Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy

Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
5 out of 5

This is the first of many versions of John Kennedy’s amazing Mystery Box which won Trick of the Year 1997 in The Magic Menu – and could have being doing so for many years since if I had a vote! It is still my most popular close-up effect of all time.

Magician brings out a small wooden box and places it on the table. A playing card is freely chosen and signed by a spectator. Card is shuffled back into the deck. Magician asks: “Do you think that I can find your card in less than 10 seconds without even looking at the cards?” He holds the deck behind his back for several seconds, brings it back out, announces “I’ve found it!.” He points to the wooden box. But, no way! No one has been any where near the box! Magician asks the spectator to lift the lid of the box and see what is in there. It is a folded card.

The magician picks up the box with his empty hand and tips out the card onto his open hand. The box is clearly empty and there is one folded card in the magician’s hand – with no moves or covers he asks the spectator to open the card. The spectator unfolds the card. It’s his card with his signature!

The box is made in solid Walnut with a clear lacquer finish and looks like an elegant canister, not really a prop.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks

Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
5 out of 5

This is limited to 100 units worldwide and everything is very well produced of quality materials, from the beautiful bell with the perfect chime, to the mini base balls, bouncing balls, storage case and routine.  Holland Tricks is the name of Leo Smetsers company and if you are familiar with Leo’s work you’ll know it is always of high quality and this item is no exception.

In 1989, Eddy Smit introduced his Magic Table Bell for the first time during the Dutch Championships. Leo immediately felt that he had developed something special and many people agreed with him. After his stunning performance at the Dutch Championships, Eddy was invited to show his act in various close-up gala shows and magic societies. He also competed in many magic competitions, winning several prizes.

The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell package includes:

  • High quality polished bell
  • 4 Chop Cup baseballs (small)
  • 4 other balls
  • A handmade wooden box which is numbered: e.g. 10/100.

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Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon
4 out of 5

Another beautiful box from Magic Wagon – they almost never fail to produce beautiful boxes and cool items.   I like the method, the simplicity and the effect it can achieve.  However, I have one issue with this box – why can’t it hold the deck of cards you are going to use for the effect?  It would make so much sense if you took the box out.  Removed the deck and left the prediction for all to see in the box.  But you can’t store the full deck in the box, all the cards won’t fit.  If you could carry the cards in the box, it would at least give you a stronger reason for having the box in the first place.  Maybe I’m getting too old to see the magic in this this stuff …

Utopia Prediction Box reminds me of the Viking effect English Card Box with which you can perform a very similar effect (though the method is different) with a nice looking box, that holds the deck too, for about $150 less.

_EF The performer shows a folded sheet of paper which he states will be the prediction outcome and places it inside an elegant wooden box where it remains clearly visible through a glass window. The spectator is then handed a deck of cards to examine, thoroughly shuffle and then give a final cut. The box is then opened and the spectator himself removes the prediction inside. Let’s say it is shown to be, for example, “The Seven of Hearts will be the 4th card of the deck”. The spectator is now asked to tum over the 4th card of the deck that he himself just seconds ago legitimately shuffled and cut to. Unbelievably, it is the Seven of Hearts! 

Remember:

  • The window box remains in full view at all times!
  • The pack of cards used is completely normal!
  • The effect can be repeated with a different outcome each and every time!

The box measures approximately 8.25cm wide, 3.50cm high and 10.80cm deep and has been completely handcrafted from yellow wood with a dark brown matte coating finish.

(Does not come with deck of cards, use your own.)

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Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel

Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel
Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel
5 out of 5

There have been many versions of the Card Duck over the years. It was invented by Laurie Ireland c. 1932 and marketed by him as Otto, The Automaton Duck.

This was the first card Duck that I owned and Dickie was a featured part of my act when I was a teenager and well into my thirties, until he met with a fatal accident when he fell off the top of a storage unit 🙁 I purchased Dickie from Ron MacMillan’s International Unique Magic Studio. For years I thought Dickie was a Warren Hamilton: Jo-Anne Duck with a different name and routine, until I purchased a genuine one and could see the differences. To be honest the main significant difference was that the paint job was much better on the Hamilton version, but the actual motion and pecking action I thought was smoother with the Chavel version.

Performing Dickie for over 40 years helped me realize that it really doesn’t matter what the prop looks like as all the magic emanates from the performer. It helps if the duck can actually pick the cards smoothly on queue, but most of the other tweaks and improvements pail when compared with a solid routine and a charismatic performance. This is true for most magic effects and why the best performers have relatively few actual effects in their repertoire because the audience wants to see the person perform almost regardless of what effect they actually perform.

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Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by MagicCrafter

Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by MagicCrafter
Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by MagicCrafter
5 out of 5

It’s always a joy to pick-up release from the MagicCrafter himself: Brian Cook, and even better when it is a rare sold-out release like this beauty.  What a wonderful idea to embed a real Silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar into the the lid of this unique Okito box, and there are only 6 of these in the world.

These sold out instantly when they were released. The box is made out of copper with a real walking liberty sectioned and inlaid into the lid. This also comes with a copper plug for a kicker ending and a hefty friction fit stainless steel and copper wand with a magnetic catch on the inside. This is all set into a Walnut box that has the box info and numbers laser engraved into the bottom.

Brian says about this item:

The basics on my Copper Okito box set came from my love of the trick. I make a custom weighted wood box set out of exotic woods and the idea came for this set while I was making a set. I always loved the copper look on things and thought doing a copper set and inlaying a coin into the lid would make for a very unique looking box. The rest is history.

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Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark

Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark
Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark
5 out of 5

This was the first prediction chest I ever saw using a key injection method and like many magicians before me I was very intrigued and loved the method and the James Bond gadget factor. I brought it from Joe Stevens at Magi Fest 2001. It features a single chest without the secondary strong box that George Richbark created a year later with his Millennium Prediction Chest.

Creating a reliable two box key injection system is much harder than a single chest one so although this was $800 twenty years ago that was a lot less than the $2000+ figures being asked for similar sized two box systems, including George’s Millennium set.  As a single box this version was very reliable and worked perfectly. The box looked very beautiful too with inlays and two toned hard woods. The downside with all key injection based chests is the tiny size of the prediction compared with the size of the box – this is particularly true with single box systems.  But they are still cool 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams

Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams
Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams
5 out of 5

Another rare beauty from Carl Williams in his Okito-Williams style. Here Carl takes on the legendary Delben Blotter with great success and produces the prettiest magic blotter you will find!

The Delben Blotter is in no way a new effect however the Okito style it has been given is unique. This innovation to this effect was prompted by a suggestion offered by Mr. Dean Arnold an American magician and collector presently residing in London, England.

The apparatus consists of a prop resembling one of the old ink blotters used extensively in and around the late twenties. This item was very popular prior to the invention of the ballpoint pen. In those days all fountain pens, as they were called, contained a rubber ink bladder that held a supply of ink. When the pen was used it deposited wet ink onto the writing paper that could be quickly dried when the curved surface of a blotter was rolled over the written surface.

If the performer places a sheet of blank paper into the tray that has been cut to the dimensions of a currency and then rolls the blotter over it. During this process the spectator is give the illusion that the blank paper has been printed by the blotter into a genuine piece of legitimate currency. Of course the result is real currency genuine in every respect.

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Review by Andy Martin for Timeless Sport by João Miranda

Review by Andy Martin for Timeless Sport by João Miranda
Review by Andy Martin for Timeless Sport by João Miranda
5 out of 5

One of my favorite Collectors’ Workshop effects is their In A Gilded Cage.  It looks beautiful, works really well, has a great method, is easy to do, and when you see your watch hanging from the perch in the brass bird cage it takes your breath away.

I’m the first to admit that I’m getting a little tired of almost every new trick coming out these days requiring electricity and batteries and USB cables, which is certainly one of the reasons I buy old magic!  So when I purchased this item I was expecting to be unimpressed.  But boy it is a clever, clever piece of magic.  It is hard to imagine anyone not only being wowed by the ingenuity that has gone into the creation of this effect, but also the quality of the product itself, and most importantly the impact on the audience.  It worked first time out of the box and every time in testing too.  A very easy and clever mechanism that you are sure to love.

João Miranda is a highly-respected magic creator having created original illusions for some of the biggest names in magic, including; David Copperfield, Lu Chen, Xavier Mortimer as well as many others.

Effect:
A beautifully packaged box is placed on a table before the performance begins. The magician then borrows any small object from the audience, has it signed then makes it vanish!

The magician then walks over to the table and picks up the mysterious package.The package is opened, and from it the spectator removes a red gift box tied with a golden bow. The spectator then unties the bow, removes the lid and finds inside a beautiful wrist watch. The watch is cleanly placed on the spectators palm.

