Have you heard?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Guest » 06/04/03 02:21 PM

Apparently Kohler Magic has dropped Todd Lassen from production of Ultimate 3 Fly. There is a big fuss on magic cafe about it. Anyone know anything about it?
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 06/04/03 04:13 PM

I just know that it's true.

http://www.bobkohlermagic.com/products/3fly.html

A snippet from Kohlers site;

The gaff for Ultimate 3 Fly is now in its third incarnation. For years, there were just three individuals who possessed Ultimate 3 Fly. These three sets were made by two of my best friends, Robert Cabral and Michael Forbes. These sets were handmade and each one took us approximately one week to make. When Ultimate 3 Fly was released, master machinist Todd Lassen manufactured the sets. Todd did a brilliant job. Now the gaff is in its third incarnation. It is being manufactured on CNC lathes by master machinists from the aerospace industry. The precision required to manufacture Ultimate 3 Fly has always been the backbone of the gaff. The current sets are absolutely beautiful. Each set is personally checked by Bob for fit and finish before it is shipped.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/03 06:59 PM

I privatemessaged a guy over there who posted about it and he told me the qulaity and delivery had gone down hill so mr. Kolher had to find a new maker.


Cheers, Bob
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Postby Guest » 06/04/03 10:33 PM

I find it VERY hard to believe that Todd's quality could have gone "downhill". He makes some of the finest gaffed coins...or Kohler wouldn't have asked him in the first place.

I am just wondering if Mr. Kohler found someone cheaper to supply him? I mean Todd's work is all done by hand (hence it taking a longer time, I assume one should wait on quality workmanship). I am assuming machine made coins would be much less expensive...of course..a machine would lack the touch of a master craftsman.

Also, would you care to divulge the name of your informant?? Saying you contacted "someone" who just happened to tell you this seems a lil odd..esp since this is your very first post to this forum...

"Rosie"
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Postby Tim Trono » 06/04/03 11:12 PM

I posted the following on the Cafe:

I am friends with both Todd and Bob so would like to address a few points.

CNC technology is definitely NOT cheap and thus I would not expect any change in the cost (the cost of CNC machines and thus the cost passed on for their use is VERY high). CNC technology provides very accurate and precise work. Likewise, Todd does unbelievable work. So it's just a matter of a business decision. It is also very clear that this is not something that will be distributed in mass.

Todd does superb work and this in no way has anything to do with the quality of his work. Todd does some of the finest gaffed coins in the world period. I know Todd was so busy and in such demand with work that there were some waits for U3F that are now apparently being alleviated. I think it's just a change in business as mentioned above and in no way reflects on Bob, Todd, or anyone. Sometimes how one does business has to change due to causes or decisions FAR out of our knowledge as we are not part of the business. We may not understand why decisions were made (and really it is none of our business). Although it sounds like some are looking for it... there is nothing veil going on here... just business decisions made on a picture you and I don't necessarily have. I can assure you that Bob Kohler is his own hardest critic and will never compromise on quality. I have known Bob a LONG LONG time and know that he would never put his name on a product if it were not the absolute highest caliber. Todd continues to be swamped with orders and continues to stay EXTREMELY busy doing the superb craftsmanship he has long been known for.

I would be surprised to hear from Todd or Bob as I don't think they want to get in a pi**ing match. They are both people of integrity, both have very high standards, and both are just going forward with their businesses.

So in the end this will not be mass marketed, I do not believe the price will change, the quality will remain, Bob will continue to put out excellent items, and Todd will continue to make fantastic gaffed coins.

Then in response to another post there:

As I mentioned above there is most likely a bigger picture we do not have. It's really none of our business how these individuals decide to do their business and I am sure there are well thought out reasons "why" any and all decisions were made. It's Bob's product and he can do as he sees fit with it. I don't think this is anything against Todd - we all know how great Todd's work is. I am not sure why there has to be any "ulterior motives" here or why one would want to try to stir up the situation and create a negative picture without all of the facts. The fact is that U3F will not be sold in mass, I am quite confident that Bob will keep his usual top notch level of quality (Bob would never, in my opinion from knowing him for years, compromise quality in any way... he is VERY particular about this), and that Todd will continue to stay VERY VERY busy taking orders from myself and others who are constantly seeking his superb craftsmanship.

