What is squishy, fun, colorful and all the kids love them? Sponge balls of course! Sponge balls have been the perennial favorite of kids and magicians alike since the first ball was cut out of an actual sponge. The first known routine using sponge balls showed up in the Linking Ring, October 1926 issue, by Jesse J. Lybarger. Since then sponge ball magic has been part of most kid magicians’ set. All kinds of routines have developed over the years. Sponge ball technology, if you didn’t even know it existed, has advanced throughout the years as well. Tenyo has even developed a super soft, long lasting, colorfast ball which is considered by some the epitome of sponge ball quality. In the end, a ball is a ball, right? Well not so, the well known magician Bizarro developed something totally unique in the sponge ball world which is Color Changing Spongeballs.
Color Changing Spongeballs is basically the color changing knives or copper/silver of the sponge ball world. In a blink of an eye, the color of the sponge ball can change. To make the change happen there are no switches, palming or hidden balls. The ball itself is totally self-contained and allows you to change the color of the ball at will. Like any other magic prop, it has its pros and cons. First, we’ll address the pros. This new idea in sponge balls opens up a world of opportunities that no other sponge ball routine can achieve without loading your pockets with multiple balls and excruciating slight of hand and switches. Copper/Silver type routines can be achieved with objects that kids can relate to. The changes are amazing and quick, which allows for lots of byplay which the kids love. There are several color changes available such as red/yellow, red/green and red/black. In addition to the color change, more creative routines can be assembled because of the flexibility the dual color nature of the ball affords you. If you aren’t creative (like me), a DVD is available with lots of ideas.
Ok, now for some cons. I love the Color Changing Spongeball concept but I ran into a couple of stumbling blocks along the way. The first being the balls have to be damp, almost near wet, to allow for the change to happen. The ball needs the lubricity of the water for the sponge to be flexible enough to do what it has to do for the color to change. Keeping near wet sponge balls in your pocket may not interest you so you would have to keep them in a small waterproof pouch such as a Zip-lock to keep them at the ready. In addition to the dampness issue, there is a tendency for the color of the red to bleed onto the other color. With the red/yellow ball, this is seen within a week of having them. The darker the color the less visible the color bleeding. Although the red/green is less, I would be prone to buy the red/black version which was not available when I bought mine. Finally, the traditional audience handling would be out of the question unless you have superior audience management skills, but these are kids we are talking about. Of course, you would need at least two for any routine. I think Color Changing Spongeballs would be a great way to add a sponge ball routine to your set if your set does not have one already.
To watch the trailer for Color Changing Spongeballs click here: