Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Expensive Cups

Magicians have a problem with overspending when it comes to props. The problem is particularly bad when it comes to the cups and balls. Many sets cost hundreds of dollars, with the most expensive I've seen being $1275.

Ads for expensive cups brag about the "hand-made," "brushed hard-nickel finish," "engraved gold plated silver," "18k gold leaf," etc. This is silly. The cup's purpose is to be a receptable for a small round object. Vernon often performed with plastic cups that had napkins wrapped around them, and grapes. He didn't need a gold-plated, diamond encrusted, precision weighted piece of junk. Neither does anyone else. But many magicians seem to have more money than sense.

It also annoys me that many of the expensive cups are 'individually numbered,' as if they're some sort of collector's item. What a stupid thing to collect.

And working with fancy cups probably distracts spectators from the actual trick. That is, in the rare event that you have their attention in the first place. Also, if I spent $1275 on a set of cups, I would be so reluctant to let them out of my sight that I would never use them. They're not practical.

Use a cheap $20 aluminum set and the money you save can be put to better use buying Card College, Art of Astonishment, Stars of Magic, Mark Wilson's Guide, The Annotated Magic of Slydini, Revolutionary Card Technique, the Art of Close-up Magic, Expert at the Card Table, Royal Road, and Apocalypse. Or two month's rent.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go practice coins across with my 1898 uncirculated $20 gold pieces.

Check out this excellent piece on the cups and balls at the Magic Whack.


Blogger MagicMafia said...

I've just seen a set of cups run over the $3000.00 mark. AND THEY'RE WOOD!

9:43 PM


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