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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Best Zombie ball for gimmick-less routine? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Autumn Morning Star
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OOh! Very nice, Hegblini! I like that one so much I might have to have it! Luna Shimada also produces a beautiful ball that is amazing. Her routine is absolutely elegant. I don't have a link, but maybe someone can post it.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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Bill Hegbli
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There is no indication what the New Generation Zombie Ball is made of, plastic, aluminum, steel, latex or what.

There are just to many unanswered questions to purchase this without seeing it 1st hand. Anyone in Wichita, Kansas care to take visit to Stevens Magic and report back on what they seen in this new prop?
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mtpascoe
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Getting back to the original argument, does it have a magnet at the end so it can be used for the Naked Zombie?
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-07-22 19:13, mtpascoe wrote:
Getting back to the original argument, does it have a magnet at the end so it can be used for the Naked Zombie?


The ad says no.
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jazzy snazzy
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Quote:
On 2011-07-22 18:31, wmhegbli wrote:
Anyone in Wichita, Kansas care to take visit to Stevens Magic and report back on what they seen in this new prop?


Right, and see if they have Zombie Polish to get rid of audience fingerprints.
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makeupguy
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Wmhegbli has missed the point... again.

It's a pretty floating ball, but is BY FAR not the perfect "zombie ball"..

The point of having a metal ball is to show a heavy object is defying gravity.

What's the point behind having a metal ball as your "zombie ball"? Because it's supposed to be HEAVY. That's why all the zombie balls to fire.. zombie ball to flowers... etc always seemed so out of touch to me. What was the point of a metal zombie ball if you're going to break it in half to show it was hollow? IT MAKES NO SENSE.

To pass a zombie ball out to the audience has the same issues. You're handing out a ball that doesn't weigh anything!!

I understand that doesn't give away the exact secret, but you're showing them that it's not metal and not heavy!

A REAL "zombie ball" should be metal.. should be as seamless as possible... and should have a finish like a STEEL BALL BEARING!! It should LOOK HEAVY!~

NOW.. I'm not saying that anything that is NOT that, is not a zombie ball.. but it's not what was INTENDED as a zombie ball. Skulls, candles, light up balls, bird cages et al. are floating objects.. but not really a "zombie ball."

The method seems as if it's one that's been on the tip of my (almost rhymes with tongue) years.. but I can't say that what's floating... always stays floating when weighed down with a cloth.
Bill Hegbli
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Do you have any references to back up your statements? Joe Karson did not mention any of your comments while inventing Zombie. Neil Foster, considered the premier expert on the Zombie and who invented the climaxes you mentioned did not present them as you described. He made them transformations. Not puzzles.

Dicky Deans Zombie to fire bowls is more of what you may be referring to, but Neil Foster made it a magical transformation.

Again, you did not detect my "tongue in check" post as it was written, and experienced manipulator would have understood my post.
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magicians
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Get real guys, Joe Karson used a 2 piece toilet ball float with a massively visible welded seam. As far as the split ball finale to flowers or fire. This came about as something that could be done with the seamed balls of yesteryear. When you get lemons, make lemonade.
The Crowe zombie is beautiful to watch (as a magician), handing out any prop is a waste of time. You can't let everyone touch it anyway.
Besides, once everyone looks at the perfect sphere, you can just switch it.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Bill Hegbli
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When Abbott's was making the Karson Zombie, the balls did not come apart, they were sealed together. The video Tim Wright gives on his Zombie video shows Karson with a silver ball doing a quick Zombie action. He may have discovered as you say, but every idea starts somewhere. If it wasn't for that toliet float, we may not have the Zombie today.

I think this new Zombie may be just the thing for the magicians that need everything examined. They only have to do one trick in their show. Have each of the members of the audience examine the ball. Sounds very entertaining to me.

Oh, and switching would be cheating, is there a DVD on switching things. The new magicians cannot do anything without a DVD to show them how.
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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--I so totally agree than handing out or passing around a ball-- or any prop for that matter, is a waste of stage time, lags the pace, and is running when you’re not being chased.

Don’t pass a ball-- and don’t even feel guilty enough to switch it. Instead make Magic, perform the “impossible” don’t worry about proof. Your audience wants to believe more than they want to solve.

--The historical intent of the floating ball was to be a heavy object defying gravity, a near impossibility to the audience. A light object “somewhat defying gravity” is not nearly as theatrically sound.

--Now, I’m not certain if you are to be taken tongue in cheek again, or if you’re making a statement-- a smiley face symbol would so help to clarify these things-- I’ll have to assume the first, that your have tongue securely in cheek.

