Balloon Terms

Feb 21, 2023

The following material has been saved from posts on the mailing lists.
Rather than keeping it hidden away, it has been temporarily placed here
until the guide editors get a chance to move it to its proper location
in this chapter. Feel free to make use of it.

weather balloons from a NY supplier. These are strong balloons and there's all manners of volume data available on their site The largest latex they carry is (I'm not kidding) around 42 feet.

Adventure Creations is still at the address in San Clemente.
phone #: (714)498-6911.

Giant balloons
<< Help!!!!!!! I need to know where I can get a 6 foot outside balloon 
by Wed.   My supplier can't get them anymore and I need one for a 
job. Qualatex only makes 5 footers and they dont have enough lift to 
lift 200 feet of pennants. I could use 2 smaller balloons but it doesnt 
look as nice and customer doesnt  want 2 balloons. >>

If you can't get a bigger balloon, Try a 5' balloon with a spiral column 
of 16" balloons as long as you need to "make it fly" and impress your 
client by explaining how much nicer it will look.  The 16's are for 
extra lift, but you don't need to explain that to the client.  It WILL 
look nicer AND have the lift you need.

Here's the number to Toy Tex in Skokie, IL
-- 847-673-6600 or
800-323-0798 or
Fax 847-676-5298.
They carry a product called Cloudbusters which are 5.5 balloon with 
a flag pennant and 8 foot chloroprene (made from synthetic rubber) 
balloons.  Don't know if you can get it in by tomorrow or not but it 
would be worth a call.   Good Luck!

used at the Atlanta Olympic Games, they can be purchased from Air Dimensional Design, Inc., 10853 Venice Blvd. Los Angeles, CA  90034, Phone 310-838-8823

Skydancer (tm) EFX Fan and AirTubular (tm) material - a big snake-like tube, loosely inflated, that you would put in front of a business to attract attention.  Made by Reel EFX, the Skydancer (tm) EFX Fan flies tubes of AirTubular (tm) material (fire-retardant polyethylene which is reusable, durable, and available in a plethora of colors).  Standard length tubes are 25 feet and can be customized with your logo for indoor/outdoor use at special events, retail centers, amusement facilities, rock 'n roll tours and a myriad of other venues.  It's the world's first active inflatable which lets you celebrate with color and motion.  All you have to do is

       put the tube over the fan housing 
       hold it in place with the provided bungee cord 
       turn on the fan 
       and watch it fly!! 

For further information contact Joel Dubin in our sales department (818/762-1710) or contact him via email:

SkyDancer! by TubeWORKS  Call 1-800-942-4467.  
Brightly colored polynex tubes up to 140 feet long, attached to powerful "carpet-dryer" type blowers, dance around the sky.  They can be internally lighted, used to spew fog, smoke or confetti.

AirTubulars by TubeWORKS  Call 1-800-942-4467.  
Brightly colored stationary tubes, attached to powerful "carpet-dryer" type blowers.
Used for decoration or air ducting, they can be internally lighted.

The LINK-O-LOON� was invented by Jean-Michel Lucie, one of Australia�s foremost balloon decorators.  The LINK-O-LOON� was launched on Monday June 2, 1997 at the Australasian Balloon Convention, in 38 colors. Made by Sanbrook - Premier Balloons, PO Box 659 RINGWOOD, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, 3134, (03) 9870 3033,  it is a standard 30cm latex balloon, but with an important difference: it has an elongated tail (opposite the neck) which can be used to tie the LINK-O-LOON� to another balloon, LINK-O-LOON� or bunch of balloons.  In this way simple chains or arches can be created without fishing line, quickly and easily.  Complex self-supporting 3 dimensional designs, shapes and matrices can also quickly and easily be constructed without props, frames or other supports.  They form simple yet elegant chains or arches without the use of fishing line. See them at  or  
The Premier Balloon "Link-a-Loon" had it's world wide premier launch
onto the  market at the Australasian Balloon Convention in June last
year. It is manufactured by an all Australian company - "Sanbrook Rubber
Co." It is reported to be the brainchild of an Australian balloon artist
from Melbourne. Premier Balloons (Sanbrook) is Australia's largest (and only!) manufacturer of latex balloons, and has produced high quality balloons since

The balloon is (basically) a round 28cm (11") latex balloon with a tail
similar to the tail on a Q'Tex 321. (bee body) The tail allows the
balloon artist to tie (or "link") the inflated balloons together
end-on-end. (neck to tail)

The concept has some terrific applications for balloon decor. I have
"played" with the balloon and seen some impressive sculptures made from
them. They are good for making quite unique arches, garland and
"corraling" ceiling decor.

The LINK-O-LOON concept was developed many years ago by a local 
Melbourne  balloon artist and was first refined for commercial use 
way back in 1992. Since then, the humble LINK-O-LOON has gone from 
being just a simple idea, to a system capable of the most complex 
un-supported 3-dimensional designs imaginable - the likes of which 
the industry has never seen!

What is it? It's basically simply a double ended latex balloon, with 
a neck and a tail. But that's where the fun starts!

If you've searched in vain for a simple, quick and inexpensive way to 
make a helium archway you can throw in the van and install on-site in 
seconds - one that doesn't  tangle -  LINK-O-LOON's are your 
answer! If you've been bored with traditional methods of 
assembling two or three dimensional structures, the LINK-O-LOON 
system let's your mind run free!

We have been busy  developing the product and refining  its training 
programs in Australian for some time now. A number of decorator  
enthusiasts have said "the LINK-O-LOON concept is probably the best 
thing to hit the balloon industry in 10-15 years".

In fact, just this weekend we completed one of our largest training 
programs ever, and we'll have some photos of fellow balloonies at 
work  up on our web site shortly. If you're patient, you'll soon be 
able to check them out at:

In response to you many requests, this site will soon include a 
photo catalogue of innovative LINK-O-LOON designs  which will be 
updated constantly. The Balloondeco Community will be invited to 
submit their own photos for inclusion in our gallery.

Regarding pricing and delivery, our distribution hubs will be located 
in the USA, Europe, UK and Australia. In the meantime, balloonies 
will be able to place their enquiries with Alan Perkins direct at: 

You can partially inflate a white geo so it looks like a miniature skull?
What a great subtle nuance to add to spooky Hallooween sculptures! 
Green Geo's are also great for Ninja turtle balloon faces.  Just take
what ever color head band that the child wants and make it out of a 260 just
surrounding the top of it and lock twisted together like an upside down hat
base with the extra balloon off of the side and facing down.  Draw a face and
you've got it!  Or they can make a nice collar for a clown balloon...

Inflating Geos - A Conwin Duplicator 2 or a Digital Dual Sizer will inject the same volume of gas every time.  If the donuts then appear to be different in shape, you can "massage" the balloons to distort or even-out the shape. The key is not to over inflate.  
To inflate the "top first".... insert the inflator tip into the donut as 
far in as it will go. Scrunch up the bottom half of the donut into your 
fingers with the rest of the balloon neck. Slowly inflate..... only the 
top half of the balloon will expand. Gradually release the scrunched up 
latex, till you only are left holding the neck of the balloon. Don't 
expect to get this first time. It takes some practice. 

I've done seveal things with GEO blossoms. One is to put the end of a clear 260
through the hole in a clear blossom, attach it to the tail of a skunk, and
watch the kids hold their's & dad's too!
I've also used the white pearl-tone GEO's for the hat on the Pilsbury Dough
Boy,  the hat or beard of one of the three wise men, and, of course, as a
beard for old St. Nick.
These are really good for the mane on a lion. Make the head first and then
pust the geo on then finish the legs and body.

gloves A thin medical glove (check with medical supply 
store, dentist or doctor), blown up like a balloon, makes a great 
'comb' for your chicken- try attaching it to a large swan.

chicken - inflate a surgical glove, tie the wrist, hold it upside down 
and draw eyes on it.

Take that latex glove, blow it up and tie it off.  Attach it to a 260, 
blown up and tied around the person's head under the chin.  Then 
take another 260...blow it up and put around the person's  ....Bend in 
half and tie 3 other 260's (blown up, of course) to the one around the 
waist.  These are the tail feathers.   REALLY cute in a hospital on a 
nurse.  Gets a chuckle out of the kids when she comes in with meds.

another idea for hearts is the base of a golf club  or a helicopter  or gasp
the head of the purple Barney

I just bought my first bag of Qualitex 6 inch clear hearts that say "I
love you."  Are these things hot!  I make a big 6 balloon 260 heart and
place a clear one in the center with the I love you on them. The gals get
this look in their eye and then the guy gives me a good tip. I am learning
not to be afraid to try some thing different. So far people are impressed 
with the little extra touch.

Gala Makes hearts. They come in
some neato colors like standard purple,light green, standard blue and a
few others. The red ones are kind of a weak shade of standard red. They
are slightly less expensive than Q's and are not as thick and durable,
although I've not tried to twist one, they are easier to overinflate and
until I got used to them, a few popped in my face (good thing I was wearing 
safety glasses). They work great though.

Hearts are very versatile.  I have seen them uninflated as tongues, with 
a little air as a small heart in a bear's paws, inflated in bear's paws, 
on hats, partially inflated (and sometimes twisted) to make heads of 
various types, a foot, an udder, eyes, eyes with balls inside, etc. etc.
Lorna uses an orange heart for the pouch on the pelican (image on Balloon HQ
web site).  Four hearts can be petals on a flower, as hearts on the end of a
stem, inside of clear balloons,  etc.

If you inflate a heart just a little bit it makes a really cute little fish.
Attach a fshing line (2 or three broken balloons tied together) and a pole
(one long straight balloon ) and kids and adults go nuts. it's easy to add a reel
The idea for the fish was in T. Myers newsletter a few years ago.

Flash taught me a really cute foot made with a heart.  Underinflate the heart. Roll
the knot on the end down as far as it will go.  Twist off the two lobes
of the heart.  Then divide each twist in half so you have four toes.
This does take some practice, but it is really cute on a figure
or it can stand by itself.   

Just use them as hearts!  Present them with grace and deference - 
women from 1 to 100 love them!

Sometimes I get some snickers without prompting when I'm blowing one up -
they see the two lobes pointing forward and think "breasts" - again, not my
style, but...

160Q - WOW!!  I really like them.  They give you a new raw material with which to expand the art.  They are tough to blow up; I mean really tough!  I blowup the Tilly 130's with little problem, but these give me a head-ache.  A pump is a must, but T Myers 130 Blaster is a good one.  The 160Q colors are the same as the 260Q, so you can make minitures of the complex multi balloons.  

I will be buying more of the 160Q than the Tilly 130, but I still will be using the Tilly.  Why?  Colors.  Between all the balloon manufacturers, the colors vary widely and this gives more flexibility in the creation.  Besides, I can blow up a 130 and hand a 160Q to a customer and really impress them... how are they supposed to know?  Try the letters of the alphebet, they is cOOOOOOOL with the 160. 

160's - I've been making all my critters in miniature with l60s and using the long leftover end to add bracelets.  I tried leaving part of it uninflated but the piece is too short to loop and tie around a wrist.  However, if you have it inflated it makes a perfect little bracelet: just twist and tie off.  You can tie your card on the leftover string, you can make it a belt for the boys too :)

The 160Q's just came in today.  I've gone through about 1/2 a bag and it was a very good 1/2 a bag of balloons, even for Qualatex.  Good Job Q Guys.

They are hard to inflate.  They make great miniatures of regular 260 figures.
They are very long for the diameter so you may have to tie a knot in the tail
and cut off the rest for some figures.  For fancy figures, it gives you a
different size line.  For Hats, well, anything on a hat is great but the 160's
help keep things interesting. 

The 1 gross price for 160Q Assorted or 160Q Jewel Tone One Color is $6.15
12 bag price $5.54
24 bag price $5.23
48 bag price $4.92 
The Jewel Tone One Color colors are Green, Ruby, Yellow, Orange, Dark Blue,
Purple and Black.

The 1 gross price for 160Q Standard One Color is $5.40
12 bag price $4.86
24 bag price $4.59
48 bag price $4.32
The Standard One Color colors are White, Light Blue and Pink.

They make GREAT jewelry and hair pieces.  My daughters went nuts over the
daisy and teddy bear pony tail holders I made them.  And I know the adults are
going to love the roses in miniature and daisy bracelets that can be made with
The quality is outstanding.  Just like the 260's.  Ever so much
better than any of the 130's I have previously tried.  And I like the color
selection as well.

        Received one gross of each color o' 160Q's today,WOW!!!!!
They are a full twelve inches longer than 130T's, and superior in every
other aspect.
        My five year old made his best three twist dog ever! They are
ideal for people w/ small hands to twist with. I look forward to
teaching my boy and he will have a more rewarding time of it (completely
supervised of course).
        These 160's are a pain to mouth inflate. I modified my fasterblaster to
take 130's, using a sharpie marker tip. The modification also makes it
easier to slip 260's on the pump, I do it to all my fasterblasters. You
can check the archive for instructions.

I received my first bags of 160Q's from T. Myers yesterday and I am so
excited. I've always loved sculpting in miniature but the Tilly 130's
had both quality and availability problems.

Now Pioneer has created a superior product that is available in all the
regular and jewel tone colors. The nozzle is thicker than the Tilly
130's and much easier to inflate with your trusty mini-faster blaster. 

The colors are true to the 260 colors and I've just decorated my living
room with mini versions of most of my favorite sculptures. Now I can
make a mom or dad killer whale with a baby sized whale, too. I'm so
excited to have black and orange which I never found with the Tilly

With Valentines Day fast approaching, I can almost hear the "oohhhs &
ahhhs" for 160 hearts with 160 lovebirds or teddybears or bunnies. The
hearts are wonderful from a fully inflated 160 because they are

If you are going to make mini versions of some of your favorite designs,
have your scissors ready because you'll need to remove excess balloon
but same the small left over pieces for eyes, or noses or other small

Thank you Pioneer for making this wonderful product and please always
keep them available. Now if you could make 160Q's in brown, gray, and
amythest violet I'd truly be in balloon heaven.

They can be used by themselves or to enhance your 260 creations.  
By themselves, you can make most of the same creations that you do out
of 260's, but one of my favorites is 'wear bear' or 'hair bear'.  Make a
small teddie bear head, no neck, about a 2 inch roll thru body for the
body, and then one or two small (maybe 1 inch) ear twists at the bottom.
Tie off and remove the excess.  Use two of the roll thru bubbles to hold
a pinch of shirt or sweater fabric to wear the bear as a guy might wear
a pin on button, or a lady might wear a brooch.  This is great on ladies
who watch and enjoy and think they're too old for a balloon...or to hold
just a pinch of hair.  It works great!  

Flowers made out of the 130's are cute too.  The six petal flower looks
more daisy-like because the petals are longer (proportionately) than on
a 260 flower.

In conjunction with the 260 sculptures, use them for the ears on a bunny
head (they're long, can be attractively shaped, and because they're
smaller around look more 'appendage-like', even though you may find the
color match a bit tough), make a six petal flower out of 130 and put it
in the hands of a 260 or 350 bear or bunny or whatever, use a white 130
instead of a 260 for 'add-on' eyes to your creation (takes up less width
and allows the back of the head color to be seen more), use a white 130
instead of a 260 as the stripe on a skunk...same concept.  Makes the
stripe less obtrusive....make a 130 'anything' and put it in the arms of
a 260 'anything' to make 'Anything' and child, make a 260 boat-like
structure and pairs of 130 animals to make Noah's ark for a 'piece' type

One thing I like to do with them is to add a passenger to the bear on a
motorcycle...if you do the 1 balloon bear on motorcycle, make it up to the
point where you're about to twist the back tire, stop...make a 130 Bear,
attach this to the main Bike/Bear by wrapping his front paws around the
biker bear's tummy...then finish the biker bear....if you position the
130 bear's back legs horizontal to the ground, it gives the illusion of
speed....I always tell folks that the bears should wear helmets, but I
don't know how to make those yet....

 Orange 130's make great birds feet. Yellow 130's make a bunch of
bananas(a good reason for the monkey to be climbing up the tree!) White
ones make a great set of arms and hands for the 418/524Q snowman I
posted. The guide has a lengthy and interesting section on 130's. I've
used 130's for the guns on Xwing fighters. Customers are impressed by
130's, present them as a special novelty. They are great additions on
hats too!!!!

double stuff a clear 260 with a 130, then make animals.
The kids really love it. If you have a pump it will fit you don't need
the small one to double stuff.  Make sure you leave about 3 or 4 in. in
each balloon so it can easily be twisted

I made John's braided heart out of 130's. It came out
so cute and just the right size to add a six inch heart in the middle
and a teddy bear on the side of it. It is a little balloon intensive for a
fast restaurant, but after I made one, I had requests for it the rest of the
night.  I just got my 160's yesterday, and tried it with them. That works
even better, because it is less balloon intensive, and I have so much
more confidence with the 160's. The braid is excellent with the 160's.  
Also, if you are making the braid hat, it is a little flatter than a 
260 braid, so it seems to fit bigger heads.

When I walk into a restaurant with miniature stuff like Daffy & Elmo 
& Cookie Monster and of course the romantic stuff, people in the 
restaurants (staff and customers) start raving about the miniature sculptures.
I've always liked to sculpt in miniature but the 130's had lots of
quality problems and lately I could not get the colors but I'm thrilled
with the 160Qs. I think I'll probably use more 160s than 260s from now on. 
But I wish they were avaliable in brown, gray, and amythest violet.
For Valentines Day make a 160 fully inflated heart with a 260 Teddy
wrapped around with a baby Teddy from a 160 on Mom's back.
Since the 160's are smaller and hold less air, it is much harder to
pop one by squeezing which makes them a better choice for younger kids.

I just recieved some of the 160Q's, and love them.  I usually use 
130's  since I work in a very confined space, and 260's are just too 
big for me to work with.  ( I drive a bus, and make balloons for my 
passengers when I stop at lights, etc.) The 160's look and feel good. 

A lot of the people coming in don't want a big balloon to carry around 
all day while playing the slots or tables and say "I'll get one on the way out."  
Now using these 160's so many more accepted the balloons.  
I made the ladies one balloon full teddy bear hats, wonderful rose crowns, 
daisy bracelets, hair bows, and they make an awesome one balloon 
two teddies kissing and one balloon T Rex!
They also make the coolest little Little Mermaid Doll!  Comes out the size of
a Barbie Doll.  And the red one makes a really cool snake tongue when

The 418Q from Qualatex measures approximately 4 inches wide by 18 inches
long. Also known as an airship balloon, the 418Q is used for balloon
twisting and sculpting.

The 418 makes a great halo for a 260 angel (so do 350s). Using a second
bit of balloon for the halo also gives a bit more 260 for the rest of
the sculpture, which was nice. 

The 524Q from Qualatex measures approximately 5 inches wide by 24 inches
long. Also known as an airship balloon, the 524Q is used for balloon
twisting and sculpting.

The 524 makes a great vase for a boquet of 6 or more 260 tulips. I made
an apple twist vase about 7 inches high. Looks much more realistic. The
524 also makes a great clown body for John's 5-balloon clown.

Both 524's and 418's are going to give me variety when making wheels, reels, eyes and other details.

Also known as Talking Ribbon. They are similar in theory to record albums.  
They're made of a thin piece of vinyl or plastic, and they have groves on them 
just like an album.  You hold or attach one end against a balloon or piece of 
paper, and run your fingernail over the groves to produce a message.  
The balloon amplifies the sound. Lad Ottofy  will send 
a catalog and free sample to anyone who requests one by e-mail.

I used to attach one of these onto a playing card box and it would say the
name of the card.  Hard to hear. I was not impressed with how they worked; 
it took a lot of imagination to hear anything.

The balloon ones were slightly better. I would run my finger down it at normal 
speed and it would say "Happy Birthday to you."  Then I would say, " Here's the 
same message with Helium" and then I would run my nail over the strip REALLY FAST.  It always got a laugh.

