Bracos Floating Ball

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Postby ADG » 05/09/02 07:25 PM

Greetings everyone.....has anyone personally seen or heard of anyone seeing Bracos Floating Ball. This 15 inch metallic ball supposedly really(?) floats in mid-air with nothing attached to it and no special lighting is needed. The best floating routine that I've seen is Peter Tappen's Quicksilver, which is quite an engineering feat.
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Postby Guest » 05/09/02 08:40 PM

I saw this advertised on Hocus Pocus's website and was quite intrigued by the description:
"Bracos Flaoting Ball has absolutely no minimum performing distance!
* Perform it under full lightning!
* There is nothing (!) attached to Bracos Floating Ball! (We really mean absolutely nothing -- no wires, no threads, nothing at all! Nevertheless, B.F.B. is always under your control at all times!) "
I am very interested in floating balls I bought Don Wayne's floating ball in 1980 and studied the routine published in "The Oriental Magic of The Bambergs", but never have had a controlled enough environment to learn and perfom it in.
I do a passable zombie and fell for Lite-Flite when I saw it demo'd at a Magic Master's shop. I knew it was I.T. when I saw it but Fearson's method blew me away. I've always been afraid of invisible thread but was so intrigued by it that I worked until I was confident enough to perform it for several large functions where I could enter set up and do just the one effect. Lite-Flite is a beautiful levitation, but has some serious limitations: you must enter with the "rigging" in place and there is no way to turn the light on and off. without opening the ball.
I wish magic ads had to list the limitations of an effect because for only 60 bucks I would be amazed if this did not have some serious restrictions on how and when you can perform it.
Anybody here who has seen it or worked with it?
Would love to hear a first had review....

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Postby Guest » 05/10/02 11:52 PM

I too would like to hear a review of this effect. Sounds very interesting..but is it "to good to be true"? Something tells me that its not a coincidence that "Braco" has a pipe in his mouth while floating the ball (that would be a big restriction in my book). See the photo on the makers website.

http://www.magiceffex.com/sites/con_005.html

If anyone has this effect...let us know how you like it. Not looking for the method..just whether its as good as it sounds. THANKS!
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Postby pduffie » 05/11/02 07:35 AM

This photograph is hilarious.
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Postby Matthew Field » 05/11/02 07:48 AM

Regarding the photo of Braco and his pipe and floating ball -- as the Great Ballentine would say, "How else?"

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Postby Jim Riser » 05/11/02 09:00 AM

Matt;
"How else?" Perhaps real magic?

Actually, the size of the ball gives things away. I hope that photo was not meant to make people want to buy this ball. It just looks like a guy blowing a huge soap bubble with his bubble pipe :D

I do not think that I will add this to my collection of items - it will not fit in the drawer!
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Postby David Nethery » 05/11/02 04:31 PM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:

Actually, the size of the ball gives things away. I hope that photo was not meant to make people want to buy this ball. It just looks like a guy blowing a huge soap bubble with his bubble pipe
Yeah, the photo shown on the web site at
http://www.magiceffex.com/sites/con_005.html
is very poorly composed.........sort of like those bad snapshots where it looks like a lampost is growing out of the top of someone's head.

However, I don't believe that the pipe has anything to do with it (unless of course Braco thought up the concept originally as a "pipe dream" !)

I noticed a few of the smaller (very small) photos on Braco's web site appear to show him standing somewhat away from the floating ball so apparently the magician has some free movement around the thing.

Over on the other thread discussing this ( thread called "Lighter Than Air" under the Light from the Lamp category) it was suggested that what is being advertised is a variation of the principle behind "Super Duper Balloon" , a floating /hovering balloon effect put out by Abbott's (do they still make it ?) I think this is more likely.

Reading carefully Braco's description on his web page very honestly points out that prior to the ball being dropped to the floor with a heavy thud ("it's a 10 pound ball!") that the ball first floats back down
into the box that it was originally removed from. Only afterwards it is removed from the box by the magician and is then dropped to the floor to thereby "prove" that it really is a heavy, metallic ball.