Tim Trono

Rosie, CNC is VERY precise and possibly more so than hands on. This in NO way is meant to be a slam because, as you can tell, I am a huge fan of Todd's work. I am quite confident that the decision was purely a business decision and in no way reflects the quality of Todd's work. I am also confident Bob will ensure that the quality of anything that goes out through his name, no matter how it is manufactured, will be top notch.

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Postby Jim Riser » 06/05/03 12:35 AM

A little clarification might be helpful here...
CNC lathes are programmed in what is termed G code. The speed, feed rates, depth of cuts, etc. are all programmed by a programmer. For making gaffed coins, a number of coins are all carefully measured to determine maximum and minimum dimensions. In the case of making a shell type of gimmick (which is what is being discussed), the lathe is programmed to machine or cut away a generic opening in the coin. This opening must be small enough to not cut away the rim on the smallest of coins nor cut clear through the face of the coin. The machine does what it is told to do and can not sense if it has a larger coin which could actually take a bit more machining. The CNC lathe is usually run by an operator who basically puts coins in and takes them out. The coin is just another piece of metal. The hollowing of each coin will match the hollowing on the next coin - even though the coins themselves may vary slightly in size.

A skilled machinist will see the difference in the coins and take advantage of the individual coin's sizes to make the best gimmicks possible for the individual coins. This skilled machinist is very much slower than the CNC lathe. Only a few shell coins will be able to be made in a given time period. This is expensive.

The CNC lathe, often running at speeds of 30,000 rpm will be able to crank out the coin shells as fast as the operator can insert and remove them. Thousands may be made per day! A new small sized CNC lathe will cost around $45,000. From the production rates and selling prices for the gimmick in question, it can be seen that the cost of the machine itself will soon be recovered.

CNC is used to speed up production, standardize work, and increase profits by lowering production costs. If prices remain the same after switching to CNC, then profits will increase - providing sales support the production rate. With increased speed, items only need to be made a few days per month or year. The gaff in question was originally advertised as being limited in production. I would bet that many more than the original number have already been made and sold.

As for quality of cuts in the metal...
CNC at its high speed is capable of very fine finishes or cuts. The difference in quality comes in the skilled machinist's ability to fine tune the gimmick to the individual coins being machined. Either gimmick will work and look good; but I'll take the hand tuned gimmick as I feel it is less sterile and takes better advantage of the individual coins dimensions.

Will most magicians care? I doubt it. I appreciate the minute differences between hand made items. Most magicians will likely not have the knowledge nor skills to see the differences. They will be satisfied with CNC work. And several years from now when a skilled real machinist can not be found, people will be moaning that "they don't make things like they used to". And they will be right!
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Postby Guest » 06/05/03 04:50 AM

Thats what I get for taking wood shop instead of metal shop!

From what it sounds like, CNC is very useful when starting out with items that are all the same..or nearly so...like a milled chunk of metal, with the intention of making all the finished pieces exactly alike. I can see where that would be very useful in the aerospace industry, where thousands of parts must be manufactured to tight tolerances.

That brings something else to mind, wasn't there just supposed to be just a few of those U3fly sets made? limited to 200 or something like that?
That's why Tony bought two. (ouch said the bank account!) He wanted an extra set for the future...
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me...Last night it jumped out of the closet and scared the living day lights out of me!

"Rosie"
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Postby Guest » 06/05/03 09:52 AM

Mr kohler did not tell anything about the changes in te first place, he never mentioned Todd Lassen stopping the production (his web site changed magically after the buzz on the cafe).
I think that he just found a better deal with someone else and was forced to change a little bit the design for one good reason: it is Todd design.
I am also very surprised by the way all this happened. I mean, it seems that Todd Lassen discovered by himself (on Bob Kohler's web site) the fact that the deal was over.
I'd really like to hear from him.
For the number limited 200 sets of U3F ... We should bet on the real number :) That could be fun.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/03 10:02 AM

ok, I need to share this with you. It's fresh from the cafe: "George, I actually had both. This new one is a thing of beauty. I won't go into the handling, but I put the coin(s) in the spectators hands without removing anything. It's beautiful.".
I really had a big laugh with that one :)
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Postby Todd Lassen » 06/05/03 10:39 AM

Ahem. Well, I had wished to wait a bit before posting, but it seems gremlins are at work already locking topics, deleting posts, etc. on the another board for no apparent reason that I can see.

