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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Let there be magic! » » New Tricky Bottles Version (Please Help) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Christopher Lyle
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Inner circle
Dallas, Texas
5698 Posts

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So..., I'm venturing into new territory here and was curious about how to proceed. First..., the story and I'll try to be brief.

I have always enjoyed performing Tricky Bottles (topsy turvy). I think the effect is killer when done correctly. It not only fries kids, but adults as well. Hands down...it's just a great bit.

About 20 years ago, I saw someone performing this using Champagne Bottles. Very elegant. I never could find out who made them or where to buy them. Just kept hitting dead ends. About 2 years ago, I found out they were made by Sterling Magic which I have been told is no longer around. They made a small handful of these and were quickly discontinued (again...so I've been told). Also around the same time, a Café' member contacted me offering to sell me one of his two sets. I jumped at the chance and dropped about $80 I think on a Sterling Tricky Bottle Set. I got the set and in my opinion..., they were crap! Don't mis-understand...the set was in showroom condition..., but the set was just poorly made in my opinion. I've only used that set a few times and the paint is chipping off the bottles, the labels are very faded, etc.

So, I decided to make my own set. Fellow Magi..., these bottles are an absolute work of art. They are 100x better than any Tricky Bottle set on the market..., past or present. Very Pro and I would wager to guess that any professional would jump at the chance to own a set of my bottles.

So I got to thinking..., maybe sell my version to the masses. I went to a local winery out here and they have agreed to donate their base labels, neck labels, and corks to this project (free publicity for them).

So my two questions are:

1. Since I didn't invent tricky bottles, am I legally allowed to sell/profit off of the effect? I'm not bringing anything new to the table. Two Tubes/Bottles and the standard Tricky Bottles Gimmick. But my version far exceeds any other version ever made...including Sterling Magic (hands down).

2. If I were to mass produce these, what would be the interest from the Magic Community. Would there be any demand for something like this? Is there anyone out there that would prefer to perform this effect with more elegant props vs. the standard Grant's Black Cherry Soda?

I'm not offering a new routine with this..., just selling the nicer props is all. I guess I just don't know where to go from here...

Christopher
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
randirain
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Inner circle
Fort Worth, TX
1627 Posts

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I got to see these last night in performance during our variety show.

These are really nice.
They looked great and the audience had good reactions to them.

At this time they are just a prototype, but actually a nice prototype.
I also know the guy he is going to get to make them.
He is a master metal worker.

If there is anyone out there that is interested in doing a better version, look into these.

There is nothing unethical about selling these.

This trick has been public domain for awhile now.
Chris has found that out since he wrote this post too.

I bet Brad Henderson would have a hard time finding the origin.
HEHE.

Randi
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Christopher Lyle
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Inner circle
Dallas, Texas
5698 Posts

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OMG! A plug from Randi Rain...wow!!!! My ego just got a boost! Awesome! Thanks Randi for you kind words on my bottles.

Just to clairify, I will be outsourcing the making of both the outer tubes and gimmick but the bottles and all the artwork on the tubes/gimmick will be done by me at my in house shop.
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
truthteller
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2586 Posts

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The gauntlet has been thrown?

The original idea of a "do as I do" bottle effect goes back to the Tipsy Turvy Bottles. While several companies made various versions, Whaley credits to invention to Abbott's. (Albo refers to this as the Topsy Turvy Bottle, just FYI.)The method in these earlier versions was different than that employed by U.F. Grant in his "Tricky Bottles." This is the version with which most of us are familiar today. I believe (though cannot confirm at this moment) that Grant/MAK magic sold an "Imperial" Tricky bottles using Champagne bottles. Of course, I could be confusing this with their Imperial Passe Passe bottles which I know for a fact used the Champagne bottles. I moved in March and cannot locate my MAK catalog collection at the moment.

While there is no stated time limit that an idea reaches public domain, I suppose one could contact the MAK company who owns the rights to the UF Grant material. Would they really even have a say in the matter? Not sure. Given what I "think" I know about the item, I would "think" it would be open for new versions - but I could be wrong.

Brad

(Randi - do I get a prize?)
randirain
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Fort Worth, TX
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Hehe... It took awhile, but I knew you would chime in eventually.

Randi
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truthteller
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Had been away from the Café until today. Thanks for rubbing my lamp.

B
OHCollector
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132 Posts

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MAK's Imperial Passe used 7 Up bottles, not to be confused with their Passe 7-Up, a smaller version. The passe effect with champagne bottles was called Imperial Tricky Champagne.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

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There is a version of a topsy-turvy bottle that uses a method somewhat similar to that more mechanical thing that Abbotts Magic Co. put out years ago. It is described (I think) in "Successful Conjuring For Amateurs", by Norman Hunter. It's a fairly old book. I have it here, but will have to dig into a few boxes to find it, and I'll check the copyright date.

Not saying who owns the rights to what, but magic dealers have in the past and still do claim many things. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are just loud.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Spellbinder
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

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It seems to me that a completely new version of Tricky Bottles could be made using the clear Norm Neilson coke bottles; http://www.magic.org/store/product_info.php?products_id=6208

He also makes a bottle that is full, and at the end, you could do a switch for a real coke bottle (if you can find one still around) to open and pour out a drink as a finale.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
stijnhommes
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568 Posts

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Contacting the original rights holders can't hurt, but I don't see how they can complain about someone producing a gimmick if they have actually discontinued producing them. Doing so would in no way harm their work unless they decide to put it back on the market.
Phil Tawa
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Regular user
Mass.
103 Posts

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I believe it would be public domain. If it works like a music copyright. 50 yrs.
Public domain. That law is changing all the time,(like taxes) but last time I was involved in it. And yes there is a demand for any quality magic apparatus. You would have to cater to pros but that's great.Whatever you do. If you make these and they work out for you only release stuff you feel the same about.
If a see so and so on the product I usually have a it's got to be good get it attitude or an I've been burnt by this guys #%@* to many times. I don't believe it.
Good luck. Let me know how you made out as it's been a while since your post.
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
9495 Posts

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Jim Swoger invented Tricky Bottles and Grant put them on the market. Jim made 15,000 sets from the early 50s to the 70s. He used to go to the V.F.W. at 3:00 am and get all the empties.

I have a letter from Grant to Swoger stating that the bottle trick was great but that Jim should put the labels on both ends of the gimmick because the magicians were lifting the tube on the wrong side. If you think about it there is no need to use the gimmick when the bottom of the bottle was down but apparently it's just easier that way.

Jim Swoger is the undisputed originator. Then O'Neil, who was working for Grant, went out on his own and started making them (along with a bunch of other Grant items and Grant didn't stop him), Then MAK made them... and eventually 50 others too. Abbotts model (came out after the original) worked differently so they claimed it was a different trick, but the effect is the same, except you can't switch bottles,

Tricky Bottles were debuted at the 1951 (I believe that's what Jim said) IBM convention in Chicago.
Hitch
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New user
Magical Arts and Design, LLC
9 Posts

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Who can tell me currently (5/31/12) who puts out the very best (real looking) trickey bottle set or topsy turvy set. I am also looking for a Bob Kline Bottoms Up in great shape. Any help is appreciated. Hitch
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