Review by Andy Martin for Shake 'n' Snake by Nick Wenger

Review by Andy Martin for Shake 'n' Snake by Nick Wenger
Review by Andy Martin for Shake 'n' Snake by Nick Wenger
5 out of 5

Nick Wenger has the Midas Touch!

Wow what a beauty this is. It is only the second item I’ve purchased from Nick Wenger, but boy is it special. Everything he touches certainly turns to gold!

I love Terry Lunceford’s Viper Pro. But Shake ‘n’ Snake is so much better in entertainment, look, and, of course, manufacture. When it comes to modern day electronics it is hard to find anyone who does a better job than Mr. Wenger (although Soren Harbo at Labco Magic does spring to mind).

The addition of the shake feature is a brilliant idea and really increases the suspense. Imagine Jaws without the music, the film would be nowhere near as scary. The Shake feature is kind of like that. Not only do they suspect something is about to happen they get a preview too and each time it shakes it builds up the tension and surprise factor. When the snake finally leaps the surprise is that much more intense.

The jar Mr. Wenger uses is much more substantial than the Viper Pro and looks more realistic and professional. The electronics in the Viper Pro II and III are good, and I’ve never had a problem with them (the first Viper Pro was another story), but they are clearly inferior when compared to Mr. Wenger’s work. Don’t get me wrong I would still perform the Viper Pro II if I didn’t have Shake ‘n’ Snake, it is still a great, reliable trick. But Shake ‘n’ Snake is the best without a question, and I cannot imagine ever using my Viper Pro II again.

I must admit however, that I prefer the snake that comes with the Viper Pro II – the one supplied by Mr. Wenger looks a bit more unrealistic. It probably makes no difference whatsoever to the audience, but I certainly prefer the look of the Viper Pro snake. I think this is probably a personal choice thing and has nothing to do with the manufacturing of the snake, just the final look.

Highly Recommended for magical entertainers and collectors everywhere!

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Review by Dave Gooding for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz

Review by Dave Gooding for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
Review by Dave Gooding for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

Sea-Ling’s Family Ties

I’ve always admired Richard’s work but I’ve never purchased any of his pieces as I am not a collector per se.

But, when I saw Sea-Ling’s Family Ties and the mechanical complexity involved I decided to take the plunge and I was not disappointed! The engineering is brilliant and the workmanship is second to none, not to mention that it is a fantastic effect.

What impresses me most about Richard’s work is his ability to hold tight tolerances, not only for the critical mechanical components, but also for the aesthetic parts of the prop. Everything is straight, even, and centered, a feat that seams to be difficult for even the best builders such as Owen to achieve.

God has gifted Richard with a unique combination of mechanical and artistic ability, and Sea-Ling’s Family Ties is evidence of this giftedness.

Very highly recommended!!

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Review by Andy Martin for See-Thru Guillotine (with Stand + ATA Case) by Wellington Enterprises

Review by Andy Martin for See-Thru Guillotine (with Stand + ATA Case) by Wellington Enterprises
Review by Andy Martin for See-Thru Guillotine (with Stand + ATA Case) by Wellington Enterprises
5 out of 5

My Favorite Perfect Illusion

I’ve always loved Bill Schmeelk’s (Wellingtion Enterprises) close-up items – the Mini-Magic Switchboard, Guardian of the Grave, and more recently the Mystery of the Pyramids Outdone. They are beautifully made, work perfectly, and are all clever in their method. But I’ve fancied for some time his amazing See-Thru Guillotine. Sadly it was well out of my price range.

However, recently I sold a bunch of magic and decided that it was time to really see how good this item was. I must say this was probably one of the most nervous purchases I have ever contemplated. I’ve never spent so many $1000’s on one item before, and really don’t do stage or even parlor shows much these days. But I went ahead anyway. When it arrived I opened it with some real trepidation – could this be my most expensive magic mistake (I’ve been disappointed 100’s of times in the past)?