Without ANY suspicious moves the magician cleanly unscrews the back of the watch. The back is then lifted off of the watch and the borrowed object is found inside!

TIMELESS combines everyday objects and modern technology, making the trick 100% automatic and self-contained.

Take a look at these features:

  • The cleverly gimmicked boxes and hidden electronic system do all the work for you.
  • You will be blown away once you see the ingenious method behind the trick!
  • The trick works 100% automatically, and the boxes and watch can be handled freely by the spectators.
  • The trick can be performed in close-up situations, parlor, or on stage.
  • Due to the clever way the gimmicks are built the trick is very easy to perform.

Timeless comes complete ready to perform. Also included are several routines and ideas, including a mind-blowing mentalism effect.

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Review by Andy Martin for Time Special by Yrus

Review by Andy Martin for Time Special by Yrus
Review by Andy Martin for Time Special by Yrus
5 out of 5

The ingenious trick inventor Yrus (Wilhelm von Sury – 1922-2008) was born in Switzerland and was a pioneer in the field of electronics in magic. Some of his more memorable effects included: the record that dyes itself in the air, a sophisticated lock and key box, “tasting” colors, and a vault for mental sensations. This wonderful effect, Time Special released in Germany by Eckhard Boettcher, is at the other end of the spectrum and relies on no electronics or external devices, but it works perfectly every time and sure fooled me when I first saw it.

The performer shows two small wooden blocks each with a clock face, a plastic dial and a plastic hinged lid to cover the faces. He hands each clock one at a time to the spectator for examination. The performer then picks up one of the clocks and makes his prediction by selecting an hour, and closes the lid hiding his choice from view.

He now places his clock in front of the spectator and never touches either clock again. The spectator now takes their clock and chooses any hour (absolutely no force) and closes up the lid and places their clock down on top of the performers clock. The performer asks the spectator if they would like to change their mind – and they can if they want, but once they are happy the spectator lays both clocks side by side and lifts up the lids. Both dials are pointing to the exact same time.

This works instantly and automatically and it can be a different time every time. When you see all of the crazy high tech magic available today it is good to see something so clean and effective without resorting to a printed circuit board – this is a real treat for all of us who are tried of recharging batteries 🙁

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Review by Andy Martin for Predator Wallet by R. Paul Wilson

Review by Andy Martin for Predator Wallet by R. Paul Wilson
Review by Andy Martin for Predator Wallet by R. Paul Wilson
5 out of 5

I’ve had this exact wallet now for 16 years and performed the main effect, Psycho Killer, dozens of times with $1 bills and I love it. But it dawned on me last year, when one of my spectators said “I can win all $3?”, that if you are going to bother to make this up you should use the largest notes you can afford. If I was really wealthy I’d use $100, but I’m not so $20 will have to do. Doing the effect with $20 just adds a lot more interest for the spectators. It is the same reason you do the Hundy 500 (and similar effects based on Pat Page’s Easy Money) with $100 bills and not $10 or $20. Just has a much better impact on the audience.

This is the original limited edition brown lizard skin wallet that was first released directly from R. Paul Wilson. To my mind it was the best version Paul released crafted by Joe Porper.  The later versions still had the same great features but the leather was not as elegant.

The Predator a utility device that allows you to perform absolute miracles with ease. It comes with three powerhouse effects that will destroy your audience in professional shows, client meetings, restaurants, or at the bar. It’s versatility allows for limitless possibilities, yet it fits perfectly into your pants pocket. The Predator Wallet comes with three miracle effects including Paul’s highly acclaimed Psycho Killer routine.

Effect 1:
Imagine being able to bet real money on a card someone is merely thinking of! You begin with just three dollar bills and bet on the suit and value of the card in their mind (a completely free choice). Finally, with the three bills on the table in full view and the wallet clearly shown empty, the bills are turned over to show the name of the thought-of card written across the bills!

Effect 2:
You show a small envelope in your wallet before having any card thought of? The envelope is removed (you may even show that there are no other envelopes in the wallet) and the thought-of card appears inside the envelope!

Effect 3:
You have someone merely think of a card before vou remove one face-down and place it into your wallet? Asking what card they are thinking of, you deal he deck showing fifty one cards, their thought of card is gone and is cleanly removed from the wallet!

This is a must-have for both magicians and mentalists who want to show their audiences no mercy. Along with renowned master craftsman, Joe Porper, Paul has developed a product that matches quality with ingenuity.

Click here for more information.

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