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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » The Wonder Mouse (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DonDriver
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Slim,

Would they be the ones with the "balloon" heads that were on an IT?

Don
Slim Price
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1935 - 2006
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Yeah, Don, that was them. Not so long ago, someone had a device to hook up a radio, so no "Helper" was needed.

Slim
sanscan@tds.net



"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"



"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
Todd Robbins
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I remember seeing photos somewhere of someone with a briefcase that contained a tape recorder in it. There was a hole in the back of the case and one end of the thread was hooked up to one of the reels so it would go up and down and make the doll dance. There were some South American guys working a grind with the dolls on the streets here in NY a few years ago. It's stopped quite a crowd.

Speaking of pitches, I have all the work on the DeLenz magic pitch. It's a great slum packet pitch that (as far as I have been able to uncover) probably started with Al Flosso and then was refined by magician Walter DeLenz. One of these days I'm going to put together all the slum needed and do the *** thing at some convention such as the Sideshow Gathering. Maybe I'll do Al Flosso's Miser's Dream as the lead in. Who knows?

Todd Robbins
Erik Anderson
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Todd,

That would be worth seeing.

Speaking of pitches, does anyone have info on how to do a jam auction?
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

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camikesrd
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Richmond,Virginia
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A young man at the State Fair of Virginia had some little cardboard dancing dolls. No balloon head, just 6" tall doll and a CD boom box. He was going for $8 two for $15. I must have walked past him a dozen times and he always had a tip and was doing good.

On the jam auction there were just 22 pages posted about it on the Geni forum. You can search and get it back up.

On the mouse pitch John Bradshaw is still making them. He can be reached at: kaning@webtv.net

He'll send you a copy of his pitch and a couple of samples for under $10. It's a nice mouse and package. Vince Carman used to use his...Mike Smile
DonDriver
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I worked for John Bradshaw when he had his Sideshow back in the 70's. He does a great mouse pitch and has a really good looking package.

Mike, the next time you see John, please say hello for me.

Later, Don
drhackenbush
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I second John Bradshaw's mice—I ordered from him, and am very pleased with the package. He put a lot of work into 'em.
Tom Jorgenson
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As an interesting side: I have a vintage 8mm Silent B&W film of 11 Jaduwallahs in India doing street magic, and there in the middle is...well, not exactly the Wonder Mouse, but the Wonder Coin.

The film is copyright 1939 probably filmed a little earlier (things moved slow in those days). I about fell over when I saw it. So, I suppose the Wonder Mouse is actually the Venerable Wonder Mouse, and is probably as old as the combinaton of Horse hairs and Twilight.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Harry Murphy
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The Wonder Mouse was one of the magic tricks "exposed" in Scientific American back in the late 1800's. Scientific American magazine compiled a couple hundred of their articles and published them in a book titled "Magic, Stage Illusions, and Scientific Diversions Including Trick Photography" (what a title). The book was copyright and published in 1890.

Page 135 has an article complete with engraved plate titled "The Animated Mouse." It tips the secret to the Wonder Mouse.

The article starts, "Street vendors are seen selling, at night, a little mouse which takes the place upon the back of their hand, and which keeps running as if, having been tamed, it wished to take refuge upon them...The mouse keeps on running until the vendor has found a purchaser for it at the moderate price of two cents, including instructions for manipulating it..."

The trick was old and being pitched long before the article.

The book, by the way, has explanations of several tricks that could be considered contemporary, e.g. the folding coin, ink to goldfish, the blue room, trick boxes, the DeKolta Chair, and the like. It has a number of articles on "geek" items, such as fire eating, sword swallowing, glass dancing, the sword ladder, etc., etc., etc.

Not a lot new under this old sun!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
drhackenbush
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Harry - Happy New Year!
Wow - Thanks for that info! I'll have to look up the article.

Just remembered - I have a copy of this book somewhere - cool... now I have to rummage through my boxes...
stine
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One can always rely on Harry to come up with info the rest of us are ignorant of! Bravo!!
Tony Ley
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To Everyone! -
This has been the one of the most fun posts to read! I love all the little tid-bits about the Wonder Mouse.

Several months ago, I remembered seeing something very similar to the Wonder Mouse when I was a kid. It's called a 'Squirgel' or something close to that. Once, when I was a kid (like THAT ever changed), a pitchman showed me this little fuzzy worm that ran all over his arm, hands, etc,.

