Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

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Angelo Carbone
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Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Angelo Carbone » August 5th, 2002, 6:13 pm

I have been emailed by several friends that Magicsmith are selling Lohren Meier's Spectacle which is a copy of my "Out of Order" trick. I created this in 1995 and it was reviewed by Danny Orleans in the November 1995 issue of Genii, page 63.

Immediately after the review (how suspicious), I was aware of Spectacle hitting the markets when I first saw it on sale at L & L Publishing. I wrote to them informing that they were selling a rip off but they never replied to me.

I have emailed Magicsmith to inform them but as of yet they have not replied. I do hope they do the right thing and remove it immediately.

I have SO many copies of my Out of Order trick from various places around the world - it is unbelievable. Just because my trick is easy to make, it does not give anyone a right to copy it. Changing the colors of the cards used does not make the trick different. Spectacle cannot even be examined whereas mine is totally examinable.

A fellow member of The Magic Circle here in London copied my trick 2 years after I released mine. He had the cheeck to say I copied him. I complained to the Ethics Committee at TMC and provided them with dated hard evidence. They ruled in my favour and a warning letter was printed in TMC magazine. I was disappointed with the result (a mere smack on the wrist and don't do it again type of warning) but alas there is nothing more I can do with that particular case.

I will at a later date post info on all the copies I own. I around a dozen individual different copies of OOO.

The only authorised dealers to sell the original Out of Order is Hank Lee and Steven's Magic Emporium. If you have seen a riveted four (or three) card trick on sale from a US dealer other than the above mentioned dealers, then it is certainly a rip off.

Please I urge fellow magicians (and inventors) not to buy these copies (or any copy) and thus supporting these unethical vermin. If I could have some support in a way of emails to magicsmith to get them to remove Spectacle from their stocks/site, I would be most grateful.

I alas purchased the Time Machine watch not knowing it was a copy as I never physically handled a Watch and Wear version. However I still disagree with magicians knowingly purchasing rip off magic.

I had a chat to the guy of Joker Magic of Hungary at the last FISM as he was selling a Jumbo OOO copy. All he could do was shrug his shoulders and not justify his copy. I saw many a copy of other tricks on his stand (including mid air card change). I lost my cool and swept all his stock on the table to the floor. I wish I did more now as he made me so mad.

Just who is Lohren Meier anyway? I have never heard of this person.

It is because magic easily gets copied that prevents me from releasing my new ideas. Blame the dealers then. They should research any potential new item they wish to stock.

Thanks for reading.


Rene Clement
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Rene Clement » August 6th, 2002, 1:50 pm

Bob King sells a similar sounding effect called "Auto Monte" which he a copyright date of 1996. Three cards are riveted together, the middle card moves from middle to bottom.
He gives credit in the instructions to Mr. Carbone as the original inspiration and explains the technical or mechanical difference between these two versions.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Matthew Field » August 7th, 2002, 7:26 am

Allow me to mount the soapbox. I purchased "Out of Order" from Angelo Carbone, the trick's creator. It was, if memory serves, not inexpensive, but it was (and is) a devilishly clever trick, with an outstanding handling.

I consider Angelo a friend. What he excels at is inventing magic, and extraordinary magic at that. His two tricks for Tenyo are among many magicians' favorites.

But Angelo makes his living by selling his creations. Every time a trick of his gets ripped off, his incentive for creating something new becomes just a bit diminished. And if he stops creating, because it becomes financially unrewarding or if he is tired of being ripped off, who loses more than all of us?

Angelo's collection of bogus "Out of Order" rip-offs is a gallery of shame. And shame on anyone who purchases one of them.

(Descends soapbox.)

Matthew Field

Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » August 7th, 2002, 9:51 am

I agree with Matt regarding this issue.

