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The Drake
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The one thing that I don't think anyone has brought up yet regards knockoff tables or any other knockoff prop for that matter is how they saturate and dilute the industry and the impact the illusion has for the owners of the legit props.

I was the very first person in my area to have a Losander Table. It cost me a pretty penny and back then was a stretch for me to afford. I thought of it as an investment however because I wanted to stand out as " the guy with the floating table" in my area and market that as something unique. I had a pretty good run for a while and my table paid me back many times over on both durability, investment and "WOW" factor.

Eventually knockoffs started to pop up and every newbie, kid and wanna be was getting one and including it in their act. Poorly I might add. Most of the knockoffs don't come with any sort of instruction or coaching tips and you can sure tell from the crappy performance. In addition to the terrible performances is the fact that almost EVERYONE has a floating table (because of the knockoffs ) now and it's becoming something that audiences have seen before.

Every time a knockoff is purchased or sold Losander is getting ripped off and those who paid the legit fee to the legit person are also getting ripped off because their investment is being diminished. This goes for every proprietary illusion out there.
Quote:
On 2011-10-04 16:57, illusionman2 wrote:
Tim : he bought one what else do you want??

Hello James,

Long time no talk. Good to hear from you. To answer your question..... GOOD for him that he bought a legit one. I just wish he hadn't sold the knockoffs and contributed to the problem.
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Quote:
On 2011-10-04 17:02, The Drake wrote:
The one thing that I don't think anyone has brought up yet regards knockoff tables or any other knockoff prop for that matter is how they saturate and dilute the industry and the impact the illusion has for the owners of the legit props.

I was the very first person in my area to have a Losander Table. It cost me a pretty penny and back then was a stretch for me to afford. I thought of it as an investment however because I wanted to stand out as " the guy with the floating table" in my area and market that as something unique. I had a pretty good run for a while and my table paid me back many times over on both durability, investment and "WOW" factor.

Eventually knockoffs started to pop up and every newbie, kid and wanna be was getting one and including it in their act. Poorly I might add. Most of the knockoffs don't come with any sort of instruction or coaching tips and you can sure tell from the crappy performance. In addition to the terrible performances is the fact that almost EVERYONE has a floating table ( because of th knockoffs ) now and its becoming something that audiences have seen before.

Every time a knockoff is purchased or sold Losander is getting ripped off and those who paid the legit fee to the legit person are also getting ripped off because their investment is being diminished. This goes for every proprietary illusion out there.


Tim I will tell you when I was a teanager I put a zombie gimmick on EVERYTHING I mean everything.
The Drake
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Quote:
On 2011-10-04 17:08, illusionman2 wrote:

Tim I will tell you when I was a teenager I put a zombie gimmick on EVERYTHING I mean everything.

WOW... that must have hurt! Smile
Quote:
On 2011-10-04 16:57, illusionman2 wrote:

Tim : he bought one what else do you want??

Ok.. I had my little laugh now so I will answer the question better. Well James to be perfectly honest with you I have a lot more respect for someone when they put the art of magic, fellow performers and respect for inventors ahead of a few measly bucks. I remember when someone I have a lot of respect for was faced with a similar situation and he did this!
http://illusionman.8k.com/photo_1.html Now that is what I call CLASS!
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YES.. Nice to have you back, like old time.
Best
James
Quote:
On 2011-10-04 17:23, The Drake wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-10-04 16:57, illusionman2 wrote:

Tim : he bought one what else do you want??

Ok.. I had my little laugh now so I will answer the question better. Well James to be perfectly honest with you I have a lot more respect for someone when they put the art of magic, fellow performers and respect for inventors ahead of a few measly bucks. I remember when someone I have a lot of respect for was faced with a similar situation and he did this!
http://illusionman.8k.com/photo_1.html Now that is what I call CLASS!

my point when I think something is wrong I trash it.., that tell you how I think about this??
The Drake
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HI James,

It's been a while and my memory is poor on the subject but I am guessing you are speaking of the " does Losander deserve credit for the floating table" debate. I'd like to keep that for a different thread I consider that a different topic. The $350 tables we are talking about here are total copies and were made to look exactly like authentic losander tables. They are not just a table with a zombie gimmick but exact clones, copied from the original design. I am assuming they event have the special Tommy Wonder/Losander Gimmick that didn't exist before Tommy invented it so in that case I think they can truly be classified as knockoffs. Losander pays the Tommy Wonder estate for each table sold.

Best,

Tim
Matt Adams
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Quote:
On 2011-10-04 17:02, The Drake wrote:
Every time a knockoff is purchased or sold Losander is getting ripped off and those who paid the legit fee to the legit person are also getting ripped off because their investment is being diminished. This goes for every proprietary illusion out there.


