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Topic: Collector's Workshop effects
Message: Posted by: Mike M (Jul 13, 2003 09:56AM)
Just wondering what are some of the best effects from Collector's Workshop? I collect clever apparatus and do not necessarily perform with it. Does anyone have Psychic Sword?
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Jul 13, 2003 12:08PM)
Since George Robinson Jr. took over Collector's Workshop, he has been slowly applying his brilliant mind to re-working the CW effects and streamlining them, working the bugs out and giving it his well known attention to detail and quality. He is doing a great job and you can trust that the quality is at the same level or even higher.

My vote for great CW effects:

Silver Odyssey II has my vote. This is a beautiful effect, just to look at the workings, and it has been updated as well. Very cool.

The CW Coin Classic is a BRILLIANT gimmick as well if you are looking for clever apparatus and it is a GREAT trick as well.

My favorite piece from CW has to be the CW Ultimate Coin Ladder!! If you want clever workings, this is the KING of COOL! Someday I will own one...someday :yippee:
Chance Wolf
Wolf's magic
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jul 13, 2003 01:39PM)
I have these effects:
Any Card to Wallet. A very nice card effect.
Chronologue monster strong prediction!
T'Ang Dynasty Tea Chest a classic effect: ring in box (For sale 100 dollars)

http://www.vikingmagic.com/
Message: Posted by: Winks (Jul 13, 2003 02:22PM)
I'll second the vote on Silver Odyssey II. Absolutely fantastic. And, I really like Creation. Very clever and danged effective. :dancing:
Message: Posted by: robertwong (Jul 13, 2003 03:27PM)
I currently use Jumbo Side Kick in my presentation, it gets a great reaction however personally I don't like relying on items that use electronics. I always make sure my batteries are fresh on the unit and I also have an out, just in case my table does not work. This only happened to me twice! I should mention that the Jumbo Side Kick I own is from Collector's Workshop, pre-Viking Magic.

Another effect which I use to own was Card on Seat. The simplicity of the mechanics made this trick a dream to use. I sometimes wish I still had this trick sitting in my basement. The reason why I sold this effect was that although the effect was fine, the wooden chairs looked out of place when I was performing. At the time I owned the effect I was performing a lot of corporate venues and I felt that using wooden chairs in my presentation looked out of place.

Just my two cents!

Robert. :band:
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Jul 14, 2003 12:22AM)
Favorites of mine are:

Khartoum Ring Fantasy
Silver Odyssey (the mechanical version)
BulletProof (electronic version)
Horizontal Card Rise
Khyber Kobra
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 14, 2003 02:28PM)
Let's talk Collector's Workshop...wow, what don't I own? All the way from Grandma Bloch's Recipe Cards to the infamous Power Chopper. I routinely use my Jumbo Sidekick II, Khyber Kobra, Gumball, the original (clockwork) Silver Odyssey, Jumbo Card on Seat. I have lots of other CW items that I'd never part with, including an original Stull System III (also sometimes called Stull Outdone), an original (wooden base) Paper Thin Sawing and Time Terrific. I use Chronologue to stall time when I'm using my Perfect Time. Even found an original CW Flash Wand, and got it in a trade. Most of their items I've found to be very dependable. Right now, I'm looking for a used Time Odyssey from CW...anybody?

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Tim Taylor (Jul 14, 2003 07:56PM)
Hey Steve, did you make that list for insurance purposes? :rotf:
Hey all, he really does have all these I have drooled on them all. I thought it might work like licking your food so no one else would eat it. It did'nt. :pout:
My favorite is the Jumbo Sidekick II. WOW! Is that thing awsome. :coolest:
Message: Posted by: Alex Tan (Jul 15, 2003 02:36PM)
I love my Jumbo Sidekick II and Relativity.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 15, 2003 03:54PM)
Gumball has been a mainstay in my act. I also have the Card on Seat as one of the bigger pieces.

On my mantle in my den, the Horizontal Card Rise, Midas Cups, and Samurai all get curiosity peaked.

Far and away, my favorite piece is my Perfect Time. Had a great reaction with this effect while bartending in college that if I never performed it again, was worth the $395 I spent.

Chronologue is also in my briefcase with me everyday.

Even though I am big into collectable magic, I have considered the idea of parting with my Stull System III. I hate to do it, but it was never used in peformance...just as a collectors piece. I may consider it if there is any real interest.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 16, 2003 03:55PM)
Have you seen there's a Stull System III on Ron Allesi's site for like $325?

My Davey's Festival Rings, Horizontal Card Rise, Jaks or Better, Hemingway Lock, Zippo, Chaplin's Candle, Any Card To wallet, Can O'Corn, Burmese Bells, Penultimate and Badlands Bob all grace my shelves for display, but I'm recently finding some uses for the Can O'Corn...

Almost all CW items are good. I did however get a certain dealer's used list once that said he had a Burmese Bells effect "FREE to the first caller to express an interest in this piece of crap"...it went instantly.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: tdowell (Jul 17, 2003 12:36AM)
Chronologue is my favorite and really fools people. I wish they made the calandar covers in leather though, the plastic is cheap looking
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Aug 12, 2009 03:15PM)
Samurai Sword---absolutely brilliant!


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: Bedford (Aug 12, 2009 03:49PM)
In my collection (and various shows) are:

Stull System III
Chronologue (modified a bit)
Hemmingway Lock
Jaks Or Better
Any Card To Wallet
Zodiac
Clock Of San Marcos
Runaway Deck
Penultimate
World's 2nd Best Card Trick
Ring Cruncher (the original)
Horizontal Card Rise
Chameleon Chest
Card Duckling
Morelli Ring

And I'm probably missing a few stashed around here. But I've been buying from Collector's since the old days, and still do. George is great to deal with, as were Rich and Nick. Great quality, great service.
Message: Posted by: marknem7 (Aug 12, 2009 10:59PM)
Oh c'mon! Burmese Bells is one of my favorite parlor effects. No one's every figured it out. (Just wish it came without the tube made of Plexiglas. Plexiglas? Ancient Burma?)

Couldn't live without my Jumbo Sidekick II. And am looking forward to the next Khyber Kobra, about which George keeps encouraging me to be patient, that it's just on the (perennial) horizon.
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Aug 13, 2009 03:32AM)
I have:
Runaway deck
Ring cruncher
Marakesch (don't know the exact name anymore, a thought of card rises out af the deck)
and.... the De Kolta Card Cascade.

I have put the question earlier. Has someone the De Kolta Card Cascade too?
I bought it some 20 years ago I think.
I have a question about it. Please PM me if you have that effect too.
Message: Posted by: taiwanben (Aug 13, 2009 03:59AM)
I have:
RELATIVITY
Jumbo sidekick
They are perfect props for comedy stage routine.
Message: Posted by: Bob Meigs (Aug 14, 2009 01:50AM)
Just came from the CW site and saw the Ultimate Coin Ladder is BACK IN STOCK!! I have to agree with Chance that this piece is about as cool as it gets. And George hasn't raised the price!

I already have one, and I'm still excited to see that it's back! Hopefully, George will be showing it off at Magic Live!
Message: Posted by: taiwanben (Aug 14, 2009 03:27AM)
As for the Ultimate Coin Ladder, I saw this effec is wonderful on CW DVD catalogue.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Aug 14, 2009 05:38AM)
Waterloop...it's Marakesh Mystery, I think.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Papasmurf (Aug 14, 2009 09:57AM)
These are the ones I have in order of performance preference.

Khartoum Ring Fantasy
Samurai Sword
Ring Cruncher
Ball Through Hand
No-Fake Card Frame
Trans-Mental 3
Ch’Ang’s Dowry

Eric
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Aug 14, 2009 01:22PM)
Papasmurf,

You have to be careful what you call "Collector's Workshop" items. To a real CW collector, the Viking items don't really count. Ball Thru Hand, the No-Feke Card Frame and Trans-Mental are actually items from Viking. Granted, Viking/George does own the rights to the CW line, but there is a definite distinction between the 2 lines of products.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Papasmurf (Aug 14, 2009 06:07PM)
OopsaDasy, I just got too excited about this topic.

Eric
Message: Posted by: Robert M (Aug 14, 2009 07:59PM)
I traded my Marakesh Mystery to George for his collection. I didn't realize how rare it was, but I'm glad he has it now. I think it was the only piece he didn't have.

Here's one of the best CW effects ever, IMO.

http://www.vikingmagic.com/?nd=full&key=77

Robert

PS - I like that Runaway Deck, too.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Aug 14, 2009 09:06PM)
I have at least two dozen of CW's smaller effects, and they are all wonderful. Even the ones that are not as commercial, or performer-friendly, they all still represent care, quality, and distinction. My favorite affordable effect, which is very performable is the horizontal card rise. It's not only a wonderful effect, but the workings are quite sinister.

George by the way, is great to deal with. One of the few dealers/craftsmen out there who actually respond to their emails. My only complaint (not really), is that he can't work fast enough to keep the cool stuff in stock (again...not really. I'd much rather get something right and slow, than wrong and fast).
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Aug 14, 2009 09:10PM)
I just read Robert M's post, and I must agree. Psychic Sword is wonderful, affordable, and much more than described in the ads. I just purchased this about a month ago and couldn't believe how cool the workings were when I received it. Plus, it's an odd enough looking prop to fit into anyone's set. If you can't weave a story around these beautiful objects you need to go back to story telling school.
Message: Posted by: Corbett (Sep 11, 2009 11:35AM)
Trans-Mental is a nice one. Well-made brass mentalism trick. I really like mine. I also have the Mental Cube trick. Made out of walnut. Nice.
Message: Posted by: flagg (Sep 13, 2009 10:37PM)
The 2 I use is: Hemmingway Lock
templar sword ... nice pieces.


