The Right Thing?

Badlands Bob

There are few things we won’t discuss on the pages of Inside Magic.  We do avoid politics but talk about religion.  We try not to criticize but do offer suggestions for improvement.  We do promote new magic but are ever-mindful of the property rights of inventors. 

 

We received a note from George Robinson, Jr., owner / inventor / manufacturer behind Viking Magic of McAllen, Texas.  Mr. Robinson cares about quality as much as he cares about the ethics of magic.  Along with Walter “Zaney” Blaney, he has fought the good fight to stop those who would profit from another magician’s idea. 

 

Mr. Robinson wanted to bring to our attention that he believed his “Badlands Bob” effect had been appropriated and renamed as “Obedient Die.”  I owned a Badlands Bob and thought the world of the effect.  It is well-made, has a great story, and works well in intimate close-up and the prop itself looks aged and authentic.  

 

I looked for the Obedient Die and found it listed on the magic producer, Magic Makers, website.  I found a dealer who was selling the effect in the retail market.  I contacted the retail dealer and asked if it was a rip-off of the Badlands Bob, and if it was, that he stop selling it.  He wrote to me that it was not a “rip-off” and that he had proof that he had rights to sell the effect. 

 

Mr. Robinson told me that he too had rights to sell the effect.  He had purchased the rights from the original manufacturer ? a gentleman with failing eye sight ? a while back.  The website, on the other hand, listed the new “Obedient Die” as an “Age Old Magical Puzzle” and therefore, the logic would follow, outside of the proprietary rights of one inventor and in the public domain. 

 

The Obedient Die sells for $12.95 and is manufactured by Magic Makers of Carson City, Nevada.  Mr. Robinson’s Badlands Bob costs $45.00 and is made through his Collector’s Workshop in McAllen, Texas. 

 


The Obedient Die
Badlands Bob

There are few things we won’t discuss on the pages of Inside Magic.  We do avoid politics but talk about religion.  We try not to criticize but do offer suggestions for improvement.  We do promote new magic but are ever-mindful of the property rights of inventors. 

 

We received a note from George Robinson, Jr., owner / inventor / manufacturer behind Viking Magic of McAllen, Texas.  Mr. Robinson cares about quality as much as he cares about the ethics of magic.  Along with Walter “Zaney” Blaney, he has fought the good fight to stop those who would profit from another magician’s idea. 

 

Mr. Robinson wanted to bring to our attention that he believed his “Badlands Bob” effect had been appropriated and renamed as “Obedient Die.”  I owned a Badlands Bob and thought the world of the effect.  It is well-made, has a great story, and works well in intimate close-up and the prop itself looks aged and authentic.  

 

I looked for the Obedient Die and found it listed on the magic producer, Magic Makers, website.  I found a dealer who was selling the effect in the retail market.  I contacted the retail dealer and asked if it was a rip-off of the Badlands Bob, and if it was, that he stop selling it.  He wrote to me that it was not a “rip-off” and that he had proof that he had rights to sell the effect. 

 

Mr. Robinson told me that he too had rights to sell the effect.  He had purchased the rights from the original manufacturer ? a gentleman with failing eye sight ? a while back.  The website, on the other hand, listed the new “Obedient Die” as an “Age Old Magical Puzzle” and therefore, the logic would follow, outside of the proprietary rights of one inventor and in the public domain. 

 

The Obedient Die sells for $12.95 and is manufactured by Magic Makers of Carson City, Nevada.  Mr. Robinson’s Badlands Bob costs $45.00 and is made through his Collector’s Workshop in McAllen, Texas. 

 

The Obedient Die

It would be logical at this point to pick sides.  I could tell you who I believe but I don’t know that this information would be relevant to any issue here.  I do know that there is a tremendous price differential between Mr. Robinson’s Badlands Bob and the Obedient Die.  $31.00 is a pretty hefty difference.  Either Mr. Robinson is being denied that difference or he is not entitled to it because he has over-priced his version of the “Age Old Magical Puzzle.” 

 

So what is the responsibility of the buyer?  Should the buyer simply compare prices or make their own determination as to who is being accurate?  Assume that both versions work equally well and with both, you can tell the story of Badlands Bob.  Assume, further, that you do not care to have the effect handcrafted out of teak wood and aged to look like a museum piece.  Given all of that, wouldn’t you be foolish to pay the extra $31.00 for Mr. Robinson’s version? 

 

I don’t think so.  I think there is something to be said for rewarding those who push our art forward.  Mr. Robinson has done exactly that ? and often.  He is meticulous about seeking out and purchasing the rights to manufacture or sell effects.  He produces well-made magic at reasonable prices once you factor in the value of the secret, the materials used and effect itself. 

 

Mr. Robinson has been selling Badlands Bob for quite a while.  The Obedient Die is something that has been recently put on the market.  I am not suggesting that Magic Makers’ claim that this is an Age Old Magical Puzzle is inaccurate or misleading.  I am not suggesting that the company does not have the right to sell its version of the effect.  I am suggesting, however, that as an informed consumer, you have the right to choose between the two effects.  You can do your own research and make your own determination on the question of who has the right to sell the effect.  You should decide whom you want to reward with your hard-earned money. 

 

As I mentioned earlier, I purchased the Badlands Bob from Mr. Robinson a while ago.  Even with the advent of a newer, and lower-priced, version of the prop, I think I was right in making the decision I did. 

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