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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Thumb Tips for kids (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mindacrossrhino
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Hi all

I have two children who are really into magic, one's 9 and the other's 5. For some time now I've been trying to track down some thumb tips that might fit either of them (mostly for my 9 year old) so that I can show them some TT magic but to little avail. I have purchased several tips marketed as 'Junior' or 'Small', but most of them are so much larger than their tiny fingers that they won't even stay on, let alone look in the slightest like a realistic thumb. Appreciate that some of you will advocate that a TT needn't be well camouflaged, however I'm of the view that for children learning to use one they should be relatively well hidden (not saying they need be perfect).

Does anyone know of anywhere that sells especially small TT's that might fit a 9 year old budding magician? I'm starting to doubt anyone makes them small enough to fit children of this age (perhaps because the loads would inevitably be pretty small)?

One thought that came to mind was to make my own custom tips. Anyone ever done that and if so could they perhaps advise what they used and how they did this?

Any help much appreciated.

Kind regards
Simon
friend2cptsolo
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The most realistic TT I have seen is the called "Thumbs Up" here.... http://www.hottrix.com/html/TUsoft.shtml
It says its adjustable and I do not see multiple sizes?? My guess is that is only adjustable upwards in size by heating and stretching.
There are ways of holding the tip and showing your hands that minimize any visual impacts and also vanishing INTO an object, like a dollar bill or something else will take the HEAT off the hands.
I am not sure if I am giving to much away like exposure here so someone mention if I am.
A thumb tip specific learning video might be a way to go as well, to explore some options.
I have paper mache'd a TT for another purpose before and that was way LESS REALISTIC looking.
Hope this helps.
friend2cptsolo
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I should also suggest Tarbell's Course in Magic volume 1, which has a good section of thumb tip stuff, also a great series of books to own for any magician.
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks friend2cptsolo. Not seen the Thumbs-Up tip before. I suspect you are right and it will be adjustable upwards and fear it's starting size will already be too big for a junior. That said I might get one for me;-)

I do already have a few resources on TT's, and am 'reasonably' adept with one myself, so not too worried about instructional stuff at the moment, however the recommendations are welcome.

I do find your Paper mache suggestion intriguing. I appreciate this didn't work out in your case, however I am now wondering if, with some face paint and perhaps a layer of special FX latex, whether this might be a direction worth exploring? If nothing else it will be an interesting experiment to try out with the kids:-)
ZachDavenport
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I think I saw a video on youtube about how to make one custom fit to your thumb several years ago when I was first getting into magic.
Reality is a real killjoy.
friend2cptsolo
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Well the paper mache' TT was really just for the need to have something anchored to my thumb. It worked and was never seen but had plenty of other "cover". Anyway that is beside the point.
I remember seeing a picture of an old home made TT by a magician and it was paper mache' and the guy did a much better job but it was still very "noticeable" but it worked for what he did for his professional career and also was fairly close to a spectator.

FX latex is fine also if you can find out how to custom color it to fit to the skin tone needed, but that is probably not that hard to do.

What about making a mold of the thumb then pouring the latex into that?
gomerel
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I suggest dye tube, which you could make if you can't find a small one.
Tally_NSA
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Quote:
On Apr 29, 2016, mindacrossrhino wrote:
Hi all

I have two children who are really into magic, one's 9 and the other's 5. For some time now I've been trying to track down some thumb tips that might fit either of them (mostly for my 9 year old) so that I can show them some TT magic but to little avail. I have purchased several tips marketed as 'Junior' or 'Small', but most of them are so much larger than their tiny fingers that they won't even stay on, let alone look in the slightest like a realistic thumb. Appreciate that some of you will advocate that a TT needn't be well camouflaged, however I'm of the view that for children learning to use one they should be relatively well hidden (not saying they need be perfect).

Does anyone know of anywhere that sells especially small TT's that might fit a 9 year old budding magician? I'm starting to doubt anyone makes them small enough to fit children of this age (perhaps because the loads would inevitably be pretty small)?

