Review: Juan Wonk’s Wooden Chop Cup Set by Jack King Magicshop (Bali)

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Madame Curator”][vc_column_text]In 2012, I did a series of magic lectures that started in Asia and then Europe. The bestselling lecture product had to be our Pentad Cups, exclusively handmade from dark mahogany by experience artisans. Wooden cups for the classic cups and balls magic routine are super classy and they definitely provide a different feel from their standard metal counterparts.

These are how our limited edition of Pentad Cups looked like:


Fast forward 5 years, Balinese magician Juan Wonk of Jack King Magic Shop, has created his very own version of the wooden chop cup. Sold in a box set which includes the required balls, you also receive a mini chop cup besides the standard sized one. The review set I was sent is stained a dark chocolate brown, and I personally love the swirls of gnarled wood grains on the cups. They’re very glossy and much lighter than I expected.


I suggested Juan create a matching wooden magic wand to go along with his charming set, so let’s see if that happens 🙂 If you’re a stage or parlour performer looking for a decent set of chop cups, these are priced attractively and may be exactly what you are looking for. There are no instructions included in the package, so use your own favourite presentation.


Just so you have an idea of its size and dimensions, I’ve placed my deck of cards on the included carry box. I find these wooden cups pretty gorgeous, although on closer inspection some parts have a thicker layer of gloss varnish slathered on than others and I wished there was more finesse with the sanding. It would have been great if they paid more attention to detail when painting the interior as well; it’s not elegant like the fine collectables from Viking Magic BUT the difference in pricing is on a whole different scale altogether and one must make fair comparisons 🙂

chop cup

The hidden magnets in the wooden cups work beautifully and you receive three red “monkey fist” balls as pictured above. Sets are shipped directly from Indonesia in extremely secure packaging …trust me, you will need a sharp razor blade to cut through the sack and all that padding… and just like his version of Tell’s Bell (which uses a completely different method), Juan has priced this set at an affordable 500,000 Indonesian rupiah. These wooden chop cups are only available directly from his shop and all transactions are done via email or his Jack King Facebook page. I know I will enjoy these but still look forward to a new 2.0 version with improved workmanship, which also includes a matching wooden wand. In all, it’s still a nice piece of kit that’s worth a check out!

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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