Review by Thomas Holbrook for Tarbell Scrapbook, A by Richard Kaufman

Review by Thomas Holbrook for Tarbell Scrapbook, A by Richard Kaufman
Review by Thomas Holbrook for Tarbell Scrapbook, A by Richard Kaufman
5 out of 5

Tarbell scrapbook by Kaufman

As a collector and Historian on Dr. Harlan E. Tarbell. I know how rare and hard to find the wonderful historic info and items contained inside. Here the reader will see items from nearly 100 years ago from rare file of Edwards Monthly ( a magic magazine that ran from 1909-1910 ), items from the original Tarbell System (1927) not avail in the vols on the market. Fantastic articles and writtings of and about Tarbell,delightful copies of the wonderful booklets given out durring Tarbell’s teaching lectures his life and work in magic and more. A bounty of fun reading and an interesting look back at some of the magicial offerings and more that Tarbell has left us. Note this book by Kaufman is very limited and only 100 copies were produced. Making it a bit hard to find as the historic info contained inside it’s pages. If one is interested in magic and it’s history they would enjoy this book very much.

Just a note… I am always looking to add to my historic timeline and display on Tarbell’s life and work.

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Review by Andy Martin for Blow Yur Stack by Wolf's Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Blow Yur Stack by Wolf's Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Blow Yur Stack by Wolf's Magic
5 out of 5

Another Winner from Wolf’s Magic!

Another beautiful effect from $link(http://www.wolfsmagic.com,Chance Wolf).

This item is to be redesigned this summer. I don’t know what the changes are but I do know this is a wonderfully unique effect that visually looks stunning, and plays like a scream too!

It’s a Do-As-I-Do effect, but with stacking cups. Try as the child may they never seem to get it right. Just as the kids are going crazy your secret little helper pops up and you can create even more thrills with a Run Rabbit Run type effect at the end. Where is that mouse?

I think this is beautifully made and looks wonderful. It makes a great follow-up to the $link(1576,ABC Gumball).

In a world of inferior props and old ideas, Wolf’s Magic is producing a very fine line of new and original magic. Keep up the good work Chance!

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Review by Andy Martin for ABC Gumball Recycler by Wolf's Magic

Review by Andy Martin for ABC Gumball Recycler by Wolf's Magic
Review by Andy Martin for ABC Gumball Recycler by Wolf's Magic
5 out of 5

Chance Wolf has a wonderful line of Magic!

This is a marvellous effect from $link(http://www.wolfsmagic.com,Chance Wolf). In fact, I don’t ever remember seeing a Children’s effect that visually looks more appealing to kids. The routine is also instantly recognizable as a winner. It deals with Already Been Chewed (ABC) gum which is icky enough to make even the most doubting child smile.

It is based on the old Square Circle, but has a number of key features that really hide that. In addition, the routine is so good and well thought out that it puts the whole effect into another league.

These are pretty hard to come by, but if you can buy one, you won’t be disappointed.

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Review by Andy Martin for Hand of Cleopatra by Tony Lackner

Review by Andy Martin for Hand of Cleopatra by Tony Lackner
Review by Andy Martin for Hand of Cleopatra by Tony Lackner
5 out of 5

Ah Original, Quality Magic!

Harold Voit has marketed some great magic. This item and one of my other favorites, $link(1337,the Wandering Mummies), are both beautifully made, effective, and clever – a collector’s dream.

This particular piece, made by the German Master Craftsman Tony Lackner, is really a utility item, in that you can control what the hand points to – and it can be different each spin. But when you dress it up like this, the performance and story aspects really incease and you can perform some very impressive, and scary, magic. Perfect for bizarre performances, or any Alan Warner collector who is inspired by his Equptian themes.

Briefly the effect is: 6 items are chosen – these can be anything within reason, and laid around the stand. A spectator selects one and is handed the box with Cleoptra’s hand encased. The spectator removes the hand and plaecs it on the base. They then spin it and as it spins it slowly comes to a stop and points to their chosen card. The key thing is that the spectator places and spins the hand themself without any interaction from the magician.

A very beautiful effect. Be wary of cheap knock-offs that have recently been offered, get the original if you can. (But, of course, that warning could be on all high quality magic available today.)

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Review by Andy Martin for With Frances in Magicland by Frances Ireland

Review by Andy Martin for With Frances in Magicland by Frances Ireland
Review by Andy Martin for With Frances in Magicland by Frances Ireland
3 out of 5

Amusing anecdotes and great Kid Show Advice

This is the second book I’ve read by Frances Ireland (Marshall) written in 1952. It’s not as informative or detailed as her other one, $link(1895,You Don’t Have To Be Crazy), but it still makes for interesting, light reading.

It has many anecdotes of famous and not so famous magicians which help you relive the past golden years of magic. I don’t know if such things continue to happen as the magic community has been watered down over the last twenty years or so but I hope there are similar parallels today.

Of particular interest is the section on the Chicago Magic Bar scene which gives a glimpse into a world that I certainly have never experienced and would like to.

