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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » The Perfect Three Shell Game » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Burrich
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Hey this is a new product at penguinmagic.com. The link is:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=908 .

These babies were supposed to be called "The Street Shells", but all of the magicians we showed them to kept saying "These are THE PERFECT SHELLS!". Finally we got tired of correcting the name and just changed it.

Why are they perfect? GREAT QUESTION!

#1: They're the first shells ever made in elastomeric resin. What's the difference? Elastomeric resin is what calculator keys are made of. It's like regular plastic, but it's just a bit more rubbery. That makes our shells easier to grip and gives them SUPERIOR feel.

#2: Our shells are molded from real New England Large Walnuts. The molds are then taken to the top shell game magicians in the world. Secret design features are added to make the shells glide, rock, and grip perfectly. In short, we take the best shells found in nature and add the special features expert magicians look for to create "The Perfect Shells".

#3: Better peas! Our peas are TACKY. That means if you drop one during performance it won't roll on the floor. Try it. Roll it, drop it, push it, spin it. Our pea just stops and waits for you to pick it up! That's a HUGE benefit for real workers who are going to be using these shells every day. You don't want to be crawling around on the floor chasing peas when you're getting paid to perform (although that's entertaining too) (especially if you have a hairy lower back).

Mentioning "The Street Shells" as another name for them... hmmm.. seems like they're trying to do the same thing they did with the golden shells. Anyway do you think these would be any good? They don't say if they're the same model as the "Golden Three Shell Game" and they were too low IMHO. And the peas were quite bad. What does everyone else think?

Steven.
KingStardog
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I think you should get shells at SFS or Black Fox as a second choice. That's just me though.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
bishthemagish
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Having done the shell game for quite a few years now. I think that the routine is more important than the props. Use thimbles, bottle caps, sea shells, wallnut shells it doesn't matter.

Use a rubber pea, sponge pea, or a spit ball it doesn't matter.

It is the routine and the entertainment value that you get from doing this effect before an audience.

What the magician uses to do the effect is a personal choice of props.

For me the personal choice are the copper shells from the school of scoundrels. Also a set of brass thimbles for the thimble rig.

This with a pea cut from a sponge ball is what I choose to use to entertain an audience. I have used this choice in props at the Magic Castle and other places.

As far as routines go the magician should get all the information they can about the effect and wotk it out. I have my routine at my web site in my Scrapbook and video theater.

Other routines are available at the school of scoundrels web site...

But the props don't really matter - the routine is the important part. And making it an entertainment feature of your act...

I hope this helps...
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Whit Haydn
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They were supposed to be called "The Street Shells"--a School for Scoundrels product that has been around for six years?

They originally called their cheap set of plated metal shells "The Golden Shells," and only changed after we complained, and after lots of complaints from customers who were confused about the two products surfaced.

I don't understand why Penguin can not come up with at least an original name for a product. The "Perfect Shell" sounds an awful lot like our "Perfect Pea"--also a well-established product since 1996.

It sounds as if they are offering a shell with a feature like the Chanin Dip which we were the first to offer, and so far the only ones to offer. It will be interesting to see how the product looks. I have just ordered a set, and will post my opinions when I see it.

The idea of providing a decent low-cost set of shells is good, and needed in the market.

Hopefully the quality will be decent as well. Pricewise, they are going up head to head with the Vernet shells, which are a good value, so they have their work cut out for them. The photo is not very clear, but they look suspiciously like the Vernet set in the photo.

But really, why can't they come up with names that are not so long associated with the School for Scoundrels products? It can't be that hard to come up with an original product designation that helps avoid confusion in this increasingly crowded market.
Burrich
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Nice one Whit. I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say about them. You always give a fair, if a very little bit biased (which is unavoidable)opinion. Just wondering... will the Shell DVD + notes be out before Christmas? They'd make a very nice Christmas present.

Steven.
KingStardog
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Oops, I meant at SFS (School for Scoundrels) There is also a reason why its called the "perfect pea" as well.

Second choice would be the turtle shells, only for something different.

I understand folks wanting to make their own product and if they have a middle road product and middle road price they may have their own niche.

I have trouble with blatant copies of an industry accepted original and a sound alike name.

Anyone interested in brown fox tortise shells? That's coming next.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Dave V
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If it was anyone else selling them, I'd be curious enough to gamble $10. I'll have to wait until Denny and Lee's carrys them in their "brick and mortar" store so I can see (and feel) what I'm getting.

Here's why:
If they are indeed made of some elastomer similar to calculator and cell phone keys, the grip should be fantastic, but at the same time I wonder if they drag on the pad. Or is it just a thin coating over something like the Vernet shells? They really can't be solid elastomer, they'd be too flexible to pass off as real walnut shells.

Plus, they would definitely transition into the "prop" class as there's no way a spectator could even touch them without noticing the difference. They wouldn't pass as anything but a gimmicked prop (even if it isn't, the doubt remains)

I like the idea of someone making economy shells as a "starter set" (although I'm not trading mine anytime soon) and eagerly await Whit's review.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
T. Joseph O'Malley
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Penguin is the McDonald's of the magic world.

