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Topic: Most popular balloon model for boys?
Message: Posted by: deadcatbounce (Nov 3, 2009 08:56AM)
I've discovered that if I make a unique balloon model for the birthday girl, and only the birthday girl, i.e., a bracelet or similar, all the other girls want one.
I only do that one, telling the rest that "That's a special one, and I only do it for the birthday girl".
This results in more bookings - because the girl asks the Mom if SHE can have me at her next party so she can get one of the special balloon models. Devious? perhaps. Holding the other Mom to ransom? Maybe. but it works, and it works well.

But all the boys seem to want is a sword. Not that interested in hats. So - I'm looking for that special balloon model for the birthday boy that all the other boys want. Perhaps a giant sword made from 360's would do the trick, but it's a bit... unimaginative. Maybe that would be ok - I don't know. The idea is to get me at THEIR next party...just like the girls..

Anyone have any ideas? I have quite a few balloon dvd's, Don Caldwell, Kalver, Myers, Mark Byrne...and I'm reasonably proficient, but quite new to the balloon chapter of kids shows.

Thanks in advance..

Message: Posted by: Bad to the Balloon (Nov 3, 2009 09:14AM)
Have you made the Dragon hat for boys yet?

I usually make a birthday cake hat for the child regardless. I might add a figure to it if they ask. Theirs is usually the biggest hat no matter what.

I also state before making balloons that everyone will get something different. I only make hats because we want great pictures of kids with smiling faces and if it is on your head it usually doesn't get popped. I do a set of balloons to music which cues me to what to make next. Kids are chosen by the size of their smile and whether they sit down and behave. Parents are amazed by this display of control .... kind of like watching a lion tamer.

Most parties I do the bulk of balloon hats for girls first and boys second and B-day child last. "may I get your guests first?" While shaking my head yes.

B-day cake hat has 8 - 10 balloons in it and I have the child "help" by holding balloon and look don't see shooting them across the room. Then they are over whelmed by magnitude of balloons a great photo op.

While child is in front of the crowd I do the Electric Birthday Song ..... air guitar version of Happy Birthday available from Ralph Metzler AKA Ralph the Great formerly of DC now living in LAs Vegas.
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Nov 3, 2009 12:03PM)
Superheroes, dinosaurs, vehicles, aliens
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 3, 2009 02:32PM)
Since I started this career I find myself surprised (and disappointed) in the lack of creativity and originality in young people. If someone else has something the like, then that's what they want, no ifs ands or buts. "But I can make anything in the whole wide world!! Are you sure you want the same thing I made the last 10 kids?" It really saddens and bores me that the kids are so eager to get what everyone else has. Apparently "Keeping up with the Joneses" starts from birth.

Anyways, I have a category of balloons in my mind called "Make 1, make 100." Sometimes it ends up being a total surprise (once I made about 20 of my modest little horses), but more often than not, I know when I twist the first one of any number of my creations, I am opening the floodgates. That being said, my most requested boy balloon (after they've seen it) is without a doubt a rocket/jet pack. I did a kindergarten Halloween party and I believe 6 out of the 7 boys got one. Not uncommon.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Nov 3, 2009 05:19PM)
Care to share a picture of this rocket pack? My son is a rocket nut.
Message: Posted by: deadcatbounce (Nov 3, 2009 06:17PM)
Right now, I'm happy to knock out 20 swords to shut them up. Keep in mind, I'm not a balloonatic. I do it to fill time and earn cash. Sure, I do it in the street, and work the different models.

I'm sure I'll get flak for this - but....

Kids shows, I treat balloons as an add-on to puff up the gig. In that situation, I do balloons for cash only. My mindset is "I'm getting paid for the magic show, one hour, and anything else extra is a sweetener" Sure, if I do a show, where I get paid for the magic, and get paid for the balloon time, I'll make them all swords, and then make them what I think they'd like, after they've hacked each other to death with the sharpest ever balloons...

Lack of creativity in thinking is ok in that situation, I think, from both sides. A kid sees someone with a sword. He's never automatically going to think... "Ah - a balloon artist - I'll bet he'll be able to make me a balloon likeness of "The Last Supper - on Ice", featuring a likeness of Jesus an' all - after all - he can make a sword...."
And I, as the balloon person, would much rather make the sword again, than try to explain the inherent problems involved in trying to re-create ANY biblical scene with balloons to a young guy high on Red Bull and Twinkies...

