Conventional wisdom among magical gurus and sages says that we should seek out tricks that are different from what everyone else is doing... Well, this one is different, that is for sure. Maybe different isn't always good. There is a lot of interesting things about this effect, and so I can't write it off so fast, but I will be honest about its faults as well.
Here's the effect: a small plastic bottle is shown, and inside are three bolts. On each bolt (held by a nut) is a different colored sleeve -- one red, one green, one yellow. You dump out the bolts from the bottle and ask the spectator if she has ever seen these before. She answers "no", to which you reassure her that nobody has, because they are tiny scale-models of E.T.'s spaceships. When she looks at you like you are nuts, you show three bridge size cards, each one showing a picture of one of the colored bolts flying in outerspace. And on the back of the cards is the famous picture of ET flying past the moon on his Bicycle. The spectator mixes the three cards facedown, and then chooses one. You pick up the three bolts and drop them back int he bottle, then screw on the cap. Holding the bottle and shaking it, you ask which color bolt she selected. She turns the card faceup to show it is (for example) green. Ask her to say the magic words, "ET, phone home". She does, and at that moment, the green bolt drops out of the bottle, penetrating the bottom.
OK, so the parts I don't like first: I don't get why E.T. is one the back of the cards...very weird, but it does give you a chance to play with the patter idea I describe above. (If you don't, you can figure out how to explain why ET is on the back of the cards.) And the other thing I wish was better is the method. It is not a bad method, just very bold. Nothing wrong with that, but I guess I expected some nifty gimmick, and there isn't one.
What I like: it is all examinable, everything. The props are charismatic because they are so strange. The moment of magic is strong. And it is fun to get the spectator to say "E.T. Phone Home".
Priced right so you can give it a try!
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