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Wayne Kawamoto

Exposure in Magic Sets

By September 28, 2010

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Illusion Does Not Belong in a Beginner's Magic Kit

Is "Head Twister," the visual stage illusion, going the way of D-Lites, Hummer Card and other tricks that are sold in magic shops, kiosks and tourists destinations and can no longer be performed by magicians?

I was shopping at my local "big box" Costco and noticed a new Fantasma magic set for sale. What caught my eye was that the prominent trick (and I assume the "hook") being sold with the kit was "Head Twister." The front of the box featured a picture of magician Ed Alonzo apparently performing the illusion. To adequately check it out, I bought the kit.

The Twist
This exploitation of "Head Twister" concerns me in two big ways. First, by selling thousands of these magic sets to kids, the secret is now being learned by many who will never become serious magicians. The visual and stunning effect is apparently no longer a magician's secret, but a commodity to be sold to the public.

Second, the version of the illusion that's provided in the kit, which is made of cardboard, makes it difficult for anyone to adequately and convincingly perform it. Even the presentation on the accompanying DVD is not very persuasive, and this is a performance by a notable, trained pro. As a result, kids that attempt to perform the trick will probably expose its secret for all to learn and see.

Inadvertent Exposure?
Magicians are all too accustomed to magic exposure from various media. But magicians don't expect exposure to come from within from those who promote and sell magic.

If an illusion takes too much time and practice for a kid to learn to do well, and the provided props are too flimsy to adequately execute the effect, it simply doesn't belong in a beginner's magic set.

And the result, in my book, is that including "Head Twister" in a beginner's magic set was an unfortunate choice that borders on plain old magic exposure.

More Reading:
Has Exposure Caused You to Give-Up a Trick?
Handling Magic Secrets With the Public

Comments

October 5, 2010 at 10:58 am
(1) Tom Smith says:

I strongly agree. What’s it all come down to? Money.

October 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(2) Don California says:

I noticed on-line that Fantasma sells the Head Twister for $299.00, but then sells the magic kits with the Head Twister for $49.99. Would a Pro buy the expensive one when the same people are exposing the trick?
Also note that next to the magic kit it says:
“All Fantasma Magic kits come with the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the largest magic organization in the world, seal of approval”.

October 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm
(3) Tim Ellis says:

The Head Twister (Rubberneck Illusion) was invented by Joe Karson (though some say it was Eric Lewis).

Either way, I doubt if Ed Alonzo has any intellectual right to be exposing this effect in a magic set.

Regardless of that, you are right Wayne, this effect has no place in a beginner’s set and the IBM really needs to be way more careful with things they endorse.

October 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm
(4) Paul Critelli says:

Do you recall the Cher song: Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves?

A remake should be: “Thieves, Pimps, and Whores – They give away Magic door to door!”

The pool is drying up, and dedicated and talented “part time pros” as well as true “lovers of the art” (amateurs) will now be greeted by the increasing mob who have not seen great Magic – probably not even “adequate Magic,” and they will continue to lump ALL of us into the bin of “idiots who don’t have any real talent.”

Hmm, what about letting all of Ed’s stuff go public . . . ?

He’s only one of many – and the “Brotherhood” concept . . .yeah, the bible has a story of brothers . . . all fantasy and fictions.

Motto of these pimps and whores: “I got mine – now $*#% You!”

Sadly,
Paul C

October 20, 2010 at 10:37 am
(5) Jason McMurrian says:

To add to this converstation the criss angel magic sets are not out and adding to the above controversy he is selling the nested coin boxes and pen through the dollar. The nested coin box wasn’t as big of a deal to me as the the pen through the dollar but still kinda bugged me. You could also either by these all included in the kit or one or two separately. At of all things this was at our local Walgreens drug store, which is just around the corner from EVERYONE! Arrrh!

October 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm
(6) roudini says:

HAHHa! I also saw the chris angel magic set and other tricks at walgreens . What a sad sad thing . I also am pretty angry with it but I don’t know how to take it really. Magic is starting to become pathetic and misunderstood with lay people because of these Crapy made sets and this exposure. Lots people thinks magic only comes from a freaking box now . Lots of people hate chris angel too and he has put a bad name on Magicians , thats my opinion anyways. How do you all take this exposure and is it really doing harm to your work and your magic?

October 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm
(7) Earl Hintz says:

I have a Magic Store on line and just getting started. My son is a Magician and works the Magic Palice in L.A. He has been my insparation for magic. I , as in the first comment, am in it for the money. I do not sell Illusions. I don’t think that Wallgreens, Wallmart or Cosco should be selling these items either. For my self, I sell to intice an unknown person to get involved in Magic. I have no way to screen the buyers. I could put a note that if you are not a magician, do not buy. That, I think would have no Effect. I agree with the posts, but…….

October 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm
(8) Earl Hintz says:

I have a Magic Store on line and just getting started. My son is a Magician and works the Magic Palice in L.A. He has been my insparation for magic. I , as in the first comment, am in it for the money. I do not sell Illusions. I don’t think that Wallgreens, Wallmart or Cosco should be selling these items either. For my self, I sell to intice an unknown person to get involved in Magic. I have no way to screen the buyers. I could put a note that if you are not a magician, do not buy. That, I think would have no Effect. I agree with the posts, but…….

August 1, 2012 at 10:01 am
(9) The Padre (FCZ+) says:

As Scripture pointed out a few thousand years ago, there is nothing new under the sun. When I was a kid, the market was flooded with cheap plastic “magic tricks” from Japan (now it’s hard to put ‘cheap’ and ‘Japan’ in the same sentence!), and the cups-and-balls and finger guillotines usually broke before we figured them out. The internet and YouTube are now probably a greater threat than Walgreens, I’m afraid. The multitudes of videos by both kids and adults exposing effects just because they can are our greatest problem– just Google “magic trick exposed”. There are hundreds.

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