One thought that came to mind was to make my own custom tips. Anyone ever done that and if so could they perhaps advise what they used and how they did this?

Any help much appreciated.

Kind regards
Simon


You wont find a TT smaller than the "small" size in the USA, but if you don't mind waiting for delivery, try ordering one from either China or Japan. Obviously, Chinese and Japanese people are much smaller than Caucasians. Get on eBay, and search for "thumb tip small", and look for the locality. If it says "China", it will be smaller (and cheaper!) than if you buy from either USA or Europe.

If when you get it, it is still too big, soak the TT in hot water, and then ram the open end into a shot glass. It will cause the opening to turn inwards, and create a bevelled edge. In fact, you could try this with one you already own. You never know, it might work well enough without the need for any extra purchases.
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Dick Oslund
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Quite frankly, I question whether a five year old would have the dexterity, not to mention the showmanship to handle a TT, FT, 6fngr,Sanada or, a dye tube.

It appears to this old geezer that the OP is "rushing things a bit"!
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ZachDavenport
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But what about the 9 year old? I got my first thumb tip at about 9.
Reality is a real killjoy.
Tally_NSA
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Quote:
On Apr 30, 2016, ZachDavenport wrote:
But what about the 9 year old? I got my first thumb tip at about 9.


If that happened to you, then it's fine. There aren't any rules about when to start Magic. You start when you start. Just like bringing up kids, there is no 1-size-fits-all for when someone is ready to get the magic bug.
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Dick Oslund
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Zach! I would consider that YOU are an EXCEPTION!

I've watched your cups and balls. I consider the performance of the Cs & Bs, to be a good test of a magician's abilities. You have a way to go to 'beat' the PROFESSOR, but, having known him, I think he would be proud of you.
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Al Schneider
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To Whom It May Concern
You can make your own.
There is this stuff called plumbers putty.
For less than $10 you get a roll of it from a hardware store.
It has two colors of somewhat stiff putty.
You roll and mix the colors.
In about ten minutes it gets very hard.
The idea would be to make a thumb tip out of tin foil by crushing it around your thumb.
Then, massage this putty and put a thin layer around the tin foil.
It hardens.
Pull the tin foil out of the device.
It should fit perfect.
It will be rough but can be sanded smooth and painted.
The stuff cures to a very hard plastic.
Just an idea.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Palmer
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I have found that a Vernet finger tip makes a workable TT for a person with small hands. If you can't find a finger tip, get a Vernet sixth finger and cut it to length.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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mindacrossrhino
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Hi all

Thanks for all the great advice.

As I mentioned in the original post the TT is primarily for my 9 year old, however the 5 year old likes to join in too, and whilst he won't be fooling anyone any time soon, his main audience will be his mum, so he should get a fairly sympathetic hearing (plus she already knows about TT's so there's no risk of undue exposure;-)

Both of my children are very enthusiastic and I agree that 5 is very young (and arguably I am 'rushing things a bit'), though having said that we have already covered a few other classics that he has grasped remarkably well, and is able to perform at a pretty passable level (Cups and balls, Fast and Loose). I often find that often the dexterity is there (at least with my kids), but the hardest part is getting the patter and presentational aspects up to scratch. Very much work in progress, but with each thing we learn they get a little bit better.

I am tempted to try making my own, and the hot water tip is something I will try with some of those I already own. I do already have a few Junior/Small Chinese tips, however these are still on the large size.

I do like Bill's suggestion re. the finger tips/Sixth finger and hadn't considered that. Think that will be my next step as if it works it will save on the arts and crafts.

Never used a finger tip before, so before I donate this to the children I may well have a little play with this myself. Out of interest is there anything particularly different you perform with a finger tip as opposed to a Thumb Tip. I envisage that the tricks performed are virtually the same, just with smaller loads (asking for my benefit now rather than the kids now;-)?

Thanks again.
mindacrossrhino
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...just ordered a Vernet Little Tip. Does look significantly narrower than a standard TT so am reasonably optimistic it may be a workable option. If not it's only £3 wasted (the beauty of TT's being so cheap).

Will report back here once I see how it fares.
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