From Genii Forum:
Wandering Chimes, by Tommy Wonder.
Be aware that since I am the writer of the booklet that comes with the chimes set this may not be the unbiased review you are looking for . I felt I had to write it though because no one else has and I feel that this product deserves just a little more attention than given at the moment.
Just before his untimely death in 2006 Tommy Wonder had about three routines that he was working on. He intended to market these routines and was working with a couple of craftsmen because he was not able anymore to do it himself. Wandering Chimes was the one I was helping him with. It is Tommys turn on the chink-a-chink plot.
Tommy had asked Auke van Dokkum to manufacture these chimes after his design. Back in 2006 Auke made 2 or 3 prototype sets for Tommy. With these sets he and I discussed the history, possibilities and routines for the chink-a-chink plot. Most of these thoughts are written down in the booklet. Underlying the routine Tommy was hinting at a rather unknown principle in magic apparatus, which is also discussed in the booklet.
After Tommys death, the project was left alone for almost 4 years. I was in the possession of the prototypes but left them for the time being. At the beginning of 2010 Auke van Dokkum and Tommys estate reached an agreement to manufacture the Wandering Chimes in a very limited edition. Only since last week I am in the possession of a commercially available set.
Let me first explain something that has barely been noticed . These chimes are designed so that they are the most easily palmed objects you will ever find. Ever tried one of the sets that are out there? Yes sometimes they are little works of art (Eddie Taytelbaum) or cleverly gimmicked to hand out (Tony van Rhee) but what they all have in common is that they are hard to palm! Tommy acknowledged this. He was of course able to palm those conus shaped objects, but he did not like the cramped position of his hand. Now try the chimes for a moment. It is difficult not to palm them. When you cover them with your hand they almost cling to the palm. I will go so by saying that they are more easily to palm than the (for that purpose) popular bottle caps. To me this makes all the difference. The design cancels virtually every telltale manipulative move. Only pure Magic remains! This set is not designed for a collector but for a performer.
The brass objects look like little chimes but those with a creative and open mind will come up with their own presentations what these mysterious little things are.
The gimmick itself is sensational. It is nothing like youve ever seen and technically speaking it is not even a shell but its opposite. Here Aukes experience with CNC turning (for his stainless steel cups) becomes obvious. The thing works flawless. Be aware that the set is made in brass. They will develope a patina over time so do not store them in a nested condition . Is the set fragile? I would say as fragile as your average coingimmick. If you do not drop any of the components on a hard surface you will be safe.
Now there is one thing that needs to be addressed. Why would I care to pay this amount of money for something that can be done with bottle caps or, sugar cubes? I can only let Tommy speak for this. It was his opinion that in the right venue, these little objects would be so much more magical, and would add so much more mystery to a performance than common objects. If you add to that the specific design which makes palming a breeze you can make the decision.
As I said in the beginning I am biased. Handling and performing with this set makes me think back at the time Tommy shared his unique insights with me. Also how opposed he was to putting routines on the internet. That is why you will not find a demo on youtube of the wandering chimes. Anyone who knew its creator will keep it for himself. Which, in a weird way is a pity. If you see this being performed you will Wonder.
For me, after finally writing this, the work is done.