Finally, I have a set of Okito-Nielsen Chinese Sticks not just the Millward-Nielsen ones that were built by George Millward and decorated by Norm Nielsen that are featured here. From the outside it is difficult to tell them apart – the Okito-Nielsen ones are a little bit darker, have yellow not red tassels, are a little longer, and have Okito-Nielsen stamped on them, but at a glance they look basically the same. I’ve included a couple of photos of both sets so you can see them side to side. But the real difference is when you use them – then the difference is very clear. Norm’s are much smoother and quieter which is why his sticks are seen as one of the best Chinese Sticks available today – and rightly so, they look beautifully and operate incredibly smoothly. You’d be hard pushed to find a better set of Chinese Sticks.
Effect: 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 sticks.
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.
- – They measure 12” long. This length allows the performer to put them in his jacket pocket, making the trick more practical to carry around. – The 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.
- – 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.
- – Each 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.
- – A 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.
- – 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.
- – Finally, the sticks are decorated with Oriental style decals in the Okito tradition, and they are sealed with a heavy duty urethane coating.
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)