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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Tommy James ABC blocks (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Potty the Pirate
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It's not Cube-A-Libre, but it looks very similar. Tommy's ABC blocks are available at Hocus Pocus (they only had 6 sets, and I have one of them on it's way!)

Check out Tommy's video:



This looks like a real winner. I don't "get" why Tommy doesn't make a Bumble Bee appear out of the hat at the end of the routine, I was totally expecting it!

I'm also intrigued that Tommy is selling these through Hocus Pocus, but not on his own website. I would have preferred to order direct, but I'm happy to support Hocus Pocus. I know some folks feel they're a bit overpriced, but they are a totally professional magic store, and must be among the largest distributors in the World. You get what you pay for - Paul Gross is extremely knowledgeable, honorable, and a pleasure to deal with.
TommyJ
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Doug I do sell these on my site. I wholesale to Hocus Pocus as Paul carries just about everything I put out. He is a great guy and they have great service.

This is a real fun routine to perform.
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
Potty the Pirate
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I can't wait to get my set, Tommy. Yes, I found the ABC blocks on your website today - but for the life of me, I searched yesterday and missed 'em!

I will simply have to work out a way to tip out a giant bumble bee from the hat at the end!
ROBERT BLAKE
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The idea of the bumble bee is great. but I can't use it. it does not work in my language.
frankieacemagic
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I have the blocks and have been using them for a week! The middle phase where the A supposedly disappears is HILARIOUS and really sets up for the ending. These are lightweight, easy to use, and very colorful. Great job with this, Tommy!!!
Potty the Pirate
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I received mine yesterday, wow! Tommy's full routine is superb, and the effect is lightweight, packs-small (the box it comes in is 300x130x130mm), and beautifully crafted. He provides a DVD with a full video of him performing ABC Blocks, as well as explanation and tips. In addition, there is a full written explanation with photos and a transcript of his hilarious routine, including a plethora of very good gags and bits of business. I really appreciate this, I've always preferred to refer to the written word when practising, than rewinding and pausing video.

This routine is rare, as Tommy points out, because it plays equally well to kids of just about any age. (I know that without needing to try it out myself...I love it, and I'm a child of 52!) The reason? It's incredibly deceptive, and very funny. Tommy's handling is perfect, the "moves" (if you can call them that) being perfectly disguised with comedy pantomime. This will definitely be going in my family shows, I anticipate I could practise it and have it ready within a week, but I also have some additional ideas to "pirate things up" somewhat, which means I'll be changing a couple of details and adding a bunch of stuff. That will take considerably longer.

I can't imagine any kidshow performer not loving this, will let you all know how I get on with it after a few performances.
stempleton
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Budget reasons have me selling off some props to purchase this from Tommy. I WILL have this!
TommyJ
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2014, stempleton wrote:
Budget reasons have me selling off some props to purchase this from Tommy. I WILL have this!


:)
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
Potty the Pirate
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I performed this for the first time a couple of hours ago. I was a little nervous, because when you practise this, you do make mistakes, and rather unusually, the mistakes aren't getting complicated "moves" wrong.....but simply not remembering the correct handling of the prop.

It is remarkably easy to reveal the method, and I'd say once it's revealed, it's murdered!

So, it's very important to be comfortable with the handling of the prop, and the particular handlings at each phase of the effect.

I'm happy to say, my first performance went swimmingly.

My practise was watching Tommy about 4 times, and handling the prop, going through the routine probably 8 times. Also, reflecting on the effect/routine for a couple of weeks (that was the real work). Crucially, I went through the handling about 4 times right before I set off for the show.

I also purchased a small stuffed toy, and made it into a Bee, which I will attempt to show you a photo of. I practised whacking the living daylights out of the bee - which I thoroughly enjoyed, as I've always wanted to "beat up" a stuffed toy or puppet in a show, but it's never made sense before.....