Also, there is a very helpful section on performing to kids. This section is certainly filled with the real meat and potatoes for performing to children and is worth checking out if you plan on performing to this difficult, but rewarding, age group.

Overall a worthwhile relaxing read, from one of the most wonderful ladies in Magic.

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Review by Andy Martin for Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott

Review by Andy Martin for Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott
Review by Andy Martin for Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott
5 out of 5

If you could choose just one book on magic …

… I believe this would be a very worthy contender. Bruce Elliott’s Classic Secrets of Magic is a small book by modern standards: it has only twelve fairly short chapters, with each chapter focusing on a single basic effect and some variations. However, if you were to thoroughly study and learn the magic and routines contained within these chapters and nothing more, ever, you would have enough material to last a lifetime of magical performances.

Very few props are required, the sleights are straight forward, and the magic is beautiful.

In my magical youth I used to perform three card routines from Chapter 1 (the Spectator’s Card is Produced) with the highlight being the Card on the Ceiling; the rice bowls from Chapter 3 (Water, Water, Everywhere!); two paddle routines from Chapter 4 (The Very Peripatetic Paddle); the four ace routine from Chapter 5 (Those Four Aces!); the Egg Bag from Chapter 7 (The Egg Bag, Well Done); two matrix type effects from Chapter 8 (The Two Covers, and the Four Objects …); some simple billiard ball moves from Chapter 9 (Billiards, Magic Style); and the Ambitious Card from Chapter 11 (The Ambitous Card!). I also dreamed of performing effects with Razors, Money and the Cups and Balls from the other remaining chapters.

If you bought this book today and spent one month on each chapter and spent say $100 on props you really could be in the top 1% of magicians in the world after just twelve months. Of this I have absolutely no doubt – provided you were committed to the task, and focused just solely on each chapter of this book.

Of course if everyone did this a lot of magic dealers would go out of business. And you wouldn’t have the excitement of trying out 100’s of different tricks, gimmicks, gadgets, fine wooden and brass collector’s pieces in a vain attempt to find the ultimate effects. This book contains them all, but where is the fun in that? One book, hardly any props to buy and just reading and practicing the same routines for a year? That doesn’t sound very magical does it.

Maybe the true secret of magic is that buying magic props from dealers won’t make you a good magician, knowing 100’s of tricks won’t make you a good magician, but learning just twelve effects really well will.

Like so many magicians before me I have fallen into the trap of thinking more props will allow me to create routines for all occaisions. In reality of course, just twelve effects are needed. I know it’s fun collecting magic. I have been doing it for over thirty years. But in fact if I just had the balls to stick with the Classic Secrets of Magic, I would be more rewarded, save a fortune, and give back a lot more to the art.

Well it’s something to think about at least as we enter the new year!

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Review by Andy Martin for Wonder Clock, The by Taurus Magic Supply

Review by Andy Martin for Wonder Clock, The by Taurus Magic Supply
Review by Andy Martin for Wonder Clock, The by Taurus Magic Supply
5 out of 5

So much better than Magic Makers!

This is not the original version (which came from a German manufactuer), but it is still much nicer than the $link(1613,Magic Makers) version. A very clean and clever way of detrmining what hour the spectator chose, even though you are turned away and the clock face is covered up.

This really could be the basis of a very powerful close-up effect. Tie it in with Larry Becker’s $link(871,Versadex Wallet) and you now have an incredible prediction effect!

Great job!

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Review by Andy Martin for Penny Pour by Trickery

Review by Andy Martin for Penny Pour by Trickery
Review by Andy Martin for Penny Pour by Trickery
5 out of 5

What a Wonderful Paddle and Routine!

So I saw this new paddle on $link(http://www.allmagic.com target=_blank, allmagic.com) pioneer, Richard Robinson, is great fun and very magical.

It will take some practice to make this appear smooth and effective, but it does come with everything you need to perform, and with the solid routining from those Bad Boys in New Jersey, you’ll be on your way to performing this sooner than you think.

I am really looking forward to seeing the other new items that these guys come up with, now that they have finally found a craftsman who can do justice to their ideas. Go Howie & Bob!

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Review by Andy Martin for Four Aces Paddle by Joe Porper

Review by Andy Martin for Four Aces Paddle by Joe Porper
Review by Andy Martin for Four Aces Paddle by Joe Porper
3 out of 5

Not up to Joe’s usual Standards!

I really like the paddles and other machined props of $link(//www.martinsmagic.com/?keywords=Joe-Porper&html=gallery&flag=Joe%20Porper,Joe Porper) and was looking forward to receiving this new effect.

Unfortunately I think this paddle is not as well produced as his other paddles and is really quite hard to do convincingly. It is a great idea for a routine with a paddle, but to pull it off is going to take a good deal of practice and skill.

The cards seem somewhat squashed and the back card has a real risk of slipping. The paddle move itself is difficult because you have to be very wary of your angles.

If you collect Joe’s paddles I’m sure you’ll still want this one because it clearly is different from other paddle effects, but I just don’t think the production and practicallity of this one is quite there.

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