I do think the very early Abbotts balls were sealed, they were still in two half-spheres, as that’s the only way you can spin the metal, but they probably had a very tight sealed seam.

It was Neil Foster’s influence at Abbott, I think, that the split ball was manufactured, it was probably a tad easier to make, and he was using it to do his split “ball to spring flowers” finale by the mid-to-late 1950’s. (Though to me this looks like ball to colored crumpled tissue, not real flowers.)

--No muggle is going to care about your seam or your brand of toilet ball-- if they are transported by the Magic and not looking to evaluate your props.

All this talk about no gimmick-- what gimmick-- what came first the chicken the egg or the toilet ball-- sort of skirts the main issue: None of these props, none of these versions, is worth a rat’s-butt if the skill and theatricality is not there to produce a wondrous and enchanted moment in the act.

--Raymond Crowe produces such an effect-- Neil Foster produced such an effect (finale not withstanding.) Work to make your magic that effective first, then see if your version deserves the very best props available.

Walt
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Marc Christopher
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Just in case anybody else is also looking for a suitable Zombie ball, I would like to give you a quick feedback as to what I received...


After Walt had suggested I try the Viking Zombie ball (thanks, Walt!) I ordered one about 10 days ago (this is what I ordered: http://www.vikingmagic.com/?nd=full&key=1274). I received the package today (I live in Europe, which is why it took a bit longer).

Quite frankly, I have to say, I'm happy to have ordered this ball. Not because it's so amazingly well crafted, however. No, I'm happy to have chosen this ball, because if this is really the best affordable version out there (apart from the RNT2, which costs a small fortune), I don't even want to know what the others look like.

I realize I'm being a bit unfair now. The Viking ball looks nice and seems reasonably well crafted. Unfortunately, the two halves were separated and also quite a bit bent, when they arrived, so that I had to carefully bend them back to fit the halves together... but that was a minor problem.

I was surprised, however, that no matter how hard I tried to make the halves fit well together, the seam remained clearly visible. Now, I really don't care much, if there is a visible seam or not. I firmly believe that when performing a Zombie routine, good acting and mime technique is far more important than that stupid seam. What is more, I realized later on (when I entered the room where I had positioned the ball) that the seam can't even be seen well from, say, five meters away. So, for all practical purposes that shouldn't be a problem.

Nonetheless, considering the amount I had paid I would have expected the seam to look a bit nicer. If it's true that the Morrissey ball is even worse, I would think they it's really really bad.

I also would have hoped the hole to be a bit deeper. Admittedly, I found I can control the ball quite well with my second finger. (It's a bit to wide for my third finger, though. Unless I stick it in quite deeply.) The hole is only about 1cm deep, however. I guess, a deeper hole would make the work a bit easier and would also allow me to use different fingers.


The bottom line for me is that for the routine I have in mind the ball is alright. It's not the expensive, beautiful, flawless silver ball that I would have wished for. But it's okay. And for the money I can really recommend it.


P.S.: As a sidenote: Someone mentioned that we have to live with the fact that there really is no way to make those seams invisible, as this is how the balls are made. I have to say I doubt that:

There is a well-known company in Austria (called WMF; I don't know if this company is known outside Europe) which mainly sells kitchen appliances and cooking utensils. In one of their shops I recently found some really beautiful silver balls (made from aluminium). They are virtually flawless, have no visible seams, are really really cheap and come in many different sizes. The only thing that prevents them to be used for Zombie routines is that they don't have a hole.
Admittedly, I haven't done any research - but I would think it can't be too expensive to have somebody put a hole in these balls...

I wonder: Why is it that normal, everyday objects, suddenly become so much more expensive as soon as they are sold to magicians?
Michael Baker
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I found WMF website, but have not been able to find the balls you mentioned. Can you give any more info?
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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I'm sorry it came bent, I'm sure George would exchange it for a non-bent one that might fit tighter.

Yep, other than R&T or Owen (and their seams show as well) that's the best of the affordable balls. The Viking seam is not as tight as it could be, but not as bad as the other commercial ones, even the Abbotts was quite visible. I can't even comment on the new R&T ball but I doubt the seam is invisible. The depth in mine is about one-inch. And the polish has enough shine that the seam vanishes from about six feet.

I've seen non-seam balls, but they've been light stainless steel, and I don't believe they're spun, but molded. I've not seen any in the USA as light as a zombie ball, they've been at least twice the weight, and I don't know a clean or practical way of gimmicking them, if you figure it out, put a post in the Secret Sessions area later.

