Review by Andy Martin for The Mallet, Ball, and Vase by Richard Spencer

Review by Andy Martin for The Mallet, Ball, and Vase by Richard Spencer
Review by Andy Martin for The Mallet, Ball, and Vase by Richard Spencer
5 out of 5

This effect has been around from at least 1886 when it appeared in The Amateur Magician by J. Dazley Theobald c. 1886 (pg. 23 The Magic Hammer of Mysterious Disappearance).  My suspicion is that it was certainly before that.  Thayer made some beautiful versions and you can see some brief demonstrations by Dr. Albo in The Ultimate Thayer.  In addition to Thayer many dealers have crafted their own versions including: A. Roterberg c. 1904,  Inez 1904, Heaney Magic Co. c. 1924,  and N.M.C. c. 1936.

However for all of these and other versions, it is hard to beat this gorgeous version created by Richard Spencer.  This beauty is made from Blue Marble and African Blackwood with #002 on the base.  It is very solidly made and works perfectly.

The routine I would use is described below.  I think you will absolutely love this πŸ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Arch Arcs by Mike Rose

Review by Andy Martin for Arch Arcs by Mike Rose
Review by Andy Martin for Arch Arcs by Mike Rose
5 out of 5

Mike Rose creates some great small run, custom items and I just picked-up his latest releases.  This one is Arch Arcs which is a wonderful, non-mechanical, close-up version of the Stretch-It Boom-E-Rang released by P&L c. 1934 and later produced by Viking here.

These little arcs are beautifully crafted by expert magic apparatus builder Louis Paul and feel great in your hands. They are made in maple and walnut.  Mike has produced eight pages of very detailed and high quality, photo illustrated instructions to go with his great routine.  These days with online downloads you almost never see such detailed and well produced instructions – they could easily be part of a book Mike is working on (I don’t know but the quality is that good!).

There is a switch required but because you start with the optical illusion the switch is very easy and clean and happens quite naturally either under the cover of the black velvet carry bag or with an alternate handling in your hands.

The routine is surprisingly easy and effective and reset takes an instant and you have nothing to go wrong or recharge.  Which is a welcome change to some of the magic I try these days πŸ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Mysterious Paddle Set by Mike Rose

Review by Andy Martin for Mysterious Paddle Set by Mike Rose
Review by Andy Martin for Mysterious Paddle Set by Mike Rose
5 out of 5

Mike Rose creates some great small run, custom items and I just picked-up his latest releases.  This one is his Mysterious Paddle Set which includes five different paddles made from solid cherry wood.

The five paddle routines are detailed very clearly on high quality, photo-illustrated instruction sheets that could easily be part of book which is a nice change from the abundance of online instructions these days.

These paddles are not mechanical like some of the amazing Joe Porper ones but the routines are quite fun and different and Mike gets a lot out of some simple ideas.  Also the paddle motion is very smooth and they are perfectly sized and roll very easily in your fingers.   Mike spent time devising some of the cleanest and most entertaining routines you can do with well crafted wooden paddles.

I think you might find a little more here than you expect.  I could certainly see these also being used with other items to enhance some otherwise basic effects and if you did that you could really create some miracles πŸ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic
3 out of 5

The original version for this visual type of Silk on Candle where the silk appears instantly and without any cover seems to have been invented by the American magician and author Theo DorΓ© (Theodore T. Levy) as described in the Christmas edition of Abracadabra 1947.

El Duco released his manual version of this effect c. 1983 and he has reintroduced that version with the electronic sound activated mechanism he has used successfully in his Silk in Glass and Plexi-Card

The key thing with this electronic version is you have to use the right sized silk and a 9″ silk appears to be the best size which is perfect because that is also the best size for a silk pistol such as this one πŸ™‚

If you set this up correctly you have a truly beautiful and instant effect.  The sound activation can also be activated with a solid clap of the hands too, but it looks most impressive when the silk pistol is shot and the silk appears tied around the candle. Remember the silk is actually tied around the candle and is ungimmicked – it can even be untied and used in another effect.

This is unfortunately unreliable and unless I learn something new it is unlikely to be used in performance.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Mind Paintings II (Porcupine Edition) by Magic Wagon, Kaymar Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Mind Paintings II (Porcupine Edition) by Magic Wagon, Kaymar Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Mind Paintings II (Porcupine Edition) by Magic Wagon, Kaymar Magic
5 out of 5

This is one of my favorite Magic Wagon effects based on T.A. Waters’ amazing Box Office. You can read more about the original version released in 2012 when I first purchased it here

When I obtained The Man Who Knows by Kaymar Magic I realized that almost all of the posters featured were also featured in The Porcupine and so I devised this routine using the Mind Paintings II props and the Kaymar Magic effect which I’m quite happy with πŸ™‚

Includes:

The effect is easy to do and basically self-working as long as you follow the sequence of actions and adds a little more depth to the standard Box Office effect which is normally over a little too quickly.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for The Encyclopedia of Stage Illusions (1 of 500) by Burling Hull, Ormond McGill

Review by Andy Martin for The Encyclopedia of Stage Illusions (1 of 500) by Burling Hull, Ormond McGill
Review by Andy Martin for The Encyclopedia of Stage Illusions (1 of 500) by Burling Hull, Ormond McGill
5 out of 5

Wow what a beautiful and impressive book.  This is the one that they all want, and you’ll almost never find one in this amazing condition.  Filled with 240 illusions and 374 pages.  I’ve filled out the full contents below (which I have not seen anywhere else) so you can appreciate all the amazing illusions in this impressive tomb. 

