Zauberhafte YPS-Erinnerungen


Anlässlich des schönen YPS-Beitrags von Wittus Witt im aktuellen, dritten Band seines A-B-C der Taschenspieler-Kunst (siehe diese Meldung) inklusive Leserumfrage möchte ich auch hier meine Erinnerungen dazu teilen.

Leider hat mein Taschengeld nie für die YPS-Hefte gereicht, und meine Eltern wollten mir diese auch nicht kaufen. Dafür gab’s oft die Micky Maus, und die hatte ja auch eindeutig die besseren Comics! Aber ein Freund von mir bekam jede YPS-Ausgabe, und ich kann mich noch dumpf an die legendären Urzeitkrebse, Solar-Zeppeline und Agentenausrüstungen (Fingerabdruck-Pulver, Teleskop-Periskop und Pistolenbuch!) erinnern. Und an das “Abenteuer-Zelt für zwei Mann”, das so verdächtig nach einem auch unten offenen Müllsack aussah…

Wahrscheinlich verdanke ich YPS auch die erste Begegnung mit einem schwarz-roten Plastikeierbeutel, präsentiert von Hardy (Heft 166). Als einzigen Trick (naja, eher ein Puzzle) aus der Zeit habe ich tatsächlich irgendwo im Keller noch “Die Trickbox mit dem vertrackten Labyrinth” (Heft 170). Vermutlich habe ich die damals meinem Freund abgeschwatzt.

Gesammelt habe ich diese Tricks aber nie. Als es allerdings vor ein paar Jahren nochmal kurzzeitige Wiederbelebungsversuche des Magazins gab, habe ich mir doch ein oder zwei Hefte mit Zauber-Gimmicks gekauft und bis heute ungeöffnet aufbewahrt.

Was mir erst jetzt erst beim Betrachten der ganzen magischen YPS-Titelbilder im A-B-C klar wird: Ein Teil der Gimmicks stellt ja praktisch das frühe, heute klassische Tenyo-Sortiment dar (wenn auch vermutlich in noch billigerer Qualität), von Chinese Sticks und Coins in Nest über Fingerguillotine, Kartenkassette und Soft Coins bis hin zu Telesphere, Time Capsule, Twister und Zig Zag Cig!

Wer tiefer ins Thema YPS-Gimmicks einsteigen will, dem sei neben Witts Beitrag diese umfassende Sammlerseite empfohlen:

Dort habe ich z.B. gelernt, dass die “Geld-Zauber-Maschine” immerhin auf Platz 9 der beliebtesten YPS-Gimmicks liegt – und auch genau 9 Mal (wie auch das Pups-Kissen) einem YPS-Heft beilag. Unangefochten auf Platz 1: die Urzeitkrebse mit 22 Auftritten!


Some Jedi Magic for Star Wars Day Today!

Screenshot from japanmagic video mentioned below

Yes, it’s Star Wars Day today: the 4th of May!

That’s because of the epic quote, “May the Force be with you,” in case you didn’t know. Nerdy, really nerdy…

Anyway, here are some older but funny videos of Tenyo tricks adapted with Star Wars toya, produced by two notoriously creative YouTube magicians, japanmagic and Magic Patagonia. Enjoy!

And here’s a dramatic Lego Star Wars fanboy presentation for parlor and stage that I have just found, and it also made me smile:

Sharing you must, young Jedi!

Questionable Bonus: The Duck of Death Star

I hesitate to admit it, but lightyears ago I had a rather off-beat Star Wars-themed Card Duck routine, the duck representing an early, less lethal version of the Death Star (but she looked a bit malign). So the rebels had to feed the duck some kind of (drawn and signed) food bomb. By the power of THE FORCE, the duck actually picked the bomb when she was supposed to take on provision from a cargo spaceship… and then she blew up through gastrospasms (figuratively, as I was on a budget). Lord Vader, stroking his pet rubber duck, had a bad day and breathed heavily… Mission completed!

(Play soundtrack here and fade out…)


Tenyo würdigt Werry

1954 erfand und vermarktete Werner Geissler-Werry das “Schlangenseil” – ein Seil, das in eine Tüte voller Spielkarten gehalten wird und dort eine vorher gewählte Karte in einer Schlinge “einfängt”. Das Kunststück ist bis heute in Variationen auf dem magischen Markt erhältlich. Nun, ganze 66 Jahre später, kommt es auch in der 2020-Kollektion von Tenyo zu neuen Ehren, unter dem Titel “Miracle Fishing” (T-293) und mit einem neuen Gimmick von Kenichi Komiya.

Tenyo Werry

Schade nur, dass Richard Kaufman im aktuellen Genii Magazine (Dezember 2019) den Urheber fälschlich als “Werry Geissler” bezeichnet…

Alle neuen Tenyo-Tricks für 2020 gibt es hier zu sehen.


Creativity in Magic (3)


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.


Creativity in Magic (2)


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?





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!