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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Alternative to Rabbits? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Skip Way
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Could robotics provide a viable, safe, care-free and license-free alternative to using live rabbits and doves in shows?

http://www.pleoworld.com/

In addition, Sega Toys has added four new animals to its Dream Pet series: a cat (modeled after a full-grown American Short Hair), an owl that looks like Puffin from Harry Potter, a parrot and a kitten.

http://virtualpet.com/vp/virtualpetsblog/?p=21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf-LvB16QNE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqIKeUXRh-8

I bought the parrot recently for around $50.00. You can direct it to say certain incoded phrases with a very simple pocket-size RF remote or you can record your own comments to play back on demand. The unit will also respond to spoken phrases with its prerecorded or your personal comments. When not being directed, the critter moves independently, speaks at will and generally acts like an annoying parrot.

This is clearly a simple toy and not nearly as sophisticated as the Axtell models, but for $50.00 the parrot makes a great and fun addition to my shows. Too bad they don't have a Bug version for this year's library shows!

I've recorded various talk back comments, card revelations and other show-related phrases that make him a part of my show. You can record up to four original comments at a time. I've ordered a Pleo to see what I can do with him in my shows and I'm looking for the owl for my wizard character.

I wonder if Pleo will fit into that old circus wagon I never use anymore?
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Tony Thomas
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At this years SCAM (South Carolina Association of Magicians) Conference, Chris Capehart had the Pleo Dinasaur. He used the little guy as an example of things that will attract a crowd for a street magician. He said you simply let it move and do it's thing on your table. The crowd will gather because they have never seen anything quite like it, then go right in to your patter.
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Michael M.
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As I am brand new here, I'm not going to argue about this, but I will offer some helpful advice as a professional.
Get the paperwork done, have the inspection.
Kids love rabbits, period. And they may or may not go for animatronic toys. However, rabbits are the pet that mom and dad say "no" to over and over, so seeing them in a show is a great thing for them.
Go through the hoops, it's worth it.
Mike
Skip Way
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Not questioning the "hoops" here, Mike, but thanks for the advice. Sure, if you have a rabbit in your show and it works for you, facing bureaucracy is a small price to pay. On the other hand, if, like me, one has no time or interest for caring and feeding a rabbit, cleaning cages and fussing with monthly vet visits - these make great alternatives. Simply exploring other options and thinking outside of the hutch.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Donald Dunphy
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I think it was in a David Ginn book or a Sammy Smith book (or both), that they talked about puppets as alternatives to live animals. They can have a personality, etc.

Have you explored this option, Skip?

- Donald

P.S. I was impressed when I watched the Pleo video, in that it's eyes blinked. Wow!
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Skip Way
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Oh, yeah, Donald...I've been playing with puppets for years...but they're not exactly autonomous, you know. The animatronic critters continue to move, play and respond in the background giving them a certain faux realism and, with practice and timing, they can be used ot enhance certain points in a show - unlike rabbits that require an operator.

Listen, they aren't for everyone. They may not work for anyone. It may all be a complete waste. I'm just presenting a new idea in search of creative thought.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Lou Hilario
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I also bought the Hasbro "Real McCaw" parrot a few months ago. I got it for US$100 here. I add it to my parrot show as decoration. I place it in the dancing mode so it looks alive all the time. I allow the kids to pet it instead of my real parrots (who could bite).
It would be great if there was a realistic animatronic rabbit in the future.
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Donald Dunphy
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I still remember the time a little girl cried, after she went to pet the spring bunny I was holding, and she said it "bit" her.

Kids have great imaginations.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Vegasvent
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Quote:
On 2008-03-21 18:51, Lou Hilario wrote:
I also bought the Hasbro "Real McCaw" parrot a few months ago. I got it for US$100 here. I add it to my parrot show as decoration. I place it in the dancing mode so it looks alive all the time. I allow the kids to pet it instead of my real parrots (who could bite).
It would be great if there was a realistic animatronic rabbit in the future.

Lou,
You see...everytime someone says something like that, Steve Axtell comes out with a new product.(ha,ha)
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Dennis Michael
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Not to far in the future the Puppet Police will will want to see that you are treating your puppet well. Violant actions (Which I have seen) may have an adverse impact on children, so let me see that certificate that says you hug and care for your puppet correctly!
Dennis Michael
Lyndel
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Quote:
On 2008-03-22 06:50, Dennis Michael wrote:
Not to far in the future the Puppet Police will will want to see that you are treating your puppet well. Violant actions (Which I have seen) may have an adverse impact on children, so let me see that certificate that says you hug and care for your puppet correctly!


Ha! There goes the ending to Rocky! LOL!


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magic4u02
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Den: hehehehe that is a riot. Let's think about that for a second. If there actually were puppet police we would all be in really bad trouble. After all, the puppet police could not possibly enjoy that fact of where each of us are ramming our hands in order to use our friendly puppet creation. hehehe

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Vegasvent
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Ouch! Puppet Abuse!
Magical Phil-Kidzshow, LLC

"My Wife says that either all of my Stuff goes, or she does......" "Boy, I'm sure gonna miss her cookin'."
Dennis Michael
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Just think "Barney-Barney-Barney" That purple dinosaur that sings, "I love You, You Love Me..." Then there those thousands of puppets that sing, "It's a small world after all, It's a small world after all, it's a small small world" And those dreaded words, "Daddy, let's do it again!"
Dennis Michael
magic4u02
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Aghh aghhh make it stop. please make it stop. lol

Kyle
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rxwookie
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I have seen a lot of performers use good ole' Rocky. The children really seem to love him. Fits perfectly in the space of a rabbit.

Wook
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TRUMPETMAN
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I did an Easter Egg Hunt Breakfast gig this morning. When the kids were done and on the way out of the building, I did a meet and greet (meet and good bye ?) for photos with the kids, standing there with my Angora bunny puppet. Not one child asked if it was real or not ! It really surprised even me. These were smart, savy kids. They all wanted to pet and cuddle him, and I let them, though I continued to hold and move the puppet's paws and nose.

Having a live rabbit is not an option, due to our beloved Golden at home. She would not take well to anything small & fluffy scooting around on the floor !

Mark
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