Review by Andy Martin for Final FlashBack by Larry Becker, Lee Earle

Review by Andy Martin for Final FlashBack by Larry Becker, Lee Earle
Review by Andy Martin for Final FlashBack by Larry Becker, Lee Earle
3 out of 5

Final or Complex FlashBack?

I have been trying for a while now to simplify my magic and I was hoping when this Final version of FlashBack came out from the great minds of Larry Becker and Lee Earle that I could throw the rest of my book tests away.

Unfortunately, this was not the case and I found the whole system more complex than I expected. To me this is magic for magician’s and mentalists, rather than for lay people. Larry and Lee have thought of all of these clever ideas and embedded them in these books. But it just seemed too much for me. I have no doubts in their hands it kills, but I just did not have the stomach for it.

The books are well printed and although some have said the books don’t look real, that was the least of my concerns – I just found the number of things you have to learn to perform this whole routine to be more work than I was prepared to put in. I believe part of the problem is that the routine provided is quite a long routine in the first place. I’m sure for many people this will be just what you are looking for, but they were not for me.

I’ll stick with $link(1542,MasterMind II) and $link(1142,Dream Revelation). With these I have a very direct book test, that can be repeated on the spot and once set-up is easy to do.

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Review by Andy Martin for Heirloom/Heirloom Wallet by Jamie Badman, Colin Miller

Review by Andy Martin for Heirloom/Heirloom Wallet by Jamie Badman, Colin Miller
Review by Andy Martin for Heirloom/Heirloom Wallet by Jamie Badman, Colin Miller
5 out of 5

This is Wonderful Mentalism!

Heirloom is a wonderful piece of clean and easy mentalism based on Kenton Knepper’s Kolossal Killer. The presentation makes sense and if presented with a modicum of acting ability is not only plausible, but truly unnerving. It does not require any sleight of hand or moves, and is very clean to the audience.

In the original version of Heirloom, the creators (Jamie Badman and Colin Miller) say that you don’t need a "special" wallet for this effect. This might be true, but finding one that was easy to set-up and use was quite a task until the Heirloom Wallet came out. Now this wallet is not as slick as The Predator Wallet neither is the mechanics the same – but it is 5 times less money and really works well for this particular effect. The wallet is a bit larger than a normal hip wallet, but it is not too thick and compared with some wallets I’ve seen is fine. For the price it is impossible to beat! It certainly makes it easier to present Heirloom, without even thinking about it.

The basic effect of course is as simple as asking a spectator to think of any card, and showing a single photo in your wallet with their card on. But with the presentation included it adds a lot more to the impact on the audience.

I had just finished buying all the wallets I needed, until this effect and wallet came along. This one is also certainly a keeper!

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Review by Andy Martin for Tiger Deck – Black by Ellusionist

Review by Andy Martin for Tiger Deck - Black by Ellusionist
Review by Andy Martin for Tiger Deck – Black by Ellusionist
3 out of 5

Ok so these are "Cool", but so what?

So there is a lot of hype around these new Black Deck Tigers. They are a nice quality card and do look "cool" if you like that sort of thing. However, if anything screams out trick deck more than these I have yet to see it.

It seems to me that these really only appeal to the young Ellusionist crowd who are much more into the look and pulsating beat of magic, than the entertainment, mystery and absolute wonderment of the spectators. There is the odd occasion as part of a bizarre routine, or some color change, or some flourishes that these can come into their own. But for the most part they just say "Look, I’m using a trick deck of cards for this effect."

There is nothing wrong with this of course, but don’t fool yourself into believing the hype that people will think you’re a cooler and better magician because you have these "cool" looking cards. The only people who will think that are other magicians who think these cards are "cool".

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Review by Andy Martin for Screwed Bolt by Future Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Screwed Bolt by Future Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Screwed Bolt by Future Magic
4 out of 5

Simple Method and Convincing.

This is a simple nut off bolt effect with a different method than others I’ve seen. It is kind of sneaky, but this is so often the case with magic that works well. Reset is a snap too!

Unlke other effects that I have seen like this, the bolt is not gimmicked and can be examined until the cows come home at the end of the effect. There is a gimmick, but it is probably not what you are expecting.

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Review by John W. Watson for Focus by Phil Goldstein

Review by John W. Watson for Focus by Phil Goldstein
Review by John W. Watson for Focus by Phil Goldstein
5 out of 5

Best of the Best USABLE packet effects!

We all know Phil Golstein for Monkey in the Middle, Mo’ Monte, and Shrinkhasen, to name a few. We also know that he doubles as Max Maven, world renowned Mentalist.

If you think you’re getting a book about packet tricks that only magicians will appreciate, think again! This book is chuck full of tricks for laymen, restaurant workers, bar magicians, close-up workers, etc.

One of the best parts of the book is the explanations. Golstein explains EVERYTHING in crystal clear detail.

The only thing he left out when writing this book is the effects that would get 9.5 stars instead of 10 out of 10. Yes, they are THAT good!

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Review by Andy Martin for Custom Thumb Tip by Arlen Studio

Review by Andy Martin for Custom Thumb Tip by Arlen Studio
Review by Andy Martin for Custom Thumb Tip by Arlen Studio
4 out of 5

Finally a Thumb Tip that fits!

For 20+ years I have tried to find a thumb tip that looks half way real and actually fits my thumb comfortably. Until this custom one from Keith Arlen Lack came out I was unable to find one.

This expensive Thumb Tip (probably not expensive when you factor in the work required to create it, but for a thumb tip $100 is clearly right up there!) fits perfectly and comes off easily too. That has always been my problem, I’ve managed to get the tip on, but it was always a struggle to get it off.

It also looks very good. My one is more pink that I would like, but I am working with Keith to get it closer to my color. Keith is very dedicated to his magic so I have no doubt we’ll get the color perfect too. It’s not even that big a deal, but it would be nice.

Should you buy one? If you have problems finding a thumb tip that fits then $link(http://arlenstudio.com target=_blank, for sure order one now)! However, if you have no problems with the hundreds of tips out there, then I’m not sure. There are good thumb tips available that look real close, and it is hard to justify the extra expense. But for me I have tried so many and none of them come close to fitting as well as this beauty does.

Why only 4 stars? Well just because it is the most expensive thumb tip by far that I have ever seen!

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Review by Andy Martin for Miller Miracle Wallet by Ray Piatt

Review by Andy Martin for Miller Miracle Wallet by Ray Piatt
Review by Andy Martin for Miller Miracle Wallet by Ray Piatt
5 out of 5

Ok, so this is now my Favorite Wallet!

So almost $link(//www.martinsmagic.com/?keywords=wallet&html=gallery&chunk=100&flag=Wallets&index=name, 20 wallets) is clearly too many, but 3 or 4 is perfect. I know what they are now. In first place would be this Miller Miracle Wallet. It is very well made, easy to use and very useful. It bascially is like a himber wallet but instead of two outs it has four. And they are so cleverly and cleanly concealed you could never guess. This wallet just makes sense to me.

In Second place, would be R. Paul Wilson’s $link(2003,The Predator). In Third Place, Larry Becker’s $link(871,Versadex Wallet) – there are times where this is just easier to use than The Predator. Finally, I want a $link(1071,long Himber Wallet) to perform $link(1006,Xerox Money).

That’s it. If I had to choose just one wallet, then The Miller Miracle Wallet would be it since for most effects this will work perfectly. It will also turn so so effects into miracles, and without requring any undue practice or handling.

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