Review by Andy Martin for Silver Symphony by Al Vitali

Review by Andy Martin for Silver Symphony by Al Vitali
Review by Andy Martin for Silver Symphony by Al Vitali
5 out of 5

This is a great parlor/stage item invented by Al Vitali.  It is beautifully made in brass with a wooden coin holder that is quiet and deceptive.  You can clearly show the container empty and the the magic happens very cleanly before their eyes – coins vanish one by one from the easel and can be heard landing in the canister.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Syned Soy Box by Jos Denys

Review by Andy Martin for The Syned Soy Box by Jos Denys
Review by Andy Martin for The Syned Soy Box by Jos Denys
5 out of 5

This is the original version invented by Syned Soy (an acronym for Jos Denys) c. 1996 and sold by his company Select Magic of Belgium.  Manufacturing rights were purchased by Viking Mfg. c. 1997 and Viking released their first version in oak c. 2008 and their later version in walnut c. 2010.  They all work the same way, but I prefer the look of this original and this is the first original one I have seen.

The box looks amazing and intriguing with the chain. The effect is as clean as a whistle and there is absolutely nothing to find. It uses a very clever idea and the amazing thing is that the box and deck of cards are 100% ungimmicked and nothing is added or taken away. And yet you can always predict the card they count too. 

Includes:

  • Syned Soy Box.
  • 2 chains with pins at each end.
  • A small optional hook.
  • Deck of normal poker playing cards.
  • Envelopes and gimmick.
  • Full English translation of the instructions.

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Review by Andy Martin for Fusion Stones by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Fusion Stones by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Fusion Stones by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

Magic Wagon will often remake and enhance old effects and so it is nice to see them creating something that as far as I know is a unique method and routine. When I first opened this and read the method I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to perform.  Then I checked out the three videos on YouTube (which is always a good sign that it is easy) and was very pleased when I tried it out.

So this is certainly a winner from Magic Wagon.  It checks all the boxes and then some:

  • it is different,
  • easy to perform,
  • easy to reset,
  • easy to to understand for the spectator,
  • nice and visual,
  • no tricky angles.

It would be nice if the box were a little smaller or the cubes were larger, but I don’t think it would work if that was the case and it is a minor point. 

Great job Magic Wagon!  2021 has been a very good year so far 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives (7 knives) + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells

Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives (7 knives) + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells
Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives (7 knives) + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells
5 out of 5

I’m a big fan of Joe Mogar’s knives, but it’s hard not to fall in love with these beauties from Scotty York and Bill Wells.  The standard four set are hard to find these days, but this set includes three extra knives, in total you get seven matching knives:

  • One knife with white ivory handles on both sides.
  • One knife with black stag handles on both sides.
  • One knife with a black stag handle on one side and a white ivory handle on the other side.
  • One knife with a black stag handle on one side and a Swiss Army red handle on the other.

Plus these three extra ones:

  • One knife with Swiss Army red on both sides.
  • One knife with a white ivory handle on one side and a Swiss Army red handle on the other.
  • One knife with a Swiss Army red handle and a white/red Visible Change on the other.

Although this outfit comes with the 34 page booklet, it does not include routines to use all the knives but I’m sure that won’t stop you once you get a taste for these beauties 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Dead Zone Pro by Andy Nyman, Alakazam Magic, Taylor Imagineering

Review by Andy Martin for Dead Zone Pro by Andy Nyman, Alakazam Magic, Taylor Imagineering
Review by Andy Martin for Dead Zone Pro by Andy Nyman, Alakazam Magic, Taylor Imagineering
5 out of 5

This is an wonderful routine created by Andy Nyman, released by Alakazam Magic and built by Taylor Imagineering.  In fact, this was the first multi-transmitter effect created by Christopher Taylor c. 2007. For it’s time it was an amazing item for sure.  But since there has been a lot of changes to electronic items in the last 15 years I recently contacted Christopher to have him update all the electronics so that it now uses his newest digital readout and vibrating transmitters.  The effect is now more reliable than ever.

The electronics work flawlessly every time (as you’ve come to expect from anything that Christopher Taylor creates) and make it a total breeze to perform. The routine is truly entertaining and about the closest you can get to real mind reading with no suspicious pauses or actions required. Yes there are sophisticated electronics involved, but you’d never know – they are hidden so well and the props look so innocent. Well maybe innocent is the wrong word since they look pretty dangerous, but they are 100% ungimmicked.