Here's my thoughts on this. It'd be AWESOME if we could just limit secrets (and we used to do a better job) but people are smart nowdays and the internet can tell you almost everything. Smile So knock-offs are bound to start. But what if the creators didn't charge so much? I mean...what if they were actually creating magic and then figuring out a better way to produce it in volume. Heck, the Chinese are doing SOMETHING right over there. If the creators weren't charging such crazy expensive prices then I'm quite sure that people would pay a little extra for the original effect. But come on...look at "Wow" by Masuda. Really? $70? Dude...it cost him a buck to make. Figure out a way to mass produce it and sell it for 10. Many people would happily pay 10 bucks for a real one instead of buying a fake at 5. But $70?!! And that's just a closeup effect. And even after knock-offs it's STILL going for about $50. And when guys are charging thousands for a prop that doesn't even cost a hundred bucks to make then they are ripping US off. They can certainly charge whatever they want...but it only leads to knock-offs because there's no real value there.

I completely understand about craftsmanship and time and all that...but you can't expect people to not copy you just cause you are clever enough to make an effect. And I'll tell ya, the BIG guns (Steinmeyer, Gaughan, etc) aren't as concerned as all of us because they keep creating specialized effects for individual customers that can pay the extra for the sole performing rights. So anyway, I guess my main point is that the creators need to be a bit more realistic and figure out a way to produce their magic more "in-mass" if they are TRULY concerned about knock-offs. It's easier to sell ONE illusion for a thousand bucks than selling a a hundred illusions for 10 bucks. But it's still the same amount of money. They aren't losing out IF they capitalize on the mass production, but that's another side of the business that many don't want to think about.

Anyway, some rambling thoughts.
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Tim ;; have you seen the look alikes???mine looks nothinging like his table
Matt Adams
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Mine does... Smile

That's one thing...knockoffs don't try to be different at all. Lol

Posted: Oct 4, 2011 7:33pm
Thought about this some more. The real problem I have with knockoffs is that they are selling the secret too cheap. Basically you buy a prop and get the secret for free. In an original, you buy the prop and pay out your nose for the secret. I have no problem with that! But I hate that guys will come along and sell the secret for cheap. It's just business to them, I suppose. But I wish there was a way to keep the secrets out of the hands of the "normal" people.
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The Drake
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Quote:
On 2011-10-04 18:09, illusionman2 wrote:
Tim ;; have you seen the look alikes??? mine looks nothing like his table

I know. It's the ones that look JUST like his that I have the biggest problem with.
The Drake
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On 2011-10-04 19:33, Matt Adams wrote:
But I hate that guys will come along and sell the secret for cheap. It's just business to them, I suppose. But I wish there was a way to keep the secrets out of the hands of the "normal" people. Smile

With all due respect Matt. Didn't you do exactly that when you put your knockoffs on ebay?
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Thanks for the respect! Smile Great question and very valid. Here's my view on it. I don't get to set the prices. The creator does that. And then NEW prices are set by the guys in China (typically). So the secret of the floating table is now worth about 300 bucks. Technically you can find it for free if you look hard enough, I'd imagine. But it goes for 300 or more on eBay depending on the quality of the table. Anyway, now that the market has been saturated and the going rate has been established, enter the businessman. Me. I'm just joining the fray at this point. I neither dictate the prices nor lower the values of the going rates. HOWEVER, I wouldn't DREAM of putting an effect on the market that isn't widely distributed already. So basically I would NOT take a market of ONLY Losander tables and then find a wholesaler who sells an authentic Losander for 200 and then turn around and resell for anything less than Losander would himself. That wouldn't be fair. Similarly, I wouldn't take an illusion that isn't widely available and just randomly set a price to simply make 50 bucks on the sale. I'd sell it for retail or not at all. Does that make sense? So in this case, I cannot stop the knockoff floating tables, neither can I set the value. And since the market is already saturated, it's just business to get in on the action. I'm not selling the secret for cheap. I'm selling it for the "new" retail which is (VERY unfortunately) now about 300 bucks. Smile

And I totally know that many people wouldn't agree with that idea. But that's just where I am at the moment. But I may change my mind later! Smile
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The Drake
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Hello Matt,

WOW.... I don't really know in which direction to go next as there are so many forks in the road. I'll take a stab at it if you don't mind.

So you say that those who pirated Losanders table are setting the price? Does this mean if I study your act and replicate it and offer it to clients in your area for a fraction of what your cost is that is " just business"? Now.. I'm talking about an act that didn't exist on the market before you spent time and effort creating and perfecting it. Sure... magic acts existed and maybe some that were close to yours but I'm talking about an exact copy word for word of your patter, presentation, message, costuming... everything. Would it be ok for them to set the price that you charge clients? Would you think that's just business or unfair since YOU created a unique show designed to support you and your family for some time to come.