Rosie, you are right. I smell a stooge. I pm'd Mr. Bobrep twice and offered him a free custom made coin gaff set to divulge his own identity and the identity of the other fellow "over there". No response of course. This is what I would call "dirty pool". If these tactics are used "over there", then I guess I cannot stand by and let this just happen.

Jim, thank you for your understanding and insight. Your knowledge as a craftsman far exceeds mine in many fields. Your assumption that many more than the original "limited" release were sold is correct. I believe that number was originally set at 200. My estimate is that near 1000 sets were made by me. I can check my books.

Tim, thank you for your diplomacy and kind words. However, I was surprised at some of the things that you said, because you know my side of the story and that I certainly was not happy with the way BKM handled this.

I can say I was by all means surprised when I read BKM's "3rd incarnation of 3 fly" on his website. Mr. Bobrep's post here seems inappropriate. So, in my defense I would like to make a few important statements. The quality of my products was never compromised. I would also like to state that on numerous occasions I had urged BKM to carry a small amount of stock to eliminate any waiting, allow me to better schedule my workload, save me much time setting up and retooling, and so on. I dont know if Richard would welcome any more of my comments here. I only hope that if it gets too deep I will be allowed to defend myself and tell my side of the story before they lock the topic. Cheers.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 06/05/03 11:02 AM

Originally posted by Todd Lassen:
Ahem. Well, I had wished to wait a bit before posting, but it seems gremlins are at work already locking topics, deleting posts, etc. on the another board for no apparent reason that I can see.
No surprises there. Didn't they ban or suspend you a while back? :rolleyes:

Thanks for presenting your side of this story.

Veiled accusations of a "falloff in quality" without corroborating evidence seem pretty cheap to me.

But that's just my personal opinion. As usual, your mileage may vary. ;)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/05/03 11:16 AM

Somehow I missed the start of this thread, but I smell some bullpoo in the air.
First of all, in the field of magic, 1,000 of anything can be considered mass marketing. If Todd says he has made 1,000 sets of coins for Ultimate 3 fly, then there's nothing exclusive about it.
Second, I have never heard anyone make any negative comments about the quality of Todd Lassen's coins. Quite the contrary, every single word I've ever heard is a rave.
Third, I would say that Tim Trono's knowledge of the machining of coins is probably quite limited, as is his knowledge of the inner workings of Bob Kohler's business, so I think he should stick to talking about things he knows about.
If Bob Kohler wants to make a post here on the Forum regarding this matter, then he should do that, rather than letting his friends make half-assed statements.
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Postby Tim Trono » 06/05/03 02:13 PM

Richard, with all due respect, I think you have not taken the time or effort to read the posts and once again jumped too soon and commented prior to understanding the picture.

I am friends with both Bob and Todd and have discussed this with both of them.

The point of my post was that people should basically stay out of their business, that Kohler made his decision based on business (and NOT quality issues as some people HAVE inferred if you had taken the time to read this), and that some people are trying to stir the pot with other motivations.

Question WAS raised in a few of the posts referred to on the Cafe, etc. (which is referred to as the start of this) about Todd's quality as the issue and it is CLEARLY not the case. Todd's work remains the same high quality that it always has.

Also, I think it is presumptuous for you to think you know what my qualifications are or are not about various subjects (in this case CNC). Granted I am not an expert (such as Jim Riser) but DO have enough knowledge of it to advise that some of the posts about it are simply WRONG. Obviously someone like Jim Riser can explain it and know MUCH MUCH more about it than I do but I can still point out what may be accurate or inaccurate. I don't think someone has to be a trained expert to discuss an issue.

As an example on this whole matter, should it be any of our business what printer you use? No. We may have a personal allegiance or preference but that should in no way effect YOUR business.

