Here's the video of the original 'Cubism' chop-cup routine:
I'm Dave Forrest - a professional magician/magic creator and proprietor of Full 52 Productions - a company producing products for the magic market since 2005.
Back in 2010 I had an idea. Take the classic magicians prop - the 'chop-cup' - and 'normalise' the prop by swapping the spun metal cup and red crotchet ball (items that are, let's face it, simply screaming 'magic prop') for a regular looking dice cup and a dice. The size and weight were about the same and you could 'justify' the props. Everyone's seen a dice cup, right? Made sense to me...
About three years later, after month after month of R&D and multiple prototypes, I was able to present my 'dice-cup/chop-cup' to the magic fraternity at Blackpool 2013. The product was called 'Cubism' and it was, I'm pleased to say, a HUGE success. The product received rave reviews, was ordered in large numbers by a major wholesaler and very quickly sold out.
As proud as I was of 'Cubism', I wasn't completely satisfied with it on a personal level. That's because, during the several years it took to get 'Cubism' to market, it had occurred to me that, in fact, rather than simply being a single chop-cup, the 'dice/dice cup' combo could (should!) actually be expanded into a full 'three cup set' ala 'cups n' balls'.
But, being a small business, this simply wasn't going to be financially viable. To produce a 'high-end' product and have the retail cost remain reasonable, we'd have to order them made in a massive quantity and simply couldn't afford to take such a risk. Yes, we could have produced only a small number but, that would push up the end retail cost to a point that would be unreasonable.
If only there was some way to guarantee the sale of the units BEFORE we actually went ahead with the manufacture...we could commit to the manufacture run completely risk free!
Look at how much value is added through funding the manufacture of 'Cubism : Maestro' via this Kickstarter campaign:
The 'Cubism' chop-cup - released 4/5 years ago included: One 'chopped' dice cup, two magnetic dice, one blank, two mini's, one medium load and one large load.
Retail price: £69.99
The NEW 'Cubism : Maestro' set - due to start shipping in June 2017 includes: THREE matching dice cups - one 'chopped' and two 'regular'. Two magnetic dice, two blanks, two mini's, THREE medium loads and THREE large loads. All contained within a custom made, presentation case that matches the colours and materials used in the cups. AND you can have a choice of TWO colour combinations - Black/Red OR Brown/Green!
Retail price: £69.99
That's RIGHT! For the EXACT same price you receive a far superior, multi-faceted, custom made product that delivers SO MUCH MORE! And, remember that's compared to the price of a product from FOUR YEARS ago!
Think about this. After the success of 'Cubism' I did a short run of an 'add-on' product - the 'Cubism Expansion Pack'. This set of two additional cups and additional loads basically took your single 'Cubism Chop-cup' and made it into the three cup set I had always envisaged. It retailed at £35 so, previously, the closest thing available to the 'Maestro' set (and it was two separate items - it didn't LOOK anywhere NEAR as good!) would have cost you over £100!
Now, you can have it all in one stunning looking set for £69.99! That's LESS than the original 'Cubism set! (Unless of course you get in on the 'Early Bird' special and then it's only £64.00!)
Anyway, let's talk about some specifics...
The 'auto-flip' dice...
By far the most special aspect of the 'Cubism : Maestro' set and the thing that most magicians have been super-impressed with - the very special 'auto-flip' dice!
The special dice supplied have been meticulously manufactured - each one perfectly and invisibly adapted from a regular, high quality die. And, unlike the usual 'chop' combo where the cup hides a magnet and the ball has a steel core, the 'Cubism : Maestro' system incorporates a magnet in BOTH parts of the prop.
So, what's the advantage? Well, not only are the dice perfectly weighted to 'adhere' and 'dislodge' exactly when you need them to without any overt 'slamming' of the cup but the dice has been modified in such a way as to always display a certain number on top!
So, you can drop the dice in the cup, shake the dice around in the cup - just like you can with a regular dice and dice cup - and when you stop shaking it you can be GUARANTEED of which number is on top! IT ACTS JUST LIKE A LOADED DICE - BUT MORE SURE-FIRE!
AND - with the new 'Cubism : Maestro' set you receive TWO magnetic dice and each of them 'auto-flips' to a different number!
The 'auto-flip' feature is unique to the 'Cubism' props and has multiple uses and applications! You'll amuse yourself endlessly with this cool feature!
The Dice Cups...
The first thing to notice about the cups, and a very deliberate design choice, is that they look so...ordinary!
If we go back and consider the original 'chop-cup' prop - the standard metal cup that every magician owns - there are two fatal flaws.
The first is that the cup LOOKS like a magic prop! There's no other earthly purpose for a cup like that and the only time you ever see one is in the hands of a magician. Therefore the prop itself is screaming at your audience "Hey, I'm not a normal cup!" and so, when abnormal things start happening with that little red ball your audience will make the very reasonable assumption that the cup has something to do with it. And they're not wrong!
Secondly - and this is a BIGGIE - chop-cups are normally made of METAL! Given that the entirety of the mechanical aspect of the method is 'magnetic attraction' is it really such a good idea to have a weird looking metal cup be the vessel by which you will cause things to appear/disappear? I think not.
The dice cup deftly side steps BOTH of these concerns and the more plain and ordinary it looks the better! The dice cups supplied are just the right blend of aesthetically pleasing and completely nondescript. Imagine a simple dice cup. You probably just imagined a 'Maestro' cup! They are above suspicion but still look like nice professional props.
Each cup is made from a robust plastic resin which is then covered externally in a leatherette material in either black or brown with stitch detailing. The inside is finished with a flock material in either red or green respectively. The cups stack together well, are lightweight and extremely durable - they should last you a lifetime.
The supplied chop-cup is indistinguishable (to the untrained eye) from the regular cups.
The magnet in the base of the cup has not simply been glued in place under the internal material but has been carefully mounted inside a levelling 'spacer'. making it perfectly hidden and completely invisible. And, as mentioned before, it has been specially made to perfectly complement the chop dice for perfect handling every time.
The load dice...
The dice are all manufactured by a leading games manufacturer right here in the UK and are of extremely high quality. The larger loads are perfect replicas of the smaller dice so there is no discrepancy between shape or colour. Further, all the dice are made from the same material so the large final load dice (36mm) have good weight to them - it's literally like you took one of the small dice and enlarged it. When you dump one of these into an audience members hand
Having the dice all made by the same company to the same high standard really makes any colour changes or size transformations look perfect. It's obviously a LOT more expensive to have the dice made here in the UK but, it's honestly worth it. It adds a touch of class to the set and when you see and handle the dice yourself, I'm sure you'll agree.
The presentation box...
The box that neatly contains the entire 'Maestro' set is one classy looking container! Made from matching materials to the cups on both the exterior and the interior. The brown/green combo is embossed with 'Cubism : Maestro' in black on the front. The black/red set has the logo embossed in silver.
Some images of the 'Cubism : Maestro' sets:
Risks and challenges
We currently have everything in place to begin the manufacture of Cubism : Maestro.
Every element of the product is being supplied by manufacturers that we have personally dealt with previously, during the production of the original 'Cubism' set.
We have premises and staff and we deal with worldwide shipping on a daily basis.
So, all the parts are in place to begin manufacture. Our biggest challenge is the most obvious one - we need to get the funding in place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)