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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Shellraiser DVD and Royal Magic shell (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Jersey Shore
2693 Posts

Profile of sethb
A few years ago, I purchased the "Shellraiser" DVD by Royal Magic, which included a "free" half-dollar ] gaff. The DVD was pretty good, but I put the gaff away at the time to pursue some other effects.

After recently buying the "Victorian Coins & Glass" DVD, I pulled out a Johnson ] gaff and also happened upon the Royal gaff. As I started working out the details and sleights of the Harbottle routine, I had a chance to compare the two gaffs. Now, I know the Royal gaff took a lot of heat here at the Café'. That's because unlike the Johnson gaff, it was not made from an actual coin, but was instead stamped from a piece of metal. And sure enough, one look at the interior of the Royal gaff confirmed that fact.

But what matters with the gaff is what the spec sees, not what the magi sees!! In comparing the two gaffs, I thought the surface detail in the Royal gaff was stronger and far superior to the Johnson. The Royal gaff also covered the coin more completely than the Johnson one did. The Royal gaff seems slightly lighter than the Johnson one, but not enough to affect its handling, in my opinion. The only downside to the Royal gaff is that the rim is completely silver, and so it doesn't have the thin copper line that an actual half dollar has. However, I don't think this detail would be obvious or telling to 95% of laymen seeing it in action.

I can't comment on the strength or durability of the Royal ] versus the Johnson ], because I haven't been using it that long. But the Royal gaff seems to be fairly strong -- gentle pressure doesn't bend or deform it. And the Royal gaff fits just as nicely as the Johnson one does on any half that I've tried. Pricewise, the Royal gaff and DVD is $27, the Johnson gaff alone is $32, a $5 difference (I don't know if Royal sells the gaff by itself). Of course, for more money, you can probably buy even better gaffs from Lassen or Schoolcraft, but at this price point, the Royal gaff seems to be a pretty good value.

I know that Johnson stuff is generally considered top-of-the-line in its price range, and in fact I own a fair amount of other Johnson gaffs. But if the Royal gaff is durable, I think it is superior in some respects to the Johnson one, mainly because of the good detail. With a little dirt rubbed on the surface to "age" the shell somewhat, it really is quite convincing --- and isn't that the ultimate job of a good coin gaff? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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DC area native, now in Atlanta
1943 Posts

Profile of inigmntoya
The "stamped" ones can be found for $10-$15 each. Nathan Kranzo used to sell them (not sure if he still does). If it's the tails side, they can (very briefly) be displayed empty, mouth-up and it still looks like a coin. Fine for less discriminating audiences, performing in places like bars or restaurants w/out good lighting, etc., but nothing that would stand up to an observant spectator, especially if it requires sitting side by side with a real half for any length of time. Great for practice if you're prone to dropping (or losing) things, but I personally would go with one made from a real coin. One less thing to possibly be noticed.
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Profile of videoman
Interesting comparison but for the price difference I'd still go with a Johnson.
Maybe you can simulate a copper edge on the Royal gaff because if you are correct about 5% of specs would notice, that is too high a percentage for me to br comfortable with.
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Ridley Park, PA
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Profile of J-Mac
The Royal gaff that came with ShellRaiser - at least the one I received - wouldn’t fit around most half-dollars I tried with it. Coins would invariably get stuck in it!

The only duty it has ever seen for me was using double stick tape to put it behind a lapel for David Roth's One Coin Flurry.

Doctor Xombie
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FL (formerly Planet X)
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Profile of Doctor Xombie
I just picked this set up and 2 out of the 3 coins I tried with it got stuck inside, but I'll just try a few more coins 'till I find ones that work properly.
I'd say it's well worth the price though as I'm just learning this method so it's definitely a good starting point for me.
-Roger "The Doctor"

Doctor Xombie & Roger Boyes -Author
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8511 Posts

Profile of funsway
I used mine to make a sorta C/S gaff with a Chinese Coin glued in and a flesh color dot in the middle.

I always figured the supplied Royal Shell was just for practice. The sound alone prevents me from using it live, but the new gaff works OK.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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