In the effect, two kids are invited on stage. Three yellow jelly beans are placed one by one into a yellow bag, which is held by the first kid - then three pink beans into a pink bag, which is held by a second kid - and finally, three purple beans are placed into a purple bag, held by the magician. A single jellybean is removed from each bag, shown and replaced. After some magic words and byplay, the jellybeans are found to have magically rearranged themselves, with each bag holding a jelly bean of each color. At the end, youre left clean.
The effect is based on an effect by Eric Lewis called Tricolor, which was published in his book A Continuation of Miracles. The trick comes with a professional routine by David Kaye, a.k.a. Silly Billy. The comedy routine involves a boy and girl who come up and help and hold the bags above their heads. And Silly Billy doesnt miss any opportunities to interact with the kids and get some laughs.
The trick comes with nine brightly-colored jellybeans. According to Magikrafts Martin Lewis, the jellybeans will vary in color, but contrast in bright colors. The set I evaluated came with bright purple, yellow and pink jellybeans.
The jellybeans are approximately 3.5" long by 1" thick and are much like those that you buy at Easter time to fill with small candies and hide for kids. While such plastic jellybeans and eggs are often brittle and flimsy, the beans in the kit are quality ones that should prove to be durable. While you wont want to step on them, they can withstand drops onto a carpet, which is part of the suggested routine.
You shouldnt encounter problems with the jelly beans coming apart, but the instructions tell you how to use a soldering iron to spot-weld the beans shut. (For the record, I evaluated Martin Lewis set that were already welded shut.) The trick also comes with three high-quality cloth bags that each match a jellybean color. The bags are heavy and opaque.
Jumping Jelly Beans is not a mechanical effect and requires some practice to perform. While the trick is not difficult, beginners may find it challenging to learn. As a result, Martin Lewis recommends the trick for intermediate-level magicians, and I agree. One major plus, because the trick is not mechanical as you may have expected from the initial description, it leaves you completely clean at the end. The instructions are well written and offer clear pictures that show the various hand positions and steps.
If your act can use a fun routine that makes a clear point about sharing, or you can use a routine that offers entertaining interaction with two kids, Jumping Jelly Beans is worth a look.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto