Review by Andy Martin for Self-Priming Syphon of Louis Histed by Magikraft Studios

Review by Andy Martin for Self-Priming Syphon of Louis Histed by Magikraft Studios
Review by Andy Martin for Self-Priming Syphon of Louis Histed by Magikraft Studios
5 out of 5

In 1995, consummate magic collector William H. McIlhany  commissioned the master craftsman and inventor Martin Lewis of Magickraft Studios to create this beauty.  And what a wonderful and rare piece of real magic  it is.  The effect comes from Martin’s father’s (Eric C. Lewis) book The Crowning Miracles  (1983, pg: 176-179), and according to a letter from Martin Lewis there were only seven created.

Not only is this a beautiful prop the way it works is truly magical. There are no buttons to press, nothing to replace after each performance, no electronics and barely any sounds. You fill the elegant wine glass, place it on the tray, briefly show the inside of the wooden chimney, and place it over the glass, and in just a few seconds nearly all of the liquid disappears.  Really a clever piece of magic from an idea by Louis Histed.

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Review by Andy Martin for Nostradominus by Marcelo Contento, Kirk Charles

Review by Andy Martin for Nostradominus by Marcelo Contento, Kirk Charles
Review by Andy Martin for Nostradominus by Marcelo Contento, Kirk Charles
5 out of 5

A beautiful set of dominoes were custom created for Victor and Marcelo Contento by a real Domino manufacturer in 1998 to showcase this effect by Kirk Charles.  A standard set of dominoes is displayed and a prediction is made.  The dominoes are placed into the velvet bag, shaken and spilled on the table.  All the face down dominoes are removed.  The remaining face up dominoes are collected, placed in the bag and the process is repeated until just one domino remains – it always matches the prediction – which can be different for repeat performances.

I love this easy to do effect and it has been unavailable for almost twenty years and these dominoes will last a lifetime.  They also match the other domino effect put out by Victor and Marcelo: Crazy Dominoes.

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Review by Andy Martin for Crazy Dominoes by Marcelo Contento

Review by Andy Martin for Crazy Dominoes by Marcelo Contento
Review by Andy Martin for Crazy Dominoes by Marcelo Contento
5 out of 5

The amazing Dutch FISM 1958 Grand Prix winner Tonny Van Dommelen created one of the most overlooked close-up miracles ever when in 1965 he started selling his wonderful close-up routine: Dizzy Dominoes.  There have been many versions sold by dealers since then, but the best set by a mile was this beautiful set from Victor & Marcelo Contento.  These were produced in 1992 and have been off the market for about twenty years.  Victor & Marcelo had a custom set of professional grade Dominoes created by a real Domino manufacturer and nothing else has ever come close.  To top it off they added an extra gimmick, not in the original Dizzy Dominoes, and came up with four routines from Bob Farmer, Kirk Charles and Marcelo Contento calling the new set: Crazy Dominoes.

You can do everything that you could do with the original Dizzy Dominoes, with dominoes transposing under seemingly impossible conditions, and what’s more everything can be left for examination!  In addition, Kirk Charles offers a routine based on a Monte theme and Bob Farmer describes a swindle which will allow you to fleece your friends and neighbors.

These are a beautiful set, clean, effective, straight to the point magic and easy to do!  What is more they perfectly match the other Domino miracle put out by Victor & Marcelo by Kirk Charles: Nostradominus.

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Review by Andy Martin for Modernized Del Ray Computer Deck by Bill Spooner

Review by Andy Martin for Modernized Del Ray Computer Deck by Bill Spooner
Review by Andy Martin for Modernized Del Ray Computer Deck by Bill Spooner
5 out of 5

If you are unlucky enough to be the wife of a magician you’re going to be forced to watch a lot of magic during your lifetime and most of the time you will not be amazed, amused or even entertained. In fact, in our home we have a phrase: “bile rising” and often just the thought of seeing another magic trick triggers the BR response. So imagine my joy when I showed this card trick to my wife – and she smiled, laughed, loved it and was amazed too. When your long suffering wife enjoys an effect you know you are onto a winner.

What I love about this effect is that it is simple to understand and direct to perform, and apart from having the card chosen and returned to the deck the spectator does all the handling and counting of the cards. The Computer Deck animations and sounds created by the amazing Bill Spooner are striking and precisely what you would imagine a real computer deck would look like. Bill has clearly thought through the creation of this wonderful deck and it shows. The circuit board is professionally engineered and works perfectly. Even the rechargeable battery can be replaced unlike so many other devices I’ve had over the years, but the battery seems to last for a very long time anyway.

The unit comes with printed and video instructions, which is so useful and rare these days and Bill goes into some detail about the performance and maintenance of the effect.

I have included a quick demo video just to show you the basic routine and I plan working on this and getting it out on the road this holiday season so hopefully I’ll get some live reactions captured, but based on my wife’s I am confident this is a real winner.

The effect is easy to do and I made one simple change to the routine to avoid any real delays or skill when setting up the deck. You only need to be able to control their chosen card to the top and the rest is simple and Bill provides two different methods. In the demo the card appears at position 8 in the deck, but the computer can be set to show any number between 00 and 31 which is perfect for repeat performances.

I rarely buy electronic magic these days, no matter how well made it is because sooner or later it will fail, but the impact of the leds and sounds this deck makes is so strong it is worth it, and I am confident I will have many years of use out of this item.

Highly Recommended for Performers who like to Entertain and Amaze everywhere.

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