We are warming to tattoos and body piercing (other than earrings) but we are having a hard time with deck collectors.
Admittedly we have no place from which to speak on this topic.
People like different things.
We love The Ball and Vase and have bought maybe a hundred in this short shuffle up on the mortal coil from which we will all be called up one day to justify our choices, decisions and purchases. We figure we can defend the first 20 Ball and Vase tricks. We were young, we didn’t know, others were doing it, we were raised by doting parents that would indulge our every whim as long as it had to do with schoolwork or applications to go to another school to do school work. We had thousands of pencils (mechanical and wood), pens a plenty (the name of our first writing instrument internet shoppe.
It failed due to a horrible spate of product liability suits brought allegedly due to springs that were too tight. When you would open the container to refill the pen, the old refill would shoot from the pen body with the force of Titan rocket (first stage). The good news, we sold very few of them and the even better news, we sold even fewer refills. The bad news, enough people bought the pens to narrowly miss horrific physical injuries. No one was injured or claimed to be. We took the pen off the market and went broke. Ironically, we wrote the bankruptcy papers with one of the killer pens.
But let us return to the subject at hand. Card decks.
We noticed several phases or times in our career, marked by the tools we used (or hoped to use) in our various acts across the decades. We have unearthed and will soon be selling wonderful pieces found during our excavation of what scientists have termed the Chop Cup age.
The Chop Cup Age lasted over several years and is found just before our Gimmicked Coin eon and just after our Card College era. All of these time periods are decades from one of our first temporal settings, The Cane Years. The Cane Years had canes that vanished, appeared, changed color, lit on fire and danced. They led to the subsequent period in which canes gave way to candles that also appeared, vanished, changed color but never danced.
We will have links to the eBay sale of some Rings and Things cups, a fine brass Benson Bowl (not technically a Chop Cup but still within the realm) and a wonderful China (as in Chinaware, not the country) Chop Cup using a wooden ball that makes a wonderful “ting” sound when the ball appears under the cup.
They are all beautiful pieces and, sadly, not extensively used. We even have a load ball for the Chop Cup that fits like a wonderful knitted surprise.
Also, although not technically (or in any way, really) a Chop Cup, we have a set of Brass Three Shells and a set of Perfect Peas that will be offered for sale at the same time. The set is from The School for Scoundrels and comes with a nice velvet bag and perfectly fitting chop cup.
Thank you in advance for sharing in our bountiful excavation of our magical past.
Our loss will be someone’s gain. We have put up our beautifully hand-crafted Todd Lassen Expanded Morgan set. Made from uncirculated 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars, the set cost us more than $400 but is now available on ebay with a Buy It Now Price of $375.00 and a starting price of just $50.00. Such a deal. Such a wonderful set for the professional coin magician.
We are winnowing down our extensive magic stores. Over on eBay, we have two lots up for sale as we type and a third is going up this evening.
How do we know we are selling a lot? We ran out of room to post the pictures of the items in our first lot.
We had questions from buyers asking for images of the Collector’s Workshop / Rich Bloch Perfect Time III. It is used, has very slight scratches on the back and needs a new battery. Fortunately, it is a real watch so your neighborhood jeweler has the battery and can even replace it for almost nothing. It cost us $7.00 for the battery and the installation. We also had to explain to the jeweler to why the watch looked different on the inside than others she had seen in her 22 years of jewelry work. But we didn’t give up the trick, we explained it was an invention we were working on to allow for easier use of the watch by people who are lazy.
We don’t know if she believed us but she still replaced the battery and watched us leave without comment.
Here are images of the watch for those who have visited eBay and wondered.
As we type this, there is a mere 10 hours remaining in the sale. If you are interested it the watch or any of the other stage effects, you should get over there quickly.
We are selling four lots of magic starting tonight on eBay.
Tonight, we put up the stage lot with some great tricks from our acts over the years. Check out the eBay listing for some rare, new, not rare and not new magic all being sold in one big clump. You can visit the listing here.
Here’s what we have listed in this big batch of magic!
Condition: In good condition. Slight scratches on back and needs a new watch battery. Any jeweler can replace the battery – it is a standard battery for a watch. That makes sense.
Description: This is quite possibly the most remarkable Prediction Watch ever invented! The Perfect Time watch has been copied but the cheap imitations pale in contrast to the high quality and precision provided by the original system. Perfect Time III is an improved version of the original offering. The watch-works are superior as is the system. The system has been improved to eliminate the problems experienced in some of the earlier versions.
