Title: Ellis Ring 2.0
Artist: Joe Porper
Producers: Illusion Works
Retail Price: $200.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
At the end of September, I got super lucky and got contacted by Illusion Works, who has taken over manufacturing items for Joe Porper. Because I already owned a JP Wedding Band Ellis Ring I got selected for an opportunity to sample a brand-new version that hadn’t been released on the market yet. An Ellis Ring 2.0 if you will. At the time I received my copy I want to say only about thirty of these rings were in existence, so I was super stoked that I got the chance to test drive this new magic device.
After about two weeks of nervous anticipation the package finally came in the mail. Cloaked in the usual Joe Porper Cover / Instruction sheet was a small tan leather pouch with two slits on the inside just large enough to hold a ring. One of them curiously empty, the other, I could see the shiny brass gem peeking out of. At first glance everything from the leather carrying pouch, to the finely milled brass ring just sings with precision that the Joe Porper brand has become known for. The new ring was noticeably larger than the previous one that I bought. Along the sides were artistic millings giving it kind of an industrial cog like look. Given that Steam Punk is all the rage right now, this was a nice touch when compared to the previous ring. The larger size also meant that I could perform this for larger groups of people with better overall visibility. The mechanics of the rings operation is smooth and very finely tuned. A lot of work went into putting this thing together. And I respect the craftsmanship involved. One size will fit all wands, and strings. This probably isn’t going to be a finger ring prop for most people. I certainly don’t present it as one, but I think that’s part of its allure really. The ring came with a leather carrying pouch, which holds it when not in use. As an added note, the second slit in the pouch perfectly fits my original JP Ellis Ring! So two rings now sit in the same pouch giving me the flexibility of choosing which one I need for the performance I’m doing.
Working with the ring has been a dream. I’ve had the opportunity to test run it at a large theme park attraction I was working all throughout October. I was working with audiences as small as two or three in a strolling environment, to full stage with a couple hundred looking on. I switched back and forth between my old ring, and the new one fairly frequently and found that the new one holds up just as good under repeated use. There’s quite a lot you can do with an Ellis ring, and admittedly I only do the bare minimum, but it’s effective. Ring off Rope, or Wand is my usual go to, and with the added size of the new Ellis Ring 2.0, it made for a perfect go to when working the stage. It was visible enough in the stage lights to be seen from the front row, as well as the back. The reactions I’ve received while performing with the Ellis Ring 2.0 has been nothing short of spell bound. I’ve got a lot of “how did you do that reactions”, sprinkled in with an occasional woman screaming at me and accusing me of having satanic powers. An accusation I shamefully was not so willing to dispel at the time.
The Ellis Ring comes with the standard instructions, as well as an additional bonus routine that puts the ring in a knot tied with a silk. The instructions also reference other sources to learn alternative ring on / off stick routines from. As far as instructions go they’re pretty basic. The pictures are nice, and the descriptions are helpful, but in an industry where online tutorials and DVD’s are quickly pushing out printed instructions, the ones that came with the ring feel a little antiquated.
The price is going to be a challenge for some people. At $200 dollars it’s easy to get sticker shocked by this marvelous little gem, but I can assure you it’s worth it. If you’re not familiar with Joe Porpers work, it’s top notch. Illusion Works has continued his legacy by putting out finely crafted metal miracles, and that time and craftsmanship certainly is reflected in the price. Treat this prop well, and it’ll be something your grandkids could be performing with years down the line. Another interesting claim made by the manufacturer, is that this ring is interchangeable with their Amazering, which is sold separately. I don’t own an Amazering so I can’t vouche for this personally, but knowing Joe’s reputation, I wouldn’t doubt it.
Overall this little gem has been a blessing. It resets fairly quickly, and can be done under cover of my hand making it a worker when it comes to strolling. It’s visible enough to be used on a stage, and the magic performed is pure classical sleight of hand. It occupies minimal pocket space, and the nifty pouch that it comes with holds not just it, but my previous ring too! The price is a bit of a shock, but it’s well worth it. I’m super stoked to have had the opportunity to pick one of these up prior to them being widely released. Now rumor has it that while more of them have been made available to the open market, they are still in fairly limited quantity thru Christmas. So if you really want one of these beautiful pieces of collectible magic then I’d recommend you snap one up quickly while you still can. Like other works by Joe, I don’t anticipate the collector value diminishing on these anytime soon.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 9
Beautiful craftsmanship, finely milled. One size fits all wands. Not cheap.
Teaching Quality: 7
Written tutorials, no videos. Good pictures for references, and the routines taught are quick to pick up.
Overall Quality: 9
Be it for a collector or a working performer, this ring is a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection. I’d seriously get one before they vanish and never return!
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