Tommy Wonders - The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet

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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 02:19 AM

Ive been looking into the late Tommy Wonders brilliant routine The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet. Im looking basically for a quality reel to pull this effect.

Mr. Wonder used a pretty heavy attachment of the reel but I suspect that is because he also used the same reel for the vanishing birdcage. I dont think you need quite that attachment system, but you do need a reel with a powerful clip-on mechanism, to attach into your armpit part of your jacket (and you can always strengthen your jacket in that position too with some tailor work).

My question to you is. Where can I find a powerful reasonable silent reel with a heavy attachment mechanism? Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

Jan
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 10:49 AM

Jan;
Reels...I have several miles of various widths and thicknesses of spring steel in my shop for making assorted types of reels. I've been experimenting with custom reels for quite some time. You may see progress on a reel here:
http://jamesriser.com/Magic/Cage/Project.html
I really need to finish that web page (no free time to get back to it).

The reel for this effect does not need to be custom made - just modified for silence and with a nylon cord rather than the original chain. The reel that Tommy Wonder utilized for this effect was a modified "key-back" type of reel. This is not the type of pull used with a birdcage. These key reels are available in several types - all having a chain for the cord. You want one of the more expensive models (all metal and the inside drum runs true). Avoid the cheap versions from China and the half plastic models. They either fall apart or run off center causing the drum rim to rub and make lots of noise.

You will need to open the reel to add silencing pads and to replace the chain with nylon cord. These can be done at home with no special tools. Be very careful that you do not let the inner spring unwind into your face. You should be able to do the modifications without disturbing the spring. Grease everything while you have it open.

BTW - it is best to not attach the reel to the jacket itself.

Good luck.
Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 04:34 PM

Jan,

A pull with a spring strong enough to pull a cage up your sleeve would be extremely dangerous. To my knowledge, no one has every used such a device, including the fanciful one seen in The Prestige.

Tommy gives a nice analysis of how the cage vanishes in the second volume of the Books of Wonder. He well-understood the process and explains it clearly and in detail.
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Postby Guest » 11/30/06 11:38 AM

Some european dealer used to market 3 strenght of pulls called "python pulls" They should still be on the market. The medium strenght is absolutely perfect for Tommy Wonders ring, watch and wallet. That is at least what I used myself as the reel part and I have used it few years soon without any problems.

J-M
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Postby Guest » 12/01/06 12:13 AM

Jan,

What you want is a Petrick and Mia reel, available here:

www.pmmagic.com

It is almost identical to the one Tommy used, but it has a locking mechanism that is excellent and will help in the effect.

Best regards,

Karl Miller
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Postby Guest » 12/05/06 04:49 AM

Thanks all,

I look into some of the pulls suggested.

Karl it definately seems like the reel to use, although it is extremely expensive compared to other reels in the trade. I'll give it a thought, I wish I had a chance to try it out first.

Jan
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Postby Guest » 12/13/06 02:32 AM

Well, you have a choice. You can buy the other, cheaper reels, try them and reject them, and then buy the Petrick and Mia reel and use it. Or you can buy the Petrick and Mia reel right off the bat and not be disappointed.

Sometimes cheap is false economy.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 12/20/06 11:43 PM

I have had a love/hate relationship with this effect for years. I loved the mechanics of the Wonder routine. But the RING has always bothered me. Regardless of what so many say, the RING just doesn't play well for my stand-up audiences of 90+ people. So, I kind of ignored the thing. Then I got Steinmeyer's latest book...

It solves virtually all the problems both mechanically and visually with the effect.

The use of a flower instead of a ring leads me to believe he may have been struggling with the same issue as I was in terms of how big the effect can play.

Well worth it.

Mr. Stickley
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 12/23/06 08:13 AM

I've been performing my own version of this effect for years with great success. It doesn't use a reel and there is no bodywork or topits or the like involved. The method with full script is taught in chapter 24 of my book 21st Century Coin Mechanics. It's called The Watch, Wallet, and Ring. With my method each of the items is seen being inserted into the envelope, yet at the end, the envelope is torn up with the watch back on the wrist, the money in the wallet, and the ring still on the finger. It works every time, there is no noise, and you don't have to wear a contraption for your entire act.

http://www.geocities.com/larrybarnowsky/
The Book of Destiny
barnowskymagic.com
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/24/06 07:58 AM

Mr. Stickley,

Given your comments, you would likely be very interested in the version described by Alton Sharpe in Expert Hocus Pocus

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Postby NCMarsh » 12/24/06 08:32 AM

Jan,

As a comparison, Tommy sold the reel, the watch setup, matching watch, Jerry O'Connell wallet, and 1,000 envelopes for 1,050 Euros (roughly US $2,000)...If you are able to make the rest of the outfit yourself, the PM reel sets you back 1/20th the cost of the version made by Tommy...not a bad deal

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Postby NCMarsh » 01/05/07 02:51 PM

BTW, Jay Scott Berry gives a step-by-step tutorial on converting a hardware store key reel into a reel for our purposes (and gives some phenomenal work on using the reel) in Magic for the New World (pub: Georges Proust, Academie de Magie, 1986)...I picked up a copy at Denny and Lee's a few years back, but don't know how widely available the booklet is...

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