The last Abbott's catalog I own is #23 put out in 1990 . In that catalog, on page 361 is this description of "Super-Duper Balloon":

"Without a doubt , the closest thing to real magic yet devised in the magician's craft! A large balloon is inflated and held between the magician's hands. Slowly , the hands are removed ----the balloon floats suspended in space, defying the laws of gravity ! There is positively nothing attached to the balloon!
While the balloon is floating the performer may walk away ---- he may even go so far as to sit among the spectators. You will thrill to the spookiness of the balloon floating in space. Hand passes and gestures are made and the balloon floats away from the performer, then floats back towards the performer. To add further mystery , you may pass a solid hoop completely over the balloon from any direction.
At any time, at your command, the balloon will float down to your hands.
This great magic was invented by the late John E. Peyton, an electronics engineer, and first marketed by Abbott's in 1958. It comes complete with balloons, hoop, instructions, gimmick, etc. Notice to customers outside the U.S. : This unit is electrical and must be converted (by you) for use with the power supply in your own country."

end of quote from Abbott's Catalog of Magic, no. 23, June 1990 .
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Postby Guest » 09/21/02 02:26 AM

I dont think it has to do with the pipe because in magichanks side it says NOTHING is attacht to the ball so it could not be the pipe BUT i have order it and we shall se.
NIC BLADE
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Postby Robert McDaniel » 09/21/02 06:02 AM

It has nothing to do with the pipe. There are other limitations or requirements plainly listed on the back cover of the booklet you get, which I commend the sellers for, but these are not mentioned in the ads that I've seen. You get a nicely produced booklet that tells you how to make the "floating ball". No props are included. Although this is no doubt a miracle in Braco's hands, I think it's a rip-off. You're paying $50. for the secret and instructions on how to make it. To me, the method would be obvious, but I could be wrong.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/21/02 10:27 PM

I bought this early and thought it was the biggest ripoff I had ever purchased, and persuaded (easily) the dealer to return my money. Some of the ads have changed lately, but the originals were way off, especially the "nothing attached." It's a balloon on a thread! Something IS attached. All you get is a mss. And the back of the mss says something to the effect that you will have to spend about $50 (additional) and a lot of time to make one of these (and then you have to make more every few days). A lot of time indeed. Try to make a balloon that looks just like an aluminum ball that you also have to make, and get an audience to buy that they are the same object. STINKOOOOOO!
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Postby Guest » 09/23/02 06:08 PM

I am interested in people's response to Steve's post above. In a sense he has exposed the secret of the trick by stating that it uses a balloon on a thread. I personally feel that he has done us a service and that more effects like this should be exposed even more broadly.
In fact I would say that Braco's floating ball doesn't even qualify as a real trick but merely a scam.
While I realize that there are probably many questionable effects on the market that are actually workable (and perhaps Braco's f.b. could be one) if enough effort were put into it. But it seems like the real "trick" in this instance is the ability to work clever ad copy up in way that tempts people into buying the lame product.
I would like to see a moderated forum where people could really let loose on these hucksters who foist this pure B.S. on us. What do you think?
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Postby ADG » 09/23/02 07:51 PM

Greetings everyone......and thank you Steve for your informative post/reply. Scott, you bring up a good point. In over 40 + years in magic, I too have been victimized by rather scrupulous ads describing effects or props. Most of the magic dealers that I've dealt with have been honest. The ones that aren't, start getting a bad rep. It was good to hear that Steve got his money back. If I'm interested in purchasing an effect, I usually try and read what the ad doesn't say; however, in the Braco ad, it did say "nothing attached." Perhaps, we can continue to use the Genii Forum to let the buyer beware before a too good to be true purchase.
Alex
P.S. I still stand by my personal observation of Peter Tappen's Quicksilver. It was awesome!
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Postby Guest » 10/13/02 02:48 PM

I bought the ball and feel ripped off for the price. But it is not completely correct to say it is a balloon on a thread. The trick IS explained with out any hook ups. Thread is a later option. It can be done...however, it is completely impractical. I found the booklet interesting in it's experimentations...but it's not even close to being a dependable trick.
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Postby Guest » 10/13/02 03:49 PM

I took of my order of this effekt thanks to you on this site.
Thanks

Now Im going to bye the portable Asrah insteed
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/21/02 02:08 AM

Although I think that it is a good idea to expose the "dealer scams", I think that the forum needs to be restricted to a "magician's only" format. Otherwise, actual usable methods may be / are exposed to the general public who may have a passing interest in magic and happen into a forum with visitor status.

