Pecking Bird

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Postby Guest » 10/21/07 05:03 PM

I enjoyed reading (in November Genii) Harry Lorayne's description of his effect using the wind-up bird. He mentions using this circa 1964, and I cannot help but recall a delightful trick of Don Alan's performed on his Magic Ranch T.V. show and marketed around the same time. I bought the trick and performed it myself, and I am sure I am not the only one who did so.

Harry does not mention Alan's effect, and I cannot help but speculate that it was either inspired by the Lorayne trick, or vice versa. Anyway, just wondering if there is a story there worth hearing.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/21/07 05:54 PM

When Harry used this at the Little Club it was in the mid 1940s, I believe. Harry says "six decades ago" in the piece. Think your time line is off.
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Postby George Olson » 10/21/07 06:34 PM

I also remember Ricky Jay doing a version on the Dinah Shore show in the fifties or sixties.

Didn't he also do something like this on his 1st Show?

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Postby Guest » 10/21/07 07:40 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
When Harry used this at the Little Club it was in the mid 1940s, I believe. Harry says "six decades ago" in the piece. Think your time line is off.
My apologies, you are quite correct. Still curious as to the origins.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/21/07 09:10 PM

I think Harry saw other magicians actually trying to get the bird to actually walk over and peck on the selection, and that's what set him thinking. It could have been someone else working clubs in New York whose name is now lost.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/21/07 09:26 PM

ai forget who osld it but it was calld "The Giilegaloo Bird" by Howard Albright. LOoong time ao.

I marketed a vrsion thru Magic Inc., called San Francico Treat where bird can' find car as it windsu up in he bag you carried the bird in.You loaded the bag when you went into it fot the windup key.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/21/07 09:43 PM

Pete, you bastard, I've been keeping that very same routine to myself for years, thinking what a wonderful thing I'd come up with!
Crap!
At least this is better than my printing it in Genii and having to print an inevitable correction giving you all the glory the following month.
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Postby Guest » 10/22/07 03:53 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
ai forget who osld it but it was calld "The Giilegaloo Bird" by Howard Albright. LOoong time ao.

I marketed a vrsion thru Magic Inc., called San Francico Treat where bird can' find car as it windsu up in he bag you carried the bird in.You loaded the bag when you went into it fot the windup key.
I was shown a version of this too, about 20 years ago. The card was loaded when you went back to the back to take out a little blindfold for the toy. This got such a good laugh, that the heat was totally taken off the load.
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Postby DrDanny » 10/22/07 08:40 PM

Don't I remember seeing Del Ray do a killer version of a wind-up bird finding a card? I think I remember that. What ever he did, I remember being absolutely floored by his act.
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Postby Guest » 10/23/07 01:53 AM

I believe currently both Magic Inc and Ron Bauer have hopping bird/animal card location tricks on the market. If you are looking for hopping tin toys I believe they both have them available.

When I was at Magic Inc last year I think they had re-released Don Alan's Ranch Bird, and Bauer has has "The Chick Trick" out.

I found some interesting material and history available for download on hopping animal card tricks, specifically Bauer's write up. You can find it at http://thinklikeaconjurer.com/insideinfo.htm and it is called "The Hoppy". He talks about the "The Giilegaloo Bird" you mentioned, Pete.

I believe he credits both Albright and Hen Fetsch.

I played with "The Chick Trick" for awhile, and it amazes me how much people get into the whole "mechanical animal finding a card" premise. It's good stuff! I would like to find a hopping frog if anyone knows where to get them...

Mr. Stickley
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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/23/07 04:57 AM

Don Alan's version (Ranch Bird) was inspired by The Birdey Murphy Story by Bernard Rind (who he?), which appeared in Hugard's in May 1956. Same basic method except in the Rind version the bird finds TWO cards, as the trick is immediately repeated.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/23/07 08:52 AM

Ricky Jay took the "genre" of the "Hopping toy" to the Nth degree.
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Postby Guest » 10/23/07 09:58 AM

Originally posted by Mr. Stickley:
I believe currently both Magic Inc and Ron Bauer have hopping bird/animal card location tricks on the market. If you are looking for hopping tin toys I believe they both have them available.

When I was at Magic Inc last year I think they had re-released Don Alan's Ranch Bird, and Bauer has has "The Chick Trick" out.

<snip>
I played with "The Chick Trick" for awhile, and it amazes me how much people get into the whole "mechanical animal finding a card" premise. It's good stuff! I would like to find a hopping frog if anyone knows where to get them...

Mr. Stickley
Keith;
About 10-12 years ago I started playing with a new method of doing the effect and was checking out various hopping windup toys. Here are a few of what I was playing with:

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/WindUps3481.jpg

The rest are in a box somewhere. As I have indicated before many times in many places, quality items are often no longer made. Back in the days of my youth and even into the 1960's it was still possible to get quality windup toys. The new types of toys as shown in the image above all utilize pressed on nylon gears for the mechanism instead of the old style of brass gears. When new, the new style of toy may work fine; but over time the nylon turns brittle or comes loose on the critical axle shafts. When this happens, gears slip and the toy no longer works. The old all metal windup toys never had this problem and will work fine for years. I suggest that if you are serious about doing this effect that you locate an all metal hopping animal. I never continued to develop the effect as locating all metal toys had become too difficult and I did not want to supply my customers with an item which would "die" within a short period of time.

