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Veteran user
Collinsville, Mississippi
303 Posts

Profile of stevehw
Do you prefer sponge balls or multiplying rabbits?
And what are the best sets to buy?

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Veteran user
Northern New Jersey
398 Posts

Profile of Jay
Steve: You'll hear different magi tell you different things about this. Here's one point of view.

I have been experimenting with different sizes, shapes, and routines in the sponge world for awhile now, and each has it's own merits. I found that 2 inch super-softs were a little too large for most sleights, like false transfers. I use 1 inch super-softs instead.

I found that there are varying degrees of quality in sponge bunnies. I have a crummy little yellow set (from Adams maybe?) all the way up to a Goshman "Rabbits, Rabbits, Everywhere" set. There are even better sets than that. I've heard good things about Ammar's rabbits, in fact.

I found that there are some non-traditional sponge items available. I have the Jumbo Color-Changing Ball to Square, and a trick called "And Then There Were Four", both by Goshman. I use both on different occassions, as my mood (and the vibe of the spectator) warrants.

I found that with a little creativity, you can combine genres, and do amazing things with sponges as the center of attention. For instance, I am fooling around now with the disappearing deck gimmick. Normally, you'd be left with a black frame after the cards disappear. I am left with a frame which contains a sponge ball! Then I go into a sponge trick.

Scott Guinn's "PB and J" routine is TOTALLY and UNIVERSALLY cool, for everyone!

You can use sponges as cups and balls loads.

You can carry around 2 sponge balls and do a quick vanish and reappearance with a small child. (They understand and _love_ this!)

Gosh, (<--no pun intended) that's just the tip of the iceberg! Get a set of 1 inch sponge balls, and start fooling around with 'em.

Total cost: 3.00
Total value: Priceless


Jay Smile
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Kevin Mc Lean
278 Posts

Profile of Whiterabbit
Like AnOctopus I love sponge and also prefer the 1" sponges. Sponge is just so visual and blatant. The drawback with the balls is that they can roll and the wind can really cramp a sponge act. Note: that a fair portion of sponge work is usually done on a surface. I'd start out with the balls and see if you like it.

I've got a set of the Ammar rabbits and I love them and so do kids and women - but they cost a bit more. The advantages are that they really look like rabbits, you can tell all sorts of silly stories with them and they don't roll. The disadvantages are that if you put them in the hands of small kids they may not want to let them go ( I told you kids love them), it can look funny if they appear upside down, and, that like sponge balls, a good wind can be a real pain.

Anyway, start out with the balls and remember, that most coin and billiard ball sleights work with sponge. Similarly, you can do some coin tricks substituting sponge. To me sponges are a great introduction to sleight of hand and misdirection.

Hope this helps.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...


Andy Charlton
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Palma Nova Mallorca Spain
311 Posts

Profile of Andy Charlton
A couple of points.

Sponge Balls, I prefer Yellow 2" Standard ones. I think that Yellow stands out much better than Red. (Try it!) 2" is much more visible to all on a large table. Finally I like the slightly firmer feel of Standard Sponge balls.

Rabbits. I put a tremendous amount of work into my Sponge Ball routine. It's funny, It's Baffling, It's Modular (I can go straight to the climax at any point, ie... if the food comes.) It all start's in the right hand pocket, and it all finishes in the right hand pocket. NO RESET. Any workers will recognise the importance of all the above. (Thanks To Pat Page, I still say It's a great Video.)

HOWEVER. Just before a walk about festival gig I picked up a set of Bunnies. Put the routine together in 5 minutes, and with a family audience, it goes down better than the Sponge Ball Routine that I sweated Bullets over. Go Figure.


"Keep that smile on your face, that excitement in your eyes." - Don Driver

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Loyal user
Wilmington, Delaware
251 Posts

Profile of cheaptrick
On 2001-12-01 19:37, Bernard Sim wrote:
Hi guys, any idea where to get the routine whereby spong balls are continously produced from the mouth and end with a jumbo sponge ball? Thanks in advance. Smile

This sounds like a variation of Hugart's hilarious Egg Manipulation, a routine that I first saw when I was a kid on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. They were still jumping horses off the pier in those days. THAT WAS ENTERTAINMENT!

I love this classic routine. I guess it hasn't been performed with any regularity for at least 50 years. That makes it "fresh material" to those in the last couple of generations.

I guess I'm really telling my age.

Doing this with sponge balls has to be a
real zinger (and a lot easier to perform than the original version).
"Pick any card. NOT that one!!!"
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5723 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I learned most of what I know about sponge work from watching a tape that I made of Steve Dacri, circa 1989 or 1990, performing his routine on a talkshow. I've watched and analyzed the routine dozens of times and experimented from there.

Routined Manipulation Finale is the only book that I've found that describes the proper way to do the squash move, otherwise the spectator can tell by feel that things aren't what they seem.
Andy Charlton
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Veteran user
Palma Nova Mallorca Spain
311 Posts

Profile of Andy Charlton
Sponge Balls from the mouth?
It's on Pat Page's Video.

