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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!

My ten-year-old son loves the Zombie Ball illusion.

Where should I purchase a Zombie Ball and is there a routine that you would recommend that you think a ten-year-old could grasp?

Thanks!

-Buffalo
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
I hope he's more graceful than an average 10 year old. It's not easy to make Zombie look like a floating ball. Without a lot of practice and natural gracefulness, it looks like a ball on a stick and the method is obvious to the observers.

This is not an easy trick, and probably not for a beginner even though it might seem to be such. The method is simple. Making it look like magic is difficult and will require a lot of practice.

Mike
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
Buffalo, I googled it and found multiple sources where you can buy the prop.  Unfortunately several of them also showed a photo of the gimmick alongside of the ball.  I guess nobody wants to preserve mystery anymore.
Having said that, I understand your son't desire to learn the Zombie, but I agree with Mike Powers on this one.

BTW, one of the original Zombie balls I owned was purchased through Abbott's Magic back in the 1970's and it was a white foam ball with a green plastic cup for the base.  I then purchased one of the original Rings N Things balls.

Here is what I suggest.  If you know how the trick works or even have an inkling you can make a trip to a craft store such as Michaels and probably buy everything you need there for $5.00.  Make up the gimmick and modify the ball and you can begin trying it out.  You will need a foulard.  You can get some rayon cloth from a fabric store to do for now.  If you can hem it, great, if not you can still practice with it.  The size of the foulard is approximately twice the length of the gimmick plus a little extra.

If it were my 10 year old I would have him looking a different direction, but you can make this a project to build it together and have some fun with it.

If you do and he has some aptitude with it, Al Schneider has a book and/or DVD on his work.  He is one of the best I've seen with it.

PM me if you want to discuss further.
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #4 
This is not a trick for a 10-year old boy. Those little fingers won't be able to easily work the gimmick and it's unlikely it will fit. A better suggestion might be:

https://billabbottmagic.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-thing-platinum-edition-express

Of course, it is $200!
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
A mini Zombie ball is also available from Vernet. It is the same as their silver billiard balls. Weighs very little. If you really want to pursue this, it is certainly appropriate physically.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #6 
I'll be the sorta-dissenter here and say that, while I agree that performing the Zombie to a high standard might be beyond the reach of most 10-year-old boys, I did own and enjoy practicing the Zombie as a boy of that age. It was a challenge, way at the upper end of my capabilities, but it was a challenge I enjoyed at the time. So I don't think it's a crazy idea, if it has caught your son's fancy.

I haven't kept up with the effect well enough to know what the best beginner prop or routine for it these days would be, though.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #7 
The Tommy Wonder hookup helps to make it look more like a floating ball and less like a ball on a stick. I think the Bill Abbott item mentioned above uses something similar. Bill's version has a lot going for it, although it's a bit expensive.

Watch Losander perform his floating table for ideas on body language and handling. I think his hookup is like Tommy Wonder's.

Mike
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
Buffalo, I was thinking about this a little over the weekend.  If I had a 10 year old and was wanting to encourage them in learning magic, I don't think the Zombie would be appropriate.  Not wanting to throw cold water on the boy's interest in the trick, but at the end of the day, the money and time spent would be way better invested in cards, coins, sponge balls, ropes, etc.

When I began, I had a deck of cards (bridge size) and a close-up mat.  I spent hours learning to do a spread and turnover, including all of the variations of same.  I shuffled the cards until I could do it smoothly and then I learned a couple of false cuts.  False shuffles came much later.  I did learn how to control a stock on the top or bottom but that isn't as much a "move" as just holding back a block.  I fanned the cards, dribbled them, sprung them and overhand shuffled them until the spots wore off.  That is what it takes to develop a comfort level.  The edges of the cards were nearly black.  Should have washed my hands I guess.

For coins, quarters are great for growing hands.  If you don't have it, buy Bobo's coin book, you won't be sorry.  There are also tons of rope tricks and sponge ball routines that are easily accessible for a young magi.

That's where I would spend my time.  Those types of things can be put in your pocket and are present when you want to show somebody a trick.  The Zombie clearly is limited.  

Just my $.02.  So whether the Zombie is appropriate or not as far as skill level misses the point in my opinion.


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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Buffalo, I was thinking about this a little over the weekend.  If I had a 10 year old and was wanting to encourage them in learning magic, I don't think the Zombie would be appropriate.  Not wanting to throw cold water on the boy's interest in the trick, but at the end of the day, the money and time spent would be way better invested in cards, coins, sponge balls, ropes, etc.

When I began, I had a deck of cards (bridge size) and a close-up mat.  I spent hours learning to do a spread and turnover, including all of the variations of same.  I shuffled the cards until I could do it smoothly and then I learned a couple of false cuts.  False shuffles came much later.  I did learn how to control a stock on the top or bottom but that isn't as much a "move" as just holding back a block.  I fanned the cards, dribbled them, sprung them and overhand shuffled them until the spots wore off.  That is what it takes to develop a comfort level.  The edges of the cards were nearly black.  Should have washed my hands I guess.

For coins, quarters are great for growing hands.  If you don't have it, buy Bobo's coin book, you won't be sorry.  There are also tons of rope tricks and sponge ball routines that are easily accessible for a young magi.

That's where I would spend my time.  Those types of things can be put in your pocket and are present when you want to show somebody a trick.  The Zombie clearly is limited.  

Just my $.02.  So whether the Zombie is appropriate or not as far as skill level misses the point in my opinion.




I agree Zombie is too much for that age.  But wait, check out waltzing Matilda!  Same sorta thing only different,  so much easier and just as much fun.  And easier to make it look like it is floating/flying etc than a zombie.  

I only hope they are still available.   You may have to look under different names like Dancing silk, or Dancing hank.  It is not the 200.00.  it should cost in the 12.00 range. 


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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #10 
Great advice, RayJ.  Thanks!

And Bmat, thanks for the suggestion!  I'll check it out.

-Buffalo
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diemaker

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Reply with quote  #11 
If it's not to late look for Zombie Ball by Vernet light weight and cost is low.

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