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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » The Little Hand - by Michael Ammar (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sealegs
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Dave Bonsall’s company PropDog makes a fantastic version of this little prop. As with everything that Dave produces to the attention to detail in the creation and manufacture of this little gimmick leaves no area unexplored.

Here’s the description from his website:
"The idea of a little hand, or 'little assistant' has been around for decades with numerous variations.

With the exception of Michael Ammar's version. Dave Bonsall's version is one of the only ones specificaly designed for the purpose. The original was hand carved by Dave Bonsall and took many attempts to achieve the perfect size and shape. This original was then used to mould further copies.

The hand was designed with four specific goals in mind, the first was to make it look as realistic as possible (this version is an exact minature duplicate of Dave Bonsall's hand!)

The second goal was to ensure this could 'claw' a borrowed ring or coin. Other versions have a magnet in to pick up a magenetic coin, but this is no good for a ring or borrowed coin. This version will perfectly claw and drag any ring or coin into the hand, so there's no need for a magnet.

The third goal was to design this so that it could be easily thumb palmed after the gag so to make it look like 'he's' now vanished.

The forth goal was the hardest, to make it in such a way that it would fit all finger shapes and sizes. Earlier version would only fit a certain size. After 2 years of research and hundreds of prototypes, Dave Bonsall finally came up with a 'one size fits all' design. The solution? Make a gap in the part that goes over your finger and use a heat mouldable plastic. So if it doesn't fit you right away, you simply have to pour some boiling water over the part that goes over your finger (not with your finger in it!), wait a second, so it cools just enough to go over your finger. Then squeeze it tightly around your finger and then set it's shape by running it under cold water for 30 seconds. It will then retain it's shape. You can also tweak the fingertips of the hand in the same way.

The little hand is designed to be used on your middle finger, so it can easily be removed in thumb palm.

We will soon be adding a handling video to the website, but in the mean time, below is a very rough handling guide quickly filmed so you'll get an idea of how to use it."
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
SlipperySnake
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Do you have a link?
ChrisG
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SlipperySnake, click on the word, website: in SeaLegs post
"Consensus is the negation of Leadership"

M. Thatcher
Pete Biro
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I did and I ordered a pair.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
SlipperySnake
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Quote:
On 2013-12-22 18:17, ChrisG wrote:
SlipperySnake, click on the word, website: in SeaLegs post


Thanks - was reading it on my phone - didn't notice that with the small text.
bowers
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Very nicely made.
Todd
alexander_may
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I was lucky enough to sit next to Michael Ammar and have him perform this for me a couple of years ago when he gave his lecture here in Cape Town. It was one of those rare magical moments you don't get a lot of as a magician! I don't perform this every day, but rather for those impromptu opportunities when I am not doing a show, and just want to create a random moment of astonishment.
Hand-made realistic sponge production items now available through Murphy's dealers or at www.alexander-may.com
ehands
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Quote:
On 2013-08-01 14:43, Pete Biro wrote:
Here's my handling. Works with any beer cap.
http://youtu.be/82K2Xv11Jg8

If performing for laymen, I know you would not defuse the shock by saying, "well that is all there is too it."
What about, however, the question of whether saying ahead of time you have a little assistant? Do you think that too might diminishe the surprise element and prepare the viewer's thought to immediately wonder "I didn't know he had that little gimmick, but I know now which hand he has both items in." ?
"Oh look, we have created enchantment." Blanche DuBois
videoman
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Quote:
On 2013-12-22 05:30, Sealegs wrote:
Dave Bonsall’s company PropDog makes a fantastic version of this little prop. As with everything that Dave produces to the attention to detail in the creation and manufacture of this little gimmick leaves no area unexplored.

Here’s the description from his website:
"The idea of a little hand, or 'little assistant' has been around for decades with numerous variations.

With the exception of Michael Ammar's version. Dave Bonsall's version is one of the only ones specificaly designed for the purpose. The original was hand carved by Dave Bonsall and took many attempts to achieve the perfect size and shape. This original was then used to mould further copies.

