Dustin Stinett wrote:Good magic is not about the props.
John has the right idea; if you like the effect (which if memory serves is actually based on an old ideaa medallion as I recall), use it. Just be sure that the presentation explains the prop. An abandoned and haunted hotel would be just fine. Trying to get away with a Copperfield-esque guess which room is mine presentation is anachronistic.
John's (and Dustin's) point is well-taken, and perhaps I was premature in my remarks.
Presentation can certainly rationalize the use of such a prop. However, when the prop in question was originally marketed, one of it's big selling points was that it was designed to look just like an official Sheraton key fob, so it looked innocent given the context of the times.
Interestingly, the prop still bears the Sheraton logo, so if one used the presentation that Dustin describes, it would have to be an old, abandoned haunted Sheraton, which somehow doesn't play for me.
I'm sure there are those like the brilliant Robert Neale who could pull it off convincingly, but it would take strong scripting and excellent presentation skills to make it work, IMHO.
(FWIW, I'm not an artifact-nihilist--I even think a change bag, milk pitcher, or a duck pan could actually be made to make sense in today's world (see Steinmeyer's book), but such props do pose some traps to the unwary).