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Topic: Pro-Line Zombie
Message: Posted by: Slappy (Oct 19, 2006 05:06PM)
Can anyone point me in the direction of a good "pro-line" Zombie ball and gimmick?? Any help would be much appreciated.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 26, 2006 10:31PM)
Viking Magic now carries a very good quality Zombie Ball.
I believe he imports them from Italy, wow!

It is correctly made (and few are these days)
Having a flange to attach the halves,
a deep collar to hold tightly without wobble,
and is a lightweight aluminum with a fine mirror polish.

Just toss out the “stand” that comes with, it’s pretty useless.
The gimmick is average.

The best gimmick I’ve used is the one Jim Sommers makes,
based upon the actual style Neil Foster used,
(you can reach him though Klamm Magic too)
I prefer to add a curve to this.

You may also do well to invest in Losander’s gimmick,
very novel, and very clever!

For a foulard contact P&A Silks,
but I’d go with a solid color and black backing.

Message: Posted by: Slappy (Nov 2, 2006 09:43AM)
I already have a foulard that came with the zombie I have. I'm not sure what brand it is, but the darn thing always comes apart at the worst times. I've tried crazy glue, but no luck. The gimmick is heavy duty, but impossible to bend the coil tighter...so it fit's poorly on the finger, which causes the ball to fall and that invariably adds dents to the zombie, which I then have to "hammer" out...I'd love to find a better alternative. Thanks for the advice.
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Nov 2, 2006 03:03PM)

I've been meaning to go take a look at that. I'm always on the look-out for really nice Zombie balls to add to my collection.

Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Nov 3, 2006 03:34PM)

Check out: http://www.ronallesimagic.com/magic.php?page=17

This looks like the same outfit I have and I'm very happy with it. And it's only $25.00.

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 3, 2006 09:20PM)
Tips on the Zombie:

1. Buy TWO...I'm glad I did...one's dented, one's not! LOL!
2. Practice with a folded blanket on the floor (wish I'd taken that advice earlier).
3. Throw away the gimmick. Make your own. Coat hanger wire. Use a pair of pliars and a dowel. Make the coil at least 4 or 5 turns, and adjust to the finger you use. Don't worry about threading a black shoelace over it. Spray it flat black (Testor's), and touch it up once in a while.
4. (Optional) Paint the finger coil flesh color. This hides the gimmick better when showing the back side of the cloth. Works for me.

Hope this helps...anyone want to add anything?

Message: Posted by: Slappy (Nov 6, 2006 11:24AM)
Thanks everyone, I ordered the Viking Zombie. I will post a breif review when it arrives.
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 12, 2006 02:48PM)

We look forward to reading your review as soon as you've had a chance to try out this Viking product zombie ball.

Can anyone provide a link to an elegant looking silver zombie ball "without" a seam? I currently use the Morrissey, large size Zombie and am tempted to shift over to a smaller size ball. I realize that size is a personal choice, but believe that a 5 inch diameter ball is pleasant to the eye of many spectators, light weight enough for nimble manipulation and highly recommended by many in the know... is that right?

Has Rings n' Things launched there version yet?

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 14, 2006 12:31PM)
I ended up ordering my Viking Ball from Morrissey and gimmick from Jim Sommers, based on Walt's sage advise and thoughtful recommendation.

I look forward to receiving these soon.

Thanks Walt!
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 14, 2006 12:35PM)
I recently found a Ring's n' Things Zombie ball and stand, made circa the early 1980's, in mint condition, for sale.

But I find the asking price of $150 US to be a bit steep (at least for my pocketbook).

Can any Café members in the know, tell me if they feel this particular ball is better in terms of look and functionality (ie. weight, size, etc.) than the current Viking ball imported form Italy?

The cost of the Viking Ball is $39 US and it looks great.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 14, 2006 07:48PM)
Thanks to Walt's tips and advice, I will soon become the proud owner of a very professional (and functional) zombie gimmick, inspired by Neil Foster's design and made with the knowing hands (and mind) of Jim Sommers.

If anyone else wishes to secure this same item, you should call Magic Dealer Bob Klamm at at: 816-461-4595, or send him an e-mail at: klamm@klamm-magic.com If Bob does not have any of these custom-made gimmicks in stock, he will patiently take your order and promptly call his friend (and supplier of this special item), Jim Sommers.

Jim does not make these gimmicks on mass. Each zombie gimmick measures approx. 14 inches in length --the right length to hit the crook of most performer's arms when performing the ball on arm maneuver. The wonder feature of this gimmick is that it incorporates two tubes that serve as finger receptacles and allow for easy pick up of the gimmick and leveraging of the ball. There is also, I understand, a slight bend in the rod, reducing the odds of the gimmick inadvertently peeking above the foulard's edge during performance. Jim Sommers also takes the time to paint the finger tubes a flesh color, further camoflaging the gimmick from the audience.