And zodiac...
Message: Posted by: shomemagic (Sep 13, 2009 10:48PM)
I had Clock of San Marcos and LOVED IT...
Message: Posted by: Rafael The Master Hypnotist (Sep 13, 2009 11:35PM)
I own "The Phoenix Watch" and "The Geneva Watch" and it has pay me back in turn ten fold, since both I used and abuse them in my working set

it is not only a Fine Gimmick, it is also a fine collector piece
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Sep 14, 2009 03:41AM)
I used to visit Nick often when he was at the farm in Middleburg although it always turned out to be an expensive stop. George has done a terrific job in enhancing many of these great concepts. My CW originals that I still use and love include: Jumbo Card on Seat, Khyber Kobra, Midas Cups, World's Second Greatest Card Trick and Any Card to Wallet. I know that I'm missing a few others but these are items that I currently and actively use.

Dan.
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Sep 14, 2009 06:55AM)
Other elements of my collection, but not currently in use, include: Perfect Time, Fireflower, Powerbox, Creation, Horizontal Card Rise, Burmese Bells, Jacks or Better and the Breather Card. I still have Silver Odessy and Jumbo Sidekick on my list. I'm sure George will bring some wonderful enhancements to their function and design.

Dan.
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Sep 16, 2009 03:00AM)
PERFECT TIME
Message: Posted by: Carl Skenes (Sep 16, 2009 09:44AM)
GUMBALL
Message: Posted by: taoist (Oct 19, 2009 08:42PM)
I've got a Perfect Time which needs band repair and a Sidekick which I will offer for sale/trade after I take photos.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Oct 20, 2009 09:42AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-14 14:22, Stevethomas wrote:
Papasmurf,

You have to be careful what you call "Collector's Workshop" items. To a real CW collector, the Viking items don't really count. Ball Thru Hand, the No-Feke Card Frame and Trans-Mental are actually items from Viking. Granted, Viking/George does own the rights to the CW line, but there is a definite distinction between the 2 lines of products.

Steve
[/quote]

Steve is absolutely correct. No offense to George and Viking, but the serious collector only considers the ones by Rich Bloch and Nick Ruggiero that came out of the shop near Middleburg to be real Collectors' Workshop products.

For those who think that some of the original products didn't work as intended, in almost every case the problem was due to careless set-up or performance by Rich (he has greatly improved since those early days) and NOT due to any defect in the props themselves.

I am the proud owner of probably 80-90% of the original product line. The one I use in all of my "Cabaret Magic" stage shows (my comedy magic act for adults) is Jumbo Sidekick. I own one of the very first they produced. It quickly became their biggest hit with over 1,000 sold before the CW name and line were sold to Viking. It's a killer effect that I continue to use after almost 20 years and hundreds and hundreds of performances without a single malfunction.

Shortly after Sidekick was introduced, I was surprised to learn that they were producing a version that operated by remote control rather than being triggered by the sound of the gunshot at the request of performers who wanted to use it in kid and school shows where they couldn't (or didn't want to) use a gun. I don't know whether it was me or Nick who was more appalled at the number of people who bought the "gunless" version, apparently oblivious to the fact that the whole premise of the effect was shooting the gun. We shared many a good laugh that a number of performers didn't seem to realize that without the use of a gun and the sound of the gunshot it becomes a visual nonsequitur. One can only wonder how many other great tricks those folks are screwing up because they completely miss the point.
Message: Posted by: Koichi Sato (Oct 27, 2009 11:46AM)
I am troubled.

I got a duck from auction.
However, there is not a pull handle.
so I'll make reconstruction it.

I want to look this part of pictures.
handle shape.

Somebody,Please send it me!

I want to revive my duck!


Thanks.

Koichi Sato.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Oct 27, 2009 12:13PM)
Koichi,

Is yours a Viking duck? It is probably NOT a Collector's Workshop "Mini Card Duck" judging by the size in the pics. I know that George Robinson can fabricate a new RING piece to go inside your duck. He's very good at that sort of thing. Don't expect an instant turnaround, only the best quality work.

Steve
Message: Posted by: runawayjag (Oct 27, 2009 04:36PM)
How could anyone not mention Gift of Time from the original CW? It blows all the other clock predictions right out of the water.

The little duck is a Hearsum duck.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Oct 27, 2009 07:21PM)
Runawayjag,

I'm hoping you don't mean the ORIGINAL, original "Gift Of Time", with the gigantic model airplane remote! Hahaha. Always found that particular prop a little "iffy" as far as performance. I know you mean the newer, updated one with the smaller remote for activation, but that original was a monster.

Steve
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Oct 27, 2009 08:21PM)
The [url=http://www.martinsmagic.com/?nd=full&key=2992&myaf=af_mm]Gift of Time[/url] made by George Robinson is a beauty as the mantle clock is NOT stock bought but handmade of solid walnut and brass by one of his craftsman. The remote is smaller than a match box.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Oct 28, 2009 05:36AM)
BUT, the first run utilized one of those massive remote controls for model airplanes. The kind with 2 big antennae. Assistant had to stand in a nearby closet or another room. Actually seemed like something that would be a gag, and not a real performance piece. The new one is great!