The basic gaff for U3F is very old. Bob was the first to apply it to the 3 Fly effect and contracted Todd to make them for him. Todd offered a design idea which was worked back and forth between Todd and Bob. Bob has now made a decision to go another direction as far it being manufactured. Bob and Todd had a long, great relationship that worked well for BOTH of them. People are making it out to sound like Bob is compromising quality. This is not the case. Kohler will never put his name on anything sub standard period. Today's CNC lathes have pneumatic chucks that automatically sense minor variations in diameter and thickness of a workpiece (coin) and compensate for those variations. They use constant closed-loop feedback systems and the operator is standing RIGHT THERE supervising the entire process - no different from manually turning cranks, except MUCH more accurate. So it is NOT that he is tossing in a bunch of coins and leaving them up to fate as some of insinuated. Bob has advised he is inspecting every single piece. Likewise, this change has NOTHING to do with any alteration in the quality of Todd's work. Question HAS been raised and it should be dealt with as I consider Todd a friend as well. Todd is the finest coin craftsman in the world period. I think really the only bone of contention is that the decision was apparently made while Todd was away and he found out through others and/or the Internet. I can understand him being upset at finding this but don't think it was any malicious thing by Bob and sometimes "stuff" happens.

I also know both Bob and Todd (Todd did jump in to defend himself a bit) have been somewhat reluctant to get involved in the middle of this because there are other motivations going on here by a few and because quite frankly it is no one else's business.

I believe it was locked on the Cafe as it started to become a pi**ing match without people knowing the FACTS.

If you don't like the U3F don't buy it. If you buy it and are not happy with the quality, contact Kohler about returning it. Kohler has, to my knowledge, always stood behind his releases. The fact that Todd or someone else is making or not making it has really nothing to do with the trick itself. Granted Todd's name associated with it is good as everyone admires Todd's work and with good reason. But it doesn't change WHAT U3F is and from what I have heard the quality will NOT be compromised.

So I would hope that you would take the time and effort, before posting something and before putting myself and others down, to examine it all. I don't think it's fair that you make negative comments about our posts without YOU understanding the picture, with YOU rushing to judgment, etc. That is part of the whole problem with this issue... people posting without knowing the full picture, people are putting down Todd or Bob without knowing what is what, and people sticking their noses into the business of others (in this case both friends of mine) with either ulterior motives, without knowing the facts (and Yes, Richard I have discussed this with both parties), with presumptions, or a combination. I say this with all due respect and hope you will take it as such.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/05/03 04:12 PM

I understand the picture well enough.
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Postby Todd Lassen » 06/05/03 04:40 PM

The basic gaff for U3F is very old. Bob was the first to apply it to the 3 Fly effect and contracted Todd to make them for him. Todd offered a design idea which was worked back and forth between Todd and Bob.
Yes, the gaff is very old. And maybe Bob wasnt the first to apply it to a 3 fly effect. Before I met Bob I knew a guy in Michigan by the name of Jack Koopmans that was doing a 3 fly using the same gaff. Jack will vouch for this as will magicians in his area.

Bob gave me a very crude prototype and an idea credited to Robert Cabral on his video. The design was not worked back and forth. I made the gaff the way he instructed me the first time. Those of you familiar with the gaff will know what I mean when I say the rim stuck out past the insert coin in the original design and was highly visible. I believe Bob then proceeded to file all the protruding area away from the coin and remove a large portion of the face of the coin in doing so!

It was my understanding that he then gave this gaff to Chris Kenner and told him that I made it. I almost crapped my pants. Immediately after that I designed the gaff the way you saw it up until this point. There was no working back and forth, Bob was happy with my creation.

I guess I think of the gaff as my baby since I came up with a design that not only worked correctly, it also was near invisible, and proved to be quite durable. I am curious about the design change that BKM says they made to the gaff. Is it a significant alteration or improvement or is it still basically my design?

Also, should I continue to make my own gaff and sell it alone without a BKM routine? I pondered this after speaking with another gentleman last week who is also making and selling the gaff. Cheers.
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/05/03 05:28 PM

NOTE: If you can not stand confrontation, avoid reading this post.

Quote from Tim Trono:
Today's CNC lathes have pneumatic chucks that automatically sense minor variations in diameter and thickness of a workpiece (coin) and compensate for those variations. They use constant closed-loop feedback systems and the operator is standing RIGHT THERE supervising the entire process - no different from manually turning cranks, except MUCH more accurate.

Tim;
Are you some sort of puppet for a CNC jockey? Obviously you have been coached by someone. Open or closed-loop, newer chuck or older - the coins will be CNC machined to all have the same opening in them. To have the machine make all kinds of changes to dimensions on its own would be ridiculous.

And "no different from turning the cranks manually"...when was the last time you turned cranks or ran a CNC lathe? You do not know what you are writing about!

