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Stage-Sized Cups

Posted: March 21st, 2002, 6:50 am
by Michael Edwards
One challenge often facing the parlor, stage and even trade show performer wishing to present the cups and balls has been the difficulty in finding cups that would be large enough to be seen by those at a distance. While a number of manufacturers have crafted stage-sized cups (often termed "jumbo" cups or "chick" cups because they were large enough to conceal a live young chicken and heavy enough to prevent the bird from moving the cup)in the past, there have been few such cups on the market of late. And finding used cups of this size has been a difficult and often expensive enterprise. A set of copper Paul Fox chick cups went for over $1200 last year.

Pete Biro and James Riser have set about remedying this and both are now making jumbo cups. Pete's cups are crafted in the now classic Paul Fox shape but with two beads rather than the three that encircled the PF chick cups. Their size is a tad bit larger, both in terms of height and width...standing about 4 inches tall. In fact, you could almost squeeze a Paul Fox chick cup into Pete's new version. Pete's making these up in copper and nickel-plate. They have good weight, but aren't so heavy as to hinder handling. I have found them very easy to work with and certainly provide the visibility that most want when seeking a stage-sized cup.

Mike Rogers used to say that the only reason to use jumbo cups was for greater visibility. But I think James Riser's new offering puts that in question. Jim has taken a different approach than "bigger is better." In fact, he began with the notion that many large cups were really too tall for their task. Consequently, he has fashioned a jumbo cup that doesn't stand terribly much higher than a regular Paul Fox or Johnson Products cup. However, he has widened the capacity significantly, allowing what looks almost like a regular-sized cup to conceal a very large load. I guess another way for putting it would be that he has tried to maximize the load capacity while minimizing the cups size. Crafted with Jim's noted care, these cups have a very nice heft to them. However, he has intentionally spun them to nest a bit more loosely than his mini-cups, allowing them to handle rather easily and quietly. Made of heavy duty copper, they are shaped like his mini-cups -- a bit squat with a single bead around the center.

Re: Stage-Sized Cups

Posted: March 21st, 2002, 10:40 pm
by Guest
I have successfully uses my Johnson cups to produce chicks as well as baby ducks. I'm not really sure why you would need to use official chick cups for this production. I would like to comment a little on what I find important features of working cups.

The real question comes down to the bead on the side or shoulder of the cups. So often I see a new cup made that miss the mark completely. The more important feature of a cup is the ability to hide the working ball or balls during performance. Today's balls are bigger and the cups that are made today must be made around these balls to nest without wobbling. If you are enlarging the cups for stage the working balls therefore must also increased in diameter. After the shoulder I look for the ability to do the role over move and the depth and sharpness of the well. The best cups for the working professional has to be the Johnson cups for its price and overall features. Thus far these cups don't come in stage size. Yet even Johnson missed one design flaw in their production. For the purpose of weight and a place to stamp their name on the inside top of the cup (JP), they left too much metal. This makes the proportions of the inside of the cup unequal, in height and width. The problem is that if you find a capacity final load to fills the cup completely the load sticks out on the bottom, so the cups wobble.

Happy Hunting


[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: hpcman ]

Re: Stage-Sized Cups

Posted: March 30th, 2002, 2:46 am
by Michael Edwards
I understannd that Gazzo has released a large cup designed for the street and stage performer. Has anyone had a chance to see/use these cups yet? Any assessment?

Re: Stage-Sized Cups

Posted: March 30th, 2002, 3:36 pm
by Pete Biro
Gazzo's cups are very nice, made in England, but pricey $350 I beleive...

They will hold a baseball for a final load. They are much like James Riser's mini cups, in that they are the heavier gauge copper (heavier than my Galli Galli cups). They have two rings instead of one.

The plan for Gazzo is to redesign them, however, as they are too small for his act. He had been using the Paul Fox(tm) cups, which if you had seen him work, were beat to smithereens... dented, scratched, like through the wars...

Which for a street worker that throws his cups around, drops them on the ground, on purpose, that is OK.

Not sure if he is actually using the Galli Galli cups, but he got two sets from me.

His cups are a bit squatter, which I like.

I would equate them closer to Riser's new Jumbo Cups than anything else... but... they may be out of stock and no more THAT SHAPE/SIZE might ever be made since he asked his spinner to make a bigger cup.

If I can find the photo comparing all JUMBO cups I'll email it to you.