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Lord Freddie
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People aren't "bashing" Little Man just to be negative. If it was a great as the misleadingly worded advertising claimed then I would have been first in the queue to buy one.
I eagerly awaited the demo just like anyone else and when I saw it, I had that moment of astonishment. Astonishment at how bad it looked and that people would pay $300. Does Paul Harris care about his reputation?

Just because someone has produced greatness in the past, doesn't mean they are exempt from criticism if they produce something that's not so great. We don't have to expect to class everything they do as a "work of genius2 when it quite clearly isn't.

Most of the people that buy this will be 18 year olds just into magic who believe they must buy it because "it's Paul Harris!".


Here's a little prediction for you. Most of these will end up in a cupboard after six months, wasting away. The sort of people that think spectators will be impressed by a sliding lump of clay have quite clearly not performed to REAL audiences in the REAL world. (By REAL audiences I mean not Mummy & Daddy and Uncle Brian)
Stucky
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Trick aside, the demo bored me greatly. Speaking as someone who knows something about video production, this could have been better and looked more professional. (tho' the dog at the end was funny, however the terrible sound effects were not)

It did not inspire me to buy is what I am getting at.

Hey Paul Harris, if you want to impress me and get my hard earned cash, then convince Michael Weber to release his play-doh bear routine! I would snap that up in a heartbeat.
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Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 03:49, Lord Freddie wrote:
The sort of people that think spectators will be impressed by a sliding lump of clay have quite clearly not performed to REAL audiences in the REAL world. (By REAL audiences I mean not Mummy & Daddy and Uncle Brian)

....so, you only perform for adults who don't have kids, nephews or nieces? Such an audience is rather unique, and, I'd suggest far from a "normal" audience. Whatever your definition of a "REAL" audience is, I don't think I've ever worked at such an event. I perform for family audiences, kids, adults, at any and every event. In my area folks hire magicians for weddings, parties, public and corporate events, and to provide shows at amusement parks, hotels, on ships, festivals, etc. All of these audiences include plenty of mummies and daddies and uncles. With over 100 hours of close-up walkabout in my diary for 2010, I'm eagerly anticipating this product. I would NOT use Little Man for sdult-only audiences very often, I guess.
Some magicians rely on impressing their audiences with their skill and dexterity. Others concentrate on the entertainment value of magic within the greater context of a well-stuctured show. A mixture of both is the best of all, but if you forget to entertain, you may well come across as a "know-it-all". This product has high entertainment potential, but of course, if you expect "a miracle straight out of the bag", you won't want to bother with creating a humorous and fascinating presentation.
Perhaps we need a new thread for those who'd like to discuss the presentation of Little Man, instead of all these pages of whining.
Potty Smile
Spackle666
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I keep hearing about Michael weber's playdough routine. Anyone got a reference for this? Or even a description
"it's bad luck to be superstitious."
Potty the Pirate
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So for those who have IDEAS, here's a new thread at "The Little Darlings":
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=17&0
May I respectfully ask, if you have nothing constructive to add, that you keep your negative comments to THIS thread, which already just reads like a bunch of whining schoolchildren.
Thanks, Potty Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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So now all the people who don't think it's the best thing ever are "whining schoolchildren". Potty, are you trying to tell me you have NEVER said ANYTHING negative about ANY magic product EVER? Sorry, I don't buy that, sir, not for one second. Just because THIS product seems to be one you happen to like does not give you the right, sir, to call anyone who disagrees with you names, any more than they have the right to do so to you, should you not see the merit in something they happen to think is incredible.

What's say we grow up here, gang, and civilly debate as opposed to resorting to mud-slinging and name calling?
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Sybilmagic
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The effect is poor and the method obvious. You could rip up the black bag but they would assume the magnet was in the table or strapped to your leg. I mean it would only take a search on the Café for 'little play dough man mangnet' and a layman will have it 'all figured out'. There are children's toys (in the UK) that rely on similar methods for interaction, if the effect of the model walking was a a secondary effect then it might entertain (such as walking towards a chosen playing card) but that is a lot of dough to pay.

