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Topic: Tenyo Magic Sand of the Nil / Astro Sands for sale
Message: Posted by: kellebotond (May 6, 2014 01:53AM)
I have just uploaded a rare Tenyo item: Sand of the Nil / Astro Sands to e*ay.
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (May 6, 2014 12:07PM)
This is NOT Tenyo's "Sands of the Desert." I hope no one pays the ridiculous Buy It Now price of almost $500. This is a type of play sand that Tenyo used to sell. You can buy it easily in Japan even though it's no longer made.
Message: Posted by: Daisydog (May 6, 2014 12:29PM)
Lol! Think I'll "unwatch" that item! Thanks, Richard!
Message: Posted by: xl18 (May 6, 2014 01:40PM)
Tenyo does have a trick called Sands of the Nile that seems to be the same as "Sands of the Desert":
They even mention Doug Henning performing it.

Are Sands of the Nile and Astro Sand two different things?
I think Stereo's blog had them listed as the same item if I remember correctly.

Richard, can you clarify this?
Message: Posted by: kellebotond (May 6, 2014 03:22PM)
I am sorry if I stated anything incorrectly, I had no intention to deceive anybody. I have got all the information I wrote in the listing from the Tenyo magic blog at blogspot.

Unfortunately I cannot check because the blog is unavailable but I am absolutely sure that under the name: "Sand of the Nil" (with that exact spelling) there were pictures of the exact same containers with Astro Sand written on them than the ones I just listed. And I remember that the effect described was the same as it is at the Sands of The Desert trick. It was even stated there that this trick was performed by Doug Henning on tv.

And at the rarity rating he had at the blog it was marked as ultra rare (6 stars out of six).

And below the pictures and description at the blog there were pictures of different containers and a description of a variation: that later Tenyo released this sand as a toy to the public not as a magic trick but to build sand castles underwater. (But those pictures at the blog clearly were different taller containers with flat sides).

I still believe that the containers I have listed do contain the same sand as the one used in Sands of the Desert and that the trick. All the versions of Sands of the Desert I have found online include the sands only and instructions on how to do the color change of the water. As I promise in the listing I send a video to the buyer explaining both the color change of the water and the use of the sands.

Please tell me what part of the listing should I change and I will do accordingly.
Message: Posted by: MrWizard (May 6, 2014 03:57PM)
Don't worry about it leave it just like it is. If stereo had it on his blog as stated it is probably correct.
Message: Posted by: xl18 (May 6, 2014 04:47PM)
Actually I have just found this page which does seem to show that it was marketed for art projects:

I guess the question is what did Tenyo's Sand of the Nile look like and in what way was it different?
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (May 6, 2014 05:25PM)
This is a type of play sand that you pour into a bowl of water to create little sand sculptures and things. I repeat that it is NOT what Tenyo sold as "Sands of the Desert."
Message: Posted by: kellebotond (May 7, 2014 01:40AM)
Dear Mr. Kaufman,

First I would like you to know that I respect you as an author, I have many of your books and I also know that you are an expert on Tenyo. I never thought that I would be able to exchange messages with you. I will accept your argument but please give me a little bit more details of why do you think what you say. (For example: I can accept what you say if you write: the sand trick used different containers which looked like so and so.)

I agree with you on that that the sand these containers contain are the exact type of sand "that you pour into a bowl of water to create little sand sculptures". But I also know that these kind of sand is the exact same type of sand used in the Sands of the Desert routines. I know that because a professional magician friend of mine owns a version of Sands of the Desert. He did not find the sands that came with it vivid enough, and he bought a cheap version of this "play sand to be able to create sculptures" and does the trick with that. I have held in my hand both and I can confirm that they have the exact same properties (they do not absorb water at all). I do not want to expose the secret of this trick any further here publicly, but I can send a video privately where the same sand is used to perform the trick and build sculptures. I do not know if Tenyo has patented this type of sand or they just bought the rights to sell them but I'm absolutely sure it is the same thing.

I do not know more about the availability of this in Japan, but I haven't find any record of this ever popping up at ebay.

I do not state that this release was ever called Sands of the Desert by Tenyo (I have no information about them ever releasing a trick under that name). What I state (based on what I have remember reading at the Tenyo blog) that this containers are the same that was used to perform the trick Sand of the Nil (or Sands of the Nile). Probably this exact types of containers were later sold separately for artistic purposes. What I did not mention before and support what I say is this: The containers have ancient Egyptian wall painting-like design all over the sides. And this make sense to me because this is the exact type of design I would use for a trick called "Sands of the Nile".

I am open to your arguments or anyone else's. Please help me get to know more about this item. In the meantime - although I still think that what I wrote at the listing is correct - I have removed the listing from eb*y for now. Please tell me more about this so I can correct any possible things I possibly falsely stated at the listing.