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Postby Steve Hook » 10/21/02 07:58 PM

First, exposure is not a big problem here, Ray. There just aren't lot of "general public who may have a passing interest in magic...happen[ing] into [the] forum with visitor status" and the people who post here have been carefully ethical about the issue. Plus, Richard, Jon, Brad, et al seem to have it under control from an editorial standpoint.

Second, in the case of the Floating Ball, those who bought it probably don't give a darn since it's a $50. USD ripoff. But even then, you'll notice the entire method wasn't exposed at the Forum.

By the way, how's the magic scene in Finland??

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/21/02 11:36 PM

I have no intention of excluding discussions of methodology on this Forum because of the five laymen who may stumble across it this year. You think a laymen understands ANY of what we talk about here?
As magicians, we MUST talk method.
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/22/02 12:06 AM

Wow! Such vehement responses. Didn't mean to step on any toes. I merely noted that there is no precaution at all regarding who can access the forum. Many such forums do incorporate such a fail safe. Something as simple as giving the "name of the professor". I didn't mean to cause such negative reactions by my comments.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/22/02 09:37 AM

Ray, these are mild reactions. You haven't been around for some of the really hot stuff!
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/24/02 10:22 PM

LOL . . . it didn't really bother me.

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Postby Arthur Martello » 10/31/02 05:30 AM

I recently purchased Braco's Ball as it had been advertised in a flyer sent to my home from whom I thought was a reputable dealer. Unfortunately, I never read the comments posted here and on other forums.....caveat emptor!!! What a major rip off!! What irks me more is that these dealers are getting away with an outright lie!!!
How can they say it is not attached??? The instructions clearly point out that it is!!!
I should also point out that the dealer who sold it to me did offer to refund my money, but I should have never been mislead by such a bogus ad in the first place.
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Postby ADG » 10/31/02 07:33 PM

Greetings, Arthur.....take the refund offer from the dealer that sold you this deceptive piece of manuscript. The misleading advertisement for Braco's Floating Ball should have never been printed. Good Luck!
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 07:15 PM

No hook-ups are needed. It seems that many have just skimmed the instructions and illustrations before returning the trick. As I said before, I find the trick completely impractical and not worth the money...but the ads are not wrong about NO hook up needed. For those with the booklet...it is described on p. 17 as "Proposal 1." The second proposal does included various ideas for hook ups... It would have been much better for the price if a video were included to demonstate the effect and possibilities.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/02 05:34 AM

What I find most interesting here, is that Lance features something very close to this in his show... (well, his old show... don't know about the new one.)

I do know that there are two new "High Tech" floating balls hitting the market this coming spring... one is relatively reasonable in price and general ops. Memory serving me right, it will be under $300.00. Either system has the ability to literally put the ball anywhere you want it on stage... it can cover every square inch of the performance area vs. the classic restrictions we're all so used to dealing with.

The other, bit more complicated (and expensive) unit is akin to owning a mini-version of the Flying but, as I mentioned above, will cover your entire performance area (depending upon how you set it up). The strongest advantage is that it is programmable e.g. you can set cues into digitized music tracks that guide the ball (or whatever you want to float) along a set choreographed plot.

I believe I still have the contact info on the less expensive model should anyone have an interest.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/04/02 09:08 AM

I have been contacted by the company who makes Braco's Floating Ball with the request that I post this message:
Dear friends of magic,
we are the manufacturer of Bracos Floating Ball. Please excuse our bad English in this letter to you as we are from a non English-speaking country in Europe.
No manufacturer is lucky when his customers complain about one of his products. We work hard to give everybody the best products we can. A lucky customer makes the manufacturer happy because he will buy more items from the manufacturer. Please let us respond on the things that were discussed in this forum on Bracos Floating Ball.
1.) Bracos Floating Ball can (!) be performed without (!) any use of a string/thread. There are different performances described in the booklet. One of them does not use any thread, another one uses it. So we do not ly when we advertise ?nothing attached to the ball? as you can perform the effect without any thread attached to the ball. People claiming that you can not perform the trick without the aid of a thread are wrong.
2.) Some people complained about ?misleading? advertisement. Please take a look at our webpage and you can see that we even warn not to buy BFB if you are not willing to put a lot of time and extra money in BFB. We are sorry that other dealers advertise our product not giving all informations as we do. Note: We never (!) changed the text of our advertising on the net, so this text is there for months now.
3.) The price of 39,95$ for just a manuscript might seem high. But everybody buying the booklet knows by the adverts that he ?only? receives a booklet with a secret. We only get about 30-40% = 11,98-15,98 $ for each booklet when selling it to dealers and distributors. From this money we have to pay the inventor, adverts, the printing and much more. We have to make profit to make our company work.
4.) Braco worked for years on the BFB-principle and is one of the worlds most respected and known magicians on the field of levitating objekts/balls. Hundreds of ours were invested by him to perfect the miracle. Please put some time into BFB and it should work out fine for you. A good trick can not be learned within some minutes after reading the instruction without effort and time spent in it. They need hard work to come to perfection.
5.) A video of BFB will now be produced with a detailed performance and instruction. Please check or homepage in about one month again. We will offer the video at a very low price for people who already bought BFB.
6.) If anybody has questions on BFB please mail us and we are happy to give you as much details as we can. We want to make our customers happy.
Best wishes
magiceffex ?
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Postby Guest » 11/05/02 01:02 PM

