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Andrew Zuber
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I'm with Regan on this one. To me, seeing an everyday object that I'm accustomed to seeing, like the Heinz bottle, makes the illusion that much more convincing because it's an object I've used before, and I know what it feels like. When I see something that looks out of place, I immediately question it. One of the most convincing things about this routine is that we all know that Heinz bottle, whereas the generic version is unfamiliar. When I saw it, it immediately threw me off and I knew something wasn't "normal" about it. I also like the Heinz bottle because of the ability to switch it out with a real one at some point, whereas that option is now lost with the new version.

I own many of Norm's effects, including the wine bottle, and I love them. He makes amazing pieces and I think this is just one of those unfortunate instances where they couldn't work out an agreement, which is unfortunate, though it makes the owners of the original Heinz bottles very lucky to own such a strong piece that isn't on the market anymore!
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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Profile of think
Norm makes some amazing products. The original is the way to go IMO.
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Profile of Payne
On 2009-08-12 16:16, aceofharts wrote:

Everyone knows that Cracker Barrel (a restaurant) sells vantage coke bottles. Matter of fact later on in my routine I produce a real coke bottle that I did get at Cracker Barrel.

Well not everyone. The nearest Cracker Barrel to me is an 11 hour car trip as they have no locations on the West Coastal states. So I guess I can't use that glass Coke bottle in my show cause no one on this side of the country has seen a glass coke bottle in decades. But then hardly anyone sees glass ketchup bottles either. Outside a few restaurants nearly everyone has gone to plastic squeeze bottles these days.

I still maintain if you treat it like a bottle your audience has no reason to suspect that it isn't a real bottle. Do you worry about your audience not thinking that the 5 inch die in your die box isn't real either? When was the last time a non magician saw a die that big?
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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Profile of Regan
For me it is not whether or not Heinz glass bottles are still being made. I use other things in my magic shows that are now obsolete. The nature of the Neilson bottle trick causes me to think that these new bottles will not work out as good. Maybe it is the way my routine is written, I don't know, but I would rather have the Heinz bottle. I'm sure Norm will still sell a lot of these new ones, and by all means use them if you want, but I never will.
Mister Mystery
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Profile of Starrpower
I think people DO notice the difference, but who is gonna bother to stand up at a magic show and shout "Hey, that's not the kind of bottle I see in my store!"

"Muggles" do indeed see the difference; we magicians are the ones being fooled, I fear. I also suspect "magician's guilt" has made some magicians a step above others ... often that one step is what sets them apart. Those of us who think, "Aw, geez, it's just a bottle. Nobody will notice" are selling themselves and the audience short.

I have wished for years that someone would come out with a squeeze bottle version. I am guessing someday someone will.

As for labels, Big Boy has the solution. Soak one off of a real bottle, scan it, and you'll be able to make your own. Perhaps not reusable, but who cares if you are printing them at home?
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Profile of kipling100
Well, glass Heinz bottles are less prevalent, but have gained a more iconic status these days. Still recognizable -- maybe not to kids so much. Which seems to be the problem, b/c I got the bottle for kid shows (I think the beer bottles look better in general).

Actually, you know what we be cool -- Tabasco bottles.
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Profile of stempleton
Never having seen a NN bottle up close, could the beer bottle pass as a root beer bottle, with the appropriate looking label attached?
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That is a good idea ! Aren't IBC bottles dark brown ?

Mark Pettey
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On 2009-09-10 10:50, TRUMPETMAN wrote:
That is a good idea ! Aren't IBC bottles dark brown ?


Exactly the brand I was thinking. Also I'm seeing as many specialty brands of pop drinks such as root bear, cream soda and ginger ale popping up in higher end grocery stores, etc. , many in dark bottles. The other day I was in an office supply store and found window decal sheets in which to print your own static cling labels. Has anyone done this? If you own a NN bottle, can you tell me if you think it's do-able?
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Profile of mcharisse
I think more plastic packaging plays a role too. Almost everything tese days comes in plastic, and I've seen plastic ketsup bottles that are nearly identical to the old glass ones. That's why these days I believe the beer bottles are best -- its the last thing that unquestionably comes in glass, and I think that's an important psychological underpinning to the mystery. Of course, that makes kidss shows a special challenge.

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"Its the last thing that unquestionably comes in glass"? Haven't been to a baseball game in a few years, huh? All the beer bottles are plastic since the idiots started tossing them onto the field. In stores, too .... I know this and I am not even a beer drinker!
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Profile of krowboom
I was able to get some of the original Heinz static cling labels. I bought the new Neilsen ketchup bottle and just switched out the labels. To me and my audience it looks real and always kill. In fact, I think it's still the most realistic of all the bottles. I have the coke and beer bottle but to me this is still the most convincing no matter what the new ketchup bottles in the stores look like.
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Profile of tctahoe
I have a question, I need to do Norms Wine bottle and advice on the type of bag to use?

As a pre-thank you to all, here is my Bottle routine...I now use NO label on either bottle...

Bill in Tomato

NEEDED: A bottle of ketchup, a Norm Neilson bottle of ketchup to match, an empty bottle of ketchup to match, a paper bag, a thumb tip, a pen and a tomato. You will also need a coupon for a bottle of free ketchup, see diagram # 1.