Having said that, I will point out that you are in the perfect location to find such toys (new style and possibly all metal - if you are lucky). Vegas has a trade show that I attend twice a year that sells tons of such windups in about any animal you might want. If going with the new style, you could buy the windups by the case for backups - knowing that they will not store well nor last forever. Time works against you with the nylon gears.

Jim

P.S. RK's idea going back to the bag for the key is not possible with the new style windups as the nylon winding knob is permanently pressed on (until it dry rots that is).
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Postby Steve Walker » 11/02/07 07:23 PM

My particular favourite Pecking Bird routine is certainly Don Alan's Ranch Bird. Three others I recall are, one by Peter Warlock [it's in "One Hundred by Warlock ' page164. No doubt Richard can tell you how to get this.] and there's one in Gen ,I believe it's the issue with June Merlin on the cover around 1955 but I can't lay my hands on it.
Walt Lees had a thing called Nemo in one of his booklets put out by Supreme,which was worth a look.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/07 05:19 AM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:

P.S. RK's idea going back to the bag for the key is not possible with the new style windups as the nylon winding knob is permanently pressed on (until it dry rots that is).
So the idea I mentioned about going back to the bag for a little blindfold for the critter would get round that issue, I imagine.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/03/07 07:44 AM

Just to get the record straigtened out at least a bit. I used the Pecking Bird effect at The Little Club in New York City in 1949. I'd been using it for friends and small audiences for a few years prior to being hired to do table magic at that club. I was, of course, very young, and had only heard of someone doing an animal thing, with the animal actually stopping at the selected card. That's all I knew about it - I wasn't even aware of magic shops in those years, so didn't really have anyone to ask. (No internet, television, etc. in those "good old" days.)Anyway, I couldn't work it so that the animal stopped at the card, which is why I devised my Pecking Bird routine. It worked for me just as described in REPUTATION-MAKERS and in my Genii column. EXACTLY that way. I still, to this day, don't know any other methods - honestly, I've been doing my exact version too long for me to change now - there's no way I'd get a stronger reaction from lay audiences, anyway. And, as I said at the end of the column, good luck finding a pecking bird. I haven't looked for such an animal in over half a century!

Incidentally, people are trying to talk me into doing LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, volume 2 - re-writing, updating, etc., REPUTATION-MAKERS, RIM SHOTS and AFTERTHOUGHTS,all in one volume. Lotta work, don't know, what'd'ya think? Best - HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/03/07 09:37 AM

Classic Collection 2 sounds good to me.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/03/07 11:46 AM

You haven't lived until you've seen Eugene Burger's version with "Nunzilla."
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/03/07 05:51 PM

Hi Bill McFadden: I HAVE!! HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/07 06:34 PM

Lorayne: The Classic Collection Volume 2 containing REPUTATION-MAKERS, RIM SHOTS, QUANTUM LEAPS and AFTERTHOUGHTS is the best idea ever!!!!
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Postby Guest » 11/04/07 08:56 AM

CC V2 yes..
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/04/07 10:26 AM

Waiting for more reaction, but - NOT including QUANTUM LEAPS. There'd be no room for that after REPUTATION-MAKERS, RIM SHOTS and AFTERTHOUGS. HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Guest » 11/04/07 10:48 AM

Classic Collection 2 sounds great, and CC3 (with Quantum Leaps...Trendsetters etc) sounds great, too!!??

But, Harry - PLEASE consider writing a full autobiography with all your tips, hints, ideas, thoughts, stories, memories, ellipses, out to lunches, afterthoughts etc., etc. That, as you might say, "would be the book of the century!"

Paul Gordon
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Postby Danny Archer » 03/13/08 04:09 PM

[size:11pt]I believe that Del's bird didn't move at all (it may have bobbed it's head)... it chirped as the card was located...[/size]
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Postby George Olson » 03/14/08 11:38 AM

I recall being blown away seeing Ricky Jay perform a version on the old Dinah Shore show.

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Postby Brad Henderson » 03/14/08 04:56 PM

Del did have a pecking bird trick. (different fromt he one Danny is describing). I never got to see it, but I know that he intended to perform it at FFFF once, pulled out the prop, and then put it away.
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Postby opie » 03/17/08 04:36 AM

I have "Hen" Fetsch's HOPPY The Magic Frog. The following information is quoted from the end of page 3 (last page) of the instructions:

(QUOTE):

"Many thanks to Milbourne Christopher, Dr. Jaks and the late Howard Albright, who introduced the first mechanical toy, The Gileegaloo Bird, to the magical fraternity. . . .

Cordially,
"Hen" Fetsch
A "Phil Thomas" EXCLUSIVE

Phil Thomas' YOGI MAGIC MART - 215 N. Charles St., Baltimore 1, Md." (END QUOTE).

Unfortunately, there is no date on the envelope nor the instructions.

I was thinking about putting it in the Austin Texas Magic Auction next month, but I have not decided what kind of minimum bid to put on it. The instructions show age and some rust spots (probably from the key and staples), but are otherwise good. The key works, despite a rust patina. The envelope which contained everything was cut open with a paper cutter or similar object. The frog looks great and works fine.

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Postby Glenn Godsey » 05/12/08 08:49 PM

Somewhere in the basement, I still have an original Don Alan wind-up Ranch Bird from Magic, Inc....early 60's.

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