Steve
Message: Posted by: Koichi Sato (Oct 28, 2009 07:00AM)
Hi Steve!

Thanks for comment and his information.

This is collector's item,mini card duckling.
bottom side on "Rich Block's Collector's workshop" sticker.
I saw this sticker first time,I think early version.
or this sticker are fake??

I saw before it,push duck head to appear like pistol trigger and storing it.
is it brass? connection part shape?

Somebody,Please send me these pictures!

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Oct 29, 2009 03:59PM)
Tray of Doom(with chalice) is presently in stock at Viking/Collectors Workshop for those of you who are interested.
Message: Posted by: runawayjag (Oct 29, 2009 06:06PM)
If your Duck is a CW, I would imagine George Robinson would have the little ring and arm parts that you are looking for. Contact him at Viking Magic.
Message: Posted by: Barry Gitelson (Oct 29, 2009 06:52PM)
I have owned a lot of their stuff at one time or another.

I love Bagels and Locks!
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Jan 18, 2010 09:08AM)
Many years ago they made a close up performance table called "Book of Spells" where the front cover opened up slowly by itself and you could use the cover as a close up mat. It also held your routines. I always wanted one but couldn't afford it at the time. Now that I can, they are not made anymore. Oh well,
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Jan 18, 2010 09:51AM)
I bought Book of Spells around the time it was released, but wasn't too crazy about it when it arrived and had time to play with it up close. With their easy return policy, it was one of the few items from CW I returned for a refund (the other ones were the Flash Wand and the Geneva Prediction Watch).
Message: Posted by: auriuspd (May 21, 2010 02:59PM)
For those that are interested the Horizontal Card Rise from Collector's Workshop is currently available from the Viking Magic site.
Message: Posted by: Kamal (May 22, 2010 02:15AM)
Jumbo Sidekick is the business.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (May 22, 2010 05:32AM)
Re: the VERY early electronic items produced by CW. As Steve Thomas has noted, they used primative RC equipment that was cumbersome and often unreliable. As a friend of Rich from the inception of CW I was able to put Rich and Nick in touch with the electronic genius I knew from my days in the USN and who had custom designed fabricated some wonderful effects for me and they immediately engaged him to design and make all the electronics for their effects from that time on. His identity must remain a secret, but he still designs and makes custom items for me and a few others from time to time.
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (May 22, 2010 08:31AM)
Not many have mentioned the large Carnival Countdown, it's a great looking stage prop. I also have the Gift of Time, and Jumbo Sidekick, Jumbo Card in Glass, all original versions.

I also love the workings of the original wind-up Silver Odyssey, it's almost a piece of art. The Gilded Cage effect with the watch is another beauty.

Jumbo Sidekick is the one I most use for corporate and theatre shows.

I have most (?) of the C.W. props, including one that I cannot find in the catalogues or flyers. It is a Card Between Glass, using a minature card, and a hand held shooter. A real fun piece to play with. Anyone know when these were made, and why they were not kept as part of the C.W. product line??

Blair
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (May 22, 2010 01:06PM)
I have Jumbo Sidekick, and use it quite often. But, I consider it more comedy, and not particularly asonishing. For sheer impossibility, Nostradamus' Chest is about as good as it gets. I've created a routine "The Joker's Prediction", which absolutely fries. Rather than the supplied routine, I've created multiple outs, and 1/3 of the time, this effect is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to deconstruct - a real magician-fooler! For the remainder of the performances, the outcome is similar, but just slightly less impossible, at least for magicians.
One of my favourite magic routines. NO sleight-of-hand, but boy, you have to think fast and furiously to perform it well.
I did come up with a lovely comedy presentation, but have discovered that the average audience can't follow it, so I now make it short and sweet. Devastating!
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (May 22, 2010 01:23PM)
The original spring motor or "windup" version of Khartoum Ring Fantasy is a beauty. The base is crafted from gorgeous solid walnut wood, presenting a nice contrast to the remaining brass apparatus. The later electronic version were all brass bases.

I also have both versions of Silver Odyssey and both mechanisms are a work of art.
Message: Posted by: magicmann (May 23, 2010 01:35PM)
Silver Odyssey is great I have the remote control and it is a work of art.

