Elmo's Squirting Glue Bottle, Punctuation Pandemonium, Snake Wand Suprise, Applause Please, Santa Skunk and the Magic Chimney:

Elmo's Squirting Glue Bottle – by Tommy James
$12.00 US

It’s a new take on the old ketchup bottle that squirts a red string. This is a realistic looking glue bottle that squirts out a white string. It’s a comedy prop you can bring in anytime it seems appropriate. Use it when you need to fix a breakaway wand, use it when you need to fix a clatterbox, use it when you need to fix your Knot Funny prop…

If you like this sort of thing and fits your persona, this is great! (I love this sort of thing and IMHO it fits my persona perfectly). The reaction from the kids is awesome, it even fools most of the adults for a few seconds and then they break out laughing because of the reactions of the children. Even after I show that it’s just string hanging from the bottle, I’ve had kids checking their clothes for glue several minutes later.I give it:

Gordon - 95%

Hey. What can I say? You shoot out a white string that looks like glue. Kids go nuts. Adults laugh like it’s the funniest thing since Carrot Top. It’s not that dated, and without a reason, ketchup bottle gag. This one you can actually introduce with real meaning. Oh, look – my prop broke! Did I bring glue? Oh, I did – but I left the glue open all day and now it’s all hard and crusty at the top. Maybe if I squeeze it really hard….BAMMMM!!! Shoot it right into the audience. Kids will part like the Red Sea.

This is used in every show. I’ve done it a thousand times. I’m on my second prop, and now they are made with a stronger label, thicker string and better design! I am happy (yet sad) to say this just might be the highlight of my show. It kills. Just buy it. It’s $12. Really.

Norden - 97%

64209 NRG96s 


Punctuation Pandemonium – by Doug Scheer
Standard Size Intro Sale Price - $75.00 US
Stage Size Intro Sale Price - $99.00 US

Looking to add more magic to your show? Then move on, this isn’t it. BUT, I advertise my show as “Magic and Entertainment” and if you want to add entertainment, this just might be perfect for you. You get 5 volunteers up to help. How much pandemonium there is, and how entertainment there is, really depends on you and your skill with showmanship and volunteer management.

I love the term “packs small, plays big”. The problem is that I find that so many of the props that are advertised with that term either fall short on the “plays big” part, or they’re just not something I find entertaining. This one lives up to it, it plays big and it’s as entertaining as YOU make it. I received the “Standard Size” and there’s also a “Stage Size”. I guess I really didn’t read the ad well, or just glossed over this part, because when I opened it I thought this was the “Stage Size”. Each high quality card with modern colorful graphics are 8.5” x 11”, large enough to be easily seen on most of the stages I perform on. But, I do have some gigs in larger venues where I’m sure the Stage Size 11” x 14” would be considerably easier to see from a distance.

The purchase includes a 30 page book with tips, ideas and scripts, links to online tutorials and performances, and a Facebook Page you can join to share ideas with other owners. There is already a “Script Upgrade” package available for purchase to give you more material to work with, and there’s more on the way with scripts for special holidays etc.. But the entire package is really a great launchpad and with just a little imagination on your part you’ll be able to easily create scripts for special holidays, customized for customers, or something that integrates with other parts of your act. I give it:

Gordon - 94%

You know that feeling you get when you order a package and you are not sure if it’s going to be any good? And then you open it up and you are let down by poor packaging, lousy patter, crappy gimmick, and just an overall piece of poop? It happens a lot. This is why we do these reviews. To showcase what is GOOD out there. Yes, we will review some bad stuff at some point – but why waste space on junk when we can talk about THIS!!!


You will NOT have any of the let down feelings when you order this. The opposite will occur. I have not seen this level of craftsmanship, thought, and creativity put into a product in a long time. I had goose bumps when I got it open. You might think it’s pricey, but once you get it, well you will understand. It is worth every penny.