The heart of the issue:

It appears to me that this whole issue (changing makers of the 3 fly gimmick) is petty revenge against Todd for comments he made on the Magic Cafe Forum Months ago against an Alaskan CNC jockey. My guess is that this person decided to "hurt" Todd by taking away his deal with BK. It would be in keeping with the image projected by this individual. I will be convinced of this situation until someone can prove otherwise - and that someone will not be spokesperson puppet Tim Trono. To switch makers without discussing things with Todd is sleaze.

Re: The gimmick itself...

Todd, since the original gimmick is "very old" (by the spokesperson puppet's own admission) and the popular gimmick apparently is your design, I see no reason why you do not market it yourself without the routine. BK can sell his DVDs.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/05/03 05:33 PM

Todd et al,

You are correct in that the s*****y **m gimmick was used for billiards like routines back in the 70's by those who toyed with it. Since the Eddie Gibson coin set was so unusual it just seemed odd to publish anything.

I am pleased folks are exploring the options, and would like to see the principles used in other routines.

Todd, let me know if you'd like to market a gimmick with one of my routines. Maybe something using my chinatown gimmick too?

I am sorry to see people taking sides over an issue that does not concern them. Todd makes great custom coins and Bob offers great market items. Todd has another reputation maker in all the sets out there, and Bob may be looking to make his routine more available. I can understand that. I chose to make my ideas available to those shown the original routine. I am pleased Bobs product(s) are continuing the long term effort to make magic better for those who chose to strive for better.

My best to all concerned,

Jonathan
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Postby Guest » 06/05/03 08:13 PM

I find this interesting...a quote from a review on Kohler's homepage...

So what made me take the $300 plunge? Bobs underground reputation, the accolades of other giants whom Ive grown to trust and respect, the modest skill level required, and the limited number of this release sold me on the effect sight unseen. Im glad I got mine when I still had the chance to own something truly unique to present which a gazillion other guys wont be doing on my street.
No just over 1000 and counting...

I remember what my husband said to convince me this was a good purchase,"But hunny, there are only going to be a couple hundred of these made. They will only go up in value. In fact we better buy two." Bullcrap! $300.00 is a lot of money...$600.00 is a lot more...and since there are many more being made..and it seems as long as someone owns the rights to this effect, it will go on being made for years to come.

Truthfully, I feel pretty ripped off. Hell, I wanted to get a new Kitchen-aide mixer, something I always wanted,(a top of the line with all the bells and whistles costs about the same.) but instead I let Dummy buy two sets of something that is now a mass produced item. Some investment! I could have been making cookies with my Kitchen-aide right now...

"Rosie"
The Magic Wife from Hell

PS I want my mixer, dammit!
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Postby Ryan Matney » 06/05/03 09:06 PM

I was a sucker that bought an "Ultimate 3-fly" when it was first advertised, believing it to be a limited release.

I too felt ripped off when I realized everyone and their grandma had a set. That, to me, does not justify the hefty price tag. I couldn't help but laugh when I read the article in MAGIC about how Bob Kohler is marketing the hold out. Is the hold out just as limited as 3 fly? It's ok for the magic buyers to be ripped off with a false advertising of a 'limited release' but woe to the one that rips off Mr Kohler's performance rights to the hold-out.

I was fortunate to unload my U3F on ebay at a profit. I did this because I realized it was far from exclusive and more importantly, to laymen, any version of 3 fly is just as good as the next. Gaffed or not.
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Postby Dave Egleston » 06/05/03 09:24 PM

Hey Rosie,

I'll give you $100.00 cash money for your extra set!! :D

Hey Tim Trono,

I'm not sure - Did you say you're friends with both gentlemen? :sleep:

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Postby Tim Trono » 06/05/03 10:33 PM

Hi Jim. I am nobody's puppet and speak entirely for myself. I think it's presumptuous for you to think I am speaking for Bob or Thomas Wayne. To call a spade a spade you are one of the people who I mentioned I feel has an ulterior motivation and that is your hatred for Thomas Wayne. I avoided saying this prior as I respect you and your work but from prior personal e-mail you have sent me and from other postings it is clear that you have a beef with Thomas. Though I have absolutely NO interest in getting involved in this, knowing what it is about, etc. I truly believe it is your motivation for taking a "side" here. I have no intention of taking either side as I consider both Bob and Todd friends and I think it is possible ulterior motives that hurt things in general by getting in the middle of issues such as this. I realize not everyone will like everyone but I think it's inappropriate to let personal "issues" cloud and get involved in this. To be quite honest I do not even know if it is Thomas who is doing the actual CNC work for Bob. I would almost doubt it as last I heard Thomas is quite busy working on Holdouts. I have not spoken to Thomas in a while. So despite your fact less accusations, I and others can think and speak for ourselves thank you.

