Strongman by Jimmy Strange and Merchant of Magic
- Product Review (submitted on 3 April 2016):
I work with nuts and bolts almost every day and have done so for decades, which is the reason I got this. It's a very organic prop for me.
It doesn't look exactly like a bolt but close enough that it would have probably fooled me if I didn't know what I was looking for. The fact that the nut screws and unscrews exactly like any nut is a real convincer.
The effect is cool and the prop is well made and very functional. Hard to tell yet if the majority of these are working fine or having problems but if you have one that releases properly it is an excellent prop for the money.
It's far from perfect and there are some downsides. You have to hold it in the bent position or it will unbend by itself. It's pretty tricky to hold with one hand so both hands are required which is a bit unnatural looking. They can't examine it in the bent state without a switch involved. It would have been nice to have included an ungaffed matching bolt, that would have been most helpful.
It's looks cool, you hand someone the bolt and nut and and ask them to see how fast they can spin the nut on the bolt. Then you take it back and immediately bend it, and then unbend it and drop it back in their hand. I actually think the unbending looks spookier than the bending.
As far as examination, the bolt can receive a cursory examination and by that I mean they can try to bend it see that it is very solid, which is really all you need. But allowing them to spend too much time will probably result in them stumbling across something they shouldn't. So I wouldn't show this to anyone who seems absolutely intent on busting you.
I don't really consider this a stand alone routine. But more as lead in to another metal bending routine. That way they can look at the bolt for just a moment as you quickly go into something else, and just about any metal bending you do after that will cancel out the method used in Strongman. I will probably follow it with my version of Matt Mello's Energy Coins.
So I would score this an 8 out of 10. If it works properly it is an easy to do fooler that will work into about metal bending routine you do. The "no switch" is a great feature. There is something about taking it from them and immediately handing it back to them with no funny business. But again, a big selling point for me was that bolts and fasteners are so common in my environment. But I don't think a nut and bolt would seem out of place in a restaurant or strolling gig or a formal close-up show.