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Topic: Steve Baker Challenge Belt #25
Message: Posted by: Red Von (Aug 5, 2005 06:53PM)
I recently recieved the Steve Baker "Escape Proof Challenge Belt"

I must say right off, this belt is more stunning in hand, than the pics as shown on the Steve Baker website reveal. Saying the pics do not do this belt justice is an understatement!!

Finally, a restraint that lives up to it's name, "Escape Proof"

The craftsmanship is second to none, and clearly shows the sincere time and effort that went into making this belt. The attention to detail is clearly evident!! A brilliant work of art from the master himself, Steve Baker!!

The belt came exactly as ordered. 100% restraint with no gimmicks!! Only the maker and owner can escape!! A challenge restraint that will stand up to anyone at anytime!!

If ever there was an item to own, this is it. A genuine escape item made to perfection by "The Worlds Greatest Escape Artist" The one and only, Steve Baker "Mr. Escape"

This is a must have item for the escapologist or student of the "Art of Escape"

These are sure to become a collectors item as well, so don't miss out!! Get one while they are still available. You will be glad you did!!
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Zanzini (Aug 5, 2005 07:35PM)
Calling it escape proof is pushing it don't you think? I mean come on, just looking at the pictures I can clearly see several outs already that even a kid could spot. I'm not saying that its not well made, but escape proof? I don't think so! Not even child proof in my opinion.

The Amazing Zanzini
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Aug 5, 2005 08:20PM)
Zanzini, and your point is???

Ian
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Zanzini (Aug 5, 2005 08:26PM)
I'm just saying I think it's going overboard on this pitch. A sales pitch is all it is and hardly escape proof. I mean come on already just look at the belts... a child could escape from them for crying out load. Who's trying to kid who here?

The Amazing Zanzini
Message: Posted by: GreatWizardoftheEast (Aug 5, 2005 08:40PM)
Zantini Master of escapes, sure glad you set us all straight. Kondini the escape artist from England, Harry Murphy the escapist from the US, Joe Fox the escape historian and collector, and now RedVon who each own the belt, must all be wrong.

GWOTE aka Harold White
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Aug 5, 2005 10:12PM)
Hi Zanzini, the word Proof is just a word, maybe I am wrong but the way I read the message is that the belt is formidable, secure and in untrained hands or to the observing would be deemed to be impossible to escape from. It sit well with me because I have a very open mind and think about what is intened by the message and what it is trying to convey, not really picky on indiviual words.

PM your phone number and real name and I will be more than happy to discuss this.

all the best

Ian
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Zanzini (Aug 5, 2005 10:28PM)
I'm just giving my opinion from experience, not trying to start an argument. I'll pass on the phone call.

The Amazing Zanzini
Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Aug 5, 2005 10:33PM)
Please do not feed the Troll.
Message: Posted by: Steve Baker - Mr.Escape (Aug 5, 2005 11:41PM)
Tell you what Zanzini,Zantini,Santini...Who ever!


I'll show how serious I am about it being ESCAPE PROOF,
I'll make you the same offer I nade Flim Flam,and since you
claim to be a Master of escape,my challenge should be no problem
for you.... with all your expertice... RIGHT!!
You say a child can escape from the BELT,but can YOU?
I think NOT!
My challenge to you: After a complete search,be plased in the BELT by
me,escape in full view ,which should be easy since you've seen several
outs,you escape and the BELT is yours,too keep in your vast collection of
restraints from prevous challengs.... All of which any kid could do!!!
Untill then keep your mouth shut!

Steve Baker
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Aug 6, 2005 12:26AM)
No phone call no other posts!

as Kondini says, no point talking to shadows.

Ian
PS Kevin, your'e right on this one.
Message: Posted by: Steve Baker - Mr.Escape (Aug 6, 2005 12:36AM)
This is how you answer my challenge,by claiming I post using other names as
you do?
I post using my own name not dozen as you do,Dark Master!

Now stick to the subject,The Challenge Belt.... And my challenge to you!

You shot your mouth off about the Belt,now put up or shut up!

How about showing all of us proof of your extencive background in escape, a
picture,a video,news paper clipping,poster that was really posted... anything????