The script is amazing. The cards are dry erase and will last forever. Really, just an amazing product form a guy that knows what he’s doing. Doug got permission from Victor Borge and you will have something no one else will have in your market. Well, you will if you buy this today and lay claim to it in your area. It will take time to perfect. I took a month to practice and did it in 4 shows this holiday. I bumbled the first one, but still funny. The second one I thought I nailed it – but then realized compared to the 4th time the 2nd time was just ok. I mean the 4th show brought down the house.

So excited to get something in the mail that I know will be in all my shows going forward. Please do it justice and practice it. Doug – you have made a great gift to entertainers out there. You should have kept this to yourself! But I thank you for releasing it! So I give this:

Norden - 96%

64209 NRG95s 


Snake Wand Surprise – by Louis Foxx
www.Hocus-pocus.com   (Search for Louis Foxx)

I remember once day when I was very young (I don’t really know how young, but probably around 6 years old) we drove across the country to visit my grandmother, who lived in a very old house, with a basement that was dark, cold cement, and just a little bit scary. But there was one special room down there that had old toys (this was almost 50 years ago, so the things that were down there would be treasures now). I found a can on one of the shelves, I don’t remember for sure what the label was but I think it might have been peanuts. Being very young I was having some trouble getting the lid off and I was holding it very close to my chest. As I finally managed to pry the lid off, my glee lasted about 0.15 seconds before a very strong spring snake popped out and hit me right in the eye. It took quite a few years before I was able to find any humour in spring snakes, I simply didn’t understand why someone would leave a booby trap like that for me to find.

Fast forward to now, and I love spring snakes; who doesn’t love watching Eric Buss “Spring Snake Symphony”? But one of the problems has been finding good ones.

Enter “Snake Wand Surprise” by Louie Foxx. Personally I would never fall for the old peanut can again (probably) so Louie has updated and repackaged it as a large magic wand. While it doesn’t compete with Eric Buss, it does hold an impressive twelve spring snakes. The springs are nice and strong and surrounded in a nice soft material (rather then that cheap plastic feeling cover on a couple of cheap ones I have). The wand itself is solid and built to last. There is a knack to loading it and occasionally they don't all come out because one folds over on itself and jams (usually if I let Mike load it). Don't panic or make it look like anything is wrong. I just act like it's done, then reach in with my small but surprisingly strong hands and get them going again for even more suprise and fun. I give it:

Gordon – 90%

For the last 3 years I have toyed with the script for a new act that was all about snake cans. It would use Mike Bent’s Snakeless Snake Can as the main trick. I would have the jelly bean can, peanuts can, Pringles can, wand to snake, Instant Snake can and the delayed snake can (from Wolf’s Magic) and would leave a big old mess on the stage ala Eric Buss. Hi Eric.

Gordon and I brainstormed part of the act a few months ago and it was as funny as I thought it would be. It just needed the big finish. Well, this thing just solved that problem. Louie Foxx made a giant magic wand that shoots out 2 snakes, then follows that up with 12 more! They shoot an impressive distance straight up and the byplay you get out of your helper is amazing.

Good quality and well made. I did find that my sample did jam. We tested it a dozen times and a third of them got jammed halfway. As we reloaded it we did get better at it – so it does depend on loading technique. Plus my hands are too big to push them down, so I had to use a wooden spoon. Some sort of tool to load would have been cool – it is 14 snakes you are pushing down. Gordon has girly hands so he could fit them in the tube…..

It does take some time to reload. I think the payoff is worth it. Will it be used in every birthday show I do on the weekend with 6 shows? No. It will be in school, festival and fairs shows though – and I know just the act it will go into after all these years of talking about it. If you want a big finish to your show this could be it! For this review I I’m going to give it:

Norden – 92%

64209 NRG91s 


Applause Please – by Louis Foxx
www.Hocus-pocus.com  (Search for Louis Foxx)
$300.00 US

Back to my childhood memories, I was at a taping of a television show with a live audience and there were large “Applause” signs up high on each side of the set which would illuminate when they wanted the audience to applaud. I was young and naïve and thought audiences should only applaud when it’s deserved, not when they’re told to. I still subscribe to that theory, but the applause signs are effective. So, when I first saw Louis Foxx’s applause sign it made sense to me and I have no problem explaining to an audience why it’s there and what to do when the sign lights up, and it’s easy to get audiences to participate and have fun. Just having a remote control applause sign would be enough for me to have a ton of fun with throughout my show, but Louie takes it a step further and incorporates his Evaporation Trick with this (the Evaporation Trick is included in this purchase). Now you can perform it the same way he does, or you incorporate this into something else like a milk jug routine.