It is a shame that in the "tradition" of magic makers, few have been willing to offer extremely high quality when it comes to specialized and difficult to make props such as these, I for one would pay the price.

Thanks for the feedback post,
Walt
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Marc Christopher
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@Michael: I checked the WMF website and couldn't find the balls, either. I found them in one of their shops, really cheap, and bought a few of them in two different sizes.
To be honest: I am not perfectly sure, if they are really aluminium. They could be stainless steel. But they look great and I really can't feel any difference in weight, compared to the Viking Zombie ball.

These balls are not from WMF, but from what I can see in the picture they seem to be quite similar:
http://www.neckermann.de/Silberkugel%202......,pd.html
and
http://www.hood.de/angebot/41821345/3x-e......ugel.htm
They are about 20$, mine were a bit cheaper.


@Walt: Thank you for the feedback. I know a few craftsmen here in Vienna and plan to visit them soon. If they come up with a good solution for gimmicking the balls, I will let you know, for sure.


Thanks again for your help.
Michael Baker
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Thanks for the links. The translation says they are steel.

What is the general purpose of these things? I may try to locate something locally.
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makeupguy
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I have a bunch of hollow steel balls... they can't be used as Zombies as they are too heavy.. I'm glad they were $3.00 each on sale. Now they decorate my living room.

Wack-o-Magic has been doing preliminary (as in a year or more from now) research into a more perfect zombie ball.. with details that I've mentioned to Alan Z at Owen.. and his first comment was "I'd never thought of that." It made me proud.. and frustrated that sometimes you don't' need to think outside the box.. you just need a new perspective.
Bill Hegbli
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So sorry to hear your Zombie was not satisfactory. I believe Viking Magic has gone the way of many magic dealers and importing India products and not informing the purchaser. I believe this because I ordered a well known Viking Product and it turned out to be made in India and not by Viking craftsman.

If I was to purchase a Zombie Ball, I would have went with Ickle Pickle LaGrande Zombie Ball before I would go with many of the others on the market. Why, because Ickle Pickle is sort of a spin off of the original Rings & Things Company. As I have heard that the tooling and some of the Craftsman R&T used during their 'in business' days, was purchased by Ickle Pickle Products Company, located in the same geographical location.

The R&T Zombie was made with a sharp lip so the seam was next to perfect. So I would select this model to take a chance on sight unseen purchases. The promotional picture shows the ball as dull, but the copy says is it shiny, so which is true I currently don't know. Even so, if it was not polished, it is a simple matter to shine the ball up with Jeweler's Rouge and a buffing wheel.
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Bill Hegbli
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Sorry forgot the retail picture of Ickle Pickles product. And would you believe, http://www.hocus-pocus.com currently has a 30% sale on this item. It is an American made product and getting a discount, wonders never cease.

Click here to view attached image.
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Quote:
It is a shame that in the "tradition" of magic makers, few have been willing to offer extremely high quality when it comes to specialized and difficult to make props such as these, I for one would pay the price.

Thanks for the feedback post,
Walt

When I lived in the NY area, I would travel to the Javetts center merchandise show. I would meet with Bob Little, Dushek, and sometimes see Petrik at the show. We each go down different isles and come back with objects that could be applied to magic. I mention this, because the silver sphere we seek is sometimes a product that is already being made. Rather than have the expense of tooling up a metal spinner, we find a ball in a display shop, furniture maker, or ornament company. This explains the mediocre but passable zombie balls seen in the lower price ranges. Canal street was another great source for magic applications.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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I must disagree on several points, as a performer who actually owns almost all versions of the floating ball:

--Marc did not say the ball was “not satisfactory” in fact he said it was fine, but had a bit of shipping damage and that it was not a perfect product.

Viking does NOT get their balls from India. Without knowing that fact it is sad to begin a rumor. The are made and imported from Italy, and George then does a quality control check so only the best ones are sold.

--The Ickle Pickle ball was once very good, and as you say, one similar, to the old R&T one, but please buy the new one to check your current facts.

--It now has a sheen rather than a mirror polished surface. Due to the way it is finished, jeweler’s rouge definitely will not bring the ball up to where it should be.

--There is as noticeable seam in the Pickle, as in any other current ball, as you can see in their own photo, due to the more matt finish the seams appear more visible to me as well.

--IMHO for the list price of about $50 it is no better or worse than other versions on the market. You can compare the Viking and Pickle on their site photos which are quite representative of the respective products.

My two-cents,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
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