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Topic: Multiplying balls
Message: Posted by: katsoris (Jul 21, 2003 03:39AM)
I would like to know the best brand of multiplying balls, balls and shell. Wood, plastic or silicon? Also, could I find them in various sizes? I would like to perform classic ball routines, but also Roth’s balls routines, that uses 2 smaller balls held in one palm.
Thanks for helping me…
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Jul 21, 2003 06:11AM)
'House of Fakini' make the best billiard balls, they are solid silicone, available in lots of vibrant colours, available in various sizes. However, they are expensive, and very hard to get a hold of.

You can see them at:


Denny almost always has them on back order...

(PS- someone told me if you order the balls or thimbles directly from 'The House of Fakini', they are half price. Does anyone know if this is true?)
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Jul 21, 2003 10:06AM)
This is true, however there is a three year waiting list to get them straight from Frank Radky. I used to work in a magic shop and we tried to order some for retail, but the waiting list was too long.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Jul 21, 2003 10:17AM)

Message: Posted by: paraguppie (Jul 24, 2003 02:27PM)
You can sometimes find them at http://www.dennymagic.com I got mine in just a couple of months from them, vs years. They get shipments in on a fairly regular basis. They also get most of the other Fakini products, thimbles, golf balls, shells, diminishing balls, jumbo thimbles and the like. Check em' out if you want Fakini without the huge wait.

Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Jul 24, 2003 02:49PM)
If you do get Fakinis, get them from Denny and Lee's. Don't buy them at Tannens, where they are double the price.
Message: Posted by: markis (Jul 24, 2003 06:54PM)
Try stevensmagic.com
Message: Posted by: Bill Citino (Jul 24, 2003 07:06PM)
I'd have to agree, Denny and Lee would be the best place to get the balls. And yes the House of Fakini are the best billiard balls out there. Trust me it is well worth the, I'd say, month or two wait from Denny and Lee.
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Jul 24, 2003 07:22PM)
The Fakini balls are excellent. I have found similar ones of almost the same quality in a toy store and bought them in different colors for color changes. These were also 1 3/4" and fit the shell perfectly. They were about a dollar each. Too bad they didn't sell shells.
Message: Posted by: markis (Jul 25, 2003 07:10AM)
Yes, there is really nothing special about the balls that consitutes their high price except that it is used for magic.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Jul 25, 2003 11:32AM)
Try to make billiard balls out of silicone. Very difficult, and worth what Radke charges. Coincedently, this is the only type of silicone I'm allowed to play with! :rotf:
Message: Posted by: FCpreacher (Jul 25, 2003 11:44AM)
Markis, are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how much a mold costs to make these? Several thousand dollars just for the mold, then the silicone itself is rather expensive, especially the pure white and day glow colors he uses. It takes silicone a long time to set and production is VERY slow. One can only make a few sets at a time. The profit margin is not that high. Do some research, you would be surprised.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 26, 2003 09:01PM)
Fakinis are certainly the way to go. However, as a substiture when learning and seeing if you want to make the investment, you can often times get 1 3/4 inch super balls at most toy stores. They come in a lot different colors and have a good feel as well. Try them out first before investing the money for the Fakinis.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 28, 2003 08:49PM)
Fakini balls come in sets of five (1 inch) for only $17.00. It's best to start that way instead of using any toy store balls.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 28, 2003 09:28PM)
Not sure where you are buying them. But I have found that Fakini's are a lot more pricey then what you have stated. I would reccomend buying toy store balls because they are very cheap, have a nice grip to them, bounce and they come in a variety of colors to do any type of color change with. This way you can work on fundamentals without the large investment. If you still like doing billard balls, then you can invest in a good fakini set.

I would also not use the 1 inch as they are just way to small for an audience to really see well. I would stick with a 1 and 3/4 inch ball or bigger.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 28, 2003 10:50PM)
Try opening the link "The Scot" mentioned in the second post. It shows the prices of Fakini's balls.

Kyle, try the 1 inch balls by Fakini. I'm sure you will like them. It's ok to perform in front of a group of 10 or less. After you get experience try increasing the balls a notch or two. Always remember, "Practice makes Perfect."
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 28, 2003 11:00PM)
I will have to check out that link. Thanks. I just have never seen real Fakinis at that price before.

You could use the 1 inch set if doing more close up style manipulation. And, if you can get a set for under $17, then I surely would go for it.

