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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical Accessories » » Boretti needle/balloon (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Watson
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I came across an old triangular cardboard container that said "Magic by Boretti" "Super Needled Balloon" "Made in USA" "Distributed by Accent Products". Has the needle, ribbon, and package of balloons in it. Does anyone know about this item? Does Boretti still make magic props? What type of balloons are these? What did this cost back in the day? Is Accent Products still around? Many questions I know. Thank you in advance for any replies.
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Wravyn
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The balloons are a clear latex. Accent Products was bought out by Ted Carrothers Magic Studio (Toledo Ohio) back in the mid 80s.
The large needle was, if I remember correctly was about $15 to $20. There was a smaller, close up version also, it was about half the length of the needle you have, it was sold in a small plastic carry box that could fit into an inside jacket pocket.
From what Ted had said, the needles were made from a surgical steel and were made to last. It seems as if they were imported from Germany also.
Michael Night purchased Carrothers Magic back in the 90s, I would assume that he still holds the accent products line but , you know what they say about assuming.
Watson
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Thanks, Wravyn, good to know.
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Dick Oslund
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Needle thru balloon is a fine, VISUAL, trick,which is angle proof. The prop needle should last a lifetime.

the trick need no set up, and, depending on presentation is suitable for all ages.

I use helium quality balloons from Walmart. I prefer yellow.

the transparent balloons are not necessary.

I use a very light coating of vaseline for lubrication. DO NOT USE WATER SOLUBLE LUBE.

Carry the needle in the plastic tube from an old venetian blind.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Watson
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Awesome, thank you, Mr. Oslund. I've read somewhere else on the Café that a piece of PVC pipe might also work. Like the suggestion of yellow instead of transparent.
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Wravyn
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Or, to be honest, this looks cheaper to get than making one...
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/10492
Bill Hegbli
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I still have my Accent Products Needle through balloon in the triangle box. Great effect, and Doug Henning also thought it was good enough to include it in his shows.

Warning: This is a very dangerous prop, it is ultra sharps and if mishandled can kill a person. Learn how to handle the needle, and keep away for all children and where you point it.

You can get clear balloons from Penguin Magic as well. It is clear, so you can see the needle and ribbon passing through the balloon. Using colored balloons kills the mystery and effect.
Watson
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Another thank you to Mr. Hegbli. Always amazed at your lists you so kindly provide.
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Watson
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I have seen several different balloons for sale for this effect. Any difference between Qualatex, Royal Magic, Bazar de Magic. or helium balloons from Walmart???
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Dick Oslund
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Sorry Bill~ but, I can't agree with your comment on the colored balloon 'killing' the mystery and effect.

I've used the needle through balloon since it "came out', with a yellow balloon. (I was on the road, and Walmart balloons were fresh and added color to the performance.) I insert the needle at the thick spot, and, with care, it "comes out" at the nozzle.

The kids are amazed at the balloon penetrated by a needle, They LAUGH, AND, THEY APPLAUD.
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Dick Oslund
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I'll retuRn tomorrow, and will explain some more. >>>>> WATCH THIS SPACE....<<<<<
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Oct 18, 2019, Watson wrote:
I have seen several different balloons for sale for this effect. Any difference between Qualatex, Royal Magic, Bazar de Magic. or helium balloons from Walmart???


sORRY, I've been in hospital again.

The important thing is that the balloons must be FRESH. I was on the road. Walmart is all over the USA.
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Harry Murphy
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I still have the old Accent Products, triangular box version of the Needle thru Balloon too. It was a staple in almost all of my shows (Adult, Family, and Kids) for over a decade. I remember getting it from Al Cohen back in the mid 70s. Al had about a dozen in his shop and said he couldn't sell them even though he demo'ed them in Brilliant Al Cohen style. Al pointed out (after I bought one) that the clear ballon kinda looked like a blown up condom. Well that gave me the imputes for an adult routine that worked well in the comedy clubs in DC and Baltimore.

A little later Doug Henning performed the routine on TV and Al couldn't keep them in stock. Funny that!

Like my good friend Dick Oslund, I used yellow colored, latex balloons for Family and kid shows. I remember the clear balloons being somewhat expensive compared to the Walmart colored balloons and the colored balloons were more readily available. I reserved the clear balloons for comedy clubs (I had two good laughs with them).

I had no problem using a yellow (or light pink) colored balloon, The needle and the ribbon could be seen going through the light colored balloon with a well placed side lamp/light.

The trick always seemed to cause people (especially adults) to squirm and cringe as the needle approached the balloon Often I'd get a scream or two just as the needle penetrated the balloon. I'm a ham and could/can play up the anticipation to the penetration. I appeared to be cringing and looking away as the needle first penetrated.


All that said (sorry it is a favorite of mine), I also used white (clear when blown up) rubber (latex) hospital gloves from time to time with adult audiences. They worked the same.


AND (but wait there is more!!!) The old hank/silk in balloon used a slightly larger size clear balloon too. There was a time when I married the silk to balloon to the needle thru balloon. How else do you get the silk out of the balloon but to burst it?!? Of course the balloon didn't burst at first the needle went right through...you get the drift.

Now to dig the old needle out and start playing with it again. Happy memories.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Dan David
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I had the old Super Needled Balloon" that came in the triangular box and it was great. I bought a replacement a few years ago and it works, but not quite as well. My old needle seemed thicker and stiffer and more easily slid into the balloon without the rubber grabbing onto the steel.
thegreatscungilli
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I do it with wooden skewers rather than the steel needle but they have to be sharp so I use a new skewer each time and sharpen and prep them beforehand...you can get a bundle of skewers really cheap at any Walmart. I find that light colored balloons (pink, yellow etc) still shows the skewer going through. I run it through both ends of the balloon and hold both ends of the skewer then pull it through quickly so I don't use the ribbon. I like to put some confetti in the balloon and then pop it at the end..kids seem to get a kick out of all the confetti
David Todd
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I noticed someone posted an old video of Doug Henning's second television special :https://youtu.be/fnRtaUsjkxM
It's been a long time since I had seen this.

As Harry Murphy points out in his post above , Henning's performance led to a renewed interest in the Needle Thru Balloon effect which had been around for awhile at that point.

Now, here's something interesting I noticed watching Henning again: he pushes the needle through the balloon from the SIDE, not end to end as most people do it. (i.e. pushing the needle in through the thicker latex at the end where the balloon is tied , and coming out at the top of the balloon which also has thicker latex.)

Henning's handling of it looks more magical to me. (and more natural, to hold the balloon at the bottom , holding it by the knot , which seems the natural way one would hold a balloon .) See the video beginning at the 8:06 mark: https://youtu.be/fnRtaUsjkxM?t=486

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David Todd
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Looking at the Conjuring Credits website I found some information on the history of this effect:

"The version most of us know was apparently invented by Tom Ransom, and published in the New Phoenix of July 23, 1954, No. 312, p. 51 as “No Bop Balloon”.

"In 1974, the German magic dealer Borretti marketed “Super Needled Balloon” which was advertised in English-language magic as of 1976. This was the Ransom method, using a transparent balloon (not a new idea) and a very large and sharp metal needle."


Conjuring Credits says about Henning:

"Then in December 1977, on his second NBC special, Doug Henning performed the Needle Through Balloon using the oversized needle and transparent balloon. Almost overnight, it seemed that every dealer was selling those large needles along with the same type of colorless balloon that had been used by Henning. Thus, the Ransom method became hugely popular, and continues to be so today. Amusingly, when Henning did it on his TV special he used the *Grant method."

(*Referencing an older method devised by U.F. Grant.)
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