I, too, would like to see the rocket pack, incidentally...


Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 3, 2009 06:59PM)
The rocket pack is one of those beautiful creations that requires very little skill or actual twisting. You can make it with 2 646's or one 350 plus 4 (or 6-ish with the 646's) 260s.

I'll post a pic soon, don't have one on file so I'll have to twist it up.
Message: Posted by: deadcatbounce (Nov 3, 2009 07:43PM)
I's looking forward to it..


Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 3, 2009 09:10PM)
Alright. I don't have a camera at my disposal tonight so get get your balloons and follow along. Then you can post a pic and I'll tell you if you are in the ballpark. I'll do the 350 version because that's more common for me since I don't always carry 646's and it's better for line work.

Inflate 350 with 4 inch tail. You'll have to make two equal sized bubbles with 2 pinch twists on either end, the idea is to use the whole balloons. So pinch, pinch, long bubble, pinch, pinch, long bubble. This will be your tank. You can use 2 646's for twin tank.

Next inflate 2 260's. They should be the same color as one another and different from the tank. The amount of til left is dependent on the size of the kid. I usually leave around 3-4 inches. Tie nozzle to tail on the first 260. Tie the nozzle to the end of the inflated part/beginning of tail, not the end of the tale.
Take the second 260, put it through the tied one and tie it the same way so that they are now linked. The knots should be next to each other.

Pass this figure 8 through the hole in the 350 tank so the knots are hidden by the 350. It should look like a shoulder strap on either side of the tank.

Next inflate another 260 of another color, leave a healthy tail, you won't use all of it. 3 inch bubble, pinch twist, 2-3 inch bubble, pinch twist, a bubble the length of the child's shoulder width, pinch twist, 2-3 inch bubble, pinch twist, 3 inch bubble.

Take the 2nd and 3rd pinch twists and find the centers of straps and twist one into each. Watch a James Bond flick if you need a visual aid. These are the handles.

Lastly, for quicker work I use a single 260 orange fully inflated. Find the middle and twist it into one set of double pinches on the 350. Spiral it and twist to lock. For a more elaborate look you can braid 2 or 3 "fire" colors.

I give the same instructions for butterfly wings and rocket packs. "Hands straight up in the air, look at your toes." Guide their arms in, tell them to hold the handles and warn them not to fly away until the party is over. Make 1, make 100. Let's see those pics. Enjoy.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Nov 4, 2009 07:19AM)
Thanks for the detailed description Jeff! I will get to this later today and test my comprehension skills.
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 4, 2009 08:46AM)
Does it make sense? I read it through once and I think it was clear enough.
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Nov 4, 2009 10:01AM)
I too make a simple jet pack.. My experince kids love my Don Caldwell Sponge Bob hat.

Boy rave and parents go WOW!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Nov 4, 2009 04:33PM)
Here's a thought. I saw a guy on YouTube making a light saber out of two balloons. The handle was a series of meatball twists and finished with four pinch twists that hold the blade out straight. Well, straightish. Make one of those for the birthday boy and the others all get basic swords. Everyone can whack around, but you still keep the exclusivity of the birthday kid balloon.

I like the idea of the hats as a pop preventer, personally. The one time my son was at a party that involved a twister, several of the kids popped their balloons right away. I think Mark also has a really good strategy if you want to avoid making 20 of the same: tell the kids ahead of time that everyone gets something different. I'd probably do a really wild hat for the birthday kid and more basic (faster) creations for the others.

I'm going to have to play with the jet pack idea. That's just a cool concept.

Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 5, 2009 12:09AM)
No matter what sword I do, I never have a twist in the blade. It's proves to be too wobbly. My blades are always a solid balloon. I do lightsabers, cutlasses, claymores and more with this strategy. When I play around with them I can't stand it being too wobbly, it's already going to give way naturally since it's a balloon. I don't want to add to the weakness.
Message: Posted by: magicone (Nov 6, 2009 06:00AM)
I finally have a use for all those left over 660s from the Stillman Princesses I never sold!!!! :)

JETPACKS !! great idea...... sorry I'm a bit slow :)
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Nov 6, 2009 10:10AM)
The Sillman Princesses is cool... but man it takes awhile to make!
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Nov 7, 2009 11:51AM)
Cool light saber, Red, blue or green 160 inside a clear 260 for the blade. a dark
(I use gray) for the handle apple twist the Knot on the gray, then twist the blade to the other end, ad 3 or 4 ear twists at the joint and the blade won't go any where.
Message: Posted by: magicone (Nov 7, 2009 03:10PM)
I've got the Stillman Princess down to 1.5 hours and I've only ever made 6 of them....Never sold one yet though.
Message: Posted by: curtgunz (Nov 7, 2009 06:26PM)
Is [url=http://www.imnotaclown.com/gallery/BALLOONS!/jetpack]this jetpack[/url] anything like the ones that you guys are talking about?
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 7, 2009 11:20PM)
That's a great model. I usually only do one tank when I do 350's. I really like that. The shoulder strap are easier to customize as well. It would take a bit longer than my "line work" jet pack though. Thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: curtgunz (Nov 8, 2009 02:56AM)
By the way, I found that with a Google search.

That is not my creation. I just posted it to see if that's like what we were talking about.

I'd love to take credit for it but I can't :0)
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 8, 2009 09:50AM)
Yeah, I noticed it was from Imnotaclown.com. I believe he is a Café member.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 8, 2009 06:45PM)
I keep it simple - I make a machine gun, and I pinch off a small ball and insert it in the balloon as a bullet.
Other kids can get the gun, but only the birthday boy gets the bullet.
I don't specialise in balloons - they are an ad-on at the end, so I don't want to spend too long on them.
Message: Posted by: seanmcd51 (Nov 9, 2009 06:07PM)
Why yes, I am a Café member... (ImNotaclown.com)

Someone in this thread tipped me off that you were talking about me.

The jetpack is a cinch.

1 350
1 260 black (optional)
1 260 silver
1 260 red
1 260 yellow

350 is inflated leaving a 7" tail. two pinch twists, 10" bubble, Pinch twist, 10" bubble, 2 pinch twists. Deflate remaining and use the excess to secure to opposite side double-pinch twists.

The siver is fully inflated and soft. Twist center into top pinch twist, either end goes into respective double pinch twists.

Red and yellow are fully inflated soft, spiraled, split in half and secured to their double pinches. (each flame is only half a red, half a yellow)

You can add an additional 260 runner up between the tanks if you want. If I'm doing line work I typically don't.
Message: Posted by: seanmcd51 (Nov 9, 2009 06:15PM)
A quick, impressive, HUGE sword...


3 646's
Inflate 2, 2/3 of the way and tie each nozzle to the end, split half and twist around (making two flower petals). Twist the centers of them together so you have a four petal flower.

Inflate remaing 646 all the way, let out a _little_ air (enough to make one twist). Make a single twist about 14" up from nozzle and twist into flower petal.

If you make the petals red/blue and the sword grey, draw hash marks on the red and call it a spiderman sword.
Message: Posted by: FuDD (Nov 10, 2009 10:08AM)
Just tried your jetback seanmcd51 so fun and easy my son loves it. He is using it as an airplane as I type this lol. Thank you very much!!!
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Nov 10, 2009 04:19PM)
There's a pretty nifty one on this video -


It starts at about the 2:40 mark.
Message: Posted by: curtgunz (Nov 10, 2009 04:58PM)

I think you have some of the BEST balloon creations I've seen.

Thank you for sharing the tips on how to do them.

I know this is asking a lot, but if you have any other instructions for any other creations you would be willing to share I know I'm eager to learn and I bet others are too.

I understand that some of these may be signature creations for you and I certainly don't want to ask you for any professional secrets that you'd rather not share.

I guess I should sign this post "I AM a clown" :0)
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Nov 11, 2009 09:59PM)
On 2009-11-10 17:58, curtgunz wrote:

I guess I should sign this post "I AM a clown" :0)

I thought you WEREN'T a clown and just assumed that your avatar picture was taken on your day off.

Message: Posted by: seanmcd51 (Nov 12, 2009 05:17PM)
A lot of my gallery is made up of balloons I've learned from other twisters. If there's something in there you (anyone) would like to learn, message me off list and I'll post instructions here.

By messaging off list it'll save a lot of "that's not my design ..."