Steve Baker
Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Aug 6, 2005 12:51AM)
Ian, thanks. If you everyone stops replying to Trollzini, it will go away.
Message: Posted by: GreatWizardoftheEast (Aug 6, 2005 01:10AM)
Unfortunatly Trollzini doesn't go away, he morphs into another name, waits a while and then repeats his same tired tactics again and again.

Back to the topic at hand. Steve's belt. I've seen pictures of it and pictures of the Tom Horn Belts and similar devices. Steve Baker's is really the only one I've seen that looks formidable in my opinion.

Maybe Steve is calling the belt Escape Proof as a marketing ploy, but if he is willing to offer it as an honest challenge, then I'd have to say that it's not a false claim.

For me, I can't knock the thing. The creator has an impressive body of work behind him. I totally respect his knowledge and experience.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 6, 2005 06:47AM)
I see that we have more hyperbole from out resident mud flinger. It is interesting that a person who has never held or handled one of these props can see right through them and see exactly how a child could defeat one. Well, I would not risk my reputation based on the study of a snapshot! But then I don’t have the experience, skills, or ability of our astute friend.

I guess that it is true, in a general sense, that almost anything designed and used as a restraint can be escaped from given enough time, proper tools, and a secret helper or two (Houdini’s favorite method). That would include the Steve Baker designed and built “Challenge Belt”.

However, I seriously doubt if anyone can get out of the belt under the simple conditions of the challenge. This belt was invented to silence the loudmouth spoiler such as we find here.

It is not a sales-pitch to honestly talk about the quality and craftsmanship of any product. I have one of these puppies and have posted attesting to the craftsmanship and care that went into its construction. I’ve held it in hand, compared its construction to another high-end leather belt like restraint. I mentioned the little details that demonstrate the quality of the construction.

I am not one to hype a product (I have purchased several items that I have never mentioned or reviewed because they simply aren’t of the quality that I would want anyone else to spend hard earned cash on).

Clearly a balanced but positive review of any product or prop will help someone decide to buy it if they were undecided. Selfishly I had hoped that the price would keep competitors away from buying the belt. But with $800.00 sets of cups being sold I guess that the belt is not that expensive.

I have placed a number of law enforcement types into the belt. I have given handcuff keys to everyone that I have placed securely into the belt. Two of these guys are EA’s and regularly release themselves from regulation handcuffs (similar to the ones used on the Belt). Both have also fairly defeated the Hyatt “Blue Box” and waist chain set-up used our State’s Division of Corrections.

The Belt was designed for a simple challenge. The individual is searched, the individual is put fairly and properly into the belt, and the individual executes his/her escape in plain view without the aid of any assistant. Finally, that a reasonable time limit be set (say an hour). The time limit could be very flexible. Say that it would be extended if good progress in the escape were noted (getting even one hand free would be excellent progress!). Under these conditions I contend that the belt will not be defeated.

This is an easy argument to settle. Mr. Baker is attending the annual Escape Artists convention in California. He plans to bring his old, well used, Challenge Belt and perhaps a newer model. Let the challenge take place right there and then. It would be interesting, fun, and may even garner a little media time and space.

I wonder what is the problem that Zanzini/Santani has with Mr. Baker? It seems that he is invested in putting Mr. Baker down. Why?
Message: Posted by: Mark Tripp (Aug 6, 2005 06:57AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-05 21:26, The Amazing Zanzini wrote:
I'm just saying I think it's going overboard on this pitch. A sales pitch is all it is and hardly escape proof. I mean come on already just look at the belts... a child could escape from them for crying out load. Who's trying to kid who here?

The Amazing Zanzini
[/quote]

Lets see, first you jump on the tug of war, and now this.

You "sir" have exposed yourself as to who you are and what your mission is....

...the same one it has always been.

Let us know where YOU are working this weekend; we'd like to see how well YOU do with YOUR act.

[quote]
On 2005-08-06 07:47, Harry Murphy wrote:

I wonder what is the problem that Zanzini/Santani has with Mr. Baker? It seems that he is invested in putting Mr. Baker down. Why?


[/quote]

I will be more than happy to explain it to you. BEFORE Mr. Baker came to these boards, the Dark one was the local expert here. He had a good following and lots of people asking him questions.

Then, Mr. Baker arrived, and in truth, it was the end of his expert status. Now, Mr. Baker NEVER went after this guy, at first. However, the dark one attacked Baker from day one with challenges and the like to try and prove he was better than Steve. You might find some of that old stuff lurking about.

