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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Collector's Workshop effects (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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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


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.


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.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Dick Christian
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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.
Dick Christian
Bill Palmer
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Jumbo Sidekick II was the version that used either sound or remote control to trigger the actions.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Starrpower
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FYI -- I just put up a CW "Wristwatch Blendo" at the for sale area.
723sabre
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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.
madmanmike1
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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.
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
emyers99
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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.
madmanmike1
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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.
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
bowers
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I have the midas cups and u-235 thayer
I love both of them great quality
Stevethomas
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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
John Taylor
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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
Stevethomas
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I believe there was one here last week for sale at a VERY reasonable (AKA: cheap) price.

Steve
Bad to the Balloon
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I have a Ultimate Coin Ladder for sale.

Interested? PM me
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towledge
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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.
The Baldini
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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.
ssucahyo
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Sidekick is great.Buttoo bad mine is now in service.....hope not too long to fix it.
Creator of the "High Voltage Gimmick" and Shaman's spirit table
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lupan
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I really loike the org. silver odyssey 2 to bad I have mine for sale
Inert
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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.
davidleephillips
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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.
deliveryboy
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I love the remote control card on seat it never fails to work.
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