1962 I performed at an IBM meeting in Chicago. This is where I met
Theo Bamberg (OKITO). We became friends and over the years he taught
me to build magic. I bought his hand tools, which I still use today.
It is with Okito's permission and approval that I began building
OKITO-NIELSEN products." NN
Items are characterized not only by the specific design of each
trick, but by the use of Oriental decals to decorate the finish.
following effects are all made in the Okito Tradition.
Due to our busy schedule, we can only make a handful each of these
beautiful collectible props.
"Norm's ABC Block"
Effect: An ABC Block is placed into a tube. The block instantly vanishes
and reappears in a hat or container some distance away.
This is the remake of the Okito-Nielsen Coolie Cube, but using an ABC Block and very pretty decals depicting Chinese children playing with blocks.
Norm made a few of these in the 1960s, and made a couple of dozen about 10 years ago.
This time we are making 24 of these. This is a very good, commercial, effect and quite a collectible piece as well.
Tube measures (outer dimensions): 7" x 3-5/8" x 3-5/8"
Block measures: 3" square
View a video demonstration of the effect below:
(Missed detail...I forgot to show the hat empty before doing the trick! Sigh...I suppose you will forgive me, as I realized this after uploading the video on YouTube. And yes, the hat can be shown empty.)
of our favorite columns in MUM
Magazine is Paul Osborne's Shop to Stage,
where he features workshop plans to magic effects that are
"oldies but goodies". He has featured, among others,
a Nite Club Vanish, a set of Buddha Tubes, a Bunny Box, and
in the October 2008 issue he had a Breakaway Box.
Breakaway Box was initially made by National Magic. After
the article appeared in MUM, a good customer of ours contacted
us to request the item. He said: "Wouldn't it be nice
if it were decorated in the 'Okito' style?" Norm had
been working on Okito's Jewel Box Mystery at the time (which
is also scheduled to be ready within a month), and had a few
sheets of wood left from that project. He told our friend:
"Let me see what I can do."
did it! He cut enough material to make only 30 of these Breakaway
Boxes. And he did not spare any costs. These boxes are rich
and beautiful with the traditional lacquered finish, decorated
with the Okito-style Oriental decals and finished with brass
The effect is quite simple. A magician casually shows a box,
spins it around, grabs the top lid and the rear and bottom
panels breakaway from the box, revealing that it is empty.
The magician can even thrust his arm through the box to show
that there is nothing to hide. The box is reassembled, and
after making a magical gesture, the box is reopened and silks
are produced from it.
just finished these and they are ready to be shipped!
and handling for this item is $20. This box will be very well
packed and double-boxed for shipping.
Effect: A magic box sits on a table. Objects can be placed in the box and changed into something else. Alternatively, you may vanish and produce items depending on your routine.
Product notes: This is the box described in Gene Gloye's "Theatrical Magic", published by Magic, Inc. in 1978 - pages 117 - 118.
Because we couldn't find that other manufacturers have not made these, Norm decided to make a few. We have made a total of 10 Change Boxes.
The box dimensions are: 10" x 10" x 10"
They are decorated with Okito-style decals.
Check out Norm demonstrating it...
the end of 2009, George Millward made a total of 17 Chinese
Stick sets which sold out within a few weeks. Unfortunately,
this project was more work than George anticipated, and it
interfered with his magic performing career, so he told us
that we could make them instead.
has been our pet project. We
have completely redesigned the sticks, and we believe that
we have come up with one of the very best sets in the market.
The performer shows two sticks together in his left hand,
each containing tassels attached to the end of a string. It
would seem that both sticks are connected, because when the
magician pulls down on one tassel the other one goes up, and
vice-versa. To prove that the sticks are not connected, the
performer separates them at one end; and yet, he is still
able to pull one tassel down, while making the other tassel
travel upwards. To further prove that the sticks are not connected,
the magician completely separates them, and even while disconnected,
the tassels keep going up and down mysteriously through the
The “Chinese Sticks” is a timeless piece of classic
magic. There have been many different styles of sticks in
the market, and numerous routines have been published in the
magic literature. Each performer adds has his or her unique
touch to this effect. When it is well presented, this can
be quite an entertaining piece of magic.
sticks have the following characteristics:
measure 12” long. This length allows the performer
to put them in his jacket pocket, making the trick more
practical to carry around.
tassels are quite long as well. We chose yellow on the
main sticks for visibility. Yellow is one of the most
visible colors on stage when seen from a distance.
stick contains a hollow screw on the back that allows
you to attach a dummy string and seemingly connect two
sticks together. In his routine, Roy Benson “exposes”
the connection in the back of the sticks, and to prove
that they can be disconnected, he asks an audience member
to take a pair of scissors and cut the string.
third stick is included with this set. Benson
was the first one to add this third stick to his routine.
In the past, in order to make a “Benson set”,
one had to purchase two sets of sticks to obtain a third
one. This third stick allows you to add a “climax”
to the basic presentation of the Chinese Sticks, as well
as a comedic interlude. This set of Okito-Nielsen Chinese
Sticks allows you to perform the Benson Routine.
What makes these sticks special and superior to many models,
is that both the tubing and the weights are made out of
brass. Brass has a lower coefficient of friction, and
it is heavier than other metals.
The weights are beautifully engineered. The strings ride
on small pulleys at the end of the weights, and each weight
rides on sixteen Teflon balls. The balls not only reduce
friction, but also cushion the weights so that these sticks
do not rattle.
the sticks are decorated with Oriental style decals in
the Okito tradition, and they are sealed with a heavy
duty urethane coating.
In our opinion,
the best performer of this classic effect is Roy Benson himself.
Check out the following video!