The hand was designed with four specific goals in mind, the first was to make it look as realistic as possible (this version is an exact minature duplicate of Dave Bonsall's hand!)

The second goal was to ensure this could 'claw' a borrowed ring or coin. Other versions have a magnet in to pick up a magenetic coin, but this is no good for a ring or borrowed coin. This version will perfectly claw and drag any ring or coin into the hand, so there's no need for a magnet.

The third goal was to design this so that it could be easily thumb palmed after the gag so to make it look like 'he's' now vanished.

The forth goal was the hardest, to make it in such a way that it would fit all finger shapes and sizes. Earlier version would only fit a certain size. After 2 years of research and hundreds of prototypes, Dave Bonsall finally came up with a 'one size fits all' design. The solution? Make a gap in the part that goes over your finger and use a heat mouldable plastic. So if it doesn't fit you right away, you simply have to pour some boiling water over the part that goes over your finger (not with your finger in it!), wait a second, so it cools just enough to go over your finger. Then squeeze it tightly around your finger and then set it's shape by running it under cold water for 30 seconds. It will then retain it's shape. You can also tweak the fingertips of the hand in the same way.

The little hand is designed to be used on your middle finger, so it can easily be removed in thumb palm.

We will soon be adding a handling video to the website, but in the mean time, below is a very rough handling guide quickly filmed so you'll get an idea of how to use it."



But there is something nice about the hand Michael Ammar uses which is longer and can extend further. It is actually a small arm with a hand rather than just a hand.
But personal preference I guess. Although having the hand actually grab something such as a borrowed ring (which Bonsall's can do) is definitely a very nice touch.
sandsjr
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Love the beer cap idea. Thanks for sharing that!
J-Mac
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Many of the little hands from Ammar have the magnet misplaced - usually pretty far up in the wrist. (I have two and both are like that). Looks OK if you are grabbing a large cap, but doesn’t look very good when grabbing the small coin it comes with.

Jim
sandsjr
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Mine is a little low as well.
Walking Bob
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Hello

I had the same problem but I went to online K&J Magnetics and bought some post magnets (I believe 3/16 by 3/16) drilled that size hole in the palm of the little hand. When I drilled the hole
the other magnet popped out and I glued the new one in. I left the magnet flush with the surface in view but it that part of the hand never shows. Now coin stick to palm and much stronger
grip, so no fear of accidentally dropping the coin.

Have a nice day, this is one of my favorite effects, especially for little kids!!!

Walking Bob
Uncle Joe
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Ordered mine from Dave Bosnall.
Lovely little gimmick.
zoic
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I went off this for a while. Im inspired! Gonna dust it off and start carrying it again!
Roy Rocha
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I love the Little Hand! It gets great reactions.
george1953
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Mine is way too small, can't even get it on my pinkie, any suggestions ?
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
Romano911
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Quote:
On Apr 18, 2015, george1953 wrote:
Mine is way too small, can't even get it on my pinkie, any suggestions ?


Perhaps try something that has worked for me to stretch out vernet tt's. Soak it in hot water first then try stretching it out and working it on your finger.
Commonly known as Mariano Blanco.
comicjenius
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Anyone have tips on handling for this effect? The instruction "booklet" I received with mine reads like it was translated from Japanese to English. Which leads me to think I purchased a "knock off" item. I have no problem fitting it on my pinkie but the instructions are vague with no performance tips at all. Great little trick, but I could use some insights for performance to get the best possible reaction. The magnet in my Little Hand is not glued in place and therefore is in danger of falling out. Any tips? Anyone? Thanks in advance!
Richard Kaufman
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This by Bob Farmer, creator of this effect:

Several decades ago, around the very early 1980s or late 1970s, I invented what has become known as, “The Little Hand.” It’s been made famous in recent years by Michael Ammar, who has an exclusive written license from me to sell it as a standalone magic trick. The only other licensee, is the Hanky Panky Toy Company—they have an exclusive license to include the trick in magic sets.

