Way back in 2021 there was some discussion of the Tommy Wonder Vanishing Birdcage by JM Magic on The Magic Cafe. In their advertising they say that it’s exactly like in the book, and I bought one of sets from the first run. The cage wasn’t made right and neither was the pull, and I mentioned this is a thread on The Magic Cafe.
I probably get an email every couple months about this post and just got one and figured I would share my most recent response with my experience with the cage. Before you read my thoughts and experience on the Tommy Wonder Vanishing Birdcage by JM Magic, I want to be clear that I’ve heard they’ve correct some (possibly all) of the issues below.
The message begins below:
Yes, that’s the TW cage set I was referring to. I bought one from the first run and when I brought up the issue with the reel not having the second lock, here’s their reply:
MESSAGE FROM THEIR REP IN THE USA:
We are aware of the second lock. It has two functions as described in the book: “They guide the cord as it winds around the reel-drum, and they halt the cord-stop, so that the ratchet arm can lock it in place.”
But we found two problems when we made it according to the book.
The first is that the locking device will produce a certain resistance, hinder the cord to pull back, and will wear the cord, make the cord break very soon. If that happens, we need to replace the cord frequently, and that will increase the risk of breaking the cord during the performance.
The second is that our reel’s pulling force is large enough, the gravity of the cage or other forces will not pull the cord out, only when people pull the cord out. So the lock is dispensable and will produce additional friction.
It’s great for making yourself and repairing yourself but people do not want to “buy” a product that they will constantly have to fix. This was the case with the double lock.
For this reason, we have made the following improvements: In order to reduce the friction between the cord and other parts when the line is pulled back, we made a rubber pad at the opening of the tube, and the inner part of the housing is chamfered.
Therefore, based on the above considerations of friction, service life and functionality, we did not make this locking deviceJM Magic USA rep
Their response is 100% BS, first of all it contradicts their marketing that the props are exactly like what’s in the book. If they made it correctly, there is no issue…AND their reel definitely wasn’t strong enough to resist the force of the vanish without giving out some line.
Then a few days later I got this email from their main email.
MESSAGE FROM JM MAGIC
Thank you very much for your purchase and feedback.
After receiving your feedback, our team studied the problem again and found that the problem is very serious, so we will make a new version of the reel as soon as possible, and add this second lock. Then we will contact our agent, who will contact you to send back the reel and replace it for the new version.
We think you are a person who knows TW’s props very well. Are there any other problems with the vanishing birdcage you received?
And your insight makes us do better. In order to express our gratitude, we will send you another set of props made by our team. Could you provide us with your address?
Hope ur replyJM Magic (asia)
OK, so they’ve admitted they’ve made it incorrectly. They never sent me a replacement set as they promised two years ago, however here was my reply with the things wrong with it. I replied with the other issues with the set, like the double action pull being made wrong and parts of the cage being made backwards, so you can’t hold it properly. The attached pics are what are referenced in the following email:
MY MESSAGE TO JM MAGIC
The “Single action double action” pull that came with my birdcage set was made incorrectly. I attached a picture titled: pull
The pull that I received had the cord stop circled in the green placed on the wrong side of the pulley. It was placed where the red dot is, making it non-functioning.
Also for the shoulder strap circled in Blue in the picture wasn’t there. It had a metal pin and loop, that I’m not sure how I was supposed to attach it to my shoulder based on the description in the books.
As for the cage, if you look at the attached picture: cage1
In the picture you will see the two circled pieces. The pieces circled in red and blue are different shapes in the books. The cage I got had two shaped like what I circled in red. Both of those being the same shape makes it very difficult to hold the cage properly. You need the one shaped like what is circled in blue.
Now look at the attached picture: cage2
The rivets in the cage you sent were like what is circled in red. Tommy made them like what is circled in blue. The reason for this reduces the chances they could snag and decreases the wear on the cage with use.
Hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing the this made correctly!Louie
That’s the end of our correspondence, and I never got a replacement set or even a thank you. I have no idea if they corrected the issues or not, however I will not buy anything from their TW line as it’s not how they advertise it as being what’s in the books and are cutting corners.