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Topic: Andre Kole's "Atomic Stack Pile"
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Mar 2, 2016 06:36PM)
This was one of my favorite 'Demo's' back when I used to work at Hollywood Magic.
A simple idea: Three wooden blocks are stacked and then moved into positions that seemed to defy gravity.
Then, like a Super -X suspension, one block is slid back from the bottom of the stack and the other two are 'floating' in space.
Finally, a hoop is passed over the floating blocks showing know threads or wires.

Ray Pierce and I developed an alternate handling that allowed show the three 'blocks separately and stack them on the little platform in front of the audience.
Also we changed up the hoop pass a bit. Anyway, in selling these (we sold a few dozen I am sure) I never bought one myself!

Now I am looking for one... particularly the model that I sold in the 1980's (2nd generation I'd call it)... that was built by the late Bill Adams. (Bill passed in November of 2014, I believe)

if anyone has one to sell, please let me know!
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jan 4, 2017 07:22AM)
Did you ever find one? I have one to sell. Complete, right down to the little rubber-tipped metal rod (about 1" long) you would use to "support" the front corner of one of the blocks before you remove it. Absolutely mint piece fron World Of Magic. Message me.

Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jan 4, 2017 11:30AM)
PM'ed you.. Thanks! So much!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 4, 2017 12:30PM)
Ha! Bobbie Gurtler "lives"!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jan 4, 2017 12:36PM)
Bobby Gurtler is also the inventor of Helicopter Cups ( this is very Clever!), the Kole Dove Cones, and... ( wait for it...) Egg through Bread!
When you are inventing three tricks a day, they can't all be gems..must we love him just the same!
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Nov 7, 2017 02:14PM)
I believe that the Gurtler (Andr Kole) Atomic Stock Pile was made by Bill Adams (World of Magic). They are no longer in business.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Nov 7, 2017 06:48PM)
Joe Long who is a member here, created a mini version of this prop that is stunning. And much more manageable than the parlor size original. I believe it is sold out, but he may be able to track one down for you. I have both the original, and his miniature, and I prefer the latter.

Enjoy: https://www.martinsmagic.com/allmagic/close-up/micro-atomic-stock-pile-by-limited-edition-magic
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 8, 2017 12:04AM)
Sell me your original..... please!
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Nov 8, 2017 07:58PM)
I lucked out with that prop. Bought at a Magic Shop here (now closed) that carried a lot of vintage props. I don't think the owner knew what he had as I bought for a steal, maybe $45. It's a very cool prop.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 8, 2017 08:35PM)
No doubt you got a bargain! If you choose to sell, I will pay a bit more than $45.00!

Jonathan Neal
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 14, 2017 08:34PM)
I have an original "Helicopter Cups" that I bought in the early 60's from Mazda Magic in Oak Park, Illinois. It still works perfectly.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 15, 2017 06:23PM)
Tour magic, what are the cups made of?
A friend of mine ( from the Midwest) also has a perfectly working set.
The' cups' are made from what appeared to me to be... Disposable paint buckets with tapered sides(almost like a KFC BUCKET)
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 16, 2017 08:13PM)
Today, I just found a Bill Adam's model "Atomic Stack Pile at an online vintage prop website! I bought it immediately and should have it in a few days!!!
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Nov 16, 2017 09:31PM)
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Nov 17, 2017 08:30AM)
JNeal, as I mentioned, I had the Bill Adam's version and it was excellent. I have heard other versions and mini-version are not as good. Bill Adams always produced high quality effects. You will be happy with his version.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 17, 2017 01:10PM)
Yes, I complete agree! When I used to sell magic retail, it was always a pleasure to sell his props. No defects, no problems with paint, or anything...
Top quality throughout.
Message: Posted by: Hayre (Nov 19, 2017 09:36AM)
I just obtained an older full-size one recently. The blocks are yellow, red, and blue (instead of black). I am unsure of the maker, but thought you might have some insight. The blocks have a bevel around every edge and corner, which must have taken some work. But I don't know if that is a sign of a Bill SMith model or not.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 19, 2017 09:07PM)

Bill ADAMS is who you mean rather than Bill Smith. I should have my set tomorrow and I'll share some pics so perhaps we can determine the maker.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 21, 2017 05:58PM)
The set I just bought is a remarkably well maintained prop.. Just as I had hoped and remembered it to be ! In a word.. Beautiful!!
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 21, 2017 09:05PM)
JNeal, Yes, the original cups were cardboard. I repainted them white back in the 60's and added oriental decals, which were popular at the time.
Last year I found some replacement cups (disposable paint cups) and painted them with a metalic copper paint. They look like they're made of metal (Very realistic even up close).
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 21, 2017 09:31PM)
Here's a picture of the "copper" cups.
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 21, 2017 09:35PM)
Here's another set that I painted silver.
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 21, 2017 09:40PM)
Here's the original cups that I painted white.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 22, 2017 08:58AM)

those look fantastic! especially the copper colored pails!! Thanks for sharing those images as well as the detail about the cups being cardboard in the original.