Paul
Message: Posted by: Bob Meigs (May 26, 2010 10:58AM)
You've listed many of my favorites, but no one has mentioned Anneman's Perfect Card! It is such an ingenious piece, I'm tempted to display it for my magician friends with the workings open (but I don't). And in a show, it plays as real magic.
I also have Nova, which is even more ingenious - both in the workings and in effect. But Nova is TOO spectacular - it intimidates me. So I see Anneman's Perfect Card as one of CW's most memorable achievements.
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (May 26, 2010 02:03PM)
Nova was/is an Collectors' Workshop item, an expensive one at $12,000, though in the later days of the old CW, it was up to around $25,000. Perfect Card is actually a Signature Pieces item, a post CW company by Nick Ruggiero. It's his best item.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (May 26, 2010 02:16PM)
I have Zodiac that I will never use. If anybody wants it they can have it( maybe some mentalism something as a trade would be nice)
I'm not that bothered about getting it's value in trade, it's justb a shame it's not being used (or collected) but the postage may be a tad high.
It's a heavy thing and I'm in Europe so postage to the states might sting somewhat


Steve
Message: Posted by: mimo67 (May 26, 2010 05:47PM)
I sent you a PM steveline and I live in Europe too ;-)

Does someone have an opinion about Zodiac ? Practicable or not in close-up situations ?
Message: Posted by: aechecop (Jul 1, 2010 02:34AM)
Jack & Jill Card Transpo
Problema Deluxe
Knights Templar
Zodiac Sensation
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 1, 2010 11:54AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-20 10:42, Dick Christian wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-14 14:22, Stevethomas wrote:
Papasmurf,

You have to be careful what you call "Collector's Workshop" items. To a real CW collector, the Viking items don't really count. Ball Thru Hand, the No-Feke Card Frame and Trans-Mental are actually items from Viking. Granted, Viking/George does own the rights to the CW line, but there is a definite distinction between the 2 lines of products.

Steve
[/quote]

Steve is absolutely correct. No offense to George and Viking, but the serious collector only considers the ones by Rich Bloch and Nick Ruggiero that came out of the shop near Middleburg to be real Collectors' Workshop products.

For those who think that some of the original products didn't work as intended, in almost every case the problem was due to careless set-up or performance by Rich (he has greatly improved since those early days) and NOT due to any defect in the props themselves.

I am the proud owner of probably 80-90% of the original product line. The one I use in all of my "Cabaret Magic" stage shows (my comedy magic act for adults) is Jumbo Sidekick. I own one of the very first they produced. It quickly became their biggest hit with over 1,000 sold before the CW name and line were sold to Viking. It's a killer effect that I continue to use after almost 20 years and hundreds and hundreds of performances without a single malfunction.

Shortly after Sidekick was introduced, I was surprised to learn that they were producing a version that operated by remote control rather than being triggered by the sound of the gunshot at the request of performers who wanted to use it in kid and school shows where they couldn't (or didn't want to) use a gun. I don't know whether it was me or Nick who was more appalled at the number of people who bought the "gunless" version, apparently oblivious to the fact that the whole premise of the effect was shooting the gun. We shared many a good laugh that a number of performers didn't seem to realize that without the use of a gun and the sound of the gunshot it becomes a visual nonsequitur. One can only wonder how many other great tricks those folks are screwing up because they completely miss the point.
[/quote]

If you are a collector, yes, the original CW products are what you want to collect. However, I had a Jumbo Sidekick II from Nick that I used in my Renaissance Festival Act.

This was never intended to be used as a mainstay in the program of a working magician. It was very badly built. To repair it, which was not an infrequent occurrence, it had to be sent back to CW, because all of the "works" were inside the felt covering of the table. It was intended to be used on a flat stage only. A raked stage would produce odd results.

After George took over, I took it to him and he repaired the real problem.

This was not a matter of abusing the prop. It was not a matter of allowing things to happen to the prop that shouldn't. It was not a matter of not using fresh batteries. I replaced the battery before EVERY show. I was doing four shows a day with this thing, so my battery costs per season were astronomical.

The late Warren Stephens told me that he could have made a living off repairing this trick.

I have a number of other original CW pieces, including "A gift of Time" that was the property of Ted Lesley. The gearing of the motor was such that periodically, you needed to pop the face off the clock and realign the hands.

That is, in my opinion, not a good way to manufacture props.

Also, many of these items went to market without being tested under real world conditions. You can't judge the viability of a piece of professional magic by whether it works for ten performances in your living room. It has to work for a whole season, at least, without any errors.

Sometimes they changed the mechanism on things a month after the run started, then a month after that, and then a few months after that, because the prop was just too complex or untested for a real world magician to use.

So if you are a collector, go for the originals. But if you do this for a living, get the new stuff.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Jul 1, 2010 02:53PM)
It is rare indeed that I take issue with anything Bill Palmer says and I have no reason in this instance to doubt or question his veracity or experience. I can only speak from my own experience and reiterate my earlier comment regarding my Jumbo Sidekick (which was one of the very first ones produced). I have used it in hundreds of, perhaps as many as a thousand, performances (albeit never as many as 4 per day, rarely outdoors and never on a severely raked stage) without a single malfunction.