Buy your shells from School for Scoundrels, or at the very least, buy Vernet shells from your local shop, and after you've progressed then move up to some shells from Mr Haydn. That's what I plan to do.
tjo'
hou_dini
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Dave V., please let us know your opinion when you get them. Meanwhile, I eagerly await Mr. Haydn's review. 'Til I here from these gentleman, I will gladly wait.
Burrich
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Scafidi... I live in Ireland, there are no local shops where I live or anywhere in Ireland for that matter. The best I can get is penguin as it has a outlet warehouse in Galway, Ireland and is the only one with free shipping to Monaghan. Also my magic comes in one working day as it is sent the same day it is bought. So, for me penguin is the best.

Also I already have the SFS Street Shells and they are brilliant but I want to try different kinds... La Maggiore is one set I want to get but I have to save my money up for them. Also with the SFS Shells I feel uncomfortable as I find that they are too small. This is just my opinion.

Steven.
Pete Biro
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Try making your own out of real walnuts.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Whit Haydn
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Steven:

The La Maggiore shells are great if you find the S4S shells too small for your hands or taste.

In the larger size, I also recommend the Black Fox shells, which are beautiful, well-made, and have a nice feel, and come in turtle, scarab, and natural walnut designs.

Both of these products have a larger width and height that make them easier for some people to handle. The Perfect Pea works great with any of these sets.

I prefer the smaller shells because they are easier to carry in the side coat pocket, and they work better for certain moves like the roll-flash, where the pea rolls from the front of the shell where it is spotted by the spectator, all the way to the back and out. This move and others like it are facilitated by the shorter length and width of the shells. Putting all three shells between the fingers of one hand for the "Escobar Move" is also easier, I think.

I also feel that the smaller shell shows off the pea better, since the pea is the hero of the piece, not the shells. The smaller shells tend to make the pea look bigger.

Most people find that they get used to the smaller shells after playing with them for a while, but some people, for one reason or another, will be happier with a larger set. It is largely a decision of personal preference and need.

And you can always make your own, as Pete suggested.

What are you, Pete, some kind of communist? Smile
Burrich
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Hey they put the video up for the perfect shells. They call them "the street shells" in the video. The shells in the vid look like the vernet set. I have only pictures so I'm not sure. What does everyone else think? Also thanks for the input Whit. I'll use the Street Shells loads before I make any decisions.

Steven.
Whit Haydn
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They look identical to the Vernet set. I wonder if they just cast from the Vernet? It is hard to say, because the photos and the video never show a detailed close-up. But from what I was able to see, they do not look as though they are cast from a real walnut at all. They look sculpted.

But the nerve of Penguin to put out a product with our name on it! The Street Shells have been around for six years. They copied the Golden Shells, and now the Street Shells.

This will cause confusion in the market, just like the Golden Shells did before. We used to get calls on a moneyback guarantee on a set of Golden Shells that someone had purchased for half-price at Penguin, and then had to point out that they were not our shells, and had no moneyback policy. Now there is bound to be similar confusion about these shells.

It really bothers me that people put up with this kind of stupidity. There is probably little that we can do about it, though Chef and I will be talking to our lawyer this week about it. But Penguin just can't seem to stop themselves from crossing the line on copying other people's products.
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
But Penguin just can't seem to stop themselves from crossing the line on copying other people's products.


No... they can't. Have you contacted them about this? I am curious to hear their artful dodge about yet another product replication.
Dave V
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I took my chances and went ahead and purchased a set of these, just to see what it was all about.

What I got was a couple sheets of instructions and a packet with a "Made in China" sticker on it, containing what looks like to me to be a near match for the Vernet shells. Plastic is different, and they are absolutely flat except for an obvious notch at the back which is necessary to extract the rather hard pea they provided. The pea (you get two) is some sort of glossy rubber, not nearly as compressible as the Perfect Pea they tried (and failed) to copy.

The grip is rather nice though. Too bad they don't look anything like walnuts.

Oh well, for a starter set, I think my stepson would be happy... as long as he never sees a real walnut or my other shells for comparison.

Oh BTW, these were produced by none other than Rob Stiff of "Magic Makers." Maybe that will influence other people's decision to buy this (or not).
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KingStardog
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I suggest they call them the "street hustlers shells"
since there is a lack of imagination coming up with a name.

Hey maby the creators could start a topic on what their new name should be before they ship them to market?
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
hou_dini
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Thanks Dave for the review. Good luck Whit, hopefully you can sucessfully go after them. Ah! Once again the unholy duo strike another bargain made in ----
Kent Wong
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I have a silly question and I hope I'm not offending anyone by asking this but here goes. Is blatant, in your face promoting of a company's product allowed on this forum? I've been here for a little while now, and I haven't seen a lot of that going on. I know there are dealers, inventors and manufacturers who are members of this site, but it seems as though they are usually very restrained in self-promotion.

I was just wondering because, if anyone tried to start a thread like this at Penguin, it would get deleted in a hurry.
"Believing is Seeing"
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Burrich
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That is because penguin is a shop stopping people from advertising stuff from other shops. This however is a forum and not a shop. Also I wasn't advertising I just copied and pasted what they said on penguin about the product. At the end of the copied and pasted bit I have my view on the subject. Get your facts right. Hopefully I'm not too offensive by saying this Smile

Steven.
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