Just stick one end on a balloon, slide your thumbnail down the strip, 
and it will talk out loud. 
Talkie Tapes are called by many names; Talkies, Talking Ribbons, 
Talking Strips, Talking Tapes, Talking Device, Talking Balloons.  
It's a 24 inch red plastic strip audio recording; similar to the 
groove on a record, but straightened out.  Talkie Tapes are played 
by sliding your thumbnail down the recorded side. 
They must be attached to something (Greeting cards, Balloons, 
Advertising Boxes, etc.) to amplify the sound and give it a voice.  
An inflated object of any shape, size or material will TALK with a 
Talkie Tape attached (attach using a piece of adhesive tape or a sticker). 
A Santa balloon becomes a TALKING SANTA - an ideal inexpensive promotion 
to increase store traffic or for sale. An 18 inch foil balloon with a 
Talkie Tape is extremely loud.  They can be used at balloon shops to 
add a buck or two to the sale:  "Would you like to make that balloon 
talk?"  ALWAYS say the message first - NEVER say, "listen to this." 
This conditions the listener to hear the message, and they'll understand 
it every time. Want samples? Send mailing address via email to
Lad Ottofy
Talking Devices Company
37 Brown Street
Waeverville, NC 28787
(828) 658-0660
We make Talking ribbons/tapes/strips.

There are a lot of things you can make with hearts. You can take a 260 and make a heart out of it and put the heart inside it to make a heart in heart. You can make hats as well you can make a basic hat and tie the heart on top of it or you can make a hat with a bow or mouse ears and tie the heart on it and call it minnie mouse. You can take 260 and wrap it around the heart for a lollipop or you can use 1 or 2 260's and make a spiral wrap and then tie the heart to it. These are only a few things that you can do. I'm sure there are others. The one thing that I have found out about twisting balloons is that you sometimes make your best creations by just using your imagination. 

What to do with hearts?!  Aim at the women. All women love them!
My favorite is the Rosebud from Capt Visual.  When I finish the Rosebud I
whip out the sharpie pen and say " And what shall I write upon thine heart
fair maiden?" It's usually "I love you" but an occasional  Kiss My A-- shows
up too. Or I ask the little girls in front of their mothers "Which boyfriend's
name should I write?"  Or "Should I write Take me to dinner you bum!"  Great fun. My second favorite is Capt Visual's little sit-up bear holding the heart. 
I do at least 100 Princess Crowns a week. This too is from Capt Visual, I think.
Heck, put a heart on anything and you have a hit.

Two hearts softly inflated and twisted together make an irresistable 
butterfly. take two hearts, pull the knot back to extend the base of the heart.
Make a bubble down at the base of each heart and wrap them together into a butterfly.
Add feelers. It is also incredibly easy to do, looks really nice and little 
girls just adore it. 

If anyone has any Qualatex 6" hearts that accidentally got fused so 
that two hearts are stuck together, blow them up equally and put a 
pink bear on one and a light blue one on the other. I usually write 
something quaint about couples on each heart (like "joined at the 
heart") and IS IT A HIT !

I use my clear balloons for poodles and comment that it looks like
the poodle is made out of soap bubbles.....

What to do with those clear 260 balloons
If you generally don't like using the clear balloons, save them for
Hallowe'en and use them to make ghosts. That way, you're not limited to just
bats and cats and rats (look, it's a *ghost* teddy bear on a *ghost* rocking

Light green balloons are manufactured by Gayla, Unique and CTI, 
as well as the really excellent quality ones by Prestige. 
It is strange that Q makes no light green 260, I use light green most frequently. 

I keep Ps and Gs in my apron. I use the Ps for tight/advanced 
twisting and the Gs for flower stems and on hats.

I'm a balloon twister and have made myself use
more grey because I felt I wasn't using it
enought to justify buying it.  I have found that
since carrying it and using it more, it's become
requested more.  Many people ask for grey
because they want the most realistic color for
things like:  elephants, mice, rats, dolphins,
sharks, rhinos, swords, airplanes, football
players, hats(it braids great with magenta and
green, black and blue or red among others) race
cars, choo choo trains, and lots of things.  I
was so glad when grey came out.  I may have gone
overboard here, but I just want to emphasize its
usefulness in twisting.  Yes, I got along
without it before, but now it's not a novelty,
it's a necessity for my palette!  I carry all 14
colors.  Please add me to any list of supporters for this
color; the same goes for brown too!! 

BSA 260's
On a different note I wanted to mention the new 260's by BSA. I just got my
sampler pack today and they had some stuff I fell in love with. Most of the
colors(but not all) are thicker and seem to be better quality than Qualitex.
But what impressed me the most were the new colors. Shining Platinum makews
the most realistic sword or spacecraft you have ever seen. Real Pink is a vast
improvement over anything else I have ever seen and Luscious Lavender blew my
mind. And their Peach is peach! Great!  My other favorite was Chocolate Brown.
I'm going to be buying BSA just for the brown. Hope I can talk T. Myers into
carrying BSA.

the BSA silver 260s are great!  They are like Qualatex's metalic silver 
and very durable.  They make great swords.  
Their lavendar is like Qualatex's spring lilac.  When you put this color
with deep purple the effect is stunning.  Well that's all for now.

Got a nice note from Balloon Supply of America today with samples of their
new 260's.  Some info in the past has be incorrect.  These new and improved
260's are done in house and are NOT re-packs from any other company.  Their
Twisty balloons come in 15 decorator color and are divided into 2 color
assortments. The assortments are Transparent and Opaque.  I think the
colors look great.  Colors included are Midnight Blue, Pitch Black, Crystal
Clear, Forest Green Bright Orange, Real Pink, Regal Purple, Real Red, Sky
Blue, Bright White, Lemon Yellow, Luscious Lavender, CHOCOLATE BROWN,
Shining Platinum and Silk Peach.

I called Lynn to thank her and she said if anyone wants samples they can
call 1-800-338-0973 and they will get them out. PLEASE remember it may take
about two week to get them.  BALLOON SUPPLY OF AMERICA - Fax 419 281 5114  
PO Box 3025 - Ashland, OH 44806  
e-mail  - They have a great web site

From the "GUIDE," @ BHQ                
>Pearl Tone 260's. 
>Pioneer says that they can not make a pearl tone 260 
>that meets their quality standards. Pearl tone latex 
>is created by adding crushed mica to the latex. This
>process makes the latex more brittle, and less twistable. 
>If you want to see proof of this, you have to look no further 
>than at Tilly Pearl 130's. So, for now,there is no real 
>chance of getting pearl 260's. 
>Gold/Silver/Metallic 260's 
>Metallic latex is made in the same way as pearl latex. See above. 
        Well it seems you can make a metallic 
260 AND twist it too! For those of you who doubt, it is 
NOT just a shiny gray, it really SPARKLES!!! I've stuffed 
a gray into a clear, but this sparkles. It sparkles. wow.
        The lavender is very superior to Tilly lavender 260s.
it is much shinier. And the peach is pearloid, you guessed it,
it SPARKLES and you can twist it.
        I was eagerly awaiting my BSA sample and catalog and it came 
early this week but the sample was ROUNDS! Man oh man I'm waiting
to see silver 260s and they send me those wierd round things. I
emailed and called and they sent me a sample immediately because I
got them quick. Thanks BSA, you guys are cool. Good balloons, try 'em!
        One more important plus, There is no smell at all to these 
sample balloons. My wife can only use Qs because of allergies. I
suspect that these samples are even less allergenic than Q's.
        These balloons are squeaky and one inflated unevenly.
They seem to be of P or Q caliber quality wise. nice nozzles
like the Ps.

Gold 260's, CTI's 
I finally got a sample o' gold 260's.  Decent balloons, made in mexico. 
The silver are not as sparkly as the BSA silver.  The gold are definitely gold, but again, not as sparkly as the BSA silver.  However, they do the job. First thing I made was my one balloon Gold android from a certain space adventure/fairytale film of reknown. They twist up just fine, seem uniform in manufacture and I'll buy 'em buy the gross right now. The silver seem about the same, a little less dazzling than BSA. They are about the size/thickness as Q's but much harder to mouth inflate. 
"Balloons & Clowns" is a CTI distributor.
1707 Wayne Memorial Dr
Goldboro NC 27530 
Call Dave at 1-800-256-9699

I was clearing out some old supplies in April 1998 and came across 
a small bag of RAINBOW color 260's. Each balloon looks like a bunch 
of colors swirled together.  As I recall, when inflated, the colors 
are not as vivid, and looked washed out.  But they sure look neat 
in the bag. They are at least 12 years old.

The only rainbow 260's I've seen were made by Ashland back in the mid to late
'80's.  Some of them actually worked and you could tell they were rainbow
colors when inflated.  Most of them looked kind of muddy.  I hesitate to
estimate their value.  Probably around $2350.80

Gayla Balloon Company in Texas.  They offer a self sealing latex 
that is really fantastic.  If you are careful it can
even be used with HI-FLOAT.  Their number is 1-800-327-9513.  They also
have a mini-mylar that can be inflated with a pump or by mouth that is 
also self-sealing: great in floral and basket arrangements!

Cool.  I finally got around to scanning the stuff you asked me to scan.  I
included pictures of the oddly shaped balloons.  I'm putting the stuff in


we have two different sections in the Guide on Certifications. 
We should make one section (probably in terms) and just 
put a link to it in business.

After you inflate a Geo Donut or Blossom and tie it you can stretch 
the hole in the middle using your fingers.  It will stretch out to about 
3 to 4 inches in diameter and the hole will remain open.

>John, how do I get stuff through the middle of an inflated geo 
blossom?  They >are the 6 inch ones.  That opening isn't very big.         
To get the opening bigger, insert a finger from each hand through the 
middle and rotate your hands around each other while pulling them 
apart so as to strrrrretch the hole. After this you will insert the 
uninflated end of a partially inflated 260. Wrap the nipple end of the 
260 around your finger on one hand and pull while anchoring the 
GEO against the palm of the other hand. It will go through.

There also has been some experimenting with turning the geos inside  
out. When inflated you get either a mouse head with ears or  
(depending on how much you inflate) a cat head with smaller ears.

Ralph Dewey's latest book "Dewey's Balloon Anomalies" explores 
some  of these uses with sculpture like the cat/Devil head, sumo 
wrestler,  cherub, Santa head, etc. He also suggest using a geo for the 
mane of  a lion, looks pretty neat.

how to tie geo's This might sound weird, but we air inflate all our 
geo's first, then deflate and do whatever (super hi float, add 5" or 
260's to center, turn them inside out, etc.). Then, when we inflate, we 
make certain the nozzle is inserted beyond the neck, inflate to 
whatever size required, and give it just a spurt more of helium or 
nitrogen - release some of the gas and tie it off using the three finger 
wrap and tuck method. In my opinion, the stretching from the air 
inflation makes tying easier, makes certain the balloon isn't 
defective, increases its finished size and elasticity and  its longevity a 

TERMS - 130's
I'm also using lots of 130's these days and it is amazing how much 
attention the mini creations receive. Using the 130s, I'm now making 
balloon jewelry putting the mini creations on hair clips and on lacing 
material for necklaces.

I'm not well versed in balloons but I do know how to make them talk  
out loud. If anyone would like samples of our talking ribbons to 
make balloons talk just send your name and address anytime. They 
are no charge, of course. Thanks Lad Ottofy 

Us old folks that remember vinyl records can see that this is a record 
in linear form.  A 1.5 second long ribbon played with the thumb nail 
as a needle.

TERMS - 130's
I usually use 130's for all my wearable jewelry creations . a 130 
around the neck with an animal riding it as a pendant. . .

130's make great sunglasses that don't get in the way.

braided or spiraled 130's can be attractive.

tightly coiled 130's Curly-Q's make GREAT arm bands.

Balloon HQ has a great crown that Marc balzer posted. . . this can 
very easily be modified  into a tiara with a few less twists.

Balloon HQ also has some earrings that Fred Harshberger posted 
(functional and WAY cool.

These balloons had been introduced in germany and europe by the 
company LUFTIKUS. Now a company called "Paletti" produces them. 
The diameter is about 2m and they are clear.  With a little 
experience it�s simple to use them. In a german tv-show more than 7 
people climbed in this strong balloon and spent some time together 

Paletti GmbH & Co. KG
Drensteinfurtweg 32
D-48163 M�nster
Phone: ++49 (0)251-78222
fax: ++49 (0)251/788237

Tom (Free Catalog, Just Ask) Myers doesn't carry the 80" balloons 
anymore.   The problem was selling them as 'the balloon you can get 
into.  They work but they are expensive and it takes some practice, 
some skill, some luck and the right kind of body.  Each balloon was 
too expensive for the variety of problems people had in learning to 
get inside.  Try Adventure Creations, Inc. for giant balloons now.

Their "Advertising Balloons" come in 40",60",65" & 72" Colors include 
red, yellow, blue and orange.   They are available from:

Adventure Creations, Inc.
1060-D Calle Negocio
San Clemente, Ca,  92673
Phone# (714)498-6911
Fax #(714)361-4090

They are also a source for Inflatables, Custom Shapes & Aerial 

What you use to close those BIG balloons?  Do you just tie it like an 
11" balloon?

Try twisting the nozzle, then fold it over and tie it with almost 
anything else.  Rubber bands will work.

National Latex.
check them out at
The BSA line is the National Latex line of quality round balloons 
designed for the decorator market, featuring good color selection.  
BSA is the only latex balloon that gives Pioneer any competition.  
There are deocrators that will use only BSA.  They used to make a 
BSA 260 that was so awful they dumped it.  For a few years now 
they've been selling Gayla balloons, repackaged with the BSA name.  
They're just as bad.  They are now working on a new 260.

GEO Blossoms are latex balloons.  They have a whole in the middle 
and have a ruffle outside edge.  They almost look like a flower when 
inflated.  They come in 6" and 17" I believe.  There is also a GEO 
Dount that looks like a  donut.

TERMS - 130's
One of the reasons I like 130s is that I can carry them easily in a 
pocket when I'm not working, jus tot have some balloons on me.

Regarding 6- inch hearts, I have written a book on things to make 
with the heart balloons. Some of them are faces, feet, hobby horse, 
tomahawk and many more ideas.  For more info, just write: C Fields 6100 W. 76th St. Prairie Village, Ks. 

Paddle Balloons are huge round latex balloons.  Usually 36" or 40".  
Great for decorating.  Filled with helium the float for days. Paddle 
balloons got their name because of their uninflated shape... they 
were made on a mold which gave their uninflated shape the 
appearance of being like  a ping-pong paddle. When inflated, they 
are round balloons, 3 foot or larger in diameter. Actually, they are no 
longer made by Pioneer on that type of mold and do not look like 
paddles anymore but I think the nickname will stick forever!

The best base I have found for displaying balloon creations is a Geo. 
Take a Hi-bounce ball and put it into a heart or four inch round 
balloon (uninflated), then tie the balloon with the ball in it to the 
inflated balloon at the knot , then push the ball through the hole of 
an inflated Geo. This makes a great base, it is weighted and balanced. 
If you just run the balloon through the geo hole and tie to the Geo 
knot without the ball, the balloons usually list to one side.

>I'm trying to make my show program and tried to practice the 
round to   >heart "thing" with a 24 cm heart balloon. > >How do you 
hold the folded balloon? >If I do this, it's always obvious that it's a 
folded balloon. > >If I blow up the balloon to the level that it looks 
like a round one, I   >can see two darker dots and I can't believe that 
the audience member, that   >holds the finger at the balloon can't see 

I think this trick works best with the opaques for the very reasons 
you mentioned, so I usually use white or pink.

However, you may be surprised at how many people you can fool. 
Don't tell them exactly what's coming. Then, most of the time, they 
won't attach significance to the darker spots.

One of the best ideas for this bit came from this list a while back. 
When folks start asking the usual questions about how you can twist 
all these items, tell them a little about it. Then, mention that pencil 
balloons aren't the only ones that can be shaped into figures.

Give the victim a round balloon of the same color as your heart 
balloon. Tell them to do as you do. Don't make a big deal of hiding the 
heart balloon before you inflate it. Just do it.

Take your time inflating. Show the balloon as soon as it looks round. 
Show it from the side. Put your own finger between the lobes and 
make a big deal of "shaping" the balloon.

Done properly, this will leave the victim working for quite a while to 
get a nice heart shape like yours. Don't leave them hanging too long. 
And make them something nice to counteract the embarassment. 
Perhaps a teddy holding a heart.

I know that a number of us posted our presentations of this earlier, 
but here is mine again, with some revisions.

First, I don't fold the balloon. I have one pocket in my apron that is 
all Hearts. So I just reach in and pull out any color heart. I hold the 
neck between my index finger and thumb, with the balloon "behind" 
my hand - my hand is between the balloon and the audience. I don't 
let them see the balloon before I inflate it. I do this very quickly, and 
very naturally, so that they don't focus on my hand.

I inflate the balloon until it is just round, and say something like 
"This is a magic trick. I'm going to make this round balloon change 
shape" I show the "round" balloon while I'm talking, and then point 
to the person who is going to provide the finger. Pointing, or talking 
directly to them turns the attention to them, and away from the 
balloon, which I have usually dropped to my side by now. I place 
their finger on the balloon, and have them wave their other hand 
over the balloon. Then I inflate it, and hold the finished balloon up 
for everyone to see, praising the child for doing a good job.

If I get people who are being a smart ass about it, I give them a 
regular 5" balloon (Which are kept in the pocket right next to the 
hearts, so it's not obvious that I'm getting the balloon from a 
different place) After they fail to produce a heart, I tell them that 
they have to open their mind and their heart to the unexpected.

we have some friends that switched to Tuff-Tex. The Tuff-Tex 
balloons  seem to be about the same quality as Q, have longer necks 
(easier to tie)  but fewer colors to choose from.

Hi Everyone,

I'm Tim Vlamis, Marketing Director for Pioneer Balloon, 
manufacturer of Qualatex brand balloons. I'm responding to the 
postings the last two days on perceived differences in the quality of 
our balloons and frustrations that people have reported with their 
quality level.

First of all, let me assure everyone that we have made no changes in 
any of our standards for measuring the quality of our balloons or in 
our expectations of our products at all. I won't tell you that we 
haven't made any changes in our manufacturing processes because 
we are constantly making small changes to improve our quality 
levels. Also, other factors beyond our control change including 
regulation changes from the government and raw material supply to 
name a few.

We have extensive quality control and assurance systems and 
procedures. We have not noticed any changes in our product in them. 
Perhaps more importantly, we regularly do outreach programs with 
large users of qualatex balloons to get input on our quality. No 
negative changes have been reported there either.

We want to know when you are frustrated. Although we have 
manufactured balloons since 1918, we still learn from our customers. 
You can e-mail me, write me, call me (I only say me because I know 
it is sometimes helpful to communicate with a person, not a faceless 
organization.) We also have a force of 18 sales people around the 
country that are there to meet with you and help you buy Qualatex 

Here is what to do if you run across a bad batch of balloons and you 
want to help us. Please send us as many of the balloons in their 
original package as possible along with a written explanation of the 
problem. If you do not have any balloons left, please send us the 
empty bags along with a written explanation of the problem. This 
allows us to involve as many people as possible and to have 
everyone hear exactly the same story (you know how it is when a 
story gets passed around verbally). Thank you.

We have extremely high expectations for our products, even higher, 
perhaps, than yours. We work hard at producing the very best 
quality balloons in the world every day. We apologize if we have not 
met your expectations.

Our business relies on producing the very best quality balloons. 
Qualatex latex balloons enjoy over 80% market share among 
professional balloon users. We know that people pay more for our 
product because it is superior. We take our commitment to you and 
quality very, very seriously.

Thanks for listening,

Tim Vlamis
Director of Marketing, Domestic Markets Division
Pioneer Balloon Company
5000 E. 29th North
Wichita, KS   67220

Valentine's cards with small un-inflated mylar balloon inside - billed 
as the self-inflating balloon.  Break the inside packet and a set a 
chemical reaction in motion, which inflates the balloon within 5 
minutes.  Non-toxic.

I don't know where you can get them now, but I used to see bowling pin-shaped 'head and body' balloons with cardboard feet that fastened to the stem. They usually had a cartoon face on the head part and some had inflatable ears (Cat balloons?). Weren't those called Schmoos (spelling?) or something like that? I remember them from my childhood.  Didn't they have them in the comic strip "Li' Abner"?  The ones my brother and I had were white with a face on them.  (no ears) Boy does that bring back memories.  And yes, they would make great bowling pins.

