Review by Andy Martin for Comedy Come-Back Card (Wine Glass) by Eric Lews, Magikraft Studios

Review by Andy Martin for Comedy Come-Back Card (Wine Glass) by Eric Lews, Magikraft Studios
Review by Andy Martin for Comedy Come-Back Card (Wine Glass) by Eric Lews, Magikraft Studios
5 out of 5

This effect was original created by Eric Lewis c. 1947 and is still being created by Eric’s son Martin Lewis. When Eric Lewis and Magikraft Studios first released this they used a special custom holder which worked fine, however it did look a little more like a gimmick.  More recently they released a version using a custom made plastic wine glass.  The wine glass works just as well and looks less like a prop so that is the version you probably should look for.

This is what Martin Lewis says about the change: “My father, Eric Lewis, created the Comedy Come-Back Card and designed an acrylic houlette for use with it, wine glasses being too breakable. If acrylic wine glasses existed in his day I’m sure he would have used one. A wine glass and napkin are far more innocuous looking and lend elegance to the effect.

It really is a very simple effect that has a wonderful impact on the audience.

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Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company

Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company
Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company
5 out of 5

This is a very worthy attempt by Jim Sherman’s National Magic Company to create a card box as good as P&L’s stunning Ultra Perfect Card Box

My photos don’t really do it justice and every blemish and fingerprint seems to be emphasized, but  you can see how close Jim got.  If you compare this with the P&L there is almost no difference in quality at all.  Although I admit you can’t tell from the photos but if you saw it in person it looks nothing like as bad as the photos are showing.  The video was shot a day later and you can see how shiny the box is.  You won’t be disappointed I promise!

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Review by Andy Martin for Canada Dry Passe Passe Bottles by Richard Himber

Review by Andy Martin for Canada Dry Passe Passe Bottles by Richard Himber
Review by Andy Martin for Canada Dry Passe Passe Bottles by Richard Himber
5 out of 5

Wow what a stunning set of Passe Passe bottles and these are in immaculate condition.

When these were first released Richard Himber had multiple versions of Canada Dry effects, including: 

  • Canada Dry Vanish,
  • a Shrinking Bottles effect,
  • a Diminishing Bottles effect and,
  • a Passe Passe Bottles effect,

and they were often mixed and matched.  This is basically the Passe Passe set – it comes in the original red box but comes with no instructions. 

Because the bottles nest you could of course use it to vanish or appear a bottle.  As far as I can understand it Richard Himber paid a fortune for the moulds ($1,250 in 1947, about $15,000 today) and wanted to get as much out of his investment as possible.

The other nice thing about this set is that all tubes, bottles and glasses all nest into one small package.

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Review by Andy Martin for Little Star (1 or 10) by Thomas Pohle

Review by Andy Martin for Little Star (1 or 10) by Thomas Pohle
Review by Andy Martin for Little Star (1 or 10) by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

Here is another clever beauty from Germany’s modern day micro-magic master craftsman: Thomas Pohle.  The basic effect is one where a freely chosen star disappears from one tube only to appear printed on a previously shown blank plaque.

But Thomas has put in some features to throw off the scent for magicians.  The vanish of the star is the cleverest part of this effect – if you watch the video after the star has vanished he then breaks open the tube and there is clearly nothing in there – no missing star.  If you think about this it really defies explanation and it will fool magicians and lay people alike.  Even the reappearance of the star on the blank tablet has a nice feature because not only can you show the tablet clearly blank on both sides it can be any one of the colors.

The two minor downsides with this effect are:

  • Mechanically there is a lot going on and so much so that after making ten of these Thomas stopped production – the tolerances and effort were too much!  If you have one that is not a downside of course 🙂
  • You have to spend some time practicing the disappearance and the appearance of the correct star.  But read the instructions, particularly the extra ones that Joe Long added for Thomas, watch the explanation video from Thomas, and spend some time with the props in your hand to really understand what is going on.  It reads more complex than it is and once you have played with it for a while you will be fine, but make sure to give it the time it deserves.

If you do, you’ll have a fooler that looks amazing. 

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Review by Andy Martin for The Riddle of The Sphinx by N8 Quality Magic

Review by Andy Martin for The Riddle of The Sphinx by N8 Quality Magic
Review by Andy Martin for The Riddle of The Sphinx by N8 Quality Magic
5 out of 5

Oh boy what an stunning beauty from Italy this item is!  It is a complete re-imagining of Magiro’s highly sought after Babuska by Ottavio Belli’s N8 Quality Magic.