If someone started doing that and offered YOUR exact act to others for sale to other magicians so they could also perform it would that be ok as well? I imagine you don't have a patent on it and it would be legal but would you think that is right?

Now the kid next door wants to make a few bucks and starts to put your act on ebay to sell to other magicians and asks you what you think. Would you say... " Sure that's business.. go for it" or would you say.. " Please don't because it will cheapen my business and also affect my bookings"

Matt... I want to thank you for keeping this topic civil. It can be a hot topic and I am one who believes everyone has their opinion, sometimes they change and sometimes they don't but disrespect and flames serve no useful purpose. Thanks for not falling into that trap.

I'd love to hear your answers to the above questions when you have a chance.

Best,

Tim
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Well said Drake and I also loved this point.

_________________________________________________
The one thing that I don't think anyone has brought up yet regards knockoff tables or any other knockoff prop for that matter is how they saturate and dilute the industry and the impact the illusion has for the owners of the legit props.
_________________________________________________

I love it when people that have owned a knock -off Suspended Animation or any other prop for that matter turn around after they own the real thing and say to me that there are other rip off performers in there area (home town) and can I please do something about it. It's only then that they realize how much harm the knock off damage our business or as you put it Drake dilute the effect.
The Drake
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Gentlemen ( John and Matt )

I will be away for a show for most of Wednesday so I won't be able to participate in much discussion then but look forward to returning to the topic when I return.

Take Care,

Tim
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Tim, I too appreciated the non-flaming route. Smile

To answer your question - you may not believe me, but if someone "stole" my show I'd just go talk to them. I'd tell them that it doesn't help "magic" and that while I appreciate the flattery, the world already has a Matt Adams. It needs one of THEM. If they still didn't listen and then started profiting by selling my act on eBay then I'd do two things - kick myself for not selling my patter earlier and come up with a completely new act. In fact, I try to change my show SUBSTANTIALLY every single yearto keep things fresh for my repeat clients. So when someone steals "my" material, I'd just make more. It's a never-ending cycle, but the only ones who truly hurt there are the rip-off artists who rarely are as good as the original, and the clients, who are not getting a quality program because it's much harder to present someone else's program than to present your own!

Love the analogy, but I imagine you can see my point. But it's probably much easier to come up with a strong program year after year rather than a brand new effect. But then, Callen Morelli did it every DAY! ...and thus landed a job with my idol - the great DC himself. Heh. Smile

Posted: Oct 5, 2011 2:20am
Talking about secrets - I hate (and love?) that the Internet is so easy for people to use to figure out magic. They could watch my show, google the floating table on their iPhone and have the method before I even finish my routine. BUT most people don't. It's weird. There are actually a LARGE number of people that don't want to know how it's done! I can hardly believe that because I'm the total opposite. Lol. But there are several types out there - the puzzle solvers who like the challenge, the magicians who just gotta know, the tv junkies who love magic cause it's like tv without the camera effects, an so on. I realize that while I hate the masked magician with a passion, he has not been able to single-handset destroy magic (though he is trying).

...man, why is it my fav topics are religion and politics. (in magic, that's knock-offs and the masked magician)

Quote:
On 2011-10-04 23:45, John Taylor wrote:

The one thing that I don't think anyone has brought up yet regards knockoff tables or any other knockoff prop for that matter is how they saturate and dilute the industry and the impact the illusion has for the owners of the legit props.

Well, we mentioned that but I guess in regards to ME personally, I don't participate in an unsaturated market just to make money. If the market is already saturated, I may throw in my hat with a decent price and try to make a few bucks. I don't see it actually causing the problem (as the problem is already there). I couldn't argue in any way that it HELPS the problem...but I don't think it hurts us much either at that point. Well, wait...how 'bout this argument - I'm helping magic because I'm taking business away from the knock-off artists by becoming one myself. ...no wait, that argument sucks. Just thinking out loud. Haha. Smile

Posted: Oct 12, 2011 10:11pm
So I got my Losander table! Got to say, quality is MUCH better than the 300 dollar ebay tables. The table is slightly heavier and also just "feels" more durable. The craftsmanship is very good. The only "worry" I'd have is that the cheap tables have a nice locking mechanism for attaching the table top to the rest of the table. Losander's does not. It's just fit together...yikes. I believe the original author of this thread was actually complaining about the locking peg, but I love it. It really gives you a feeling of security. But we'll see how the Losander works for me. I've heard of people left with flying table tops instead of tables and that scares me a bit. Anyway, the table cloth is nicer and the gimmick I'd say is a bit weaker than the "cheap models." I LIKE the gimmick, however, in that it potentially gives you more range of motion. I can't describe why here. The suitcase that the Losander table comes in is almost half the size of the cheap ones and it's much more durable. It also locks. MUCH nicer case. I had intended on keeping my knock-off table for plane trips and overseas tours BUT now that I see the Losander case, I might brave the carryon with my Losander since the case is so great. It's going to be easier to travel with AND I think it will keep the table more secure.