Mickey Mouse Head - Elephant Head instructions:


>I have many people who are allergic to latex but still want colorful
>balloons at their parties and such.  I used to send them to Mylar.
>Recently, I've had two people say they'd seen Plastic balloons.  
>(not for making animals and such out of, but the 'round' kind.)  
>I can't find them anywhere... have you heard of them?
>Could you please ask your balloon list-mates if they've ever seen such a
>thing and where it can be found?  I'd be grateful for any help you or 
>they would be able to give.  I can be reached at
>Heidi Wordhouse-Dykema

Party stores sell brightly colored, plastic, 3-D versions which are made to 
resemble 9" or 11" rounds.  They are thin, thermoformed plastic "hemi-
balloons," have a knotted nozzle, and are made to be hung on a nail in the 
wall.  (Image taking a 1 gallon blow-molded plastic milk jug, cutting it in 
half vertically, spray painting it, and hanging it upside down with the cut 
edge facing the wall.)  I don't have my catalog handy to double check, but I 
believe they are marketed by:

  Unique Industries Inc.
  2400 S. Weccacoe Ave
  Philadelphia, PA 19148-4298
  phone:  (215) 336-4300
  orders: (800) 888-0559
  fax:    (800) 888-1490

Another solution is "Mr. Clear" over a latex balloon, as described in this 
post by Mark Burringer:

  How do we protect the 18" balloon wraps?

  A unique "plastic bag" that is on the market today is a product 
  called Mr. Clear�.  It is a sleeve of crystal clear shrink wrap 
  plastic.  It can be placed on a 18" Upside-down balloon, twist 
  tie - and then you use a heat gun or strong hair dryer to slowly
  shrink the plastic to a form fitting barrier.  The advantage to
  this method is that the plastic is barely discernible from a
  distance.  This gives the customers a great view of the actual
  balloon wrapped product.  The product has it's drawbacks; cost,
  time and wrinkles when exposed to cold temperatures, but it does
  the job of protecting the balloon very well.  Invented and
  produced at Incredible Balloon this product is always in high demand.

  Mark Burginger

  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  USA: (San Diego)
  1 (800) 347-3623
  Store Address:
  12335 World Trade Dr.  #18
  San Diego, CA  92128

I was just watching Nickelodeon with my kids when what do you know a tv
infommercial came on for "Fantastic Plastic Balloons".  It shows how they
will not pop with a fork being pushed into them.  You get 3 tubes of some
kind of goop, 3 blow wands and a guide.  The cost is $24.95 and this item
is made by the makers of "Better Blocks".  There # is 1-800-437-4247.  I
kind of remember something similar to this when I was a kid (but the goop
kind of smelled like glue).    Maybe this is what a customer saw since it
is being shown on tv.  

Years ago I purchased small plastic "balloons" on long sticks from a floral
wholesaler to put in my floral arrangements.  They were bright and colorful,
solid, (so just balloon shaped, not the real thing), and could be written on,
or decorated any special way. try the floral supply stores.

If you go to the larger chain super-markets, they have clear, colored 
'plastic' balloons that are shaped like foil balloons and just about 
as stiff.  The material reminds me of
that colored crkinkly 'plastic wrap' that is commonly used to encase
fruit baskets or easter baskets.  (although slightly thicker).  In
addition to the 'round' shape, I've seen oblong ones shaped like eggs (in
the Easter season), and specialty ones like multi-colored butterflies and
fish that sell at our local magic/party store.

Anagram makes transparent plastic balloons called "Magic Colors." 
They are available in both 7" & 18" hearts and circles in 12 different 
colors.  I used some from their packages of bokays for different holidays. 
The ones I used were packaged with tweety bird.  
also Qualatex has new balloons that are clear plastic that are
stars with stars printed on them and hearts the roses on them, and I've seen
several other prototype at my balloon distributors.  I'm sure as more and more
is made of latex allergies, the manufacturer will be listening and produce
balloons that will allow everyone to have the effect that they are looking 

I always use Super Hi-Float in my donuts and blossoms.  I
use the blue clip, but I don't use the full amount.  I short
it by just a pinch.  Also, it is very important to inflate
it to the maximum.  I usually have either a 260 or 2- 5"
balloons in the center.  But they usually float for 2 - 4
days.    I tell my clients their float time is a little less
than others in my arrangements.  This way they are not  dissappointed.

260W's - the 260's that are thicker on one side causing them to inflate in a 
spiral.  they would twirl in the hilarous fashion when you let go of it.  
Children consistently laugh so hard at that simple event. Ashland is
the only company I know of that ever made one.  Ashland has been out of
business for years.  I tried using rubber cement on one side of a balloon to 
make it curl as it inflated but never had any luck.  Maybe one of you can 
figure out a way to gimmick a 260.

Meteorological Balloons

Scientific Sales Meteorological Balloons are produced by rotational molding of natural rubber.
Their uniform wall thickness prevent premature blowouts, and they are ozone resistant.
Reinforced necks allow use in strong winds without tearing.

Each balloon is inflated, inspected, and tested before being dusted and sealed in a moisture-proof polyethylene bag. They may be stored up to 7 years if kept in a cool, dark room. No pre-flight conditioning is required. From: Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 Subject: Metallic 260Qs from Qualatex Pioneer Balloon Company has just this week introduced Qualatex Metallic 260Qs - Silver, Gold, Pearl White, Pearl Onyx Black, Pearl Fuchsia, and Pearl Teal. These are available in singles as well as a Metallic Assortment. Contact your Qualatex distributor. They are nice balloons. The metallic/pearl changes them a little. They seem harder to inflate, thinner than a regular 260 but as long. They feel real tight, it's probably a good idea to burp them. The silver is Transparent, but that just adds to the light sabre effect. The gold and white are closer to being as solid as the black is than they are to transparency of the silver, but still can be seen through when held up to a light source. We now have a solid black balloon, and I do mean SOLID! What can I say about the Fuchia & Teal? Just wait until you make your first rose or flower! You will love it! The only draw-back is that you just about bust some blood vessels in your brain to inflate one by mouth...but, then, that's why I own a pump. I didn't used to carry my pump with me. I didn't need to. But I will from now on! I like these colors!...ALOT! Pearl Teal. I love it. Highly metalic medium green. Shines well. Pearl Fuschia. metalic red. Nice shine to it. Different enough to be eye-catching. Gold. Shines well, good color. I dont have a cti gold to compare it to, but I like this one. Can be seen through Silver. Should be renamed metalic clear. BSA silver is better. Still useful, but needs work. Pearl Black. Shines well, and stronger that the regular black. A definite plus. Pearl White. Shines ok All the new colors are harder to blow. Is this the final shove I need to get a pump? We'll see. I will definitely be getting more of these. Now for my question: When will the hearts and 160s come in these new colors? new qualatex metallic colors. The texture of the balloons is gorgeous! No horrible squeaky sounds as you twist. teal, gold & fuchsia will go straight in my apron for events. They almost seem a 'classier' balloon for the adult events I specialize in. I simply LOVE the colors, but I find that they are almost impossible for me to blow up my mouth. And when using my little battery pump I found that they are a little hard to twist - quite a bit harder than the regular Q's but a little more difficult than the BSA or Prestige. Now I would like to see the hearts in the same colors! I tried a bag of BSA's. the colors are great and they are strong with thick nozzles. However they are harder to blow up by mouth. They also cost me more than the Q. an uninflated heart in the mouth makes a good tongue other entertainer balloons: hearts, 321's, 350's 418's & 524's I just recieved my new cti balloons with gold and silver. I used them in my rest. tonight and they work very well. I went thourgh about 180 balloons.I had 2 pop, the only problem is the mixture of colors is funny, and you get alot of one color and not others, not many gold and silver, but alot of white and yellow. I think they will get that worked out. I got mine from balloons & clowns 1-800-clown99 Orange hearts come in Gayla's assorted bag o' hearts. They are thinner than the Q's but come in a really neat light green (great for alien heads), a super cool standard tone purple as well as light blue, yellow ,white, pink and red. They're at, check 'em out. Orange hearts are available from Marvin Hardy's mail order business. Check it out at They work great for Lorna's pelican. Way cool!! The Yo-Yo balloons are made by Suzuki Latex, a company based in California. They are balloons that are several times the thickness of surgical latex that are filled with an air/water mix. A long elastic with a loop on one end for a finger is attached to the neck of the tied, inflated balloon. When thrown down, the water in the balloon pulls down while the elastic brings it back up, insuring this "yo-yo" to ALWAYS return! I've sold MANY of these and have dropped them on gravel, thrown them as hard as I could against walls (at a seminar I was teaching to demonstrate their durability), had my kids sit and step on them, etc. and they don't pop! Glow stick that are about 1.5" are also sold through Suzuki Latex and can be inserted into the yo-yo balloon prior to inflating. I make a bunch of these in advance (NOT snapping the glow stick yet). When it becomes dark at the location I'm working, I grab through the yo-yo balloons and snap the sticks (again, never had one pop). That way you get the longest life out of the glow sticks for your customers. I just LOVE these things!!! I've had more adults buy them than kids and MOST people say they've never seen them before (making them that much more popular). The Suzukie Latex web site is Every time I've called to place an order, they've been great to work with. Also, their address and phone number are: Suzuki Latex USA, Inc. 3960 Prospect Ave, Suite E Yorba Linda, California 92886 U.S.A. phone 714-961-0902 fax 714-961-1633 Tying them in knots is almost impossible! I use the elastic "tying" method. To be perfectly honest, the first couple of dozen, I got pretty wet! I worked on a method that works well for me, though, that involves looping the elastic through itself so the more you throw the yo-yo balloon down, the tighter the elastic is bound around the neck of the balloon. Also, if you check out Suzuki Latex, you should find their clips that can be purchased as an alternative for sealing the yo-yo balloons They are little, blue plastic clips that seal the necks nice and easy. In addition, the yo-yo balloons can also be purchased with a one-way valve! (once again, contact Suzuki Latex) These are a little more expensive, of course. For those who may be interested, here's the method I use for tying my yo-yo balloons. This has been tested by young and old alike but, most importantly, by my 4, 5 and 10 year olds!!! Works great for me. * After inflating the balloon, you take the end of the elastic and make a loop (a la "bunny ear" style when tying shoes) that is about and inch and a half long. * Press that loop against the neck of the yo-yo balloon, loop sticking out near the neck. * Start winding the long end of the elastic around the neck of the balloon, while holding the loop firmly in place, going OVER the base part of the loop (the open part of the loop is left exposed). I wind it about 10 times pretty tightly (you can see the elastic stretching). * Then take the free end of the elastic (the part you've been holding onto to wind around the neck of the balloon) and pull it through the loop. * Tug on it to tighten the loop securely. Now, the more you throw the yo-yo balloon, the tighter the loop remains! 7-8 foot latex balloons - Adventure Creations in San Clemente, CA (714) 498-6911 their area code might be changing to 949. Qualatex is going to put out a twisters assortment of 260Q's., It will include brown, amethyst, and a lavender! Q metallics I love the fuschia color and it makes a GREAT looking Teddy Bear and flower petals, but will take some getting used to with working with on a consistant basis. The metallics are much skinnier and harder then the regular 260's when fully inflated. When you do burp them enough to soften them, they won't hold the twist. The silver is more of a crystal than silver... the BSA silver is definitely more of a true silver balloon. Same with the qualatex gold.. its a nice gold but very transparent. My thought on them, as of now, on the whole is that I don't particularly care for them for entertaining with. At least not to use as hats... they are very very hard and they hurt when they pop. Even with burping them they still arent that great to use for hats, since when you burp them to not pop so hard they don't hold a twist very well. As hats or anything actually they are such a "hard" balloon the popping factor really startles me to the damage it can do. Some of the golds straight out of the bag were defective and while I was blowing them up they popped extremely loudly and pieces flew far and hard. I am thankful no one got hurt. I will still use them in my decorating pieces as the colors, other than the silver and gold, are really great. I won't, however, use them in my regular twisting jobs where I make the balloons to give away on the spot, hat or to hold. I have already had too many close calls with these that I have never experienced with any of the other twistings balloons I have used. Gotta agree about the silver and gold and their transparency...I much prefer the BSA platinum to the Q silver. Haven't gotten a hold of the CTI gold to compare with Q's. The other colors are OK...nothing I got REAL worked up over. I bought a gross of each to check 'em out, and I'm not sure if I'll buy more after I go through this batch. Plus I'm gonna have to start packin' a pump if I wanna use 'em regularly...they're harder to mouth-inflate than the BSAs. Vigorously stretch a q metallic (I'm only using teal & gold so I can vouch this works for these two) And hold it in the stretched position 10-20 sec. Now inflate. It becomes way longer and thinner something like a 1.5-80 (a cross between a 160 and 280?) I got the new Q balloons. First, I want to thank Pioneer for continuing to further our art. Positive: They are harder to break, the colors are good on four balloons, Negative: They are harder to inflate, black is black, and the gold and silver are transparent. I would like to see the gold and silver more opaque. The silver is so transparent it looks clear when inflated, a slightly smokey clear. gold and silver are used to imitate metal, so they should not be transparent. Although harder to break, the balloon is so thick it makes it hard for an entertainer to inflate. Even my electric pump does not inflate as many due to the extreme back pressure. Even a hand pump gets tiring. Is there a reason the gold and silver can not be made opaque? Is there a reason the balloons cannot be made of the same thickness as the normal 260? These are my only complaints with the balloons. Praises are the colors leap out. With metal type balloons, cars, trains, swords, etc become even better. I have plans for an OSCAR balloon with the gold and silver. However the thickness complaint will keep me from ordering too many as they are exhausting for me and my pumps. Pioneer has done more for the art in the last year than there has been done for the art in 5 years. I believe they are listening to us, and we have a line of communication open with them, this is fantastic for both of us. the Q new balloons: I use pumps, and with the Tmyers floor pump I can inflate them fully, but the pressure is so great I can feel the heat at the nozzle from the air and the balloon inflates the balloon wider at the base. The reason the pop is louder is that the balloon is so thick it is holding the air at an extreme pressure. These could be very dangerous for hats. They look great, but outside the air will expand in the heat and the balloon pop. Be careful! The pressure is so strong the balloon does not inflate to 2", but something less, and when you twist, you can feel the pressure. The skin is too thick. Even if you use a hand pump, you will find these harder to inflate. They are even a little tougher then the BSA. One of the reasons I use very little of the BSA is the balloons are too thick. If you are an old hand, these balloons are thicker than the old "EE" that was produced a few years ago. I think the black and white should be dropped, the colors for Metallic, made opaque. We have enough transparent balloons. Lastly, thin the skin. If I am going to have to fight the thick skin, I'll use the BSA as their metallics are opaque. I've not had great luck with the regular black lately but love the new metallic black balloons. I like that they are opaque and will probably only buy metallic black and white in the future. I really like the metallic fuschia and teal, too but think the silver is awful - I much prefer the BSA platinum which is opaque and and shiny. The Qualatex silver is too much like the clear and I've never used many clears because they are so thin they pop too often. The Qualatex metallic gold is ok but I wish it were more opaque but my customers are impressed with the new assortment. I am looking forward to seeing the new Qualatex colors. Thank you Pioneer for all the new colors but PLEASE duplicate all the 260 colors (except silver) in 160s. I sculpt mostly in miniature with multi-balloon creations and need more colors. And I frequently make parent and child versions so I need all the colors in both sizes. If you are going to add to the 160 repertoire slowly, please start with brown, metallic fuschia, metallic teal, and gray. How about adding colors that look like skin tones so we can make "people" designs. The brown does look great but neither the white nor pink really looks like skin. Try BSA peach for caucasian color. It looks good when you add hair a nose, etc. You might even try a brown inside an orange for a native american or hispanic tone or a brown & red mix. You just have to try until you find the shade for the person you're making. Qualatex has just released 4 new 260Q Fashion-Tone colors: Rose - a bright, rich, hot pink Wintergreen - a bright, light green Spring Lilac - rich lavendar Goldenrod - a very bright yellow with just a hint of orange to it All are opaque. AND... a new 260Q Entertainer Assortment: Rose, Wintergreen, Spring Lilac, Goldenrod, Diamond Clear, Amethyst Violet, Gray, Cocoa Brown Gayla Industries 713-956-5677 Houston, TX I have ordered their balloons by the case before and they are very reasonably priced and the quality has been good. My only complaint is that the green and blue colors stain your hands after a few hours of ballooning, but it washes off. New Q colors I like all four of them - wintergreen, goldenrod, lilac and rose but the rose is fabulous! A bright pink that female types especially will love. I can't imagine using the regular pink after seeing this new color. Uses for Geos - a flower (people love them just as flowers cuz no one really ever uses them), the end of a trumpet or sax, tutu for a ballerina, base for a flowers display using a superball as a weight. "Baby Bop" type head. Underinflate the geo. Blow up a 260 for the nose and part of the body. Slip one end of the 260 through the hole. Stick it out twice as long as you want the nose to be. Bend the double-length nose in half and twist it just in front of the geo. Scrunch the bottom of the O (Squeeze the bottom of the O until there isn't any air in that part of the O). Twist the 260 again just behind the geo. Now you should have a nose, the head, and the remainder of the 260. The rest of the 260 can be used for the tummy and tail. Add white eyes and legs. If you are doing it as "Baby Bop" you can add ballet shoes using 160's. As for a Geo design - seen the spider on my website? kevin rowe I use geo's for clown collars when making clowns--look great with 350's for the head & body. Small Bags are Big News Qualatex has introduced a new concept in latex balloon packaging that will have a positive, profitable impact on tens of thousands of retailers in the United States and Canada: the 100-count bag. This change is big news for balloon and party goods retailers, said Tim Vlamis, marketing manager, Pioneer Balloon Company. It will have a major impact on product selection and inventory control, and it will benefit customers everywhere. Historically based on gross amounts, the majority of balloon packages were available in counts of 144. Through the years, more and more retailers and distributors have requested smaller-count packages, enabling them to carry broader selections of latex designs and to better manage inventory. Qualatex has responded to those requests with a numbering system that is easier to understand, without raising the price. The change from gross to decimal-count packaging just makes so much sense, the decimal system is much more user-friendly, said Vlamis. And better still, per SKU, the price of each bag will be 44% lower. Now retailers will be able to provide their customers with a larger variety of printed latex designs with no greater investment of inventory dollars. To make the transition from the current packaging system to the new system easier, Qualatex also redesigned both the packages and shipping boxes. The new packages now feature a header for J-hook merchandising and bolder graphics. The packages are brighter and easy to read, said Vlamis. Retailers will be able to tell at a glance if a package is part of the existing system or the new system. Converting to the new system will take place over the next two years. The new 100-count packaging will be available on all Qualatex printed latex balloons by winter of this year. Retailers will begin receiving orders in the new packages with their Halloween, Christmas, and New Year's design orders. Solid color latex will be available in the decimal count packaging by October of 1999. The entire line of Qualatex latex balloons will slowly move to the decimal system packaging count. The majority of Qualatex printed latex balloons will be packaged in 100-count bags, including all 11-inch, 9-inch, 7-inch, and 5-inch. Larger size latex balloons, including 18-inch, 16-inch, 14-inch, GEO Donut? Balloons, and GEO Blossom Balloons, will be packaged in 50-count bags (formerly packaged in 72-count), and 30-inch balloons will be packaged in quantities of 10 (formerly packaged in 24-count bags). This change is part of Pioneer's continuing commitment to innovation and to providing retailers with new ways to make more money with Qualatex balloons, said Vlamis. For more information, retailers can contact their Qualatex distributor, or call Pioneer Balloon Company at 1-800-356-0901 or 316-685-2266. Pioneer Balloon Company is the manufacturer of Qualatex latex and Microfoil balloons, the most recognized brand of balloons in the world. Slim Jim balloons - They are straight, about 6 ft. long, swirled yellow/green and yellow/purple.