Basically the layman has an 'escape hatch' from the moment of astonishment and it therefore falls short. I suggest people send the video to friends and ask them how it is done, that would be the true litmus test.
ricardo carpenter
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... and Little Man mumbled :
"That’s one small step for Little Man, one giant leap for claykind?"
Potty the Pirate
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I never called anyone any names, Scott, stop making things up. I'm just bored with reading the same old thing from the same people over and over again. I often have negative things to say about new products, read the "Teddy Bear Turmoil" thread for instance. BUT, I make my point, and then refrain from sticking my oar in, as I respect the fact that some folks WILL like it, and want to have a chance to discuss how they'll use it, not hear negative comments from folks who haven't got a clue how to incorporate it into their show.
The problem is Scott, that you and several others have hi-jacked this thread, making it a waste of anyone's time to read. As I said, it's akin to listening to a bunch of schoolchildren talking about the latest "must have" in the playground.
13 pages, and barely a creative idea in sight.
And if your audiences rush to the nearest computer to Google the trick you just did, you are getting your performance SERIOUSLY wrong! Geez...and a "true litmus test" is a performance, not showing the demo video to your friends. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And wrong again!
;)
ricardo carpenter
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... and Little Man said, as he walked to the toilets :
"Hum...I have cold feet"
Sybilmagic
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Quote:
And if your audiences rush to the nearest computer to Google the trick you just did, you are getting your performance SERIOUSLY wrong! Geez...and a "true litmus test" is a performance, not showing the demo video to your friends. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And wrong again!
;)


I disagree why wouldn't people Google something that bugged the crap out of them? People love the ability to find any information and Google spoons feeds it, don't be under an illusion that people are too polite to at least (at a high level) check that their 'state of astonishment' wasn't for something too obvious. Although I accept the person may still be entertained by the presentation....
As proof I did the following: Google Search

Why is showing the demo video to a friend wrong? It is only the same as watching a magic DVD with a friend and viewing their reaction to an effect. In fact the Demo video is a brilliant litmus test as it should show the effect in its best light. I agree, you might add or take things in performance but the effect is bad at a fundemental level. You cannot escape the fact that the 'little man' moves in a way that is similar to off the shelf toys. Do not underestimate the IQ of your audience.

Also, on the subject of creativity, all artists need inspiration to paint their blank canvas. I think the general feedback so far is that they are not inspired. To make this effect have more impact I would want the clay figure to come alive in my hands. Is that creative enough for you?

Based on your observations I think you only considered me wrong on two points not four.
ricardo carpenter
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... and Little Man smiled :
"... yes I'm moving forward and actually walking...
one astonishing step at time !... forward with each dramatic step...
Hey I have the wind up!"
Mr. Muggle
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 06:37, Potty the Pirate wrote:
[...]13 pages, and barely a creative idea in sight


Respectfully Potty, this forum isn't about creativity, look under the forum rules and you will read this forum is about providing:

Quote:
[...] a place where folks can discuss the latest rumors, read announcements and speculate about the obvious hyperbole surrounding many of the upcoming products that are released into magicdom. Will they be genuine miracles or mere rhetoric? We ponder the question...


Now back to the topic at hand.

My opinion on the Little Man demo is that a professional performer will make it shine and a mediocre or lesser magician won't. I think its more beneficial for a darker performance or used as a kids effect. Is it 'magical' or a ten on the 'wow' factor? IMO, no. Will it entertain? Yes, but the degree depends on the magician and it being embedded in another routine (card selection, etc.) Is it worth $300? IMO no; not at this stage in the game as version 1.0 moves to much like a toy. I suspect a number of improvements have yet to be made or realized.

As to the demo and lay audiences, I watched this with a group of co-workers today. They wern't told it was a magic effect. They were not magicians or used to watching magic. While they enjoyed it, as was posted earlier, it was more of a puzzle to the group. Nothing was said about the bag. To be fair, I'm sure in part this was due to lack of patter and performance build-up. Sadly, the point is Little Man was far from 'astonishment' to this lay audience under these 'test' conditions.

