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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » Crystallize by Craig Petty & PropDog (99 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dan Ford
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When a person puts there name on an item, it should mean something. The quantity should not make a difference, it should be checked when it is manufactured and again when it is shipped. My 2 cents worth.
sirbrad
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Yeah for $160 you should not have to "fix" anything that's what the high price is supposed to be for, the "quality" of the props. Also resin is toxic, so I would not be cooking it in a microwave you plan to eat out of. So $160 for an empty salt shaker, one filled with badly cured resin, and salt balls that disintegrate with each use.

I think that ScamDog not only scammed everyone who bought this but they also scammed Craig on this deal by charging such a ridiculous price and not giving him anything. But maybe he did it just to get his name out there more on another product, and with promises of future products that actually pay.

But when the product is over-priced crap that is not a good thing. Or maybe it is possible that Craig is in on all of this, and he found out about all the defective shakers before they were released, and he decided to just let them sell them if they could but he would not take any payment so he could use it as a retort if this all blew up?

Then if it got too bad he would take the heat and pay for returns if needed. Sounds to me like that is the actual case. If so that is also shady AF and scamming in itself. If not, well then ScamDog scammed him as well.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
saturnkk
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I am confused...?!? Is PropDog (or any other shop) refusing to exchange or return defective units?
sirbrad
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Quote:
On May 3, 2022, Doric wrote:
I'm no physicist but surely one could heat the resin filled salt shaker in a microwave oven, changing the state of the resin from solid to liquid. Then anti-gravity will do it's thing and make the bubble go up and out or something.

Then one could leave the whole lot to cool down and hey presto, no more bubbles.

Any boffins up for commenting on my idea?


You are right you are not. Also resin is toxic, so I would not be cooking it in a microwave that you plan to eat out of. Unless you want some extra, nasty, poisonous, ingredients mixed in with your next meals.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Don Wand
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Look up on YouTube Crystallize by Craig Petty official product trailer. Speed it up to 3:20 and listen to every word Craig says from there.... Then answer this Question is this a Honest trailer???
Dan Ford
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This is the video Don Wand is speaking of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSjPgrgmpBM
tonsofquestions
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From the pictures I've seen, it doesn't seem like "they're all hand made [...with...] production quality on each unit is second to none".
I struggle to believe those large air pockets (at that size it's not just a bubble) are what's left after "a year and a half of prototype after prototype".
Just from the image it seems more like a first attempt.

I will happily accept that perhaps some are outstanding quality. But there have been enough reports of issues that "[Propdog will] only produce the best props" falls a little flat.
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Quote:
On May 4, 2022, Don Wand wrote:
Look up on YouTube Crystallize by Craig Petty official product trailer. Speed it up to 3:20 and listen to every word Craig says from there.... Then answer this Question is this a Honest trailer???


You can also see the bubbles at 0:25 looking down inside and the salt coming off the salt ball into his hand at 0:46. So at least you could see the bubbles there although from the side view they are hidden more at the bottom by the bottom edge design. But I am sure Craig got the best set with the least amount of bubbles, or smallest ones near the top and bottom, and can get free salt balls and shakers whenever he needs new ones.

You do not see a big giant bubble right in the center of his set. So no wonder he "has no issues" with it. Others are not as lucky as they need to fork out another $160 if they need to replace the whole set. One way to hide bubbles is too use a shaker with a different design that you can barely see through with all those vertical lines running down it, or a "bubble" design.

But then this is not as amazing as you cannot see what is going on as clearly. I posted on here many times about "false, misleading, and outright lying demos", all who cater to conning beginners who do not know any better, and then hide behind the "we are selling secrets so no refunds" excuse. When they clearly and outright lied about the product and what you were getting.

There is a fine line between protecting the secret and outright scamming people, and experience usually can allow you to decipher between the two, something beginners do not have much of. So they buy quickly based on impulse and are just searching for secrets, instead of quality magic that they can actually do. So the only good thing here is that Craig is offering to pay return postage, but that is assuming that a dealer will even take it back.

Most do not want a refund though, they want what was marketed to them. Any reputable dealer should just pull it like HP did, so I give them credit for doing that instead of trying to pawn them all off on customers hoping that they keep them. The only exception would be if they are checking all of the ones that they are selling to see which ones have barely if any bubbles, and only selling those. Also the salt balls definitely do not sound "durable and long lasting".
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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I just happened to see my big bottle of clear Elmer's glue sitting on the shelf and I noticed it was pretty "clear" and it only had very tiny bubbles all through out, but they are very hard to see from a distance. So I decided to buy some salt shakers and try it out as a "cheap and quick" fix. I filled one shaker normally just to see how many bubbles appeared, and it was the same thing very tiny bubbles all through out but much harder to see, especially from a distance of 2 feet and out. Without a background and looking right up close they are virtually invisible. Much more invisible than a clear resin one with one large bubble in the middle.