9" rounds Use as a head. Draw the eyes, nose and mouth. You could mount this on top of a simple helmet type hat. Also, looks good as the head of an octopus atop 4 260's twisted together in the center. I've been using em for HOT AIR BALLOONS I twist the basket for em and use the 9" colorful balloon for the balloon top. I also put em in the hands of a teddy bear. I use the 9 and 5 inch for petals on a flower. You can inflate them a little and make a group of 5 (I like 5 better than 6) then inflate them more for another layer below. You can also attach them to the end of a stem for center of a flower. There are a few ways to attach them. you can put them on hats either at the end of 260s or on top where you might put 321s, hearts or smileys. The 5 inch clear make a good astronaut helmet and you can put a smiley inside. I have also used them for feet and a beak of a bird. I did a tulip twist for the beak (mouth). I have seen rounds as spider bodies and the heads of a ghost I love to use the 6" clear rounds with a smiley face stuffed in them for toppers an ball machines. You can also stuff them with a colored heart or put rubber balls in them for a rattle. I also use pepper corns for rattles. I use a yellow 9" round for my Tweety bird and a yellow and orange 260. I will send a pic to BHQ so you can see how it is put together. The trick is to under-inflate the round and squeeze it in between your legs to twist off the body. Have your member of the audience hold the twist while you make the arms attatch that and the feet and voila! It takes about 1 minute to make. I also use a yellow round for my Pooh bear for his snout but this is a more complicated structure that I only do for birthdays. spiders and ghosts are great too. Ball and chain is a definate laugh getter but you can also use them to fill the torso of animal bodies for large animal balloons especially fish using the raisin twist to attatch the lips. 418s and 524s I have seen them used for scuba tanks and also seen twisters put soda cans inside. a book by Joe Carey (BITS & BALLOONS $5)that shows how this is done. one of my local buds makes a cool snowman with white ones. apple and bee balloons They make great wheels for dragsters, cars or tractors - do the apple twist and pull it in all the way till you can't see the stem them twist the apple in half giving you two equal sized "wheels". The wheels make a good fishing reel for a fishing pole. They also make great bodies for, of course, bees or butterflies... from the nozzle end do a one inch bubble then another one inch bubble that you would pinch twist... this leaves you with a body with a tail. When finished it would look like a bubble, a pinch twisted bubble then a bubble with a tail piece on the end of it. Or you can actually make a little bee or hummingbird out of one by doing a one inch bubble then another one inch bubble that is pinch twisted followed by another one inch bubble that is pinch twisted that lays next to the first one inch pinch twisted bubble... leaving you with a bubble with a stinger or a beak coming out of it. You really have to practice proportions to get it right where there isnt too much of the black on the face. Then have fun with your marker in drawing faces on them. I also make an "Apple Face Clown" Twist the Bee balloon using an apple twist making sure the stem sticks out. Then I draw on "Clown" faces with different color marking pens. or enamel paint markers. this can also be done with the apple balloons. Cell Phone Dragon Fly Bumblebee Hummingbird Eyes(by inflate part of the colored tip) for bigger creations. Atom/Molecule Mohawk/Spikes Hat Mini Phaser Gun Penguin Fly Mosquito Pear Firecrackers Foils >...I saw a guy at the IBAC convention iron the center out of a >(probably 36") mylar. I would like to make a "Q" from an 18" round, >gold mylar... there seems to be a stem inside the mylar which conducts the >air/helium into the upper part of the mylar, which when ironed over will no >longer conduct. It is right in line with the stem, which is why I think >it's some kind of conductor stem inside. How do I get around this >interior stem and still come out with a "Q"? The "stem" is the internal self-sealing valve. To solve your problem, try this: Cut open a spare foil and measure the distance from the inflation hole (nozzle) to the end of the internal self-sealing valve. Find a piece of wire (floral wire, coat hanger, etc) and smooth or round off its end. Mark off the measured distance on the wire with a bend. (If doing many of these, continue bending the wire to form a handle.) Insert the wire into the nozzle of the balloon to be modified until the mark/tape/bend is right at the inflation hole. This way the wire completely fills the internal valve. With the wire inside the valve, you can feel where the valve is right thru the balloon. Thru the balloon, bend the wire out of the way of your modifications and iron. Carefully withdraw the wire (straightening it as required for removal... it doesn't have to be very straight to come back out) and you're done. If you have problems with Qualatex balloons, send a sample to Customer Service, 5000 E. 29th St. North, Wichita, Kansas 67220-2111 Toy-Tex, Inc. 7315 N. Linder Ave., Skokie, IL 60077. 800-323-0798. I believe that they make custom shapes. Large advertising balloons -- The company you were refering to is Adventure Creations in San Clemente, CA. Their number is (949) 498-6911. Party Loons Lots of different colors in the gross including gold and silver. I tried them and found them to be very similar to the Prestige balloons. I liked them. You do have to work them a little different from the Qualitex since they are_much_tougher, kind of squeeze them as you work and/or burp them more. Order at 888-624-2423 PartyLoons are imported from Mexico by, CTI Industries Corporation (847) 382-1000 22160 N. Pepper Rd. Barrington, IL 60010 CTI was manufacturing Gold and silver 260's before Q. Mark Balzer made a post to that effect early this year. I got right on it, These guys sent me out a whole bunch of samples. They were great! Call them and they'll give you a list of distributors. I came across some 5" round neon pink, green and red balloons in a hardware store. They are suposed to be water balloons. But they make GREAT monster eyeballs, noses, and stuff that comes out of noses. They are almost transparent when blown up, but work really well uninflated or just slightly inflated. Agates Don't know about anyone else, but agates usually create headaches for us. The fresher they are, the fewer the problems, but they still never float as long, seem to be less "stretchy" and more prone to reach their maximum and explode if you go one iota further, the color sometimes "peels" off, shape is somewhat erratic, when they explode-they shatter, and we always have to plan on a larger percentage of "replacements" to take to the job site, etc, etc. I don't even like to suggest them to our clients but when they want them (or when I want to get them out of my stock), we do air inflate all of them prior to use to expand them and then super hi float them if they're being filled with helium. Nightmare on Agate Street! .....sorry, Pioneer people...... Air Dimensional Design Inc. does the Airtubes. They have a website at The phone is 310-838-8823 or email at They have many products and they are all awesome. The prices aren't too bad either depending on what you have in mind but not inexpensive either. Definitely on my want list! Here's a cool latex-related tip: get some green latex surgical gloves - they sell them at art and hardware stores to protect your hands from paint. Fill them with flour, tie the bottom and they become witch's hands (they feel cold and lifelike) Or wash the gloves real well, inside and out. Then fill them with water and freeze them. Peel the glove from the ice and toss the ice hand into a bowl of bright red punch. I think 100 balloon count bags will be beneficial - just hate having old bags of unpopular colors around and unsold inventory. I also think larger bags of 500 black, red, white, etc. would be a super idea (thanks, Don & Dolly), especially if they are volume priced and perhaps packaged in appropriate containers. Hopefully Pioneer's packaging of the 100 balloon count bags will be different enough from the 144 count bags to distinguish them quickly. And oh, how I wish for a ziploc-type closure.... Do we have any more support for Bulk 500 (or 1000) count packaging? Please reply to the list if you would like to have the option to purchase your 11" and/or 5" popular colours in this fashion. Pioneer and BSA and the others won't know unless we tell 'em. The reps keep telling us that they want customer feedback for new ideas. They claim to listen to their customers .... lets see if they really do? Wouldn't you like the option to pay a little less to buy in bulk bags? Wouldn't we all then have fewer plastic bags going into land fill as rubbish? Package the 500 or 1000 high count in cardboard, because I can put that in the recycle trash container. Fewer deliveries from your distributor? Better chance of filling a last minute order on Friday afternoon for 350 gold balloons at a venue? I wouldn't mind even if it was only for the top 10 most popular colours as a trial. White, Ruby, Gold, Saphire, Pearl White etc. I have soooooo many entertainers and twisters who NEVER buy less than 10 bags of 260s. Am I right ??? Maybe the trial would be for 11" only? Any more support for this idea out there? Any feedback from the latex balloon manufacturers who sponsor this list would be appreciated. Tell us if there is a legitimate commercial reason for not offering high count latex balloons. Surely someone has toyed with the idea before? I would love the 500 count bags for the top 10 colors! During the wedding season I always am ordering 500-1000 of for example white... Cardboard would be great also! As for the ziploc idea on the bags....wouldn't that be a dream??? Oh that really would make my day/month/year!! No more balloons falling out of the bags when you lift the bag from the wrong end?? Imagine it! That idea is super!! --- I was wondering is anyone else found the new pearlized 260 from Q to be a bit tough to work with? I pulled a "I coulda hadda a V-8" type thing with them. I really love the new colors but the teal was driving me crazy. I was breaking 3 out of four. Finally late Saturday I streached one.(I use a pump and have never stretched balloons). Boy what a difference! Smooth and supple and a real joy to work with. Otherwise they are really tight and stiff. I was inflating one and the whole crowd just knew it was gonna blow. And it did and very loud. It sprinkled the folks with balloon shreds. Everybody applauded but it was not the effect that I wanted. To start a QBN chapter Contact Terri at Pioneer, and ask for the "How to start a Chapter" info kit. Her email is I am looking for a ball-shaped balloons yo-yo balloons that you usually fill with water are pretty round. Geo's do last longer with Hi-float but you have to make sure to evenly cover the entire balloon. If you have too much Hi-float at the top of your balloon this cause extra weight. The weight if heavier then your balloon stem will cause the top of your balloon to be weighted down. 160s. I sculpt mostly in miniature and I frequently make parent and child versions so I need all the colors in both sizes. remote control balloon. Check this out: 2/7/99 Recently I have a little rigmarole I go through when I make something with balloon hearts. It works really well. First, don't let them see that it is a heart balloon. I never say that it will be a heart, either. I blow up the heart until it is a little round ball. I have the person hold out a hand, and place the heart part-way on their hand. I never let go of it(or it would deflate.) I ask them to squeeze the heart a few times, then I blow it up, using whatever subterfuge that seems appropriate, and tie it off. I produce the heart, and say that the person had a lot of love inside them, and thank them for sharing it with me. It gets a good reaction. Try 160's especially for the leashes. Looks better! Gayla has brown 260's listed in their catalogue, although I've never ordered them. BSA's Twisty selection includes the following: Midnight Blue Pitch Black Regal Purple Crystal Clear Forest Green Real Red Bright Orange Real Pink Sky Blue Bright White Lemon Yellow Chocolate Brown Luscious Lavender Shining Platinum Silk Peach Gold On opaque assortment and a transparent assortment are also available. The Faster Blaster is also a BSA product. The pump and the balloons can be found through our distributors, listed at our website Tilco International manufactures Prestige Brand balloons, In my opinion the best 260 on the market. Call 1(800)421-1980 for info. The fact of the matter is they have TOO good of a product. Doesn't make sense? I know. let me try and explain. first of, let me say my first mentor in the way of balloons would disagree with me entirely for making that statement; Mike Decker. That's because Mike is the representative of prestige balloons. And may i say what a great job he does. Not often these days that I see him, but when I do, it's always a hoot and a mini jam in action. Only I use my qualatex and he uses prestige. they made the prestige balloons extra thick. their hearts were in the right place, but in the process, it made the balloon twice as hard to inflate by mouth. Not a good thing for those of us who spend hours at a time inflating these things by mouth. Is it a good balloon? depends on your ability to inflate the balloon. Again, good product, but I prefer to stick with my qualatex. Wait a minute! If you think that Prestige are hard to mouth inflate, then you must not be using those mostly (50%) fabulous Qualatex metallics or those utterly incredible 160Q's, both of which are much harder to mouth inflate than Prestige 260's. I'm concerned that your balloon palette is lacking diversity! I could not imagine being w/o any of the above mentioned. It was the Prestige that warmed me to using my pump more frequently (Yes I was once a proud "mouth only" type once). I have a friend who uses Gayla. Another good balloon, but they are in the opposite direction: less thickness than a qualatex. I can't be as hard and fast on Gayla balloons or they pop. He loves gayla and swears by them. We respect each other's choices and realize the different reasons for it. I find metallics hard to work with, though I like the look. I'm wondering if others do the same stuff with metallics or do you use them for particular sculptures? An ear twist with one of these really takes some muscle. I find that metallics are harder to work with, and must be twisted more if they are to hold. I still love to use them. I find that I prefer working with the black for the killer whale I do, and I use the metallics for swords. I feel that they are worth it for me. That stretching bit to get more length is a good idea. The silver still needs work. metalic balloons tend to a be little stiffer than regulars and clears due to the increased amount of pigment loading and particle sizes used to get the desired metalic and opacity effects. However this problem can solved or the effect reduced with the help of creative latex formulator by twiking with the additives and aging process. CTI's Partyloons 260's have come put w/ a flourescent 260 asst. This is my opinion on them, check w/ your local CTI distributor to obtain a sample or call CTI. They come in blue, green, yellow, pink/red, and orange. Pros: These things twist great, they are high quality balloons, like the rest of the CTI Partyloons 260 line, and are durable enough for serious intricate twisting. They are very smooth to the touch. They really flouresce (Glow) under a black light. Con: They fade considerably when inflated, uninflated their color is very vivid. Under a black light their glow is greatly reduced when inflated. You can always double stuff or use them uninflated if you want them to flouresce If you dont know where yer local CTI dist. is Contact: CTI Industries 22160 Pepper Road Barrington, IL 60010 (847) 382-1000 FAX(847) 382-1219 (800) 284-5666. Tell them you found them at Balloon HQ! I talked to a CTI representative a week or so ago and she shipped me samples of their neon balloons. I inflated them and tested them out. Look in the photo section "Balloon related stuff" near the bottom of the list. A note all the ballons samples. They sent me their normal selection as well. First the normal selection: They feel very good, just like the Q balloons. The colors are almost identical except: Green is darker, orange is opaque, pink is a darker shade. They have gold and silver also, but if you mouth inflate, you will blow a lung trying to inflate them, just like the Q. The two metallics are very stiff, and I wouldn't recommend them. However, the others are very similar to Q and if the price is an issue, they might be an acceptable alternative. Q still is the only source of gray and brown. The entertainers pack contains these two and a whole new assortment of balloons. These photos will also be included. when inflated the Neon balloons look like cotton candy. They are bright, and every kid that I pass and ask what color they want, they will choose these Neon balloons 50% of the time if they see them. When inflated they are a very light color and "look" soft. When inflated the kid will not say anything, but you can tell the attractive color when uninflated was what he or she was expecting, not the cotton candy color. You will see what I mean if you get some. CTI sent me some samples, I suggest you did the same. I will add these to my collection. I don't see them being very usable in multi-creations, but one balloon creations, they might be the best as they have a very festive color, and as I said before, they look like cotton candy when inflated. Cotton Candy balloon animals, a new twist, get it "twist", never mind. If you are interested in getting samples, email me and or call them 708-382-1000. Test them and tell us all what you think. I personally should like to see another set of the Neon balloons that do not loose the color when they are inflated. But I still like the Neon balloons presently and wouldn't change them, just add another group. I, too, think that the hue should be deeper(less transparent). Un-inflated these things look awesome. I like the gold and silver balloons better than Qualatex except for one problem. As I have found with all CTI 260's they are short. I have been told that this is being worked on. John Holmes, creator of numerous videos on balloon art, will be offering a lecture/workshop. John is best known for his unusual creative talents with non-round balloons, specifically in the area of character balloon art. That doesn't mean his lecture will focus strictly on popular characters. He's been known to turn down many different paths when teaching and surprising his classes with the creations he presents. 2/15/99 GEOS Finding it hard to insert a 260 through the hole in the blossom? After I blow up a geo, I stick a couple of fingers into the hole and stretch the hole. You can easily stretch it to make it much bigger and that helps get the stem through. Or, put one or two fingers inside the Geo before inflating, and inflate with them in there. This makes it real easy to insert a 260! Link-o-loons I have been so anxious to use these that I have created my own by double stuffing. If you cut a miniscule hole in one and stuff the neck of the second balloon out of the hole you have the idea of the link-o-loon. -this idea came from Emma Alverez from Mexico. It was first printed in her balloon magazine and the first US information was printed in the Balloons-N-Fun Times! It is very easy and the effect is great! Makes great hearts and wonderful people for displays - you can really do a lot with the idea and it is very easy! link-o-loons are NOT currently avail in US: they're made down under.. Here's more info There have been a number of comments and debate as to the origins of LINK-O-LOON(tm) concept, so let me add my doubloonies worth. Whilst not wishing to deflate those worthy opinions of Maxine Baird, Marvin Hardy, etc., etc., or the great contribution to the industry of Emma Alverez, let me state the facts. LINK-O-LOON(tm) was first manufactured commercially by Premier Balloons (Sanbrook Rubber) in 1991. The inventor was well known Melbourne balloon artist, Jean-Michele Lucie. His first photographically recorded and verifiable usage of the LINK-O-LOON was at Melrose Receptions -in Melbourne, Australia, for their 1991/92 New Year's Eve celebration. How do we know for sure? Jean-Michel's (dated) photos shows the unique use of LINK-O-LOON(tm) to form the numbers "1992"! Also from our archives is a photo of one of our directors, (and wife of Peter Sanbrook), Lindy, in hospital beaming beneath a pink and white LINK-O-LOON arch on the birth of their first daughter Jessica. Her birthday? July 3, 1992! I hope this now settles the matter once and for all. The often mentioned Double-loons, or double stuffed balloons, refers to a TECHNIQUE, not a PRODUCT. It involves snipping the tip of a balloon and feeding the neck of another balloon through it from the inside, thus creating a double-stuffed balloon with two necks. Double stuffing was, and still is, an essential element of the TECHNIQUE. A number of people claim to have developed this technique. It could be compared with using the button method, or glue, or tape, or other such TECHNIQUES. It is therefore not a valid comparison with LINK-O-LOON(tm). If any list subscriber has proof that Premier Balloons was not the first to commercially produce this unique and versatile balloon, please let me know. For training program details and official LINK-O-LOON(tm) release dates, in Europe contact Balloons-to-Go! U.K. on (181) 679 8889, or in the USA, All American Balloons - CA on (419) 289 2128. For other countries and states, contact the writer (address below), or check with your local balloon distributor. Some interesting LINK-O-Loon(tm) design ideas may be viewed at: I have been fortunate enough to play at some length with samples of the Link-O-Loons. They are quite versatile big brothers to the Bee Bodies so familiar to Twisters. Bee Bodies, with their pointed "stingers" sticking out the end of the round balloon opposite the inflation neck, were there on the Magic Store shelf in 1983 when I started playing with balloons. Ashland Rubber Company made them right along with "apple" balloons and the highest quality 260s, 340s and 344's available at the time. We used to do apple twists on them singly and in connected series to produce multi-scoop cones of balloon ice cream. We connected them in series as is now suggested with Link-O-Loons(tm). We did not bother to make such a series of bubbles very often out of Bee Bodies, however, because it was easier and less expensive to use 340s for such a job. Tilly Balloons ( or now DIPCO) #76 balloons and relatives are the nearest thing we have now to giant 340s. Until someone makes some 12,144 balloons or the like, I believe using Link-O-Loons will be the enlarged version of using #340s or Bee Bodies to create balloon sculptures of directly connected bubbles. If you are not a Twister, and have always envied what those Twisters could do with those little bubbles; stand by, you will soon be able to do it giant size with Link-O-Loons. If you are a Twister who has always envied the big stuff those decorators do, stand-by, you will soon be able to convert all your best designs from 6" to 6' in size. I am really glad Sandbrook took up Jean-Michele Lucie's idea for the Link-O-Loons in Australia. I believe that these balloons will change the way many balloon decorators do a significant portion of their decor work. The new balloons will make the decorator's life a little easier and more profitable. We are so convinced of Link-O-Loon's value at Rouse Products International that we are already preparing new forms of our Rouse Matrix Systems (tm) to take advantage of this balloon configuration. At the same time that I extend my congratulations and thanks to Australia for making these big Bee Bodies, I want to extend my thanks and congratulations to some one, who is currently unknown to me, for making the original Bee Bodies in the USA at least nine years ahead of their "invention" as Link-O-Loons in Australia. CTI Re: neon balloons from a company called CTI. I was disappointed at the dull color of these balloons post inflation. So I triple stuffed one of each color (3 balloons of the same color) and made a nice hat to wear to see what people thought. Most agreed the colors were still dull even triple thick! Great balloons though, I'd buy the regular colors if I knew where to get 'em. The CTI neon balloons are Day-Glo, they fluoresce under ultraviolet light, stuffing a white balloon inside a crystal tone (jewel tone) balloon will not create this effect. I got a bag of CTI neon's and REALLY liked the pink. I have called around and have been unable to find solid color bags. I liked the feel of them, although they were not neon after they were blown up. The yellow and the green were indistinguishable from each other when blown up, and the blue & orange were about like any other brand once inflated. I thought the colors were really cool upon seeing them, but then I blew them up. They appeared very watered down. If the colors would stay neon once inflated, I'd buy them in a second. TWISTY KITS For those with retail shops or others just looking for inexpensive add-ons to you balloons, I just received Twisty Kits from National Latex. They are basic balloon twising kits geared for kids. It comes with a small pump, 20 balloons, and instruction booklet that teaches 10 different animals. The booklet is edited by Larry Moss. You can get them from National Latex at 1-800-537-6723. The kits retail for $10. INFLATE-a-BUDDY INFLATE-a-BUDDY comes in over 20 adorable styles, are easy to blow up, have wonderful personality faces. Their little arms and feet are so cute. They are tough enough for horse play between a three year old and his grandpa. If you are looking for something new and cool of VALENTINES - (silly happy grin with some happy little lip prints) they can be used in baskets, Just fill their feet with salt or sand and they make the cuttest balloon weight. They stand on their own without sand, but won't hold balloons. They will work in your balloon stuffing machine. The line is "Fur's A Flying," the company is: AGA Balloons - (aka Ashland Graphic Arts) 1102 Myers Parkway Ashland, Ohio 44805 Phones: 419 289-0265 or 800-528-2902 Fax 419 289-6816 or 800- 479-2074 Contact: Susan Madura HEARTS Show a bunch of regular small round balloons. Have a small heart balloon of the same color palmed. Pretend to pick up a balloon, and blow it up to that little round ball. Take your forefinger and put it opposite the nozzle of the balloon (where the heart's notch will be), and blow up the balloon. It will look as if your finger is shaping the round balloon into a heart. try combining it with having the spectator hold their finger there, to let them "shape" the balloon. put the little fish into the pouch of a pelican. Use a clear heart for the pouch so that people can see the fish. John uses the orange heart for the pouch as the picture of Lorna with the pelican at: Try using a saphire blue heart and calling it "a baby blue whale" or, Tom Myers has a supply of the hearts in Orange, for goldfish. "The world's fastest balloon animal" routine. Inflate the heart just enough to get a 1 1/2 or 2" bubble, (golf