Review by Andy Martin for Khamun Ring Mystery by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Khamun Ring Mystery by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Khamun Ring Mystery by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

This item is remake of the amazing close-up effect by Clarence Miller called  Nuts & Bolts.  Apart from the ornate design this uses the same method as Clarence.  Magic Wagon changed one key part by removing the need for black art, but to be honest I’m not convinced it was a necessary change and now you can’t freely show the back of the cabinet and an extra action is required for the effect. It does look a little cleaner when you look inside the box closely, but I’m not sure how big a problem that was with the original.  The look is definitely way more impressive and the construction will last a lifetime, but otherwise it is all Clarence.  For collectors who like the ornate style there is no doubt the Magic Wagon version will appeal more, but as I a have said many times when it comes to entertaining and fooling the public, less is often more.

On to the videos … things are really heating up in the Magic Wagon YouTube world and competition is stiff. For this bad boy there are six versions!!!  Not all good Magic Wagon items get many (or any) videos but if they are easy to do and visual then they will get more.  I don’t ever recall seeing six videos so this item is very popular!  I’ve included five (which is my website’s limit) on this page.  The winner is the amazing Simon Corneille who was clearly inspired to produce an outstanding video with all the extra trimmings that Simon is making a name for.   Simon’s video is a real inspiration 🙂 There maybe more videos at some point so follow this link for more demonstrations.  (I should add that Simon did add a few extra pieces to be able to perform his video, including buying two sets of the prop itself.)

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for What The! (NA NU) by Thomas Pohle

Review by Andy Martin for What The! (NA NU) by Thomas Pohle
Review by Andy Martin for What The! (NA NU) by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

This is a real winner from the always thinking German craftsman Thomas Pohle.   When I first saw Madison’s video I was amazed because I called out the name of the trick without knowing it (WTF!).  I had no clue how it worked, until I received it then I could see again.  What a clever idea that will fool them.  Madison’s video is perfect.

Great job Thomas – good to see you still can fool and amaze me 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for The Anniversary Boxed Magic Set (1997-2017) by Colin Rose

Review by Andy Martin for The Anniversary Boxed Magic Set (1997-2017) by Colin Rose
Review by Andy Martin for The Anniversary Boxed Magic Set (1997-2017) by Colin Rose
5 out of 5

It is hard to put into words how good this wonderful collection is from the English Master Craftsman Colin Rose.  But Richard Kaufman says it best : 

“I was thrilled to receive my Colin Rose 20th Anniversary Box, certainly the finest magic set made in the last century. Every piece, including the box, speaks to Colin’s amazing craftsmanship as a master woodworker.”
Richard Kaufman (8/29/2020)

Here are some of my thoughts on this stunning project.  Firstly, there is a ton of magic filling every inch of this beautiful box:

  1. Mini Ornate Flash Frame
  2. Baffle Box
  3. Block & Tube
  4. Obedient Ball
  5. Snapper
  6. Spot Paddles
  7. Money Box
  8. ‘Mystified’ Card Box
  9. Dutch Sandwich
  10. Chinese Compass
  11. Geometrik
  12. Imp Bottle
  13. Ball Vase
  14. Money Machine
  15. Billet Knife
  16. Loose Change/Chop Cup Combo
  17. Coin Wand
  18. Cups & Balls
  19. Large Wand
  20. DieCeption

Secondly, Colin goes through every single item showing you the effect and how to do it in a video that was specially created just for this collection.  What I enjoy most about this video is how much joy Colin gets from talking about and performing each effect.  You can clearly see that he has put a little bit of his heart & soul into this project.  You can see the performances  in the videos individually laid out on this page (I have edited out the methods of course).  My guess is that by watching the videos you will quickly be inspired to revisit some of these effects as Colin’s joy in performing them is quite infectious.

