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Archive for the ‘Toys – Tricks and Jokes’ Category

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Paul Daniels’ Magic Tricks

Posted by Big Boo on September 18th, 2008

paul-daniels-magic-tricksAs a kid I really enjoyed performing magic tricks for my family and friends. I was never really that good at it, but I had fun and was fascinated by how confused people could be when you performed some apparently magical act in front of their very eyes.

Most people in the UK will probably be familiar with Paul Daniels, the TV magician (he’s currently on an advert for Tesco’s insurance comparison website). During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s he had a very popular television magic show, sadly not the sort of thing you see on TV these days. Mr. Daniels was one of my childhood heroes, and I was a big fan of his show.

I was particularly excited therefore when I first came across his range of magic tricks in a toy shop. The tricks were all packaged in little curvy shaped cardboard boxes with a little cellophane window on the front allowing you to look inside at the magical props it contained. The colour of the packaging dictated the difficulty level of the trick, from blue being easy, through purple and red to black, the latter being dubbed for “Master Magicians”.

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Snappy Gum

Posted by Big Boo on June 26th, 2008

Snappy GumDo you remember visiting your local toy shop and looking at one of those rotating display stands that was brimming with tricks and jokes? From whoopee cushions to nails through fingers the stand was loaded with little toys at pocket money prices. You don’t seem to see these as often as you did, but they are still around if you look hard enough.

One of the toy jokes I distinctly remember was the Snappy Chewing Gum. This consisted of a piece of cardboard decorated to look like an ordinary stick of chewing gum when it was inserted into a standard packet of gum. The difference was that it had a sprung loaded piece of wire with a loop on one end stuck to it, something along the lines of the dangerous part of a mouse trap.

Approaching your victim you would nonchalantly ask if they wanted a stick of chewing gum. When they attempted to take the gum out of the packet the trap would be triggered, with the metal wire snapping forward onto their finger with a surprisingly loud whacking sound. If you got it just right then it could actually be quite painful.

This joke could only be spoiled in two ways. First, your victim refused the gum in the first place, but that wasn’t so bad because you could just seek out another person to surprise. The real spoiler was when the person took the stick of gun by using two fingers either side of the stick of gum, rather than one on top and one underneath.

This and a range of other chewing gum related pranks are still available today from SillyJokes.

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Devil Bangers / Fun Snaps

Posted by Big Boo on April 14th, 2008

Fun SnapsIf you wanted to scare the living daylights out of your younger siblings then there was nothing better than the Devil Banger. I’m amazed that they are still available and haven’t been banned by Health and Safety years ago. These days they appear to be known as Fun Snaps, but they’re basically the same as I remember them.

The Devil Banger was basically a little piece of thin white paper filled with some kind of explosive material – maybe you can see now why I’m surprised they haven’t been banned! When thrown with force at a hard surface or stepped upon the material ignited with a loud snapping sound, blasting the paper surrounding the explosive contents apart in the process. If thrown at the right time you could scare the wits out of any passer by, which was lots of fun. Of course, if you did this within earshot of a parent or teacher you’d likely find your supply of them confiscated.

They came in boxes of around 50 bangers packed in a plastic bag full of shavings to keep them dry, because they became useless when wet. I presume that the active ingredient must be something similar to that used in the snaps for Christmas Crackers, but I have no idea what it is, or how potent it could potentially be!

If you fancy getting hold of a pack or two they are available from Silly Jokes for just 89 pence per pack, but please be responsible when throwing them around the office to scare your boss!