Condition: Very good condition with dry erase pen. One cover needs an additional Velcro piece.
Description: Hen Fetch’s classic triple-prediction mental effect. Probably the finest effect of its sort ever produced… It uses a large “slate” that is divided into six equal squares. One at a time you make three predictions in the top three spaces and cover them. Three spectator’s selections are written in the bottom three spaces. On uncovering your predictions they are seen to match the spectator’s selections exactly! The predictions can be anything you desire, any book, word, number, color, design, name, place, date, and a chosen playing card. Requires absolutely no skill, no effort on your part.
Dave Powell’s Ghost Board made to his usual very high standard – Size approx 15″ x 19″.
Condition: Acceptable but needs work – Chrome rings at end of cylinder are loose. Could stand some cleaning as well. Metal cylinder shows wear – it is close to 35 years old. Still works though.
Description: Here is a really easy device for producing items such as silks, flowers, candy or prizes! Or for changing one item into another!
Place several colorful silks into the clear Crystal Silk Cylinder. Momentarily cover it with a yellow tube. When you remove the tube, the silks have disappeared and the Cylinder is now full of balls, candy or even live gold fish!
This professional grade illusion is easy to perform and will get a BIG reaction! We even include three 12 inch silks!
You can do so much with this ingenious trick. Produce candy or little prizes! Ideal for producing message silks, such as the Happy Birthday silk, the Thank You silk or even The End silk. This tube will hold a LOT!
The clear plastic inside tube stands 12 inches high and has an opening of 3 inches across. The outer tube is painted metal, and the base is painted wood.
Condition: Purchased in 1974, this effect has seen a lot of stage time. The chrome rings at the end of the clear cylinder need to be connected to the cylinder better. One of the rings needs to be closed – it separated at the seam. The base is fine and the outer tube shows wear but is in good working condition. The vanishing box shows some wear but is mechanically fine. All balls included.
Description: Created by UF Grant, STRAT-O-SPHERES is a feature effect that will leave your audience speechless!
You show a tall clear tube with metal ends, which rests on a wooden base, a highly decorated metal tube, a wooden box, and three balls, each a different color.
Although there is only enough room in the tube for the three balls, one on top of the other, the ball placed on top of the three magically appears on the bottom or in the center of the stack of three. The balls are never in the right order. One of the balls seems to roam around at will.
Finally, you take the roaming ball and place it in the wooden box.
You grasp the box by the ends of the doors and flip it open. The ball has vanished!
The audience sees completely through the box. The ball reappears back in the plastic tube between the other two.
The balls are 3″ in diameter and the colors are molded into the balls so they will never peel. A great trick that will please your audience for many generations.
Description: FAB Magic is the only magic dealer authorized to manufacture and market Bev Bergeron’s wands! This is the original! Don’t be misled by other wands that “nest” within one another that are manufactured elsewhere!
Effect: Magician asks volunteer to assist with a trick. A series of five magic wands magically appear and are placed under the arms, in the hands and under the chin of the volunteer. Great routine for comedy and children shows.
Complete with Bev’s own routine and instructions! Great for clowns and emcee’s too! Manufactured in the USA by The FAB Magic Company. Each wand is 11″ in length.
A Complete Professional Kid Show Routine … in your hands! ALL Mechanical!! NO Batteries required!
From the Original Wolf’s Magic Advertisement:
Mechanically inspired by the Classic “Run Bonzo Run” created by the late great Jack Hughes. We have taken this effect and created a a prop that is Visually and Mechanically SUPERIOR to any “Run rabbit Run” type effect in magic history!
The classic plot has been changed (a Special Thanks to Marcus Eayres for the Plot Concept! 🙂 and now Stars our very own “Wacky Wolf” as the mischievous “Egg Bandit” who raids the Chicken Coop trying to steal eggs to pay his back rent!
How else do you think a Wolf pays his rent?
With the help from the kids, the Wacky Wolf can never seem to catch a break as he is caught by the kids running back and forth, popping up and down and peaking out from the side of the Coop!
All along the magician never seems to see the Wolf and his antics. Eventually, ALL 4 DOORS are opened as the magician tries to find the Wolf only to find he has VANISHED! After the kids have settled down from Laughter and Screaming, the Wolf is finally found hiding in the Magicians pocket (or anyplace you like).
We have upgraded the mechanics and structure to last for YEARS of performance. The unit itself has been created using In-House CNC Technology giving you precision machined parts. All artwork has been Hand Drawn by Chance Wolf himself, imported to the computer, Color separated and finally converted to Silk Screen art. Then Chance Hand Silk Screens every unit himself ending up with a total of 27 Separate Color Application per UNIT!!
