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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Source for AIRSHIP balloons to use with Spikes Thru Balloon or Turkish Turmoil (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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David Todd
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I've noticed it has become difficult to find appropriate size "airship" balloons to use in the U.F. Grant/MAK Magic 'Spikes Thru Balloon' and 'Turkish Turmoil'. (also the Owen Magic Supreme 'Spikes for Skeptics').

I believe I have found a source for the correct size balloons: Everts Balloon Co..

The Everts 'Airship 50' balloon is about 22" length, 4 3/8" diameter when fully inflated, which will fit the 'Spikes Thru Balloon' tube. The 'Airship 60' is 24" length, 5 3/4" diameter, which should fit the larger 'Turkish Turmoil' tube. They also make a smaller 'Airship 40' which is 16" length, 3" diameter.

Image


Everts Balloon Co. is a wholesaler, supplying balloons for companies like Amscan and Party City. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to locate a retail source such as Party City or other party supply stores that sell bags of only the Airship 50 or Airship 60 balloons . Usually these Airship balloons are found in "Assorted Balloons" packages, so you might only be able to get a few of the appropriate size Airship balloons out of a package of 25 assorted size balloons. I'm not sure what the minimum order is from the Everts Balloon Co. directly , but if they are like many wholesalers you would probably have to place an order for a minimum of 1000 units. If you're a pro doing a lot of shows using these balloons , that would be ok, but for most hobbyist magicians who only perform occasionally, the balloons would go bad before you worked through 1000 of them. I believe the "official" shelf life for latex balloons is one year if stored in a cool, dry place in a sealed container. I've had some balloons stay fresh and usable for 3 years (sometimes longer) when stored in a sealed container in a refrigerator. As a rule , for any balloon tricks you want to make sure to use fresh balloons which have been in storage a year or less. Having a balloon fail during a performance is not fun, especially if your supply of back-up balloons are also just as old and apt to fail. I'm going to talk to my local Party City manager to see if they could place an order for a smaller number of only the Airship 50 or Airship 60 balloons , so I would not have to purchase and dig through multiple "Assorted Sizes" packages of balloons to harvest a few of the appropriate size Airship balloons.

The MAK 'Spikes Thru Balloon' tube is about 3" - 3.5" inches in diameter. (Sizes have varied a bit over the years.)

The 'Turkish Turmoil' tube (which I do not have) looks to be more like 4.5" inches in diameter from the photos I can find online. So a 3" diameter balloon won't fill it up all the way. I would appreciate if someone who owns 'Turkish Turmoil' could confirm the diameter of the tube. I think the Everts 'Airship 60' will work.

Image


Image


In the U.S.A. the most popular and easy to find balloons you could use for these tricks are from Qualatex. Their 350Q balloons are 3" in diameter, 50" length when fully inflated, which will work with the 'Spikes Thru Balloon'. The Qualatex 321Q "Bee body" balloons (with a black tip)are 3" diameter, 21"length , will also work with the MAK 'Spikes Thru Balloon'tube.

The Qualatex 646Q balloons are 6" in diameter, 60" inches length when fully inflated. I believe these would work in the 'Turkish Turmoil' tube, although they should perhaps not be inflated fully, to allow the tube to be closed around the balloon. As I understand it from reading the description of how 'Turkish Turmoil' is intended to be performed it is a bit different than 'Spikes Thru Balloon' in that the hinged 'Turkish Turmoil' tube is closed around the already inflated balloon , whereas with the 'Spikes Thru Balloon' the balloon is inflated after it has been inserted into the tube. (see this video demo if you're unfamiliar with the procedure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7GHdApaJrg ) I think if you did not fully inflate the 646Q balloon it will fit in the 'Turkish Turmoil' tube. (if anyone who has 'Turkish Turmoil' would care to comment and confirm that , I would appreciate it.)

The only thing that is a bit of an issue with the Qualatex 350Q and the 646Q is that the balloons are very LONG (50" and 60") , so if you inflate them to their full length they tend to be a bit unwieldy sticking out from each end of the tube . On the other hand, if you under-inflate the longer Qualatex balloons they will have an unsightly "tail" dangling underneath. That little detail may not bother some people, but I don't care for it.

Image


Ideally you want to have the balloon fully inflated or almost fully inflated , so there is not this long extra bit dangling below.


