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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Jumbo Trade Show Shells (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tim Trono
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I just received the Jumbo Trade Show Shells from Hocus Pocus. They are BEAUTIFUL (I mean beautiful) and I cannot wait to start working on this. This is something I will USE. It comes with everything - the shells (awesome), DVD, balls, etc. This is not cheap but a true investment for the performing magician and something you will have forever. Spectacular!

Tim
Chris Gold
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Hello,

I have been drooling over these shells for the past couple of weeks on the Hocus Pocus website. I have a couple of questions about the shells if you wouldn't mind answering, Tim?

1) Is the routine easy to do?

2) Is the DVD well made?

3) Can it really be performed as advertised without sleight of hand?

4) How would you rate the props? Meaning would they last for a longtime?

Thanks, Tim! Smile
Chris Gold
TS Entertainment INC
Hollywood, CA
Tim Trono
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Hi Chris. Just delving into this set more and showed it to a couple of magicians here at work... everyone was VERY impressed. I started to go through the routine/DVD and the routine is VERY VERY clever. After seeing so much magic it takes a LOT for me to feel something stands out from the pack and this certainly does. The routine is VERY clever and when I saw the workings I just thought "VERY clever! What a GREAT GREAT idea!" The routine supplied allows you to start doing this instantly. It's very easy to do (with really no sleight of hand) but super well thought out (I can see this killing). I am not sure what the shells are made of but, as I mentioned, they look fabulous and seem to be extremely heavy duty. I spoke with Jason at Hocus Pocus to thank him and he advised that when they designed the shells, they used a material that you could literally slam against the ground and it would not break. The DVD supplied is very good and thoroughly explains every nuance, everything you will need to know and then some. This is, without a doubt, on my top picks for 2003. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it a 10. I "almost" wish I could reveal the workings as it is SO good/clever... if you had any doubts about purchasing this, that would put you over the edge.

Tim
Chris Gold
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for all the information. Just got off the phone with Jason from Hocus Pocus. I went ahead and placed my order with him.

Really looking forward to getting these in my hands!

I'll post my own review once I receive them.

Thanks again! Smile
Chris Gold
TS Entertainment INC
Hollywood, CA
Whit Haydn
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Thanks for the kind words Tim. We are very proud of the Jumbo Trade Show Shells. They were a lot of work to get right. Chef Anton and I spent over a year in development.

We think that they are more than an effect--they are a complete trade-show act in themselves. The Jumbo Trade Show Shells are available at Hocus-Pocus or from us at the School for Scoundrels: http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com

Be glad to answer any questions about the shells, and I look forward to hearing what other purchasers think about our product.
Chance Wolf
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WOW! I just watched the demo video of this effect. VERY COOL! This makes me want to make my purchase that much faster. Whit, you clearly have a Trade Show Winner on your hands. I will be posting a review as soon as I receive my own set.
Great thinking Whit. You should be proud Smile
Chance Smile
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
Expertmagician
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I also looked at the video ... and while I believe that videos are the best way to demo a product on the net. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that the camera shots took breaks and did not flow. This allowed for anything to happen during the routine. They could have put an elephant under a shell and when the camera stoped you would have not known.


Sigh...I was a bit disapointed in the video myself....and personally was not convinced if the trick was good, bad indifferent of difficult to perform.

But, then again, that is only my opinion.

Jeff
Long Island,

New York
Whit Haydn
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I agree with you, Jeff.

I'm disappointed in the download video on Hocus-Pocus myself. The actual routine as it appears on the dvd is more than eight minutes, and shot in full frame, with the patter, including a trade-show pitch for a cell phone.

The download sample is made to look like an old movie in black and white with no sound, only music accompanying, and is taken mostly from the insert shot outakes.

This does not give a good idea of the effectiveness of the routine at all.

The download of the full eight minutes with patter would be too large, but if I can find a good representative portion of the video that we can use, I will try to put it up on the http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com website in the next week or so...

Please don't take the download video as representative of the quality of the trick, or of the teaching dvd that comes with it.
Mike Giusti
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Hi, all.