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Review by Andy Martin for Clairvoyant Card Box by Limited Edition Magic, Magiro

Review by Andy Martin for Clairvoyant Card Box by Limited Edition Magic, Magiro
Review by Andy Martin for Clairvoyant Card Box by Limited Edition Magic, Magiro
5 out of 5

This is a beautiful version of Magiro’s very clever effect released c. 1995 called: Neue Hellseh-Kassette (Clairvoyance Chest) from the Limited Edition Magic team.  Paul Lembo continues to amaze with his craftsmanship and Joe Long clearly explains how to perform the effect – particularly the second phase which is barely mentioned in the original German instructions.  It is easy to do but nice to have the precise moves spelled out.

I believe only six of these were made so it is even more rare than the original version put out by Magiro.

I’ve also included a deck of cards, and a small pad and pen.  Everything except the pen fit neatly in the box which is surprisingly rare with some of these collectible props.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Mummy Designed by Herbert Martin Paufler, Built by German Craftsman

Review by Andy Martin for The Mummy Designed by Herbert Martin Paufler, Built by German Craftsman
Review by Andy Martin for The Mummy Designed by Herbert Martin Paufler, Built by German Craftsman
5 out of 5

If there is one effect that captures the imagination of most Magic Collectors it is The Mummy or Wandering Mummy routine.   The Gold Standard for The Mummy is still the amazing beauty created by Eddy Taytelbaum

I recently received this version from the Ruediger F. Deutsch Collection created by an unknown craftsman.  It is most likely a one of a kind created by a German Craftsman who read the article  Die Mumien in the German Magazine Zauberkunst (1965, Issue 4, pg. 22-27) written by Herbert Martin Paufler.  In this article is a very unusual and beautifully sketched example of the Mummy effect.  The design is very unique and if you look at the images in the magazine and then at this fine version you can see the design is almost identical.  However, the magazine has even more detail and fine points which led me to conclude that the Paufler sketches came first, then this version was created from the article.  (Thanks to Georg Walter for his assistance in helping piece this information together.)

If you know any more information about this version please contact me.

This beautiful and unusual version closely follows the effect created by Oskar Rey and sold by Joe Wildon in the 1950’s, and continued with Inzani-Henly, Eddy Taytelbaum, and a little later Alan Warner.  In each of these versions the mummy floats, disappears and then reappears in the other sarcophagus.

The main difference with this version is that Mummy when facing up will always float.  If you want it to stop floating you have to turn it face down.  This is different from the other early Mummies which require the Mummy to be turned end for end.  The floating feature has lost favor in recent years and most “modern” Wandering Mummy’s don’t even include it.

This is a really lovely version which works perfectly and I’m very happy to be able to add it to my collection for all to enjoy 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for The Mystic Bottle by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for The Mystic Bottle by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for The Mystic Bottle by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

This is Magic Wagon’s version of Ed Massey’s beautiful and amazing effect: The Strange Cabinet of Deodar.  Magic Wagon did a really great job here and not only did they stay true to the original they improved it slightly by allowing the spike through the top to be centered.  Though the bottle used does not appear to fill as much of the cabinet as the glass did in the original it is a small point and this is sure to mystify all who see it.

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Review by Andy Martin for Time Keeper by Taylor Imagineering

Review by Andy Martin for Time Keeper by Taylor Imagineering
Review by Andy Martin for Time Keeper by Taylor Imagineering
5 out of 5

Here is another electronic item from Christopher Taylor.  In method it is very similar to his other recent premium item: The Snooker Prediction Box.  However, what I love about Christopher is how he takes the same method and creates a very different effect. 

This starts of as a clean version of Max Maven’s classic Kurotsuke routine by selecting the spectator who chose the only silver pocket watch out of five.  But Christopher does not end there.  He then reads the minds of the remaining four spectators by accurately pinpointing the time that each or their watches is set at.

The method to do this is easy to do and easy to remember, but the impact is pretty stunning and it comes back to how important the routine is for these mechanical and electronic marvels.  So often we fall in love with the method, when in fact the method is almost meaningless (because you can’t show it to the audience) if the routine does not make the most of it.

I was really expecting to prefect the Snooker Prediction to this effect, but now it is not clear to me – both effects are amazing and choosing between them is quite difficult.  And of course that is why I had to purchase both 🙂

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