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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Robert Harbin's Zig Zag (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steven True
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I saw a video a friend had of some illusions being performed and the video had Robert Harbin performing his ZigZag live. He had a lady from the audience help him by checking out the box while the assistant was inside to see if it was gimmicked. The look on the ladies face was something else. It was my first time to ever see Mr Harbin perform the illusion. I can now really see why the illusion has lasted as long as it has. It did then and still does just look really cool. Now I know there are some that will disagree but I am an old timer from way back. Nice to see this illusion is still going strong. Just out of curiosity,does anyone know when Robert Harbin passed away?

Thanks
Steven
ricker
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It was 1978.

Now you see why the "Harbin" method for perforance of ZigZag makes it so strong. The illusion is so deceptive, when built right, even from 1 foot away.
Keith Jozsef
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I agree with you both. The Zig-Zag is one of the few illusions, in all of magic, that can stand up to the "challenge-style" presentation, that Harbin presented. But just as ricker said--it must be built properly!

Keith Jozsef
kregg
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Zig Zag was over exposed for a long time, many (me included) think it's the perfect illusion. This doesn't diminish the fact that Zig Zag has made it onto the list of classic illusions.
POOF!
HarbinJr.
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Yes the illusion is very deceptive but you also have to realize that the presentation had a lot to do with it as well. Many people tend to forget that the presentation helps it a longgg way!

Robert
Jack Murray
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It's been suggested to me that if I applied my "no-bolt" assembly process to the ZZ so it can pack down into 2 "suitecase" size ATA cases, it would be a big seller. Your Thoughts?

Jack
ricker
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Jack

The one I build can easily fit like that, since I used piano hinges on the side and pin hinges to bolt it together

I very rarely take apart the middle box, as it's small enough to put into the back seat and put stuff in the middle of it.. Smile keeps it sturdy too.

Going on 3 years with only minor repairs. I used 3/4 inch stock, since it needed to be rugged.
MikeDes
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Quote:
On 2006-05-05 11:49, Jack Murray wrote:
It's been suggested to me that if I applied my "no-bolt" assembly process to the ZZ so it can pack down into 2 "suitecase" size ATA cases, it would be a big seller. Your Thoughts?

Jack


Absolutely!!
Starrpower
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I (think) the Magic Circle owns the Harbin book rights. If I am correct, am I also correct in that they "own" the Zig Zag manufacturing rights? It seems every builder makes this one, but has anyone ever paid royalties for doing so?? I'm not making accusations, I'm just curious ...
Jack Murray
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Good point. I don't know the answer but would like to, so I can contact the proper person[s] to pay royalties if I decide to go forward with this.

Jack
ricker
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On page 192 of "The Magic of Robert Harbin" - Agreement

All rights for the manufacturing or making up of items published in the book are strictly reserved.

(d) That the purchaser will not manufacture or make up any items published in the book, except for his own personal and exclusive use.

That of course was signed by the orginal owner of the book, I am not, as I was only 10 in 1970.

It also has the two year clause for the orginal purchaser of the book. So I wonder if that's null and void after the 2 years.

At any rate, I built 1, for me. Smile But I think that the presentation Harhin gives in the book is more valueable than the plans for the illusion, in this day and time.
Christopher Starr
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I confess: I WAS one of the many who considered this illusion to have run it's course, due to over performance, over exposure, etc. I have debated it endlessly with other Zag owners. Even I had one years ago, it was my 1st illusion. Still, I thought I was done with it. Through.

Until last week. I was having a conversation with this lady, and it came up that I was a magician. The very 1st thing she asked me was, "How do they do that one trick where they saw the lady in half and take out the middle?".

I have since been reconsidering my position on this. The biggest problem we magicians find our self in is the inability to step away from what we do, and see it from a normal person's point of view. Often we try to convince ourselves that something will fool people, when it clearly won't, and later we dismiss something as uninteresting or unconvincing that lay audiences DO find entertaining.

The Zig Zag Lady, built properly and presented well, will continue to entertain audiences, despite exposures, for years to come.
markparker
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The Zig Zag is a brilliant illusion way ahead of its time and still stands up today.
As far as I am aware there should only be 'in theory' 500 maximum (thats up for debate because of books changing owners of course) built worldwide, equating to the number of harbin books published...we all know that's not the case. The rights issue will never get resolved if unscrupulous builders and buyers continue to feed the marketplace.
Anyway bottom line is its a great illusion.
David Copperfields Zig Zag prop with the curved sided blades was an elegant solution to the offset blade. I would guess John Gaughan built that one for him, that combined with the usual sliding panel made it look superb in performance on one of his TV specials.
I would love to see more performers adopt Harbins patter approach to the illusion. He had great thinking in his work and it shouldn't be overlooked.
http://www.illusion-designer.com - Bespoke Illusion design - Publications -Show consultancy....Vivify a collection of stage illusions limited edition of 500 copies available now.
David Goldrake
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Dear members,

It may be of interest to some of you to know that the same script can also be used for Jim Steinmeyer's Modern Art illusion. I have been doing it that way for a couple of years and it gets very good reactions from the audience.

Regards,

D
Magic Patrick
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Jack Murray,

I think that you should make it with your "no bolt" method. I haven't recieved my KK but once I do and see your work first hand I would be interested in the Zig Zag.

All,

The zig zag has been exposed on Fox but everytime I show it the crowd goes wild. It is one of the best tricks of all time.

Patrick
Steven True
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Wow, Didn't know there was so many Zig Zag people out there. It was my very first large scale illusion and I used the heck out of it. I bought it at Hollywood Magic in Calif. and loved it. It always got a really good reception. Mine did not have the little door on the middle box but people where always amazed when they saw it. Mine also was built with th epiano hinges and it made it really nice for transportation. It set up fast and broke down just as fast. A great illusion and one I am sure we will be seeing for many years to come. I have never seen the others, Cube Zag or Modern Art but there is just something about the lady that will never go away. Wow, I need to get out more often I think. hehehe

Steven
Magic Patrick
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Steven,

take a look at Jack Murray's Dream-illusions.com. Look at the Konundrum Kube. This is another instant classic. Good luck with your shows in the future.

Patrick
Beaudini Magic
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Hello Everyone,

I had heard discussions about the Zig Zag manufacturing rights in the past, but now I am really beginning to wonder. I own a Chalet Zig Zag, and must say that it is my favorite illusion. Over the years I have seen numerous zig zags from reputable manufacturers like: Owen Magic Supreme, Chalet, Oz Illusions, Dream Illusions, Wellington Enterprises, and many more. I understand that two wrongs do not make a right, but what is the true story here? Are all of these professional builders infringing on Harbins creation, or is the illusion now public domain? Any more input would be greatly appreciated, as this discussion has me perplexed.

Sincerely,

Beau Alexander
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
markparker
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Depends if the builders have been commissioned to build one by a harbin book owner which would be fine or just selling the illusion for commercial profit, that's how I see it. Some builders may just display zig zags they have built, to show off their prop build quality.
http://www.illusion-designer.com - Bespoke Illusion design - Publications -Show consultancy....Vivify a collection of stage illusions limited edition of 500 copies available now.
Beaudini Magic
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Thank You Mark,
I now understand that there is no real way to verify which builders have been commissioned to build a zig zag from the Harbin book. I was always under the asumption that the zig-zag was public domain, because I have seen so many builders who build them. So the rights to manufacture zig zags belong to the magic circle? This is a very interesting thread, thank you for your input.

Sincerely,

Beau Alexander
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
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