Unfortunately, the photos cannot convey the vivid colors and beauty of this prop.
Alumi-Core Structure: CNC Machined from and Aluminum Surface/Nylon Core material topped with an Enamel Baked Finish. Assuring a long lasting, corrosion free prop. The most expensive material available for manufacturing. Literally 10 TIMES the cost of cheap Masonite which most props have traditionally been made from. Our In-House CNC capabilities give you unbelievable accuracy with each and every part allowing us to produce items we could never have done with our traditional methods.
Custom Pivot Arm Assembly: The Pivot Arm Mechanism, which is what makes the Wolf travel back and forth, was custom designed by Chance Wolf giving you the SMOOTHEST operation you have ever seen. We use a Nylon Sleeve Bushing mounted to the back of the Wolf which travels along a 3/16″ diameter Stainless Steel Rod. The Pivot Arm itself has been CNC Machined from 1/8″ thick Aluminum featuring a Nut & Bolt assembled Nylon Sleeved Thumb Trigger. Solid as a Rock and ready to roll!
7″ Tall Wacky Wolf Cut Outs: We made the Wacky Wolf taller than any other version. He stands at 7″ Tall, 1/8″ Thick and is easily visible with his 5 COLOR Silk Screened applications!!
POP-UP Wolf!: We added a NEW FEATURE not seen in typical “Run Rabbit Run” effects. The “Pop-Up Wolf”. You can POP the Wolf up above the roof of his house at any time which adds another “Look No See” dynamic to this effect!!
Peaking Wolf Soft Grip Trigger: The Peaking Wolf” feature has been upgraded with Ultra Smooth Mechanics and a Rubber Cap covering the Thumb Lever. This gives you a more comfortable grip and control as well as reliable operation.
3-D Chicken Graphics: We have added Flat Cut-Out Chickens in the Coop and used a “Suspended Mounting” which gives a more 3-D look to the interior of the Coop.
Flip Out Footies: The pivoting feet are typical however we added a Lock Nut & Bolt assembly assuring a tighter longer lasting fit so you will not have to worry about screws falling out. Rare
Earth Magnetic Door Latches: We have embedded Rare Earth Magnets into the panes, both front and back, which gives a maintenance free door latching method.
27 Hand Silk Screened Color Applications: Each unit has been Silk Screened by Chance Wolf using the Highest Quality, Hand Mixed Colors of Hi-Gloss Enamel. Screen Printed onto the Enamel baked Aluminum Finish giving you the cleanest most VIVID Colors you have ever seen on a magic Prop!
Complete Operating and Routine Instructions included.
Size: 23″ Wide x 12″ Tall x 1 1/2″ Thick
Believe us when we tell you that this is the most beautiful prop you’ve ever laid eyes on!
Exceptional quality throughout, it’s a must-have item for any working performer.
Proudly MADE in the USA!!
1. The effect does perpetuate the unfortunate stereotype that Wolves are carnivores and can become “wacky” in their hunt for food. While this is a stereotype based on truth it does tend to minimize the angst experienced by some wolves which left untreated can lead to mental conditions crudely described as “being wacky.” We are not saying all wolves are “wacky” or are “wacked-out” and we are quite certain that a wolf would rather eat three square meals each day as opposed to stealing chickens from a farm.
Here is the ad for Jamie Schoolcraft’s 3CF coin set:
The 3CF is an original Schoolcraft creation. The 3CF is everything the 3CM is and more! This gimmick is basically an all-in-one gaff. The outer most shell is expanded, so you can use it with regular coins.
The middle shell is Deans Set sized, so it will work with the Deans Sets. And lastly the magnetic insert coin is also a magnetic flipper. Giving you four coins that will all go into one. The magnetics are perfectly balanced just like the 3CM gimmick, and the entire unit is lined with industrial grade Teflon.
There are several artists currently working on routines for this new unique gaff. There are some exciting additions to this gaff also coming in the near future. The 3CF is a 3CM, Magnetic Flipper Coin, Shimmed Shell/Magnetic Flipper Combo, and an Expanded shell all rolled into one compact gaff. Giving you endless routine possibilities!!