Two doves or any small object are placed inside a box. The
magician then makes a magic pass over box. The box is spun
forward revealing it completely empty! Everything has vanished!
Over Box was invented by Jack Gwynne in 1928. It is a classic
Okito-Nielsen version is decorated with the Oriental style
decals and sealed with a shiny urethane coating.
box measures 14" x 10" x 5".
hardware is used to enhance the finish, and the swinging doors
are riveted for durability.
made two of these in the 1960s. This time he is only making
a limited edition of 24 boxes.
Basic Effect: The magician shows a box atop a pedestal with four doors. The lid and the doors of the box are open to show that it is empty. Everything is then closed, the magician says the magic words, and a production can be made.
The Okito-Nielsen "Gibson Box" was created by Walter B. Gibson, and originally published in the December 1939 issue of The Sphinx (Volume 38, No. 10, pp. 245 - 246). The effect was titled: The Four Door Production Cabinet. In the article, Mr. Gibson explains how he came up with the effect, and provides the construction details, instructions and variations.
To our knowledge, we are probably the first manufacturer to make this box. We thought it was simple, clever, and applicable to the style of magic and Okito-style decor we offer on our props.
The box measures 6" x 6" x 10". The height is 14" with the pedestal and lid. Most of our Okito-Nielsen items are made in small limited editions. In 2013, Norm made a total of TWELVE units in light blue, which are now sold out. This year, 2015, Norm only made made FOUR red units.
Want to see a demonstration? Check out the link below (The demonstration is that of the previous box, which was blue. The effect is exactly the same, except that the boxes we have for sale now are red):
Basic Effect: The magician shows an empty box with no top and a removable bottom. He puts it back together, waves his hand over the box, and load of silks appears.
Because of the way it works, the magician is also able to vanish a silk or transform it into another object.
The "Jap Box" is a very, very old magic box. This box was first called the "Japanese Inexhaustible Box" in 1876. Various versions were made by different manufacturers through the years, and the jargon term "Jap Box" became a standard in 1913.
The box measures 8.5" long x 5.5" x 6". It has also a removable bottom tray with a hole that allows for the standard handling of the effect. Only TWELVE Jap Boxes have been made in this limited edition.
few months ago, we were cleaning the workshop and found
a box containing a prototype Norm made a couple of years
ago based on an idea he found in an old magic book.
is a production box that can be shown on all sides and
then opened to reveal that it is empty as well. After
making a magic pass or saying the magic words, a load
of silks or streamers can be produced. The box also
lends itself to vanishing items - i.e. placing an object
in the box, and then opening to reveal that it is gone,
reason we call this the "Jasper Box" is because
the load is big enough for Jasper, our dwarf rabbit.
We figured he is also a good salesman - or sales-bunny
- as his cuteness would help us sell a few of these.
design and load chamber for this box are based on an
old principle. As usual, this prop is made in the Okito
tradition. The box is beautifully crafted and decorated
with Oriental decals, and this box has a glossy finish.
Box measures: 12” high, 9” wide and 6”
has only made a limited edition of this effect, which
will become very collectible. Only 24 are available.
and handling for this item is $20 domestic. This box
will be very well packed and double-boxed for shipping.
This is a lovely Oriental style box to hold your 10" Linking Rings. It is not gimmicked, but it is an elegant and beautiful way to store and display your rings.
Norm made two types of boxes- as seen above. One has a decal of Oriental Women, the other has a decal of Chung Ling Soo performing the Ring Trick. He made a limited edition of twelve boxes.
The box dimensions are: 11.5" x 11.5" x 3"
They are decorated with Okito-style decals and sealed with a glossy finish.
We have sold most of these boxes, and only have ONE left. One with the Oriental Women motif. Rings are not included. They have to be purchased separately.
Don't have a 10" set of Linking Rings? We have a few in stock! This is the regular 8 ring set, made out of steel and chromed. These rings are made in India, and they are not too bad for the price.
The performer shows three cardboard tubes. Each tube is of a different color. All the tubes are of the same height but they vary in circumference allowing them to nest into each other. After showing each tube unmistakably empty, the magician stands the smallest tube upon a glass plate and covers it successively with the larger tubes. In spite of the apparent fairness with which the tubes have been shown and their isolation upon the glass plate, the magician can pull a tremendous number of silks or production items from the nest of tubes, even a dove!
After asking various collectors if they have ever seen this trick, all of them told us that they did not know of an existing sample.
So, we decided to make this trick from scratch. Norm has been quite busy in the last few months, experimenting with all sorts of tubes and decals. We even asked Johnny Thompson and Fielding West to loan us a dove to try it out!
If you are not familiar with the effect, you can read all about it on the 1952 book Okito on Magic by Theo Bamberg with Robert Parrish, page 137. This seems to have been one of the effects Okito had in his professional repertoire.
This effect includes
- 3 Nested Tubes measuring 13" high x 5.5", 4.5" and 4" in diameter respectively
- Special load gimmick
- 10" square Plexiglas base
- One 12" x 12 ft silk streamer
- Detailed instructions
Note: We have only made 30 of these. After they are sold, we are not planning to make them anymore.
Check out the following video demonstrations!
"Tear Apart Box"
Effect: Insert a couple of doves, or a small item in a box. Make a magic pass (or say a magic word) and remove the lid, take the front and back panels out, fold in the sides, and the item has disappeared!
This is a classic magic trick. As usual, Norm has painted these with lacquer and decorated them with oriental decals.
When assembled, the box measures 16" x 14" x 8". Norm has made fifteen of these.
Probably one of the best handlings we have seen of this trick is by master magician Del Ray. The video below depicts him performing another version of this effect.