However, I still think the better investment would be in the larger 1 3/4 inch size. These are still fairly small in size but can be seen better no matter how large of an audience you are performing to. You could use them for both close up situations as well as stage shows and not have to use two different sets. You may pay more for them upfront, but I think it might be the better investment.

I have used the 1 3/4 inch balls for years and have really liked them. They work great for praticing as often as I do. I also keep a set of different colored balls that are much cheaper. This allows me to be able to practice color changes and other effects without the cost of getting numerous colored balls from Fakini. They are great for praticing with.
Message: Posted by: Vincent (Jul 31, 2003 07:30PM)
The Fakini balls referred to in the above post for only $17.00 are one inch manipulation balls.
This is not a multiplying billiard ball set. Two totally different animals.

Take Care,

Vincent :die: :magicrabbit: :die:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 07:44PM)
Thank you for sharing that with us. I was saying there was no way a set of Fakini's could sell for that price. Not when a complete 1 3/4 inch set sells for around $65.00.

I still think a great way to practice and save money is to find and use some super balls at a toy store. They are very cheap and come in different colors. They have a fairly decent grip to them and work well for practice.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Jul 31, 2003 09:44PM)
The Vernet balls are also cheap and a good way to practice.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 08:09AM)
I do not reccomend the Vernet balls. They are rough on the hands, do not have a good weight and if you drop them, they crack and chip. Also you can not do some of the more advanced moves with the vernet balls. My best advice is to just get yourself some of the cheap bouncy balls 1 3/4 inch and play with them. they really are much cheaper then anything else and if you get Fakini's, they are not so much different.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Aug 1, 2003 08:50AM)

I just received my current Stevens Catalog and he has the Mikame Billiard Balls in there. I've seen them before - they're wooden and beautiful...quite light, if I remember correctly.

Personally, I like the Fakini best, but Mikame ain't bad at all!

Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 1, 2003 10:56AM)
I have actually had good luck with the Vernet balls. There is no move I can't do with them. They don't chip at all, and I find that they have not done much to my hands.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 11:04AM)
I guess with any billard balls, it becomes a personal preference of sorts. I only recommend that you try different ones and see which ones work for you and your style of performance.

I have tried the wooden ones but I find that I do not prefer the tecture of them and the fact that they have the possibility of "talking" more then Fakinis. I know some of the masters have used wodden balls to great effect.

I guess you have to find out what is best for you.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 1, 2003 02:09PM)
I have tried Vernet, Fakini, Mikame and wooden billiard balls, and like Fakini for proffessional performances, but Vernets for practicing.
Message: Posted by: Vincent (Aug 1, 2003 02:16PM)
Didn't mean to burst anyone's bubble on the Fakini prices. I wish they were only $17.00 a set.
The Mikame balls are very well made, a quality set.
My only problem is that after using Fakinis for the past few years the wooden balls slip a little and it's like having to learn the routine all over again. Well,
not quite, but I think you know what I mean.
The Super Ball idea is a good one except for the lack of a shell. I guess you could buy extra, cut one in half and try to hollow it out but I would be very careful when doing so. No one wants to get cut.
Magic4U02, you have some great ideas. Enjoy reading your posts.

Take Care And Have Fun,

Vincent :die: :magicrabbit: :die:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 02:43PM)
Thank you kindly for the nice words. I guess I have been around the block a few times and have learned from a lot of my own mistakes.

I am also a designer, artist and illustrator, so I always tend to think more on the visual and creative side of things. My mind works differently then most. hehe =)

I also teach one of the largest SYM assemblies here in Philadelphia. They always keep me on my toes and usually forces me to keep in tune with things. They bring up problems and issues, and that forces me to come up with the answers for them.

The shell would be hard to produce with the bouncy balls. I usually just use the bouncy balls to practice my single ball moves, roll down effects and color changes. It is cheaper this way and I do not have to get my Fakini set messed up.

Another point I would like to make is that you should really probably practice using a similar billard ball to the ones you will use on stage. I am not sure I would practice with a Vernet set and then jump to a Fakini set during my show. I think the feel is so different, that it might throw you off. Just my opinion is all.
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Aug 1, 2003 03:20PM)
On 2003-07-21 11:06, zombieboy wrote:
This is true, however there is a three year waiting list to get them straight from Frank Radky. I used to work in a magic shop and we tried to order some for retail, but the waiting list was too long.

