Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby ADG » 12/07/01 11:05 PM

Season's Greetings.......has anyone seen the floating card effect called FLOAT as advertised by Hank Lee in the December issue of Genii? I've been told that the card really floats.
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Postby Guest » 12/08/01 11:36 PM

You can find a video demo of float at www.magicsmith.com .
Yours in the Art,

Postby Matthew Field » 12/10/01 10:27 AM

I was very interested in this, but the video is not the same as the description Hank Lee gives.

For $40, you hold the deck in left hand dealing position and the right hand first finger touches the center of the card's back, while the thumb rests at the inner short end. The card adheres to the right hand, which lifts, as the card is described as "floating." Not in my dictionary. The spectators may see that there is nothing under the card.

As they say in Bridge, "I pass."

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Postby Guest » 12/10/01 11:26 AM

I agree Matt.

Postby Guest » 12/10/01 11:40 AM

My sentiments as well, at least based on the on-line videos. But how do people feel about Flight Case? I tried to buy the ms from Tannen's this weekend, but Tony Spina launched into a tirade about Ben Harris not providing "value for the dollar." It sure looks mysterious from the videos. Is it a practical effect?

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/01 09:23 PM

Ben Harris' "Flight Case" reads as very practical to me, and not too difficult to make. The method is quite clever, using a gimmicked cardcase.
With all of these various methods, you'd be advised to take the path used by Dr. Samuel Hooker: use several methods in succession that cancel out the previous modus operandi. This is VERY important, since no single method leaves the spectator without any clues.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/10/01 09:27 PM

No matter how good it looks you'd be better served learning Jay Sankey's "Floater" (from Sankey Pankey). It looks about the same but the entire deck floats and it's ungaffed.

If you've seen Jay do this (on one of his videos or in person) you'd want to do it too.

I think RK has re-released Sankey Pankey in time for XMas. Tons of good stuff and it's $35.00 so you save a few bucks.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/01 09:34 PM

Sankey's "Floater" is VERY good, and he fooled me for a moment the first time he did it (his acting regarding the buoyant quality of the deck was quite good).
HOWEVER, it would be far better to combine methods and do "Floater" in concert with another method, single card or entire deck.
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Postby Ben Harris » 12/11/01 11:44 AM

Hi there,

I was interested to note the comment about Tony Spina's tirade about my product (in this case, "Flight Case") not providing value.

This needs to be put into context.

One needs to ask,

"Why does Spina react SO STRONGLY against our products and me personally?"

Could it be that they were caught red handed ripping me off? You bet. In 1987 Tony invited me into the back room for coffee. Found em making a gross of "This & That." Huge tables covered with the cards, and flunkies with marking pens doing the dirty!

Seemed they liked the stuff enough to want to cut me out of the picture.

Since this time I have had NO respect for Mr Spina and we REFUSE to supply them.

The reason Tony Spina is so anti my products should now be clear.

They still rip me on "Cosmosis" too. We offered to replace all their existing stock of the ripped "Cosmosis" with originals AT NO COST, but they won't even entertain that! Wonder why?

So while Mr Spina pans me so heavilly, he still profits from my ideas. Good bang for the buck for Tannens, eh?!

"Flight Case" is only $10. How anyone can say this is not value for money is beyond me. If you don't like it, return for a credit or to exchange for something else. If you buy it direct from Media T Marketing you can have a cash refund if you think it's not value for money.

By the way, Flight Case is priced LOW to keep the bastards from knocking it off.

Hope this helps put things in perspective.


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Postby Guest » 12/14/01 01:33 PM

Just one more reason to love you and your ideas Ben. They tried to sell me the floating match and I said "Oh, you mean Cosmosis by Ben Harris?" and the kid looked like he was going to throw up.

Oh well, don't worry Ben, no one is getting rich on that piece of crap anyway!


Postby Ben Harris » 12/14/01 02:38 PM

Hey Jeff,

That's so funny.

One of my favourite things to do is this.