About 25 years ago I toyed with the idea of tracking the number of rip-offs made by various dealers around the world. This frequent type of rip-off was particularly rampant several years ago. It was also particularly pernicious if the item being ripped off was easy and cheap to make. These kind of cheapo rip-offs were usually called "knock offs," made in places where the labor costs were dramatically reduced, and sold with impunity. Many dealers simply said (in defense), "Hey! I don't make 'em; I simply sell 'em!"

Clever ideas (such as Angelo's), alas, are very difficult to protect and police. For example, in the 70s there were many versions of the deterministic grid trick where a prerecorded tape dictated a spectator to move a piece, ostensibly AT RANDOM, on a board or on a surface where different objects were configured. Martin Gardner and Karl Fulves were among the first magicians to publicize the principle and basic motif of this trick. Thereafter, many versions appeared, each apparently justified as being "original" (?)because they used different objects and the taped presentation was different. All of them were based on the same basic principle, which subsequently spawned many of the semi-automatic tricks that have appeared on television. The discoverer of the principle, whoever it may be, is unknown to me and perhaps to the rest of our fraternity. Anybody out there know? Perhaps Martin Gardner or Max Maven knows, particularly since Max is known for performing and creating many unique presentations that employ this principle or related ideas?

Bottom Line: Many of our creators are unsung heroes who seldom get any credit and rarely reap the profits.

My files are thick regarding such rip-offs. Perhaps I'll write a chronicle about this deplorable phenomenon? The questions remain: Who will read it? Who will care? Would it result in any remedies?

Perhaps accosting a thief and then punching him out is a viable and feel-good approach? It may not solve anything, but it provides a pleasurable and palpable dimension to something that can be annoyingly abstract.


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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby pduffie » August 7th, 2002, 12:09 pm

Jon Said:

"Perhaps accosting a thief and then punching him out is a viable and feel-good approach?"

Onward Jon!



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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Luke » August 7th, 2002, 5:01 pm

As a creator of magical effects I find this and other similar instances to be of disgust. Yes magical effects (copied versions and the originals) can be purchased from your local dealers...however creative minds cannot be purchased. It seems that people take that part of magic for granted and just want to have the tricks at the least possible cost available. For what it's worth out of respect for the guys coming up with the stuff buy the real deal. If the masses continue doing things the way they are less and less "good" magic will be released. The creators will want to hold back "the goods" so that all the time and energy spent creating the effects are not simply stolen and overlooked. I realize this is a bit of a long post but it seems that something needs to be done about this problem that continues to happen time and time again.

Luke Dancy

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Angelo Carbone
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Angelo Carbone » August 8th, 2002, 5:49 pm

Originally posted by Rene Clement.:
Bob King sells a similar sounding effect called "Auto Monte" which he a copyright date of 1996. Three cards are riveted together, the middle card moves from middle to bottom.
He gives credit in the instructions to Mr. Carbone as the original inspiration and explains the technical or mechanical difference between these two versions.
He may have mentioned me in his instructions but I felt he should have contacted me initially from the very beginning prior to releasing the effects and making money. What was wrong with saying to me that he intended to market a variant and if I was ok with it? His version may consist of 3 cards and a monte effect but it still revolves around the rivet/slit idea ( pardon the pun :-)

Also in his instructions, he mentioned my effect was not repeatable which is absolutely false. I also believe prior to the monte effect he had a very similar version to my original 4 card effect and later changed it to the 3 card monte version. Generally speaking, just by changing the colour of cards or altering a snip here or a snip there to what is essentially the same trick does not justify it to go on sale as a different effect. Usually variants on effects are for book or lecture notes etc.

Again, what tricks nowadays can have enough changes to it to justify it as different enough to go on sale? I know if (for example) I played with a well known packet trick and used different colored backs thus making it more visual, I would either just modify my own packet or contact the originator informing of the idea. I would certainly not market it.

In the later 'Out of Order' instruction booklets, I have included many ideas from customers. One involved blank cards with letters on them. How come that particular customer did not feel the need to market his version? Maybe because he KNEW it was not the right thing to do.

Unlike some people...