I began doing some research as to where to find one. Once in my quest, I even approached the manager of the magic shop where I worked and asked him about the 'Wonder Mouse' and how they'd be kinda fun to sell in the shop. He just laughed and asked if I was kidding.

After scouring the internet for every little crumb that I could about the Wonder Mouse, I found out about Stan Kramien's awesome pitch for the little guy. I didn't know about the pitch video mentioned elsewhere in this thread. That's great!

Several of the 'big' magic shops I spoke to didn't carry the thing anymore. Luckily I ended up talking to a gentleman at Hank Lee's shop. They still have them for just under $3! They come with some basic instructions, but nothing along the lines of a real pitch.

After talking on the phone to other shops that ended up finding them buried in their backrooms, it appears that both the little fuzzy worm AND the Wonder Mouse are gaining popularity once more. Several people that I've spoken with are actually getting orders for these fun little things all of a sudden!

How cool would it be if someone were to package the 'Ultimate Wonder Mouse' book and DVD set! It could include a complete history of the Wonder Mouse and it's various incarnations (the coin, the fuzzy worm, etc,), plans on how to make the old-school style mouse, newer mouse designs, how to make the fuzzy worm, and several pitches for the little guy. It could also include both a fuzzy worm AND Wonder Mouse in the kit!

It could be package in an antique-looking box and everything! Anyone out there have connections with A1 Multimedia, L&L, or Kaufman? Somebody should pitch them the pitch items as a piece of our magical history just for nostalgia.

Keep posting information on this curious little item and it's ilk. There is just something charming about the little mouse that makes you wonder.
Reis O'Brien
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Just thought I'd bring this up here;
I'm currently working on a new mouse. He's fuzzy, cute and smarter than you! He can cut a deck to a choosen card and turn a penny into a dime in the spec's hand! I have four prototype mice going right now and am putting together a booklet with routines you can do. If anyone is interested in one of these little guys, just send me a PM and I'll let you know when he's ready.
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truthteller
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The item you are referring to Tony was Squirrmels. They are currently available as Wonder Worm and are beginning to be pitched again.
drhackenbush
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Tony -
I know how you feel - I've spoken to local shops who like & remember the Mouse & Squirmel, but in general, most shops don't have either of 'em.

I remember Al Cohen used to do Squirmel at Al's Magic Shop back in the day (I worked for him for a little while on & off while I was in college - what a guy!). I've been collecting all I could find on the Mouse, too, and have also thought a Wonder Mouse package would be neat.

When I got some mice packages from John Bradshaw, he even sent me his own pitch, which I felt was above & beyond the call of duty, and a darn nice thing to do, and everyone I've been in touch with about the Mouse seems eager to share their stories & advice, and somehow the Wonder Mouse seems to bring out the best in people.

The Wonder Mouse - it's not just a magic trick, it's a way of life. Smile
Bill Hegbli
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You might try Dave Robbins, E-Z Magic site in their pitchman section. Robbins, an importer, wholesale, and jobber, they probably have Wonder Mouse. But you would have to buy a gross or more at a time.
amagician
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Hobart Tasmania Australia
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I remember seeing Joe Stuthard demonstrating his small range of items through a four hour session at a store here in Tasmania many years ago.
He did the mouse and the Svengali (as well as his other items) pretty good.
Joe always showed the mouse gimmick.
A real gentleman too!Otherwise I wouldn't have spent an hour pulled off the highway to tape a radio interview that he did.
He and his wife left the state the day before it was broadcast. Sad thing, they taped about half an hour and finally broadcast about one and a half minutes.
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John Williams
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Mushu
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Scroll down a bit and click on the picture to see Al Cohen demoing the Wonder Worm:

<outdated link>
Kim
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Hey John Williams, what a surprise to see you here!! Smile

Kim
constantine
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There are two mice on the market. The Jimmy Dixon mouse has a rubber band tail that wiggles around as he runs over your hand and looks very animated. The Bradshaw mouse is one piece with a wide straight tail. Kids like to pull on the rubber band, which comes off with a snap followed by the kid and his mom, if it is a daytime venue, coming saying loudly "my mouse broke," usually right in the middle of the jam. John's mouse avoids that problem entirely.But Kim's mouse looks so *** cute wiggling around, all the girls want you to buy them or two, the drunks don't open them, they just drop them in there pockets a wonder where they came from the next day.
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