Tenyo History and Mystery

Tenyo History and Mystery

The logo above is the first logo used by Tenyo. Along with the “T” and “Y” which represents Tianyang, there is a “?” which in my opinion makes this logo a fitting header for the Tenyo History and Mystery page. On this page I will explore some of the unsolved mysteries in the Tenyo collecting world. Some of the mysteries are deep and may never be solved, some I have answers to and others hopefully will be solved some day, maybe by you. If you have a Tenyo Mystery that you would like solved or better yet, if you have an answer to one of these mysteries, please contact me.


Why are some of the Tenyo T-numbers so scarce and almost impossible to find?
Certain Tenyo tricks are very difficult to find. Many Tenyo collectors need 8-10 Tenyo to complete their collection and the tricks they need are the ones in question. These tricks include T-42 Astro Tube, T-43 Invisible Man, T-47 Astro Coin, T-48 Coin Case, T-62 Fantastic, T-64 Melting Loop and T-79 Super Vase a la India. There are two tricks that are barely known to exist even in photographs. These tricks are T-44 Coin Coaster and T-45 Break Away Fan. These tricks exist in the 1972 Tenyo catalog but not a single Tenyo collector that I know has either of these tricks. So why are these tricks so scarce?




Were the Spanish packaged Tenyo magic tricks shown in the 1983 and 1985 catalog ever made?
In the 1983 and 1985 English Tenyo catalogs there is a half page ad showing 21 Spanish Packaged Tenyo. The ad says “By popular demand Tenyo have released many products with SPANISH packaging and instructions.” The packages in the photo are in Spanish and have revised artwork that show Spanish Coins and Currency. Some of the names are exact translations of the English trick names but most are completely renamed (see below). For as long as I have been collecting Tenyo I have never see these items, not even in a picture and I have never even seen them discussed anywhere. Were the Spanish Tenyo ever released and if they were released where are they?


These items do exist. Kelle Botond of Hungary was able to find 19 of the 21 tricks shown in the 1985 catalog as well as a metal Spanish Tenyo sign. The metal sign has the typical Tenyo logos/trademarks and on the right there are Spanish words that translate to the secrets of magic at your fingertips. I was lucky to be able to buy this almost complete set from Botond and now they are in my collection. All of the items are NOS (New Old Stock) and just like with the English packages, the glue failed on the Vintage Blister on Card packages. Eclipse and Mr. Rabbit are shrink wrapped just like they were with the English and Japanese versions. Interestingly, the tricks have the English T-Number printed on them. Inside the Spanish package are printed Spanish instructions. For one of the tricks, The Greek Press (known in English as Midas Machine) the prop was actually retooled to accommodate the Spanish bank-note. My educated guess is that Spanish Tricks were sold to stores in cartons with so many of each trick. Maybe they did not sell that well and they were never reordered. That would explain them barely existing. The two that have not been found yet are T-73 Coins in Nest and T-108 Soft Coins. So the search goes on.

Tenyo Magic Tricks Released in Spanish Packaging.

                                                                                          –JUST FOR LAUGHS–
1         T-10   Silk from Hanky        Panuelo Volatil         Volatile Silk             Volatile Panuelo 
2         T-26   Glass Board            La Ventana Indiscreta   Rear Window               Rear Window
3         T-40   Card Case              Caja de Sorpresas       Box of Surprises          Grab Bag                
4   1974  T-66   Occult Board           La Pizarra Del Advino   Fortune Teller Chalkboard The Chalkboard Advented 
5   1975  T-69   Dynamic Coins          Moneda Fantasma         Ghost Coin                Currency Ghost 
6   1975  T-71   Rope to Silk           La Cuerda India         The Indian Rope           The Indian Rope
7   1976  T-72   Flash Dice             Dados Magicos           Magic Dice                Dice Magic        
8   1976  T-73   Coin in Nest           Supermodena             Supercoin                 Supermodena
9   1976  T-74   Super Panto Block      Bloque Fugaz            Fugitive Block            Shooting Block 
10  1977  T-85   See Through Guillotine Cortadedos              Finger Cutter             Toecutter
11  1977  T-87   Squeeze Play           El Exprimidor           The Squeezer              The Juicer 
12  1978  T-95   Mr. Rabbit             Senor Conejo            Mr Rabbit                 Mr Rabbit 
13  1980  T-102  Lucifers Lock          El Caidado De Lucifer   Lucifers Lock             The Lucifer Caidado 
14  1980  T-103  Frame of Destruction   Dinero Indestructible   Indestructible Money      Indestructible Money
15  1981  T-108  Soft Coins             Moneda Blanda           Soft Coin                 Moneda Blanda
16  1981  T-109  Midas Machine          La Imprenta Del Criego  The Greek Press           Printing from Criego 
17  1981  T-110  Zig Zag Cig            Zig Zag Cig             Zig Zag Cig               Zig Zag Cig 
18  1982  T-112  Eclipse                Espejismo               Mirage                    Mirage 
19  1982  T-113  Quick Silver           La Fabrica De Moneda    The Coin Factory          The Fabrica of Currency
20  1982  T-114  Wonder Window          El Enigma De La Ventana The Window Enigma         The Enigma of Window 
21  1982  T-115  Ultra  Slice           Corte Impossible        Impossible Cut            Court Impossible

*The YEAR represents the year the trick was released in English and Japanese packaging.
 All the Spanish Tricks were released together sometime around 1985. 