Anyway, that's my review. They all work the same...but Losander has done a great job with the quality - no doubt.
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Ah, then there would be that tricky work “Ethics” Mr. Adams,
let alone another tricky one, individual “Scruples”.

Those aside-- I remember telling mom as a kid:
“If you can’t beat them join them.”
She said:
“If they all jump off a bridge will you do that to.”

So, they are “all” doing a heinous thing-- why not everybody?
Because many want to be an honest light in the darkness.

Facts, not flames,
Walt
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What does all that mean, Walt?

To argue that it's "unethical" then you have to define ethics. Some people would argue that it's not ethical because Losander is widely regarded as the developer of the floating table so he gets the rights to it. Unfortunately we know that doesn't hold up in court or anywhere else. We can scream and cry all we want, but it doesn't make it unethical just because other magicians "feel" it is. So how do you define the ethics/scruples?

Not "arguing" per-se ... actually curious as to WHY you guys believe it's unethical. I could be convinced...I've just never heard a good argument for or against it. The easiest thing (not necessarily right...) is to look at what's actually legal or not. If it's truly illegal, then many people would stop selling them. Anyway, thanks for your input!
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The Drake
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On 2011-10-13 15:39, Matt Adams wrote:
What does all that mean, Walt?

To argue that it's "unethical" then you have to define ethics. Some people would argue that it's not ethical because Losander is widely regarded as the developer of the floating table so he gets the rights to it. Unfortunately we know that doesn't hold up in court or anywhere else. We can scream and cry all we want, but it doesn't make it unethical just because other magicians "feel" it is. So how do you define the ethics/scruples?

Not "arguing" per-se ... actually curious as to WHY you guys believe it's unethical. I could be convinced...I've just never heard a good argument for or against it. The easiest thing (not necessarily right...) is to look at what's actually legal or not. If it's truly illegal, then many people would stop selling them. Anyway, thanks for your input!

Still very limited on time here but I have to jump in. Matt you brought up the " christianity angle" earlier so I feel it is ok for me to touch on that subject. Fair?

I could find a lot of things that are NO-NO's in the bible but they are perfectly legal. Does that mean they have no weight in your view and its open season to do what ever is legal? Would you advise your kids and loved ones that .... If it's Legal ... go for it. ?

Best,

Tim
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Quote:
On 2011-10-13 15:39, Matt Adams wrote:
What does all that mean, Walt?

To argue that it's "unethical" then you have to define ethics.

From Dictionary.com:

1. A system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. Moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. That branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

From Merriam-Webster:

1. The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a : A set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics> <Christian ethics> b plural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c : a guiding philosophy d : a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3 Plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>

I like this one: "The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a... particular group..." Ethics among magicians seems to be much more of a gray area than ethics among many other groups such as doctors, etc. I think that magicians would be less likely to steal the original creation of a friend than the original creations of a stranger.

Someone once said "Character is what you have when no one's looking." Someone else once said "If you have to ask, you probably shouldn't do it." To me, that's ethics in a nutshell.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Matt Adams
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Quote:
On 2011-10-13 15:45, The Drake wrote:

I could find a lot of things that are NO-NO's in the bible but they are perfectly legal. Does that mean they have no weight in your view and its open season to do what ever is legal? Would you advise your kids and loved ones that .... If its Legal ... go for it. ?

Best,

Tim


I was waiting for that point to be brought up. You are spot on. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's ok to do. Now that we have that off the table - WHY...WHY is it wrong? I just don't understand!

Let's break it down. We aren't stealing anything physically. We ARE taking an idea. But the idea isn't protected at all. If it was, then it would be wrong to take it. I just can't figure out how an idea can be "stolen" if you don't go the route of protecting it legally. To say you invented it would be completely stealing...because you didn't. But let's use this example. Just because Newton "discovered" gravity, it doesn't mean NO ONE else can use his discovery. That's dumb! It's just an idea. Losander used OTHER PEOPLE'S ideas and made something new. Cool. I'm sort of arguing about creating "new" material, but I think the point is that using the idea itself isn't stealing, IMO. Am I off here? I'm SO cautious about ethics and things of that sort and I sleep very well at night on this issue. (That does NOT make me right...the point is just that I truly "believe" I'm not wrong. But Hitler believed he was right too. Haha.)

Anyway, thanks for giving me your viewpoints. Here's what I need to know:

If it's "wrong" - tell me the rule we are breaking (and please don't quote "Thou shalt not steal" because I still don't see how this is stealing. If that IS your argument, then show why you consider it stealing.) Who made up this rule? Why do we have to adhere to the rule? Who enforces the rule? Answering these questions will probably help me figure out your "side" of the argument. Thanks again, guys!
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