Since the theme of our blog is Perfect Magic Then and Now, I usually reminisce about the old days, about experiences we’ve had over the years, the people we’ve come into contact with, or Magie Montreal. But last week I wrote about a piece of magic equipment that has stood the test of time, the French Arm Chopper. It was a great illusion then and it still is now. It has withstood the test of time. I started thinking, what other magic tricks have been constant sellers in the shop?
Now our biggest job at Perfect Magic is keeping up with all the new magic that is flooding the market. Back Then we used to put out a catalog every 2 years and send out a flyer every 2 months to let you know what new magic there was. I have a catalogue from 1994. Not that long ago. It was Number 15. It was 8″ x 11″ and had about 108 pages with 7 or 8 items on a page. 864 items. Now, our price list is from May 2011 is 123 pages with over 5000 items on it and growing.
The technology in some of the magic today is astounding. Computerized, electronic, apps. and the materials available to make miracles is beyond belief. And it has its place. But if you don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars ( word borrowed from my son’s blog) you can still do a great show with some good old-fashion magic.
There are many items, as I glanced through the old catalogue , that we still have that were great then and now. One item that struck me as withstanding the test of time is the Change Bag. Now there is a greater variety to choose from, but the basic effect is the same. You put something in an empty bag and something else comes out and you can show the bag empty again.
At one time my favorite routine with the Change Bag was this; you put a big pink silk in the bag with a smaller black silk and an even smaller white silk and after all the byplay you’d invite a child to reach in and take out the silks. He or she would reach in and pull out a big pink silk with a cute black and white skunk on it.Unfortunately the skunk silk is no longer available. But there are tons of routines possible with the change bag. There is a repeat change bag, so you can cut up a rope, throw the pieces in the bag and pull out the rope all knotted together. Throw it back in and his time when you pull out the rope it is restored to the original one long rope. And of course you can show it empty each time. Now my favorite is the Dalmation Set. You take a silk with a white dog on it , and a silk with a black dog on it and put them both in the bag and come out with a Dalmatian Dog. You can use the change bag as a vanisher or producer of an item. Its a wonderful prop and now they have mini ones, one handed, one with no handles, a Santa Clause change bag.Its great for kids or adult shows. Its easy to handle and its versatile. That’s why it was popular then and is popular now. It had withstood the test of time.