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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tenyo 2012, first impression ・ テンヨー2012年新作

Today I went to Tokyu Hands to buy some of the magic prop maker Tenyo's new items for 2012. There are five new items for 2012 that I know of, and all were available. I bought the three that interested me most.


I bought the flying carpet, the third eye, and the dice tower (by the way, I am just guessing what the names might be in English, since I have the Japanese version with all instructions/box texts/etc. only in Japanese). I also bought some Pikachu shaped sponges, which are also made by Tenyo. I already had a bunch of those, but the Pikachu are really cute and very popular with children here. You can never have too many, I guess.


On the way out of the store I ran into a couple where the man said "Ah, the magician!" and pointed at me. The woman said "A magician?", so I guess he has been to our magic bar (he looked familiar) but she has not. He also said, "From Sweden!". I said yes, and that I had just bought a huge bag of magic props so his timing was great. They evidently found that amusing and laughed a lot.


The Flying Carpet・魔法のじゅうたん

The flying carpet is very nice. It consists of a black cloth to put on the floor, a black "landing pad" thingy to put on the black cloth, a bunch of blue stickers that you have to stick to the landing pad, a flying carpet (actually a plastic sheet), two pairs of 3D glasses, and a paper thingy that you will use for comparison so people can see how high you are "flying". This is an optical illusion and everyone will probably realize that that is what it is. It is a great optical illusion though! You stand on the flying carpet, which is placed on the landing pad (which in turn is on the black cloth) and one or two spectators stand about two meters away wearing the glasses. You will seem to be flying, higher than the 10 cm high paper thingy beside the landing pad. The can move around (left-right, move forward and backward) and what they see will be consistent with you and the carpet floating in the air. You can also move the landing pad you have under you which makes it look even more as if you are not standing on the ground. A very very nice optical illusion.


There is also a clip of this illusion being used in a bar in Japan on YouTube:

The Dice Tower・タワーオブダイス

The tower of dice looks like a holder with room for 4 dice and a lid for this. You take off the lid, pour out the dice, and stack them neatly on the table. You then put the lid to one side, and show that the original holder fits exactly over the stack of dice, with (apparently) no room for any more by putting the holder on the stack. When you put the holder over the dice stack a second time, the dice stack grows to 8 dice (a twice as high stack), and the spectators can check that these are real dice. After one clean up move, you can also hand the holder and lid to the spectators. This trick looks great in the Tenyo YouTube video, and the gimmick was not what I had imagined. My first impression is: it felt a little inconvenient holding things the way you are supposed and getting rid of the one secret thing you cannot show to the spectators may be a little tricky in some situations. But with a little practice, this should not be very difficult to perform, I think. Your angles are fairly good.


The Third Eye・ザサードアイ

The third eye seemed like it could be used to have quite a lot of fun together with the spectators in the demo video I had seen. The secret was not exactly what I had guessed, but I was pretty close. You get a plastic eye that blinks with a red light when you turn it on (it is battery powered and you can change the battery once it runs out), three sets of five cards each, and a display stand that you can place the cards in. The basic idea is that you have a spectator select one card out of five and then return this to the stack. These five cards are placed in the display stand and any spectator can immediately see which the chosen card is just by looking at the backs of the cards if they have the third eye placed between their normal eyes. Other spectators will not be able to see it.


You have three sets of cards to use, one which has five cards from a normal deck of cards, one that has "how much do you like me/someone else we are talking about" on a scale from 0 to 100%, and one that has love/money/fame/career/something else that I don't remember. You could use cards that you make yourself by reusing a few secret parts from the cards provided, I guess. Though these cards would still have to look a bit suspicious to work. It seems to be fairly easy to reuse the secret parts you would need.


The dirty work you have to do as the magician is easy. There are several ways you could do what needs to be done, and anyone could learn several of these with minimal practice. The angles are very good, though you probably do not want the spectators to look at the faces of  the cards in the display stand. The spectator with the third eye will have to be more or less right in front of the cards when he is looking at them (the angles where the third eye work are a bit restricted) but has very generous angles from which to watch the cards, and you can just turn the display to face the spectator in extreme cases and the angles are forgiving enough so that it is very easy not difficult to get the spectator to see what needs to be seen.  Other spectators can be fairly close to the one with the third eye and still not see which is the selected card. Placing their eyes very close to the first spectators eyes would make them see it, though.


All in all, this seems like it could be quite a lot of fun to use.


The Other Two Items・買っていないもの

Apart from the three things above that I bought, Tenyo also produced two other items. One is an envelope that contains a folded paper that when unfolded turns out to contain a pop-out picture with a pop-out basket. You can the produce a small ball or other small item from this basket, despite the folded card originally being inside the flat envelope. This looks quite nice, but the method seemed completely obvious to me when I saw the demo clip on YouTube, so I think I will build my own instead.


The last item is a pen on which you can make bills of money rotate. It did not seem like a very interesting effect to me, so I will pass on this one I think. Unless a friend who will buy all of them manages to convince me that it is good :-)


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