ball size), and tie the knot as close to the lip / mouth of the balloon as possible. Display the balloon, holding it with your fingers on the lobes, so it just looks like a tiny, round balloon. Announce that you are going to make "The world's fastest balloon animal" and ask someone to time you. ("Big-deal" it, like the "Blue Jay" routine.) As soon as they say "go", you cover the balloon with your hands, wiggle your fingers rapidly, like you are doing something intricate, and (under cover of the movement), squeeze the air from the body or the heart, into the neck of the balloon, against the knot. Like the "poodle-tail-move", once the air is against the knot, give it an extra squeeze to stretch the neck, so the bubble will stay there and not move back. All this just takes a second, so it appears that you yell "stop" to the timer, right after they say "go". Then display the little fish and announce the title, ie "a baby blue whale" or "a blow-fish" etc. 2/15/99 BSA (or National Latex) has the Mickey latex license. You can reach Lisa Bennett of BSA at: I want qualatex to put out a 280. My understanding was that Qualatex did not have vats deep enough to dip balloons longer than they already do. A 280 would require a major upgrade of equipment. The subject of Q making a longer balloon [i.e., 280, 360, etc.] has been discussed on this list before. I believe it was Tim Vlamis [or perhaps the other "Q" guy who has posted here before, Bret?] who said the Q would have to spend way too much to upgrade their equiptment to create a longer balloon to make it worth their while. Any updates Tim? Tilly is setup to do it, I would imagine that their equiptment has been around for some years! Ashland went out of business about 10 years ago. They made 260A (thin walled) and 260E (thick walled). Ashland made some good batches and were the main twisting balloon in the mid 80's when I started selling 260's. Ashland started making terrible balloons in the late 80's and Qualatex started making good 260's and well, there you are. Some of the thin walled batches were ok. The reason they made thick walled 260E was so they wouldn't break as easliy as the thin walled 260A. I have used Ashland Graphics' Balloons, they now go by AGA Balloons (Ashland Graphic Arts Inc.) Their address is 1102 Myers Parkway, Ashland, Ohio 44805 and phone # is 1-800-528-2902. If I can remember they distribute for BSA and also for a second quality balloon. They do have a graphics devision which is called "Furs A Flyin'" which handles imprints, even low quantity. Hope this helps. The pearl and metallic are so tough you need to soften them. Try stretching the balloon before you blow it up. Try letting some air out and squeezing the air down the balloon as you work to keep the balloon softer. I do a little routine with surgical gloves: Claim that you can do 4 animals in less than 10 seconds. Let someone take a look at a watch and do the following: blow up one glove an put it over your head, say "a chicken!", bring the glove below eye level, turn your head sideways and say "a turkey!", take a little bow, spread your legs and put the glove between them and say "a cow!" (it's much easier to explain in german B-) ) instead of this you can show the glove and tug on the fingers. Finally let the glove deflate, shake the glove and make it quiver. Say "a jellyfish!" If you tie all but two fingers from the inside of the glove(turn it inside out), you have a rabbit. The ole "chicken, turkey, cow, jellyfish" joke is an oldie (but a goodie), I just prefer to avoid it since everyone already knows. The same can be said about pulling a glove over your head and blowing it up with your nose, like Howie Mandel used to do. Yes, I can do it, but again, since its passe' these days, I just don't. I noticed many years ago ago by watching episodes of M*A*S*H that surgical gloves can be used humorously. Back when I was in nursing school (bet that surprises some people reading this) a few of us sat around one day thinking up "games for the institutionalized" which you can adapt to "games for the hospitalized" and use with my blessing. Hope you like them. Here they are: Cut the fingertips off the gloves and tie them shut, then inflate the glove. It makes a more or less round ball, at least more round than they would be with the fingers intact. Use emesis basins (barf trays for the lay people here) to swat them back and forth, like batminton. If you can get someone to lend you their IV tubing, hold it out horizontal to the floor for a net. Note: the emesis basins should be EMPTY before using them as a racquet. Again, remove the fingers and inflate a glove. Next, borrow a mobile IV rack. This is one of those rolling poles with the loops at the top for hanging IV bags on. Also borrow some IV tubing, preferably unused. Tie one ond of the tubing to the loop of the rack, and the other end to your surgical glove ball, and Voila! You have a TETHERBALL! Take six bedpans, preferably empty. Attach one securely to each corner of the mobile table found near each hospital bed, as well as one on each long side of the table. Make another fingerless ball (Believe me people, I have no animosity towards hospital surgical gloves, its just that these games are all much easier to play without the fingers sticking out!), but this time fill the ball full of water. Don't fill it till it stretches, just until its round and taut. Hospital Billiards! By the way, don't try "shooting" the balls with a makeshift cue. It could lead to bad things... Just roll the ball by hand toward the desire bedpan pockets. If you like, you may draw stripes and numbers on the balls to keep track of stripes and solids. 3/5/99 I got a postcard yesterday. I was able to get in without any problems. You need your QBN membership number for your user name and you need the last 4 digits of your phone number as your password. You have to register/sign in everytime you go into certain areas that are for QBN members only. Not all of the site is completely functional yet. It will be pretty good when complete. PartyLoons are imported from Mexico by, CTI Industries Corporation (847) 382-1000 22160 N. Pepper Rd. Barrington, IL 60010 CTI was manufacturing Gold and silver 260's before Q. Mark Balzer made a post to that effect early this year. I got right on it, These guys sent me out a whole bunch of samples. They were great! They gave me a list of distributors, none of which had any stock. The Q metallics came out, plus I never found a source so I forgot about the CTI's. Call them and they'll give you a list of distributors. Their sample balloons are good. The section in the "guide to balloons" at under Balloon Evolution/Balloon Terms is in serious need of updating guys (I'll be glad to help!) it contains some very out of date information and lacks alot of great information about the brands of balloons available to entertainers. Before this renaissance in 260 manufacturing, we had to beg for one new color! Add some competition and they come out with ten in a very short period! Plus 160's!!! I use BSA, Prestige, Gayla and Qualatex 260's in my apron, for a whopping 26 colors to choose from! This was not possible when I first started. Keep the competition alive and we will have better quality and selection. 3/17/99 GEOS Before you inflate the Geo, put two or three fingers in the hole. It'll stretch. Leave them there while inflating. Presto! A hole big enough to get a stem in. Also, when you make a Geo flower, you can inflate the stem balloon leaving about 4 or 5 inches uninflated. Put the uninflated part through an ININFLATED Geo. I add a poodle tail to hold the Geo on. Then inflate the Geo and add the leaf twists to help inflate the balloon. Superior Balloon Company manufactures a 315. Thank you for your patience in your quest for information on the availability of LINK-O-LOON(tm). Yes, LINK-O-LOON(tm) will be on show at Chicago at the Halloween and Party Show, so pop in and see us at Stands 151/153 in Balloon Alley. They were first shown in the USA in New Jersey at Mark Zettler's "All Star Review" last year, and will be demonstrated at that event this year. WARNING! The following is somewhat of an "advertorial", but there has been so much interest, I'm sure Larry Moss will forgive me. You are invited to watch demonstrations by the "LINK-O-LOON(tm) Decorating Team" (Peter Sanbrook and me!) at the H@PS (not IBAC!) on Friday March 12 to Sunday March 14 at "Balloon Alley" , in addition to demos by Graham Rouse, West Winds, Premier Balloon Accessories, M&D, BSA and Hi-Float, so it promises to be a "balloons n'fun time" (sorry Maxine). We welcome your feedback on this fascinating product, and invite you to register your interests at the fair. You'll also be able to review the latest LINK-O-LOON (tm) training video, and purchase a training kit to "play" with, complete with Video, samples and do-it-yourself instructions (orders will be taken when sold out!). The product is extremely quick, simple (almost revolutionary) and therefore profitable to use. The LINK-O-LOON(tm) Decorating System enables you to create simple and versatile air or helium arches that can't tangle (no fishing line!), circles, stars, diamonds, squares or more complex 3 dimensional frameless sculptures including cubes, mirror balls and tubular columns. With helium, the balloons last as long as most conventional 30cm (12") balloons. With Hi-Float, they have been known to last many days (results were actually conducted by Don Burchette at Hi-Float). Whilst our conventional balloons are available in over 59 colours (a world record?), the LINK-O-LOON(tm) system will initially be available in the US in 30 of the most popular colours (including Standard, Fashion, Crystal, Pearl and Metallics). Alan Perkins International Business Development PREMIER BALLOONS ( or 3/17/99 BSA is pleased to introduce Periwinkle, the not-quite-blue, not-quite purple color that evokes the softness of a painting by Renoir, the warmth of the South of France, the sweetness of flowers underfoot. Perfect for weddings, elegant for special occasions, delicately right for the event that requires a sophisticated touch or romantic feel. BSA offers Periwinkle in 5", 9" and 11" latex balloons. For more information, contact BSA Balloon Supply of America, P.O. Box 302, Ashland, OH 44805 USA Phone: 419-289-9508, Fax: 419-281-5114 "Wham-O Super-balloons" are out of production. It was a tube of thin plastic, about 1 foot wide and 8 feet long that could be closed at the ends and thrown around. I don't know if it is the same thing or not but Group Publishing, Box 485, Loveland, CO 80539 sells what they call Tube-a-Loon. It's as you describe but only 6" wide and about 6 feet long. KIPP Brothers, inc has a similar product, called 8 ft flying rocket. stock no nc8773 phone 800-428-1153 "Balzac Balloon Ball" by Wham-O The Balzac Balloon Ball is a toy that comes with a large balloon (there is a small version available too, and I think they come with more than one balloon so you will have a "refill") that you put into a material cover that has a slit in it big enough to fit the uninflated balloon into and allow you to inflate the balloon by leaving the nozzle out of the material cover while blowing it up. Once the balloon is blown up enough to cause the material to fit snuggly around it you tie the balloon off and stuff the nozzle inside. It is a very cool toy. The material really helps to keep the balloon from popping and when it does the pieces don't go everywhere as they are caught inside the material. The material is a very lightweight material (and the designs are very cool too) so you still get the effect of throwing a balloon around but with extra durability and safety. It comes with the directions of doing things like adding rice, or water, or a coin or two to change the effects of what the ball will do. I have seen them at Toys R Us stores many times and my four children have enjoyed playing with them immensely, as have I. Definitely a great thing to bring along for party games too. "Super Elastic Bubble Plastic" was a Wham-O product that came in tubes. You squirted some out onto your finger, rolled it into a ball, stuck a straw into it and blew until you had a balloon. In late 1997 I came across a similar brand of balloon plastic in a tube called "Magic Plastic - the original resealable balloon kit" It is made in England... "an established toy since 1947." You'll find a picture at I also came across a brand of balloon plastic in a tube called "Original Dr. Cohn Blase Ball Balloonpaste." It is made in Germany by R. Viegel Spiel-und Sportwarenfabrik Hauptstrabe 58 D-74376 Gemmrigheim. You'll find a picture at "WindTubes" from Air Dimensional Design, ADD. When I bought them some years ago they were flat (about 12" wide) plastic tubes in long rolls. They were perforated at eight foot intervals so you could just tear them off like those bags for vegetables at the grocery store. They were inexpensive. You could order them imprinted if you like. You could even use helium in them, but they leak faster than latex balloons. They are still available from ADD out of California: (800) 680-8823 To go straight to the Windtube section: "squiggley worm" balloons by Unique push the antenna back inside the balloon, and out the mouth (like turning it half-way inside out), tie a knot in the antenna, push it back inside the mouth, and then inflate... that should get rid of the antenna, and leave the knot inside the balloon, out of sight, or on the other hand, you could just tie an knot in the antenna, then turn the whole balloon inside-out, which would also get rid of the happy face, if the balloon is a solid and not clear. (is there a prize for "longest run-on sentence"?) I was going to suggest an 11" black round for the ball, but I like the idea of the super-agate better. Hey (!) ...that makes *at least* 2 good posts on the balloon stacker list (counting the famous "cleavage post" that I still haven't seen). Maybe I should sign up after all... nah. (Heh-heh... every time I read someone calling it "the balloon stacker" list, a company called Fun101 sells a 260C, made in Mexico. They are available in regular assortments, NEON assortments, and bags of metallic silver and gold. The regular assortments were $4 per gross, and the NEONS and metallics were $4 per bag of 100 balloons. I called and ordered several bags of each. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a sample bag with three heart balloons with long "stems". I blew one up, and although it really doesn't look much like a heart, what with that long neck and all, it DOES make a cool shape for using in other sculptures. A few days ago someone asked how to make a balloon hammer. Well, these long stemmed hearts, twisted sideways onto the top of a 260, make a great looking claw hammer! Like I said, they only sent me three, so my experimenting was limited, but I was able to visualize several ideas in my head with them. The 260C assortments... Good quality balloon, almost like a Qualatex, but slightly (and I mean VERY slightly) thinner. In real world situations, that means you have to be a little more careful when twisting them to keep them from popping during a twist. The COLOR variety of the assortments were great! In one bag you have all the colors of the Qualatex standard assortments, along with a light purple (lavender) AND a few of the gold and silver metallics. Also, NO clears, which are pretty well useless in most situations. Good color mix, in my opinion. The only drawback to these 260C's that I can see is that they are slightly shorter than a Qualatex 260. Many of us have noticed in recent years that Qualatex 260's are shorter than they used to be, which puts more of a limit on what you can make with them. Since these 260C's are even shorter (although not by much), you are even more limited. Still, I think they're a good deal. My only real complaint was with the NEON 260's. In the bag, they look really cool; nice, bright, vibrant neon colors- and then you inflate them. Once inflated, they lose all their vibrancy, and instead look more like pale, almost transparent pastels. I never have been too keen on balloon animals that you can see through, so I was pretty disappointed in these neons. Also, they are noticeably thinner than the balloons in the regular assortment, so you have to be even more careful while twisting them. Some people might like the pastel-looking colors, but I guess you'd pretty much need to buy a bag and try them, and form your own opinion. All in all, I think Fun101 is a good company to deal with. They sell other products too (I got some other samples) and the items were sent promptly. They have a website, too: My name is Chad Currin "Mr. Twisty" and I have been twisting for quite a while, only the last four or so years seriously. I started my career as an professional entertainer 20 years ago as a magician. I got interested in ballooning as I tried all related disciplines to broaden my "entertaining" skills. While I have fun with my dummy, occasionally through a few balls, I LOVE BALLOONS. It is also because of twisting that I became interested in clowning and met the clowning community, something for which I am very grateful. While I still love perform as a magician, I am a clown. While I do the whole gamut of performing and have racked up over 3,000 performances, now I am focusing on festivals, expos and lecturing. I dream of being a kid's TV show host. Also recently, I have co-developed a company called Fun 101 to take over my ever growing product lines. I have been developing product (instructional videos, magic kits, pitch items, books, etc.) since I went professional out of high school in 1986. It was in this capacity that I was at the Toy Show in NYC, 1998, where I met the company many of you have written about recently, CTI and piece of my destiny became clear. When I found out that CTI had never marketed gross bags before, the P.T. Barnum in me kicked in. Being kind of a natural salesman, I began negotiation to develop their professional line and bring them to market. To tackle the challenge I teamed up with my frequent stage partner, Bill Hart, "Snappy the Clown" we formed Fun 101. That's where I am now and I have enjoyed getting everyone's e-mail and catching up on recent discussions for the past four days, while I waited to speak. Chad Currin PADDLE BALLOONS Paddle balloons are technically called 3 ft Latex. They are also called 36 inchers or 40 inchers. We call them Paddles because the mold used to dip into the latex to form the balloon looks like a paddle. 5/2/99 Clear 260's Invisible anythings (dogs, bears etc) Ghosts. Stealth bomber. Stuff usually made of glass or crystal. Diamonds for rings. Glasses. Henways. In short; anything you feel like. Make a heart, and say that you can see right through me. Clears make nice wings for airplanes, bees, hummingbirds, or just about anything else. I love to roll up a 1 or 5 dollar bill, (depending on the situation) and slip it into an uninflated clear balloon and then make a swan, dog or any other favorite sculpture and leave it for a tip for the wait staff. - Clears are good for (invisible) handles or leashes for the animals or sculptures. Like a clear handle to hold an airplane or bird. It will fly. - I use them for googly eyes and put bubbles, superballs or some other toy inside (a small eraser). - I like to use them for pea-pod butterfly bodies so that people can see what I'm doing with them - Diamond braclets/neclaces work pretty good too. - Tell people you are going to give them the "Diamond Edition" of what ever creation you are doing. This gives you the opportunity to use up the clear balloons and complement your customers at the same time. - Make fishing poles and use the clears for the fishing line that comes off the end of the pole and connects to the fish. You can make a puzzle hat. Inflate a clear 260, insert a ball into the clear, then shape into a pretzel shape. (Just tie the whole balloon into a knot) Then inflate up a clear into a spiral, insert a ball and twist to one end of the pretzel. Add both of these onto a hat, and tell the victim... .....oops, volunteer, to move the balls from one end of the pretzel to the other at the same tome as they move the ball from one end of the spiral to the other. It is pretty funny to watch. It is fun to give one of these to the parents to keep them busy while you make balloons for the kids. When we visited the Halloween and Party Show last month, we must have dropped a card at a booth. Today we received a brochure from Fun 101 Distribution Company. The main product they pushed on the front page was a 6" long stem heart balloon. No manufacturer was listed but they stated they found them in Columbia. Has anyone heard of or tried these before? The ad states (of course, all ads are going to say good things); "They are awesome for butterflies, flowers, helicopters, submarines ..." It even included the instructions for making a butterfly. They also come in 15 color assortment. We will probably order a bag or two to play with unless anyone has had bad experience with them. As of 3/26/99, Pioneer has a 24" balloon. They are enormous in an arch, look pretty and provide incredible lift! They are a lot of fun to work with and easier to tie than a 16". Go figure. The Blue and White Hyatt columns were also 24" with 5 footers on the ends! Heard that the price for the 24" latex will be around $15 for a package of 25. They are available in 16 colors. Onyx Black, Quartz Purple, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green, Ruby Red, Citrine Yellow, Mandarin Orange, Diamond Clear, Dark Blue, Green , Red, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Pale Blue and White. I found that if you inflate a smiley balloon to about 1 inch to 1.25 inches, it looks like a small ball with a smile on it. I put that into the hands of the bear (instead of a heart) and people love it. 160's I've found that any tiny animal sculpture, capable of holding a fully inflated 6" heart in it's paws, will draw some serious "Awwwww"'s when accompanied with the line "He's a little guy, but he's got a big heart" I have found that they make excellent eight petal flowers for attaching to someone's lapel, (which is useful in restaurants) and people go ga-ga over them. Make one for your waitress to wear while she works (they're small enough) and patrons will ask her where she got it. Opens the door pretty well... the physical dimensions of those tiny 160's actually makes twisting small bubbles easier than you might expect. I also find that the smaller any balloon sculture is, the less likely it is to get popped (or used as a weapon) once you give it to the child. 160s I make the smallest Poodle you can make with them and bill it as the tiniest dog ever! I find if you combine the 160 and the 260 you can make beautiful butterflies and 160 make great antenna. I like the look of flowers also if you make small pedals with the 160 then attach to the 260s nice centers for larger flowers. tulips, daffodils, rose's etc. use bobby pins and put mini animals on them to make hair decorations. I just came across a web page that has to be shared. It offers how-to books on the art of balloon sculpting plus an _amazing_ selection of unique, sophisticated, high quality inflatables (insects, animals, dinosaurs, fighter planes, globes, solar system, halloween & christmas, even furniture.) for the office/home/parties, etc. I have never seen inflatables with the detail that these have... I use 160Qs and 360Qs, mostly when I need either smaller or larger parts on my balloon figures, or I need small or large figures altogether (e.g. a 160Q cowboy on a 260Q horse). I like the 160Q especially because it is easy to twist, and allows creating `miniature` figures. It takes a bit of practice to handle the large bubbles on 350Qs. If you can handle a 260, you`ll have no problem with the 160 whatsoever. A second advantage of the 160Q is that it it relatively longer than the 260 compared to its diameter so it allows creating figures for which, when made with 260Qs, you would need two balloons. keep them both in stock. There are always situations that call for a LARGE or small creation. the ZIBI company and You'll also find info on Zibi in this old post on the BHQ archive: As I did in that old post, I still encourage everyone to look at especially the links for "Novelty Latex Balloons." >I'm trying to find some balloons that are shaped like a >clown ... but really look like bowling pins. They have cardboard feet >you attach to the balloon. These balloons were discussed a while ago on this mailing list. A search of the BHQ twister list archive yielded these URL's: If anyone has any more info on these balloons, please post it. 5/7/99 HEARTS I use hearts alll of the time as guppies. I make a fishing pole either with just a 260 or a 260 with a bee body tied into an apple and then split into two for the reel part of the rod and reel. I tie a deflated 260 onto the nipple end and the guppy onto the end of the 260 line. I tell the kids that I have baited their hook for them but that they have to catch their own fish. (I also tell them that this proves what a good friend I am because only a true friend will bait your hook for you.) I have had kids of all ages happily "fish" with this for a long time. One of my 6 inch hearts slowly started to deflate. The "lobes" of the heart shrank down leaving a bulb at the knot end. It made a really cute guppy. I was able to duplicate it today. Fun. If you put a bouncy ball in it- it will flop around like a fish out of water. More Fun. My Favorite is to put a little double sticky tape on it and put it on the tail of the murmaid. 