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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Periods & styles of Magic » » 70s Magic and and your favorite Mak Magic trick? (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

radamwarner
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I was a 'Mak Kid' and was fascinated by all the brightly covered boxes and tubes they produced. What was your favorite Mak trick? Mine was the "Turkish Turmoil." The balloon thru tube penetration trick, with the bright colors, was a dazzler.
John Martin
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I had a "Moxahala". Rice, water, milk exchange if memory serves me right. At some point it got water damaged, rusted and the paint fell off. It was about the only thing I never took care of when I was younger. Imagine to my surprise that it's now worth in 150$ range. Several years ago I decided to start a MAK magic collection and have since picked up some nice original pieces.

Here's a nice collection of MAK/Grant magic http://www.ronsmagicpalace.com/Rons_Magi......nts.html

John
David Todd
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I had many items from U.F. Grant/Mak Magic when I was young.

Dagger LiveStock Vanish was one of the Grant/Mak magic effects I had as a teenage magician .
I later built my own to look like a rabbit cage/carrier , with a natural wood finish and a wire mesh front (which really helped the BA effect ...)

Crystal Silk Cylinder was another Mak prop I used for many years.

Another favorite for many years was the French Arm Chopper .

Image


I actually never much cared for the Mak paint jobs so at one point I ended up replacing my Mak French Arm Chopper with a version made by Ronjo Magic that they marketed as the "Hands Off" arm chopper , which had a natural wood finish instead of the garish Mak paint job. I changed the felt bag to a soft jute bag , which looks more like a "basket" .

Image



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magiccollector69
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I still have a soft spot in my heart for Mak. I have a mostly complete catalog from the 70's and I still fee what I felt then when reading it; a sense of wonder at the shapes and stencils, and descriptions, even if they weren't always born out in real life. Case in point, Mummy Asrah.

My favorite...that I had, and still have...would I guess have to be Moxaholla. Not because the apparatus or trick was any technical tour de force, but because of the shapes and colors of the props. There was also another truncated cone-shaped gadget..I think some sort of water jar? It was decorated in a gold and black spiral from top to bottom.

Oh wait, no, favorite would have to be the Aldini Bowl Production! I had the later model that was slightly more technically made, but less self-operating. Just loved it.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2015, magiccollector69 wrote:
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Mak. I have a mostly complete catalog from the 70's and I still fee what I felt then when reading it; a sense of wonder at the shapes and stencils, and descriptions, even if they weren't always born out in real life. Case in point, Mummy Asrah.

My favorite...that I had, and still have...would I guess have to be Moxaholla. Not because the apparatus or trick was any technical tour de force, but because of the shapes and colors of the props. There was also another truncated cone-shaped gadget..I think some sort of water jar? It was decorated in a gold and black spiral from top to bottom.

Oh wait, no, favorite would have to be the Aldini Bowl Production! I had the later model that was slightly more technically made, but less self-operating. Just loved it.


I know exactly the feeling you are describing , looking at those marvelous old catalogs with the Nelson Hahne and Ed Mishell illustrations.

Just recently I was searching for something unrelated in an old issue of Genii magazine (using the online archive) and came across this ad for Grant's "Mandrake's Mystery Cape" , which reminded me of how much I desparately wanted that Mandrake's Mystery Cape at one time ! It just seemed like the most miraculous thing ever from the description. I could not afford it at the time and then later on when I was making money from doing magic shows it had been discontinued because I don't remember it from the later Mak catalogs . I had not thought about Mandrake's Mystery Cape for years , but seeing that ad in Genii immediately brought it all back and transported me back in time with a wave of nostalgia washing over me. Reading the ad again now I think this must have been a "daylight seance" gimmick attached to a cape .

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magiccollector69
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Oh, oh!! I forgot! No, my favorite has to be the Visible Vampire Escape; the mechanical version. I was so fascinated by this as a kid that I bought one, used, a few years ago as an adult. Sitting on my shelf now. Probably to be sold one of these days as I downsize, but being a kid of the '60's I love the vampire/devil theme and the super sneakiness of the modus.
61magic
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Like many of us when we started out in magic Mak props were a standard item to purchase. When I put my first act together for a talent show half the act was Mak props. I still love the stuff and use at least one Mak prop in my current work.
I've been doing magic for many many years and age has taken a toll on the hands so finger manipulation now is not at a level I find acceptable so I've gone back to mostly prop magic. I now take time to build "Mak" props with better materials and a finish to fit into the scheme of my act, but the magic is the same.
You can call it "tin can magic" all you want but it is still one of the best investments anyone can make.
Kudos to all the Mak fans out there....
Professor J. P. Fawkes
radamwarner
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David-
The arm chopper looks like it means business:)
MagicSA
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The Frech arm chopper is a favorite, also amoungst audiences. But that Mandrakes Cape looks so charming as well Smile I was born after this period, but it is still fascinating to read up on it.
radamwarner
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Who currently manufactures the French Arm Chopper? The current version has not changed much in it's design.
David Todd
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On Aug 22, 2015, radamwarner wrote:
Who currently manufactures the French Arm Chopper? The current version has not changed much in it's design.