I believe that the reason you have not heard from Kohler on this board is no matter what he says it will get twisted around by those with other motivations and thus, quite frankly, I dont blame him. But I can assure you I do NOT speak for Bob or Todd. I speak strictly for myself, with my own knowledge (not as much as yours, Jim, in CNC), etc. I think there is validity in what I have said about CNC despite your take on it. Otherwise you wouldnt see it being used for such precise work outside of magic. But then this really isnt about CNC work really is it. so if we are going to roll in the mud lets at least stick with the real issues.

I mean none of this out of disrespect Jim (as I actually respect you and your work), but I think it is unprofessional and out of place to make assumptions that I am some voice piece for someone you have a huge personal beef with and are thus clouding the issue.

Tim
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 06/06/03 03:33 AM

I have a U3F as well, I'm bummed that it's now being mass marketed. Doesn't anyone stick to their word anymore.

Well at least Guy Hollingworth did when he said that his "Reformation" video would be a limited release.

I have a half a mind to sell my set to someone and buy a new one from Todd, maybe get a nice soft coin set.

I'll keep you posted if/when I do.
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/06/03 06:33 AM

Tom, welcome to the large club who have received nasty email and threats from the Alaskan wonder! Is it any wonder why I dislike the guy? He appears to be nothing more that the playground bully grown up.

Snatch, you asked if anyone keeps their word anymore. Yes, some of us do - and this misrepresentation by BK and friends hurts anyone who keep his/her word. There may be a few posters who do not understand that one "bad apple" taints the whole barrel. If I say only so many will be made, I can guarante that I will stick with that number - as will a number of other honorable apparatus makers. Try not to lump us in the BK mass marketing team.

The mean spirited way Todd was treated (after virtually buying BK his new house with U3F gimmicks) is indicative that BK and the Alaskan wonder belong together. I wish them great success on their limited (by how many thousands the CNC machines can crank out) holdout.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 07:50 AM

I too was fooled by the promise of Limited Edition. I was told by Kohler, in person,
there were to be 200 made! I have been @
Todds house and watch him work, and NO
machine will ever be able to match the
quality, simply because each set of coins
is slighty different and fine adjustments
have to be made.
DON'T BE FOOLED LIKE ME!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/06/03 08:01 AM

Hi all,

Since Mr Kohler has been at the forum for a couple of days now, is anyone else eagerly awaiting his side of the story?

Take care, Ian
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/06/03 08:09 AM

I think this thread is done for now. The only other person I want to see make a post on this issue is Bob Kohler. If he has nothing to say, then this thread is closed since the issues have had a pretty fair airing.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 06/06/03 08:33 AM

Some thoughts . . .

Tim Trono has said a couple of times that it is none of anyone's business whether or not Todd Lassen is the manufacturer of the gimmicks. Since BKM traded heavily on Lassen's reputation for skill and craftsmanship to introduce U3F, is is disingenous for anyone to think that it would not raise questions for BKM to drop Lassen. If BKM maintains that the quality is just as good now, they should say who the current manufacturer is, or release some of the new sets to qualified reviewers for an independent judgement. Anything else is equivalent to saying "We are no longer using the universally acknowledged best craftsman, like we used to. We have changed the design and the manufacturing techniques. But trust us, it is just as good." There is no way that such a strategy won't raise questions and comment, particularly if the details about such changes are being held close to the vest.

Magic is a small community; the marketing techniques used by companies that sell millions of units won't always be accepted.

1000+ sets times $300 ---- Wow.