This next photo shows what it should look like with an almost fully inflated airship balloon in the MAK 'Spikes Thru Balloon' tube:

Image



These images from the Owen Magic Supreme catalog of their 'Spikes for Skeptics' effect also show the correct type of airship balloon:

Image




.
Russo
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A note; I cover'd my Turkish Turmoil with contact paper that looks like Wood. It doesn't look so much like a Magic Prop. Also, for anyone doing Gospel Magic, write the word 'BIBLE' on the balloon, to show how the Word of God is indestructible. The Tube and swords - Communism, etc., an idea.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2020, Russo wrote:
A note; I cover'd my Turkish Turmoil with contact paper that looks like Wood. It doesn't look so much like a Magic Prop. Also, for anyone doing Gospel Magic, write the word 'BIBLE' on the balloon, to show how the Word of God is indestructible. The Tube and swords - Communism, etc., an idea.


Well, you just made the hardcore MAK Magic collectors gasp , but I completely understand your reason for wanting to tone down the decor on the prop. I never had the Turkish Turmoil, only the Spikes Thru Balloon. For Spikes Thru Balloon I ended up making my own version where I used a section of a heavy cardboard mailing tube and a removable gimmick (along the same lines as U.F. Grant's "Nu-Way Wand Thru Balloon") so both the tube and the spike (knitting needle) could be examined. I made a few different ones trying out alternate decor for the tube and one of them I covered with wood grain contact paper!

Which reminds me, I have wanted to make a Turkish Turmoil or Spikes Thru Ballon type of prop, but make it look like a Bamboo tube , with skewers. Something like this:

Click here to view attached image.
Russo
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If they are collectors -props on the shelf, who cares. When doing a Magic Show,unless doing a Costumed Act, It looks better being different than all the Hokey decorations. Sorry (?) MAK - Bamboo -looks good.
Bill Hegbli
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David Todd, the picture second up from the bottom is Dick Stoner, retired Trade Show magician, and Stoner's Magic shop, in witch the changed the name when his son Kevin helped run the store. It is now called, Stoner's Fun store. Dick's father started the store in the 1940's, as part of the sell off of stores from Abbott's Manufacturing. It was the store in Indianapolis, and Albert Stoner purchased the store and moved it to Fort Wayne, IN.

They carry nothing but the best balloons for magic effects. I suggest you call the store, AC 260-426-1100. Dick should be in the store and be able to supply the proper ones you need.

Dick's sun Kevin knows nothing about magic, so it will do little good to talk to him. None of Dicks sons were interested in performing magic. So, only talk to Dick.
David Todd
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Thanks, Bill. I did check Stoner's website. They list the Qualatex balloons (the longer ones used for twisting balloon animals) but they don't have the short, wide airship balloons that are ideal for the Spikes Thru Balloon or Turkish Turmoil. Stoner's website does list the Qualatex "bee body" balloons with the black stinger tip , which are 3" diameter, 21" long , so the size is ok for a Spikes Thru Balloon tube that is 3" diameter , but most of the Spikes Thru Balloon tubes I've seen are 3.5" diameter and the Turkish Turmoil tube is even wider. Maybe Stoner's have some other balloons in stock at their retail store that are not listed on their website , so I'll try giving him a call. Thanks for the suggestion.

(I do like that "Nothing Grinder" routine Dick Stoner performs in the video. I remember Dick Oslund mentioning that the "Nothing Grinder" routine originated with Roy Kissell. It's clever.)

I'm sure the airship balloons I found listed on the Everts Balloon Co. website ( https://www.everts.com.my/ ) will work (Airship 50 for Spikes Thru Balloon, Airship 60 for Turkish Turmoil) , but the tricky part is finding a retailer who sells only the airship balloons by the bag (12 count , 25 count , or 50 count) instead of having to purchase wholesale 500, 1000, or more at a time. Most part-timer or amateur magicians will never use that many balloons before they go bad. Party City probably have the airship balloons included in bags of their "Assorted Balloons", but you would have to dig through a bag of mostly round balloons to gather up a few of the correct size airship balloons. It's been some time since I have been inside a Party City location , but I recall seeing these "Assorted Balloon" packages available. On their website they don't list any , but sometimes the stock at an actual location is different than what they have on the website.