One thing is for sure, Little Man is not a 'quick' effect.

IMO audiences today 'want it now' and the prep/build-up time in a real life performance may be longer than desired for most. Since Little Man has not been used or tested by anyone other than Rod Whitlock and Paul Harris (to my knowledge) there is really no way to determine how it will play unless you take a $300 leap of faith and invest sweat equity. Could it be gold in someone's hands? Most definitely - I'm sure someone liked it otherwise we wouldn't be talking about it.

Personally, I'll wait for a broad based, post release, peer review and see what others do and think about Little Man. Sadly, I estimate this to be about six months or more away. If Little Man was known as a signature performance piece and reviewed like items released from other top professionals, I'd consider buying it despite all the hype, unknown factors, and the limited demo. To date, I have seen no such review or testimonial to sway my opinion. I suspect this may be the most over-hyped magic release of 2010 and hopefully a lesson to all in the magic community.

On a lighter note, all this discussion and debate about walk, step, and shuffle - not to mention the Frankenstein monster got me thinking. Why not go on YouTube to compare! I see now that others have done the same above so I took a slightly different approach. What I found was Frankenstein did in fact walk, his knees did in fact bend, and he didn't sway, shuffle, or waddle as much from side to side like, for example, a penguin. Here is the demo of Little Man to compare for yourself. IMO the main similarity between the three links is the position of the arms as each walks, shuffles, waddles, or steps.

In the end this doesn't matter - the little guy moves on his own and you can walk away from the area. You could put an upside down fish tank over the unit to prove there was no threads, etc. as the audience watches. The idea's brilliant (allbeit needs work) and different than anything else out today even if its not what so many of us hoped it would be. Then of course is the way it was marketed; a horse that was beat to death in multiple threads (rightfully so IMO). With that said, the negativity and constant posting of the same opinions doesn't get us anywhere because most everyone agrees this should never have been released until both ready and proven in the real world. Paul admits this through his sister, so lets see if the backlash has lasting results in the magic community.

I have sat with great anticipation since hearing about Little Man waiting for the demo and am satisfied the demo is as advertised. Remember folks, its a magic trick and we specialize in selective wording and deception - don't believe for a moment our own tricks aren't used when jobbers design magic to sell to us - but I digress. Little Man is far above anything I've ever created or designed in magic. For this, I tip my hat to Rod Whitlock, the creator and engineer of the effect, and Paul Harris who put his name and effort into this venture and wish them luck as they continue to work to bring this to market. With time and refinement Little Man has the potential of being one heck of an effect.

I for one won't post anything more on this until there is something to review and new to discuss. We all have to draw the line somewhere and IMO there isn't much more to say.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Rich B.
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Here is my view on Little man.

I wasn't that disappointed in the demo. I really didn't think a lump of clay would come to life and tap dance across a table. I was amused when I saw him shuffle along to reveal a trick in the demo.

Some effects have no explanation to a lay audience, others need presentational ideas to cancel out obvious methods. An example is the floating rose. I just performed it New Years Eve. During the floating part, you wave your hands below, above, and make a hoop with your arms to pass the rose through. One guy after the show said he saw me do this twice and it was the most amazing thing he has ever seen. I'm sure prior to the "proving" part, this guy was sure how it was done.

This is the case with Little Man...the audience will most likely know or think they know how it was done. Handing everything out for examination (according to the demo description) cancels out the method they are think of.

That being said, I can't see performing this anywhere except for family and friends. The time it takes to set this up(forming Little Man, setting up the trick), I can't see doing this in strolling close up shows...not practical. Or carrying the bag around with you all night. I guess this would work for parlor or formal close up shows...I just do many of these shows.

For $300, I think you have to consider...where are you going to perform this. I think its a great effect for hobbyists with deep pockets.

Just my thoughts.

