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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Elite Head Chopper (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Hi All:

I posted this same question on "good, bad, and the garbage" forum, but got no replies. So, I'm hoping someone here can help me.

I have an opportunity to purchase the Elite Head Chopper at a VERY good price. This is the head chopper that Douglas Tilford sells. It's not like a Lester Lake style, but more like the Abbott's Chinese Chopper with with a huge blade.

Can anybody recommend this? Or maybe not recommend it? Any help will be appreciated.

Ron Reid
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
I tried to find this on Tilfords Site but could not.

I never bought from Tilford, but in my opinion his illusions are over priced. I've seen them for a lot less elsewhere on the Internet.

When I asked some pros, whose opinions I respect, they did not have anything nice to say about him, so the only advise given this information is, buyer beware. Hopefully others can shed light on him as a dealer of used props.

As for a chopper illusion, they are funny bits and a nice addition to any collection.
Dennis Michael
mforteath
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New user
Tasmania, Australia
62 Posts

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Is it a bigger version of the finger chopper? That's a good close up trick, so maybe the head chopper would be good on stage.
Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
2240 Posts

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Just looking at the ad in magic magazine. It was readily apparent how it works. My question, however, is if it infringes on an Alan Wakeling patent; it seems to use an identical principal that is one of the claims in the Wakeling patent.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Chance Wolf
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Inner circle
2425 Posts

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Thomas, I have a hard time finding Illusions on Tilford's site that DO NOT infringe on someones patent/building rights. (with the exception of the obvious credible builders)I have managed to succesfully get some HACK items removed from Tilfords site by reporting them to the proper folks in magic. I had purchased a similiar Head Chopper from Tilford MANY years ago, however, it was a Douglas Wayne model ( I think ). It was not bad at all but once again, the principle seemed obvious. I still had fun with it. The biggest problem was surface scratching on the blade in the "secret" area, which kind of eliminated the secret.
Dennis, it is listed under the "new Items" link.
Take care,
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
5279 Posts

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I don’t know if the Elite head chopper is a rip off of the Alen Wakeling patient or not. It also looks like an updated version (as is Alen’s) of the very, very old Chinese Head Chopper put out for years (since the 1940’s) by Abbott’s. The design was by U.F. Grant and the secret and the building plans were sold by Abbott’s both in plan form and in an illusion booklet authored by Grant.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
2240 Posts

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Harry,

Actually, I recognized the "overlap" between the Wakeling patent and much earlier designs. But Wakeling does make claims in a GRANTED patent that appear to be infringed upon by the Tilford release; I'm just curious if anyone else noticed this current "overlap" and if they also question the propriety of the idea.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
(PS. How's the weather down there? I always tell people that our weather is just like yours, only without the rain.)
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Devin Knight
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V.I.P.
2494 Posts

Profile of Devin Knight
I am the actual builder of the Elite Head chopper. This illusion was actually designed by Paul Osborne and appeared in his book Easy Illusions. I'm not sure but I also believe he published the plans in Genii magazine.

When he first released the idea, Douglas Wayne was building them. However they are now out of business. We have taken the plans and improved upon the design a bit and hopefully overcome the scratching of the blades. This improved model has been designed to overcome the jamming that sometimes occurred in the Douglas Wayne model and also Abbott's version.

If you read our ad, full credit is given to Paul Osborne for the original design. Paul's idea is just an improvement over the Grant idea. We've also added a third blade (not in the orginal Osborne plans) to allow the blade to be seen on both sides at any time.

I have designed and built over 15 styles of choppers over the years. Most all of them I have actually used in public shows. I can fully attest the method isn't transparent to the audience. Of all the guillotines we have built this one seems to fool the most people. It also has gotten the best audience reaction from the 15 or so models I used and tested in the past.


Respectfully,
Devin Knight
Illusion Concepts
Smile
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
5279 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
Thanks for the input Devin. Clearing up the “scratching” of the blades is a good addition. My old Abbott’s Chinese Chopper is still working and has never jammed (in over 500 performances). It’s mainly retired and on display in the living room now (an antique like me, don’t you know?!?)

Thomas, the weather down here is truly Alaskan! It is snowing right now in Western Maryland! Go figure! I am so ready for spring!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Devin Knight
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V.I.P.
2494 Posts

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I wanted to state for the record that our company has given Tilford Magic a 3 month exclusive on our new Elite Head Chopper. During that time it is only available from him.

The New Improved French Guillotine being advertised by Hank Lee, Hocus Pocus, Hollywood Magic, Doug Tilford and others is also made by our company. Fun,Inc in Chicago is the official distributor for our French Guillotine. From what we've heard our French Guillotine is the most sold and used guillotine on the market today.

We sincerely thank you for your support of our products through these many dealers. Thanks again.

Devin Knight
Illusion Concepts
Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Thank you all for your input. I have purchased the chopper, and anxiously await its arrival!

Ron Reid
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
5279 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
Ron,

I would be interested in a little review after you have used the prop in actual performance for a while. Give it a fair run and workout and let us know how it troops for you. The pros and cons will be most welcome.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Larry Barnowsky
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Inner circle
Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
4837 Posts

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Regarding Tilford's illusions, I would say they run the gamut from inexpensive to overpriced and the quality varies greatly. As far as Tilford selling copies of other designer's creations I give you the following: Tilford lists an item called the Kiosk Illusion for $3500. This was created by Les Smith of Owen Magic Supreme and has been in their catalog for years. What is so infuriating is Tilford actually stole almost word for word the description from the OMS catalog which is copyrighted. I told this to Alan Zagorsky of OMS The item is still for sale at Tilford so Owen hasn't moved legally to stop them. (I think business is so good at OMS that they don't have time for legal battles). It does show that theft of ideas and willful violation of copyrights is common among some magic dealers.
Chance Wolf
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Inner circle
2425 Posts

Profile of Chance Wolf
Countelmsley, I have almost lost track of the PIRATED Illusions that Tilford features. As I begin my new business creating and building ORIGINAL magic, I only hope that his Hack-Squad strays from my ideas. If they choose to make a feeble attempt at ripping me off, I will make it a personal goal to conjure up the most creative LEGAL counter attack to make their lives a personal Hell in every forum possible. It sure will make Conventions fun if they choose to be in the same room with me. Sorry if this is spinning off but I am AMAZED that Tilford can continue to BLATANTLY sell these Unauthorized Illusions while new organizations,like WAM, seem to be sitting on their butts. I don't mean to slam WAM, but come on, it's been awhile and I see no action. Good job at pointing out the Kiosk History. Every bit of attention and credit to the true creators/owners helps!
Chance Wolf
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
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