I have no experience with Jumbo Sidekick II, so have no idea what changes or modifications from the original design might have taken place.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 1, 2010 06:44PM)
Jumbo Sidekick II was the version that used either sound or remote control to trigger the actions.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Dec 28, 2010 08:40PM)
FYI -- I just put up a CW "Wristwatch Blendo" at the for sale area.
Message: Posted by: 723sabre (Jan 2, 2011 08:25AM)
Re-reading this topic after 6-7 months I'm reminded of how many CW/Viking effects I have added over the last few years. Part of the reason is that George is very helpful and backs everything up, even older items he didn't sell originally. I bought Psychic Sword this summer used form a dealer and he was able to verify it was an orginal CW item, plus he gave me suggestions on how to clean it properly and take care of it.
Several years ago I got a Euro card box from him which didn't work smoothly, so he had me send it back. It was fixed, returned with a very nice felt storage pouch, and he also refunded my costs to ship it back to him.

The ones I enjoy using most are the Hemingway Lock and Ball Thru Hand. I also like the effect of the Marbo Card Penetration for it's straightfroward simplicity.
Message: Posted by: madmanmike1 (Sep 3, 2011 04:47PM)
Hello all,
I'm thinking of getting a CW power chopper I've found at auction. It's very expensive so I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on this particular CW effect. Is it quality built, and good to take on tour with? An amazing fooler, or more for comedy purpose? I have a basic familiarity with the effect and how it works. I've never seen it before, and am looking for video of it with no luck. I've been told Harry Anderson performed it on Carson once.

I also need a piece of apparatus to complete a CW "Big Bang" trick I have. Spent a lot of money, but it never came with the switchbox that the spectators watch appears to be deposited into ( actually gets switched for a fake) The Cannon is pretty much useless without the box and it sits on my mantle as a constant reminder of $1000.00 I lost because I did not do my due diligence and check the seller out and ask for detailed actual pictures before I bought it.
Message: Posted by: emyers99 (Sep 5, 2011 01:13PM)
I almost bought one as well. I remember watching Rich demo it. It's a great looking prop for sure. Since Viking has pretty much destroyed the CW line, auction is probably the only chance you'll ever have to buy one.
Message: Posted by: madmanmike1 (Sep 6, 2011 11:27AM)
The seller just showed me some actual pics of it. I think I'll pass. The powerchopper they are selling does not look like the collectors workshop catalog image they have on their website. Wood looks kinda plain, blade looks aluminum, stand made of cloudy plexiglass. whereas the catalog image shows Rich positioning his hand in a lovely brass and glass powerchopper with inlaid wood and lovely brass tackle.
Message: Posted by: bowers (Sep 6, 2011 11:57AM)
I have the midas cups and u-235 thayer
I love both of them great quality
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Sep 7, 2011 09:06AM)
There are a few of us here who, a few years ago, "passed around" a Power Chopper for a while. I bought it initially from John Ferrentino. He had used it on a Fox TV special. He added a couple funny ideas to it, both with the routining and some physical props. I sold it to another Café member, who sold it to another...etcetera.

I own a Jumbo Sidekick II, and did have a problem once with a piece of linkage inside. Pin wouldn't retract properly. I fixed that problem, but it's never failed in performance.

If you want to see a Rube Goldberg-type CW effect, get a Time Odyssey. 2 tables work in sync and actually communicate with each other. Beautiful prop to watch work, though.

Steve
Message: Posted by: John Taylor (Sep 18, 2011 03:58PM)
I have been trying to buy a Collectors Workshop - Guilded Cage for years off Viking but they won't make them... Does anyone have one for sale?
If so please email me.

Cheers,
John
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Sep 18, 2011 05:27PM)
I believe there was one here last week for sale at a VERY reasonable (AKA: cheap) price.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Bad to the Balloon (Dec 21, 2011 11:30AM)
I have a Ultimate Coin Ladder for sale.

Interested? PM me
Message: Posted by: towledge (Dec 21, 2011 08:31PM)
You know it's been a bit of a disappointment that Rich Bloch's C-W closed it's original doors years ago. I have great admiration for George Robinson...but the original C-W elves are no longer part of George's world and he has been left to fend for himself and provide whatever technical repair and support he can.

