I was hesitant to purchase this effect at first when I saw it on The Trickery’s site, since it seemed less "special" than other Colin Rose effects. By special I mean ornate, as are many of his wood turned vases, cups, etc.
But the premise seemed straight forward – which I liked – and the props did have a simplicity to them that would make a realistic presentation more believable. The props looked like old game fixtures, dice cups from an old board game. So, I went ahead and took the chance.
Boy, I was not disappointed. If anyone can make two simple, unadorned wood containers look better than this, I’d be surprised. They feel like you are holding something special. And the secret is so simple, it defies detection. I haven’t performed this yet, but I feel very confident I can pull this off. Nothing ground-breaking, but done correctly, I can see this being a nice, mid-set effect in a mentalism show.
I recently purchased this after seeing it used as a utility prop on some Alakazam DVDs. On those DVDs it’s used as a tool for forcing something to be revealed in a bigger way later on…not as an effect unto itself (although it could be).
The book has a vintage appearance and design – not as aged as an Outlaw-effects piece – but still odd enough to lend itself to some great origin stories. It reports to be from the British Institute of Parapsychology, i.e. B.I.P., and appears to be a testing tool containing words, times, different colored shapes, and random numbers between 10 and 999. Sounds pretty versatile as a forcing device, right? And, it is. This can easily be any mentalist’s go-to tool for an easy, quick force leading to a dramatic reveal.
This is one of those simple tools that can work wonders. Imagine a small, well-made hammer. You can tap with this gently, or swing with this hard. Either way, you’ll make an impression.
I know there are several versions of this basic mental premise on the market now, all reporting to be the next best thing. And while others offer a more hands-off delivery, I can’t imagine them looking as beautiful as this piece.
If you are a fan of Larry Becker, Tony Curtis, and of Magic Wagon, than what are you waiting for? Here is the opportunity to have the best of both world’s… incredible thinking paired with an unyielding dedication to manufactured perfection. We call that a win-win situation.
I remember being blown away by the original Chameleon box, but this version has taken all the good elements of that effect, and made them easier to handle, prettier to look at, and better to work with. This is a utility device on steroids.
Like all Magic Wagon effects, the price may be intimidating at first. But when you get the piece, handle it, work with it…everything clicks into place, and you realize you’ve made the right decision.
This is a very versatile effect that plays well in any venue – from living rooms to stage, and from kids’ shows to bizarre magic.
Astro Ball dates at least to Milson-Worth, which made a version much like the picture, above. Inside the cabinet are a ball and a glass, both sitting on the floor of the cabinet. The cabinet is closed, and when it is opened again, the ball is in the glass. After performing, the cabinet, ball, and glass all may be inspected – your audience will not figure it out.
Astro Ball cabinets are available from a variety of makers, at a wide range of prices. The method generally is the same, with the price reflecting the quality of the cabinetry.
The ball-into-glass is one of the 5 effects included in Stewart James’ famous 1939 Sefalaljia routine. If you want to expand upon the Astro Ball routine, a Sefalaljia cabinet is more expensive, but allows you to add additional effects.
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