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Topic: Bill Snatcher
Message: Posted by: Tomer (Sep 12, 2010 02:53PM)
I was wondering if any of you use one in your show, and if you do, what kind of reel do you use?
I looked up for Bill Snatchers everywhere, and couldn't really find anything good, the only two I came across were these:


This one is very cheap and doesn't work very well. The cord is too short, you can see the cord, and it's very noisy... I guess the price speaks for itself.

On the other hand, I found this:


Which looks promising, but I was wondering if anyone have this...? I wonder why magic shops don't sell this product.
There is also a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SLf6thtMhk

I just wish I could use something less bulky, and it doesn't have to be electronic, I just need a reel with a longer cord, any suggestions?
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Sep 12, 2010 04:17PM)
What do you want the reel for?

Without knowing this it's hard to give you any help other than list every type of reel, what it can and can't do and what the myriad of different reels' relative pros and cons are. It'd be so much easier if you said what you were trying to achieve and then maybe you'd get some suggestions as to which reel would be most appropriate if indeed a reel is appropriate.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Sep 12, 2010 05:05PM)
I use a Willman Windlass.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Sep 12, 2010 06:03PM)
They can call it Electronic all they want, but we Wizards know it's only Electric. You could probably adapt a Dollar Store battery powered hand-fan and make one. But if it works for you and it's what you need,OK.

I would also consider a gravity-drop pants-leg hold-out. Silent and smooth and nothing left in the hands at the end except the bill... assuming that you ARE snatching a bill with it. Also great for using with the Zebra silk and watching magicians go crazy wondering what you did with the reel at the end.
Message: Posted by: Tomer (Sep 12, 2010 06:42PM)
On 2010-09-12 17:17, Sealegs wrote:
What do you want the reel for?

Well, I want it for stage, it's for a gag. I borrow someone's bill, burn it, and later in the routine I offer him a different bill, I put it on the table, and I offer it to him. While he reaches for the bill I go back to my suitcase, and snatch the bill just before he grabs it. I thought to either have a reel in the suitcase, but thought it would be better to have it on me if possible, and doesn't take too much pocket space. Also, I thought that the further away I will be from the bill, the funnier the gag.

I use a Willman Windlass.

Can you please explain what that is? or give a link that describes it? I'm not familiar with it...

I would also consider a gravity-drop pants-leg hold-out.

Sounds interesting... but again, I have no idea what it is... where can I purchase one and get a description of the gimmick?
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Sep 25, 2010 01:43PM)
I would 1st of all buy a "bill snatcher" which will cost around a dollar or two and see how you get on with that.

Hold the bill snatcher in one hand with the bill attached to the thread with some magicians wax and hand the bill to the spectator with the other hand. As they go for the bill let go of it and it will jump straight back to your hand.

This doesn't have the bill travelling the huge distance you're after but it will be a practical and very inexpensive way to do the basic gag you're trying to achieve.

Otherwise check out John Kennedy's [url=http://www.johnkennedymagic.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=82] Power reel [/url] which is compact enough for you to hold hidden in your hand or on your body and would do the job. There's a video demo on the page that the link will take you to and John's reel can have the bill flying over large distances.(85feet)

However, given what you're looking to achieve with it I see the potential for staging and handling issues. The thread might well get easily tangled if many feet of it have to be spooled out and under no tension prior to placing the bill down.

Alternatively paying out the thread as you walk away from the bill would either need the bill to be anchored somehow, but not anchored enough that it can't fly off when the reel is activated. Or some way found of paying out the thread as you walk away from the bill while producing zero tension on the bill.

For both these approaches though you'd also need to figure out how you delay the spectator from picking up their bill until you're in position to have it fly across the stage. All I can think of for this would be to place the bill on a table which they'd have to walk to. This would possibly do the job but it feels to me like it would be a very inelegant solution.

Spend a dollar.... and try the bill snatcher. Otherwise work out the details of your handling, staging, spectator management, etc before spending your cash on a (very good) prop that might ultimately not be ideally suited for the specific task you're looking at.
Message: Posted by: Tomer (Sep 27, 2010 05:49AM)
Thank you for your response Sealegs, I already own the basic Bill Snatcher, and tried it... not what I need.
The Power Reel looks like it would do the job.
As for what you said about the bill being on the table. What I'm planning on doing, after "burning his bill", I move in to a different trick... he's seated in the audience the whole time. Then I put a bill on the table, telling him to come and take it, when he does, I snatch the bill.

What I was wondering, is if I could have the Power Reel in my suitcase, with a bill attached to it, and some of the cord already out, so all I have to do is place the bill on the table, when I go to my suitcase just push a button, and the bill flies back in.

I'm still surprised no one is marketing a better Bill Snatcher...
Message: Posted by: Magic_Man101 (Sep 29, 2010 03:24PM)
I bought a cheap one when I was younger and I used it on the street so when someone would go to pick it up it would fly away and they would chase it hahaha
Message: Posted by: californiamagic (Feb 24, 2012 06:44PM)
I have been selling the Electronic Dollar Bill Snatcher on-line for several years now, and it was all in an effort to take an existing practical joke... and make it BETTER.
Making your own electric dollar snatcher from a hand held fan is possible, however you will not find any take up spools that fit on the spindle of the fan. As a result of this detail, I had to modify all the take up spools (that I sell) myself.
Further trial and error of the device... I also discovered that many people put the batterys in backwards, causing the spool to turn in the wrong direction... making for a tangled (invisible line) and many unhappy customers. To correct for this, the installation of a diode was required to eliminate the reverse polarity problem. While this is no John Kennedy product... The electronic dollar bill snatcher sells for much less than $100 and is very affordable!

I have enjoyed making people laugh with this fun item for several years now, and I am only now in the process of working with some manufacturers in China.... in hopes I can have this item mass produced, and offer a better product, for sale here in the USA.

If people can spend $12 on a movie, then it is not a far stretch to see somone spend $14 on an item like this which will entertain them, and keep them (and their friends) laughing for years to come.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Feb 25, 2012 03:07PM)
Here's my new reel.
Message: Posted by: hawkbird (Feb 18, 2019 10:17PM)
This is a reel I use for close-up. It's called the large or jumbo brass reel. They're getting harder to find but you can get one where I got mine ant madhatter magic co. Around $20. I like it for close up like silk thru cane or sleeving. It's really quite compared to a badge reel. Although in an environment with music playing and distance between you and the spectators. Some badge reels work really great for the price of nearly nothing. I also make a motorized reel that is really cool for dollar bill snatching. Have sold a few on ebay. Uses a 9volt battery and is great for dollar bill snatching or long distance reel tricks!Like making a silk travel to a pole and back! Range about 20-30 ft. Has plenty of power a power switch, and virtually no noise at all! If interested I can send you a picture I still have a few for sale with a belt holder to carry it too!
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Feb 27, 2019 05:57AM)
[quote]On Sep 12, 2010, Spellbinder wrote:
They can call it Electronic all they want, but we Wizards know it's only Electric. You could probably adapt a Dollar Store battery powered hand-fan and make one. But if it works for you and it's what you need,OK.


I believe this is fully described in Pocket Full of Miracles by Diamond Jim Tyler Book. Not the DVD.
Message: Posted by: Diamond Jim (Apr 5, 2020 01:50PM)
Pockets Full of Miracles is out of print. However, I leased the rights to Dover and they published the title under Close-up Magic Secrets. I call the effect Reel Fun. The book that was $40 and up is now $15. Check it out at http://djtyler.com/product/close-up-magic-secrets/