Someone suggested that if the dark one wanted to challenge Baker, all he had to do was get on NBC network television 10 times, in prime time, for a start. We are still waiting, but the lid blew about then.

This is nothing new, it happens to lots of people on various boards. However, the better ran ones give posters two options these boards lack. One is an ignore feature so you never even see posts like the dark one's if you do not wish to.

The other is the requirement for real names. The last time someone insisted on that, he was banned from these boards. Same for people like or dear departed friend.

Even posting about this stuff worries me, as it seems the dark one is here as will, but the good people trying to defeat him and defend Steve are banned for life.

Simply put, it is all about egos, and the small men they reside in....

Oh, one more thing. I remember Mark Tripp challenged Donny Dark to come up with 5 original escapes. To prove it could be done, Mr. Tripp posted five brand new, never done, escape effects. Then another five while waiting for even ONE from the other side.

The dark one just kept ranting.

So much for that "original" thinking.
Message: Posted by: Steve Baker - Mr.Escape (Aug 6, 2005 09:40AM)
I would like to thank all who responded to Red Vons CB #25 in a positive,and
supportive manner!

Kevin,your right don't feed the Troll,then he might go away....But shine a
light on him and he will disappear all together!
One can hope!!

Thanks All,

Steve
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 6, 2005 12:22PM)
This thread seems to have two issues. One, is Steve's belt. The other is Zanzini.

As far as I know, Zanzini, you and I have never met. I've worked the college market in the US for around 20 years, and have never heard about you, and I try to keep on friendly terms with the other escape and stunt folks. Are you in the US? What's your market? What kinds of escapes do you do? Is that your whole show, or do you do other things as well?

"As long as (you're) standing on a firm foundation". Please fill us in! Will Rogers said, "If you done it, it ain't brag". So tell us about yourself.

And when members of this group ask you questions, albeit some of them are strongly worded, you seem to be sidestepping their questions. Rather than provide some simple answers, you begin to say disparaging things.

I''ve seen Steve's belt. It's an impressive piece of equipment. I've talked with him a bit, and I hope to do it a lot more, one of these days. We both worked for Hoxie Tucker, which says, to those who knew of Hoxie, a great deal about how our sense of showmanship works. Steve's judgement about showmanship is impeccible, and well-proven.
Message: Posted by: Cindi (Aug 6, 2005 01:41PM)
This post is not intended to be an attack upon anyone's product. I simply would like to point out a "similarity". Escape Artist Ryan Madden (Canada) has performed his act for several years now with a very similar Belt. Except Ryan's has chains and locks instead of Cuffs. It can be seen at:
http://www.ryanmadden.com/jpg/8b.jpg
If you need a better Pic of it I am sure he would be happy to e mail you one.
P.S. I am not Santini :)
Cindi
(just knows this post will probably be torn to shreds)
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Aug 6, 2005 01:45PM)
Hiya Cind,

Isn't that the Tom Horn belt the Cannons sell?? I have one and it looks like it from the pic.

Ros

ps
Are you sure you're not Santini? ;)
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Aug 6, 2005 02:00PM)
I Doubt if Santini would Resort to using so many different ID's. But will the Real Santini Please Stand up.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 6, 2005 02:20PM)
Cindi,

I don’t see why your post would be torn to shreds. You make a good point (and thanks for the link). Ryan Madden, Dixie Dooley, and dozens of other EA performers have used a similar looking belt for years. They use something called an Australian Muff or a Tom Horn Belt.

Ryan uses a Tom Horn belt and does a great turn with it! He gets more mileage from his Tom Horn escape than other EA’s get out of more complicated props.By the way a better photo of the Ryan getting into the belt is at: http://www.ryanmadden.com/jpg/3b.jpg.

Home for his website is (check it out for a very retro and cool look that plays to the college crowd and us old timers quite well):
http://www.ryanmadden.com/home.html

I am not sure of the manufacturer of his prop (Cannon’s, Wheeler/Tanner or someone else) but they are all pretty much made the same. The Tom Horn belt is described and discussed by John Novak in his series of escape booklets.

Having used both I can tell you that they are different as night and day. Honestly, the Challenge Belt is very, very different in working. True, there is a general similarity in appearance since they are both built on a wide belt platform and both have arm restraining straps (the Tom Horn’s are simply large loops, the Challenge have a tie/screw down feature), however there is really no comparison in function.

