Magic tricks with using rings have appeared in magic literature for many years. However, it was the British magician and mentalist Al Koran who first developed the concept of vanishing a ring and having it appear on the hook of a key case. Over the years, both the method and the presentation of the trick has changed as presentation and techniques were developed and improved.
Questions to ask yourself when choosing the best Ring Flight
1) Am I happy to borrow a spectators ring?
2) Do I want a formal style case design or prefer a simple bunch of keys?
3) Will I be wearing a jacket or coat when I perform?
4) Do I need the device to be user serviceable?
Some of the best Ring Flight Devices
There are now several different versions of Ring Flight, so we shall take a look at a few of the most popular and examine their advantages and disadvantages:
This is the most traditional design of Ring Flight, using a classic key case. It’s suited to magicians that perform in a formal suit. The case holds your own keys and there is an extra clip which holds the ring. Once the ring is vanished, the key case is taken out of the magicians pocket and the ring is shown hooked onto the case with the other keys. The workings of the Ring Flight are hidden inside the case. Because of this the keys are shown already hanging out of the case when the magician takes it from his or her jacket pocket.
It has a very smooth and reliable action and is very easy to use. However, a jacket is required to perform the trick and the design does not suit younger magicians, or those that have a ‘street magic’ style. The props a magician uses should fit the style of the performer or they shout ‘gimmick’ to everyone that sees them. Style concerns aside, this is a very reliable Ring Flight at a very low cost, so could be a perfect choice for magicians wanting to learn the trick, without having to invest in a more advanced device. It’s also very easy to use and good for all levels of ability.
A step up from the traditional Ring Flight models. This case uses a similar technique as the Ring Flight Professional but with far more ‘build quality’ and the addition of a small draw bag that the ring sits inside on the case hook. This is a real plus for magicians who may worry about damaging an expensive ring as it is hooking onto the case. Another strong feature is the fact that the case is taken from the pocket, zipped up. The case is opened and the keys as well as a little bag are revealed. This gives an even more impossible effect, as the ring is shown inside the magicians pocket, inside the case and also inside a bag. Again the case is the traditional style, which may be a deal breaker for more informal performances. However, the mechanism is extremely reliable, and the case itself is made of the very best materials. It’s quite expensive for the casual performer, but for a working pro this is not so much of an issue.
Ring Flight evolves. Hot Tricks in the USA took the Ring Flight routine in a new direction with the release of Rinkey Dinky. They wanted to escape from the traditional key case and make the effect fit with less formal performing situations. This Ring Flight was the first to remove the case and have the mechanism built into a car key. When Rinkey Dinky hit magic shops worldwide it was a smash hit. Magicians could vanish a ring and have it instantly appear on their set of keys. No jacket was required.
Rinkey Dinky soon became THE best Ring Flight to use for the working pro’s and continues to this day to be a hugely popular device. However, it has several disadvantages. The key is very ‘generic’ so would not stand up to really close examination. The key hook is prone to come off of the device. Because the unit is not user serviceable, repairing this can be a real pain. Most performers that use it have replaced it several times as their device breaks and can’t be opened and fixed. To be fair to Hot Tricks, they give great customer support, and any decent magic shop will make sure their customers are really looked after, but 100% reliability just isn’t there. The price is very low for a professional trick, so it may be a good option for those on a budget for this type of effect. Just ensure you order one from a magic dealer with great after care service.
Departure is a great ring flight gimmick. It is similar to Rinky Dinky in that the ring ends up on your car keys but the build of the actual ring flight gimmick is housed in a key fob (you can see this fob in the picture above). This allows for a more robust reel with a longer line to be used in the gimmick. Also as it is only imitating a key fob it looks nicer on your set of keys as it camouflages itself well on your set of keys. You can obviously still have your keys on the key ring so friends will not notice anything untoward with your keys.
A great benefit of Departure is the online tuition. It covers the ring flight idea nicely but also teaches how to do ring flight with no over coat or shirt
A robust build, 24″ Teflon line, carabiner clip and a very reasonable price puts Departure right up at the top of the list of Ring Flights.
Learning to use a Ring Flight
Choosing the best Ring Flight to use is only the start. You need expert instruction. The core Ring Flight effect tends to be used as the ‘closer’ for a larger ring routine. This could be a ring manipulation routine or any magic trick that uses a ring. Below are some great sources of information for magic tricks to build around your Ring Flight
Five performers show you their personal routines for Ring Flight.
Ring Flight -Steve Draun Silent
Flight – Bruce Cervon
Ring Flight/Ring on Stick – Dan Tong
Ring & String Flight -Dan Fleshman
Ring Fright – Michael Close
Regarded as the best ring flight DVD for a range of routines. Solid instructions and professional routines are invaluable to get the most of the device you choose to invest in. This DVD not only shows you how to use your Ring Flight, but also how to present professionally too. Great for getting little tips and timing advice as well as seeing ideas that you can build into your own routines. Dan Tong’s Ring on Stick trick is a gem, and one of the most popular tricks taught on the DVD.
Need a way to vanish a spectators ring without slight of hand? Any Ring allows you to effortlessly vanish a ring, ready for it to appear again on your Ring Flight. The best ring flight choice for magicians who prefer to avoid sleight of hand.
So you borrow a ring, now what? If you need some great tricks to do with the ring before it vanishes, Ring Thing DVD may well be the perfect answer. Its a quick visual and impromptu routine that fits the Ring Flight ending perfectly
Have we missed anything? Do you have any more advice that a magician would benefit from when choosing the best ring flight to go for? Please let us know in the comments section below.