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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » The Cubes by Caramba Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicinsight
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I saw this on Hocus-Pocus site. It s a cubre libre effect using only one tube. It has slates in the front to write down numbers chosen by the spectators and the numbers appear in that order as a finale. What do yo think of using one tube and set of numbers instead of the usual three and of the slates idea? Seems like it might be easier to handle and use as well as to carry. The price is $395.00.

Based on an original idea of English magician P. T. (Percy) Selbit, and further developed by the renowned German magician Conradi, this effect leaves a distinct imprint on the minds of any who witness it.

First conceived by P.T. Selbit in the early Twentieth Century, it is often called The Selbit Blocks and was introduced to the magic fraternity under the name Bewildering Blocks in London in 1906. Later, Conradi developed a version in Germany, which he advertised in 1907, so it was sometimes referred at as the "Conradi Blocks".

Known over the years by a variety of names including:, "Selbeit Blocks", "Conradi Blocks", "Bewildering Blocks", "Magic Bricks" and most recently "Cube-Libre", this effect appeals to more sophisticated audiences and will have them talking for DAYS afterwards. In fact, Bob Sheets and other noted performers swear by "the blocks" and feature them with great regularity in their programs.

Spanish magician Oscar Rui of Caramba Magic has formulated his own handling of a true classic. Rui's routine utilizes just ONE tube versus the customary two, and uses FOUR blocks rather than six. Although they look like part of the design, the black circles on the front of the tube are actually slate pieces allowing you to manually write numbers on them.

The basic effect starts with four numbered blocks being displayed, then restacked into a different numeric order, covered, then quickly uncovered revealing that they've returned to their ORIGINAL stacked order. It's a visual powerhouse!

The premise of this effect is simple-to-follow, yet completely mind-bending to onlookers!

As the routine progresses, four distinct block transpositions occur. For the final kicker finish, the audience is invited to call out numbers (1 through 4) in order to create a four-digit number. This four-digit number is written from top to bottom on the slate circles on the tube's front panel. Next, the blocks are stacked in a DIFFERENT four-digit number configuration than the number just created by the spectators.

For the finale, the blocks are covered, and after a brief moment, the cover is removed revealing that the blocks have rearranged themselves into the EXACT 4-DIGIT NUMBER that was randomly created by the audience just moments ago!

Remember, the sequence of numbers written on the black circles is FREELY CHOSEN by the audience members.

If you've ever seen this trick performed, you know how strong of an effect this can be. Oscar Rui's routine and handling is exceedingly straightforward and well thought out. The fact that the audience members get to select the order of the last four numbers makes for a VERY STRONG FINISH!

Fabricated in high-quality lacquered wood, all cubes and gimmicks have been meticulously calibrated to ensure flawless operation.

Comes complete with BOTH written instructions and instructional DVD.

An awesme routine and a really GREAT trick expertly crafted by Oscar Rui of Caramba Magic in Spain.
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
SteveFromSpokane
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I got mine yesterday from Hocuc Pocus. Couldn't wait to open the box when I got home from work.

Excellent detail to manufacturing of the product. It did look bigger to me on the video but still big enough to perform for large number of people. It stands about 11 inches tall and somehow I thought it was taller from the vid. But that just makes it easier to transport.
That last part of the routine where the audience pick out the number sequence and the boxes match is the cream on top. No awkward fidgeting with your hands.

Am curious if any others here have purchased it too?
rhettbryson
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I had what I belie3ve to have been the first one of these in the USA (Purchased from Oscar directly from Spain.) I think the effect is fabulous and the construction is second to NONE of the similar effects. The routine with the balckboard finish gets superb reactions. I love it!
illusion123
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Just received Cubes and I am very pleased with it. Will now have to spend some getting the sequence of moves without thinking about it too much. I used to have a very heavy version of this using two tubes years ago and never used it.I am sure once I've got the handling of this I will use it as it is more portable. I would also like to use this in my kids shows as long the audience are sitting in the correct place (in front of me). In some of these village halls the parents tend to sit anywhere, behind and directly at the side. So you have to be aware of your performance position with this one, but it should be common sense at the end of the day.

This is truly a great classic effect with I will enjoy performing.

Chris Wild
TheTableTopTrixta
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Just got this, AWESOME! Top notch workmanship and a great killer ending! Can not wait to start performing it! Can't believe there haven't been any other reviews on this!
Michael Daniels
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Cubes! arrived from Spain today and I am so impressed with the superb quality of this item! The props are sturdy, beautifully made, and work very smoothly. With care, they should last a lifetime.

Cubes! (available in both left- and right-handed versions) comes with four pages of printed instructions and an instructional DVD. These explain Oscar Rui's standard routine (which I've seen Oscar perform up-close at conventions). The Caramba website also now features a video of a more elaborate routine by Kayto.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGbQ_1is8-w

I love Kayto's presentation but, unfortunately, it is not taught in the instructions. However, I have just spent a couple of hours deconstructing the routine, and can now appreciate even more just how brilliant it is! It does require some additional mental work and care in the final phase (where spectators decide the required order of the cubes) but, with practice, this should be fairly straightforward.

I have always been a fan of the Bewildering Blocks, but have felt that the two-tube and/or six-block presentations can be too confusing for the audience, and that this tends to detract from what is one of the cleanest and most mysterious effects in all magic. Oscar's one-tube, four-cube approach is perfect in my opinion.

Very, very highly recommended. I'd give Cubes! 95% (it would be 100% if it came with an explanation of Kayto's routine). It's not cheap, but real quality never is! Worth every penny and then some.

Mike
Wizard of Oz
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Great post Michael. Thank you.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Magic Arty
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Just got my set from Hocus Pocus. This is one of those purchases that you get your moneys worth right out of the box. The quality, feel and ease of use is excellent. The basic routine is quick, smooth, and has an astonishing finish. This is definitely in the show.

Arthur
atsmagic
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Feeling real happy now!
goodingda
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I'm a big fan of Cuba-A Libre, having owned at least a half-dozen sets in my life, and "Cubes" is by far the best! Using a single stack of 4 blocks, instead of 2 stacks of 6, is absolutely the way to go with this trick. It is just as deceptive, easier to use, and much easier for the audience to follow. Cubes also has the best gaffs ever! Cubes can be used much closer than most models, and you can hardly tell the difference in the blocks with and without the gaffs, even when you know what to look for. Get Cubes. There's not a close second IMO.
Dave
videoman
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Thank you for reviving this old thread. I have always liked this effect and long wanted a version of this but having never seen this prop in person before I was never sure which model to get so never pulled the trigger.
But after reading this last post I decided to treat myself. I found one at The Magic Warehouse and ordered on Wednesday. Today is Friday and I have already watched the video and played with the props.

It certainly is a well made and beautiful prop. Still amazed myself at how simple and effective it is.
Thanks for the push, I'm very happy with my purchase.
(And how about a shout out for that quick shipping and excellent service from TMW, huh? I didn't even pay extra for fast shipping AND I live on the opposite end of the country!)
goodingda
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Glad you like the prop. I noticed MW has it for a great price, $330! Hocus Pocus was the excusive dealer 6 years ago and was asking $395.

A great finale for this trick is the one Paul Daniels used. Here is the YouTube link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PfaaCemZe0
At the end of the routine, Paul makes all the blocks turn upside down! If you watch closely you will see how it's done. You can't do all the other changes he does because his blocks are gaffed differently than Cubes, but you can do the finale!
Dave
videoman
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Yes, I forgot to mention that was a good price, I was expecting to pay $395.

Thanks for sharing the Paul Daniels video. I do like the idea of dropping the blocks into the tube at times rather than strictly using the tube as a cover placed over the blocks. Seems to give the tube more of a purpose than just a cover.

Really, I think the surface has only been scratched on what creative things could be done using this prop and method. I would love to come up with a routine involving 4 letter words (but of the polite variety.) Where not only a magical rearrangement takes place but the different words formed tell a story. Seems like something along those lines has probably been published somewhere.

I’m anxious to play with some ideas.
goodingda
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Videoman, you mentioned dropping the blocks, and I had always wanted to do this but was afraid the paint might chip on the blocks. Have you had any problems with this?
videoman
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Too new to tell. Just got it yesterday so haven't had a chance to try it enough to determine. I have yet to experiment with how much it will change things if any since I would need to drop them in one side of the tube and well...don't want to expose too much. But I need to play around with it some.

Personally, I'm not real worried about paint chipping because I am a pretty good craftsman and could just touch up or repaint as necessary or even rebuild the entire prop from scratch if needed, which I may end up doing at some point if I devise a worthwhile routine.
goodingda
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Good point about the touchup paint. Black should be easy to match. Thanks!
The great Gumbini
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I believe this is the best version of this effect. I sold mine on the Café to a member only because I do a very limited amount of shows per year for the same audience and I did not want this just sitting on my shelf. But if you are interested in this effect I highly recommend this version.

Good magic to all,


Eric
Ustaad
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Yesterday I purchased Smart Cubes Red (Medium / Parlor) by Taiwan Ben for $117 with free shipping.

Smile
MAGIC is a SECRET, without the SECRET, there is no MAGIC.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.
goodingda
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The problem with Cube-A-Libres is they never show a photo comparing the block with and without the gimmick. The gimmick makes or breaks the trick! It determines how close it can be performed without detection. I purchased one that was so bad I was afraid to use it. Cubes has the best gimmick, hands down, over every other model I've seen!
John C
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Is this effect even with on tube hard to master? Is it something you must perform often in order to keep the sequesnce in your head?

I've always enjoyed Bob Sheets routine.

J
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
goodingda
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The handling is easy. However, you do have to remember the moves. You can't just pick it up after months of non-use and perform with it. However, I've found that after about 20 minutes I'm ready to go.
This is one of those tricks were shorter is better, IMO. Oscar Rui, the "inventor" of Cubes, has a 2 minute 40 second routine. Here's his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORiy_nOrP2Q


I've seen performers do a dozen or more changes, and alter a few minutes the audience is bored because nothing new is happening. I do five changes, that's it. Each change builds on the previous, until finally all the blocks turn upside down.

BTW, I don't do the change where the audience picks a number and you write it on the tube. This is a unique feature with Cubes, but that's not what makes this prop great, IMO. I find it slows down the routine and adds nothing in terms of audience impact. Furthermore, it invites suspicion because the blocks are stacked after the number is chosen. Again, just my opinion.
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