This was just a regular speed pour, and when I took the pics a lot of the tiny bubbles were floating up to the top still. But since it is glue I doubt most will go to the top, but they are so small it does not really matter. A better and much more time consuming way would be to pour a little at time and let it dry, and pop all air bubbles with an air compressor or air duster. But that would be very tedious and very tome consuming.

I am not sure how long it would take for this whole thing dry fully, but as long as the top portion dried and formed a hard shell it would be fine. I think I used glue for something similar before and it dried OK but was kind of "Jello" like. But it was still solid. I might try one with resin myself later on. But will see how this glue turns out and how long it takes to dry solid if it ever does. Doing it little by little would also help out with that, but could take weeks to months so it is not very time effective.

It is also harder to see the bubbles when you do not have an empty shaker sitting next to the filled one for perspective to compare, and it seems that fleshtone makes them even harder to see while holding it in your hand. So if this works out it would be a great alternative if you could use the shaker lids with these cheaper ones from Walmart which were about $2.14 plus tax. I checked Dollar Tree but that shaker has the long vertical lines and is harder to see into.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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Pic number one. I cannot upload the full size as the Café does not allow it, which has been a problem on here for a long time now. But these are big enough to give an idea.

Click here to view attached image.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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Pic number seven. As you can see from even a small distance the bubbles become virtually invisible, and without the empty shaker sitting next to the full one it is even harder to see, and this is as a magician looking for the bubbles. From a few feet away and moving the shaker the spectator would not notice these very tiny bubbles. Maybe they will "disappear" when it dries or worse case they would just stay as they are, which is actually not bad.

A thousand very tiny bubbles blends more than a clear shaker with one big bubble in the middle. But you can't even see these from a normal distance, only up very close in pics which of course then magnifies them more. But they are still small. So will have to see how the shaker is once fully cured, I have no idea how long that will be though maybe weeks or months since it was one thick pour with the only ventilation being from a small hole on top.

I want to dry air drying first before heating it at all. But it would be a good fix if the lid that PropDog uses is standard size, then you could just switch the lids. I still think a better option would be a clear shaker that is only sealed on the top as I said, then they are pretty much identical all around without the weird darker hazing, and prism effect from the lighting hitting the full one differently.

But this still is not very noticeable while handling it or in dimmer lighting, and the audience never sees both of the shakers at the same time to compare them like in these photos.

Click here to view attached image.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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Only 2 hours in most of the tiny bubbles have disintegrated or rose to the top! They are hidden well by the top threading in the bottle also if they stay there, but they may even evaporate also not sure. But the bottle is looking very CLEAR now already!

I also tapped on the bottle with a butter knife handle to help pop some of the air bubbles after pouring. I might have to try a resin one later on. If only PropDog's looked this good there would be no issues, and this is cheap clear school glue that is not $160, the big bottle was about $11.00 but you only need a smaller one I just use it a lot for other things.

Click here to view attached image.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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About 2 and a half hours in almost all the tiny bubbles have vanished from the middle or rose to the top and are getting harder to see now, and that is up close under bright lighting and is almost as clear as the empty shaker. Now to see if it actually cures hard enough. About a half hour after posting this I barely see any bubbles on top now either.

The sad thing is if this works out I might have to spend $160 on the bad set, unless they wake up and make the price more realistically affordable, and actually reflecting the props that you currently get. Or actually fix it so it looks like mine.

Otherwise I will have to wait for a discounted one. I could easily replicate it all myself based on what I saw and save about $150 dollars but I have ethics and I am not one to steal effects I did not pay for. But I think this price is a steal, and not in the good way. For that price we should not have to fix anything.

I am very crafty though and I had to fix tons of props and rebuild/repaint them many times over 40 years in this art, so I guess next I will have to give the salt balls a shot lol. I may try resin next though but want to see how long it will take for the glue to cure, I am sure a long time naturally as it is one deep pour. But even the top cured solid enough to keep the glue inside and not break it would work.

Click here to view attached image.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Bonz
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Hi Folks,

Dave here from PropDog, this thread has just been brought to my attention. I rarely visit the Café these days due to the amount of negativity and trolling on it and it looks like this thread is no different, with folks quick to jump on the band wagon giving abuse and blame thinking they know the details of everything going on, whilst they really know nothing!

So allow me to enlighten those who are quick to point a finger.

A few years ago, Craig came to me with the idea of what was to become Crystallize and asked if was doable, to which I immediately said NO! You just can’t cost effectively make a solid glass salt shaker. But after a few weeks of thinking about it, I phoned him again and said, you know what, it might just be doable, not by making a solid shaker, but by making a regular shaker solid. Let me try it. Now I have a prop maker who works here at PropDog who is pretty much one of the UK’s top specialists in moulding and casting, so I set her to work on this. Her first words were, “This will not be cheap!”. The reason being that more often than not, you can’t just purchase a sample size of clear resin, you have to buy a full pot if it, which costs anywhere from £60 (around $75) to £150 (around $185), depending not the type, brand etc.

