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Topic: How would you make a bicycle appear?
Message: Posted by: jiayi (May 6, 2009 10:02PM)
A mom asked me if I could make a new bicycle(dad's gift to the birthday son) appear in the magic show, I am not sure, do you guys have any ideas? The birthday party will be held in a park.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 6, 2009 10:12PM)
Use cardboard boxes to build a giant square circle. Decorate the outer box like a present. Show it empty, and then viola - a bike. Mark Wilson's complete magic book has what you need.

A more expensive option is creative magic's victory cubes...
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (May 6, 2009 11:05PM)
A particular Bicycle? . . . I'd use the Hindu Shuffle.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (May 7, 2009 12:42AM)
I'd say use cardboard to make an illusion - but it might be easier if you produce dad as well! (He would then be able to move the bike). He could appear sitting on the bike. There are various methods that could be adapted, the most obvious would be the "Victory Cartons" from Mark Wilson's course I guess?
Or you could make a very basic black-art illusion - how old are the kids going to be? It could be as simple as a cardboard box, painted black inside, with a false panel that falls away when the box is covered. The bicycle would be hidden behind the panel until the reveal.
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 7, 2009 02:23AM)
Make this fun by making it easy. I have done this twice and both times it worked like a champ. At one event at a public park, I was just there celebrating and the dad had a bike. I suggested we reveal it magically. We took a blanket and had two people hold it up so I could get the chips I "accidently" spilled on it. That provided the cover for the dad to ride it right up to the blanket and park it and get away with a big bow on it. Dad then joined me on the other side and he said to his son "Check this out" and pulled the blanket away and there was his bike. The kid screamed!!

The other time was at a backyard party. I had a large bush stage left from the audience. The dad actually parked it over the fence on the neighbors property (behind that bush)and retrieved it and wheeled it into position. We did a double reveal with the blanket on that one. Again, it started with me just cleaning the blanket off with two adult volunteers to hold it up. After they dropped it down to reveal the bike, I had them raise it back up, and like an infomercial I said "But that's not all" I'm also including all the safety equipment that you have to PROMISE YOU'LL ALWAYS WEAR BECAUSE TOO MANY PEOPLE LOVE YOU. That's when the blanket was dropped again and dad had placed a riding helmet and a bike flag and pads and things all over the bike.

It was easy, fun, and inexpensive. I considered a square circle but the handlebars would have made the box enormous. I didn't see the value in making a flimsy cardboard square circle. I would reconsider the idea though if it was something I could use repeatedly. Bikes and kids vary in size. With my new photo printer I can put a "skin" on any prop regardless of size. I just create my image and use http://blockposters.com to print out for the size I need on my printer. I could make a very professional looking square/square (circle) with scraps of cardboard, a hot glue gun, duct tape, Gorilla glue and my printer!
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 7, 2009 06:39AM)
Muzicman has the right idea. The presentation would make it work. Have fun with it. The childs reaction will make the crowd enjoy it, magical or not. Simple, inexpensive, and fun. Great idea with the chips and raising the blanket to clean it off. I love it...
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (May 7, 2009 10:45AM)
I've had to do this twice being asked (totally unprepared) to produce a (fill in the pet) - you might be able to sell it. Work this out with the parents in advance.

Tell the kids you have a special birthday present and will make it appear, but it's very complicated and difficult. Intense concentration ... very very broad and grand gesture ... and trip all over myself and fall down. It's not here? Well the magic had to go [i]somewhere[/i] ... which way was I pointing when I fell? That way? Out toward the garage? You'd better go look in the garage right now!

I know it seems lame, but the kids bought it and the parents were very happy.
Message: Posted by: jiayi (May 7, 2009 03:56PM)
I love the ideas, thank you guys! The boy is only 3 year old and it is just a one-time deal thing, so I think I am gonna use Muzicman's blanket idea to make it simple and fun =)
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 8, 2009 01:07PM)
Well let uw know how it went. The 2 adults that hold the blanket need to be in on it so they will hold it high and wide enough to get the right cover. Keep the audience sidetracked with the misdirection of "cleaning off the blanket" until the bike is loaded into position by a 3rd party and give them time to leave. It's more magical to just see a bike at the reveal vs someone sitting on the bike in my opinion. It can be executed with basic instructions.

For both of my presentations, I placed a blanket where I wanted it so others could sit on it. They all have to stand up to clean the chips off. Just have the blanket holders move forward and the audience back. The audience is not expecting anything because your motivation is just to clean the blanket off as far as the audience is concerned. A big bow reveals it as a present vs just a bike. A local party store may have one for a few bucks. Mine is HUGE. It's a standard bow, but it's 2 feet wide.

Make it fun!
Message: Posted by: jiayi (May 16, 2009 10:04PM)
I just want to thank you guys again for the input, especially muzicman, I did the birthday party today and went over really well. The mom was so excited and happy when we pulled it off. It was a great experience and made me want to get into illusion now. =)
Message: Posted by: Quentin (May 17, 2009 07:25AM)
I've just come across this thread. I was asked to do something similar about twenty years ago - in a house. Like muzicman I used a blanket and the dad pushed the bicycle into place behind, the furniture and the shape of the room being used for initial concealment.

What made it though was the revelation. The four year old waved the wand. Now I had him placed between me and where the bicycle would appear. In other words my body blocked his view. I dropped the blanket and the whole audience could see the bike and went bananas. He of course couldn't see it. I asked him why were they all shouting. He didn't know. When he looked at the audience, I stepped aside, so when he looked back, there was the bicycle - "magiced from nowhere".

I'll never forget the look on his face.