Abbott's sells the effect made by the originators of this trick. This is the Best!
The French Arm Chopper is not a new effect, but has stood the test of time quite well. Where other guillotine and chopper effect build up suspense, then climax with the blade going through the victims neck or wrist without harm, the French Arm Chopper has the same build up suspense, but when the blade drops the audience see's the spectators are fall into the bag creating the illusion that the wrist has been severed. Naturally, with a wave of the wand the magician restores the spectators wrist and all is right with the world again.
This could best be described as a mini sideshow illusion, similar to the headless woman and the spider girl illusion you see at the carnival. You know its not real, you know that the blade probably could not cut a tomato less sever an arm, but the illusion looks so good most people will create their own suspension of belief around this effect, albeit only a few seconds. This is a fun effect for everyone! It's fun to perform, it's fun to watch, and it's great at Halloween because it looks pretty cool just sitting on a table.
The French Arm Chopper packs flat, sets up in a moment, and resets in a couple seconds. No skill is required so you can work on your presentation. Angles are very good on this and are limited not by what they might see in the back, but more by what they are missing by not being in the front. The prop can be set up and ready to go all the time, there are no springs or rubber bands to break so nothing to wear out by leaving it in a set position.
For a long time these were not made, and the only way to find one was to purchase a used one, however production on the French Arm Choppers started back up a couple years ago and the new ones are just a durable as the old ones. They are a little more "glittery" color wise but still create the aura of mystery when sitting on a table doing nothing. In the upper left hand you can see one of the original French Arm Choppers while to the right you can see one of the new style French Arm Choppers. I think the original looks more Halloweenish but the newer ones are really beautiful and amazing looking (especially the ones in green) .
Consider this not only a magic effect for Halloween, but a Halloween decoration as well. This is not an inexpensive trick, it cost around $180 or so, but according to the manufacturer they are making these in a limited run so you if you are on the fence on this one, you might want to jump in while you can. You won't regret this purchase and will be amazing yourself in front of a mirror (or video camera, or cell phone camera) 5 minutes after opening it.
Below is the ad for this product and below that a brief demonstration...
Any spectator's arm is placed in the chopper. A large SOLID BLADE is forced down thru the wrist. The spectator's ACTUAL HAND (not a dummy) is seen to drop off and fall in the bag below!One of the most copied effects in magic, U. F. Grant invented the French Arm Chopper.
This is the original and still the best!!
This is a BIG trick. It looks wonderful on the stage, but can be used at a party just as well.
Packs flat, and still light in weight for easy transporting.