What's Ellusionist up to these days? Well they've come up with a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $54,000 to make... a fidget toy
At the rate they're going, there is no way this is going to get funded unless Butt Plug Aficionado magazine comes out with a review in the next couple days that calls it "both a tactile delight and a challenging puzzle for your anus."
In the video on the kickstarter page they say it will make you the center of attention at any party, "whether you like it or not." Huh. Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and suggest the type of attention you'll get at a party with one of these is going to be strictly in the "or not" category. "Hey everyone, come look at this nerd with his overly complicated fidget toy. Let's beat him up and drag him behind our pick-up truck." If you have at least two braincells to rub together I guarantee you can come up with something better to do to garner attention at a party than pull out one of these. What reaction would you expect with this? You think everyone is going to be like, "Gather round everyone! Come look! Trent's got something stupid!"
I'll give Ellusionist this, it looks like they're not dumb enough to invest too much of their own money in this product. If you want to do a product related to fidget spinners, or Pokemon Go, or the Ice Bucket Challenge or any other thing you failed to recognize as a passing fad, Kickstarter is probably the way to go.
Or else you're this guy...
Ellusionist also came out with Abyss yesterday. A variation on Paul Harris' Twilight Angels effect.
Now, I don't want to be a bummer, but you can't use a lighter in a trick where the secret is based on something appearing or disappearing due to a temperature change. You can't do it because there is no difference between effect and method if you do. It's a non-trick. Something changing color with heat is not a new or obscure concept. Even I, as a young kid watching the Freezy Freakies commercial, wasn't blown away by the idea. They show this over and over in the trailer as if it's mysterious how it works. It's not. Trust me, I'm dumb, I have a layperson's brain. It's obvious.
Also, the original Twilight Angels effect left the spectator with a card that was augmented in a truly unique way. This effect leaves them with a normal card. That's a downgrade.
And finally, the paddle move with a zippo lighter is pretty unconvincing.
That being said, they pretty much make it clear exactly what you're getting here, so it's not like they're trying to mislead you. And if you disagree with the premises I've stated above, then maybe this trick is for you.
Or perhaps there's a way to incorporate the lighter into the original Twilight Angels effect. For example, maybe you pull out the lighter and show the angel on one side. You explain that you'll show them how it got there. Then you use the lighter to remove the angel from the card (as in Twilight Angels). Now you show an angel on each side of the lighter (sketchy paddle move). Then you place the angel back on the card (on the opposite end, as in the original effect). Spectator is left with a unique, signed object. No obvious use of fire to make the magic happen. And the lighter is examinable. I've almost talked myself into buying this thing just for the lighter.
This is old news and it's not directly magic-related (although it does feature a magic trick and Neil Patrick Harris). It's the opening to the 2013 Tony awards. If you're not familiar with it, it's one of the most entertaining production numbers you'll ever see. It's one of those videos I watch every few months just because it's kind of thrilling to see so many people working together to pull it off. And you can't deny how insanely talented Neil Patrick Harris is in this: singing, dancing, joking around, magic-tricking, sort-of rapping, playing guitar (I think), literally jumping through hoops. It's incredibly impressive.
I like to imagine traveling back in time to myself as a kid, watching Doogie Howser, and telling myself, "You know, one day in the future you will find him to be one of the greatest all-around talents of his generation."
Then the 13-year old me would say, "Oh yeah? Doogie? Gee, I always thought it would be Balki Bartakamous? Get out of my room, old man." Then I'd kick the shit out of my future self.
I expect Nikki, our JAMM Muse for November, will bring an interesting energy to her Uri Geller inspired cover on the issue coming out next week.
The reason I say that is because below is a pic of what she looks like when she's "running to the store for a few minutes to get some Pringles."