THE SET-UP: First make a copy of the coupon or design one yourself. Place the bill into your thumb tip, ready for the hundred dollar bill switch. The thumb tip and pen go in the same pocket.

In your case have the full ketchup bottle and the bag. In the bag place the empty bottle and the tomato. The Neilson bottle goes behind your case.

THE WAY I DO IT: “For my next trick I need to borrow a hundred dollar bill.” Get the largest bill you can and have if signed. Wave the bill a bit, to dry the ink. Place the pen back in your pocket and steal the thumb tip. Perform the hundred dollar bill switch. (The version I use is in Michael Ammar’s Encore 3)
“Watch closely as I turn your bill into....A coupon?”
Read the coupon. “Oh, a coupon for a free bottle of ketchup. here ya go.”
Hand the coupon to the spectator.
Look around unsure what to do next. Do a double take into your case and see the full ketchup bottle. “Hey here ya go.”
Reach in take out the bottle and trade it for the coupon. Look pleased.

“Well that worked out quite well.. OK for my next trick...I need to borrow a ...Bottle of Ketchup!”
Take the bottle back. “ I also need a...”
I use paper bags that are slightly wider than lunch bags. As you reach into your case for the bag, (the one with the empty bottle and tomato inside), the hand with the full bottle goes behind your case and trade the real bottle for the Neilson one. All eyes should be on your bag as you bring it out of the case.
“...paper bag. This bag will act
as a time machine.”
Put the Neilson bottle in the bag. “I just snap my fingers and ...”
Snap your fingers and look in the bag.
“Oh.” Pull out the tomato. “Would you look at that?”
Toss the tomato to the person you borrowed the money from.

Reach in and slowly remove the empty bottle, hand that to another spectator. “Wow.”
Look at the person holding the tomato and then to the one holding the empty bottle. Look into the bag, then up to your audience.
“I guess I don’t need this anymore.” Crumble the bag into a small ball and toss into your case.
“And you don’t need that empty bottle.”
Take the bottle back and put it away.
“And you got yourself a tomato, probably the worlds most expensive tomato. Here toss it up to me.” Catch the tomato.
“Watch.” With your thumb tip on, stick your thumb as deep into the tomato as you can go. Once your thumb tip is all the way in, pull your thumb out.
“Would you look at that? You would think that a tomato as expensive as this would not be green on the inside.”
Slowly slide the bill out with your finger and into view. Reach over and let the spectator pull it the rest of the way out.
Then open the bill to verify that it is theirs. At this point I put my thumb back in the tomato and hold it displayed on my thumb.
“Wouldn’t Little Jack Horner be proud?” Steal the thumb tip back out and hand the tomato to the spectator. Wipe the tomato guts, along with your thumb tip away with a towel and you are clean, literally.
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Wow - what a great routine! It's funny, logical, and has several magical moments. Thanks for sharing!
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
Christopher Lyle
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Wow TC! What a great routine! Here it was I thought Fielding West had the best routine.

One question...if it were me, I'd just leave the TT in the Tomato and deal with getting it out AFTER the show. Since your done with the tomato (and the TT) there doesn't seem like there's a good motivation for sticking your thumb back.

Not a big deal...but curious about your thoughts on this...

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Christopher Lyle
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Bill Nuvo
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I live only 20 mins from Heinz Canada (in Leamington Ontario). Next time I head out that way, I will look into seeing what they have for sale to the general public in their store.
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Profile of vincentmusician
In my location the heinz glass ketchup bottles look very different then the plastic ones. I am lucky enough to have the original Neilsen Vanishing Ketchup Bottle which I bought new. It looks like glass and I treat it like glass. It also gets a great reaction and I have a good routine. So I love performing it and would not trade my Bottle for anything. Cheers!
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Profile of FrankFindley
I don't use the Ketchup Bottle but do use the empty Nielsen Vanishing Coke Bottle for a transformation. My patter goes into time reversal. This is a very current topic with younger audiences with the Marvel movies with a time perspective like the new Dr. Strange movie coming up. I show the empty "vintage" bottle and say I am going to transform it into a filled one by reversing time. Bottle goes into bag and after a wave, a flash and some sound effects a real filled CORN SYRUP bottle is removed. OOPS went too far! The bottle is completely different in shape so no mistaking it isn't the same. After a brief pause to allow the suspicion of the coke bottle still being in the bag, it is crumpled and after another pause, thrown in my case. Note, I have seen a lot of performers quickly throw it aside after being crumpled. I've found that for maximum impact you need the second brief pause. I also often hand the corn syrup bottle to an audience member who had a big reaction. It seeds into their minds that the bottles are indeed real. No-one has ever questioned the use of the vintage glass bottle because a context is given.

The transformation type routine could be done with a Nielsen Vanishing Ketchup Bottle too. For example talk about when you were a kid you used lots of ketchup on your fries and went through hundreds of bottles like this one. See, when I was a kid we didn't have squeeze bottles. No siree, they were solid to protect the ketchup (pound on table), just like Mr. Heinz intended. Alas, your brother, also a magician, used to play jokes on you and when you would pull the bottle out it was... insert whatever you like...maybe some hot sauce like this (especially relevant for a Halloween show)...


Giving the context of "when I was a kid" explains the use of the vintage bottle.
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