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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Steve "Mr.Escape" Baker's Challenge Belt (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RickSilmser
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Want to see a piece of escape equipment that will make you want to lean foward and lick the screen ? Click the link below and behold..."The Challenge Belt". Years ago, my good friend Joe Tanner sold me a belt and muff escape, an invention of his fater-in-law, Prynce E. Wheeler. It was a nice item and a big fav. of mine.

Well, it's day has come...it pales to the Baker challenge belt. Picture this...the belt goes around your waist is held in place by a roller buckle and then padlocked. Then, your arms go into two loops of leather, cross fashion like a strait jacket and your wrists are then handcuffed. The leather loop is pased down over a steel bolt through an eyelet in the loop and a wing nut is screwed down tight over the bolt...and then padlocked (this is done twice...left and right side)

There you have it...if you are the proud owner of this item...you will escape under impossible conditions. If you are NOT the owner and even if you are an EA, you are in that belt until you are set free. Escape is impossible. The beautiful thing about this is that it fits into a briefcase and it's a feature act.

Geeez, you could even have reward posters made..."10 thousand dollars if you can escape this restraint"...you know what I mean . Steve told me they are custom made and you can use any type of handcuff you wish...will, maybe not Lilly irons or Bean Giants, but I personall would have Steve put a set of 1980's Clejuso double weights on it. Now that would be an ass grabber !!!

Leave it to the mind of Steve "Mr.Escape" Baker to come up with an absolutely beautiful item like this. And thanks for sharing it with us, Steve. Orders are now being taken !

Check it out on Steve's homepage http://www.mrescape.com/

~Rick~
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Steve described this puppy to me over the phone. The photo is as impressive as the verbal description.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Allan Given
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I am in love...don't tell my wife..Smile
RickSilmser
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No kidding, eh ? As soon as I saw it, I thought to myself..."oh yea, oh yea".

~Rick~
Wolflock
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Rick! Between you and Mr Baker and Ian McColl. I will be broke for most of my life. How can you show my something like this and not expect me to buy such a beautiful work of art.

Regards
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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Well I have to admit it's looking like I'll be joining the club on this one. Any cuff eh?? Well the Clujso 15 would make this baby look real scary!

As we're on the topic of Mr Baker, have you guys heard about his new book that's due to come out. I don't know much about it, but it's along the lines of his new performance sections of his site.

Ros
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Wolflock
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Oh Hell. I am going to have to sell my Car to afford keeping up with all the stuff I want to get. Smile
Wolflock
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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That's why I no longer term myself an 'escape artist;' I can't afford all these big-ticket toys to 'keep up with the Joneses.'

Plus...from the standpoint of being unique and not a clone, do I really WANT to just spend my time and money 'keeping up with the Joneses?'

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Roslyn
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I can see your point, but it is still a pretty cool escape none the less.
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Kondini
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I think of it as being tools of the trade and treat as such.First to evaluate the possibilities,then to see how many gigs I require in order to make a profit from it.

Mr Baker`s promo of the belt appealed to me also the look,,,the price is not at all high compared to the useage possible,,also it`s nice to know that a worker is selling a gaff,a worker who has trod the boards and knows the demands of the biz.
This alone makes it a good bet.

Ken.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Very true. I debate none of the above.
However, keep in mind that some will buy this to have the 'safety weapon' that Steve successfully used it as. When several EAs have the secret, though, its value in that context lessens.

I would think that someone as astute and ingenious as Steve Baker might well already be working on the upgrade that will trump the present version.

If you have a use for this in your show, by all means order it; it's a fine piece of equipment. No doubt about that. The price is right.

If you're just buying it to 'get the latest thing,' though, pause and ask yourself if you will actually make practical use of it.

If you're buying it as 'reputation insurance,' keep in mind it could become obsolete in time as the secret spreads among the fraternity and improved versions emerge.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Harry Murphy
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The belt looks killer. In fact when I first saw it (and before I read the copy) I thought of the old stand-by Tom Horn Belt updated to the nth degree. None of the subtleties that make the Tom Horn Belt work were evident. I got the heebie-jeebies just imagining being locked into this thing.

Then I read the copy, reread the copy, and re-reread the copy. It seemed unbelievable. I gave it a lot of thought then decided to email Steve a few questions. He immediately responded and later called me to talk about the belt! We were on the phone about two hours talking about a ton of different things. Yes we talked about the Challenge Belt; it’s history, its use, and the working and all on his nickel! This is one generous man!

