Creativity in Magic (3)

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I have always found it amazing how new tricks, ideas, or routines come into this world. Sheer luck and mere chance seem to play a far greater role in their conception and delivery than any logical thinker could ever imagine.

Here are two more examples from the Tenyo company, as told on their website in the “Development Stories” section.

This is how the principle of “Impossible Pen” was discovered by chance by its creator, the magic genius Lubor Fiedler:

When Lubor Fiedler was originally experimenting with the materials used to construct this trick, one of the items rolled along the tabletop and fell to the floor. He searched for the prop, but could not find it anywhere. When he finally located the item in an unexpected place, he hit upon the idea for a new trick.

It was also by chance that Shigeru Sugawara found the magic solution to the “Money Shredder” challenge, but no further details are given.


 

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Creativity in Magic (2)

LdT2

I have always found it amazing how new tricks, ideas, or routines come into this world. Sheer luck and mere chance seem to play a far greater role in their conception and delivery than any logical thinker could ever imagine.

Here’s another fine example, this time from the Tenyo company. This is how “Squeeze Play”, one of the most famous early Tenyo items, created by Shigeru Sugawara, came into being, as told on the Tenyo company’s website:

Years ago, Tenyo released a game product called “Mental Game.” This product included ring-shaped pieces that had been punched out of a plastic sheet, so in the factory, there were many plastic disks that had been punched out and discarded as waste. Sugawara thought that he might be able to use these disks for something, so he brought some back to the office where he placed them on his desk. He happened to have some dice on his desk, which led him to think that it might be possible to sandwich a die between two disks, and to make the die penetrate through them. He left two disks on his desk, with a die sandwiched between them. As he stood to get up from his desk, he happened to place his hand on top of the upper disk. When he did so, the die that had been inside was propelled out from between the two disks. This led to the idea that ultimately became “Squeeze Play.”


 

Pieces of Strange: The Amazing Zhus

Obviously, rabbits and bunnies do have an edge over mice in magic. However, I have just come across a little toy mouse on an auction platform that runs around, makes annoying sounds (both battery-powered) and is able to perform some magic (magician-powered). That is, if you decide to buy some extra props like the Sword Box below. That’s The Amazing Zhus, and until now I had never come across it.

Sure, it’s not Tenyo, but the secret mechanism here isn’t bad either (even though far from perfect). Maybe this will become a collector’s item in the future. Any thoughts?

Zhus1Zhus2


 

 

 

Magic’s Plastic Religion: Tenyoism

In general, the suffix “-ism” tends to indicate the ending of a rather unpleasant word, think fascism, communism, racism, or FISM (disclaimer: no relations between these). Beyond that, many -isms seem to have in common that they describe a hierarchial belief system which is based on a strict yet simple manifesto with (pseudo) religious undertones; their proponents feel chosen and superior and, therefore, air dedication and determination; they share strong convictions, a simplistic “we vs. them” view of the world and, sadly, a tendency to sentence, banish or even harm dissenters.

The same applies, along less violent terms, to Tenyoism, which roughly translates as the plastic ersatz religion of arousing childlike pleasure by immersing yourself into buying, hoarding, displaying or playing with Tenyo miniature magic props, which are cheap and colorful, sometimes ingenious, and often a bit shabby and embarrassing. (In other words, a bit like sex toys, only for older boys.)

Collectors drip and drivel when you casually mention strange lingo like “Parabox” or “Magic Coin Case”. They are also willing to pay serious money for rare pieces in perfect condition, which often means “unopened”, which in itself signifies the eternal conflict of burning desire vs. cool self-restraint: by buying the desired item but refraining from opening it, you transcend the cheap urge to play or to perform. Instead, you purify yourself by worshipping The Prop for its sheer presence and beauty in and out of itself.

Despite their cheap appeal you cannot help but admire many of these Tenyo creations. They foreshadow redemption from us majishuns’ eternal search for the next “real” big thing that we can actually perform, as they promise the perfect miracle in your hands: easy to do, instant reset, usually very visible magic, and sometimes even examinable props. In a few cases, Tenyo tricks are just that: Some of the best close-up miracles you will ever find and ever do.

Besides, magic masters like Tom Stone and many others ably demonstrate what’s in a toy and how to develop great routines that go well beyond Tenyo’s brief instruction sheets.

Take a look, for example, at this clever, organic performance of Tenyo’s Zig Zag Cig (T-110) here:

Like every religion, this one has their bible, too. It’s a two-volume hardbound book teaching and preaching the gospel, published by Richard Kaufman only recently, and it’s aptly called, well, Tenyo-ism. Buy it!


Some links on Tenyo to further whet your appetite:


Addendum: In a Genii Forum thread on this subject, Richard Kaufman commented:

Rather than any of the negative “isms” you mention, I think Buddhism would be more apt.

Point taken!