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ben creitz
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Profile of ben creitz
This book has been referenced many times in the closeup forum. It is commonly criticized for having terrible directions. Having bought Elastrix vol 2. (very cool, just short!), I decided I wanted more, and I thought that I could get more bang from my buck out of Elastrix vol 1. than from a Dan Harlan video. I was very wrong. I don't mind convoluted directions if the struggle is worth it, but this book seems to be mostly made up of topological puzzles and gags rather than magical effects. how many different ways can one tangle a rubber band around one's thumb and then pull it off, claiming a penetration has occurred?

Despite the grumbling about pooor instructions, I hadn't read any posts that outright "can" this book. When I got home from the magic shop yesterday, I sort of wish I had. Which is why I've posted one! Save your money and buy a Harlan video.


Harvey Nerzof
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Profile of Harvey Nerzof
HN Review 86: Elastrix vol. 1 – Ed Mishell & Abraham Hurwitz

The largest collection of tricks with rubber bands ever produced. Within the covers you will find Penetrations, Restorations, Linkings, Multiplications and Sheer Magic with Common Rubber Bands. These are baffling effects you can perform anywhere, anytime.


Tons of rubber bands magic tricks: a few are still valid, most are outdated, others have always been outrageously silly. It takes a great deal of time to learn this type of manipulative stunts with written instructions – this is where videos truly come in handy.

I would suggest you get the Ammar Classic Renditions n.2 video and the Harlan L&L trilogy instead.

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Profile of eddieloughran
I've given the opinion that it wasn't worth buying several times over the last year.
I've never read anyone who didn't agree !
I agree the Harlan Video's are very good .
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462 Posts

Profile of rgranville
I bought this book solely to learn Crazy Man's Handcuffs. I couldn't from the description. I learned it in minutes from the Harlan tape (volume 1). And I generally prefer books to videos...

And I also usually argue against claims that material is outdated. It's usually the presentation that's outdated, and I always come up with my own anyway. But making one's hat rise magically on one's head in an age where no one wears hats is truly outdated. And the "outrageously silly" ones are really outrageous - making your ears wiggle through the use of rubber bands is in there...
Dave Le Fevre
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Profile of Dave Le Fevre
Elastrix 1 has a very large number of effects with elastic bands, varying from jokey effects to real conjuring. It also includes effects that use elastic bands incidentally, and effects whose modus operandi is a concealed elastic band. The drawings are good, but the text is in parts truly dreadful. Paragraphs stop abruptly, references to another page are wrong, at least one effect is duplicated, one picture is in the wrong effect(!).

Like rgranville, I bought it (many years ago) in order to learn CMH. And the description of CMH is rubbish.

All in all, not worth buying.

The Ozzy Osbourne of the 34x27
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Simon Shaw, Suffolk, England
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Profile of Bananafish
It's not just that learning this particular genre of magic is actually more difficult in book/illustration format than it is on DVD/video, but the Elastix rendition of CMH, probably the main reason why many buy the booklet in the first place just isn't taught properly (IMHO).

One of the things it suggests is to use bands of contrasting colours.

For wanting to learn CMH I would either go with Michael Ammar's booklet, or Dan Harlans DVD (its on Vol 1). For what it's worth I have both, and found the DVD easier to learn from.
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Profile of DanHarlan
Before the publishing of my first rubberband video, The Band-Shark (A-1 MultiMedia 1993), the only reference to "rubber band magic" was Elastrix. There were isolated sources for individual effects. Tarbell 7 for "The Uncanny Penetrating Rubber Bands" for example, but nothing that could be considered a reference. Actually, none was really needed. There just weren't that many unique rubberband effects.
I started messing around with them because I wanted to find a way to link and unlink them impromptu. I found them to be fascinating, yet relatively unexplored, objects for magic. I began to create many new effects and inspire others to create. Now, we have a genre of magic that did not exist before.
Back in 1992, I considered writing a book containing my rubberband ideas, but found that video would convey them more easily. At this point, Elastrix has sadly become obsolete. Although, Elastrix Volume 2 by Joe Rindfleisch has some really great stuff in it that you won't find anywhere else.
--Dan Harlan
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Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Profile of Lawrence O
If the contribution of both Joe Rindfleisch and Dan Harlan should never be under estimated in the opening of a new form of magic, it should be reminded however that they had predecessors

The Crazy Man's Handcuffs (not the name but the effect) was released in 1980 by Sid Loraine in Sid Loraine Ideas, vol. 3 and nobody noticed it except for Bob Jardine who did the first VHS displaying the effect in Bob Jardine's Close-up in 1984 (Radio Prim) and was criticized for not having credited Sid Loraine (which nobody does nowadays). The name Crazy Man's Handcuffs are, apparently, due to Michael Ammar.

1984 -
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
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