There seem to be a lot of ‘version 2’s out at the moment and the latest one we’ve looked at is Oddball 2. I can’t quite believe that the original version was first released in 2003 – that makes me feel very old!
For those who haven’t seen it before it is a ‘Kurotsuke’ type effect – where you are able to discern which spectator has the one black ball amongst 5 white ones.
There have been many variations of this kind of effect requiring all kinds of subtleties and electronic devices etc. etc. What I always liked about Oddball was the simplicity of the method. But I was not alone in feeling that the props provided were not quite up to scratch – especially in terms of tipping the method.
So I am pleased to say that in ‘version 2’ the props seem to be much more convincing. They come in a nice little box (I know this is only packaging – but presentation does make a difference!) and include an extra ball which gives you some more possibilities (I can’t say more without risk of exposure). But we’re not really in the territory of a ‘new trick’ here – simply an incremental improvement on the earlier effect.
The Not so Good
A further ‘upgrade’ is the provision of a DVD in the place of written instructions. For my money, the DVD is not a very impressive one. True, there’s nothing wrong with the picture quality, and the explanation is clear, but it lacks impact and features. It is a single track (no menu or anything), and, more surprisingly for me, there is no performance of the effect. Not a ‘studio’ one or a ‘live’ one. Given the repeated references to how much Mark Oberon, the inventor, performs this that seems like a massive omission.
It is not a deal-breaker – but for the less experienced magician, seeing a performance would be extremely helpful in turning this into a feature rather than just a trick. Although Mark does describe the bare bones of his routine, he provides few tips, which again, is disappointing – though he does mention one extra feature which you may or may not like.
So I’m left a little undecided on this one. If you already perform this kind of effect and so have more ideas of how you might routine it and use it then it is definitely worth the investment. It is a strong and direct method for this plot. If you already have version 1 then it may well be worth the upgrade for the slightly better props. If you’re a complete beginner this will be well within your grasp (in terms of mechanics) but you might need some help putting the finishing touches on your routine.
But overall, I like it, and could see myself using it. Available from MagicDirect for £32.50 (at the time of writing).