6/12/99 I've seen clear latex balloons, "spray-decorated" with white polka-dots, and I believe they were 16". (Like the white with black dots and black with white dots from Qualatex.) I have been asking Qualatex to make these balloons for years! if we had them on a regular basis, we could "create" any color polka dot we wanted. I thought I was all alone in my quest for clear with polka dots!! Thanks for at least bringing it up, maybe some wise distributor could special order a case or two for us... Qualatex does not stock them. But I did find a distributor that special orders them for his inventory and sells. He doesn't charge anymore than local distributors for printed balloons. I saw a picture of a 50's theme in an old Balloons and Party Magazine using the clear with white pokadot and I had to call the publisher to see if they could put me in contact with the person that sent in the picture. They in turn gave me the following info. Crown Rubber 1 800 525-3114 Milwaukee, WI Unique Balloons are the main supplier for Party City Stores. I've used some of their balloons for Bouquets. They are nice, but do not compare to Qualatex or BSA balloons. Unique makes the "Numbers All Around" balloons which I use in bouquets that I make for children's birthdays. There's a catalog that Unique has that has plenty of party items in it. (Cheaper than Amscan) If you're buying these balloons in a dolloar store, they are probably OLD balloons. Buyer beware. Qualatex 11" pearl/metallic balloons have trouble clearing a 10" sizer. We only inflate the 11" Qualatex to 10" most of the time anyway. They 'shred, fall, splat' if inflated to 11". Also, if the balloons need to be combined with any regular or jewel tone, the sizes and shapes (the pearls/metallics look pointy at the neck end), as well as the float times, are different. WHY: When I checked with some manufacturers they explained that it was the 'pearlising' that retarded the balloon from expanding to its true size and that the only way to overcome it was to pre-inflate with air or for them to have a larger set of molds for the pearls/metallics. This they suggested was a costly exercise. HOW TO WORK WITH THEM: Pre-inflate them with air. Hi-floating them the day before inflating makes a big difference. If the neck is not quite right I just "wrestle" with it (for lack of a better word!!!) and make it look like it should! Balloons are kinda like kids - make them do what you want them to. "SHAPE" them into good balloons! Size them to 9 1/2 and you'll have no problems with them lasting through the wedding. When I need an actual 11 inch balloon I will use the 16 inch. It may cost a little more but if you plan to do it that way on your job cost form, it don't cost you a thing. Use BSA... no need to pre-inflate them first. BSA 11" satins, silks, and metallics blow up to a true 11". They blow up to a much nicer size and shape than their Qualatex counterparts. Now this is not a swipe at Qualatex, which is a great balloon company. Both companies have their strengths and weaknesses. But if you are looking for a real 11" pearl-tone color, try BSA. -Randy Adelson 6/14/99 If you go to and type in the word BALLOONS.. you will find a large variety of balloon items for sale...but one that really caught my eye is 100 GLO-LOONS for 9.99 !! They light up the inside of latex and foils.... you can twist the lobes of hearts together and form a nice basket or whatever. to get the lobe to the exact size wanted you need to pinch it and squeeze in air from the rest of the heart as you twist, or else the bubble just gets away from you. Larry Moss is king of this great technique, you can use to make lots of really neat things with. Inflate the hearts you're twisting together the same size, and when you make bubbles out of the lobes, make the bubbles you twist together the same size. Push air towards the lobe from the rest of the heart and twist the bubble. You have to twist it a couple of times and hold it tightly to keep air from escaping. Hold it twisted while you twist another one from another heart the same size and then twist them together. It's a practice thing....and I think consistency is the key to making it look right. Many of you know that twisting hearts has been Larry's pet project for some time now. You may access information on how-to and ideas in a couple of places. First, check out the Balloon Fabric Tutorial, under the Highlights area of Balloon HQ. You can access a video clip of how to tile (twist) hearts. Also, take a look at the information (also in the Highlights section) on Larry's trip to Japan. This will give you a good preview of the quality of work provided on his cd, Attack of the 50 Foot Demon. Then, head on over to the For Sale section of Larry's private web site, at to get ordering information for the cd, which has an additional bonus of figures based on 6-inch heart ballons included. Balloon HQ and this cd are the best places to get information and video tutorials on twisting hearts. I have found that those neons that were on the list a while back make great swords. CTI makes them, and Ralph Dewey and Fun101 carry them (These are the only suppliers I know of for sure.). They almost glow under certain parking lot lights. One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to keep them out of the hands of the people going into the theaters. 6/18/99 Globos para Ti. I like the metallics, but find them to be stiffer then the regular 260's. It may be just me, but they also seem just a tad narrower. The sheen on them is nice and they give a dressed up look to any creation. Much stronger! A friend that blows by mouth gave his away, because they were to hard to blow. You must burp and squeeze them more to work with them, but I LOVE THEM!!! They are much stronger. While at T&Jam I picked up a couple of bags of the metallic. You would not believe the added pressure needed on the faster blaster to inflate them, contrasting to an ordinary 260. I have just recently started blowing them sometimes with my mouth. I can inflate a normal 260 easily, but the metallic is much harder. I have also been using them for several of my figures, and find that they have a smaller diameter when inflated, and you would have to play with them to realize that they really are stronger. They feel nearly twice as thick, which does make them a little harder to twist, but it just takes a bit of practice. I have used the metallics for a little bit and really like them. I blow them by mouth. Whew, they are tough, but when you give something to a child made with them they are wonderful. I love the lusters of the Red and Green. My though is if you can blow the metallic the regular 260's are a piece of cake :o) A note about metallics: I find they are very brittle and pop easily while being twisted,, I only use them for flower arrangements that I do at home. I do however love the colours and "texture" of the Qualatex entertainer assortment. they have really set my creations apart from the few other twisters in this town. As a distributor for CTI I may be biased but the Gold & Silver 260's from CTI are a grat balloon. They are thicker and more difficult to inflate, but as some of you have noted the extra effort is worth it. The 260C Mettalics are even thicker than 260Q mettalics and more opaque. Especially with Star Wars being all the rage, space helmets and such are in. A silver or gold sword handle with NEON 260C as the light is a phenomenal Star Wars balloon. For the first time we did a job using the new 24 inch Qualatex Latex. It looked fabulous. Everyone at the University was commenting on their size. We built 10 balloon trees using 13 per tree, Placing one at the top and groups of 3 below. They really fill up a large area. Estimates say that they use 5 cubic feet of helium each. We used air/helium mixer value on our dual sizer and estimate that we cut the helium to 3 cubic feet. We brought 2 tanks of helium with us (240's) and had 800 pounds of pressure remaining in both plenty to do the 27 topiaries of 6 - 11" latex. I highly recommend these to everyone. We had 1 burst as we were blowing. The necks are excellent for tying. The moment I got the first of the new Qualatex 24" (60cm) I conducted some simple inflation and float time tests in our Balloon School workshop. Please relate the following conditions. Sydney is at sea level. Very similar climatic conditions to San Fransisco CA . Test done first week of May in Aust.- Cool (late Autunm). Maximun temp 22 degrees (C) about 74F during the day - min 10 degrees (C) about 50F in the evening. Test conducted indoors without airconditioning. Tests in metric. (I'll attempt to convert back to imperial) One citrene yellow and one quartz purple balloon. Both balloons were preinflated with air to stretch the latex prior to filling with straight helium. No Hi-Float or Super Hi-Float for this test. Untreated latex, room temperature, helium straight from the cylinder. I also found this necessary in order to achieve the full size and still maintain the teardrop shape. Citrene balloon inflated to 54cm (21.4 inches) Floated for 95.5hrs. 4 days! The quartz purple inflated to 60cm (23.7 inches) Floated for 107hrs. (4.5 days) So, there you have it. That's what you Northern hemisphere balloonies can expect during the cooler seasons indoors. Great for corporate trade shows! I think these balloons will become very popular for low ceiling (10 ft) exploders filled with confetti and small latex. Think about all those venues for New Years that you used to think were just a bit too low for exploders. We Super Hi-Floated the 24" latex, kept in our un-airconditioned shop and we are currently on day # 17!! The 24" have an excellent neck for tying. They are easier to tie than 16". However, being they are so big the difficult part is getting the balloon in a proper position to hold it while tying it, I found myself holding it between my legs as I tied it. HEARTS twisting the lobes of hearts together (parachute, basket, skirt on a human figure) You can find a parachute or basket made on this principle in the photos on the BalloonHQ website. You can find a description of the technique in the balloon fabric tutorial within the BHQ highlights page. This technique takes some practice, but is not too hard to do. What you need is six hearts ( I used 6inch). Inflate them to the point where the lobes are about to be inflated (they look like rounds). Tie the knots of the hearts together. Now (and this is the tricky part), force some air into one of the lobes and twist a bubble. To get the right size, here`s what I do: I first twist the bubble. If it is not the right size, in almost any case I made it too big. I twist it back slightly and force some air from the bubble back into the heart. When the bubble is right, I twist a few times to make sure no air can escape. Repeat this with a second heart and twist the two bubbles together. Now, repeat this with the next two lobes and so on until all hearts are twisted together. To shape the basket, for each pair of twisted small bubbles, wedge one bubble on the inside (between two adjacent hearts) and one on the outside. I have one problem left with this: The knot where the balloons are tied together is bulky and ugly, so for the parachute, I pushed it inside the `basket`. COMPANIES BSA twister balloons - BSA's original 260's were repackaged Gayla balloons. They came in a clear bag with a label or a sticker on it. The new BSA 260's are made by BSA and packaged in bags that are imprinted in black and gold and kind of fancy looking. They seem to be good solid balloons. the BSA's seem to be thicker than the Q's and are able to take a beating. BSA 260's come in the following colors: Midnight Blue, Pitch Black, Crystal Clear, Forest Green, Bright Orange, Real Pink, Regal Purple, Real Red, Sky Blue, Bright White, Lemon Yellow, Chocolate Brown, Luscious Lavender, Shining Platinum, Silk Peach. They are are available in two different assortments, transparent and opaque. The difference is like Q's Jewel Tone and Standard. T. Myers stocks assortments and 3 solid colors - Shiny Platinum, Luscious Lavender, and Silk Peach BSA's address is PO Box 302 Ashland, Ohio 44805 800-338-0973 or 419-289-9508 or FAX 419-281-5114 The ones astericked ( *** ) distribute Nationwide. IN CALIFORNIA SOUTH BAY BALLOONS 2465 De La Cruz Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95050 888-486-9821 or 408-486-9820 BALLOON ENTERPRISES 5913 Pony Express Trail Pollock Pines, CA 95726 800-348-8500 or 916-644-6700 BALLOON WHOLESALERS INT'L *** 5733 East Shields Avenue Fresno, CA 93727 800-225-5294 or 209-294-1500 EN TRADING 435 East 7th Street Los Angeles, CA 90014 800-867-7278 (CA) or 213-486-5141 IN GEORGIA BALLOON INNOVATIONS *** 3908 Shirley Drive Atlanta, GA 30336 800-642-5666 or 404-696-9548 FLOWERS, INC. BALLOONS *** 325 Cleveland Road Bogart, GA 30622 800-241-2094 or 706-548-1588 IN INDIANA NOWAK SUPPLY COMPANY *** 302 West Superior Street Ft. Wayne, IN 46802 800-314-4014 or 219-424-1901 IN MICHIGAN ADVANCE NOVELTY 29199 Six Mile Road Livonia, MI 48152 800-482-6568 (MI) or 313-266-3456 IN MINNESOTA CHERRY ENTERPRISES *** 530 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 800-595-8108 or 612-222-3758 LITIN PAPER COMPANY 701 North Washington Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-333-4331 IN MISSOURI PROGRESSIVE BALLOONS 81 Elaine Drive O'Fallon, MO 63366 800-843-0517 or 314-240-0444 IN NEW JERSEY BALLOONACY *** 40 Burlews Court Hackensack, NJ 07601 800-320-4438 or 201-342-2121 IN NEW YORK G & M WRIGHT WHOLESALE 250 Lake Avenue Blasdell, NY 14219 800-875-9135 or 716-823-6406 J & R WHOLESALE DIST. INC. *** 3504 Avenue South Brooklyn, NY 11234 800-860-0716 or 718-998-6420 IN PENNSYLVANIA BALLOON CITY U.S.A. *** 330 East Park Drive Harrisburg, PA 17111 800-243-5486 or 717-561-2255 IN PUERTO RICO BALLOONS & CLOWNS JJ27 Castilla Sultana Park Mayaguez, PR 00680 787-832-3347 While the balloons are good, the assorted bags I checked are not very assorted. The Opaque assortment had 75 Pink, 44 Lavender, 25 Orange, 2 Platinum, 1 White and 1 Blue. The Transparent assortment was better, it had 43 Brown, 26 Clear, 23 Yellow, 20 Red, 19 Green, 16 Black. I hope they get better at making even assortments. Tilco International was the distribution for Prestige Balloons in the United States. Prestige is Canadian company. In 1997, Tilco stopped selling direct to us "little" guys. They created distributorships around the U.S. and are only selling to distributors in lots of $80,000-$100,000. Jim Pollock at BEVCO (801-359-3735) in Utah will be one of the distributors. Tilly is a different company. Dipco manufactures Tilly (Tillotson) balloons. Sorry, Sorry Sorry to all. 1) Silver and Gold 260's (as well as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, etc.) are available from: CTI Industries 22160 Pepper Road Barrington, IL 60010 phone: (800) 284-5666. I don't know what the prices/availability are, but the assorted samples I got at the 14th National Halloween and Party Show are very high quality... I'd even call them "rugged." If you call and speak to, say... CTI's sales manager Steven Frank at (847) 382-1000 ext 352, _please_ mention that you heard about these balloons through the BALLOON HQ mailing list. 2) The Balloon Terms chapter of the Guide to Balloons and Ballooning lists: "Novelty-Shaped Latex Balloons" and directs you to: for pictures of these fantastic balloons. Well, I'm happy to report that they (and some interesting balloon toys/accessories) are available from: Zibi USA Inc 636 Radford Circle Woodstock, GA 30188 ph (770) 592-2216 fax (770) 591-3239 email: I don't know what the prices/availability are, but the inflated samples I saw at the 14th National Halloween and Party Show brought a huge smile to my face. These balloons have _lots_ of possibilities. If you call and speak to, say... Zibi's manager Michelle Plemmons at (770) 592-2216, _please_ mention that you heard about these balloons through the BALLOON HQ mailing list. 3) I've been playing with Unique's line of Novelty Latex Balloons for quite some time, but I ran into them again at the 14th National Halloween and Party Show. Unfortunately there are no novelty balloon pictures on Unique's web page so you'll just have to call and request a catalog. While you're waiting for it to arrive, shop your local party store for packages of Unique's: "Squiggly" (5" diameter, 3' long knobby balloon with 6 "knobs") "Squiggly Worm" (5" dia, 2' long balloon with an antenna and a helical body) "Mouse" (a M..... Mouse head with big ears), and "Animal" (6" dia, 2' long balloon with 2 "knobs" - body and head - plus ears) balloons. They also sell 260's and airships. Unique Industries Inc. 2400 S. Weccacoe Ave Philadelphia, PA 19148-4298 phone: (215) 336-4300 orders: (800) 888-0559 fax: (800) 888-1490 website: Tilco developed, produces and sells Prestige. Tilco and Tilly, from what I've been told, were never the same company. Someone once posted saying that they were the same at one time, but I've never heard anything else to suggest that's true. Pioneer hopes to have a 130Q available soon. At the 1997 the Flowers, Inc. Balloons open house/convention, Bruce Walden showed prototypes for a new balloon stem. It appeared very effective at hiding the knot and tail of the balloon. The connection to the balloon looked more like the connection of a stem to a flower than is the case with standard balloon stems. Congratulations, Bruce. I look forward to seeing them on the market. Tuftex Tuftex Latex Balloons by Maple City Rubber Company in Norwalk, Ohio. We have been using their balloons in our retail division for 6 years. They hold up great for decorating, the price is great and the colors are vibrant. This is their email address: The Tuff-Tex balloons seem to be about the same quality as Q, with longer necks (easier to tie) but with fewer colors to choose from. BSA Balloon Supply of America is coming out with 260's in 1998! there are going to be 14 colors, and 2 different kinds of assorted packs. Just saw and tested newest color of 260's available - Shining Platinum from BSA. They are metallic silver colored, not gray or off white and they are beautiful!! The BSA 260 line has been completely revamped. They are now being made by BSA in-house and have been Just saw and tested newest color of 260's available - Shining Platinum from BSA. They are metallic silver colored, not gray or off white and they are beautiful!! The BSA 260 line has been completely revamped (with the help of Larry Moss - thank you Larry) and is now ready for sale in 14 colors. They are now being made by BSA in-house and have been completely reformulated. COLORS I mainly use Q's also, but I do carry other colors they don't make. BSA: Silver "Shiny Platinum", Peach "Silky Peach"(?), Lavender "Lucious Lavender", Forest Green Prestige: Light Green, Lemon Yellow, Coca-Cola Red, Medium Blue CTI: They are coming out this month with a shiny Gold colored balloon. Hope this helps, I try to carry as many colors as my apron can hold, currently 18!! plus, hearts, blossoms, smiley's, bee bodies and 160Q's. The bulk of my balloons are Prestige, they are not perfect but I like them. I use all of their colors, when I can get them all! Everyone knows Qualatex makes great balloons. I still use Gray, brown,Amethyst,Geos(when I can find 'em,)BeeBodies, the 524's are awesome!. This is the only company that makes gray 260's. I use 8 solid colors by Gayla plus their 6" hearts. These balloons are quite thin, however w/ a light touch I regularly twist 6 petal flowers W/ gayla 260's. I have been using gayla for over a year and I can not recall EVER finding a defective one! No twins, no pinholes, no scrunched up,no color or thickness inconsistancies.Did you hear that P?..Q? It is possible. Gayla are the least expensive 260's around. Gayla has its own web page unlike other companies. Use your favorite Search engine. Every brand needs to be treated differently when twisted. It requires practice to adapt to the different qualities of each brand. It is important for us all to keep competition alive between the balloon companies. A monopoly means reduced quality. W/ out competition the number crunchers come in and start cutting corners to save $$$. You may have to search around for that other brand, but in the end it is worth your time. Prestige I've had a couple of negative comments about Prestige. 1. They are not always perfectly even. - They hang straight down after the dip so the neck is likely to inflate a little larger. A thick walled balloon has more opportunity to vary in thickness than a thin walled balloon. 2. Some people don't like the silky finish. Some people love it. It is quiet. A simple 'S' twist sword from Prestige is more likely to untwist in use than one made of Qualatex - unless you bring an end through a handle loop. 3. A couple of people have told me they had some Presitge break 15 to 45 minutes after they were twisted. - I don't know what to say about that but I'm eager to hear about your experience. The majority of comments have been positive and I'm looking forward to giving them a long term field test on the Fall Workshop Tour. I'd like to suggest a rule of thumb for using the Prestige 260. I think these balloons are best utilized when they are given a very large burp or two. It is often a little larger at the nozzle end and a burp will even out the diameter a little better. That will make more uniform sculptures. I have tried some Prestige balloons. I bought a gross of them. The colors are different which is good for variety. As I twisted some, the last part was uneven. I am not sure why but will check next time I try them. I find the Qualatex are more uniform in diameter toward the end, but I have not worked with these enough to do a real comparison. I just received a sample of the 260 Prestige Balloons. All I got to say is a BIG WOW, WOW, WOW!! These are incredible. They are so thick and nice. A big difference from Qualitex. To get these balloons to pop you would have to pop them deliberately. They twist wonderfully, and the feel of the latex is very smooth. The only draw back is the colors are not nearly as bright as Qualitex. I'm not bashing Qualitex at all, but was told Qualitex was this thick and nice about ten years ago. If only they could be like the Prestige in thickness with the great colors too.! I would be thrilled! Tim, if you are out there, check this out. To have balloons like this with the great Qualatex colors would be a great advantage to everyone. terms - balloons - Q We use Qualatex for the following reasons: 1. Uniformity of shape within a size 2. Color intensity, selection 3. Availability of sizes used most in popular colors (5", 11", 16", 3') 4. Can be purchased from many different distributors (in case one's out of stock) 5. Very few defectives, unless old, stored incorrectly, inflated incorrectly or overblown. 6. Pioneer's support of the industry with Images, IBAC, QBN, CBA to assure quality and uniformity by designers, advertising materials that would be very expensive for us to reproduce on our own. TERMS - BSA For a couple of years now I have been using Balloon Supply of America (BSA) latex balloons whenever I can. I find that they inflate evenly and I have less problems with sizing than Qualatex. If you need an 11" balloon sometimes Qualatex won't inflate to a full 11" but BSA do. Also the gold and silver BSA are easier to hand tie. The reason I switched is $$$. BSA are $1-3 less expensive than Qualatex and the quality is very good as well as the colors offered. Just a thought since there seems to be so many people having problems with the Quality of Qualatex. TERMS 260 Prestige? I think it's a great balloon. It's quiet and the colors are far different from Qualatex. I'm having an easier time photographying them since I don't get the funny shadows that Qualatex jewel tones cast. I like the fact that the balloon is tougher than the Qualatex 260. I can really stress the balloon without a problem. Accidental breakage has been lower than with a fresh bag of 260Qs. Most importantly, they don't shatter like the old 260P. The bulk of my twisting lately has still been with 260Qs. As far as which direction I'll go in the future, I'm not sure. It will depend somewhat on what new colors show up, and how consistent the quality of each brand is. I have a feeling I'll continue to use some of each, depending on the situation I'm twisting for. TERMS we worked alot with BSA there and they were great, good quality and easy on the fingers. I've only ever worked with Qualatex before and I liked BSA alot too. TERMS - PRESTIGE I can honestly say that I'm really impressed with the Prestige 260's. They didn't pop while twisting in the hot sun, nor did any of them pop while on my display stick in the hot sun. They are so quiet while twisting that none of the audience looked frightened that the balloon might pop. I will be using the Prestige regularly and supplementing with the Qualatex jeweltones so I'll have the full spectrum of colors. I'm looking forward to using them at a restaurant because they are so quiet. Bought some Prestige balloons today and so far I am very impressed. I like the smooth feel of the balloon and they feel thicker and stronger than Qualatex. I love the no squeaking - great for restaurant work. The colors are limited TERMS - BSA ROUND BALLOONS I am happy with BSA. they have about 50 colors. The prices are about 20% or more, lower than Qualatex. For instance: BSA 11" is about $9.25 for standard colors, Qualatex is $11.65. Standard BSA 5" is about $3.80, where Qualatex is $4.85. Call 1-800-338-0973 and they will point you in the right direction. BSA is an excellent product. We have been using them on a retail level for a number of years and we now wholesale their product, as well. They have beautiful colors(almost 50), excellent quality control, great pricing and a responsive staff when it comes to any questions or problems. Check out their new line of animal prints in 5", 11" & 36", too. They call them "Wild-Side" prints that come in four styles and, yes fans, they originated these designs before anyone else! TERMS - PRESTIGE 260P I just recieved the samples of the new 260P that Tom Meyers is putting out. These balloons are extraordinary!!!! Not only did the color seem better, but you have to literaly try to pop them. You can feel the thickness, but they're not brittel. I'm willing to work harder to blow them up for that quality, and I had none of them pop. (I only had 5 though). I hope you all check these out. I know I'll be switching. According to Mike Decker, Prestiges new poster boy, they pledge to stay just below the present leading brands in cost. I used the new 260P today and enjoyed it very much. As a matter of fact the breakage ratio was about 4"Q" to 1 "P" I don't know if I have a bad batch of "Q" or not. Just some thoughts. I really like the colors and the feel of the 260P. Everyone should try them out. TERMS - PRESTIGE As you all know, I am concerned with balloon quality and I am happy to offer opinions to anyone. I've talked to salesmen and manufacturers and promotion people and while they were all polite, I never saw much response until I sent balloons back. About 6 months ago I got a call from Prestige. While it started as a sales call, I went off into the pros and cons of the qualities of a 260. The guy sounded genuinely interested. Most importantly I wanted consistency, strength and a low pop factor. One of the things that I think makes a 260 strong is the wall thickness. One problem with thickness is thick balloons are often brittle. Another problem is they are harder to inflate. The advantages to a non brittle thick balloon include a lower pop factor and being able to work with a tight balloon. I'm willing to work harder to inflate it if it is a stronger balloon. I like to see the uninflated balloon have enough body to hold their tube shape and not flatten out in the bag. I what the manufacturer to aim for a 2% pop factor. I don't think Prestige has gotten there but no one has since the early Qualatex 260. As long as it is less than 10% I can deal with it but anything over 6% is frustrating. It took about 4 months but they sent me samples and called me again. I didn't recognize the guy that called and told him I didn't buy from phone salesmen and I wasn't interested. Lucky, he called me back. The samples looked good. They shortened the 260P to the same length as the 260Q and used the extra latex to make the wall thicker. They hold their tube shape pretty well in the bag. They feel strong and seem to preform pretty well. While other qualities of a 260 - color, mix and finish are important and can make a good balloon bad, I think they are secondary to strength and consistency. The colors are ok, different than Qualatex. The mix of colors in a bag is not precise. If these go well, I'll be picking up the solid color bags but right now I only carry assorted. The finish is nice. Hardly any squeak and the twists hold well. So, I like these balloons but I need some history to determine consistency. What I suggest is you get a bag of 260P with your next order or request a sample with your next order and let me know what you think. If you send a self addressed stamped envelope with a request for a sample 260P I'll put 3 or 4 balloons in it and stick it in the mail. Hopefully I'll get to send some samples in the next mailing but no promises. I'd like to see some competition among the 260 manufacturers. It can only make for better balloons. Tom (Free Catalog, Just Ask) Myers