How great are Jamie Schoolcraft’s coin sets? They are so great that we do not deserve them. We have skills and we can handle much of what is taught in Bobo’s Coin Magic but there is little chance you’ll see our coin routine in Vegas – unless it is in a contest at one of the many conventions. And we do believe anyone performing close-up should use the best props available and necessary to achieve the intended effect. So, by our logic, we should keep the coin set. Unfortunately, logic doesn’t thrive in our skull; it is drowned by floods of emotion and scorched by the searing sun of self-doubt.
Is the Schoolcraft 3CF the finest piece of equipment we have ever owned? Yes. Do we deserve it? No.
A reasonable person might ask, why or how would a person “deserve” one trick or another?
We have no retort. It is not a matter of price – although the set is not inexpensive – or even its relative rarity. The question is only whether we deserve to have a set made with such precision, such skill?
We have come close to listing the Schoolcraft 3CF on eBay several times but hesitated before clicking the final button. We bent over the coin set, stroking it slowly and intoning Gollum’s “precious, precious.”
If you are interested and deserving of such a fine effect made by the master craftsman, you can check out our listing on eBay. If you believe yourself undeserving of such an item, you can join us at the group therapy session on Tuesdays in conference room C-1 at the community center.
Most of the time we are selling horrible goods with starting prices well above what any rational person would pay, to which we tack on incredibly inflated shipping charges.
Remember when we were selling our knock-off of Nickels to Dimes made out of kiln-hardened clay? We don’t think many of those even made to the buyers in one piece.
Who could forget our Pen thru Anything rip-off described as “the Original” because it used a quill instead of a ball point pen?
If it hadn’t been for those pesky game wardens, we’d still be selling that trick.
We thought the Bald Eagle would stand for capitalism and understand our need for his feathers.
Well, today we listed a good friend on eBay.
Dusty the Dragon is leaving the act and we wish him well. He is a smoke-breathing dragon puppet made by Axtell Studios and used in our Kid Show act. The kids loved him. They were always excited and shocked when he would blow smoke out of his nose.
We had a wonderful time together but decided the time had come to go separate ways. We hope a young magician or ventriloquist will pick him up. He deserves to stay in the business.
We had him made with all the upgrades – the smoke package and arm control. He cost us close to $600.00 but we started the bidding at $28.88 without reserve and we’ll ship him free anywhere in the U.S.
From the upcoming 16-Part PBS Series, The Hardys in America. Teachers may request the classroom guide to help students better understand the series.
Introduction to The Hardys in South Carolina
South Carolina has a special place in the Hardy Family’s history. It was nice to be back in the state responsible for many of the more important incidents and eras in America’s First Family of Psychic Entertainment. We were in Columbia, the state’s capitol for the South Carolina Association of Magicians convention and had a great time.
But our experience could not compare to those of our three relatives in the same town. Uncle Tubby, Aunt Melanie, and Aunt Sixtus came to Columbia for different reasons but all left profoundly affected by their stay.
Tubby Hardy – Little Big Man
Tubby was actually the ironic and hurtful nickname for our uncle Todd Hardy given to him by Tom Hardy Sr. to ridicule his unfortunate life-experience. He entered the Hardy business of magic after a career riding and then handicapping horses.
Jockeys, in his era, were expected to “make weight” for each race by being at least ten pounds lighter than the lowest weight allowance on the circuit. In 1959, the Chicago – Louisville – Lexington circuit required the riders to be no more than 93 pounds so that with their tack and fancy silks, riders added no more than 103 pounds to the back of the horses.
Tubby was able to make weight for his first two seasons. He was a gifted rider. He broke his maiden and lost his bug status at the end of his first year. Those are good things. Breaking one’s maiden means he won his first race. Losing his bug meant he was no longer considered an apprentice jock.
Coming off bug status made him less attractive to owners and trainers who were willing to hire the apprentice designated in racing forms with an asterisk (or a “bug”) by their name.
Bug riders were allowed extra weight allowances and could often enter a race with ten to fifteen pounds less than any horse in the field. This weight benefit was often crucial in the non-sprint events.
Once a rider lost his bug, he was forced to compete against the other jocks directly.
Tubby entered the 1959 season at Arlington Race Course outside of Chicago weighing exactly 93 pounds. He was able to pick up some mounts from kindly trainers but had little success with the less-than-promising horses. In 1958, his winnings topped $22,000 and made him the highest-earning bug rider on the circuit. In the first three months of 1959’s season, he struggled to make ends meet with just two rides in the money — and one coming because of a disqualification of the two horses well ahead of him.
He began to gain weight half-way through the season and by the time the circuit moved south to Louisville, he was just less than 140 pounds.