The DVD that comes with it is excellent with nice clear instructions and plenty of bonus material to help you get more value out of this purchase. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. I give it:

Gordon – 96%

In my show I have used Brad Manuel’s Applause sign for over a decade. I turn it into a game with the kids. They can only clap and cheer when the sign is in front of me. As I explain I bring the sign out to demonstrate and the kids clap when the game hasn’t started yet. It’s a fun moment at the start of my show to warm them up.

Applause Please is even better. It lights up and you control it via a remote. Now it’s a “Look, Don’t See” routine like Flashlight Fun or a Silver Sceptre. The bonus is that you end up using it as a magic trick when your liquid has vanished and appears in the light bulb of the sign.

You get the Evaporation trick included. The Tim Rose designed bulb, the props and electronics, the remote and a DVD. A quality prop that is worth the money and with a price will keep this out of the reach of some – which is not a bad thing at all.

I do wish that the sign turned only red when the liquid vanished and that it goes back to white after you drain the bulb. I might play with that idea – but the logic did bug me that the sign was red the whole time. Other than that nitpick I think this is a strong effect and you will be glad you bought it. I give it:

Norden – 94%

 64209 NRG95s


Santa, Skunk & The Magic Chimney – by Tommy James
$85.00 US

Tommy James is another of my favorite suppliers of props and routines and he has another winner with this. This is another routine which allows you to “lose” Santa and either have him appear on your back, or some other hiding place, or can be used as a closer to introduce Santa when you lose him and don’t know where he went. Packs small with nice colorful graphics and well made props that will last many years. As with all Tommy James products I’ve purchased it comes with very well written and illustrated instructions, and has demonstration videos available online.

One tip I’ll give is that as with several of the routines that end with something stuck on your back, I’ve fastened a steel washer on the card and use a magnet hanging down my back to hold it in place rather than hooking something on to my clothes (gives me a great purpose for that Raven that was sitting in a drawer). I give it:

Gordon – 95%

So, Gordon and I like similar things. Our shows are starting to look the same I think. I must have a dozen of Tommy’s effects, so expect to see more of him in the column down the road. This trick, which we will call the Skunk trick, is very fun to perform. I love getting the kids riled up to a fever pitch and then have stuff ending up on my back! This gives me a great reason to use my Raven….wait, Gordon told you about that in his review. He must have read it in my lecture notes….

Now, Tommy must really like the ‘hide and seek’ patter and principle. This trick has flavours of his Spelling Bee, and Hide and Seek and his new trick that came out with Dorian. I like to use props that are easily interchangeable in my shows, and when the Christmas season comes around it is nice to dust off a trick like this, but still know how it works and how it will fit into my programs.

The price is decent, Tommy has fantastic customer service, and the graphics are simple and can be seen from far away. It has a lot of audience involvement and gets fantastic reactions. My only complaint is the size is a little small, and I prefer a different handling of the cards. But if you do it the way his video shows, then you have 8 minutes of holiday fun! I will agree with Gordon on this one, and my rating is:

Norden – 95%
 64209 NRG95s


Norden & Gordon have a combined experience of over 35 years, 5000 shows, and 50 international awards for their magic. They are experts in the fields of kids magic and own way to much stuff.


0-25% = Poor product and highly recommend against purchase
26-50% = Fair product. Purchase at own risk
50-75% = Good product. Recommend with conditions
75-85% = Great product. Recommend to purchase.
85-95% = Fantastic – highly recommended!
96-100% = Just buy it. Really.

If you have a product to review please mail it to:

Mike Norden
PO Box 1135
Sumas, WA
98295 USA