I've read that Mak does not manufacture anything themselves (in Columbus, OH) anymore. I heard that they job it out to India and/or China. I'm not sure if this entirely true , but it does seem that very little of what they sell these days is from the classic Grant/Mak line of magic.

I think the best "French Arm Chopper" style chopper made today is the one that Daytona Magic sells. (they call it "Visible Arm Chopper") It is finished as plain, natural wood (the opposite of Mak design style !) , so it can be used that way or painted with a custom paint job.

https://www.daytonamagic.com/visible-arm-chopper-up830m.html


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David Todd
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On another discussion board the subject of the Grant/MAK "Flying Carpet" illusion came up. The "Flying Carpet" was in all the Mak magic catalogs I saw for many years and I'm sure it was the first "big illusion" that many of us purchased. The one I purchased was similar to this one:

http://magictrickcollection.com/mak-magic/Flying-Carpet.jpg

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Later on I refurbished mine completely , keeping nothing but the gimmick.

The one in the photo above is the MAK version I always saw in magic shops, although I remember the MAK catalogs I had from the mid-to-late 70's still had the famous photo of Jack Gywnne performing this illusion, with somewhat different styling than the later Mak version of the carpet. Here it is in a 1968 U.F. Grant ad from Genii magazine -

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Recently I came across an earlier U.F. Grant advertisement for the Flying Carpet , with a fanciful rendering of the illusion by the great Nelson Hahne . Oh, if only the old magic catalog illustrations were true ! I think this is how we all hoped and dreamed that the Flying Carpet illusion would look. I have never seen the illusion performed with the support screen themed as the ‘Arabian Nights’ book , but from this ad by U.F. Grant that would seem to have been the original intention (i.e. , for the screen to represent the ‘Arabian Nights’ book). Grant's Barnumesque dealer-spiel seems to have kicked into overdrive in the description:

Quote:
If desired may be used SURROUNDED . (our latest addition)” . Performer wheels out a small platform . On it is a two fold screen painted to represent a book , lettered “ARABIAN NIGHTS” . Resting on top of the screen is a carpet. A boy from the audience is asked to step up. He gets up on the carpet in cross-legged style. You step behind and deliberately pull the book out from under the carpet . The boy and the carpet float in mid-air as your read him the story from the book . The fringe on the carpet waves in the air, giving the effect of an actual breeze , as if the carpet is flying in the air ! Now , if desired, the performer may walk completely away from the outfit . The book is then replaced and the boy gets down and goes back to the audience, none the wiser”


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"Can be performed SURROUNDED" . Really ? I wonder what was the "latest addition" that made this possible ?

"You step behind and deliberately pull the book out from under the carpet . The boy and the carpet float in mid-air as your read him the story from the book ." Really ? So I can only assume that while the magician is holding the screen (book) that his leg is hiding the *u-know-what* with BA principle ? That would only work at stage distance with very careful lighting.

"The fringe on the carpet waves in the air, giving the effect of an actual breeze , as if the carpet is flying in the air ! Now , if desired, the performer may walk completely away from the outfit ." Really ? I can only imagine that the fanciful description of "the fringe of the carpet waving in the breeze as if the carpet is flying in the air" was based on the slight movement of the carpet fringe that occurs when the screen is removed ... but that hardly fits the fantastic description. And I'm sure what he neglected to mention regarding "if desired, the performer may walk completely away from the outfit" is that first the screen (book) would have to be placed down behind the floating carpet (which, knowing how the gimmick was configured , must have been a very awkward maneuver to perform gracefully).

If anyone has a photo of this version of the U.F. Grant "Flying Carpet" (with the "Arabian Nights" book design for the support screen) I'd love to see what it actually looked like.

----

Off-topic of MAK , but while we're generally on the topic of the "Flying Carpet", the version of it that I always wanted was the one made by Cassini Magic in the late 1970's , which looked great , but was totally out of my price range as a young teenage magician . ($300 in late 1970's currency , adjusted for inflation , would be like $1,181.00 in today's money. At the same time the MAK version of the Flying Carpet was selling for around $100 , which was still a major purchase for me then. I had to perform a lot of birthday party shows to save up for it .)

Image


(of course, the other thing I wanted was an assistant who looked like that!)

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David Todd
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2015, magiccollector69 wrote:
There was also another truncated cone-shaped gadget..I think some sort of water jar? It was decorated in a gold and black spiral from top to bottom.


The Spiral Silk Can ? --

See attached image.

Click here to view attached image.
radamwarner
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My first encounter with Mak Magic began at the Ripley's Believe or Not museum that also had a magic shop attached to it. I loved to go and gaze at these magical boxes and tubes-some of which I had seen performed live. Of course, looking long enough, you might catch a glimpse of a gimmick, which of course only elevated the excitement.
radamwarner
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PS The Grant "Flying Carpet" always looked precarious (and not very convincing looking). I wonder if there were any accidents connected with the illusion?
David Monroe
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If anyone is looking for a "Mandrake's Mystery Cape" I have one that I am willing to part with. let me know.
Smile
Dr. O
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The flying carpet brought back a lot of memories. Got one decades ago and used it quite a bit. Passed it on to a younger magician awhile back.
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