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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Is "The Mint" any good? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cloneman
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I was in a magic shop today and the magician behind the counter pitched me on a Johnson products trick, called The Mint. The illusion, he explained, was this: a metal block turns into a ball bearing, which is "heated" with a lighter and pressed flat into a metal disc, which is then magically minted into a half-dollar.

Since the magician didn't demo the trick, I have no idea how well it plays. It sounded good, though.

Has anybody seen this trick?

How well does it play?
"Anything is possible... if you don't know what you are talking about."
Bill Palmer
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This is one of those "sleepers." It can play well or it can fall on its face. It depends on your presentation. If it were me, I would add a Dr. Roberts transparent half gimmick and do Silver Extraction at the end.

Then I would stop.
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Almost-A-Magician
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I have it...but have not begun working on it yet, so can't really tell how well it would play. But, I will say it will take a LOT of practice. (for me anyway) Coordination of several concealments, switches, and a very bold ditch. I plan on "graduating" to working it after I better master some of the required sleights!
wsduncan
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If someone fails to demo a mechanical trick for you that should tell you something about the trick.
Bill Palmer
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Well, since it really isn't a "mechanical" trick, in the normal sense of the word, that might explain why it wasn't demo'ed. It requires a bit of sleight of hand to do this thing. However, the main ditch is covered when you go to your pocket for your lighter (or when you get rid of it.)

It's basically the same kind of idea as "Gem Busters."
"The Swatter"

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NickJegor
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I didin't saw this trick but I saw "Gem Busters"
Nikolajus Jegorovas
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wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2004-12-01 01:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
Well, since it really isn't a "mechanical" trick, in the normal sense of the word, that might explain why it wasn't demo'ed.

Well, having demo'd the product myself, I'd have to say that it IS mechanical, even if it doesn't use batteries...

It use a "shell" (of sorts) and a double-faced coin to effect two of the tranformations.

I would guess it doesn't get demo'd because it's a crap trick and would sell even less if people saw it before the sale.

Here's a simple test. Ask them, since it requires some sleight of hand, if you can read the instructions and examine the props to see if you are up to the challenge. They can't really complain that you'd be getting the secret since having the secret wouldn't allow you do the trick without buying the special props. It would cost you a lot more to have your own made...
Bill Palmer
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Point taken. But it still involves at least one switch, two if you decide to ring in an ungaffed coin for the double-facer.

I think with the presentation that I described above, though, combining it with the Roberts gaff, it could be made into a decent presentation.

OTOH, it's not my kind of trick, anyway.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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bsears
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I own it and have never seen anyone do it. You don't hear of it much. I haven't worked out a routine I like much either.

Here the thing : there are quite a few props involved. And tons of switching. Going in and out of the pockets kills the illusion. With some topit/holdout work, though, this could be VERY strong stuff. Lot of work to get it there and a good shuttle pass is requisit.
wsduncan
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The problem is one of design AND effect.

When a layman view magic part of his mind searches for a solution. The "solution", in this case, is that you're switching objects. The machined parts make the switching less difficult and less obvious but any layman watching it would know that you were simply switching one object for another.

Now, since that's actually what you're doing there's no magic moment at which the mind gives up and accepts the illusion. I'm not sure it's impossible to do but I haven't been able to think of a way and I've been thinking about it for more than a dozen years.

I like the idea but I don't like the trick because, even perfectly executed it's not "magical".
Bill Palmer
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This is a perfect case of a trick that is screaming for a good presentation. I think that if you can "sell" Gem Busters, you can "sell" The Mint. But I wouldn't do it the same way that it comes from "the depot."

I would change the props quite a bit. I'd get rid of the cube that is provided and have a machinist make one out of solid silver. Then I would have the ball bearing silver plated, and get an actual blank silver disk. Yes, you would have to do a lot more switching, but I think I can make it work. I would also add Zola's "Silver Extraction" at the end, leaving the spectator with a "ghost" of a coin and a lump of metal.

But that's just the bones to hang the presentation on.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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wsduncan
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Bill,
I think this is a concept that requires very little scripting. Like Roth's Portable Hole, once the concept is established the audience doesn't need clever lines of "patter" to enjoy the magic.