Although the basic method is all Magiro the look and quality of the props, and the improved mechanism are all Ottavio.  This prop is a huge upgrade on the original and looks simply breathtaking.  Some times when Magiro’s items are redone, they loose some of their magic, but not so with this beauty.  This is just the right amount of ostentation and improvements to fully perfect Magiro’s masterpiece and if Magiro were still with us I’m confident he would be very pleased with this release.

This will certainly look perfect in your mini-magic collection and if you put in the practice to make it as smooth as Ottavio’s demo you will have an effect that will continue to wow them for years to come.

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Review by Andy Martin for Sea Ling's Three Sisters by Richard Gerlitz

Review by Andy Martin for Sea Ling's Three Sisters by Richard Gerlitz
Review by Andy Martin for Sea Ling's Three Sisters by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

It’s very rare that I get to add a new Richard Gerlitz item to my site and although Richard released this beauty in 2005 this is the first time I am adding one to my site 🙂

As with all of Richard’s items he spends a lot of time creating intricate methods and routines.  When this item was released some collector’s raved less about this item than others.  I think that is mostly because it takes a little more practice to get smooth than some of Richard’s other items.  But like all things once you read the instructions and play with the props a few times the handling starts to fall into place.  There is nothing difficult to do, with no sleights, and a few trial runs will have you performing this bad boy like a champ.  Just by looking at Richard’s original video or my freshly minted Speed Demo you can see how effective the presentation is.

After playing with this today I can appreciate this more than I did when I started and as a rare Gerlitz beauty whether you perform it or display it will always look good in your collection.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Book Test Book by Jim Kleefeld

Review by Andy Martin for The Book Test Book by Jim Kleefeld
Review by Andy Martin for The Book Test Book by Jim Kleefeld
5 out of 5

If you didn’t think Jim Kleefeld could top his previous Magnum Opus, Locked, think again.  Jim has done it again with a second massive work for mentalists, magicians and historians – this time tackling the ever popular category of magic and mentalism: The Book Test. 

Here are just a few of the commercial products he features in his book and these barely scratch the surface of the amazing treasure trove that awaits you. Every time I think I have a pretty good selection of magic on my site I open up one of Jim’s books and quickly realize so many more effects there are out there, this history project of mine could take a while 🙁

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Review by Andy Martin for Locked by Jim Kleefeld

Review by Andy Martin for Locked by Jim Kleefeld
Review by Andy Martin for Locked by Jim Kleefeld
5 out of 5

Boy what an amazing resource Jim Kleefled has created here 🙂  It is filled with pretty much every lock trick you can think of and tons more.  In addition to reading about amazing props and locks, I love how it has lots of historical tidbits to really immerse yourself in the history of this fascinating subject and a very detailed discussion on the highly popular Seven Keys to Baldpate theme.

The only lock effect on my site I could not find in the book is the super rare Keyrumba by Carl Williams but everything else I searched for I was able to find, and there are many others I don’t have that of course appear too.  Makes you wonder what I’ve been up to all these years 🙁

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Review by Andy Martin for The Jewel Chest of Ching See by Loyd's

Review by Andy Martin for The Jewel Chest of Ching See by Loyd's
Review by Andy Martin for The Jewel Chest of Ching See by Loyd's
5 out of 5

This is Loyd’s  wonderful mini illusion: The Jewel Chest of Ching See.  I featured the Mike O’Dowd’s remake a few years ago and although I found the O’Dowd version quite serviceable there is no doubt this original looks better and works smoother. The Jewel Chest of Ching See itself is most likely derived from the Phantom Die Cabinet offered by Thayer Quality Magic as far back as 1912.

Loyd (Edward Loyd Enochs: 1897-1968) was born in the UK and moved to the Pasadena, California as a young man.  He made some of the finest magic apparatus available during the 1930’s-50’s which was sold through Thayer’s and as Loyd’s Magic.

This Jewel Chest was the inspiration for Richard Gerlitz’s incredible Jewel Chest of Sea-Ling so if you are unable to find or afford Richard’s beautiful version this beauty will help you scratch that itch 🙂

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