As I opened the custom ATA case I began to beam. Even the case was perfect! As I assembled the illusion I marveled at how well constructed everything was – this should have not been a surprise based on the smaller items I have of Bill’s. Eventually I had it all unpacked and set-up, but still couldn’t fully understand how it worked, so I finally sat down and studied the instructions.

This truly is the perfect illusion. I love it and think it is worth every single penny. I may not perform it much, but when I do I know it will amaze and amuse my audiences. I’ve had about seven different choppers over the years, but this one is easily the most beautiful and most convincing. Without a doubt this is my favorite illusion now, and in fact probably my favorite item I have ever owned – and I’ve purchased thousands over the years.

I love it, love it, love it! I was starting to get a bit jaded with magic over the last couple of years, but this beautiful creation has 100% got me back. I already have two stage shows lined up for the holidays and maybe more. Thank-you Bill for producing such an amazing item – it truly is breathtaking.

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Review by Andy Martin for Merlot and Prism Knives by Joe Mogar

Review by Andy Martin for Merlot and Prism Knives by Joe Mogar
Review by Andy Martin for Merlot and Prism Knives by Joe Mogar
5 out of 5

Unusual Knives from the King

By now it is obvious that Joe Mogar makes the best knives available today – they all just feel right in the hands. This beautiful set that he has recently introduced is no exception. Unfortunately my photos don’t capture the deep reddish brown of the Merlot knives. In fact both knives look particularly striking when the light catches them.

Good to see Joe is continuing to experiment with different finishes – there truly is something for everyone. And if you are a collector of knives, and why wouldn’t you be, he is a great place to start because he continues to produce some outstanding, exotic and unique knives.

Great job Joe, these are beauties!

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Review by Anonymous for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz

Review by Anonymous for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
Review by Anonymous for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

Sea-Ling’s Family Ties

This is a puzzling/visual ribbon restoration effect utilizing very intricate/sophisticated engineering. I am sure that Gerlitz spent many engineer design hours to ensure that all would work perfectly (which it does). Although the set-up initially appears complex, it is actually quite easy to set-up following the very clear directions. This is an effect that spectators will have a very hard time trying to figure out the working. It is a nice compact size, terrific artwork, works flawlessly, and is easy to perform. I especially like the visual vanish of the ribbon ends in the center block. If you want magic that mystifies an audience and also like expertly engineered magic then Gerlitz magic is for you!!!

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Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz

Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

One Amazing Mechanical Marvel!

This is one incredible version of the old cut and restore ribbon trick, but behind the simple looking props are some intricate and ingenious mechanics to satifies the lovers of such apparatus. I know I am among this group. I still marvel about my favorite piece, CW’s Silver Odyssey.

I had to carefully analyze his explanation on the effect to fully grasp the mechanics…what an engineering feat! Kudos to Richard as this is likely his most complex piece released to date. The setup is not complicated, but there is a 15 minute video that Richard put together to explain it in detail, but after a few attempts, it should just take a few minutes to set up the apparatus for each performance.

It is nice to see Richard back on track with his releases as this beauty followed closely his last release, Doesn’t Matter. Family Ties will definitely sell out very fast, if it isn’t already sold out. This is the kind of magic that turned me from a casual hobbyist to a serious collector.

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Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Chance Wolf

Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Chance Wolf
Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Chance Wolf
5 out of 5

Another Big Collectible from the Wolf

This is one electromechanical marvel from Wolf’s Magic. The frame looked elegant, but simple, when I first examined it out of the box, but the surprising eye opener is when I removed the magnetic backing to the frame and marveled at the clean, etched grooves and spaces where the mechanics are blended into the frame itself. Looking at the works turned out, for me, to be more interesting than the effect itself. Reminded me of the same experience I had with CW’s Silver Odyssey II, another apparatus where the workings is much more fascinating than the effect, but, don’t get me wrong, it is still strong magic as is the case with For All Eternity.