Does anyone know, or have an informed opinion, as to whether Thomas Wayne is the new manufacturer?
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Postby Todd Lassen » 06/06/03 09:26 AM

I guess I should not rock the boat but Bob could not have sold more than the advertised, limited edition of 200 U3F if he didn't have a machinist to make them for him.
This sounds like you are holding me personally responsible to uphold Kohler's promises to his customers. I actually had great concerns about this when I saw the numbers going over the 200 mark. I was told to not worry about it, that he would handle it. I had nothing to do with BKM's promises of limited editions or anything to do with the marketing of his products.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/06/03 09:35 AM

When someone buys Ultimate 3 Fly, they are not paying for the secret of what keeps the coin inside the ****. They are paying for a physical set of the gimmicked coins that they could not possibly make themselves, and a routine in which to use the gimmicked coins.
I mention this because I have received a moderator alert from a forum member who was concerned about this issue. Either way, as Todd Lassen has noted, the method explained by Steve is not the way the marketed version of U3F actually works. [Later note: Steve Dushek apparently deleted his own posts regarding this issue--so if you're reading this and can't follow certaina things, it's because some of the posts have been deleted.]
I wouldn't be suprised if Steve invented this type of shell--he's a very creative guy.
I also wouldn't be surprised if it had appeared in an old book. Remember that the essential idea of a shell appears in Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft! The gimmick described there is a shaved coin with out a rim, and the coin behind it is held in place with wax. At some point someone added a rim, and it's certainly a logical progression for someone to *******************.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 10:17 AM

This thread is painful.

I've avoided posting because its a nasty quagmire of emotion here, but I can't help it now.

The thread has turned into exposing the gaff of a routine. Just because one little itty bitty characteristic of the gaff was mis-described, the basic modus operendi of the set is now here for anyone to read.

Quality, or not quality, mass produced, or limited production, CNC, or expert custom craftsmanship, it is still a secret that costs $300 to obtain and now no imagination or investment is needed what-so-ever to understand how the trick works.

We may not like what happened here but exposing $300 secrets in a public forum is uncalled for.

I think the exposure harms my investment in U3F more than selling it to over 200 people. Now anybody can come read about it here for free.
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Postby Chris Bailey » 06/06/03 10:33 AM

Good point Dan. Now with a lot of experience and a $45,000 lathe they can make one for free. I won't need to do this though. My dad's a TV repairman. He's got an AWESOME set of tools.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 06/06/03 10:36 AM

Originally posted by Dan Watkins:
Now anybody can come read about it here for free.
And how many do you think will realistically seek out such information here?

Do you believe that a number of "curiosity seekers" exceeding 1000 will come here to obtain the work on this gaff?
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 10:50 AM

I don't care if you can't make it, I don't care if people don't wander in off the virtual internet street and read this post.

The inner workings of U3F is now available to anyone who wants to seek it. When I am interested in an item, the first thing I do is go hit the search engines on the magic forums and read what people say.

Maybe I am wrong, but in my opinion, I don't think it is right to expose it.

Unless we are prepared to accept the idea that just because it is hard to make it is fine to let anyone with a magical interest know the inner workings of relatively expensive routines. I can't see how exposing (yes even to other magicians who did not pay for it) is justifiable.
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Postby Robert Allen » 06/06/03 11:54 AM

Uh, what's a "shell"?
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 11:55 AM

No one deleted my original post so I did it myself. The name I use for the secret, "old gaff" that I invented, is longer mentioned so few magicians saw it. I cannot remove the name of the gaff from the other threads because I did not write them. Only 1,000 magicians and the magicians they showed it to will know what the gimmick is. Now maybe you can get Richard to remove his actual description of the gimmick the trick uses.
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Postby Steve Hook » 06/06/03 12:03 PM

I agree with Dan. There is no question that some of these posts should be deleted. Genii Forum is a great place to discuss magic but it has not traditionally been a place to divulge secrets which inventors don't themselves post.

And it's not a matter of whether Todd, Bob, Tommy, Steve, Robert, Franklin, or Reginald invented it. Unless the owners of this specific secret want it published publicly, it shouldn't be revealed here.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. ;)

Steve H

ps: Steve Dushek: You have been an inventive presence in magic for over twenty years. I hope you're not a has-been! :)
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Postby Steve Hook » 06/06/03 12:12 PM

Regarding the coins, there surely have been a lot of loose comments thrown around. I feel that "exclusivity" will continue to be imposed by the price. Not sure about the details of the number of coins.

And with all the talk about the machining, and with sincere due respect to Mssrs. Lassen and Riser, has anyone shown that the new version of the U3F doesnt' work properly? That simple question hasn't surfaced once by my reading.