This U.K. magic dealer -- Mission Magic -- has DiFatta's 'Spikes Thru Balloon PRO' which emphasizes in the ad : "Uses normal balloons - so you'll never run out!". I emailed them to ask about the balloons: what size and do they supply replacement packages of these balloons and in different colors or only yellow as shown ? No answer yet. In the ad on their website the dimensions of the tube are not given , but from looking at the photo I'm guessing the tube is about 3" - 3.5" diameter x 6 - 7 inches in length, so the balloons provided are probably 3" - 3.5" diam. x 12" - 15" in length if fully inflated. Ok, for Spikes Thru Balloon, but not large enough for the Turkish Turmoil prop. I'm not sure , but I suspect MAK Magic sold a lot less of the Turkish Turmoil prop, because it was more expensive to start with. It seems to be a rarer item among the MAK collectors. It's a good effect , so kind of sad if they are only sitting on collector's shelves , not performed because the proper size Airship balloons are hard to find. That's why I made this post, in case anyone is looking for the correct size Airship balloons.

Click here to view attached image.
David Todd
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Update to the post directly above:

I received a reply from Mission Magic regarding the airship balloons for 'Spikes Thru Balloon PRO'.

They write:

Quote:
"Yes, we can supply spare balloons - and they only come in yellow.

I believe they are specially made!"



Which is a little odd , since the ad says: "Uses normal balloons - so you'll never run out!" . So, are they "normal balloons" or "specially made" ? Well, whatever the case , that's at least one source for balloons (yellow only) that will work for Spikes Thru Balloon without sticking out too far on each end of the tube like with the longer Qualatex balloons, or else having a dangling "tail" at one end if not fully inflated.


-
tbaer
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Does anyone in the US sell the "spikes thru balloon" just like the way the 'nothing grinder' and the 'spikes thru balloon pro' are made on the inside? I'm not interested in the other versions.
David Todd
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MAK Magic still lists it : www.makmagic.com/product-popup.asp?prodid=P0135

I would make sure to confirm with them that it is in fact the same model as pictured to make sure it's not some other version sourced from India or China. As far as I know MAK doesn't make any of their own magic any more, but they may have jobbed this out with specific instructions to duplicate the classic version they used to make. I don't think MAK sells directly to the public (wholesale only) so you'll have to ask them what retail magic shops they sell to , who may have it in stock.

Daytona Magic has the same model of Spikes Thru Balloon pictured on their website (but I would do the same thing with Daytona: double-check with them to confirm that is actually the version they have in stock . I'm finding to my dismay that many dealers never change out the photos on their website , even if they know what they are selling is not the exact thing that is pictured on the website, so to avoid disappointment , get them to confirm in writing that what you're going to receive is the same as what they have displayed on their website) -

https://daytonamagic.com/shop/kids-magic......balloon/


Otherwise your best source is going to be UsedMagi4Sale.com (John Sterlini) or other Used Magic websites or eBay. Winkler's Magic Warehouse sometimes has stock of older props in good condition and also TrickSupply.com sometimes has older props (new old stock) show up on their site.

Abbott's also lists it as available: https://abbottmagic.com/Spikes-Thru-Balloon-P0135.htm

Click here to view attached image.
Bill Hegbli
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David Todd, the long skinny balloons used for making Balloon animals are called, 360 Balloons.

Again, you have to talk to Dick Stoner, his son takes care of the website, inventory, etc.

Dick has been selling Mak Magic products for over 60 years. Just tell him you need balloons for Spike through Balloon. and any other Mak Magic product, and he should be able to help you. Dick is in his mid to late 80's now, maybe even his early 90's, but still comes into the store.

What you write sounds like there is shortage on Latex Balloons for some reason. Oh, and I use to work in the store back in the 1970's and early 1980's. I have not been to the store in a few years, but they always had plenty of stock.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2020, Bill Hegbli wrote:
David Todd, the long skinny balloons used for making Balloon animals are called, 360 Balloons.


They must have changed the number, because the Qualatex website lists them as 350Q -
https://us.qualatex.com/en-us/products/?......rch=350q

Or you might mean the 260 balloons ? Those are the skinnier 2" diameter balloons.

Quote:
On Aug 28, 2020, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Again, you have to talk to Dick Stoner, his son takes care of the website, inventory, etc.

Dick has been selling Mak Magic products for over 60 years. Just tell him you need balloons for Spike through Balloon. and any other Mak Magic product, and he should be able to help you. Dick is in his mid to late 80's now, maybe even his early 90's, but still comes into the store.