Not only did I appreciate the depth of detail described for each illusion but  I also enjoyed seeing so many photos of the illusions being performed live on the stage by famous illusionists through the years.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Simplicity Card Box (Blue) by Supreme Magic Company

Review by Andy Martin for Simplicity Card Box (Blue) by Supreme Magic Company
Review by Andy Martin for Simplicity Card Box (Blue) by Supreme Magic Company
4 out of 5

Supreme released this interesting little card box in yellow c. 1966 and released it again in blue c. 1977. There is little difference, apart from color, between the two though the lid fits on slightly differently. But the size and depth are the same. This is the later blue version.

The 2 pages of instructions come with a number of ideas. The key difference with this card box when compared with more standard ones is that there is a small recess in the bottom and the lid is not connected to the base. If you want to really examine the box, this box allows you to fairly easily ditch the flap and card.

However, my favorite idea based on the instructions is a no move approach and to use a sheet of newspaper (or other paper should work) and you can then can do a seamless switch with no moves or effort and even match a freely selected card in the box. This is how it goes:

  • Lay a sheet of newspaper down to secure the performance area.
  • Have a spectator shuffle and chose any card (no force) without looking at it and place the card face down on the newspaper.
  • Cover the card with the small box (to allow for an impression).
  • Lift the box up and have them retrieve their card.
  • Hand them the box and ask them to open the lid and compare the card in the box with their chosen card.
  • It matches.
  • The cards and the box are 100% clean and you didn’t do any moves.  I think this approach has some legs for sure.

Anyway, a different card box design that you don’t see very often that I know you need in your collection πŸ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Let That Wet (Little Weather House) by Len Belcher, Unknown

Review by Andy Martin for Let That Wet (Little Weather House) by Len Belcher, Unknown
Review by Andy Martin for Let That Wet (Little Weather House) by Len Belcher, Unknown
5 out of 5

What an adorable prop this is πŸ™‚

I am pretty sure this is a one off created by a very talented British craftsman but I have no other information on the creator.  However, I can share what I have pieced together. The creative British inventor and Children’s magician, Len Belcher, wrote an article in Abracadabra (October 10th, 1949) titled “See That Wet!” which featured a weather house with a man and a woman, and the man figure disappearing and reappearing in place of the woman.  Then c. 1954 Supreme Magic started selling their Little Weatherhouse with a similar premise.  Then in 1983 Len Belcher was back in Abra (January 22nd, 1983) with a new article “Weatherman“, where he recalled his original article, the subsequent  copying by a dealer of his idea, and came back with some more thoughts and a better routine.  This is where the idea of the man going back and forth to the lady’s side is introduced.  Len also beefed up some patter details, and included a sketch of a weather house.

From these beginnings I believe this prop was created.  Although it didn’t come with a routine from reading the Len Belcher articles and the Supreme ad copy I came up with the effect below which seems to be in the spirit of what Len Belcher was going for and whoever the very talented craftsman was who created this.

Just look at the attention to detail – it is all solidly made from wood with metal figures, and the figures are even painted on both sides.   Each brick is painted individually, and even the doors have extra grain painted on to add to the realism of the little house.

Here is the routine I came up with after studying the prop and reading the Belcher articles and Supreme advert.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Starter Kit by Supreme Magic Company

Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Starter Kit by Supreme Magic Company
Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Starter Kit by Supreme Magic Company
5 out of 5

Wow what an amazing magic set πŸ™‚

Like many magician’s my first steps into magic were through a box of tricks under the Christmas Tree. My set was the Hocus Pocus Magic Box c. 1972 – like many toy magic boxes it was filled with many of the same effects. And although it really was great for a nine year old, I quickly distanced myself from it. That would not have been the case if I had received this set from Supreme Magic.

I had not seen this box of magic Supreme Magic released c. 1987 until recently. And boy what a really wonderful box it is. Filled with amazing magic from Supreme’s huge catalog, and a very informative and useful 88 page book by Ian Adair.

Although each box had varied content, here is what is in this one:

  1. Supreme Lubor Fiedler’s Posi-Negative – with 2 pages of instructions.
  2. Supreme Fogel’s All Clear Forcing Bag – with 16 page booklet.
  3. Supreme Giant Size Clever Ace –  with 16 page booklet featuring Peter Pit.
  4. Supreme Brass Nut Release – with 4 pages of instructions and an amazingly good brass nut gimmick.
  5. Supreme New Vanishing Wand – with 2 pages of instructions.
  6. Supreme Hindu Devil’s Rope – with 4 pages of instructions.
  7. Supreme Werry’s Fantastic Thimibles – with 3 pages of instructions.
  8. Supreme Vest Pocket Bathing Beauty – with 1 page of instructions.
  9. Supreme Werry’s Card Crash-Thru – with 4 pages of instructions.
  10. Supreme Miracle X Wallet – with 3 pages of instructions (including a great version of Hen Fetsch’s Wallet Wallop)

Plus a very informative 88 page book by Ian Adair titled: How To Become a Supreme Magician, with table of contents:

  • Introduction 7
  • How To Become A Supreme Magician 8
  • The Various Branches of Magic 18
    • Close-Up Magic 19
    • Children’s Magic 20
    • Conjuring with Cards 24
    • Stage Magic 27
    • It Must Be Mindreading 28
  • Selecting Magic Apparatus 30
  • Building a Magical Library 34
  • How to Join a Magic Club 35
  • Practise and Rehearsal 39
  • Dress; Appearance and Etiquette 40
  • Make-Up 41
  • Misdirection 44
  • Advertising and Publicity 46
  • History of Mystery 56
  • A Glossary of Conjuring Terms 69
  • Bibliography (Recommended Magic Reading)  81
  • Subscribing to Magical Magazines 83
  • Acknowledgements 86

The book itself would have been very useful to any young magician trying to take magic more seriously and figure out what direction to grow in magic.

This is an amazing time capsule that will take you back and surprise you with some clever and easy to do magic.

Click here for more information.

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