At 650 yen a pop most people bought two or three of these "Johnny Jumpers". Hey, that seems like a bargain to the duped customers handing over the Yen. A couple of thousand Yen and they're already anticipating the laughs they'll get from the guys in the office (especially when their co-workers see them scratching their head in disbelief when the Johnny Jumper fails to jump. Haha...just be glad that this scam is entirely in Japanese so their weren't many tourists falling for this one. I was just shocked at how many people lined up to buy this stuff. These guys put in some real work!
The guy with his hand in the black bag is the 2nd man in this two man scam. The man hunching over the clown is the lead scam artist who wow's the crowd with his magical skills and quick talking. They make it appear to all those around that the man with his hand in the bag is just another spectator but in reality he's controlling the movements of the paper clown with a remote device while the other guy is acting as if its magic. People were buying these things up for 650 yen. The lead scammer would probably tell them something like this..." First you must place this under a bright light for 24 hours and be sure to keep it packaged. After the 24 hour period is up place it in your freezer for another 12 hours. The combo of this process will activate the paper clown and you too can be a magician" Haha, this will prevent anyone from trying to open their newly bought magical clown and trying it there on the spot.
My first reaction when I saw this young Japanese man demonstrating his "magic powers" with his "Johnny Jumper" clown cut out was that of amazement. He'd point his finger at the little clown and on command the clown would float up into the air, or stand upright. He's then turn his hand into an imaginary gun and point it at the shaking paper clown. With a loud "bang" he'd act as though he shot the "Johnny Jumper" clown and to everyones awe the clown would hunch over and fall to the ground. He'd then let people in the audience try their magic powers with the Johhny Jumper clown and they soon found out that they too could make the clown float in the air and stand up on command. I know the Japanese are pretty amazing at inventing gadgets but I just couldn't fall for this one. These people would be so impressed with this toy that they'd quicky buy a packaged version of the one that was being demonstrated. The cost was only 650 yen but that's a lot of money considering they's probably go home, gather their family around the floor, and look dumbfounded when their magical commands fail to even get a wiggle out of the paper clown. I decided to step back and look at the entire scene and I noticed another young man standing near by almost motionless as if he was watching this same magical demonstration of the "Johnny Jumper". I took a closer look at saw that with every movement from the paper clown this man's muscle would twitch. It became clear to me that this other guy was assisting the so called magician by controlling this paper clown via a remote control. The clowns they were selling were not going to work in the same way this magic clown was constructed to work. Now with that said I still have no idea how these guys came across a small device that could remotely control a paper clown. Pretty clever! They'd hang out near the underground entrance by Ponto Cho. The perfect spot to sucker drunk Japanese heading home after a night of drinking.