We at Hocus Pocus decided to put up a teaser of the Shells up as just that -- a teaser. We did it for the following reasons:

The full routine, as awesome as it is, is just too large to put up on the web. It would have taken forever to upload and download, even if one had a T1 connection. Not only are you paying for these incredible shells, but you are also paying for the full 8 minute routine, and placing the entire routine up on the web would take away from the value of the shells. In other words, anyone could have simply taken the full or parts of the routine and used it in their own show without paying for it, something I am sure that others who payed for the entire package would have not have approved. The teaser was put up merely so that you could get a sense of the look and handling of these gorgeous shells. Again, that's why we called it a teaser.

The text outlining the promotion of the effect at http://www.hocus-pocus.com explains that you are receiving a DVD of Chef Anton and Whit Haydn’s audience-tested routine and advanced handling tips! Also included is the exact patter used in Chef Anton’s trade show act for years.

Merry Christmas, all!
Whit Haydn
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I understand, Mike. In fact, I thought that the use of the old-timey black and white movie effects and Scott Joplin music was very clever. It was a fun idea. I just don't think it gives a very clear picture of what the routine can do.

I agree that it wouldn't be good to put the whole routine out on streaming video, even if possible, but a short rift from the routine with the patter and everything might be helpful.
Tim Trono
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I hope people will decide if the effect is right or wrong for them from the ad description and their own needs and go from there as opposed to making a decision based on a clip - full or teaser. No clip of any length can do this and the clever thinking behind it justice. The routine is brilliantly thought out and as a purchaser I like the fact that not all of the bits and ideas are put out there for anyone. In reality, if you were let in on the workings you'd buy it in a heartbeat. Is it a risk one is taking in buying this or any other trick... yes... but hopefully there will be some more feedback to help those trying to decide. It just came out so it's kind of early. The routine is superbly thought out to minimize (i.e. remove) any "work" yet to make it extremely deceptive. This is a true worker. Because of the size of the props it doesn't seem like you could do anything tricky or manipulate anything. The larger size also aids in showing up when performing for larger groups. At the end of the routine the gaff is basically gone and one can hand out the props if so inclined.

It is very clear that when Hocus Pocus and the School for Scoundrels put this out that they decided to go all of the way and include all of the tools, all of the bits of business, EVERYTHING and to make this a real value and a usable performance piece. It's not cheap but Jason told me what their actual cost is for the set (shells, balls, etc.) and based on this alone it is a bargain.

This is not for everyone, not for the "just curious"... this is for those who want a performance piece they can USE forever. It is very easy to do but does deserve some time and effort to work it to what it deserves. I am very happy with my purchase obviously.

Tim Trono
PaulGreen
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Wow! I just got my TRADE SHOW SHELLS from The School for Scoundrels. The shells are BIG! The pea is BIG! The price is BIG! I must also say that the value for this set is REALLY BIG, too.

Chef Anton and Whit Haydn released this project only after researching and developing a great quality product. The instructional DVD that comes along with the set is designed to teach you the basics of the set and Chef Anton’s own trade show routine. For the professional, this will serve as an inspiration for developing his or her own approach. Mechanically, the routine is easy. But it will require a truly experienced trade show worker to fully enjoy the big responses from an audience.

For the neophyte (I cannot imagine a neophyte purchasing this set of props due to the high cost), this may be the first truly trade show presentation he or she is exposed to. It is a fine example of Chef Anton’s skill before a trade show audience (although not really shot before a real audience).

The big price will keep this out of the hands of the merely curious. This will be a good thing as the true trade show worker community is rather small. I know that this will find its way into my trade show repertoire. It does get my biggest recommendation.

Paul Green
Chris Gold
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Hello,

I just received my shells from Hocus Pocus today as well. Yes, these are a thing of beauty! I couldn't be happier with my purchase!

Smile
Chris Gold
TS Entertainment INC
Hollywood, CA
truthteller
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Two questions, how much space is needed on the table top to perform the routine. A lot of trade show podiums are a bit "tight" on space. How much surface area would be considered the minimum.

