Spring Animals are fake animals that is often used by magicians, clowns, comedians, and other entertainers. They can be made to appear very realistic with practice.
The basic construction of the animal is of a spring wrapped in either real or artificial animal fur. Different colored fur is used for different spring animals.
Magic Masters is the most popular supplier of spring animals. They supply the following: "Rocky" the Raccoon, "Jules" the White Fox, "Zorro" the Black Fox, "Rrrichard" the Red Fox, "Lithonia" or "Lily" the skunks, "Sylvester" the silver fox, and "Judy" the mouse, a smaller model of spring animals. (Obviously, the given names are often changed by the performer.) Another kind available, though not through Magic Masters, is the rabbit, which is different from the others due to the fact that it has feet. The rabbit is available with either two or four feet.
Spring animals can be made to jump through the air, find selected cards, eat from your hand or a cup, and do many other tricks and feats. They can do all these things with simple movements of the hand. This is because the spring inside allows the head and body to move. The tail is moved with a scissor-like movement between two fingers. With the raccoon, the "Zig Zag Raccoon" trick can be performed, which is a smaller version of the classic Zig Zag Girl illusion. Though spring animals are not usually performed among the pros, two notable performers are David Williamson and Mister Greggy (Greg McMahan), who have both helped, in their own ways, to shape the spring animal world.
Jules Edelstein, who performed under the stage name of Jules Kallen, designed the first spring operated animal to use in his act. Not only was his creation a major success in his own show, it produced a vast demand for similar animals among his peers. Not one to say no, he crafted more and more spring animals for more and more people. Jules passed away in April of 1984, and left it to Magic Masters to continue the tradition of his workmanship.
Debate over the use of Real Animal Fur
Dyed rabbit fur is used in Magic Masters' spring animals. However, it is humane. When rabbits are cooked in France, all the fur must be taken off. That fur is then imported to Magic Masters, where it is used in making the spring animals. Otherwise, the fur would be thrown away.