Anyone who has the new version: are you happy with it? Does it work as promised?

Everyone seems to agree that Todd is "The Man". At the same time, it's probable that the new version of these particular coins do what the excellent routine as sold by Kohler is supposed to do.

I also don't understand the attacks on Tim Trono. But that's another story...

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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 12:55 PM

Not to stir the soup up any more.....

I happen to have some PRINTED CREDIT HISTORY because I am intrigued with this gaff along with a few friends of mine. We can only go by the printed record. This is how it works. This is always how it works..The record stands until the record can be proven wrong...

Here is what I have...correct me if I am wrong.

-Pallbearers Review June 1973 pg633....Used in a routine called 'Polaroid Problem' by Bill Fleischman. It actually stands alone at the end of the routine. It is refered to as a modified gaff shell. (Tom Stone was on the money in his earlier post!!) [Later note by Richard Kaufman: the Stone posts were deleted when the thread was cleaned up to remove the word which divulges the "unique" quality of the U3F gimmick.]

-Pallbearers Review April 1974 pg727....used in a routine called 'Okito Box Notes'. In this routine...the gimmick takes on a new name and is called the "Half shell". It even goes further to say that and I quote (Karl Fulves)," As far as I'm aware this FIRST APPEARED IN PRINT on pg. 633 of this magazine (Pallbearers Review). (If I am wrong, perhaps someone like Eli Goldberg- the encyclopedia Britannia of published coin work- can correct this record)" That is Karl Fulves saying that as the Editor of the magazine.

-Pallbearers Review/ Close-up Folio #5 1976 pg. 935. Bob Elliot of New York fame creates a COPPER SILVER transpo with the half shell. It is called "Slippery Silver". In this routine of Bob's, he creates a move (sort of like the paddle move) that shows both sides of the coin. Keep this in note as it is important for later crediting. I dont know if the word 'Slippery' is a coincidence or what but I spoke with Bob on the phone and his recollection is that he did NOT get the gaff from Dusheck. A bunch of New York guys were playing with the shell at the time and he says he had been playing with it before he heard Dusheck had a set of coins out later after the printed 'Slippery Silver'.

-Steve Dusheck comes out with a set of coins and instructions (a piece of paper with no date circa 1976 is my guess) called Copper Silver Transposition. In this routine he claims the concept of The 'Dusheck Shove' and takes credit for the Copper Silver idea. He also mentions that this set of coins are the forerunner of his famous Slippery Sam Combination Coins set. I think if you read closely, the 'Dusheck Shove' and 'Slippery Silver' are quite similar. I am not saying either Dusheck or Elliot stole from one another...It could be a simple case of independent recreation????

-No actual recorded dates (late 60's early 70's) Presley Guitar starts playing with the **** shell gaff along with the China town half and other coins that he actually has US PATTANTS on. In one phone conversation with him, he claims that the half shell gaff is,"...OLDER THEN HIM!!" He is an older man in his late 60's.

So...there is a part of the printed record. The dates are the dates. Unless Karl Fulves HIMSELF writes in and says Dusheck is the inventor, I'm going to have to stick with the printed record in the Pallbearers Review. Talk is cheap but the printed record is FOREVER.

I mean no disrespect toward Mr. Dusheck nor Mr. Lassen nor Mr. Kohler. I am just here for the facts....and they are very clear.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/06/03 01:18 PM

I hate to tell you this, but I haven't met anyone who didn't know what the gaff on Ultimate 3 Fly was: ******************. If you think that's some sort of secret you're dreaming. Why in the world would ANYONE plunk down $300 for a routine that can be had for a few dollars in any number of books, magazines, or manuscripts unless they knew that some fancy gimmick is involved, and they just ask other people and find out what the gimmick is before deciding to buy it. You'd really have to be nuts to spend $300 with no idea what you're buying.
How many other $300 coin tricks can you name? I can't think of any.
I'll repeat: what is being sold that is of value is the gimmick itself, which few if any purchasers could make, and the routine and handling. Simply knowing what the gimmick is doesn't mean a thing. That's like saying that since someone knows you're doing a Pass in a routine, the routine has no meaning or value. Unless you practice for years you can't do it, and unless you buy the gimmick for U3F you can't do it.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 01:30 PM

But would you expose Copperfield's (or whoever's) illusions here? It's not like any of us are going to make 'em.

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