Mark Jensen
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Mark Jensen » August 9th, 2002, 12:04 am

First Off I personnaly try not to suport "Rip Offs". However, I do think that appealing to the ethics of magic (is there such a thing :confused: ) is a strategy which is bound to fail. Don't believe me...take a look at old magic magizines and you'll see the same issues and appeals and things haven't changed. Same exposure issues as well, but that's another topic all together ;)

If you release a magic trick (or any product for that matter) it is a business venture. As such, you must protect your business by any legal means possible and realize that the costs associated with that are part of the cost of doing business.

In the "real world" many businesses purchase their competitors products and reverse engineer them. They then market their own versions. Unless the product infringes on patents, etc. this is an acceptable business practice. So by this measure, if you buy one of these rip offs or copies you are just as guilty as if you buy a magic rip off. How many of us wait for the copies (which are generally cheaper) to come out so we can buy one???

I'm not saying that it's no good to inform people that you are the original creator of an effect (although what degree of variation constitutes a new enough effect for someone else to release is a very gray area). This will let those people who are considering purchasing the effect make an informed decision on whos version they will purchase.

Those you believe in suporting creativity will most likely purchase the originators effect as long as one of the copies is not greatly superior (and if it is really superior, then most likely it should be released).

Slight change of gears: Regarding Luke Dancy's comment:
If the masses continue doing things the way they are less and less "good" magic will be released.
Personnally I think there is too much magic released (Why does every thumb tip wielding self proclaimed master of magic insist on releasing every thought they've ever had whether magical or not)? If cutting releases of magic products down by 75% would mean a proportional reduction in good magic...well, I'm all for it. In the long run magic would be the better for it.

Magic used to be a rare and wondrous thing...now it's fodder for the discount bin.

Shoot, my soap box just collapsed.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in supporting the "confirmed" creators and owners of magic tricks and as a dealer have decided not to carry some items that I know are unethical. But I also think that sometimes people get a bit hung up on what constitutes an original effect.


Mark (The Long Winded One) Jensen
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Guest » August 9th, 2002, 4:56 am

I believe that Presto Magic (in the UK) sell Out of Order. Though possibly under a different title.



Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Guest » August 11th, 2002, 6:17 pm

Say it ain't so, Angelo! In one Genii forum you are voicing your outrage regarding the "blatant ripoff" of your effect "Out of Order", and on another forum in Genii you are discussing the finer points of an effect (Time Machine) that is so obviously a ripoff of Bazar De Magia's "Watch and Wear". You even go on to discuss performance tips! The ultimate in hypocrisy! I would have expected an individual with such a clear definition of right and wrong to fire off an angry letter to "Time Machine's" manufacturer, demanding that they do the right thing. Or did you just go after the dealer? (AFTER you bought it!) All you did by posting your outrage is provide me and the multitudes of others that read it with the information that there is a (better? less expensive?) version of your effect available at MagicSmith. LIVE BY THE RULES, DIE BY THE RULES!

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Angelo Carbone
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Angelo Carbone » August 12th, 2002, 7:06 pm

Dave: Practical Magic sell my version.

The Parrot Guy: The performance tip I gave (just an idea) was not aimed specifically at the Time Machine watch as what I said can be used with any of the trick watches on the market. I posted it in the Time Machine thread because others were posting handling/routine ideas and I wanted to share my idea (for what it was worth) which I had for ages. I would have easily posted the same info in a Watch N Wear/Perfect Time thread if there was one. The opportunity was there so I used it.

Again I did not know the watch was a rip-off (and still not 100 per cent sure as the other party have not replied) until Martin made his post. Also I have not been able to physically compare the two side by side, but it does sound like a copy from what I hear. However I wish I knew what I know now, before I bought it.

As for Out of Order and Spectacle. Less expensive? Yes it is (they always are). Better? Not for me to say except that you can examing Out of Order and not damage the gimmick. With Spectacle you cannot examine it and if you revolve the cards the wrong way you will damage the gimmick and the trick will not work again at all.