I approach a dealer stand at a convention while someone is demming a ripped-off Cosmosis. I slink through the small group of gathered observers so I'm right at the dealer table.

I play along, being quite enthusiastic and vocal - helping to swell the crowd. I say it "looks interesting" and pull the demonstrator into a heavy pitch. I force him to SELL SELL SELL the rip to me. I let him finish his pitch.

Then I reach into my pocket and remove my wallet - dropping it to the table. The site of genuine leather, and the implication of cash normally kicks him into another pitch.

I then reach into my wallet - pausing briefly, a little undecided. He goes for the close.


...pulling a business card from the wallet, I introduce myself.

I just love watching the penny drop.

Immediately, I walk away. No confrontation. I allow the gathered observers to finish him off.

Conventions are such fun!

Creator of the famous "Floating Match On Card" illusion.
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Postby Sean Piper » 12/15/01 05:14 AM

Many of the ads for 'Float' boast of there being no wires, threads or gizmos... and you can see under the card.

What nearly all of them fail to mention though, is that there needs to be a person hanging off the top of the card.

For my money, doesn't look much more magical than a deck of cards and a bit of wax. (Obvioulsy not the method though, judging by the price!)
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Postby cgscpa » 12/15/01 06:56 AM

I was visiting my local magic shop when a shipment of "Float" arrived. The card does not "float" in the traditional sense of the word. It appears to adhere to the fingers as the hand is raised above the deck even though no substance is found on the card or hands. Told that it does take a little practice to develop the "knack".

On this same topic, Mark Elsdon markets a trick called "Balance". Whereas the deck (any normal deck) balances of the edge of ones finger. Then balances on the end of any finger choosen by the spectator. Fun little "quickie".

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Postby Guest » 12/18/01 10:25 AM

Switching back to "Flight Case" for a moment: The booklet just arrived (from Hank Lee). Ingenious magic, well described. Can't wait to try it out. Tony Spina's "value on the dollar" comment was utterly disingenuous.

Postby Ben Harris » 12/18/01 03:28 PM

Hey Ralph,

Glad the booklet is supplying value for the dollar!

Here are some additional things about Flight Case that may be of interest. (I'm just sitting here over the first coffee of the day and feel like jotting these down...)

1. It was developed as a direct response to the critics who came down on Alida saying, "but you can't look under it..."

(This, of course, also applied to the subsequently released Andrus effect, the original Floating Deck (Paul Harris), Sankey's version, and ALL others, but Alida was the whipping boy.) Maybe, Alida was the straw that broke the camel's back. Maybe it came at a certain point in magic evolution when the inability to "look under the card" became an unacceptable compromise?

2. Don't be overly concerned about the gimmick being seen. My unit is made with dressmaking pins. They are trimmed to size, the tops filed smooth and round. They are THICK and sturdy. The only extra concern I take is to paint them black with a marking pen. The point is, made in this manner, the unit is strong and carries well for day in day out use.

During performance, the "window" for peekers is fleeting. I've never had the pins spotted. By the time someone is peeking below, I have the card coming back down and slide it off the box handing it to the curious for a good look.

Oh, a great point about the pins when prepared as above. With the rounded tops most resistance is removed. The card slides and floats atop the unit with an eerie feel.

3. Be sure to start by handing a cased deck to the spectator. Have him remove the deck as you pocket the case. Do some other tricks, then remove the Flight Case from your pocket to proceed. It's a simple switch. However, by taking this path, the spectator has handled the case! Thus, dulling any curiosity that may arise later.


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Postby Guest » 12/18/01 03:53 PM

Ben --
Thanks for the advice. Let's just say that I am bristling with anticipation at trying the effect.

Postby Guest » 12/23/01 01:08 PM

Originally posted by Ben Harris:

...start by handing a cased deck to the spectator.

That just triggered a coffee free thought. :)

Start with an unopened shrink wrapped deck. Spectator opens it, you put the box away so she can shuffle. Do some magic. Later you retrieve "the" box (switch) from your poket.