Ok, I will contact him by phone. Thanks. Like I said before, I checked Stoner's website , but they only list the Qualatex 260Q (the skinny 2" diameter twisting balloons) and the Qualatex 321Q ("bee body" 3" diameter) balloons on their website:

https://funnygoofycrap.com/?s=balloons&p......&ixwps=1


Quote:
What you write sounds like there is shortage on Latex Balloons for some reason. Oh, and I use to work in the store back in the 1970's and early 1980's. I have not been to the store in a few years, but they always had plenty of stock.


Well, not a shortage on Latex Balloons in general (plenty of the Qualatex long twisting balloons 160Q ,260Q , 350Q , 646Q) but the shorter "airship" balloons are not easy to find now. The Qualatex 350Q is 3" diameter , 50" long . It's a little bit of a loose fit for my Spikes Thru Balloon tube which is 3.5" diameter, but even if I switch to a tube that is only 3" diameter , the 50" long balloon looks awkward to me sticking out so far from both ends of the tube ... OR if I don't inflate it fully then it has a "tail" dangling underneath which I also don't think looks very good. The shorter airship balloons look better.

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tbaer
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David,

Thanks for the information in your above post. I contacted Daytona Magic and their version is made the same way on the inside as the 'nothing grinder,' but I didn't contact the others you mentioned. But they look to be the same model. I forgot to ask Harry about the balloons.

Tom
Bill Hegbli
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David Todd, if you don't like the tail, then why not knot it off and then cut the tail off close to the knot.
David Todd
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On Aug 29, 2020, Bill Hegbli wrote:
David Todd, if you don't like the tail, then why not knot it off and then cut the tail off close to the knot.


Good idea ... I'll have to try that. Thank you. I had not thought about tying off a shorter section from one of the longer balloons and cutting away the unwanted tail section.



I also learned that the balloons designated as "360" are the ones from Betallatex Balloon Co.

"350" balloons are from Qualatex . The first number refers to the diameter , the second two numbers refer to the length.

Betallatex 360 balloons are 3" diameter , 60" long.
Betallatex 660 ballons are 6" diameter, 60" long.

Qualatex 350 balloons are 3" diameter , 50" long
Qualatex 646 balloons are 6" diameter, 46" long.


I would still like to find out if someone stocks the Everts Balloon Company airship balloons 'Airship 50' (4" diameter , 22" long) and 'Airship 60' (5.5 diameter, 24" long) because my Spikes Thru Balloon tube is 3.5" in diameter, so the 350 and 360 balloons (3" diameter) from Qualatex and Betallatex are a loose fit for the 3.5" tube , but the larger 646 and 660 balloons (6" diam.) are a bit too wide.

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David Todd
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Bill Hegbli's idea of tying off the longer Qualatex or Betallatex balloons and trimming away the excess "tail" is a good idea , if you don't want the dangling tail on the balloon or don't want the ends of the balloon extending way out of the tube on each end. You're still stuck with using the Qualatex 350 or Betallatex 360 which are 3" diameter , so if your Spikes Thru Balloon tube is wider than 3" in diameter (mine is 3.5" diameter) those balloons will be a loose fit , so then you would have to step up to the wider Qualatex 646 or Betallatex 660 which are 6" diameter , which will fit, but will have more "bulge" in the ends of the balloon extending out from either end of the tube. An airship balloon diameter between 3.5" - 4.5" would be better.

However, for anyone who is interested in the shorter airship balloons made by Everts Balloon Co. that I mentioned in my first post, I received an email reply from the Everts Balloon Co. confirming their airship balloon sizes , as follows:

Airship 40 - 3.5” diameter, 16” length
Airship 50 – 4.5” diameter , 22” length
Airship 60 – 6.1” diameter, 24” length

So it seems like their Airship 40 would be good for Spikes Thru Balloon (although the Airship 50 would also fit) . The Airship 50 would work for Turkish Turmoil. Airship 60 at 6.1” diameter might be a little bit of a tight fit for the Turkish Turmoil tube to fit around ?