"Keep that smile on your face, that excitement in your eyes." - Don Driver

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Ron Giesecke
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Special user
Redding, Ca.
941 Posts

Profile of Ron Giesecke
Believe it or not, I came up with a retention vanish that never gets caught--and it works better for 2-inch balls than one inch balls.

Oddly enough it came from Brad Burt's video. I was in a magic store, and that video was being played as an ambient background sort of thing. I was watching him demonstrate an odd, but little-used vanish. To be honest, I thought I memorized what it looked like. I went home, and practiced it for five years (which really means I incorporated it).

When I did my sponge routine in the same store years later, someone freaked out and asked me where I learned it. I said it was Burt's tape.

Turns out I memorized it completely wrong. the timing the grip, and the mode of placement. Good thing, because it is the best looking false transfer/retention vanish I have ever seen with a sponge ball. It just kills.
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New user
Vacaville, CA
55 Posts

Profile of jbguy
On 2001-12-04 11:45, Andy Charlton wrote:
Pat Page has a great Video on Sponge Balls. Covers all the basic moves, vanishes, splitting, continuous production from the mouth etc. It also has a couple of complete routines, plus routines with a cup, Benson Bowl routine, hats etc.

Brilliant, Brilliant, brilliant Stuff. It’s available from
plus I’m sure many other dealers.


I'll second the Pat Page video. For a person just starting out, I found the video very easy to follow and Pat Page makes everything looks so smoothe. Well worth the money I paid for it.

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1964 - 2016
2034 Posts

Profile of Michael_MacDonald
I must tell you all, I have not read any books on sponges, as a matter of fact I have read very little in the way of magic, most if not all the handling of sponges I do are things I worked out for my self.
using coint slights, and billiard moves.

had I known that books and videos were so readaly available I would have had an easier time in the learning.
the short cut to learning as it is referd to here.

so I cant add to the toppic on where to get great routines other then origionality is the key.
you make it special for you and you specs.
after all im no dai vernon, so his routines wont suit me as well as MY own.

I applaud you scot for your creativity, and pregressing the arts.

Michal MacDonald
Jeffery S
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New user
10 Posts

Profile of Jeffery S
I've been doing a variation of Eugene Burger's sponge ball routine for the last half a year, and let me tell you, it kills! It gets all the reaction of, say, the original Goshman routine that we all learned first, but the kicker ending just floors folks. even people who have seen sponge ball routine before.

Rabbits? I think I've performed with Ammars produced bunnies mabey 20 times... Know what? I still get asked by people who I performed for, to "do the little bunnies!".

Go figure!
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Inner circle
1527 Posts

Profile of Kaliix
Sponge balls rock. I do a variation on the sponge ball routine shown at the end of the "25 Tricks with Sponge Balls" video. For $10, you can't go wrong.

I thought Brad Burt's video was overpriced, but I do use his retention vanish all the time so perhaps it was worth the $40?!?

The best sponge ball trick is having the balls appear in the spectators hands. A really close second is "splitting" the sponge balls in two. That is the first thing I do in my routine and people are usually quite amazed.

I personally like the 2 inch super soft sponges. Get them wet before you performance and the swell up nice and big.

Your routine sounds interesting Scott. I may just have to give it a look see. Smile
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
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Regular user
119 Posts

Profile of Marc01
Troy Hooser's Chapter on sponges in the DVD is very good,there is a startling vanish or color change,very visual ,and some interesting sleights (Tenkai move with sponges)

Scott Ocheltree
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Veteran user
364 Posts

Profile of Scott Ocheltree
I only do a very simple routine with two balls - first dividing one into two, then making one from my hand join the other in the hand of the spectator. While I only do a very simple presentation, I find them a very powerful effect. This is one of the pieces I hope to expand on.
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13384 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
One of youze guyz gave me the suggestion to do this:

After 2 balls appear in a spekys hand, you secretly add a third and have specky #1 put the balls into specky #2's hand.

I now do this all the time. It has never failed. The line I use is this:

"Look at that! They both ended up here.(pick them both up, add a ball, put them back) Ok, I'm not even going to touch them. Just squeeze those two into her/his hand so they don't get away...."

They always carefully squeeze the balls into the other spectators' hand carefully.

When the magic happens, boy does it happen!
And they very well rememberI have not touched the balls.

Currently I pull out an "invisible" ball, show it around, add it to the spectator's hands and have them all revealed when I snap my fingers. I don't like the patter for that move in its current form but that's what I'm doing. If you have any ideas for why a thrid ball should appear in the spectators hands, let me know. maybe i'll introduce a 4th ball, vanish it, and have it appear in their hands... and never use the 4th ball again. ideas??

That is the most magical part of my routine and I wish to say thank you to whoever it is.

Ok, who was it. Announce yourself! Smile

Frank Hand Crafted Magic
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