|Topic: Fredi Up Hyper-Realistic Silicone Thumb tip|
My old plastic Vernet finally split (it lasted for years). To replace it, I ordered a new (hard) plastic Vernet standard tip, but I also decided to see what the fuss was about with the Fredi Up tip.
How it looked: True to the advertisements it looked amazingly lifelike although the seam seemed a bit wider than the Vernet (it is not tapered). I believe you could get away with some very open handling with the tip. End on, and even with the thumb at various angles, it looked very natural.
Actual use: This tip would be good for silks, salt, and packets of sugar/sugar substitute. For lit cigarette magic or bill switches, I would either use a Vernet or get an oversized Fredi Up tip and put a small Vernet inside it (as suggested by Larry Davidson on another thread). I performed Torn and Restored Sweet n Low (Osterland), and it worked fine.
Wear and tear: here is where I feel this tip fails. Simply from putting the tip in my jacket pocket and taking it out, the "latex paint" on the thumbnail began to peel off. Afraid that the outer detail would continue to peel off the top of the thumb, I tried to "trim" the peeling nail off by tracing the outline of outer border of the nail shape using an x-acto knife. What this did was cause the silicone to split at the nail. The tear continued until there was a jagged opening at the end of the thumb, rendering the tip useless.
Now, maybe I never should have tried to "fix" the tip, but on the other hand I think that this tip (as good as it looks), is too delicate for real-world handling. I mean, the detail started peeling without any provocation.
What can I say: for me the experience was a waste of forty bucks. Thank goodness I also ordered a tried and true Vernet tip.
I think that the idea is good (realistic thumb tip) but the execution is flawed. If the tip were made of air-brushed hard plastic instead of silicone, I think they would have a winner.