Thirdly, what an amazing selection of new and old items all crafted with such care and attention.  There is no dud in the box and for the price Colin is clearly not doing this for the money.  Even at Colin’s every day reasonable prices, there is still about $2000 worth of magic in this box.  The collection is so good I have decided to keep it for now.  If you watch my site you know how rarely I actually keep anything, but this box fits neatly on my shelf and I feel it is worth keeping around as it will be hard to part with.

Finally, what I most like about this boxed set is how it makes me feel about magic.  How can you not love magic after receiving this box, playing with the magic inside, and watching Colin’s joy and expertise in performing the items right out of the box. I still smile every time I hear Colin say: “Where does that onion keep coming from?” 🙂

It is truly a magical box created by a very talented craftsman and magician who clearly loves magic.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Penetra-Spheres (Hole in One) by Arsene Lupin

Review by Andy Martin for Penetra-Spheres (Hole in One) by Arsene Lupin
Review by Andy Martin for Penetra-Spheres (Hole in One) by Arsene Lupin
5 out of 5

One of my favorite Jack Hughes items is Penetra-Spheres that was invented c. 1937 shortly after Jack invented his tray version of Coins In Glass. Penetra-Spheres was licensed by Abbott’s for sale in the USA and was sold for the first time c. 1947 under the name Hole in One which is the name most people know this effect today.

There have been many versions of this wonderful effect produced, but it has been years since a good version has been created.  Until now.  Arsène Lupin (Slawomir Piestrzeniewicz), the Polish magician, inventor and manufacturer, has created easily the best version of Penetra-Spheres available today.  It is not quite as good as the infamous Definitive Hole in One of which only three were made by The Trickery c. 2004, but it is close enough.  This is what I like about Arsène’s version:

  1. Very precise and quick mechanism with no balancing or peeking required!  You don’t need to look at all and I have yet to miss.  Just cover up your balls, ask the audience which ball they chose, staring at them all the time, then when you whisk away the hanky their ball is sitting right there  entrapped in the center.  Works perfectly!
  2. Related to 1. the small shot glass has been replaced with a permanently fixed metal holder so you’ll never drop the shot glass ever again. 🙂
  3. High quality materials.
  4. Thin base (unlike the appalling version here).
  5. No small fence border that is common in the Abbott’s versions and even the original Jack Hughes version – you’ve probably got used to it by it is not clear it really serves any useful purpose and it does reduce the visibility of where the action happens.

If you ever wanted to perform this beautiful classic now is the time.  You’ll love this version and if you have ever tried one of the Abbott’s versions or most of the others you will be very pleased how easy this one is to master. 

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline

Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline
Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline
4 out of 5

This is visually appealing item from Bob Kline and there were only 12 made.  The unit stands 14″ high and is very well made of thick Plexiglas. The wheel spins very smoothly and it is easy to perform.  If desired the whole dial can be examined and freely spun before and after.

The effect is very similar to the classic Spirit Clock Dial using cards instead of a clock dial.  The method in fact is the same as Tony Lackner’s Astral Dial though I’m pretty sure it was first used decades before that.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Newton's Nightmare Deluxe by Wellington Enterprises

Review by Andy Martin for Newton's Nightmare Deluxe by Wellington Enterprises
Review by Andy Martin for Newton's Nightmare Deluxe by Wellington Enterprises
5 out of 5

This is an application of Lenz’s Law and there have been a number of effects based on this  phenomenon including the beautiful Mystic Tubes of Sea-Ling by Richard Gerlitz and Paul Green’s comedy presentation: Field Sobriety Test

However, for my money, if you want to perform the effect this is the best version. This routine is structured so each phase builds until you are convinced that that the moon rock is real and magical.  This is a great example of how a good routine can transform a simple science experiment into full on wizardry!  The belief is aided by the beautiful props that are solid and look genuine as you have come to expect from Wellington Enterprises.

There is a simple switch involved but because the routine is so well structured you’ll have plenty of cover and if you want to perform this you’ll quickly master it even if you avoid other effects that require a switch.