It took a couple of years for him to repair my Khartoum Ring Fantasy original version. It's been maybe 5-6 years now and my Coin Classic is still sitting on his bench waiting for him to find the proper m--r piece.
I personally feel that for all the money many customers spent over the years on these "Rolls Royce" items ,George has inherited an impossible and unfair burden. I'm sure I don't just speak for myself when I say that customers have been victimized by the sale.
Message: Posted by: The Baldini (Dec 24, 2011 08:35AM)
I know I am jumping in a bit late here, but in my opinion, back when Rich Bloch and Nick Ruggiero were on the East Coast running the show, the effects were made much better, I know others before me have commented on this as well and I do agree, Viking makes a nice line of brass products, and has done litter to advance CW ,
I have some items I got direct from Rich on a visit to his home in DC, I have yet see to anything come out from Viking that compares , and I have purchased from them,
Incidentally, if you happen to be on the East Coast, Rich Bloch has opened a Magic Theatre in DE, Google it and pop in for a show.
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Jan 14, 2012 07:23AM)
Sidekick is great.Buttoo bad mine is now in service.....hope not too long to fix it.
Message: Posted by: lupan (Jan 15, 2012 07:03AM)
I really loike the org. silver odyssey 2 to bad I have mine for sale
Message: Posted by: Inert (Jan 15, 2012 01:28PM)
It is very surprising to me that no one mentioned Badlands Bob. Spectators play with this prop endlessly. Problema-Deluxe is a cut above the regular version too imho. Good man that George.
Message: Posted by: davidleephillips (Feb 4, 2012 09:41AM)
Gift of time the newer version is a killer. Would love to buy Relativity but he never has any stock on many items. I think his electronic guy has had health problems and has really stop his production on many items. George is a wonderful person.
Message: Posted by: deliveryboy (Jan 14, 2013 02:22PM)
I love the remote control card on seat it never fails to work.
Message: Posted by: cbusch55 (Jan 27, 2013 07:39PM)
I have an original Creation from Collector's Workshop. Some say the original is best. Others say George's version is improved. Does anyone know the difference?
Message: Posted by: peterger (Mar 4, 2013 01:29PM)
For me Samurai Sword & Loaded Dice are among the greatest... They fool so badly and you can easely make up a story around these mysteries...
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Mar 7, 2013 02:40AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-27 20:39, cbusch55 wrote:
I have an original Creation from Collector's Workshop. Some say the original is best. Others say George's version is improved. Does anyone know the difference?
[/quote]

I have George's version .... maybe can can give infos each other, but I believe it will not too much different.
Message: Posted by: Glenn Aga (Mar 8, 2013 12:06AM)
I agree with Peterger about Samurai sword. It's been on a shelf in my home or office for more than 10 years....it never fails to elicit a "what is that?"...a perfect lead in for this effect....and it is such a fooler. I also have the following in my collection:
Any Card To Wallet
Ring Cruncher (the original)
Horizontal Card Rise
T'ang Dynasty Tea Chest
Card Duckling
Morelli Ring
Midas Cups
Perfect time (original)
Davy's Symphony of the Rings
Zippo....(it's been renamed now, ring to lighter)
And a very beloved Jumbo Sidekick II. It has never failed me in performance. I bought this from Nick and Rich directly following one of the Dealer Days that were held in Wash DC circa 1999 or 2000.
Message: Posted by: Phil J. (Aug 4, 2013 07:36AM)
I'm hoping someone will be able to help me out. I'm looking for a replacement set of instructions for Samurai Sword by Collectors Workshop as I've mislaid the originals. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
Message: Posted by: magiccollector69 (Dec 15, 2017 06:18PM)
Well I just received my copy of Jaks or Better. This is I believe my first "Collector's Workshop" effect, though I have had one of their catalogs for a decade or more and would lovingly leaf through it. I expected a top quality set of props and a fairly good routine or 'secret'.

The props are slightly disappointing. The metal plates are no longer supplied "anodized" or polished; mine are powder coated red. While this should provide good wear it's not what is described in the catalog. I believe they are still brass underneath as they are not magnetic, but getting the powder coating off would be a monstrous effort. This is what I expected the item to look like https://www.martinsmagic.com/review-by-andy-martin-for-jaks-or-better-by-collectors-workshop/ . The plates I received are also a bit more square, with the corners not as rounded as shown in that photo (which I admit is neither here nor there.)

The effect comes with a rather nice, leather, carrying case about which the instructions state "Note that there is a pocket for every item used in the effect." Wrong. There are two pockets. Items for the effect include a stack of white cards, or business cards (not supplied), small manila envelopes (supplied) and the metal plates with an attached chromed chain (supplied.) The leather case is secured along one edge with very strong/quality velcro. Velcro? Really? Yep nothing says quality like the ripping sound of a wallet that looks nice but sounds like every cheap athletic wallet out there. I could live with that I suppose, but the wallet does NOT have space for everything. There's one pocket that can hold the cards, and another that sort of holds the envelopes if you don't mind bunging up their corners a bit. The only other thought is that the chain is supposed to go into the pocket and the envelopes and plates are just sandwiched in the case clam-shell when it's velcro'd - however when I tried this there's such a gap that the two velcro halves can't contact each other.

Finally, and this is the most vexing: the catalog description of the effect leaves out not one thing, but two. If they were included in the catalog description you may well not be motivated to purchase this, particularly one of tho items.

The outfit supplied with instructions cost me $95. To me that's on the higher end of the cost scale for pocket apparatus. If the wallet was a bit better made. If at least some white card stock was supplied. If the plates were perhaps not powder coated (though I'm honestly not sure if I object to that...just the color red perhaps). And definitely if the catalog description was not clearly written to prevent a reader from figuring out the effect, I would perhaps not feel so 'taken'.