Glad you felt the need to make your first post to the forum directed at me :) I do live by the rules.

Ask anyone.

Best wishes,


Geno Munari
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Geno Munari » August 12th, 2002, 8:07 pm

Simply put.........

If we all want to play by the rules...simply do not support the rip off dealers or wholesellers.

But the convention dealer chairmen keep a deaf ear to such an idea.

Angelo is one of the most prolific inventors I have I ever met. I support him. Why don't all of you support him?

Dale Shrimpton
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Dale Shrimpton » August 13th, 2002, 4:16 am

Was anyone around the year, the well known inventor of the well known Die through mirror used a hammer on all the rip offs, at a british ring convention?
Maybe more should be done like this.
i find that the Indian copy's are becoming a nightmare.I read elsewhere that it will soon be imposible to buy genuine boss thread reels, because the company have gone out of buiseness. Could it be that the shoddy substandard rubbish that comes from India, have now flodded the market,destroying a decent product in the process?


Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Guest » August 16th, 2002, 8:39 am

Nice reply, Angelo, but you missed the point. You were incensed that MagicSmith was selling a "ripoff" of your effect. You e-mailed them as to that fact. You even called for an e-mail campaign to MagicSmith, demanding that they stop carrying "Spectacle". You went on to bemoan the fact that as long as these ripoffs are supported, they will continue. Then you, yourself, purchased a ripoff of a previously marketed effect, though you claim you didn't know it at the time. Well, YOU KNOW IT NOW. So, what will you do? Will you send it back? Stop performing it? Send angry e-mails and encourage others to do the same? Claiming you didn't know is irrelevant. How come it is ok for you not to know, but everyone else must immediately recognize every form of ripoff out there? You want to stop the production of ripoffs? STOP BUYING RIPOFFS! Or, are you only concerned when it is a ripoff of YOUR products? That is my point.

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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Scott Fridinger » August 16th, 2002, 9:57 am

I do not beleive you should "rip-off" another person's effect, and I do not believe that consumers should be blamed for bying them, ESPECIALLY when a great number of US do not know who made what and what is a "rip-off" of another thing. For example I have seen Anjelo's effect this string concerns, however I do not know if it was his or someone else's version. Anjelo, if you sell your rights only to two magic suppliers, how can expect those people who buy knock-off's to buy your product if they do not know about it. I didn't know "Time-Machine" was a knockoff, until this thread and had to seach for the original because I could not find it at any of the shops I normally shop. If you beleive that those buying a "rip-off" should be buying yours, you should expand your sellers. I wouldn't buy knock-offs, if I knew they were, but if I can't find the original because I don't shop at those two stores what am I to do? Is there a way to know what is original and what is stolen? If so please let me know and I will ALWAYS do the right thing. :genii:


Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Guest » August 16th, 2002, 6:23 pm

Wait, let me get this straight...it's now the creator's fault when he gets ripped off? Please tell me you're joking! I've heard some ridiculous defenses and excuses for ripoffs in the past, but to suggest that it's Angelo's own fault that he got ripped off, that's just ludicrous.

Even if it weren't such a ridiculous concept to begin with, it proves wrong when you look at the abovementioned case of the Thread Boss reel. The original is widely available, and is (or was) carried by nearly every magic shop in the country, if not the world. Various incarnations of the thread reel have sold in insanely huge quantities since they released the first model. Yet it's now being widely ripped off by a company in India who's notorious for pilferring products.


P.S.-For a complete tangent on the ITR thing, one might also argue (and I think this is the more likely case) that Sorcery did themselves in by flooding the market with so many different models over the years. How many different sizes, shapes, etc. of an ITR does one magician need? I lost count of how many different models they've released: the original, the mini, the micro, the pen, the super micro, the thread boss, and probably a bunch more that I can't remember. This is of course not meant to justify the ripoffs, which are a terrible thing and of absolutely horrible quality, but just as another point of thought on that tangential discussion.

