HELIX by Tom Elderfield

Written by Bernard Sim

Helix is a novel way of moving a small object, well not really moving, more like turning.

This comes in a really small package and it really intrigues me as what is inside that is able to “move” things.  Due to the small and flat package, I immediately rule out magnet and due to the product description, I also ruled out IT / loops.  I had to open it to see what’s in it.   When I saw what was inside, I was even more intrigued.   The gimmick doesn’t give me any hint that it could do any of the things as written in the product description.  So I had to watch the online video to learn how to do it.

I had not watch any trailer prior to watching the instructions video, so I had no idea what the ”moving” was all about.  When I finally saw the moving action, I was really looking forward to learn how this was done.  The method was really unorthodox; it truly is unique in method.  Notice I say “method” and not “effect”.  We’ll talk about this later.

When Tom Elderfield began the video with his introduction, you can clearly hear a voiceover when he mentioned the name “Helix”.  So clearly, Helix was not the original name when they filmed the video, but that’s not important.  The method is really easy and you are supplied with about 30 of these gimmicks as they are expandable.  Each gimmick may allow you to performance once only, depending on what effects you are doing.  There are 4 effects taught (effects not routines), turning Tic Tac box, “haunted” deck, turning of the “angel” in a bicycle deck and a linking rubber band routine. 

I find that the effects are nothing spectacular and there are many other methods which are better than this.  You don’t have much control when you perform Helix.  Once you set-up, leave the hands off the object, it will start turning immediately.  There is no way you can delay this and this really makes routining difficult.  The instructions except for the card effects didn’t show you how to do it in a full routine.  I actually tried to film a video of this and I had to give up eventually as the effect was too short to be worth uploading.  The turn for the object is about a quarter turn of the clock and it is restricted to small and light objects.  To turn a card box, you’d need to empty the box in order to turn it.

While method is unique, the effect has been around for a long time.  In the trailer, you can see a slow spinning straw, this could have easily been replicated by the effect PENomenom which requires no gimmick.  In fact, you could replicate it with using magnet or IT.  I think other methods are more superior than Helix.

I admire the method but I won’t replace other methods with this.  The effect is too short and to put this into a routine is also not easy.  IT is still the best way for such effects.

Rating:  6/10.