Also, I think a lot of people worry that the mechanics are the same as the traditional shell game and fear that it would be very heard to perform deceptively given the size of the props. This is a concern I think potential buyers would care to see addressed.
Jason London
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Greetings,

This does not work like the traditional shell game. Anyone can do this routine, it's virtually self working. The minimum space needed to perform would be 30in long by 18in wide. that's a rough estimate on the space needed to perform. Whit or Chef may chime in with more accurate dimensions.

If you have any questions please call Hocus Pocus at 1 800 407 4040.

Thanks for your interest.
Jason London

This space for rent
Tim Trono
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Hi Truthteller. I think you could easily perform this on a "standard" close up mat or similar size surface (though a soft surface is really not needed). One of the great things about this is precisely what you question about... as Jason London notes in his post it is NOT done in the traditional manner (which, as you point out, would be problematic). Instead, it works on a really ingenious idea which is one of those clever things you just kind of laugh about because it is so clever. The thing that makes it possible is in and out before anyone knows and with no fuss. It's pretty easy to do this effect but as I pointed out earlier and as Paul Green noted it will take work to give it what it deserves. I spoke with Jason at Hocus Pocus when I ordered this from them some time back and I know they put a LOT of time, effort, and investment into making this a top notch product - nothing was spared and I respect that. I agree with what Paul Green said about the price point - it will keep the merely curious away but the cost in producing this was apparently very high so no one is making a mint on this... more a labor of love apparently.

You raise a very good, valid, and well pointed question about the methodology - I "almost" wish I could tell you as the method would put you over the edge if you are trying to decide on this. But I won't LOL....

Tim Trono
Davidicus
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I just got my set from Hocus-Pocus. I have to say, if you do any stage show or trade show work, or are a collector of any sorts, these shells are a MUST! These shells took well over a year to produce, and boy were they worth the wait! These beautiful, handcrafted, virtually indestructible resin shells measure an incredible 8” x 6” and 2 1/2" deep. The largest shells to date! It comes with everything - the shells, DVD, balls, a great routine, etc. I would recommend getting your set while you can.

You can get them at http://www.Hocus-Pocus.com


David
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2003-12-29 18:46, truthteller wrote:
Two questions, how much space is needed on the table top to perform the routine. A lot of trade show podiums are a bit "tight" on space. How much surface area would be considered the minimum.


I think that the table space required will be more than some have suggested. We find that the top of our School for Scoundrels Street and Close-Up Table (30 x 17) is perfect. Anything much smaller would be a little difficult to navigate successfully.

This has nothing to do with the performance or method, but simply that you need room to move the shells around each other. Perfoming on a normal close-up mat as Tim has suggested would really be a little difficult.

Deceptionguy is right about the history of the effect. Frank Garcia had a set of jumbo shells which he used in his publicity photos.

The jumbo shells that started us in this direction were originally made by Frank Radthke of Fakini Magic in the 80's.

They were commissioned from Fakini by Steve Conner of Knoxville, TN, who wanted to use them in his trade show work. After going through two or three prototypes, Steve took delivery of the set of shells and the molds.

They were meant to work just like the smaller shells, using large, latex peas. They did not really work very well, since there is no good way to pinch such a large pea from the back of the shell without it being noticeable.

Steve found it difficult to work out a method, and asked me if I could come up with something. At that time, nothing came to mind. Mike Rogers suggested putting a magnet in the rear of one of the shells, but Steve was not happy with the results of this either.

The shells Frank R. made were beautiful, and made similar to one of his billiard shells--that is hard plastic covered with silicone. The silicone coating made them extremely easy to pick up.

A little over a year ago, Steve sold the shells and the molds to Paul Gross of Hocus-Pocus.

Paul decided there would be a market for such shells if a better performance method was worked out, and he came to us at the School for Scoundrels and asked us to come up with a design. I recognized the shells, but remembered how difficult the handling was.