However, the problem remains finding a retailer who sells these Evert’s airship balloons in standard retail packaging groups of 12 - 25 - 50 - or 100 balloons. Everts Balloon Co. is Wholesale only. Their suggestion is to check with retailers such as Party City who handle their products , but as I mentioned previously it appears as if Party City only have these type of airship balloons available in packs of “Assorted Balloons” , so to get a few of the correct size airship balloons you would have to purchase multiple packs of “Assorted Balloons” and there is no guarantee you would be able to find the color you want , if you have a particular color you want for the airship balloon , if that matters.


---
David Todd
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On Aug 28, 2020, tbaer wrote:
Does anyone in the US sell the "spikes thru balloon" just like the way the 'nothing grinder' and the 'spikes thru balloon pro' are made on the inside?


The more I consider the "Nothing Grinder" routine (written by Roy Kissell) the more I like it . It takes all the heat off the can and the spikes. Instead the focus is on the whimsical and nonsensical idea of the "Nothing Grinder" , and the magic happens incidentally (as the audience realizes that the spikes have penetrated the balloon and it has not popped!). A masterful example of taking a great illusion (spikes thru balloon) that did not really have a plot or a climax (you stick spikes through a balloon ... which is kind of an interesting puzzle , but then what ? ) and giving it a reason to exist.

You can find Roy Kissell's "Nothing Grinder" routine in Linking Ring Vol. 47 No. 11 , Nov 1967. It is also in Frances Ireland Marshall's "Kid Stuff 5" .
David Todd
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Magic Etc Ft Worth Costume has 'Refills for Mental Balloon' which are the size which will fit nicely in the standard Grant/MAK Spikes Thru Balloon tube.

The balloons are 13" long and 4" diameter inflated. There are 4 colors red, green, blue, yellow, 25 of each color, a total of 100 balloons in each pack. $6.50 .

https://www.mtpsales.com/product/refill-......i-fatta/

They said they are low on stock , currently have 4 packs in stock, but hope to get more soon. Other dealers might also have 'Refills for Mental Balloon' (Mental Balloon is a different effect which uses these type of airship balloons). So check around.

Looks like Daytona Magic also has them: https://daytonamagic.com/shop/kids-magic......-refill/

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tbaer
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I had a few email conversations with Daytona Magic before I made my purchase with them regarding the 'spikes thru balloon' effect. I asked them if they have balloons that will fit the canister. They said they do and they told me they are the Bee qualatex balloons item # FF045. So I made my purchase. When I received my items the balloon pack label read FF045 and 321Q Bee Body. The balloons before being blown up are 5" long and this includes the black stinger or what some may call the tail of the balloon. After you blow up the balloon (not inside the canister) it measures 13" long and the diameter is just short of 3" and appears to be the perfect size for the 'spikes thru balloon' canister. The stinger or the tail cannot be blown up, no matter what you do, even if you stretch it and squeeze air into it, when you go to re-blow the balloon the stinger will not fill up with air.

So before blowing up the balloon, now it only measures just short of 4" long because the stinger won't fill up with air and the canister measures 6" and thus lies the problem. The balloons I received are not long enough to work because of the inside canister gimmick if you know what I mean. The balloon before it's blown up must go all the way through the canister and out the other end and then you can blow it up. I contacted Daytona Magic last week and let them know of the problem and they seemed to be apologetic and would correct the situation, but as yet I've not heard from them. I informed Daytona Magic to let their staff know of the problem so this doesn't happen to other magicians who purchase these balloons for this effect. In the meantime I ordered some other balloons that will fit the canister through Amazon.
Bill Hegbli
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Here is how Dick Stoner, shop owner of Stoner's Fun Store, and professional magician. Notice how he blows up and handles the balloon.





When I was in the shop and he demonstrated this effect, he put his finger into the tube, and held the balloon against the inside wall of the tube as he blew up the balloon. In the video he I notice he lets does it a little differently, more like tbaer has mentioned above in his post.

As a side note, Don Lawton was a strong influence on how Dick Stoner presented his magic.
tbaer
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I blow up the balloon just as Dick Stoner. My lips are literally inside the canister, so my face is actually lower than Dick's. Notice his balloon has no stinger. Mine came with stingers and this is the reason the balloon cannot get past the bottom metal tube because the 1.5" stinger cannot be blown up as I mentioned above. The balloons I received from Daytona Magic (321Q) (FF045) positively will not work.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Source for AIRSHIP balloons to use with Spikes Thru Balloon or Turkish Turmoil (2 Likes)
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