Now let me be very clear on this, (no pun intended), this is not just a case of buying some of this stuff, mixing it and then filling each them, as I thought it was. There are hundreds of different types of clear resins, all with very different properties. We tried batch, after batch, after batch.

Most of this stuff had huge shrinkage issues, that meant, when it set, it shrunk, some pulled away from the sides and some just dipped really badly in the middle. It couldn’t be topped up as you could clearly see the two times it was filled and looked awful. Most resins tried, somehow reacted with the glass and produced bubbles or crumbled or had weird blobs in the middle. A lot of them turned yellow or greenish or had other colored tinges or swirl patterns in them. Some would not even set due to a reaction with the glass. We tried setting them in hot environments, cold ones, room temperature, we tried setting them in vacuum chambers and in pressure chambers.

We tried on and off for over a year and spent thousands and thousands of pounds on chemicals and much, much more on staff wages and consultations, but we were determined to make this work. Eventually, we stumbled on a type of softer resin that was used to make fake glass products for the movie industry. The type used where you’ll see an action hero rolling around in glass from a broken window. Think Die Hard. This stuff worked great, no shrinkage, completely clear, and hard enough to make the cellars look and feel solid. They looked AMAZING! So we made a batch of 300, great. Now we had that, we could work on the rest of Crystallize, so we did that, which was all fairly straight forward. It was too expensive to make solid metal shaker lids, that would have put the price up way too high for the customers. So we filled the lids with metal discs to get the weight and used a metal resin, which did the job. Craig wanted some balls made for it, so I came up with the idea of the salt balls and we made those, all great.

We had always planned to do a big release at Blackpool where Craig was going to perform it in his lecture or show and dem it on the stand, it should have been a sell out and hoping we’d sell loads more after on the back of it. We finally got the trailer and artwork from Craig, the day before Blackpool, and rushed to get it all ready, it had been about 3 months since we’d finished the shakers, but when I went to put it all together, I noticed that over the last 3 months, some small bubbles had somehow appeared in the resin of about a third of the shakers. It must have been a slow reaction to the glass over time. So I phoned Craig and explained this and said we shouldn’t really release it like this. But I’d not really seen the routine yet and Craig was adamant that it was NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER! He said the bubbles did not matter and would NOT affect the trick in the slightest. He said that his early practice version had a few bubbles, that the one in the trailer had a few bubbles and it was fine. So I went ahead, finished packing it and took it to Blackpool.

Craig did dem it on the stand, but only a couple of times and for a very short period as he was just so busy (and so tired due to his immense workload there), and we sold a few, but not many as none of us on the stand knew the routine, so could not dem it. The big let down was that unfortunately Craig did not get to perform it in either his lecture or show. This was was going to be what sold Crystallize, so we went home from Blackpool only having sold about 10, not the few hundred as expected. But not to worry, we’d just sell them in the shop over the next year.

Now, with regards to price, I asked Craig what price you think we should sell them at and he said, well that’s up to you, we’ll just go halves on the profit. The downside was, we needed to make back the thousands of pounds it took to develop it and this would most likely be the only batch we’d ever make, so the only really way to do this was to charge £150 (£125 plus the £25 we have to pay on VAT) per unit. Craig said no problem, so we were going to put it on the website for that. (Customers outside of the UK would have only paid the £125, not the extra £25 in tax).

That was when Craig phoned me and asked if we could sell it through Murphys as a favour. I said no way as we’d not make any profit due to the wholesale costs. But Craig said that he really didn’t want to take a penny from it, he just wanted the routine out there and they were willing to take the lot off me, meaning we’d make back what we put into it and just a little profit on top. So I agreed and sent the lot to Murphys.

The next think I know is that Murphys are taking $60 from my account time after time day after day. It turned out that every time someone complained about a bubble (even though the instructions clearly cover the bubble issue) Murphys would refund them $60 and it from my account and let the purchaser keep the product. Even though it still worked fine. They even put a disclaimer on the product description saying that there may be a bubble in it. But for some reason, then took it off.

Once I learned of all the complaints and to stop the continuous stream of thousands of dollars coming out of our account, I asked Murphys to discontinue it and send ALL units back to me where I would try to fix the bubble issue. But they wanted to keep it and keep selling it and said they’d deal with the issue if a customer had a bubble in their unit.

So, now, we have not made our profit back from this and will have ended up at a loss and now have you guys all calling us scammers and profiteers. Personally I don’t think we deserve it, if it was our own product, we would never have released it knowing that some of the units had bubbles.

Dave Bonsall
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