Production time is long, molds are expensive if you try the biz, and his product is famous for limited supply but remains the BEST for many!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 03:52PM)
To me it is worth the price and the wait.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 1, 2003 05:47PM)
Exactly. Fakinis are worth all the money and patience required to get them.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 09:16PM)
Fakinis are simply the best out there. I love the feel and grip of them and they work far better for me then any other brand I have personally tried. They are an investment well spent.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 1, 2003 10:15PM)
They also bounce, which is very forgiving!
Message: Posted by: Marcus Taylor (Aug 2, 2003 04:25AM)
I pesonally prefer the Vernet to any others that I have used. However I haven't used the fakini's so they may be better. However I have never incurred any trouble with the vernets before.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 2, 2003 08:26AM)
As I have said before, I really think it becomes a preference thing and finding out what your fingers like and what you are used to.

I would try a set of Fakinis and see if you might like them better., They are very forgiving and will bounce if they are dropped on stage. They also have a nice weight to them and a great grip.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 2, 2003 11:20AM)
There is something about the Fakini's that makes them feel nicer than others. I think it's the weight. Anyone who doesn't have a set, invest in them.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 2, 2003 12:55PM)
You are right Zombie. I love the Fakini's for several reasons. Out of all the balls I have tried, they just seemed to grip better in my hands while also not hurting them with ridges as were on the Vernet sets. I also liked how smooth they were and the weight really is wonderful. The 1 3/4 inch set are perfect and the weight of them makes roll downs quite easy. Also the fact that they bounce can really work in your favor when doing a bounce color change or a bounced ball to silk effect. Just openes me up to many more possibilities.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 9, 2003 03:07PM)
Bouncing the balls also serve as great misdirection for steals.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 9, 2003 03:23PM)
Absolutely. Bouncing of the ball can be used for many great effects. I do a bouncing color change. I also do one where the ball is tossed into the air, allowed to bounce up and when it bounces up it changes into a silk. A lot of creativity you can do because of that.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 9, 2003 05:35PM)
Jeff McBride has a routine with custom Fakinis that were made to look like eyeballs, and he uses the bounce misdirection a lot.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Aug 9, 2003 06:38PM)
Just thought I'd jump in here. After all the discussion about 1 3/4" fakinis, I thought I'd mention that if you really want visability and super control, try the 2" size. This sounds like a stretch, no pun intended but after continued practice, your fingers will adapt to the size. They almost stick to the fingers.
I can't believe that noone has had a chipping problem with the vernet balls however. If you drop them on a hard stage or floor, they do chip and as mentioned, you can't do the bounce moves with a vernet ball.

Kyle has it right though. As with any effect that has choices of props, it's all a matter of taste and preferrence.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Aug 9, 2003 06:50PM)
Has anyone else tried the Mikame balls? What about the Shimada's?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 10, 2003 10:05AM)
I have not tried either of thoise that Zombie has mentioned, but I have tried the Vernet balls as well as the wooden ones and the plastic sets. Personally, nothing compared to the quality, texture and feel of the fakinis. That is why I use them all the time in my own shows.

I guess find out what you like and what works best for you and your fingers. To me the Fakinis offer me many more advantages that I can use.

I also did not like the Vernet becasue they are hard on the fingers and they do chip rather easily. The 2 inch size are nice as well on the fakinis, but I am just so much more used to the 1 3/4 inch sizes. Plus I can find colored bouncy balls that are also 1 3/4 inch sizes so that I can switch off and do color changes in the routine.
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Aug 11, 2003 08:21AM)
On 2003-08-09 19:50, zombieboy wrote:
Has anyone else tried the Mikame balls? [/quote]

I have a set (4 balls - 2 shells) of the Mikame 1 3/4" dia. that I obtained from Jimmy Yoshida back in '85. Talk about "feather lite", you need a real light touch to be able to use these. However, I did find another use for the Krylon #1311 Matte Spray. Think about it!!

My favorite's are the 2" dia. Fakini's, along with the Fakini "Multiplying Golf Balls", two sets of his "Flash Production" golf balls, one "Jumbo Finale" and "Diminishing Golf Balls" for variety.

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: cataquet (Aug 11, 2003 11:01AM)
OK, if you want to use silicone balls and want to save some money, I have a link for you.

First, you are limited to only a few sizs: 5/8", 7/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-3/8", and 2". Second, you're only limited to their natural translucent white color. Third, you'll have to trim the balls. They just come straight out the mold, and aren't trimmed.

If this hasn't put you off, have a look at http://www.mcmaster.com/

For the record, silicone balls are perfect for manipulation, but they don't bounce very well. If you look at the above website for neoprene balls, you'll find balls that bounce twice as high.

Bye for now