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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Grand illusion Chopper advice... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bobcape
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Rapid City, SD
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I searched this forum and didn't find the answer I am looking for. I want to add an Arm Chopper or Head Chopper to my parlor and kids show. The only other small illusion I use is a chair suspension. Here are my questions.

1 - I lean towards wanting to add the Head Chopper. Which one do you recommend for value, ease of use and audience appeal?

2 - Which specific model (Dave Johnson's Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, etc.) would you recommend? Where would you buy it?

3 - Are these effects appropriate for children's show with the correct presentation?

Thank you very much for your responses!
Bob
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
Chance Wolf
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Inner circle
2425 Posts

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Bob,
These are tough questions due to the variables.
Regarding WHO to buy from. I recommend a Quality experienced company for any Head Chopper. There are so many mechanical problems that could go wrong and SAFETY is first. In this case, you get what you PAY for and there are some great Head Choppers out there. Do NOT trust the ads...talk to some credible magis, as in this forum, that HAVE the Chopper and get some REAL opinions.
Arm Choppers ( French Arm Chopper etc. ) have less risk and less stress on them mechanically. These are clearly more easy to transport. The problem is, most of the Hand Choppers available are pretty junkie. Masonite and Rivets. They DO WORK...for awhile. I am developing a new French Arm Chopper for Kids Shows. It resolves the BLADE issue as it uses a character as the Chopper. The French Arm Chopper principle is far superior to any other as you can SEE the hand fall into the basket/bag. That is hard to beat. Standard Head Choppers are kind of anti-climatic unless you have a cool hook at the end, which I have read of a few.
"Are these effects appropriate for children's show with the correct presentation?"
In my opinion...ONLY if you have given it some serious routine thought and make sure it passes the PC Police. Maybe review your routine with a few "typical parents" and get some input.
It will be awhile before we release our Hand Chopper as we have so many ideas on the board.
Good Luck!
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

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

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
Bobcape
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Rapid City, SD
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Thanks for your reply Chance! I thought I'd get more responses on this post. Does anyone else have any advice on my questions? Thanks. Bob
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Check out my writings on the Head Chopper. (It on my George Richbark Simplex Chopper.)

The French Arm Chopper is also an excellent illusion. Rich marotti and Twilight Zone have a funny routine on their video with a nice discussion on it.

The patter for either one can be interchangable with slight adjustments and right commical lines.

As for appropriate for kids shows? This is a touchy line. It would be great for a family show where kids are present, but I question a birthday party for 8 year olds. They might like it (most would) but the younger ones there might not.

At my family picnic, one volunteer say to her grandchild (in jest), "Say goodby to grandmom." Well I had to stop let her out and calm down the child. Once that child left the area, the illusion effect played well.

This is a border line question which really hindges on the deliverly and the personality of the entertainer. Yes, dange tricks do work well. I did it for cub scouts and they loved it. It was funny and the Scout master played along. We raised about $150 with this illusion alone.

The larger illusion can be used for stage shows and the smaller for any show. It really is up to you.

Hope this helps.

PS. Chance is right on who to buy from. I got my French Arm Chopper from another magician and I got my head chopper from Denny and Lee. (not cheap)
Dennis Michael
Bobcape
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Rapid City, SD
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Thanks Dennis! This is the info I needed. Did you buy your Simplex Head Chopper from Denny & Lee? I'll continue to look for it. Thanks! Bob
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Vibono Magic
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Vxj,Sweden
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Mephisto in Belgum has a very nice gillutine but I'd think twice and then once again before adding it to a children show.

Jonas Karlsson
Vibono Magic
Sweden
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Yes I bought it from Denny and Lees. Email or call him, I'm sure he can order one for you.
Dennis Michael
J.S.llusionDesigns
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Use a kid with a hat on and when you push down the blades, turn the hat and pretend you are turning his head. Act like you are trying to get in back on then show he is okay.
Joe Smith Illusion Designs
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Also a rose in the mouth of a female volunteer has the same effect.

Denny & Lee just got in an old out of print book:

CHOPPER CAPERS by Walt Hudson-$12.00

If you do a chopper routine of any kind: Head, Arm, Leg, or Finger, then this is a must have book for your routine. 36 pages full of one liners and bits of business for choppers of all kinds. You will also receive the full Disecto routine by Eugene Gloye, Ray-Mond's Guillotine routine, Tom Bowyer's Chinese Chopper Routine, Barry & Jan Yiengst Pet Guillotine routine, Dell O'Dell's patter for the Hand Chopper, Mark Walker's routines for the Leg Chopper and Finger Guillotine, Bill Steinacker's Victim's Revenge switch illusion using the chopper, and the Dave Ross Frankenstein routine for the French Arm Chopper.

This book is a must have if you do any chopper routines.
Dennis Michael
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