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 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 πŸ™‚

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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 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 πŸ™‚

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Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber

Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
4 out of 5

I knew Paul Clive. I have always been amused that he never did any card tricks himself yet managed to write this classic book! A friend of his told me, “I have known Paul for over 30 years and have never seen him do a card trick even once!”

It is indeed a wonderful book. It seems that Paul ran around with a notebook asking magicians he knew to contribute a card trick and eventually he had a great book. Naturally he sold the book in his own magic shop but was very reluctant to let customers know he wrote it. His wife would give the game away though so he would be reluctantly forced to sign his autograph within it!

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Review by Andy Martin for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber

Review by Andy Martin for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
Review by Andy Martin for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
5 out of 5

This is a wonderful book on card effects without skill of sleight of hand. Contains the classic effect by Paul Curry: Out of This World, and many other wonderful routines. This was one of the very first books on magic I ever purchased and it certainly changed my world!

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Review by Andy Martin for P&L Handkerchief "Casette" by Petrie-Lewis

Review by Andy Martin for P&L Handkerchief "Casette" by Petrie-Lewis
Review by Andy Martin for P&L Handkerchief "Casette" by Petrie-Lewis
5 out of 5

What a great utility effect this is.  When I was a teenager my go to method to vanish silks was using a standard pull.  What I really like about this Handkerchief “Casette” is it accomplishes two things:

  1. It makes the vanish seem even more amazing.
  2. It makes it easier to hide the method.

These have been made by many manufacturers over the years at least as far back as 1904 with Inez, Stanyon’s and Roterberg to name just a few.  It is also described in Hoffman’s Later Magic (pg. 283 The Nickel Tube with Pull) . This is a very nice version from P&L.  It can be used for silks or as I show in the video other small items of jewelry if you place them in a small plastic bag first.

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Review by Andy Martin for Magic Puzzle (Tabletop) by Louis Gaynor, Stevens Magic, Harold Voit

Review by Andy Martin for Magic Puzzle (Tabletop) by Louis Gaynor, Stevens Magic, Harold Voit
Review by Andy Martin for Magic Puzzle (Tabletop) by Louis Gaynor, Stevens Magic, Harold Voit
5 out of 5

The stage version (as seen in the video) of this looks fantastic, but if you can’t afford it or don’t have the space then this smaller tabletop version will work nicely.  I’m not sure I prefer this tabletop version to the original Harold Voit release of Merlin’s Magic Elixir – both have their place.  But Louis Gaynor does a really nice job in reducing this from the stunning and expensive Stage size, though I still fancy the larger version πŸ™‚

A few other comments:

  • Although this looks similar to Winston Freer’s Tile Puzzle, it is not the same method or routine.
  • This tabletop version uses a slightly different method than the original Merlin’s Magic Elixir.
  • The instructions were confusing, but Steven’s recently created a new video which clearly explains the moves – thanks guys πŸ™‚

To be clear there are currently four basic versions of this Magic Puzzle:

  1. Merlins Magic Elixir – this was the original version released by Harold Voit.
  2. Magic Puzzle (Stage) – this is the one shown in the video and also released by Harold Voit
  3. Magic Puzzle (Parlor) – this is the authorized release crafted by Louis Gaynor for Stevens Magic.
  4. Magic Puzzle (Tabletop) – this is the version on this page, which is also made under license by Louis Gaynor for Stevens Magic.

None of them use the same method as Winston Freer’s Tile Puzzle, which pre-dates them all.

In a nutshell the basic effect is:

  • Show the complete puzzle.
  • Show how the wooden frame fits perfectly around the puzzle.
  • Tip it out and mix the pieces up.
  • Re-assemble it to show the complete puzzle.
  • Introduce one extra small square and re-assemble the puzzle to include it.
  • Introduce another extra piece, twice the size of the first, and re-assemble the puzzle to include it.
  • Show how the wooden frame continues to fit perfectly around the puzzle.
  • The end.

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