What follows are excerpts from a pervious version of the Balloon Terms. This is an archive for ideas related to a specific size or type of balloon

Balloon types: by number


  • 130’s are available from T. Myers. Tilly, makes them. There
    have been some differences of opinion on these:

  • Tilly 130 balloons: These are great! Teeny tiny little balloon

  • The 130’s aren’t the sort of balloon I expect to use a lot.
    They’re not easy to blow up, but it can be done without pain.

  • I got some Tilly 130’s this weekend. I REALLY like the 130s.
    I have not had any trouble blowing them up.

  • The Tilly are not Qualatex quality. You can feel the difference.
  • I like the “feel” of the Tilly rubber, too.
  • Twisting them takes absolutely no effort and they can take quite
    a bit of manipulation. In fact, they’re almost as easy to manipulate
    as pieces of rope.

  • I’m not real happy with the quality of the Tilly balloons, they’re
    very inconsistent. Many came deformed, there’s no consistency of
    weight across colors… so the workability varies with color, and
    they’re much harder to inflate than Qualatex balloons). However, I
    won’t stop using 130s.

  • The 130T’s are great. It’s good to work them a little soft. They
    are wonderful for detail, decoration, and miniatures… those are
    things adults appreciate. Possibilities are blindfolds on ninja turtles,
    small flowers on hats, lassos in a cowboy’s hand. I also like using
    them on costumes I make. Jewelry is a nice touch. They’re really
    fun for giving a balloon animal a balloon animal of it’s own.

  • If you can inflate them without a pump they’re great for small
    areas or waiting in lines to get into someplace. They get attention,
    but because of their shape, I’ve also found them to be quieter to
    twist… so they don’t tend to be disruptive. They’ve now become
    my balloon of choice for leaving with the tip in a restaurant. (If I’m
    not working or looking for work, I don’t want the attention that a
    squeaking balloon will get.) I love ’em.

  • The 130’s are fun but I’d hate to inflate a gross by mouth. The
    number of balloonists who can inflate one 130 by mouth is about the
    same percentage as the number of non-balloonists who can blow up
    a 260Q. Technique helps a lot – getting the air to go into that little
    nozzle is nearly as hard as getting the air pressure needed to blow it
    up. You can get a 130 over the nozzle of a PumpO. Kind of
    bounce on the PumpO and it will inflate the 130.

  • I use 130’s for a variety of things. Anything you make out of a
    260 can be made from a 130! One of my favorite things to create
    with a 130 is “Hairbear”. This is a teddy bear face, no neck and a
    short, chubby, roll-through body, probably about 1 to 1 1/2 inches
    long, followed by two small fold twists. Pinch some hair in the
    roll-through to hold it in place…voila, “Hairbear”! Little girls love
    this, big girls do too! Older girls like them pinched on the front of a
    sweater or blouse! You can make any animal like this and pinch it
    onto somewhere….for boys I make teeny scorpions that pinch onto
    their tee shirts.

  • Compared with 260’s, they provide some “extra” balloon at the
    end. I find them easy to experiment with, because I can inflate them
    enough to do all the bubbles and still have extra balloon at the end.
    When I’m comfortable with the general method, I can switch to
    260s for final refinements. (I should also mention that Prestige
    balloons are just a little bit longer than Qualatex, and I miss those
    extra inches on some of my fancy twists).

  • They’re excellent balloons for trying new sculptures, because
    they give you extra play-room. I experiment with them, then refine
    the technique for 260s. I fell in love with them when I was learning
    the unicorn with the tail that curls over the back so that the end of the
    balloon can be used for the horn — no worries about running out of
    balloon! They’re great for learning things like the kissing teddy-
    bears, too. 130s are good for making balloon sculptures for other
    balloons to hold, and baby versions of 260 sculptures.

  • The cool thing about 130s is that I can put animals in flowers,
    palm trees, etc., and the relative proportions are about right.

  • I make balloon hats for my balloon animals using 130’s.
  • I use the 130 a lot. The miniature poodle is always a big hit.
    They’re also good for making bees or butterflies to add to flower
    bouquets, and make nice flowers to add to a bouquet. I don’t do it
    much, but the poodle under glass with a clear 260 and a 130 is a
    great looking balloon. They also make good leashes, hats or other
    additions to standard 260 figures.

  • You can make anything with the 130 that you can make with a
    260 – swans, dinosaurs, lions, tigers, monkeys and teddy bears.
    Young girls and women of all ages love the tiny sculptures. The
    smaller figures are great to add to 260 designs – especially hats.

  • 130s make great stems for geo blossoms. I’ve always used
    260s and the fact is, the stems are too thick. I’ve mostly used 130s
    to make small animals to put into my trees or to hang from hats.
    Blossoms and 130s make for a quick, attractive bouquet to add to
    another figure.

  • Most of what I do with them are extras, or accessories to other
    sculptures. I use the palm pump to blow them up. Here’s some of
    what I have tried:

    1. baby animals with the parent animals
    2. a tight spiral for a car phone antenna
    3. Bracelets or earrings
    4. little animals for the pneumatic tubes at the bank drive-up
      windows (don’t forget a business card!)
  • First of all, I like adding a humming bird to a flower. I make
    the beak a little long, then on the green 260 I make a tulip twist to
    attach it to the blossom and put the humming bird beak inside the
    tulip to make it look as if it is sipping nectar from the blossom. I
    also like to make a lady bug bracelet out of a 130 and put it on the
    stem before I twist the leaves. If I could figure out how to attach a
    130 bee to a flower I would try that too.

  • I once used a 130 sculpture on a birthday present instead of a
    bow. It went over quite well.

  • I also add pop twist series to my 130 sculptures to make them
    stand on their own and still get the same final proportions. This is
    due to the fact that the 130s are proportionally longer than the 260s.
    I have made decent poodles and horses, and a unicorn. However, I
    can’t make the kissy lips on the horse type figures without popping
    the 130s. Otherwise I would use them to hold my business card or
    tips between the lips. (The 130s just can’t take the same amount of
    abuse as the 260Q.) But they still can be used to hold your business
    card or a folded bill.

  • I use 130’s a lot in restaurants when I leave tips. When I make
    a swan I make a little sailor hat out of the money and put it on the
    swan’s head. If I make a wiener dog, I put a bow-tie (made out of
    the money) around it’s neck. If it’s a bear, it holds the money in it’s

  • I often find 130’s that are fused as the tips. They make
    wonderful kissing swans (which look just as nice in the 130 format
    as 260) and the attachment of the “beaks” makes for a real kiss/heart
    every time!

  • I just got my first gross of Tilly assorted 130s. They’re neat. I
    find, at first glance, that the rubber seems to be lower quality than
    I’m used to. After inflating one smoothly, I find it has lots of
    bulges, as if I’d used a pump or inflated it in a lot of small breaths
    (especially the greens and yellows). Kind of like the old Ashlands,
    only more so. They also squeak an awful lot. They are only
    slightly harder to inflate than 260Qs.

    The colors are pretty good, although the palette is limited (sky
    blue, yellow, red, light green, dark purple). They twist nicely, and
    have lots of extra length to play with in proportion to the usual 260.
    The size of the resulting creatures is really nice, too. They fit
    comfortably in one hand, and seem to be more stable than similar
    creatures made from a 260. I’ll definitely have fun playing with


  • The 260 is the standard balloon size used by balloon twisters.
  • Qualatex manufactures a 260Q: 2 inches in diameter and 60
    inches in length – in theory… in actuality, and 260 is closer to 1 1/2
    inches in diameter and 50 inches long.

  • The following colors are included in the Qualatex standard
    assortment: Purple, Pink, Ruby, Orange, Black, Dark Blue, Light
    Blue, White, Yellow, Green. Other colors include Brown, Violet
    and Clear.

  • The Orange 260’s harder to blow up than the rest of the colors.
    I’ve grown to love the fact that orange 260’s are harder to blow up.
    This teensy problem is lessened by the fact that they are sturdier than
    all the others colors. There are times when I wish they all were as
    sturdy as orange.

  • I bought some Q balloons a few days ago and found that the
    latex within 1/2 an inch of the nozzle was quite thin, relative to the
    rest of the balloon.

    What to do with welded (260) balloons

  • When I find two balloons “welded” together I always make
    Siamese puppies.

  • I blow up both sides, made a parrot out of each balloon and
    ended up with two love birds.

    What to do with those clear 260 balloons

  • Other than “pregnant” animals, what do you use them for ?
    There are lots of uses for clears. A light saber. A stealth airplane.
    An invisible anything. The glass case for a 130 poodle. All printed
    in past issues of True Inflations.

  • Clear is the best color for seeing things inside the balloon.
    Things inside a balloon are interesting. If the thing inside moves it
    creates more interest. That is what putting a hi-bounce ball inside a
    260 is about. It has changed from a model to be looked at to a toy to
    be played with. Get the book BALLS ‘N BALLOONS.

  • Royal Sorrell showed me this. Take a 260 and make two
    meatballs inside of it, then shoot them out and use them as eyeballs
    in googly eyes for a cartoon character balloon. Put the 2 balloon
    balls into a clear 260, then twist it so there is 1 ball per 2″ clear
    bubble and used them to make eyeballs that “jump around like
    popcorn.” Very handy for when you run out of superballs, or want
    a certain color eyeball. To achieve a similar effect, T. Myers puts 2
    superballs in an uninflated clear 6″ heart balloon (through the
    nozzle) and then inflates and twists the balloon in half so there is 1
    ball per clear bubble (lobe of heart) on each side. Twist the “googly
    eyes” in anywhere you need a pair of eyes.

  • Tom showed a group of twisters how to make a “Poodle under
    Glass.” Insert a 130 into a 260 (this would also work with a 260 in
    a 390… say, does anyone know of a Canadian company making
    390’s? The book Great Balloons makes mention of them so they
    must exist… but it would probably work with a shortened 260 in a
    350). Inflate the 260, then inflate the 130 without letting the 260
    deflate. Then make a figure, twisting them both at the same time.
    Looks AWESOME!!!!

  • Jody Braxton in FL. showed me a poodle with bones. I use the
    idea to make a Marvin with an X-ray gun zapping Daffy. Inflate a
    white 130 inside a clear 260 and twist to suit.

  • Make Animal Ghosts with clear balloons
  • Does anyone put 130 sculptures in clear balloons? I’ve tried but
    it’s really tough. I even tried putting an untwisted 130 in and
    twisting it like a ship in a bottle thing.

