Review by Andy Martin for Tea with Buddha by Arlen Studio

Review by Andy Martin for Tea with Buddha by Arlen Studio
Review by Andy Martin for Tea with Buddha by Arlen Studio
4 out of 5

Very good to see Arlen moving away from the basics!

So I really like the acquired taste of the great props from the craftsmen over at $link(http://www.arlenstudio.com target=arlen,Arlen Studios). However, so far most of their offerings have been different versions of stock effects. This is fine as far as it goes. But we want some new effects please!

And here comes a nice routine from Keith that looks and feels great, it has a well described routine with the effect too. I can’t do full justice to this routine yet as I have not had time to fully explore it – I will continue my review when I do.

But at this point, the props look and feel great and I think we have another winner on our hands!

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Review by Andy Martin for Floating Block Illusion by Unknown

Review by Andy Martin for Floating Block Illusion by Unknown
Review by Andy Martin for Floating Block Illusion by Unknown
3 out of 5

Looks good … on the web anyway!

This is basically the Super X Levitation using 3 wooden blocks. It looks like it was home made and although I think has some potential because the blocks can’t be examined or even seen separate in the hands I’m not sure how much of a fooler this effect will really be.

But the photos look good!

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Review by Andy Martin for Finger Stretcher by Abbott's

Review by Andy Martin for Finger Stretcher by Abbott's
Review by Andy Martin for Finger Stretcher by Abbott's
4 out of 5

This is funny!

This is not meant to be a huge illusion, but has great entertainment potential as a bit of filler in almost any act. The finger stretcher is used to see how much magical dexterity you have. If you can go all the way to six inches you are the best!

Some of these old ideas can certainly take you places!

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Review by Andy Martin for Washout by Steve Dusheck

Review by Andy Martin for Washout by Steve Dusheck
Review by Andy Martin for Washout by Steve Dusheck
4 out of 5

One of the best gimmicked coin effects

I remember seeing the Eddie Gibson version of this 27 years ago and loved it then and still do today. It’s a simple and visual effect where the half dollar can be clearly seen all the way until it changes into a penny. The washer can be shown on both sides and who would suspect the little penny!

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Review by Andy Martin for Self Bending Glass by Ron Allesi

Review by Andy Martin for Self Bending Glass by Ron Allesi
Review by Andy Martin for Self Bending Glass by Ron Allesi
4 out of 5

Quite clever and amazing to watch

I picked this up from my good pre-owned magic man Ron Allesi and it does look quite uncanny: you stare at the glass and without going anywhere near it, it slowly but surely bends. You can then hand out the glass to the audience – it truly is bent!

This is a remote control electronic marvel – there goes those magic words again remote and electronic. The electronics are very quiet and I think this is convincing – haven’t tried it on the old wife yet, but it has some potential.

Like so many electronic tricks it needs some cool routine, but has some real potential.

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Review by Andy Martin for Stones of the Pharohs by GL.Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Stones of the Pharohs by GL.Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Stones of the Pharohs by GL.Magic
4 out of 5

Four Mummies, Lights, Camera, but not enough Action!

Ok so this is a well made, clever effect using 4 colorful mummies.

The basic premise is: you show the 4 mummies and the pedestal. Whilst your back is turned a specatator removes any one of the mummies and places it into a coffin on the pedestal and covers it up. When you turn around you lift the second cover to expose the crystal. As the spectator stares into the crystal it glows the color of the selected mummy. Then it mysteriously stops. No matter how they try they cannot get it to light again with any of the other mummies.

So all sounds very cool. The box and pedestal are made of wood with some heavy duty coating to give them a stone like look and finish. Making them of exotic woods would have made them look nicer, but they are still attractive as they are. The mummies appear to be made of some sort of chalky like material but painted with a high gloss finish. These are fine, except they are brittle so can easily chip if not handled carefully.

The electronics is self working, and once the first mummy has illuminated the light, without resetting the unit, it is not possible for the spectator to cause the light to come on again. So far so good.

This effect does exactly what it says it will do and there really are no complaints except for: so what. Clearly there is some sort of electronics in the box … its a puzzle that you can’t then get it to light again, but I don’t think people are going to walk away amazed. What this effect needs, like so many “clever” effects is more mystery, more magic, more story, more action!

As a part of a larger routine I think this could be made into something very cool. As a cool, different prop to show off in your den it is cool, but as something that is going to amaze your audience I don’t think so. Maybe I’m getting too jaded in my old age. Don’t get me wrong I like this prop, but what we need is cool electronics and entertainment. Not just cool electronics.

Well that is my opinion, and I’m sticking to it!

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Mariam Stone

Andy, I am the granddaughter of Ben Stone (DelBen Magic). I came across your website while searching for some of his work. I never realized that what he did had such an impact. It is nice to see that you have a picture of my grandparents on your site! Thank you for remembering him. He was truly a magical person. -MS

Thank-you Mariam – Ben was a great guy and I enjoyed the time I spent chatting with him. -Andy Martin

Review by Andy Martin for Tray of Doom by Collectors' Workshop

Review by Andy Martin for Tray of Doom by Collectors' Workshop
Review by Andy Martin for Tray of Doom by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

This is a great comedy piece from Collector’s Workshop.

Basically, the very ornate family heirloom tray and goblet is handed to the spectator and a few moments later the tray collapses and the goblet breaks apart and falls to the floor – much to the shock and horror of the performer!

If you had the original version of this effect you might have been dissappointed because of the strange noise the tray makes. Well George Robinson has fixed that now with a whole new mechanism that is 100% silent – just the way it should be. Now this little baby is exactly the way you expect it to be. A sheer delight to perform, and hilarious for the audience! As an added bonus it is now possible to change the time it takes before the tray collapses.

Great job George – keep those refinements coming!

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Review by George Guerra for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop

Review by George Guerra for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop
Review by George Guerra for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

A true favorite of the CW line

My review is for the original version which is completely mechanical in that the release is through a clock spring motor so timing is critical but easily manageable and the base is beautiful furniture finished solid walnut rather than brass as in the new version. Otherwise the workings are the same. The effect is startling and dramatic. The ring that appears in the ribbon is the actual spectator’s ring; there is no switching. Very clever item from the devious minds at CW.

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Review by Andy Martin for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop

Review by Andy Martin for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop
Review by Andy Martin for Khartoum Ring Fantasy by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

As if by Magic the Ring appears!

Well I’ve been complaining for a while now that there is no good, cool magic out there to buy. What a load of horse that is!

I did not realize how much good magic I was missing by over looking a few key Collector’s Workshop effects. Just in the last few weeks I’ve picked up: $link(1554,Creation), $link(1553,Billet Box), $link(1555,Samurai Sword), $link(1559,Can of Corn), and $link(1545,Zodiac) to name a few. These are all wonderful effects, that if you don’t own you should check them out at: $link(http://www.collectorsworkshop.com/?tagent=martinsmagic,Collector’s Workshop)

This little beauty is another real winner. Easy to do, remote control, visual, and very perplexing.

A ring is borrowed and vanished and without you touching the ribbon it suddenly and visibly appears tied to the ribbon!

Sometimes when I buy expensive props they just don’t work as well as you would expect, but this marvel has worked everytime so far and really didn’t take any getting used to. I only wish all high-end props were this simple and error free! A wonderful prop, and highly recommended!

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