Talking Tenyo | Crazy Cool or Toy Tricks?
By Angelo Carbone - Tuesday, March 26, 2019
So, the first thing magicians think about when hearing the name Tenyo Magic, is those little plastic toy tricks meant for beginners. This is true, as Tenyo create these tricks to sell to the public. Yes, that’s right! Magicians are NOT the target audience believe it or not. Tenyo Magic is sold in department stores across Japan. But does Tenyo magic really deserve this label that they are not professional tricks? Well I can see some of this argument has value as I don’t think any professional working magician has pulled out a Tenyo trick at a gig. Or if they do, they are in the minority for sure. Why? Well the obvious matter is that they look like what they are – plastic toys that a kid might use. This would undermine the professionalism of the performer it would seem. Whether this is true or not, Tenyo Magic will never be taken seriously by professional magicians. Shame!
The truth is Tenyo Magic is far more devious and cleverer than some of the magic released today. That’s a fact! The mechanisms and principles used are so amazing, you almost feel you want to show how it works. The minds at Tenyo HQ are on another level and with past European input from the likes of the late Lubor Fiedler, some amazing creations have been brought to the magic community. Some may think I am biased as I love Tenyo Magic. I have over 250 in my collection and Tenyo have released three of my creations so far. Maybe I am, but only because I think Tenyo Magic is unappreciated.
I think the only way a professional magician can justify such toy like tricks in their working set is to say that they are about to show a trick that first got them into magic. A trick from their childhood that means a lot to them. Of course, this only applies to the unusual plastic boxes and contraptions that Tenyo released, like the old school Tenyo.
I personally prefer the old school plastic Tenyo tricks of the past. These weird looking boxes and devices that scream magic props are utterly enchanting and baffling! Vintage Tenyo is highly collectable. You just have to look at the prices on eBay to see what I mean. Sadly, perhaps due to costs, Tenyo have started to use cheaper materials such as paper and carboard (4-D Printer, Magic Maze, Security Lock). Not in all their range, but some.
But is there more to Tenyo than magicians think? Well the answer is yes. It’s not just about plastic toy like magic. This is where Tenyo show diversity. They have a lot of license deals with other companies and create magic for them – some tricks of which we know nothing about. One such trick is Tenyo Magical Vintage Poster which is sold only in Japan for Tokyo Disney World. This is a torn and restored type effect based on an Alex Elmsley paper tear. I found out about this trick online and it fooled me badly. I tracked one down and loved the simplicity of the method. I posted a demonstration of the effect on various social media and it was a hit! I got so many messages asking where to get it from. Even Dynamo has one! I recently showed the effect to a friendly group of Irish magicians at the recent Blackpool Convention and between them all they bought all of the stock left from a particular dealer.
My point is, Tenyo has and does release amazing magic effects that are NOT plastic toys. Even Tenyo’s Four Nightmares DX is one of the best rope tricks I have seen.
I have compiled a short list of some of the Tenyo Magic which I feel the working pro CAN consider using for professional gigs. Tricks which do not scream plastic props:
I hope magicians will consider using Tenyo magic in their professional sets. It will make a change from the usual same old magic that all magicians perform at gigs. Even if you perform magic with props that look unusual, toy like or down right unrealistic, I think that’s acceptable. We are magicians at the end of the day and the audience expect us to use unusual props. Well that’s for another article… to come.
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