Rich B.
PHSIS
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Appreciate your thoughts Mr. Muggle. One clarification here. This project was indeed started by Paul with Rod Whitlock. After the basic theories were worked out, the heavy lifting and endlessly intricate engineering was magnificently executed by Mark Allen. Paul and Rod will tell anyone that without Mark Allen's months of heroic effort and commitment to this project that Little Man would not be walking (or shuffling) today. So for those who love Little Man, please hold happy thoughts in your heart for Mark Allen. For those with less than happy thoughts about little man, feel free to focus them on my big brother Paul. It's a fine way to keep him humble.

Janet (AG)
Sybilmagic
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For me this is a curiosity. I could imagine it would work in a parlour situation if you had the mechanism purpose built into a table you could then have it as a running gag. i.e. he moves when your back is turned... but as a standalone piece of magic hmmmm you would be brave to perform this for anyone with an IQ of above 80.
That said Paul Harris may not be expecting close-up performers to buy this. He may not be expecting to appeal to all tastes and is possibly aware this will not work in all environments. I don't think it is fair to judge a trick on whether it appeals to the masses though and if this trick does work for one person and they have a lot of success with it then it is a successful trick. As it has made someone experience the moment of astonishment and given someone a solid piece of magic, which is priceless to a working performer.
I may eat my words. Reality Twister (in my mind) is on a similar level. It is a curious piece of science and light refraction in a prism lens. Although Bro Gilbert does a good job of performing it on AOA I just can't get past the fact that the lens is clearly responsible for doing the magic. The minute they ask to look at the lens and you refuse they will attribute it to the lens
It hurts me to say it (and I love Paul Harris and look forward to seeing him in Blackpool) I always feel that he finds a property or novelty with an object unknown to the magic community, packages it as magic and in a lot of cases it works superbly and in others it can still look like a novelty that is not strictly magic.
ricardo carpenter
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Janet, your last post is very fine. Clever and humble.

From my point of view, the negative point in the demo is that the container
is on the table. It's a way a magician rarely performs : he takes something outside a box and then he "clears" the scene and put the box away.
Little Man may needs more light and focus on him.
And all the extra material needs more shadow.
Rich B.
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In my above post...it should have read, "I just do NOT do many of these shows(formal close up shows).

Rich B.
Havens
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 08:06, ricardo carpenter wrote:
Janet, your last post is very fine. Clever and humble.

From my point of view, the negative point in the demo is that the container
is on the table. It's a way a magician rarely performs : he takes something outside a box and then he "clears" the scene and put the box away.
Little Man may needs more light and focus on him.
And all the extra material needs more shadow.


I agree about the container, it seems to be quite firmly fixed placed and the demo cuts as the dough is taken from the tub. It's clearly used for cover and I'm not sure how natural or easy it would be to take the dough out of the tub in that position.

I've watched the demo many times now and I think what hurts it are the cuts and the close ups during the walk, which create a lack of trust in the product. Perhaps these were made for creative reasons but I think if the camera stayed where it was when the match was lit it would have served the demo better and looked more impressive.
Potty the Pirate
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[quote]On 2010-01-07 07:27, Mr. Muggle wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-01-07 06:37, Potty the Pirate wrote:
[...]13 pages, and barely a creative idea in sight


Respectfully Potty, this forum isn't about creativity, look under the forum rules and you will read this forum is about providing:

Quote:
[...] a place where folks can discuss the latest rumors, read announcements and speculate about the obvious hyperbole surrounding many of the upcoming products that are released into magicdom. Will they be genuine miracles or mere rhetoric? We ponder the question...

...my apologies Mr Muggle - I hadn't understood that. I'll follow the new thread in "Little Darlings" for the creative stuff. Your post sums it all up, thank you.
Regarding suitable venues, 3 obvious ones come to mind: Cafés and informal restaurants, kid shows, and hospital bedside shows. I regularly perform at all these types of venue, that's why I see this as pure gold.
Potty Smile
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