Some will say I'm being over critical. However I've seen quality apparatus and it doesn't have to be overpriced. G.E.M. magic's stuff for example was top drawer. With Collectors Workshop I'm left feeling like there is a bit more sizzle than steak.
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Dec 16, 2017 09:00AM)
I have a Vienna Frame made by Collectors’ Workshop when they were located in McAllen Texas. It is based on an old Conradi effect and also made later by Richard Himber. It is single owner, new condition (works perfectly), no longer made, original instructions, and includes original box. My email address is rtysl@wideopenwest.com (photo available).
Message: Posted by: equivoque (Mar 31, 2019 08:50PM)
A quick comment on Jaks or Better. I performed it for years and people loved it. Sure the props were not great,but the reactions they received were. As far as the wallet is concerned, I called it a stationary holder for the envelopes. It uses a common mentalist prop, but in this routine it makes sense. The use of all the props are completely justified. I like this effect.
Message: Posted by: equivoque (Apr 25, 2019 04:43PM)
The best thing about Jaks or Better is the routine. Most mentalist think they are reading minds but ask people what happened and 90% of the time they will say, “He asked me to write down the name of a loved one and he put it in his wallet, but somehow he still knew who it was…“ this will not happen with Jaks or Better
Message: Posted by: Parnaso (Aug 27, 2019 07:53PM)
Great post, and great memories. Thank you all for sharing.

I have owned the original Gift of Time.
It was a great piece of apparatus, but it had two defects that made it unusable for me: the clock hands were bright black, over a dark silver face, so from a distance and depending on lighting, the audience had a problem seeing the time. The second defect was that the remote control system wasn't too safe, and it failed.

I also had the Gumball Machine. I have not used it.

I had the Cobra Cage. Very nice idea, but I couldn't make it funny (I don't do comedy shows), and it wasn't meant to be performed seriously.

I owned the biggest piece of crap that I purchased: The Watch something, I don't even remember the name. A giant clock face, a set of poles, a watch from the spectator that was hanging over a candle flame, and something had to happen before the clock ended its timer count, and the flame cut the string, and the bag containing the watch fell into a blender, that suppossedly blended the bag and the watch inside.
The bag with the fake watch was too big to even fit into the blender, and the whole thing was just nonsense. Never got to perform it, happily sold it back then, many years ago.

I owned the Samurai Sword (with the ring), which was nice and effective.

I owned and still own and perform the Psychic Sword (I actually have a new one that I have purchased as a back up for sell on eBay).

I owned and performed the BEST Collector's Workshop effect ever (I had two and used both in thousands of shows), which was the BULLETPROOF (Jumbo card between frames).
Even Nick Ruggiero told me that he couldn't believe that it actually WORKED, since he had all of the units he sold returned because none of them did work. The two that I had worked like a charm, and I have had so much enjoyment performing the effect. I have performed it in all my stage shows for more than 5 years. I just changed some things in the procedure, to fit my style and needs, and I have sold both units many years ago to magicians who saw the effect performed, fell in love with it, and Collector's wasn't selling them anymore.

Nick also produced for me an illusion called The Arrow through the Lady, for a stage show I was producing. I was so impressed and happy with the illusion, and Nick was moved into emotion the first time we tested it with a person. I brought the illusion to Argentina, and rehearsed with it, adjusting details over details, and at the end, in the final rehearsal, it failed three times, so I decided to remove it from the show.
We had the wardrobe (tailor made), and all the setting and special music composed for the illusion, and never performed it in front of an audience. The only people who saw it performed were some friends who we invited to the general rehearsal, where it worked two out of five times. Unfortunately, the stakes were too high, and I didn't want to risk the rest of the show.
I also sold it to a collector in the USA many years ago.

Sharing time with Nick Ruggiero in his house was like attending Harvard University, for a magician. At least it was for me.
Seeing Rich Block performing their effects at the conventions was pure delight.

I miss them.

And I thank George Robinson for keeping their legacy alive, at least with some of their creations.

Again, thank you all for adding stories and memories to this thread.
Message: Posted by: Peckham (Sep 9, 2019 11:43AM)
I have Silver Odyssey II that came out (re-released with updated electronics) a few months ago and I love it!!!
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Sep 9, 2019 01:42PM)
I’ve got the Gumball Machine. Love it. Once during performance the Gumball capsule with the spec’s ring somehow got caught up coming down the chute. Opened the little metal door and saw nothing. Letting the door close must have dislodged the capsule from coming down because when I reopened the door the capsule was there. Not quite sure what I would’ve done had the ring not come out, but all’s well that ends well.
Message: Posted by: Gerald Blankenship (Dec 12, 2019 07:34PM)
I have loaded dice, very fine quality and a fun effect. Also have Burmese Bells a great effect also. Am going to get Midas Cups when holidays are over billfold a little thin after xmas.
Message: Posted by: dooblehorn (Jun 19, 2020 07:42PM)
I finally today got around to ordering CW Coin Classic. I am so excited. It's the last one that was on the website, but I'm pretty sure George will be making more.
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Jun 20, 2020 07:15AM)
Solomon's Slates is an exccellent version of Spirit Slates (writing appears on slate). There is no flap and all is self-contained. It is no longer being made, but occasionally comes up for sale. It is somewhat like the Milson-Worth Satyr Slate.