Unlike the Challenge Belt, The Tom Horn belt could not be put on anyone else without them immediately knowing how to escape from it. Putting it on prepares you to take it off! Once it is on you can instantly get out of it and back in again. In fact, Dixie Dooley uses a Tom Horn belt for an “out and in again” routine.

All that said it is not a bad prop. Ryan, Dixie, and others have developed strong routines showing that it can be a very strong prop to use. I recently sold my Tom Horn belt to help pay for the Challenge Belt.

By the way folks, having had the privilege to talk briefly with Cindi I can attest that she is not Santini.
Message: Posted by: Mark Tripp (Aug 6, 2005 04:30PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-06 14:41, Cindi wrote:
This post is not intended to be an attack upon anyone's product. I simply would like to point out a "similarity". Escape Artist Ryan Madden (Canada) has performed his act for several years now with a very similar Belt. Except Ryan's has chains and locks instead of Cuffs. It can be seen at:
http://www.ryanmadden.com/jpg/8b.jpg
If you need a better Pic of it I am sure he would be happy to e mail you one.
P.S. I am not Santini :)
Cindi
(just knows this post will probably be torn to shreds)
[/quote]

Cindi,

Never project, it is kinda silly.

Read all the posts, you will see that this really is not about the belt. It is about trashing anything connected to Steve Baker.

It began (this time) with the tug of rope tie, and progressed (or more correctly regressed) to here.

While the "Tom Horn" title is often used, it goes back much further than that.

Prince Wheeler called it the Australian Muff. Other variations go back to Trudel, some having very long chains to fasten to neck and leg sections; and yet another that was attached to a "ghost walks" board (Abbotts name for a much older effect).

So you can see I am well aware of the history of this effect, and am old enough to have seen it in all its variations.

Mr. Bakers belt is NOTHING like the above. In the first place, NO ONE used handcuffs before. In the second, NO ONE offered it as an escape proof effect, until now.

If this were just another effect, by now, people who bought these would be saying so. Instead, they fill these boards with praise.

Mark Tripp, MANY years ago, began a project to put effects on the market. He began with "Tripp's Trap" (an outstanding effect with an ungimmicked rat trap long before others played with them). People who bought it loved it, people who didn't trashed it. He got so fed up with it, he just quit the entire project. Same with book and video/dvd projects.

Nothing kills faster than unfounded negitivity. Which is why the dark one, in all his forms, is so disliked around here.

The question EVERY one of us needs to ask is, what did I do, TODAY, to leave the world better than I found it.

Some people work to save the world, others to blow it up....

...just look around this room.
Message: Posted by: FLIM-FLAM (Aug 6, 2005 08:35PM)
Would you be able to interchange handcuffs on this belt?

Jim
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 6, 2005 08:50PM)
Yes, with just a little work the cuffs can be changed. Wait until you see the cuffs that Ros has on his! Sweet mother of mercy! I't not up to me to tip it in advance, that is for Ros and Mr. Baker.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Aug 7, 2005 06:38AM)
I'm keeping my mouth shut till the pics come up on Steve's site. I haven't seen it myself yet, but I've heard a bit about it during the phone calls from Steve. As I said earlier, this monster even broke Steve's stand.

Take care,

Ros

Here's a challenge for those that really want a 100% escape proof belt. Why not add a pair of king breakers on them? I'm not talking about the pop rivet king breaker created by Norm Bigelow, but a full on, no messing about, need to cut the thing off king breaker.

Now that would be one nasty piece of kit for any trouble makers.

I think that would be kinda funny to see too :)

Ros
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 16, 2019 06:02AM)
[quote]On Aug 6, 2005, Harry Murphy wrote:

The Tom Horn belt could not be put on anyone else without them immediately knowing how to escape from it. Putting it on prepares you to take it off! Once it is on you can instantly get out of it and back in again. In fact, Dixie Dooley uses a Tom Horn belt for an “out and in again” routine.

[/quote]

I know what I think - but I was wondering how others thought about the "in and out" played with a Tom Horn belt?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 19, 2019 05:17AM)
Hi Dave! I've been too darn busy to write, but, frankly, I think the other guys (who are much more qualified than I) have given you their best opinions.

Dick