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Profile of cbusch55
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?
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Profile of peterger
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...
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Profile of ssucahyo
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?

I have George's version .... maybe can can give infos each other, but I believe it will not too much different.
Creator of the "High Voltage Gimmick" and Shaman's spirit table

IG: @affordable_illusions_magic
Glenn Aga
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Laguna Niguel, CA
28 Posts

Profile of Glenn Aga
I agree with Peterger about Samurai sword. It's been on a shelf in my home or office for more than 10 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.
Phil J.
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Profile of Phil J.
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.
You were born original... Don't die a copy Smile
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Profile of magiccollector69
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 . 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.
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Profile of bobmag56
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 (photo available).
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Profile of equivoque
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.
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Profile of equivoque
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
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Los Angeles, CA
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Profile of Parnaso
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.
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Profile of Peckham
I have Silver Odyssey II that came out (re-released with updated electronics) a few months ago and I love it!!!
MJ Marrs
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
1104 Posts

Profile of MJ Marrs
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.
Gerald Blankenship
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Lake O The Pines Texas
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Profile of Gerald Blankenship
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.
I don't understand all I know about this
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Pittsburg, CA
1999 Posts

Profile of dooblehorn
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.
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Profile of bobmag56
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.
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