OK, I definitley found out, and Chance stated the same on his site, that this is NOT a close-up item. Some distance and dim lighting would help at the crucial moment due to the nature of the method used. Fortunately, this is the perfect atmosphere for this effect. It is an eerie and haunting story that surrounds this effect and it clearly needs the right tone for a memorable magical experience.

The set comes complete with all that is needed for the performance with extra images, extra "something", brass tray, candle holder, candle, and a DVD that thoroughly goes through the routine. Also included are digital images to reprint the sepia photo in the frame and a great music track to bring it all into one elegant presentation.

Though not strictly a "limited edition" item, these are serially numbered. Now, I was "fooled" as I could not find the usual serial number plate for my apparatus as in past Wolf collectibles, but Chance cleared that one with a response to my e-mail (should have seen the DVD first as it is explained it in there). The serial number is on the DATE! #1 starts with January 1, 1890. I got #4 (see last image – January 4, 1890). If further releases come out beyond 31, we will see February 1, 1890 and so on…most clever idea and just another beautiful touch to this item.

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Review by Greg for Mighty Mini Chameleon by Tony Curtis

Review by Greg for Mighty Mini Chameleon by Tony Curtis
Review by Greg for Mighty Mini Chameleon by Tony Curtis
5 out of 5

Beauty in a Box

Drama and elegance, all in one.

I know there are several versions of this basic mental premise on the market now, all reporting to be the next best thing. And while others offer a more hands-off delivery, I can’t imagine them looking as beautiful as this piece.

If you are a fan of Larry Becker, Tony Curtis, and of Magic Wagon, than what are you waiting for? Here is the opportunity to have the best of both world’s… incredible thinking paired with an unyielding dedication to manufactured perfection. We call that a win-win situation.

I remember being blown away by the original Chameleon box, but this version has taken all the good elements of that effect, and made them easier to handle, prettier to look at, and better to work with. This is a utility device on steroids.

Like all Magic Wagon effects, the price may be intimidating at first. But when you get the piece, handle it, work with it…everything clicks into place, and you realize you’ve made the right decision.

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Review by Greg for BIP Book 2.0 by Scott Creasey

Review by Greg for BIP Book 2.0 by Scott Creasey
Review by Greg for BIP Book 2.0 by Scott Creasey
4 out of 5

I Predict You’ll Like This

I recently purchased this after seeing it used as a utility prop on some Alakazam DVDs. On those DVDs it’s used as a tool for forcing something to be revealed in a bigger way later on…not as an effect unto itself (although it could be).

The book has a vintage appearance and design – not as aged as an Outlaw-effects piece – but still odd enough to lend itself to some great origin stories. It reports to be from the British Institute of Parapsychology, i.e. B.I.P., and appears to be a testing tool containing words, times, different colored shapes, and random numbers between 10 and 999. Sounds pretty versatile as a forcing device, right? And, it is. This can easily be any mentalist’s go-to tool for an easy, quick force leading to a dramatic reveal.

This is one of those simple tools that can work wonders. Imagine a small, well-made hammer. You can tap with this gently, or swing with this hard. Either way, you’ll make an impression.

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Review by Greg for Die-Ception by Colin Rose

Review by Greg for Die-Ception by Colin Rose
Review by Greg for Die-Ception by Colin Rose
4 out of 5

Magical Value

I was hesitant to purchase this effect at first when I saw it on The Trickery’s site, since it seemed less "special" than other Colin Rose effects. By special I mean ornate, as are many of his wood turned vases, cups, etc.

But the premise seemed straight forward – which I liked – and the props did have a simplicity to them that would make a realistic presentation more believable. The props looked like old game fixtures, dice cups from an old board game. So, I went ahead and took the chance.

Boy, I was not disappointed. If anyone can make two simple, unadorned wood containers look better than this, I’d be surprised. They feel like you are holding something special. And the secret is so simple, it defies detection. I haven’t performed this yet, but I feel very confident I can pull this off. Nothing ground-breaking, but done correctly, I can see this being a nice, mid-set effect in a mentalism show.

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