When ordering, be sure to let Bob Klamm know if you are right handed or left handed when performing this effect, to that Jim can construct the gimmick accordingly.

Also, please note that all corks do not fit all zombie holes, therefore be prepared to make small adjustments in your cork. For example, I understand that the Sommers' cork is pretty standard in size, but Walt points out that it might require some slight "shaving" to fit into the smaller hole of Viking's Zombie Ball. If necessary, Jim Sommers recommends shaving the cork very carefully, using a very thin blade (ie. razor blade). Then repainting the cork with a black semi-matte (lacquer type).

Hope the above proves helpful.

Thanks again Walt for sharing your extensive knowledge on the zombie and resources.

Happy Zombieing!

Message: Posted by: Mark McDermott (Nov 14, 2006 08:49PM)
My Zombie gimmack instead of having a wire wound for one finger it is made of flat metal that goes around two fingers.like slipping your fingers in a "C" holder form that gives you great holding power and proper handling.it is also flesh colored.I don't know who made it.

Hope this helps,
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 14, 2006 09:22PM)

I know that Jim Sommers also makes the type of grip you describe. I believe he paints the wrapped "C" metal holder flesh color as well, but if you order one, be sure to verify.

When I spoke to Jim, he explained that both "grips" are good, but he prefers the two tube grip. I decidedto go with that. I believe it should work well.

Message: Posted by: Mark McDermott (Nov 17, 2006 04:48AM)
Hope you have very good luck with your zombie! I also like your web site,nice.

Message: Posted by: eb02 (Nov 17, 2006 07:14AM)
Does any one know if there is a larger zombie ball then the regular size?
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 17, 2006 03:33PM)
Morrissey sell 5 inch. Haven't received by Viking Zombie yet Mark... and you? What ball do you use?
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Nov 17, 2006 04:02PM)
I had one of the large morrissey balls and called it the " finger breaker" I abandoned it and converted a very light weight Don Wayne Ball into a Zombie. It looks much better than the dull aluminum look of the morrisey ball . You can see it here .. http://www.timothydrake.ca/fball.mpg


Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 18, 2006 10:13AM)

In my experience, if the gimmick provides the "right" support for the fingers, it does not become a finger breaker, even with a 5 inch morrissey ball. Thus, even with the "old" aluminum balls, the experience can be mutually enjoyable --for both the audience and the performer. Perhaps it is a question of attitude.

I have used lightweight balls in the past (ie. Astrosphere) and found them "too" light weight and flimsy in comparison.

There are pros and cons for both. And this is the place to psot them.

Thanks for providing your link.

It was a pleasure to watch your performance.

Keep up the great work.

Message: Posted by: The Drake (Nov 18, 2006 01:41PM)

Thanks for you nice comments. I think it was a limited 7 or 8 inch ball that morrissey introduced for a while that I used and called " finger breaker" . I don't know what ever happened to it but I think they no longer carry it.


Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 18, 2006 06:14PM)
Hmm... a 7 or 8 inch Morrissey aluminum ball... I can understand that fingers might be broken!

For myseld, I have used a 5 inch ball for years (and years) but plan to swithc over to Viking's 4 inch ball (importated from Italy) very soon.

Best regards Tim.

Message: Posted by: eb02 (Nov 19, 2006 06:45AM)
Thanks Tim
I found your idea suitable to my needs.
I PM you with some questions.
Message: Posted by: Mark McDermott (Nov 19, 2006 11:30PM)
I bought my zombie ball at ABBOTT'S MAGIC about 26 years ago and it is 5 inches. it came with the one finger gimmick and a small metal stand.
I was very lucky to see Neil Foster perform his zombie routine...something you never forget,awesome!!!

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 20, 2006 06:18AM)
Must be the same one I have and purchased form Morrissey some almost 20 years ago.

You were certainly lucky to witness Neil Foster in action.

Hmm... I wonder if there is a link to somem top quality zombie performances?

If so, please post these links under a seperate (and new) heading called: "Zombie Routine, Videoclips."


Perhaps you can start us off by posting your wonderful clip under this new heading!

Message: Posted by: Mark McDermott (Nov 21, 2006 11:58PM)
Neil Fosters Zombie ball is on display in Marshall Michigan if you ever get a chance to get there.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 22, 2006 01:26PM)
I'm heading over now! lol

...Perhaps one day.

Message: Posted by: mimagicman (Nov 23, 2006 09:30AM)
I believe the two tube gimmick was a U.F. Grant product years ago, and came with snaps to fasten a foulard to it. I had one but never used it as Neil Foster gave me the dickens for suggesting it.

Also, I am told the Don Wayne floating ball is now off the market and he is out of business.

After all these years, and watching Neil do the zombie each month on the road together for 10 years, I have never seen a finer performance of a life filled little silver ball.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Nov 23, 2006 09:48AM)
On 2006-11-23 10:30, mimagicman wrote:
Also, I am told the Don Wayne floating ball is now off the market and he is out of business.


No.. Don Wayne still makes the balls. You can contact him for info at donwayneinc@earthink.net


Message: Posted by: royaltmagic (Nov 23, 2006 09:48AM)
Ickle Pickle had put out a nice Zombie as well.
But I personally think that the Morrissey zombie ball is one of the best.

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Nov 25, 2006 11:42AM)
I have a definite problem with the Morrissey balls, and always have, I spoke with Herb about his several years ago, and he basically said “I know but so what they sell”.

This is what you must search out to find a “perfect” ball:

1- A fine Zombie ball should be of very lightweight spun aluminum, yes, it can dent, don’t drop it.

2- The surface should not be lacquered, it eventually clouds the surface of the ball and it means the ball is sealed and cannot be highly polished to a mirror surface ever again. This also means you must lovingly and gently polish your ball with a mild polish ( kike silvo) and lint free cotton cloth before every performance and before you store the ball again.

3- The two halves of the ball should not “jam” together, there should be a very slight “flange” so the halves marry to make an almost seamless, and very round ball.

4- The “collar” within the ball must be deep, almost an inch deep and should be slightly smaller in diameter in the far inside point than the outside diameter, this is to it will hug the gimmick, and also so it will not wobble during performance.

5- The original balls were of the smaller size, about the size of a small grapefruit, and the four-inch diameter will show off and play well even in a very large auditorium if it’s kept well polished. Maybe it’s Okito Floating Ball envy—but guys seem to crave larger and larger balls. If you want a six or eight inch ball, you need to be doing an Okito type effect not a Zombie type effect.

6- From the audience’s point of view, either close in or far away, the ball must appear to be a one-piece, mirror finish, heavy metal sphere, they should assume it to be similar to “garden globes” which are quite heavy steel or glass.

That’s just the ball guys ‘n’ gals….
--I could go on and on about specifics for successful gimmicks,
--and specifics for successful foulards.
--And stands vs boxes,
--and specialty vs traditional endings.

Maybe someday I’ll do a DVD and “give away the store” until then you have the TWO good ones done by Jeb Sherrill, Tim Wrights video, and the Al Schneider download BOOK. They should keep you pretty busy.

I’ve been working with this type of effect for thirty years, and it has been the showpiece in my act the last ten, I have the utmost respect for the possibilities when handled with care and grace, and this piece of Magic deserves and demands the best equipment money can buy.

It is a shame, almost to me tragic and a professional crime that Abbottt’s who held the patent and who had Neil Foster on their team has stopped manufacturing the Zombie, it was by far the best available.

I have a very early Abbotts' Zombie from the 50’s that is now plated in 24 Karet Gold, and also one of the last they made just a few years back. Since the best I’ve found are the Italian ones carried by Viking, I hope the new Rings-n-Things will someday remake their version taking into consideration the list above.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Nov 27, 2006 06:50PM)
I received my Viking zombie ball this eveing.

GVery nice .

The shiine and the seam are of finer quality, in my opinion, than my Morrissey ball.

The flange is noticeably deeper and therefore will receive and hold the cork securely.

Many (many) thanks Walt for your sage adivce.

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 6, 2006 09:59PM)
On 2006-11-23 10:30, mimagicman wrote:
I believe the two tube gimmick was a U.F. Grant product years ago, and came with snaps to fasten a foulard to it.[/quote]

Actually, General Grant Murphy was the one who marketed the item.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 7, 2006 10:55AM)
Chris at Encore Magic still has some original Zombie balls from Ring N Things. Contact him through Encoremagic.com.

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 7, 2006 02:32PM)
Rings & Things II has just released their
SBL Floating Sphere,
it's NOT a Zombie method!

I understand it can be used either like an Okito Floating Ball
or somewhat like an Astro-Sphere Floating Ball

This is about six-inches in diameter,
and made of very light weight aluminum.

I'll post a review as soon as it arrives!

You can learn more at their RNT II website.
Just a heads-up to my other Floating Ball junkie colleagues....

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 9, 2006 12:35PM)
I spoke with Chris at Encore Magic today. His site is down for maintenance.

Until after the holidays, he will only be open on Saturdays due to family and business obligations. His phone is (810)732-3694.

Just wanted to let everyone know what is up. To top things off, his shop has been broken into so he is still trying to sort all that out.