Do you perform the effect often? How does it play for you?
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Nov 22, 2017 01:12PM)
No, I haven't performed it in a long time (probably 50 years). Part of the reason is because I didn't have a suitable glass until recently.
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 8, 2019 01:50PM)
Last month at the IBM convention I was able to show my Helicopter Cups to Andre and Tim Kole.
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Aug 9, 2019 08:52AM)
I have always liked the Helicopter Cups since they were advertised in the Genii magazine many years ago. Is a demo available? Thanks, Bob
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 9, 2019 11:46PM)
Here's a copy of the ad from the Linking Ring Magazine, July, 1955.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Aug 11, 2019 08:45AM)
Thanks for sharing those last couple of images! just great!
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 12, 2019 03:14PM)
Here's a better picture of the Linking Ring ad (July 1955). This was the first ad for the Helicopter Cups. The last ad was August, 1956.
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 12, 2019 06:04PM)
Another thing that I showed Andre and Tim (and also Jeff McBride) was my idea for a gimmicked cup. Using this cup would allow both cups to be shown inside and out at the same time. The cups in the picture are metal cups that I purchased a few years ago at Hobby Lobby. They came with the red/blue paint job. (gimmicked cup is on the right).

I also need to make a new (gimmicked) tray to allow me to actually perform the trick using these cups. That's my next project.
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 12, 2019 06:06PM)
Another picture showing the insides of both cups.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Aug 12, 2019 10:14PM)
Very clever and everything really looks great! You are a true craftsman!
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Aug 13, 2019 03:33PM)
I recall visiing the Phoenix Burt Easley magic shop in the early 70s. They said the Helicopter Cups & Atomic Stack Pile were no longer available. I later was able to purchse the Atomic Stack Pile from Bill Adams. However, I never could find a Helicopter Cups. They must have been made in a very small number. Seems like some builder should consider building their version. Bob
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 13, 2019 05:10PM)
I'm sure the Helicopter Cups are quite rare because I've never seen any advertised for sale on Ebay or any of the collector websites. I brought mine to the convention in Phoenix hoping to find out how many were sold, but unfortunately neither Andre or Tim had the answer. The set that I bought from Mazda Magic arrived at the store in pieces (probably broken during shipping). Mazda's owner, Col. Russell Shaw, rebuilt the trick completely before I bought it. This included re-soldering the brass legs to the top of the stand and repainting the tray. He was an expert craftsmen. and I'm sure it took many coats of lacquer to produce the smooth yellow top on the tray.

So... I'm guessing that most of the Cups that were sold didn't survive. Of course the Kole family still has the rights to the trick, and they could start building them again if they wanted to. I think any other builder would want to get their permission first.
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Aug 13, 2019 05:38PM)
Tourmagic, you mentioned buying from Mazda Magic. I was wondering if that was the same as Mazda Magic in Oak Park Illinois? I grew up in the Berwyn & Cicero suburbs close to Oak Park. I now live in Napervill Illinos. I agree any builder should always ask for permission from the original builders of an effect. Bob
Message: Posted by: tourmagic (Aug 13, 2019 06:17PM)
Yes Bob, That's the same Mazda Magic in Oak Park, IL. I lived in Park Ridge, and I was a member of the Mazda Junior club 1954-58 and the senior club 1958-1963.
I was mentored by members of the Mazda Mystic Ring seniors -Jay Marshall, John Morrissy, Gene Thomas, Norm Osborn and others.
(I moved to California in 1963).
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Aug 13, 2019 06:50PM)
Tourmagic, I was never a member of Mazda, but did visit their shop quite a bit. My next door neighbor was older than me and he was involved with Mazda. His name was Joe vyleta. I am now 75. Take it easy, Bob
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Aug 17, 2019 01:35AM)
Wow, the Atomic Stack Pile brings back so many memories. Yes, this was such a beautifully constructed piece that was so much fun to demo. So odd yet so elegant in its own way. Thanks for reminding me of it!
Message: Posted by: J M Talbot (Aug 19, 2019 03:58PM)
Interesting thread!

A beautiful mini version of the Atomic Stockpile effect is available from Magic Wagon... http://magic-wagon.com/ProductDetail.asp?id=191
Message: Posted by: Julie (Aug 19, 2019 08:50PM)
[quote]On Aug 19, 2019, J M Talbot wrote:
Interesting thread!

A beautiful mini version of the Atomic Stockpile effect is available from Magic Wagon... http://magic-wagon.com/ProductDetail.asp?id=191 [/quote]

Idle curiosity, has this manufacturer struck a deal with the family as to the rights to manufacture/sell this unique bit of Magic?

Message: Posted by: J M Talbot (Aug 27, 2019 09:18AM)
Here is a cool video of the Atomic Stockpile effect from Magic Patagonia!