The Butterfly

by Todd Karr

This trick and the one which follows present me with a dilemma: How do I warn you of negative aspects without completely revealing the methods involved? I don't have a good answer for this. Your feedback would be appreciated.

The "Butterfly Case" is a gaffed cigarette case which allows the magician to obtain invisible thread under the guise of a natural action. Built into the case are two plastic spools which contain invisible thread. (The extra spool is to be used in case the first thread breaks during performance.) As some necessary prop is removed from the cigarette case, the waxed (or taped) end of the thread is removed as well. The thread spools out to whatever length is required. Closing the case stops the spool from revolving, so that no more thread is reeled out. The cigarette case then acts as an anchor for whatever floating routine is intended.

I am not enthusiastic about this product. Unlike an "I.T.R.," Mr. Karr's product does not retract thread, it only unreels it. If the case is placed on the table then care must be taken not to "flash" the contents when you open it to remove the object (and steal the thread). Once the cigarette case is closed the thread is locked. If you have not spooled off the proper amount of thread then you must reopen the cigarette case to get more. As I mentioned above, one of the "selling points" of this prop is that a second spool is provided in case the first thread breaks. But obtaining this second thread involves some serious management and misdirection problems. It's one thing to "get ready" when there is a lull between tricks and the spectators have no idea what is about to happen. It's quite another thing to try and reset after you have begun the trick and all attention is on you. Since the spools do not retract the thread you must break it after each performance. If you have to do that, you might as well just hook a thread to a card case or some other heavy object.

Mr. Karr provides a very pretty routine for floating a paper butterfly, and the cigarette case and the thread spools seem to be well constructed. But, considering what is possible with the other thread devices on the market, "The Butterfly Box" seems to be a step backwards. And, when you factor in the price, it's an expensive step backwards.

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