TOMBSTONE SHOOTOUT is an audience participation style trick, where an audience member’s cell phone gets broken and reappears restored at the end, using what it looks like a classic interactive arcade game from the 1950s.


You have audience members to hold up their cell phones, while you look for a specific type of cell phones. (You want a smooth surface one for a trick to work well without any rubbery casings and/or accessories.)

You invite a volunteer on stage. Before you start the trick, you ask the volunteer if you could take away his/her cell phone for this next effect, explaining because of the use of lasers and that you would return the cell phone later. You put the cellphone in a paper bag and hang it on a pole with a clip on the end 6 feet above the ground, a few feet away from the arcade game.

You say, “Let’s play Tombstone Shootout, a fun game where you can try your luck win a cool prize”. You take out a coin and place it in a coin slot. From a small wooden pedestal pops out a laser gun you would see in an arcade game (note: you have a choice of guns you want them to look like to suit your performing environment). Then, a stained woodwork structure on a V-shape stand mechanically opens up: the top part of the front door flips up exposing TOMBSTONE SHOOTOUT game with a carved sign on top. Now two prize walls slide out with stuffed animals mounted to it. Lastly, the bottom part of the front flips down as well. The interior looks like an old-western shooting gallery. There are several targets and they could be typical red and white ones or laser discs using reflective light (your choice). You/a volunteer will be shooting at targets like an old mine cart, water tank, or moving cactuses (no human or animal figures).

You now let the volunteer try the game to win a prize. On the first shot, you hear a sound of a shot then and a bell “ding”, then one of the teddy bears falls off. You tell the volunteer how he/she is aiming way off the targets. You tell the volunteer to aim at the targets. On the second try, the target in the logo up on the top spins around. You tell the volunteer that target was a sign and not meant to be aimed at.

A bit frustrated, you show the volunteer how to do it right. You grab the gun; the targets pop up and you start shooting at them fast like you know what you are doing.  Suddenly, a target pops up from the pole that is holding the paper bag with the cell phone in it. You shoot the target by instinct. The bag falls on the floor, destroying the cell phone inside. You apologize to the volunteer and toss the bag off the stage.  You tell the volunteer at least he/she has a chance to win a prize if you shoot at one of the targets.

The volunteer shoots one or more of the targets and many things will happen: shoot the water tower and it squirts a stream of water at the volunteer and/or you tell the volunteer that the TNT is the grand prize and by shooting it opens the mine to the gold strike. The volunteer hits it and the mine cart comes out with large gold nuggets following a small puff of smoke. This is the grand prize.

Now the volunteer can retrieve the prize of his/her choice. The volunteer names which animal he/she wants, goes over to it and removes it off the board. As the volunteer comes forward, you can say, “Do you want the bear or what’s inside the bear? I think your bear is ringing…” The volunteer unzips the bear’s tummy and his/her cell phone is inside the bear.

The happy ending.


Closed size is 6 feet tall, 48 inches wide, 30 inches deep. It opens near 7.5 feet tall, 7 feet wide. The gun pedestal is small, about 34 inches tall and the distance to the machine is about 6 feet. Runs on 12-volt battery, has MP3 sound system for old western soundtrack during the game and real sounds from the live action bell. Many hidden LED lights inside for a nice light glow.


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UPDATED October 3, 2018



*Shipping and a case will NOT be included.