Review by Andy Martin for Box Ninety-Eight by Handcrafted Miracles

Review by Andy Martin for Box Ninety-Eight by Handcrafted Miracles
Review by Andy Martin for Box Ninety-Eight by Handcrafted Miracles
5 out of 5

Finally a small box that lives up to the hype! This is a wonderful utility item and what I really love is how Dan Frecks, the creator of this wonderful box, did the research to create a box that was the least interesting to spectators so that although they can freely handle and examine it they move on quickly enough. Who knew all those beautiful boxes from Magic Wagon are actually a bad thing when it comes to audience attention? Dan even suggests scuffing up the box more – the more ratty looking the box the less suspicious it is to the spectator. Anyway the box still looks great but the mechanism and the loads are perfect. Really smooth operation. These are hard to find at the moment so grab one when you can!

And if you’re wondering where the name comes from? They tried 97 prototypes before they ended up on this final one!

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Review by Andy Martin for Journey by Ted Bogusta

Review by Andy Martin for Journey by Ted Bogusta
Review by Andy Martin for Journey by Ted Bogusta
5 out of 5

Like the KFC Coin this to me is a very unique idea which Ted Bogusta is just scratching the possibilities of the method. From a clearly different set of State quarters a spectator can freely choose anyone only to find a prediction that matches in the envelope. There is only one prediction in the envelope and your hands are empty before and after the reveal. A very clever idea which I’m sure will be copied!

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Review by Andy Martin for Under Wraps by Mark Mason

Review by Andy Martin for Under Wraps by Mark Mason
Review by Andy Martin for Under Wraps by Mark Mason
5 out of 5

I’ve had this one in my “incoming box” for about a year and frankly am disappointed I didn’t get to it sooner. What a wonderful gimmick and effect. Mark Mason really delivers the goods when it comes to interesting, usable and unique card effects. This really is a perfect gimmick which produces an amazing transformation on a non-gimmicked card box. I love it!

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Review by Andy Martin for Block Buster by Tony D'Amico

Review by Andy Martin for Block Buster by Tony D'Amico
Review by Andy Martin for Block Buster by Tony D'Amico
5 out of 5

Mark Mason has a knack for creating (and finding creators of) really clever card gimmicks and this bad boy has to be one of his best. From the mind and hands of Tony D’Amico this is another item that has been in my “incoming box” for a year. This effect has it all – the incredibly clean (and easy to do) vanish of a signed coin right in front of their noses. The spectator then cuts the deck and they cut at the signed coin that has found its way right next to the spectator’s signed card.

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Review by Andy Martin for Hydro Die by Magiro

Review by Andy Martin for Hydro Die by Magiro
Review by Andy Martin for Hydro Die by Magiro
5 out of 5

This is still one of the very best Magiro items, and in fact one of the most amazing close-up illusions period. This version was distributed by Howard Schwarzman in 1984, and for all the many versions of Hydro Die, this is often considered the definitive version. What makes this version so effective is because it is so stripped down – unlike later versions by Magic Wagon and Richard Gerlitz – there is nowhere for the die to hide. It just vanishes into thin air! Beautiful effect and getting hard to find these days.

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Review by Andy Martin for Ali Baba Coin Box and Paul Fox Cylinders by Paul Diamond, Eddie Gibson

Review by Andy Martin for Ali Baba Coin Box and Paul Fox Cylinders by Paul Diamond, Eddie Gibson
Review by Andy Martin for Ali Baba Coin Box and Paul Fox Cylinders by Paul Diamond, Eddie Gibson
5 out of 5

This was first released in the 1970’s by Eddie Gibson. This set was made by Paul Diamond and it certainly is some of his best work. I love the routine and the although the vanish of the coins is nothing new to magicians, the appearance is and will fool many magicians. In essence you show one small (quarter size) box clearly empty and the you place a stack of quarters on a pedestal and cover them up with the lid and they cleanly vanish only to appear in the original empty box. No sleights and what I love about the Ali Baba Box is that it allows you to show it empty and you can even see inside the box – their clearly is nowhere for any coins to hide as the depth of the box looks how it would if it was empty. It is a clever idea and a great box. The routine also allows for a sponge ball swapping between boxes too – but I did not have the small enough balls to show that (that’s what she said!). I don’t really know if anyone is doing magic like this any more, but I remember doing Tenyo’s Dyanmic Coin all the time as a boy and this is much better (and different in look and method).

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Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Sticks (Brass) by Petrie-Lewis

Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Sticks (Brass) by Petrie-Lewis
Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Sticks (Brass) by Petrie-Lewis
5 out of 5

These are probably the best Chinese Sticks I have ever seen. They look amazing and the weight is perfect. Very solid, smooth and silent mechanism and I’m sure these will last a lifetime. Great Job P&L and to Stevens Magic for carrying such a fine product! You can’t go wrong with these bad boys! They come packaged in a fine leather case and to be honest I can’t really believe what they are charging for these they could easily be $100 more. Highly Recommended for Collectors and Performers!

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Review by Andy Martin for The Incredible Caper by Larry Becker, Ray Piatt

Review by Andy Martin for The Incredible Caper by Larry Becker, Ray Piatt
Review by Andy Martin for The Incredible Caper by Larry Becker, Ray Piatt
5 out of 5

I love this routine from the great inventive team: Larry Becker and Ray Piatt. The props are perfect and the three phase routine is definitely a fooler! You start by having the spectator sign your business card and you make a prediction on the face and cover it. Then you show a bag full of ESP tiles that have symbols on both sides and they are all different. You ask the spectator to reach in and pull out any tile (no force). Then you reveal your prediction on the signed business card and it matches.

Now you make a second prediction and have the spectator tip out all of the tiles and stack them matching symbols next to each other. They end up with a tile on top and a tile on the bottom that match your prediction. And then you can do it again with a different result. Very clean and almost self-working.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Jerx, Vol. 1 by Andy

Review by Andy Martin for The Jerx, Vol. 1 by Andy
Review by Andy Martin for The Jerx, Vol. 1 by Andy
5 out of 5

Sometimes controversial but always entertaining this book represents the culmination of the first year of Andy’s infamous blog The Jerx. Andy seems like a nice guy and his blog has made me laugh out loud real hard many times over the last 12 months. He was even kind enough to mention me and two mostly forgotten comedic geniuses Derek + Clive on his blog for being an early supporter. So I’ve got that going for me.

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Review by Andy Martin for Miracle Chip by Mark Mason

Review by Andy Martin for Miracle Chip by Mark Mason
Review by Andy Martin for Miracle Chip by Mark Mason
5 out of 5

I purchased my first Coin Unique created by Eddie Gibson when I was 14 years of age from Ron MacMillan’s International Magic in London and I remember thinking how amazing it was. I’ve purchased a few sets over the years, but this version with a poker chip from Mark Mason is the one I use today. It comes with 9 great routines and represents a great value for amazing self-working magic!

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