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Topic: Review Request : Billy McComb Slow Motion Bird Cage Vanish
Message: Posted by: Ben G (May 23, 2006 09:18AM)

I am thinking of learning to do the slow motion cage vanish.
Can anyone give me their thoughts on Billy McComb Slow Motion Bird Cage Vanish set that comes with all the props and the DVD ?
Is it worth the price ?

Any input appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

Message: Posted by: runawayjag (May 23, 2006 10:42AM)
I personally don't like the Slow Motion Vanish. It's just a matter of personal taste, but I think it looks very obvious where the cage goes.

However, that aside, if you are asking about the specific equipment that Chris Reeseman has made for the trick, it is very nice. The take-up reel is every bit as good as an Owen or even a Martin, on which it is based. The cage is a Lindhorst type cage and, again, every bit as good as the Owen model which I think is the best made today. The brass box is made right for the necessary hook up to be done smoothly with no hangups.

If you like the Slow Motion Vanish, I can't imagine finding a better set of equipment with which to perform it.
Message: Posted by: Darius666 (May 23, 2006 12:34PM)
I have this and it rules!

I personally prefer the slow mo vanish, looks more magical in my opinion. I don't think the method is any more obvious than the fast vanish if done properly.

But that's just my opinion, go with what you think is best.

Message: Posted by: magicinsight (May 23, 2006 01:06PM)
If you saw Tommy Wonder do his cage vanish with his on special hookup either in person or on his DVD, you will know how it is done as well. In fact, on his DVD, the spectator's, I don't think, were all that impressed with the vanish.

I also have McComb's Slow Motion vanish, and, as Runawayjag correctly states, the apparatus supplied is first class plus the routining is logical and entertaining. The fact that you can do the necessary hookup while the cage is still in the box is a big benefit.

If you want a very nice and relatively inexpensive cage vansih to try out, I would suggest that you obtain the Abbott's (small) flexible, non-rigid bird cage. It does not use a reel at all. It was good enough for Blackstone, Jr. You do have to learn and practice how to hold the flexible, non-rigid cage to appear like it is rigid though.

Best regards,

Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (May 23, 2006 02:10PM)

Honestly, have you ever seen a LIVE performance of Tommy Wonder's bird cage vanish?

I have. From about 4 feet away. In advance, I knew how it was done, and I knew what to look for. But in live performance, Tommy still fried me with his bird cage vanish. It didn't get a loud reaction from the folks in my audience either. The applause was muted because everyone was more concerned about how they were going to reach down around their knees to pick up their jaws!


In over 30 years of hanging around magicians, the two best performances of the bird cage vanish that I've seen were the ones created by Tommy Wonder and the late, great Billy McComb. I would recommend studying the work of both masters, starting with the Billy McComb props and DVD. Then, take a look at Tommy Wonder's further refinements. If you want this effect to look like magic, be prepared to pay the price, in terms of props, instructional materials, and lots of practice.
Message: Posted by: Ben G (May 23, 2006 02:23PM)
Thanks a lot for all your tips and views.
I'll go with the McComb's version first.

Message: Posted by: Darius666 (May 23, 2006 02:50PM)
You won't be sorry with it. I've been getting some good reactions with it.

Message: Posted by: magicinsight (May 23, 2006 03:08PM)

I have not seen Tommy Wonder do his cage vanish LIVE. I am sure that he is very entertaining as the master performer that he is. I have seen the vanish done on his DVD. If you watch the DVD you will see all of the spectators' eyes look in the direction of Mr. Wonder's sleeve. However, do not get me wrong. I think Mr. Wonder is a marvelous performer and an expert craftsman. He has personally made me several of his items and I am still on his waiting list for his cage vanish and reel. I just do think that McComb's Slow Motion Vanish is more entertaining and theatrical as well as providing a modus operandi for having the cage in the box and for taking out the cage. In addition, as I previously stated, this particular method and vanish allows the performer to be on stage without already holding onto a cage.

Best regards,

Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (May 23, 2006 10:09PM)

I have admired and enjoyed performances of this effect by Billy McComb and Tommy Wonder. You can't go wrong by studying both of these master magicians.

Note that in the live Tommy Wonder performance that I witnessed, the cage was sitting on a table, in the open. Tommy walked over to the table and picked up the cage. Tommy was wearing a double breasted suit that was buttoned up. At the end of the effect, people did indeed look at his sleeves. They noticed that they were rolled up!
Message: Posted by: Bill Abbott (May 23, 2006 10:30PM)
Chris Reesman of Encore Magic, who manufactures the Billy McComb Bird Cage makes the smoothest vanishing cage I have ever worked with (including Owens).

There is no other cage I would recommend.

Bill Abbott
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Jan 13, 2007 08:06PM)

Any suggestions on where to get a decent Vanishing Birdcage now that Encore Magic seems to be out of business...?

Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 13, 2007 09:39PM)
I have seen Billy do this several times. It is as magical as ANYTHING I have ever witnessed. The silk just floats to the ground. I personally don't think it is obvious at all.

I have also seen Allan Hayden do the bird cage vanish. He uses a sponge pickle in the cage. Also magical and very, very funny. Allan does it with two spectators holding on as well.

I don't think it's easy to do...right anyway.

Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Feb 19, 2007 01:43AM)
You are right about it not being, a buy today and perform tonight or even in a week type of illusion . I always have the felling it's not going to work, so when it happens, I'm as astonished as every one else. Because of the self doubt, I've not done this except for very close friends and other magicians, even though it has not failed once in front of any one. It even looks magical watching in the mirror.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 19, 2007 01:51PM)
Encore Magic is not out of business but he is simply way behind. He will be making another run of pulls and cages soon.

Message: Posted by: tuffnavyrn (Feb 19, 2007 04:13PM)
I'm glad to see this thread brought back as I've recently been revisiting the Books of Wonder Vol.2 and have studied again the Tommy Wonder version of Vanishing Birdcage. I have never owned a Vanishing Birdcage bt would love to! I found a clip of Tommy's vanish on youtube and it's absolutely stunning. Unfortunately since he has passed I doubt anyone is making those and we'll probably never see that kind of extensive craftsmanship in such a prop again. So, I then began to wonder how good other marketed props are and from this thread it appears Billy McComb's is really good. Is there a video clip of Billy McComb's Slow Motion Birdcage Vanish?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 19, 2007 09:08PM)
I spoke with Chris today at Encore Magic. He was working on cages today. He was also authorized by Tommy Wonder to make his style of cage for a couple of gentleman.

Put the work into this and you will have a miracle.

Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Feb 20, 2007 08:11PM)

I'd love to get in touch with him. His website is gone and I can't find any way to get in touch with him. I'd placed an order before the holidays then lost his number and don't know how to reach him...could you be so kind as to send me a PM with a way to reach him?

Message: Posted by: Christian Illusionist (Mar 25, 2007 03:28AM)
With the release of "The Prestige", do you think this effect will still play as well?
Message: Posted by: Oli (Mar 26, 2007 04:58PM)
I too am looking for Encore Magic's contact details - does anyone haver any they could Post/PM me?!