Let me say that my experience with Mr. Escape, Steve Baker proves to me that he is a gentleman of the old school! He is generous of his time and ideas. He held nothing back in our discussion of the belt. He gave performance tips and even talked about an even more impossible version (Dr. M is right in that Mr. Baker’s brain doesn’t sit idle. He is way ahead, way ahead!!).

I don’t really need a prop to bind-up challengers or pain-in-the-butt kind of people. However that is a nice side effect to this prop and I consider it an added value to the prop for me. I doubt that even if the secret gets out that anyone will be able to defeat this belt. Frankly, I doubt if the secret will ever become common knowledge. If Mr. Baker really wanted to keep it a secret then he should just publish it! Then it will be lost forever!! LOL.

What I have been looking for is an impossible looking, escape to be performed uncovered (yes Mark I know that the mystery of the escape should be maintained, but some venues…), almost in the round (say 240 degrees surrounded or completely surrounded).

Just seeing this belt had a “back-story” jump into my head that makes sense and is totally believable (as if that was necessary – to me, yes it is). Hey I work in an environment that uses similar tools on a daily basis. This belt is even more secure than the tools I am familiar with. Oh, yes, I am a Deputy Warden at a State High Medium Security Prison. I get to play with handcuffs, security boxes, and chains every day.

I even showed the photo of the belt to some colleagues and explained what it was in terms of my back-story and they totally believed it. After all they have experience using similar devices on a daily basis. I shared my idea with Mr. Baker and he actually liked it.

I agree with Dr. Stephen Midnight, that just having the belt to have the "next best thing" is a waste of a good prop. I also agree with Dr. S-M (love the name done that way!) that if you have a place in your show for something like this (say replace the straightjacket) and/or have a need to stop the hecklers then this prop may be just what you are looking for.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Since Harry brought it up: I actually do sign autographs "SM" with the 'M' ending in a French curve under both letters.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Ian McColl
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Steve Baker, I am impressed! There have been other belts but this one really locks the wrist in. (PS, any hint on the secret....)

Ian McColl
Kondini
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I don`t think any person would buy this belt for the novelty of keeping up with the Joneses as for myself I am long passed the impulse buying bug.
Having used the Horn belt for many years and doing repeat gigs every year,it looks an ideal alternative to this.
I have very little interest in the secret getting out or improvements made,(The secret to the rings,short & long cards and C&Balls are all exposed,I still make a full time living doing these as well) The look and presentation possibilities abound with a tool like this.
The challenge angle may appeal to some, but as an entertainer this angle should never be permitted to escalate publicaly, if it does,then the entertainer is handling his speckies the wrong way or not at all.
Any challenge aimed at me is used to my benefit by manipulation,,,I am ALWAYS in control.
After 30 plus years of doing escapes in one form or another,I have never been downstaged by a challenge situation.
In a like vien I have never gone out of my way to provoke a confrontation challenge situation (For real that is) Staged yes,Press wise yes.
Any challenges or instigation of challenges from other ea`s are treated with the contempt they deserve,,,I have only had to deal with one such situation during my carreer and putting a mouth in their place is easy if you have the knowledge gained from actual performance behind you.

It will be of great interest to see who will actualy use this belt and make capital from it.

I commend Mr Baker on his work especialy the feelings that the look of the belt promotes.

Ken.
RickSilmser
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Dr. Steve...question please. "Clone" ? So this means that you invent completly new escapes that no other person has done before ? Am I correct ? If not, please explain what you mean by "clone".

~Rick~
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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I'm speaking of performing style; performers who attempt to fit in the 'Houdini' mold, and who spend all their time and money trying to impress each other that they are 'the best,' while the public at large remains oblivious to their existence. Many ESs have cast themselves in that rigid mold, causing many of them to respond to each other in a 'crabs in a barrel' manner. Look at all the fights.

Steve

Though, to get on a tangent on the subject of completely-original escapes: If my plans pan out, I will be introducing a Spanish Garotte escape for the WEAR using a 100% original escape method.
Cheers.
Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Harry Murphy
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I'm looking forward to hearing about that one Doc! Make sure you can post some photos somewhere! Great and novel idea!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
pastorclyde
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The belt is super kewl and I'm with Ian... any hints? Smile

Clyde
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