Originally posted by Craig Browning:


I do know that there are two new "High Tech" floating balls hitting the market this coming spring... one is relatively reasonable in price and general ops. Memory serving me right, it will be under $300.00. Either system has the ability to literally put the ball anywhere you want it on stage... it can cover every square inch of the performance area vs. the classic restrictions we're all so used to dealing with.

The other, bit more complicated (and expensive) unit is akin to owning a mini-version of the Flying but, as I mentioned above, will cover your entire performance area (depending upon how you set it up). The strongest advantage is that it is programmable e.g. you can set cues into digitized music tracks that guide the ball (or whatever you want to float) along a set choreographed plot.

I believe I still have the contact info on the less expensive model should anyone have an interest.
The idea of a floating ball that is programmable sounds great. Who will have these for sale and where can I find more details out about these ideas ?
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Postby Steve Hook » 11/20/02 11:19 AM

Given the negative discussions HERE at Genii Forum and HERE at the Magic Cafe, I'm surprised by the new full-page ad in December's MAGIC for the floating ball.

I've read the manuscript. Caveat emptor.

For (the newly-reduced price of) $40., you would get instructions for constructing something you would probably never construct or perform.

Braco and Magic Effex: why not take this turkey off the market and move on. If you can fool people with this, then more power to you. But I doubt even you construct or perform this very often, if ever. And I don't think you would appreciate having spent $40 or $50 US with someone else for something equally esoteric.

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Postby Leonard Hevia » 01/08/03 09:06 PM

Amen Mr. Nork, faudulent and/or misleading advertisements should be exposed whenever possible. Perhaps the Buzz Forum might be the appropriate location for this. I'm also wondering why Norm Nielsen, a magician I admire, would endorse his image to the Bracos Floating Ball.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/09/03 02:00 PM

At his request, Norton Nork's posts have been deleted.
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/09/03 02:29 PM

Norton Nork? I used to watch Sandy Becker on New York local TV do that character.

While I agree with some of what you posted, you paint with a very broad brush. I also praised Gordon Bean's "Temptation" and I stand by that claim. There's nothing I owe Gordon, and no mutual back scratching. I just think it's a damn clever trick.

I've never met Mike Close, but I have the greatest respect for him and for the honesty of his reviews.

Bob Kohler is a fabulous magician whom I've met on a couple of occasions. He's bought me a drink, but I don't consider that payola. His "3 Fly" version has been praised by numerous working magicians. Jamy Swiss has performed it as part of his act and Jamy and I have discussed the merits of the Kohler version (and the Todd Lassen gaff) more than once. If your acquaintances are having trouble doing the trick, I suggest they look beyond the gaff to the hands that are manipulating it, namely their own, before you label the method defective. No one said the trick was self-working -- it was priced to keep the "merely curious" away. Serious coin workers have strong fingers. They get that way from manipulating coins.

You mean there's hype in magic? Ha ha ha ha. Hey, we're in the business of miracles. What else would you expect?

I'm all for honesty in magic dealings, but to chastise Michael Ammar for saying a trick of his is the "best" is coming down a bit hard, methinks.

The Forum you proposed runs the highly probable risk of degenerating into the kind of bitching we've been looking at here. I'd suggest you take this sort of thing to alt.magic which is better able to handle the fallout.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/10/03 02:51 PM

I have deleted Norton Nork's posts at his request, and this necessitated deleting some of the responses to his statements by others.
Anyone have anything else to say about Braco's Floating Ball?
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