So I was watching a youtube video of a dove act (I know, I know mistake number one on my part shut up) and when they used a dove tray I realized there is a way to get more magic out of it.
The problem with things that work on a hinge/spring system is they can look TOO mechanical. You are sacrificing a little bit for that visual change. Physics dictate certain things move and look a certain way when activated. As magicians we are limited by, what we perceive is, reality. So if we use the same mechanics the world is used to we may or may not fool them. Let's go back to the dove tray...
In the video I watched a young lady laid her glove upon the tray and it turned into a dove. Now aside from the random prop that was obviously big enough to hold a live animal we can dress this up a bit. Say you lay a cloth over the glove and make that gesture and suddenly the cloth starts moving. (Magic moment #1) and then you whip away the cloth it's a dove (Moment #2). By using the mechanics against itself we can delay the moment.
I personally believe anything that is mechanical looks that way and while it gets a reaction I don't think it deep down fools people. We see certain things happen in our lives and our brain can fill in the gaps. However if we can get something to look/react abnormally then we have magic. A good example is the card gimmick where the pips move to create another value. When done right, it's smooth and spooky looking. When people see something that can't equate it to their brain kinda short circuits and they truly feel that magic moment.
Sometimes things can be TOO visual.