Review by Andy Martin for Free Will by Deddy Corbuzier

Review by Andy Martin for Free Will by Deddy Corbuzier
Review by Andy Martin for Free Will by Deddy Corbuzier
5 out of 5

Strong, Direct Mentalism with no funny business!

This is more than just predicting 1 out of 3 choices – which is not that magical on a good day – you provide a prediction, of which there is just one, that predicts 3 out of 3 choices.

You predict what goes in the bag, what goes in the spectators hand and what goes in your hand. Every time. The other cool thing about this effect is that it is always ready to work. No set-up at all. Just put the prediction and the wooden disks back in the bag and you are ready to roll. Everything can be examined too!

In fact, it almost sounds too perfect to be true. But it is true. You will like this effect for its clever method and the impact it has on your audience. And I’m sure you will use it often because of its simple requirements and set-up. Highly recommended!

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Review by Andy Martin for Just Name It by Jay Sankey

Review by Andy Martin for Just Name It by Jay Sankey
Review by Andy Martin for Just Name It by Jay Sankey
4 out of 5

Clean and Convincing, but practice required.

This is a very clean prediction effect. Performed well, it is hard to beat for cleanness in fact.

It has shades of $link(1246,Ultissimo) in its method – but without the stand or extra deck, which is a big difference! To do it effectively a sleight is required ($link(2079,the Cull)). This is a fairly standard sleight, but if you buy packet tricks and gaffed decks because you don’t like doing any sleights then this might not be for you. It does come with an alternate method that requires less sleight of hand, but it is not as strong.

I can think of at least one way that all sleights could be removed, and to the lay person I’m not convinced they would notice any difference in the effect.

Having said all this the Cull is a very useful one if you don’t already know it, and if you can just break your rules once you will not only have a hugely clean prediction, you will also have a great sleight that you will be able to use for all sorts of things.

As much as the purists like to keep all gaffed cards out of their lives, and the gaffers like to keep all sleights out their lives, sometimes a beautiful mystery comes from the combination of both worlds.

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Review by Andy Martin for MINE (2003 Edition) by Colin Rose

Review by Andy Martin for MINE (2003 Edition) by Colin Rose
Review by Andy Martin for MINE (2003 Edition) by Colin Rose
4 out of 5

Beautiful Wood and Funny Routine!

This is my sort of magic these days. It’s made with very nice props that are small and pretty much indestructable. There are no electronics or things to remember or any real set up. And the price is very reasonable.

The routine has great comedy potential and no tricky moves. Instead of just handing out 5 envelopes and you win the one with the $20 bill in as with the usual Bank Night type effect, you have some fun with it. You show these 5 "Turned Discs" that you give the audience the chance to win some cash with. Through a seemingly fair sequence of eliminations you end up with the last remaining disk. It uses a known technique that I have personally never seen or used before, and it works very well.

What makes this different is the way in which you first reveal what each specator won and then what you finally have won. You’re entertaining them with these lines directly related to the words written on each disc, and then wow them at the end as you split open your Disc and pocket the cash!

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Review by George Guerra for Mini Instant Transposition by Mel Babcock

Review by George Guerra for Mini Instant Transposition by Mel Babcock
Review by George Guerra for Mini Instant Transposition by Mel Babcock
5 out of 5

Just Love Mini-Magic!

OK, I was excited when I received this little beauty from Mel today. I had been waiting for it since October but it was well worth the wait. I already own his "regular sized" Instant Transposition and it is probably one of Mel’s best items. Well, in July I received my "last" parcel, barring new releases, from Alan Warner. I still had that "hunger" for more mini-magic. I had received the new book on Mel Babcock $link(1966,"The Magic House of Babcock") and two things struck my attention: 1)he had previously released a "mini-sized" version of this desirable and clever piece, and 2)one of the exotic woods Mel has used in the past was Teak.

It didn’t take much thought to realize the potential magic here and I asked Mel for a custom made teak mini-sized version of his Instant Transposition; he agreed. It’s gorgeous and the pictures don’t give justice to the beautiful workmanship and the grain/color of this wood. I have placed a quarter in the images so you have an idea of the size of the apparatus. This little gem is definitely going on display among my Warner collection. Thanks so much, Mel..hmm, let me think now, what other items does he make in a mini-sized version.

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Review by Andy Martin for Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel Fitzkee

Review by Andy Martin for Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel Fitzkee
Review by Andy Martin for Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel Fitzkee
5 out of 5

Now for the truth about magic and entertainment …

"Magic, as exhibited by the majority, is the indulgence in a hobby which rarely instructs, seldom amuses and almost never entertains." Dariel Fitzkee, Showmanship for Magicians, 1944.

If you want to take the warm fuzzy feeling away from what many magicians, both professional and amateur, have with regards to their performance and their magic, then Fitzkee is your man. The first book of this trilogy changed my life, well at least that aspect that is devoted to magic. He makes you really think about the entertainment value of a typical magic performance.