You can see the ended listing here:

Thanks for your help in advance!

Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (May 7, 2014 02:37PM)
I have been unable to find an example of Tenyo's "Sands of the Desert," as advertised in their catalogue. I don't know anyone who has a set, and have been unable to obtain a photo.
However, even if the sand is the same (which we do not know for certain), what you're selling is Tenyo's "toy" sand, in the box in which they were shipped to the store. It's not the trick they sold as "Sands of the Desert," which would have come in some sort of special box, with props, and even perhaps different labels on top of the jars. We would know for sure if someone had an example of Tenyo's "Sands of the Desert," but I haven't found one.
Generally, since you're dealing with unknown elements, you err on the side of caution. Your eBay listing should say exactly what the item is as stated on the label and the box. No more.
Message: Posted by: MrWizard (May 7, 2014 03:59PM)
Hummm kellebotond just said: "But I also know that these kind of sand is the exact same type of sand used in the Sands of the Desert routines. I know that because a professional magician friend of mine owns a version of Sands of the Desert. He did not find the sands that came with it vivid enough, and he bought a cheap version of this "play sand to be able to create sculptures" and does the trick with that."

So looks like someone known does have an example of this. What did his set come with beside the sand and instructions?
Message: Posted by: xl18 (May 7, 2014 04:35PM)
While I think most versions of this effect just come with the sand, and it is certainly possible that Tenyo's did as well,
it is also possible that the Tenyo version came with more accessories such as the box and plates that are shown in the picture on their website.

Alas, there is no way to know until someone finds a picture of the actual Tenyo version or unless someone at Tenyo can provide more information.
Message: Posted by: kellebotond (May 7, 2014 04:55PM)
Richard Kaufman,

Thanks for your reply. I'm not listing the item back for now, because I will try to get more information. It would be the best to have access to the Tenyo blog because there might be some more information on this that I might not recall. I think now that most likely - as you suggest - I have the containers that were sold separately to the general public to make underwater sand castles. But I also think that Tenyo likely sold the same kind of sand in the same containers earlier for the Sand of the Nile trick. (If the sand is patented as it states on the box than they could not have used any other sand legally. And what I have read at the Tenyo blog, and the Egyptian symbols all suggest me that.) But of course I cannot be 100% sure about that. If I do not get any further information on this I will relist it with pointing out all the facts we agree on and know for sure, but I will also include my opinion and my arguments (clearly stating that it is my opinion).

If anyone has saved the Sand of the Nil page from the Tenyo blog or if anyone knows the email of the blog's editor (Stereo) please send it to me as a pm. Thanks.


To be clear: my friend owns a non-Tenyo verson of Sands of the Desert, and a generic toy sand. But someone who reads Japanese confirmed for me, that on the label of the containers the writing says that "it's a sand that doesn't get wet". So it is sure that the trick can be performed with it (like it can be seen on this video):


Message: Posted by: MrWizard (May 7, 2014 05:18PM)
Wow that is the first time I seen that done very cool. Steve Spangler has a lot of amazing stuff. Get your scotch guard ready and go get some sand from anywhere. I am going to try this. It is sure to amaze kids for sure that is comes out dry. Would be even better to dip it out and release it in their hand over the bowl so that can feel it is completely dry.
Message: Posted by: kellebotond (May 8, 2014 02:48PM)
I have made photos of all the Japanese writing on the containers and the storage box. And the wife of one of my friends kindly translated it. This gives exact clarification that this is the sand for making sand castles underwater. Just in case any of you are interested here is the translation:


Miracle Sand Astro Sand

Japanese Toy
Safety standard clearance
Japanese Toy Association

Tenyo + address

Miracle sand - When you put it in the water, it stays dry

Astro Sand: when you put it into water it becomes hard and brilliant and strange!!
Make your favorite shape under water

Astro sand is made in America.
Tenyo detailed manual is inside

When you put it in the water, it stays dry
Astro Sand: when you take it out of the water, it becomes dry sand again


So they are for building strange staff underwater from sand for sure, no question about that. And if I understand correctly the last two sentences suggest a use which is much like the plot of the Sands of the Desert/Nile/Sahara trick.

So the only question I would still want to know the answer to is whether the same kind of containers were included for the Sands of the desert or Sands of the Nile trick or not.
Message: Posted by: MrWizard (May 9, 2014 12:29PM)
Decided to order the already made non Tenyo Magic Sand from Steve Spangler site it is very cheap and colors are very vivid. If you would like to perform this as seen in the video grab up all 3 colors you can get a pound container for $6.99 for each color. The kids will love this stuff. Go check it out. :bg: