It's back-to-school time!! I'm gearing up to get my school shows back on the road. With that in mind, this week's blog is going to be a quick one...
This week's review is the Imperial Botania. It retails for $649.95 from Hocus Pocus.
WHAT YOU RECEIVE: The Imperial Botania comes in two parts - the inner tube and outer tube. It also comes with a spare blossom to create the idea that a single blossom is transformed into this beautiful bouquet of flowers. A single sheet on 'care and feeding' is also included.
EASE OF EFFECT: The technical demands of the effect don't get much easier than this. Just one quick motion and voila! Instant bouquet of flowers. A 1 out of 10 on the 'difficulty scale' to be sure.
QUALITY OF INSTRUCTIONS: The single sheet is very sparse and does not even cover the actual performance of the trick. That being said, it does cover some techniques for keeping the blossoms looking their best and lasting longer. As far as actually performing it, you're on your own...but a simple pull of the outer tube, and you're in business.
QUALITY OF EQUIPMENT: This is where this release really shines and justifies the high cost. First, the blossoms and flowers have absolutely gorgeous coloring and really 'pop' from the stage. The blossoms are also well made, too, ensuring longer life. Finally, the colors selected really make this piece look nice because every color in the spectrum is NOT included. There was restraint in the amount of colors selected.
This is something that I wish other 'flower magic' providers thought about. When I was a kid first getting into magic, I always immediately rejected any form of 'spring flower' magic because, as Jeff McBride once said, "it looked like a clown exploded," in that there were just too many colors.
Additionally, as mentioned in the ad copy, the metal tube has a textured covering, which prevents fingerprints and scratches and also looks great from stage - the textured surface really is enhanced from stage - since it will not gleam brightly, the tube will not 'upstage' the flowers themselves.
WHY I BOUGHT IT: While most of my stage shows are set, I picked this up as a replacement for a change bag routine I had been doing...it was a white silk with a black outline of a tree on it and after the trip through the change bag, the tree silk was suddenly full of color.
For the right age group, it always plays extremely well. I'm assuming that a more 3-dimensional routine where one tiny blossom changes into a brilliant bouquet will play...well, brilliantly.
RATING: This gets a solid 9 out of 10 from me. It's getting harder to find spring flower-type magic of this high quality. I love mine and if you're into this kind of effect, I recommend getting it as the quality is outstanding.