Perform Flight Case and then go into another routine, motivating dumping the box into your pocket for the switch back.

Now I don't have Fight Case, but maybe this next twist is worth a sample for review in AM/PM :p What if you have put the gimmicked case in shrink wrap to look like a new deck? The spectator would open the wrap without discovering the gimmick. No need for the first switch. ;)


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Postby Tim Trono » 12/26/01 09:40 AM

I purchased "Float" and was very unhappy with it. I knew what it looked like from watching the video clips so was well aware that the card seemed to stick to the fingers as opposed to floating... I was OK with that. What bothered me was how bulky and unpractical this effect actually was once I received it. Gary Plants sells an effect where a group of cards seems to adhere to your fingers and it is superb… practical, strong, etc. The instructions for "Float" were rather short. When paying $40 or $50 for an effect, I expect to get clear, detailed, and thorough instructions. A strip of paper with a few dark photos and very small font just doesn't cut it. The card is NOT stuck on by wax or such in "Float" but because of the actual method involved there is a STRONG natural urge for the card to shoot out uncontrollably to the side. The instructions advise it takes a knack to overcome this but just a slight movement can be enough to set the card shooting out to one side. As a working performer I felt this item was not usable as 1) it was not surefire due to the likelihood of the card shooting out, 2) the gimmick was bulky and not practical, and 3) this one effect required the deck which can not really be used for other effects (except possibly a packet effect). I had originally purchased this from the ad copy hoping to use it at the end of an ambitious card sequence but that was not plausible with this method. The effect mentioned above by Gary Plants offers a slightly different "effect" in that a bunch of cards seem to cling to your finger tips but the gimmick can easily be rung in and out of your deck, the handling is practical, the deck can be used for other effects, etc. I was very disappointed with my purchase of "Float". Normally I really like the items that Mark Mason releases and think his tapes have some fabulous pieces on them but would definitely NOT recommend "Float"…. spend the money on his videos instead.

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Postby Guest » 12/26/01 10:00 AM

Regarding impromptu deck floats like Sankey's, I really liked Hippie Torrales' "Leaning Tower of Pasteboards" on one of the SECRET SESSIONS videos. I've never heard anybody else mention it, though.

Postby Guest » 12/26/01 12:08 PM

Tom --

I think shrink-wrapping a Flight Case might be a bit of overkill -- an instance of running without being chased. Also, at least with the delicate model I've just made, it could mess up the workings.

Here's a handling of Flight Case I just tried out on some humans over the weekend to great effect:

Starting with a normal deck in a normal case, I removed the deck and tossed the case into my backpack off to one side.

Thumbing through the deck, I said, "Oh, this still has one of the Jokers. I don't use those." I removed the Joker, reached into my backpack, and removed the Flight Case. I opened the box, casually letting folks see inside. The only thing visible was the "other Joker." I put the Joker inside the box, closed it, and then absent-mindedly left the box out in full view.

I launched into the Ambitious Card, a four-ace routine, and some other stuff. When it was time for the finale, I "failed" to reveal a selected card, instead producing the one that had served as the Ambitious Card. Setting it aside face down (after first switching it for the true selection), I commented -- as if making a face-saving ad lib -- that that old selection keeps popping up even when uninvited.

I resumed shuffling and then said I had a better idea. I asked the spectator to hand me the card box. Then I set down the deck and placed the tabled card (still face down) on the box. I said I would try to make the card "embody the spirit" of the correct selection. It levitated mysteriously, after which I had the spectator remove it and confirm that it had now changed to the selected card. Under cover of this surprise, I ditched the Flight Case in my backpack. No one asked to inspect it, and if they had, I would have brought out the original case.

With this handling, spectators actually had a look inside the Flight Case, viewed it for many minutes, handed it to me, and removed the levitating card from it. And under cover of the surprise revelation, the case was ditched without comment.

I was never much of a fan of close-up levitation effects until now.


Postby Van » 12/29/01 12:56 PM

The fact that the card tends to slip sideways allows for a great "center deal"

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