So anyhow, the bee is really hard to get off the wand (due to some seriously strong neodymiums) ....and he can fall down over the tip, and then, when I'm not looking, sit back up again. Yes, all right, it's Tommy James's Christmas Wand adapted with a much stronger attractive force.....

Even better, the Bee, once ensconced in my table, is easily picked up again, I just have to lower the wand to the near vicinity of the Bee, and whadaya know? He's siting back on the end of the wand!

Apart from that, my routine was word-for-word as Tommy's. I always like to perform verbatim from a script (when it's available) for a first performance, use the exact script as is wrote, but maybe adding a couple of my own bits.

The kids were suitably amazed, and I think the comedy with the Bee went down well. I considered making the Bee appear in the hat, instead of the "B" block, but at every turn, as I looked at alternatives, the method was being diluted....as it is, Tommy's presentation is "perfect"....put in more phases, change the handling, try to be clever and add in more magic moments......and in my opinion, the method starts to become more obvious, or less astonishing.

I was very happy with the reactions I got, performing exactly like Tommy, but adding in a bee on the end of a wand.

The kids were absolutely gobsmacked, and it played perfectly for me today.

It's just what I expected - a great bit of kids' magic, funny, with plenty of opportunity for comedy - and very bewildering.

There is defintely a lot more that can be made of this - but it's all down to business. The effect itself is 100%
TommyJ
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Potty, Frankie Ace also recommended a bee at the end of the routine and I LOVE you wand idea! That is great!!! This may be a great lead-in to the Comeback BEE

Thanks for sharing and it makes me happy to hear this routine is working well for you!

Tommy
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
Potty the Pirate
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For the life of me, I can't seem to upload the photo directly, but you can see my bee wand here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/10982283357......rectlink
jimhlou
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I saw this prop at the Kidabra conference. The video does not do it justice. The blocks are beautifully finished and the tube has 3 dimensional white/silver decorations - a really great looking piece of equipment.

Jim
TommyJ
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Thanks Jim. I don,t know HOW many times I demonstrated the routine at my booth, but it was a lot. Great seeing you and thanks for the feedback Smile

Tommy
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
Skip Way
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I bought Tommy's ABC Blocks at KIDabra and have begun rehearsing my routine. I have some old habits to break from using the old wooden blocks & sleeve for years, so this is going to take some effort. But, these blocks are SO worth it! I love how incredibly light they are, how attractive they are, and how simply they work. Tommy's three-phase routine is killer and blows the traditional blocks away. Thank you, Tommy. Another tour d'force!

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
frankieacemagic
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Hi all! I love the blocks. I do my coloring book routine, take out the Blooming Wands, tell the kids to yell "Wand Power," which they do, then ask, "who yelled "wand flower?" That makes no sense!" They crack up. Then the flowers appear Smile

After all is fixed with the coloring book, I look at the displayed flowers and say "I hope those flowers don't attract bees!" At which point the kids tell me the flowers are fake. I say, "whatever, real or fake, I don't like bees!" Then I perform the Comeback Bee.

After the Comeback Bee, I perform another non bee effect, then the ABC blocks. I had a bee card printed and I place it into the top hat with double stick tape. In the 3rd phase of the effect, I place the A/B block directly on the card. At the end, I ask, "and what's in the hat?" When they yell B and I pick up the block with the bee, they go crazy!!!! Feel free to try it out. It's lots of fun.
troy thornton
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Quote:
On Aug 18, 2014, Skip Way wrote:
I bought Tommy's ABC Blocks at KIDabra and have begun rehearsing my routine. I have some old habits to break from using the old wooden blocks & sleeve for years, so this is going to take some effort. But, these blocks are SO worth it! I love how incredibly light they are, how attractive they are, and how simply they work. Tommy's three-phase routine is killer and blows the traditional blocks away. Thank you, Tommy. Another tour d'force!

Skip

I just got an old wood set off of Ebay. they are fine but I think I know what you mean.
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