The problem lies entirely with the method BEING the effect. If you could do the entire effect with switches that looked the the John Cornelius tabled spellbound change (the one Roth uses in "The Planet") where you just wave your hands over an object on the table and don't appear to even touch it, that would sell the illusion.

Any noticable manipulation, such as the unmotived passing of the object from hand to hand, will look like and be understood by the audience to be exactly that...

Any "light" motivation such as reaching a lighter or wand will pass, perhaps, once. Anything more will be understood for what it is.
Rob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2004-11-30 01:03, Bill Palmer wrote:
This is one of those "sleepers." It can play well or it can fall on its face. It depends on your presentation. If it were me, I would add a Dr. Roberts transparent half gimmick and do Silver Extraction at the end.

Then I would stop.


Bill, I have been TRYING to find a transparent half gimmick around. The only trick in which it is located seems to be a little known effect called Silver Sanctum. Anywhere I can just get the gimmick?
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Bill Palmer
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To wsduncan -- I disagree completely. I have made a second career out of taking tricks in which the method was the trick and working out scripts that conceal the method. Brad Henderson has done a lot of this as well. The question is whether the effect is worth saving. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But be careful when you make statements like that, because it leaves you open to the fellow who comes up and fools the pants off of you with something that you thought you understood.

Regarding the transparent half gimmick -- I think you will need to get Silver Sanctum. Or check around. Maybe Johnson has one.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mitch Schneiter
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Rob - Do a google search for "silver extraction". You will get a number of hits. "Silver extraction" comes with a transparent half dollar and a lump of "silver".
wsduncan
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Bill, we have something in common. I've written extensively on the subject of fixing the shortcomings of tricks with scripting in a manuscript called Tubthumping. You can find reviews in the January 2004 issues of Genii and MAGIC.

What I'm suggesting is that the EFFECT of The Mint doesn't need to be fixed. The effect is self-evident and clever “patter” won’t likely improve it. It's not a problem of presentation. It's a matter of method. The trick relies entirely on switching and that's exactly the method that a lay person would suspect. As clever as the switches in The Mint are I don't think they're strong enough to ally the suspicion that the objects are being switched. And as SWE wrote, if they suspect it doesn't matter if they detect.

The problem with The Mint is that there is no switching technology that is strong enough to overcome the audiences initial "how else?" response to the transformations.

Now, I grant you it's POSSIBLE that someone will come up with a move so undetectable that it can be done five times without my figuring out what's going on but that's going to be one heck of a great holdout or he's gonna end REALLY dirty.

As for alternate uses of Dr. Zola's transparent coin you can find one of mine on page 9 of Tubthumping under the heading "Scripting To Create Motive".

cheers,
Bill
Bill Palmer
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I disagree completely. Just as a challenge to this, I have figured out several different methods of doing switches that don't appear to be switches. That's the biggest challenge of the routine.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mitch Schneiter
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Sounds like a contest should be in the works...Best routine for the Mint. I too bought this long ago and never worked out a handling I liked. Too many switches. I do like the concept and props though: Start with a cube of silver, roll it in a ball, squash it flat into a disk, and press/cast it into a half-dollar.
Bill Palmer
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Here's what I'm thinking. You start out with a lump of silver, not a cube, and roll it between your palms to form a sphere. There are a couple of ways this can be done without the switch being too obvious. Then, squash it flat between the palms to form the disk. Once you have the disk, do a spellbound type of change as you "form the details with your fingers."

I wouldn't use the gaff provided for this, because at this point, you want them to be able to handle the coin, if only briefly.

From here go into the silver extraction sequence -- using any other Spellbound change you have in your repertoire. You end up with the same lump of silver, and the "skeleton" of the half.

But I would eliminate the cube. That was the only part of it I didn't like at all.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
wsduncan
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Bill,
You haven't said anything about the real problem. Simply saying there are a couple of ways to do this without any details isn't very helpful.

What do these switches look like to the audience?
Where are the objects to be switched IN hidden and where do the others go when they're switched out?

Replacing the cube with a lump makes the trick harder to do smoothly because you have to hide the sphere when with the set you don't. Adding the Silver Extraction phase makes it even more complicated because you now have even more stuff to switch undetected.

Is this meant to be done while seated? If not, how many times do you have to go to pocket, sleeeve or topit something? Or are you just holding out with three or four extra object hidden at the end?
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