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Angelo Carbone
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Angelo Carbone » August 17th, 2002, 4:01 am

TPG: I DON'T BUY RIP OFFS thank you very much.

I have only ever bought two products which I found out to be copies afterwards. I am a human being and so are others and I don't expect everyone to know what is and what isn't a copy. I am not asking people who bought a rip off of Out of Order to stop performing it or return it. I am just letting potential buyers know that the version that was on sale was a copy and that they have a choice knowing what they know. Of course if they want to buy it I can't stop them but I would prefer if they didn't.

If I know something is a copy BEFOREHAND then I will not buy it. Only two products that I know definately to be copies in my entire buying lifetime is not bad. I won't stop performing it or send it back. I just put it down to experience and bad luck. I don't expect others to do so either (regarding my copies).

The thing is, rip-offs ARE supported only because people do not know when they buy it if it is a copy or not. Some have a good idea but not everyone. That is the only reason why there is continued support because they do not know. However, when someone DOES know - then they can make a valued decision.

I am not concerned about copies of just my effect. If I see (and have done in past) copies of effects I contact the originator to let them know. I pointed out the various copies that Jupiter had on his stand at FISM to him NOT JUST MINE.

SCOTT: If you don't know that there is a copy or don't shop at where an original is sold then that is fine with me. My point is WHEN YOU KNOW there is a copy at the time of purchase then please don't support the thief by buying it.

Thanks all!



Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Guest » August 17th, 2002, 12:25 pm

Suppose I proved to you that Hank Lee was selling copies of my tricks. I am not saying this is true. I am just using his name because you mentioned him. If Hank is selling copies of my tricks will you support me and stop selling your trick to Hank?
I feel sorry for your problems because I have gone through it many times. I think Richard Kaufman said it all when he basically stated that most magic dealers are dishonest.
If they don't steal it themselves they knowingly fence the stolen goods.
I hope you win.

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Angelo Carbone
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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Angelo Carbone » August 17th, 2002, 6:53 pm

Steve, you would most definately have my support but alas I wish it could be of value. I say this because I have not supplied my effect to Hank for a number of years (although he did carry it and I believe it is still in his catalog today).

Therefore I am in sense not supplying him with my trick anyway. I hope you get what I mean.

I do wish things would change in our magic industry but I am certain it would never happen.

It would be great if any magic dealer put a statement either on their website or catalog along the lines of:



Wouldn't that be great!



Because it will never happen alas.

Even if it did, I doubt the average magician would care if he got an original or copy. As long it was a good effect at a good price. Fellow creators care because they understand - especially if they have been ripped off.

However, here am I hoping that one dealer - any dealer out there will start the ball rolling and more impotantly - keep it rollllliiinnng....

We live in hope :)

Also, I think I should mention that Chris Smith of Magicsmith has removed the advert of the 'other version' from his website and is awaiting an order from myself. A pity he wasn't able to remove it from his latest catalog which had just gone to press. Thank you MS!


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Re: Lohren Meier's Spectacle. Everyone please read.

Postby Scott » August 19th, 2002, 5:46 pm

Right on Angelo! I'd love to see that statement offered by any magic dealer. Let's get serious, many magic dealers know the business inside and out and they KNOW when they are being sold a rip-off. Imagine someone was selling electronic equipment to the public and they were being sold stolen items and selling them to the public. Would they be liable for the damages? Would their inventory be impounded? Most likely.

In order for creators to protect themselves, it costs money. And a fair share of money when compared to the revenue gained by sales. So, what are a couple of the options?

a $15 trick that people will rip off with no legal protection....or....

a $40 trick that's protected? It's up to us gentlemen. Pay the price for the protection when we buy tricks or live with rip-offs.

Personally, I'm not a tightwad, so I'd pay more for the trick if I knew the money went to the creator and protected them. But then again, I'm rare. I'm in magic and I'm not a cheapskate ;)

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