Magic 8 Ball Review: The Toy with All the Answers
Iconic, enchanting and mesmerizing design
A fun introduction to the mystical world of clairvoyance
20 possible affirmative, negative and indifferent answers
Endless entertainment that messes with your inner dilemmas
An exhilarating approach to group activity Q/A games
Very durable and high quality materials resistant to damage
Sometimes the answer is hardly readable due to the blue liquid
How it works
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decades, it is highly unlikely that you are unfamiliar with the addictive fortune telling toy Magic 8 Ball. It looks like an over-sized billiard 8 ball that will grant you an answer to all your yes-no questions. It has become a worldwide phenomenon due to its unique purpose and children and adults have been using this toy to solve many of their dilemmas throughout the years.
Let face it, this object is a toy that is not meant to be taken literally however there is something strangely enchanting about it that we all secretly want to try it out. Just by looking at it, almost immediately you experience an urge to ask it a question and hope for a certain answer. Its unique design will undoubtedly leave you wondering if it’s truly magical even though the rational part of your brain will constantly remind you that it is just in fact an object for entertainment.
What is it about the Magic 8 ball that makes it so special and has been hypnotizing the consumers market for so many years? It has been featured on many TV shows, music videos, movies and animated series. It is one of the most iconic toys of all time and it is so mesmerizing that we dare you to hold it in your hands and resist asking it a question. In fact, if you’ve never owned one, maybe what you should be truly wondering is why you’ve been avoiding it for so many years and never actually gave it a chance.
Her son was equally amazed by this ritual so he decided to invent a product that would answer any question without any psychic powers. He experimented for a while using molasses and different liquids in order to create his own device which he called Syco Seer. He partnered up with Max Levinson, the owner of a store that was willing to sell these devices and with the help of Abe Bookman, Levinson’s brother-in-law who at that time was a graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute, they developed a cylindrical device which would become the original version of the product, called The Syco-Slate.
Bookman was entrusted to find a convenient way so the product can be distributed to a larger scale. They founded Alabe Crafts, named after Albert and Abe and went on marketing the device as a “Miracle Home Fortune Teller”. Even though Albert filed for a patent of his invention which he called a “Liquid Filled Dice Agitator” in 1944, he passed away before the patent was granted in 1948. His partners were lucky enough that Carter shared the credit with them so they could legally continue to develop the product. From that moment, the object was reshaped and redesigned multiple times until it reached its final shape as a Magic 8 Ball with imaginary extraordinary powers meant for entertaining purposes.
He later on made other improvements to bring a more marketable image to its product so he placed the original tube inside an enchanting crystal ball. This caught the eye of the Brunswick Billiards since they were looking for an interesting item to giveaway while promoting the billiards company in Chicago.
Thus the crystal ball was redesigned again and this time into the timeless 8 ball design that remained to this very day even though the Brunswick promotion lasted very briefly. The campaign had so much success that Bookman realized that this is the most wanted look and his product shouldn’t be changed again. In fact, it had so much success around children that Bookman started marketing it as a toy instead as a paperweight.
The current box of the product has a hypnotizing look which is inviting you to “Try Me” written with large letters on it. The overall design of this product seems very simple, like an over-sized black and white billiard 8-ball. The real magic hides in hollow sphere made of plastic where a hidden reservoir filled with navy blue alcohol holds a white icosahedron. The plastic die has 20 sides and each of them contains affirmative, negative and non-committal answers written with letters raised on the surface. The statements are meant to be shown on the bottom of the ball through a small window where the white object is constantly floating.
In order for the whole experience to appear more intriguing and magical, you must hold the ball while facing down the window with the possible answers. Once you ask it a yes-no question, you are supposed to turn the ball upside down and wait for the liquid to set in motion and reveal the side of the die which holds the answer. It is recommended that you gently turn it around instead of shaking it so you avoid the bubbles that ultimately could interfere with getting a clear view of the answer.
Many parents have it on their desks at work and sometimes joke with their coworkers asking: Should I get a raise? Will I be promoted? Are we working again this Saturday? Is Jim the laziest employee? It truly brings joy due to its unconventional nature which is not to be taken seriously and even the most rational minds find themselves intrigued and flip it over from time to time. The whole entertainment lies in having conversations with your mind. Magic 8 Ball is the original Siri. It makes us laugh at ourselves for asking the most hilarious things and it puts on a show for whoever is in the audience observing our desperate attempts to find a solution to a problem by summoning magical spirits that seem to know every answer.
The non-committal replies seem uncertain and require asking the same question another time since the ball’s judgment is somewhat clouded at the moment. The answers might be: “Reply hazy, try again”, “Ask again later”, “Better not tell you now”, “Cannot predict now” or “Concentrate and ask again”. The negative ones include: “Don't count on it”, “My reply is no”, “My sources say no”, “Outlook not so good” and “Very doubtful”. It is meant to provide multiple interesting outcomes every-time you turn the ball so you don’t get bored with it and continue to explore its powers.
In fact, many owners were so intrigued by the inside of the ball that they tried opening it and were faced with amazing amount of difficulty in succeeding to do so. With that being said, you can rest assure that you will get a toy that you can use for many years to come and even pass it on the next generation since its iconic design is not going anywhere anytime soon. It truly holds a collectible value as one of the greatest toys of all time and it is almost impossible to stay indifferent around it.
Just imagine this adorable scenario. Your little ones are asking you a question and instead of answering it directly you tell them: “I’m not sure however I have something that might have the answer!”, as you pull out a Magic 8 ball. Ask it again and shake for an answer then turn it around to read the statement. Their eyes will light up immediately with amazement. With that being said, we asked the toy “Should you get the Magic 8 ball for your loved ones?” The charming fortune telling device told us: “Without a doubt.”