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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Possible substitute for Fakini balls (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Doc Svengali
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I have used Fakini balls for many years and love them. I recently decided to move up to 2 inch balls from 1.75 inch but discovered that they are no longer available from Fakini. So I began searching for a substitute. Items I explored include:

Bond Lee - Sterlini Magic silicone balls 1.7 inch only - reportedly a great grip and a thin shell. I would certainly get a set if they made them in 2 inch.

Fakini 2 inch balls are unavailable anywhere I have searched. I have always liked the grip. Even if they were available, a set of 4 balls with 2 shells would run about $300 based on last available pricing.

Mirage JL silicone 2 inch balls (4 balls + 2 shells about $152) - widely reported to have a slippery grip and bulky shell, also heavy.

Florian Zimmer balls have received rave reviews but are extremely expensive (for 2 inch, 4 balls + 2 shells run about $350). According to their website, Jeff McBride says "Absolutely the best on the market". These balls are reported to have a super grip and are also light.

I recently discovered the following product from a Chinese dealer:

http://www.approachchina.com/multiplying......925.html

Approach China silicone 2 inch balls have a super grip (much grippier even than Fakini), a thin shell and handle beautifully. I have been delighted with their performance. They have a thinner lighter shell with some "give" that aids in handling. They cost far less than what the Florian Zimmer balls cost ( 4 balls + 2 shells = $39 vs. $350 for Florian Zimmer equivalent package).

They have some disadvantages. Their shell coating can peel over time. They are heavier than Florian Zimmer balls (similar to Fakini weight). Over time the sheen on the balls wears off (I prefer this matte look) but the sheen remains on the shell so appearance is not an exact match at that point. I have a second set for performance only in addition to a practice set so that wear is not an issue. An additional concern is they are sold by a dealer generally poorly regarded here due to cheap rip-offs of quality products sold elsewhere by their originators.

The shells have a somewhat loose fit, as the two shells are designed to create in tandem a ball around one of the silicone balls for use in two shell routines, and do fit together perfectly for this purpose but are therefore larger than the balls themselves but quite thin with some flex when squeezed by the edges. I find that they need to be washed regularly in a solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water to maintain optimal grippiness. (The extremely grippy surface is a magnet to particulate matter and skin oils which degrade the grip over time.)

I have found the transition to two inch balls from 1.75 inch to be an easy one, probably because of the enhanced grippiness of the balls. In spite of the issues mentioned, I highly recommend these balls. They handle better than my Fakini balls which I used for 25 years. I even modified my routine to include two shells based on ideas from the video routine they provide, which is actually quite good.
Dick Oslund
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Thanks Doc, for the nicely detailed comments. Your review should be most useful to anyone contemplating working with balls.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
johnsterlini
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Doc,
Keep an ear open, new products to be announced very soon!
glennmagi
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This is definitely some important info on alternatives out there. The Approaching China ones may work because I use Plasti Dip spray on other balls to return stickiness.
Josh Riel
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The Bond Lee balls are the ones I want the most, the size and everything is what I've been waiting for.

Unfortunately, other people also want them, so the delivery time is significant right now. I'm hoping for mine soon.

I have a set of 2" Fakini that I don't use anymore, and they've had a hard life. I just found them to be uncomfortable.
What I found particularly odd is the Fakini balls I received all those years ago, and paid 2 bills for, had "worm tracks" and seams, the quality was less than those super balls you can buy from a vending machine.

I never bought any Fakini ball again, not that any of these things really matter magically.
I'm excited for my new balls regardless.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
skilldini
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Doc Svengali has a very thorough review of Balls. Thank You. I am in the process of trying to keep the Fakini brand alive. I do think they are superior in many ways, especially the full line range. The material is very expensive and very durable. Wish me luck to keep this pioneer of manipulation supplies in business.
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