I think everyone wanting to be a "Magician" should read Fitzkee’s words. Highly recommended!

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Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss

Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss
Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss
4 out of 5

A Modern Day Fitzkee?

I love it when intelligent, gifted magicians take time out to really analyze our industry and art. Jamy Ian Swiss, like the greatly respected $link(2120,Trilogy of Dariel Fitzkee), holds no punches and makes some very thought provoking observations on magic, magicians, and mentalism.

In my book anything that makes magicians think twice about what they do and say is a winner. We don’t need more mediocrity in magic; this goes for performers, inventors, dealers, and manufacturers. By reading authors like Mr Swiss maybe our industry can get over its love of itself and actually start to produce great magic and entertainment that was abundant forty or more years ago.

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Review by George Guerra for Stull System III by Collectors' Workshop

Review by George Guerra for Stull System III by Collectors' Workshop
Review by George Guerra for Stull System III by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

Stull Prediction with the Modern Touch

Rich Bloch of Collectors’ Workshop introduced an award winning effect back in 1979 called "Stull Watch Outdone" using a modern digital travel alarm clock. As CW was perhaps an idea to be borned, this item was released through Tannen’s. With CW coming into the picture in the mid 1980’s, this best seller was modified and improved. It was renamed Stull System III in their first full catalog(1987).

The effect is the usual Stull prediction. An innocent looking digital travel alarm clock(Radio Shack) is introduced and shown the two buttons to change the hour and the minutes. Next, a prediction is introduced and set aside in full view. A handsome hard leather case is shown and the clock inserted into it. There is an opening for the buttons and a flap to view the screen. Again the controls are shown to change the time. The flap is made to cover the screen and the spectator starts playing with the buttons to randomly set an unknown time. As you would expect the clock is removed from the case and the time matches your prediction. Once the clock is inserted in the case, the performer never needs to handle the clock again.

Great effect and one of the most practical effects released from Collectors’ Workshop. One problem..this was discontinued many years ago( I bought this item in the late 1980’s). Unless George Robinson decides to reintroduce this little gem, it’s now highly collectible, a beautiful item from the early CW years.

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Review by Andy Martin for Expert at The Card Table (2002) by S.W. Erdnase

Review by Andy Martin for Expert at The Card Table (2002) by S.W. Erdnase
Review by Andy Martin for Expert at The Card Table (2002) by S.W. Erdnase
5 out of 5

A classic piece of magic history for just $52.

This 2002 Facsimile version of Expert at the Card Table by the, still mysterious, S.W. Erdnase is an incredibly faithful reproduction of the original book. It was published in 1902 and has had a profound impact on card magic ever since (after some prodding from ($link(2151,Dai Vernon)). With the exception of using better quality archival-grade materials and a modern binding technique it is as close to the original as possible – the anonymous publishers even found what is to believed to be the same cloth.

This seminal work on card and gambling moves is a must have for all serious card workers, and now it is available as it was first delivered by Erdnase over 100 years ago. This book is small enough and cheap enough to be carried around with you wherever you go. Unlike the original which can fetch $2000 and is likely to fall apart in your hands.

Of course you might find reading something like $link(1682,The Annotated Erdnase) easier going and more practical today. So get both.

There are only 750 of this 2002 version so I suggest you $link(http://www.canick.com/erdnase.html target=_blank,order one now) – it is a truly amazing how authentic this book looks and how much you will gain from reading it in its original form. Thanks to $link(http://www.canick.com target=_blank,Michael Canick) for distributing this amazing book.

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Review by Richard M. Mendez for Boo Boo Bar by Unknown

Review by Richard M. Mendez for Boo Boo Bar by Unknown
Review by Richard M. Mendez for Boo Boo Bar by Unknown
5 out of 5

Best Parlour Prayer Stick

This prayer stick is beautiful! It is manufactured by Ickle Pickle and is (like most of their products) precision made and of the highest quality possible for the cost. A must for those fond of prayer sticks! It can even be separated at the conclusion of your routine!

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Review by George Guerra for Card Changing Frame by Eddy Taytelbaum

Review by George Guerra for Card Changing Frame by Eddy Taytelbaum
Review by George Guerra for Card Changing Frame by Eddy Taytelbaum
5 out of 5

No plastic on this one

Most of Eddy Taytelbaum’s line of handcrafted mini-magic is made in plastic, but the quality is unsurpassed, the work of a true craftsman. This is all wood construction and beautifully painted in semi-glossy black with a gold trimming..very elegant, first class prop. This one is very thin, has a open space in the middle, and the card to be changed slides in and out of the open box frame. Yes, a "flap" is used as in the more common card boxes, but deceptively hidden on this Taytelbaum piece. This is the second Taytelbaum item I have acquired and I am now starting to understand the reason behind the demand for his magic. This, as all Taytelbaum pieces I acquire, is stored with my Warner collection in a special place separate from my main magic collection as a honor to these two greats.

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