I kept the trick to myself, but around 1984, I was in Tannen’s magic shop and I showed the trick to some magicians there. I returned to Toronto, and within a month, the trick was everywhere. It spread like a virus. A version ended up in the 1984 book, The New York Magic Symposium Collection Three (see “Hands Off,” p. 40).

At the time, I found this amusing, but as long as people were just going out and buying little dolls hands for 50 cents, I didn’t see any problem, but shortly thereafter some guy in Las Vegas began advertising the trick as his and selling little hands for $5 (see Genii, Vol. 48, #12, p.912). He even printed a copyright notice.

I sent this entrepreneur a letter and like most black sheep who get caught ripping something off, he was most indignant and accused me of being too aggressive or as he put it, I was guilty of “unnecessary roughness.”

Then to add insult to injury he claimed some guy at a toy company had invented the trick.

His ads disappeared and maybe he did too.

Time passed and along came Michael Ammar who asked me if he could include the trick in his lecture. He had seen it in Magic For Dummies, credited to me (and it’s also in The Idiot’s Guide To Magic, also credited to me and in the September 1992, Genii, also credited to me).

I’ve known Michael for a long time, so I agreed and we entered into an exclusive agreement as noted above. He also decided to go to a great deal of expense to manufacture specially designed little hands.

Michael is the single person who has made this trick popular and he deserves all the credit and the money if it’s to be sold as a commercial item.

A friend of mine was at the last Blackpool convention and he tells me there’s a guy selling the little hand. It’s this guy, Dave Bonsall:

http://www.propdog.co.uk/little-hand-gimmick

Note that my name appears nowhere, it’s now “Dave Bonsall’s Tiny Hand Prop.”

Dave says he’s just selling the prop, he’s not selling the instructions.

Of course, without my idea, Dave’s prop has no value. He does want about $40 for the little hand and nobody would pay that unless they would be doing my trick.

Common courtesy would dictate that if Dave wanted to sell a prop for my trick, he would contact me and ask my permission. He didn’t do that—like the miscreant in Las Vegas, he just decided he could make a few bucks from someone else’s idea (mine) and he could maximize that return by not telling anyone (i.e., me).

So I sent Dave a notice explaining that if he wanted to profit from my trick, he had to talk to me. Like the Las Vegas knave before him, his replies accused me of being too aggressive and paraphrased the Vegas varlet’s claim of “unnecessary roughness.”

In my other life as an intellectual property lawyer, one of the things I do is go after bootleggers and counterfeiters of merchandise. When caught, they always exhibit the same reaction: “Jeez! I didn’t know! You’re being too aggressive! I was just making a few bucks!”

At this point, a friend of mine aware of the situation, offered to mediate. He came up with a great proposal. I would receive credit on the site for inventing the trick. For each sale of the prop, £1 per unit would be donated to this children’s charity in Dave’s hometown:

http://www.hounslowtoylibrary.co.uk/

The credit would appear on the site along the lines of:

“Bob Farmer is the creator of the little hand trick, which in recent years has been popularized by Michael Ammar.”

There would be no sale of the instructions, just the prop.

I also suggested that I could put him in touch with Michael Ammar about doing a deal to sell the instructions. This was not a requirement, just a suggestion.

Well, guess what: the children at the charity are going to have to get donations elsewhere because Dave refused to agree to any of this.

He claims he’s just selling a prop. On his site he shows how to attach the little hand to your finger. Gee, where’d he get that idea? My name appears nowhere.

There are legal remedies available to me, but what’s the point? They are expensive and time consuming. I prefer something I call creative revenge. This is where you do something positive but at the same time show the benighted rogue for what he really is.

So here’s what I suggest you do if this makes you as angry as it makes me: donate a few bucks to the charity, that’s what I’m doing. That way something good will come out of this pathetic rip-off.
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