These are now getting hard to track down, but well worth the effort if you like creating miracles 🙂

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda (Small) by Eddy Taytelbaum

Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda (Small) by Eddy Taytelbaum
Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda (Small) by Eddy Taytelbaum
5 out of 5

This effect originally called Bloxo, was invented by John Rice and sold by Harry Stanley c. 1950.

Pagoda is the definitive version of the the effect using a solid blade or rod to secure the blocks and was created magnificently by the Dutch master craftsman: Eddy Taytelbaum.  Eddy did such an amazing job he inspired many craftsmen including: Alan Warner, Mel Babock, Milson-Worth and more recently Magic Wagon to create their own versions.

Eddy made two sizes of Pagoda and this is the significantly rarer, small version. I say small because his standard version is small (4-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high and 1-3/8″ deep), this one is tiny (3-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high by 7/8″ deep).  When compared with my previous favorite version created by my good friend Alan Warner this version is dwarfed (see final three photos). 

Not only is Eddy’s version exquisite, he uses a different approach to extracting the chosen blocks.  Instead of letting the box spin around and have the blocks fall out, in a potentially random and risky fashion, he turns the box around so that all six blocks can been seen and uses a small wand (or in my photos a small metallic cocktail sword) to push out the chosen blocks, leaving the others clearly and unmistakably impaled. 

Eddy also supplies a custom color cube to help select the colors completely at random (I am in two minds if you should use that or not since it slows down the routine a little, but it is up to you.)

Most of the versions that come up for auction on Potter & Potter and elsewhere are of the larger version, and it is rare to see this tiny version, but it is great to see it in the collection 🙂

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Micro Run Rabbit Run (Limited Edition) by Holland Magic Studio

Review by Andy Martin for Micro Run Rabbit Run (Limited Edition) by Holland Magic Studio
Review by Andy Martin for Micro Run Rabbit Run (Limited Edition) by Holland Magic Studio
5 out of 5

Harry Leat’s masterpiece, Run Rabbit Run, has never looked so good 🙂 

Since my early teenage years, like 100’s of magicians before me, I saw the incredible entertainment value of Run Rabbit Run when working with children of all ages.  To this day I think it is one of the best children’s effects ever devised and I have owned many versions

But nothing comes close to this amazing version from Dutch Craftsman Frans Reijnier at the Holland Magic Studio. This is something you will want to collect and perform to your children and grandchildren.

What makes this version so good?

  • The mechanism provides the most movements with the simplest of motions.  You can control the rabbit with either hand and switch seamlessly between hands.  You can hold the unit in your hands or perform the motions with the base on a table or stand.
  • The rabbit can move fast or slow all under your control
  • The vanish of the rabbit can be achieved without having to take the rabbit out again and dropping back inside the house.  Instead he simply runs into either house and vanishes into thin air, without you going anywhere near either house.
  • The rabbit goes from side to side and pops out the top of one house and the side of the other, and finally is discovered in the tree.
  • The rabbit that runs from house to house and vanishes is the same rabbit in each instance and you can show him up front and place him in the grass and then the running begins!
  • Your hands appear to be nowhere near the action so when the rabbit pops out the side of one home your hands and fingers can be 6 inches or more away.
  • All packs flat into custom display case.

Why would collector’s what to get this?

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Review by Andy Martin for Collector's ESP Die by Secret Factory

Review by Andy Martin for Collector's ESP Die by Secret Factory
Review by Andy Martin for Collector's ESP Die by Secret Factory
5 out of 5

As cool and reliable as the latest version of Anverdi’s Mental Dice is there are plenty of magicians that avoid any sort of electronics in their magic.  Luckily, there have been a number of effects where you can discern the value of the die on top without any electronics.  They began c. 1973 with Milson’s (yes before Milson-Worth) Mental Die, the next version was Chazpro’s Die-Cipher c. 1990, then Die-Cipher II was released c. 1994. 

Now the Secret Factory have released their own high end Collector’s version that improves the method from all previous versions and looks stunning.  Of course the price is substantially more too, but if you wanted to get the simplest and most beautiful version of this great effect with zero electronics you will need to search no longer.

Click here for more information.

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