEN ELEPHANT POING and his matching Bordor Blades and Shields.

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    1 backer Limited (8 left of 9)

    NINE WORTHIES SUPPORTER: This super-exclusive reward requests your involvement in DESIGNING THE NEXT Targimal, Bordor Blade and Bordor Shield. You will work with the Forge of Honor team to develop a new Targimal character, sword and shield within the rules of the Forge of Honor universe (NDA required). If you have two children you get TWO customizations. Your name will be embroidered on your custom sword and shield. This design will go into production in the future, and your name will be listed as co-designer on the tag and website. You will receive the custom prototype and nine sets of your designed product when publicly released. This also includes permanent mention on the website as early supporter and co-designer of your custom set. We will document and write a story about you and your custom set on our website. Preliminary sketches of your custom designs will be given to you as well. ONE PROTOTYPE OF YOUR CUSTOM DESIGN WILL BE HANDMADE AND DELIVERED BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2013! If you live within 3-hour drive of Denver, CO, Austin, TX or Los Angeles, CA, members of our team will drive to meet with you in person for your custom design. PLUS, you also get ALL SIX Targimals, Bordor Blades and Shields, plus a second set of ALL SIX to give to a friend (retail value $1,079.64). At this rewards level, we will also toss in a signed, limited-edition, hand-pulled print of the Targimals, cool stickers, window decal and a door hanger that reads “Monsters Beware: Room guarded by Forge of Honor.” And we'll ship all this for free anywhere in the world.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SANTA CLAUS! There probably has never been a more selfless, altruistic reward on Kickstarter. You will sponsor the expedited freight to get the Targimals and Bordor Blades and Shields 20ft or 40ft container here by Christmas 2013! If there is a snag in production and it can't be delivered regardless of shipping time, you will be refunded! If it is less than $10,000 (which it could be), you will be refunded the difference! We will provide you with a copy of the shipping receipt. If you are associated with a freight company and can do it for less, we will refund the difference and publicize your company. You are paying for the expedited bulk shipment, not the individual mailings. You will be the hero this Christmas to every backer here! At this level you will get 10 sets and all unlocked rewards as well. You will get a HUGE THANK YOU on our website as Santa's Helper. Your name will be included as Santa's Helper in all the shipments. We will put out a press release thanking you publicly or anonymously. We will encourage everyone to send you a Thank You Christmas Card if you provide us an address to include in their shipment.

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Funding period

- (47 days)