Chef Anton and I saw the traffic-stopping potential of the giant shells for trade-shows, since both of us had often used the regular size shells to open our trade-shows and draw a crowd. People are drawn to the shell game like moths to a flame.

We wanted our shells to be able to stay clean, and stand up to years of use, so we decided to make ours out of hand-cast, impact-resistant plastic. We redesigned the shells completely, and had entirely new designs and molds created.

These shells were designed from the beginning to work on a different method from the earlier ones.

The size of our design is slightly larger than the Fakini shells, and the outside is covered with many deep depressions that make it very easy to grasp and pick up. This compensated for the loss of the silicone finish of the earlier shells, as well as making our shells look more natural.

The inside is rounded in such a way to allow the pea to move freely inside the shell, and yet be picked up by the gimmick from any point within the shell.

The peas are 2" in diameter and made of dylite (like antennae balls), and painted with acryllic paint to a bright "pea" green.

The shells and pea are completely examinable, and can be left out for the audience to look at before or after the show.

Although the Trade Show Shells will fool you, if you don't know the method, the main thing about this trick is it's ability to stop traffic cold. You will draw a crowd as soon as you begin operating these babies, so it makes a great opening trick for trade-shows.

The product-pitch is easily delivered during the routine, and the routine is long-enough, and solid enough to be a complete trade-show act in itself.

And, they still make great publicity photo props.

They are not however, as David indicated, a limited production. If there is a demand, we may continue to produce them. The big expense, the mold, is already paid for after all.

The Jumbo Trade-Show Shells are available from Hocus-Pocus as well as from the School for Scoundrels at

http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com
Davidicus
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Thanks Whit! I stand corrected. Although now that I have MY set, I WISH they were limited!!! : )

Yes, The School for Scoundrels' Table is a perfect addition to the shells. They compliment each other nicely.

I only wish The School for Scoundrels made a carrying case for the shells. Such a nice investment deserves it's own case!!!

Thanks again!
Harry Murphy
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I actually enjoyed the short “teaser”. It gave me a flavor for the routine and let me know that the props look great! Honestly it gave me enough to let me know that this was my kind of thing and I should invest in it!

It was fun to see an old principle being reborn in such a classy set of props. The trick is of course a very nice version of Steve Dusheck’s marketed (in the 70’s and 80’s) “Thimble Rigging” trick. The Dusheck trick is arguably one of the best versions of the three-shell game ever marketed. It used three thimbles and a rock hard pea (there was a forth different color thimble provided to “mark” the location of the pea for a very surprising and dramatic finish).

The biggest problem with Steve’s trick was its small size. It was really limited to close up. Probably more so than the standard three-shell game using shells. However, I found that using a new 100-dollar bill for the close-up pad framed the trick nicely and really drew attention to it. It was hard for the audience to NOT focus on the trick with a C-note at risk.

Steve’s rock solid and hard pea was brilliant! It was the pea that really sold the trick. It looked like a real dried pea and really put any person who knew the old sponge pea handling of the trick well off the track. As will the hard ball used in the “Trade Show Shells”.

Of course Steve’s “modus operandi” was simply stuck to the finger with a spot of sticky stuff rolled off a bit of tape. It was the tiniest gizmo of its type I had ever seen (still the smallest in my collection! I haven’t a clue where he got them). Frankly it was a weakness in the trick. Even though it was small it could still be noticed if the performer got sloppy or a spectator had very sharp eyes. I used a simple band-aid as camouflage. Chef’s camouflage is very clever and very logical to the routine.

I have performed the Dusheck routine using three paper cups (with a forth different colored cup) and balled up dollar bills to get more visibility. I believe that the “Trade Show Shells” are much more visible yet, clearly more dramatic in appearance, and much more logical to the routine. These are very high on my short “to get” list.

Chef and Wilt have a true winner here no matter the price. I believe the price is more than fair for what is being offered, the unique props, the well thought out and crafted routine (provided on a DVD) and the very, very clever secret. While it is being sold as a killer trade show act I think that many small venue performers will find that this routine will work well. I can see this playing very well in a club/bar venue.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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