  • The glass goose or a crystal unicorn.
  • A fluorescent light bulb. Proudly hold a fully inflated white
    balloon high in the air and proclaim that it is a fluorescent light bulb.
    In answer to the blank looks you get, answer “oh, it’s over your

  • The clear balloons look like condoms and cause a number of
    clowns/twisters to be embarrassed to use them. That’s the twisters’
    problem. Most crowds take their cue from the entertainer. I always
    act totally innocent in family situations and let the rest of the
    audience police it’s own level of sexual innuendo. It is amazingly
    different in different parts of the country. Working for drinking
    adults is totally different.


  • 280’s are available from T. Myers. Tilly, makes them.
  • I DETESTED the Tilly 280’s. They were pale (bad colors),
    weak, and horribly, horribly squeaky!!! I tried them once and only
    finished the bag because I forgot to get restocked one weekend and I
    was desperate. BUT, my distributor told me that a lot of people
    loved the Tilly 280s, so I guess that it’s all personal preference.

  • They just give you some more slack when twisting. Given the
    quality they’re not really worth it. I’d use them all the time for the
    extra length, if they were better to work with.


  • Qualatex manufactures a Q321B, which is more commonly
    known as the Bee Body. It is available in the same color assortment
    as the 260Q. (see Bee Body, below)


  • Qualatex manufactures a 350Q: 3 inches in diameter and 50
    inches in length when inflated. It is available in the same color
    assortment as the 260Q.

  • At IBAC, I was told that the reasons Pioneer makes a 350Q (as
    opposed to the 390Q that we’d love to have) are manufacturing
    related. Evidently the latex vats currently in use were designed for
    the length of a 260Q mold; the 350Q is all we can get without
    Pioneer investing in lots of new equipment (Notice that a 350Q has
    approximately the same uninflated length as a 260Q). (see Airship

  • Great 350 ideas include: 350 airplane (uses 2 balloons) with
    260 pilot/stick (see T Myers newsletter collection). Also makes a
    great hat. Fred Harshberger’s Weeble in a tube. Use the 350 for
    the tube. Use a 260 for the weeble. (See T Myer’s Ball In Balloon
    book for the weeble concept) Lorna Paris’ Electricity Hat. I use
    350s for the antenna part. Way cool. I also like the proportions
    better when I use two 350s for a horse (or other 4 legged animal)
    and make the rider out of 260s. My 350 flower requires 4 balloons.
    But, it’s HUGE and sells for $4 or more easily.

  • My tips have tripled at TGI Friday’s since I’ve been making the
    big multi-balloons. I take more time at each table. While I am
    making the figures, the people see how much work is involved and
    keep putting dollars in. Yes I don’t get to everyone quickly. Yes the
    waitresses keep coming over telling me which table wants me. Yes
    I make less balloons per hour. But the fact is that everyone
    eventually gets a balloon and my tips are bigger. A lot bigger.


  • These large balloons can be seen from anywhere. Your
    sculptures have to remain much simpler, though. They’re good for
    a lot of multiple balloon figures. I think I posted my 2 balloon horse
    a while back. The fatter balloon makes that work better. (see
    airship, below)

  • If you put two 360s together, you can make anything you make
    with a 260. There is nothing like a teddy bear made out of two 360s.
    You get a full-sized teddy bear. Add a 6″ heart, and you’ve got a
    $2.00 balloon (minimum). They’re bigger, and the recipient feels
    like s/he’s getting more bang for the buck. I find the 360s easier to
    inflate and twist than 260s.

Balloon types: by name


  • A balloon that blows up around 6-8″ long and 3″ in

  • They look like blimps. Some manufacturers actually label them
    as Airships.

  • In general, an airship is shorter and chubbier than a standard
    260, however a 321 (bee body) is not an airship (I think because of
    the tail), basically they look like short fat versions of 260’s. Think
    of a blimp as an airship.

  • The non-260 balloons aren’t a substitute for learning the craft,
    but they open all kinds of other creative options once you’re
    grounded in the fundamentals.

  • I use them for rocket races: fold a piece of paper in half, draw a
    rocket on it. Inflate an airship inside, race it down a length of fishing
    line (either the rocket or the line has to come apart long enough to
    get it on the line).

Geos (Donuts and Blossoms)

  • Made by Qualatex. Geo balloons inflate to look like donuts or
    segmented blossoms. (kids love GEO balloons). Blossom geos
    come in 6-inch and 16-inch sizes, Donut geos come in the 16-inch

  • Too expensive to use for much of anything. I usually don’t use
    geos in crowds because of the cost involved.

  • The geo makes a fast flower with a 260 flower stem and leaves.
  • I fell in love with geos after the first flower I made with the
    blossoms. Yes they cost mucho, but I usually buy enough at a time
    to get a discount 🙂 I also get an average of $1.50 for an 18 cent item
    on tips. People love them. On average, I use about 1/4 gross of
    these on a very busy day. I have used as much as a gross in a day (I
    also made almost $500 that day, so who cares? 🙂

  • I use them mostly for flowers. Yes, they are an expensive
    flower, but they are much faster for me than a 5 or 6 petal 260
    flower. Plus, most people have never seen them, and they add to the
    astonishment of your audience. I have also sold bags of pre-made
    flowers to department stores in the area, and they hand them out to
    the first 500 customers on big sale days, or use them for special a
    thank-you for their staff. (Think White Flower Days at Bullock’s
    and Macy’s)

  • White ones make a quick saucer section for the starship

  • Geos are fun to put on wild hats; make a helmet hat with several
    spirals, leave a tail on the spirals and push a poodle tail through the
    Geo to hold it on the spiral.

  • I use the green Geo for the Ninja Turtle on a Stick. I also use
    the green with a blue or other bright color stem, and call it a Warhol
    Flower (nobody gets that one).

  • A 6″ Geo Blossom makes a great heart if turned inside out.
    After you turn it inside out, adjust it so there is the same amount on
    both sides (or your heart will be lopsided). It can even be hung from
    the top: blow it up and the part that was the sides of the donut hole
    makes a little tunnel and you can thread a ribbon or whatever
    through there and hang them.

  • When turned inside-out, the 16″ Geo Doughnuts make a much
    better looking heart than the 6″ or 16″ Geo Blossoms.

  • At the last IBAC, Marvin told us that he thinks inside-out, 16″
    Doughnuts look more like hearts than do 11″ heart balloons! He has
    made arches out of helium-filled inside-out 16″ Geo Doughnuts by
    tucking the nozzle of one into the latex “bridge” that forms between
    the lobes of the previous one. No monofilament required! Another
    “Pure Sculpture” to use Patty and Royal’s terminology.

  • Geos are great for the Energizer bunny rabbit, one of my most
    requested balloons, was submitted to Laughmaker Magazine by
    Paula Large, Lyle Balcom & Jerry Darkey. It uses one 6″ geo and
    one pink 260 and one blue 260. Inflate Geo and tie off. Inflate pink
    260, leaving a one inch tail, and deflate two thirds, thread through
    geo and re-inflate, and tie off. This leaves you with a pink 260
    through the geo. Make simple bunny head at knot end, wrap front
    feet around geo, and make body, hind feet, and tail at other end.
    Draw sunglasses on head using knot for nose. For the kicker inflate
    two inches of blue 260. Squeeze half of the air to the tail of the
    balloon, tie two knots in the middle of the balloon and tear or cut
    balloon in half, between the two knots. Tuck each “drumstick” into
    the place where the hands go through the geo.

  • The Myers have a good saxophone made with a 260 and geo by
    blowing up a 260 leaving a 6 inch tail. Four inches from nozzle,
    make two ear twists, side by side, repeat four inches down, two
    times. put the geo at the end of the balloon, thread though tail, then
    make a one inch poodle tail, to hold it on, then wrap nozzle of geo
    around last set of ear twists.

  • I’ve been playing with making a Donald Duck using a geo for
    the hat and the Daffy duck in white with a blue body.

  • I heard Ralph Dewey is teaching this in his new class: Turn a
    Geo inside out, then inflate. Stop inflating when you see a cute little
    kitty head. The ears will be rather tiny, and you may have to grab
    them and pull them out from under the latex “bridge” that forms in
    between them. The front and back of the kitty head are flat and
    featureless, so you’ll have to get out your marker for this one.

      { @.@ }

    It is the only kitty-head I have seen with pointed
    ears. Then attach a standard animal body. If you want to hide the
    joint where you tie on to the body, you can make a leash or collar.
    Another way of hiding the joint and creating a collar is to tie together
    the knot of the head and the knot of the body. Now do a small tulip
    twist in the body. Presto – you have hidden the joint and it doesn’t
    ruin the look of the model.

  • I frequently find a small chevron shaped cut “&gt” in the side
    of many of the Geo blossom nozzles. I don’t know if it’s a
    manufacturing problem, but it sure is annoying for a balloon that

  • I use the clear geos with clear 260Q’s on my double-barreled
    shot-gun as smoke rings on the blast.


  • These inflate into the shape of a heart. Very handy for some
    types of sculptures. Qualatex makes two sizes, 6″ and 11″. I use
    them for heads, or sometimes I just give out hearts. People usually
    think I’ve done something with a round balloon to make it a heart.
    Since I usually do this as a magician, I don’t mind the deception.

  • I honestly mostly use them just as they are… people really do
    love getting a heart. I will usually inflate a heart and use the line to a
    lady… as I’m reaching the balloon out towards them, “I would love
    to give you my heart”, then pull back just as they reach out to take it
    and say “but please promise me you won’t break it”. It always gets
    a warm smile, and gets the audience on your side.

  • Go for the jewel tones. They cost more than the packages of
    white, red, and pink, but I like the color variation. I find them very
    worthwhile to have around.

  • I sometimes make insects with hearts. For a fly, twist one lobe.
    Then with one 260 make a set of wings (a figure 8 ). By twisting
    one of the lobes you get a nose on a face. BUT, turn that nose
    skyward and add a figure 8 and you have the makings of a
    helicopter. Really under inflate them and they make the cutest little
    fish. Three hearts tied together makes a Shamrock.

  • I use hearts for helicopters, a heart in a heart with the teddy bear
    on the outside, heart hats, googly eyes, heart wands, etc. Do you
    know how to mend a broken heart? With “ticker tape”. T. Myers
    has several good books, and Captain Visual has a book:
    Heartbreakers. Also on the back of one of the True Inflations are
    some cute ideas for hats for your heart face made with 130’s. The
    use of a semi-inflated heart balloon for the eyes of a fish is a
    wonderful effect. This could also be combined with some 5 inch
    helium filled clear balloons on microfilament as fishy air bubbles.
    They waft in a breeze to add a hint of realism.

  • I only partially blow up a heart. Makes a really cute cat. The
    unblown up portion becomes little cute ears. Then just draw on the
    face. It’s wonderful.

  • I have created a balloon bow tie from two heart balloons and
    one 260. The Bow ties I have seen are 2 hearts tied together with a
    short piece of inflated 260 wrapped around the knot and tied. The
    remainder uninflated 260 was tied in a loop to go around the neck.
    (I first heard of this from Roger Siegel in Chicago.) A ribbon or
    string works better. Make it polka dot by sticking on self adhesive
    dots from an office supply store. This also makes a great hair bow
    for a girl. A bigger bow tie is the same center but instead of hearts
    or around the hearts use a large loop of 260 for each side of the
    bow. It can be bent at severe angles by pinching the balloon at the
    bend. Make each loop resemble an “M” on its side to give it that
    bow tie look.

  • Dress up your fishing poles. Use one 6″ heart of any color for
    bait by blowing just a little bit of air into it, tie it off and squeeze the
    air back toward the knot. It looks like a tiny fish ( the rounded
    points of the heart are the tail fins). Tie this onto the uninflated 260.
    Then you can say that you have baited their hook for them. If you
    want you can put a big fish on and have the bait hang inside the
    bigger fish or you can leave it with just the bait.

  • The “Magic Heart” trick. I first saw this presentation/patter
    done by Mike Decker on one of his videos. By calling these “magic
    hearts” I create an expectation that there is a “trick” to what I’m
    about to do. I’ll ask a little girl if she wants a magic heart on her
    hat/twisted wrister/teddy bear. I tell her that she’ll need to help me. I
    take a 6″ heart from my pocket, and blow it up slightly, until it looks
    round. Pause and let them all see it. While I’m blowing it up, I’m
    holding it behind my hand, so that it’s never seen uninflated.
    (Alternatively, start by folding the balloon so they don’t see the heart
    shape. It makes it look like you’re holding a round balloon.) I
    never tell them it’s a round balloon. I let them decide that from my
    actions. When you do magic (and as far as your audience is
    concerned this is magic) it’s better to let them come to certain
    conclusions on their own than to point them out. If you make a
    point of mentioning it’s round, you’re drawing undue attention to it
    and they might question that fact. I show this tiny balloon to the
    crowd, and explain that I can make this balloon turn into a heart,
    with a little help from the child. Then, I ask the child if I can
    borrow her finger. I have the child push her finger between the
    lobes of the heart. You know where the correct spot is, because you
    can look for the two drips that mark the tops of the lobes. The child
    does not see these, and has no clue. Then, with the child’s finger
    still in place, I slowly blow up the balloon. There’s no need to rush
    it. You can do it slowly and get a big reaction. When I’m done. I
    show the balloon to the audience, and praise the child for making a
    great heart. This *Always* impresses the child. It becomes a great
    “Me-Too” item, as every other child wants to make a magic heart. It
    almost always fools the parents too. It is all in the presentation. The
    child is convinced that THEY have done magic.

Squiggly Worm Balloons

  • I just bought a package of Squiggly Worm Balloons (12
    balloons, pack #5140, Made in Mexico by Unique Industries Inc.,
    Philadelphia., PA) for $1.80 at a party supply store. They inflate to
    a little over 2 feet long and have a body diameter the size of a 350,
    with a pair-shaped “head” about the size of a fully inflated 5″ round.
    At the tip of the head is an antenna which stands erect but does not
    increase in diameter upon inflation. Each balloon has a printed
    happy face on it. Because the head (the nipple end) inflates larger
    than the body, these worm balloons inflate “backwards”. Also, the
    ribbing on the 3″ diameter section is helical, which gives a very
    interesting visual effect for the person doing the inflating!!! I like
    these balloons *a lot* !!!!

  • My only suggestion in inflating the worms is be careful. The
    “head” has a tendency to pop during inflation.

  • I have seen, but not purchased, a larger version of these worm
    balloons. They were packaged in pairs and displayed in a
    supermarket for $2.00 a package.

  • They already have a face on them (although I like to improve on
    the eye, by making them bigger and adding eyelashes). I made a
    (great) butterfly with one. Inflate the balloon almost all the way,
    where the wings meet the body I put two ENORMOUS ear twists
    (both facing the belly of the Butterfly). I attached two 260 hearts as
    wings. They stick out beautifully, because of the ear twist

  • I like to make a “Huggy Bug”. Inflate a 260Q so that it looks
    like two arms. (Twist a 1″ bubble followed by a 6″ bubble. Fold
    twist the 6″ bubble. Then, do the same thing on the other end of the
    balloon). Now inflate the “worm”. Attach the 260Q to the “worm”
    a little below the head. Now, you’ve got a great, 2 foot tall creature
    ready for hugging it’s owner ’cause it’s arms stick and it looks so
    cute. I suppose you could put little legs on, too, if you wanted.

  • A worm in the hand is better than… er, well… a slug, I guess

  • I called Unique, Kim said: minimum orders for 1st order is
    (MC/V/check, or credit reference, fill out, and then they’d return.
    $1/per package.), subsequent orders must be at least $100 (Three
    orders total).

    I then spoke to Debbie Bear, she said: Maybe they can do a bulk
    package, if someone (a retailer) says they’ll order a lot (like in the
    thousands). Her reasoning was that there isn’t a demand for them. I
    tried to explain the there could be, if the cost weren’t prohibitive.
    She said she’d drop it in the suggestion box. And we all know what
    that means…

    ANYONE who would like to see squiggly worm balloons in bulk
    packaging, call Unique at 1-(800)888-0559 and ask for Debbie

You mentioned you like one balloon figures. The 160 ought to give you plenty
of balloon for things like 2 Bears 1 Balloon.

Pioneer Balloon
Pioneer promotes the sharing of information and creativity in
thousands of ways every year. Please honestly look at the
investments we make in the industry and do not look to benefit from
directly. We try to help the industry grow and in so doing grow our
sales. Many question that designing and printing 70,000 copies of
Balloon Images 6 times a year and giving them away free is a good
investment. Likewise, many also question the Qualatex Balloon
Network, our sponsorship and support of the International Balloon
Convention, and the degree to which we support industry events and
education. All of these activities seperately amount to hundreds of
thousands of dollars and combined run well into seven figures. That’s
a lot of money, but it’s also a lot of belief in the power of balloons in
the hands of balloon professionals. We have hitched our wagon to the
professional balloon industry. Other manufacturers are organizing
around the chain and mass merchandiser business.

We have also always been a major supporter of independent
balloon associations–more so than any other balloon manufacturer.
We are/were a member of NABA, IBA, The Silver Balloon
Association, The Balloon Council, etc. We started QBN, however,
because the independent organizations either did not have the
charter or the ability to deliver the kind of education and
development that we thought was necessary to the industry’s long
term growth. That costs a lot of money, and the “independent”
organizations never seemed to be able to raise it. But if a truly
independent organization is formed with the intention of helping
balloon retailers, I’m sure we’ll be there to help again.

5) We also know how difficult it is to hold such organizations
together: when The Balloon Council was formed, Pioneer, M&D,
Anagram, CTI, Flowers Inc, National Latex (BSA), Tilly, Classic,
Betallic and several others were active supporters. TBC has always
had a very limited charter that promoted the industry and no one
specific manufacturer. It has accomplished a lot–especially in
diminishing threats to the industry. But as those threats eroded
over the last several years, only Pioneer, Anagram and Flowers have
continued to fund the activity. None of us like being the only
companies paying for activity that benefits all, but we recognize that
this is not the first time our efforts and spending have benefited our
competitors. (In fact, our competitors actually have told us that
more than a few times over the years!) I guess that’s a price of

A letter from Pioneer
We inspect *every* batch of balloons we make and we don’t expect
to ship bad balloons. We have continuously worked to improve the
quality and range of our offering (I believe that most people who
have been around for a long time would agree that we are far more
consistent in our quality today than we ever have been.) Please, if
for some reason you do get a batch of balloons that falls below your
expectations, please send it to me with as many of the balloons as
you can at the address at the end of this posting. At a minimum,
please send us the empty bag along with a brief written explanation
of the problem. We now code our bags and can trace the balloons
from it.

Regarding our willingness to listen, be involved, etc. with the
market place. We work very, very hard at this as well. We have a
toll free 800 number and have added additional personnel so that
you have a live person to talk to instead of just a machine (we
average over 4000 calls a month on this line). We have sponsored
countless educational programs. We introduced a network program
(The Qualatex Balloon Network) for the professional balloon
industry. We publish Balloon Images magazine for free. We publish
the Balloon Magic series of books and magazine (we don’t cover
our costs on these). We have an active, regional sales force that is
there to assist you. We change our programs, offerings, try new and
different things all the time. Some work and some don’t. No other
balloon manufacturer comes anywhere close to doing the things we
do or investing the amount we invest into the marketplace.

If you want to talk to me, you can call me at 316-688-8626. This is
my direct line and if I am on the phone with someone else or in a
meeting, my voice mail will come on. If you prefer to contact me
through e-mail, please send your correspondence to me, Tim Vlamis

Please feel free to corner me in a room somewhere (or here on this
list) and ask me pointed questions about Qualatex balloons, the
Qualatex Balloon Network, Balloon Magic, IBAC, the Certified
Balloon Artist designation, Australian shiraz versus Californian
cabernet, why is the world so unfair, heck, you can ask me anything
you like! To you that have made it through this interminable posting,
I thank you.
Your humble Qualatex servant,
Tim Vlamis

mail address:
Tim Vlamis
Director of Marketing, Domestic Markets Division
Pioneer Balloon
5000 E. 29th North
Wichita, KS 67220