Volatile Silk

Rear Window

Box of Surprises

Fortune Teller Chalkboard

Ghost Coin

The Indian Rope

Magic Dice

Fugitive Block

Finger Cutter

The Squeezer

Mr Rabbit

Lucifers Lock

Indestructible Money

The Greek press

Zig Zag Cig


The Coin Factory

The Window Enigma

Impossible Cut

Spanish Tenyo Facts
• The word for Eclipse is the same in both English and Spanish but Tenyo choose to change the name of the Spanish version to Mirage which is actually the English name of a different very popular Tenyo magic trick.
• The Spanish Flash Dice is the older version with the black cover and case with the marbled design.
• The back of the Spanish packages have the same artwork as the English packages except the wording is translated, however the artwork for the back of the Spanish Occult Board was translated and changed.
• The Spanish Card Case comes with some cards including a gorilla card.
• The silver vinyl carry case for the Spanish Ultra Slice was not translated and is exactly the same as English version.
• The design on the clear part of the Spanish Frame of Destruction is slightly different but it is the Spanish Midas Machine that was significantly modified. The inner working had to be changed to work with a Spanish bank note.


Why were the T-Numbers from T-49 to T-60 never allocated?
The T-Numbers start at T-1 Thimble and currently end at T-259 Money Shock. The T-Numbers were only used for English packaged tricks. For this website, I follow the naming, numbering and year as displayed on the official English Tenyo website on the Complete List of Products page. If you look at the list, there are no tricks listed for numbers T-49 to T-60. Why is that so?




Why did some tricks get two different T-Numbers?
For this website, I follow the naming, numbering and year as displayed on the official English Tenyo website on the Complete List of Products page. On that page you will see T-62 Fantastic and T-64 Melting Loop. I know that these two tricks were also released with alternate T-numbers because I have them and the alternate T-number is printed on he box. T-62 Fantastic was also released in a box marked T-53. T-64 Melting Loop was also released in a box marked T-54. In fact all three of the Melting Loops I have had were marked T-54. I have never personally seen a T-64 Melting Loop. An interesting note is that the instructions for both T-53 Fantastic and T-62 Fantastic have T-62 printed on the instructions. So that is a major clue. It looks like the T-53 was released after the T-62. How else would T-53 have instructions marked T-62. Of course the T-62 instructions could have been placed in the T-53 by the previous owner, but I tend to believe that was not the case with the one I have as it is brand new. So why did two tricks get multiple T-numbers and were there other tricks that got assigned multiple T-numbers from the missing T-numbers range?




Why were no T-Numbers released in 1983?
For this website, I follow the naming, numbering and year as displayed on the official English Tenyo website on the Complete List of Products page. If you look at the list, there are tricks listed for every year starting in 1974 but in 1983, no T-numbered tricks were released and there was not a catalog printed for that year. Why were no new T-number tricks were released in 1983?




Is Walt Disney World by Hiroshi Sawa actually a T-Number Trick?
For this website, I follow the naming, numbering and year as displayed on the official English Tenyo website on the Complete List of Products page. On that list you will see T-63 Walt Disney World. This is one of the really scarce Tenyo tricks and I have my doubts as to whether it is an actual T-Number.


My educated guess is that Walt Disney World is not an actual T-Numbered trick. Here is why I think this. My main argument comes from the facts that Tenyo only used T-Numbers for English packaged tricks and Tenyo has never sold a Disney licensed product in English packaging because they do not have a license to do so. So Walt Disney World being an English T-Number trick goes completely against what we know.  Tenyo has had problems with their numbering before (e.g. T-49 to T-60 not being used and some tricks have two different T-Numbers) so listing the trick with a T-Number on their website does not mean it is correct.


Why did the glue fail on many of the Vintage Blister on Card packages?
For a large portion of the Vintage Blister on Card package the glue failed and the package opens like a book. It is not known why Tenyo had this problem with their packages. What is most interesting is that this happened over many years (1976-1982). Many of these packages were stapled closed at the distributor or dealer which was the least destructive. Sometime the packages were re-glued using a popular thick brown glue of the time called mucilage. Why this happened is one mystery but even more mystifying is why did it happen over so many years?

Glue Failure with Vintage Blister on Card Packages

1976 T-72 Flash Dice*             1979 T-97 Superstick             1981 T-108 Soft Coins*
1976 T-73 Coin in Nest*           1979 T-99 Mystery of High Hat    1981 T-109 The Midas Machine
1976 T-74 Super Phanto Block      1980 T-102 Lucifer's Lock        1981 T-110 Zig Zag Cig*
1977 T-84 Card Frame*             1980 T-103 Frame of Destruction  1981 T-111 Supercubio
1977 T-85 Guillotine See Through  1980 T-104 Black Hole            1982 T-112 Eclipse
1977 T-86 Ultra Tube              1980 T-105 Tunnel of Darkness    1982 T-113 Quick Silver
1978 T-91 Floating Lady           1980 T-106 Ribbon Forever        1982 T-114 Wonder Window
1978 T-92 Pendant                 1981 T-107 Crossroad             1982 T-115 Ultra Slice

*These tricks are usually not un-glued even though they were released between 1976-1982.
 This is because there were batches of these tricks re-made after the glue problem was solved.