Yes, it works. NO batteries or computers. It’s full of springs, strings, gears, and other magical stuff. It’s a bit fiddly to keep adjusted, but that’s a part of the fun. Consider introducing it as a piece of history – it antedates video games and computers. Try showing it with the doll unclothed, and the screens removed, so that your audience can see the internal workings. When you start it up, deliberately adjust it a bit (even if it’s running smoothly)… then let the audience join in the fun of watching him actually hit the target with a real arrow. My audience actually asked "How does it know where the target is?".
A note: This is available as a kit, or as an almost-assembled version. The price difference is small, and the kit is NOT easy. Get the almost-assembled version, and you’ll only need a half-hour or so to finalize it. Also, get the storage/display box – it’s very nice woodwork, and makes the presentation more special.
4 stars, since not everyone will have a routine for what is essentially a replica of an antique toy from medieval Japan.
Built to last – and you can let the audience handle it.
This is built to last forever. No hidden things for an audience member to stumble upon. And, when you see the method, you’ll have the joy of a ‘duh’ moment – it’s dead simple, works every time, won’t ever fail on you, and you’ll wish you thought of it.
You can let audience members use it for something prior to your effect (how many tools let you do that?). Pick it up and create your magic – and then let them examine it afterward. Not only are you clean, the entire device is never dirty either (really really!!!).
The original version (circa 1584) required some pre-work. This version is much improved – no pre-work or set up of any kind. There’s a major plus to this kind of effect – it occurs in the spectator’s hand, and leaves him holding the beads. Since he touches the items, it seems all the more impossible.
4 stars instead of 5, since you can’t be a complete chimpanzee with this. Just work with it a while before presenting it, so you can do it smoothly. It looks and feels good in your hands and in the spectator’s, and you’ll be able to do it over and over with any crowd.
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