Review by Andy Martin for Thought Control by Richard Himber

Review by Andy Martin for Thought Control by Richard Himber
Review by Andy Martin for Thought Control by Richard Himber
5 out of 5

Richard Himber’s Thought Control is an idea that has been copied many times over the last 65+ years since it’s release. But the original still provides one of the cleanest methods to have any card freely chosen and then have the prediction handed to the spectator for them to open. This is made from “Cashmere Cowhide” (whatever that is) but it feels like a very soft and fine quality leather ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have a Himber Wallet and Thought Control in your arsenal you could handle 80+% of all your wallet needs, all from one man ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Bendix Bombshell (1985) with Booklet by Dave Bendix, R.A.R. Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Bendix Bombshell (1985) with Booklet by Dave Bendix, R.A.R. Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Bendix Bombshell (1985) with Booklet by Dave Bendix, R.A.R. Magic
5 out of 5

There have been at least four authorized versions of the wallet produced that I have seen (and probably plenty more unauthorized ones):

  1. Original c. 1975 – (3 7/8″ x 7 3/4″) – R.A.R. Magic.
  2. Version 2 c. 1982 – (4″ x 8″) – R.A.R. Magic – this is the one John Mendoza had.
  3. Version 3 c. 1985 -(4 3/8″ x 7 1/4″) – R.A.R. Magic – first release of Bendix Bombshell routine book,  this set the mold for future wallets.
  4. Version 4 c. 2010 – (4 3/8″ x 7 1/4″) – Martin Breese and Tony Curtis – updated release of Bendix Bombshell routine book.

This is Version 3 c. 1985 complete with The Bendix Bombshell booklet.

Here are a few details that I have been able to piece together (mainly from Roy Roth’s account here) of the early days of development of the Bendix Bombshell:

Ed Brown created the Window Wallet c. 1975 and a routine using it was published in Kabbala Vol.3, No. 1, January 1976, called: Between Elmsley, Brown, and Himber.

The Window Wallet was the inspiration for a number of great card men including, Ed Marlo, Dave Solomon (using Ed Brown’s own wallet), Jon Rachenbaumer (Talismanic Card in Wallet – Lecture Notes 1, 1976) , and Dave Bendix to create some wonderful Card to Wallet routines.  The second you see the the diagram on page 1 of the Kabbala article you will recognize the familiar set-up for the special Himber wallet that we recognize today as the Bendix Bombshell.

In August 1975,  having seen Ed Brown’s wallet (even before it was published in Kabbala), Dave Bendix wrote to Roy Roth of R.A.R. Magic asking to have a special wallet created and by December 1975 Roy had delivered three wallets as promised to Dave, who gave his spares to Ed Marlo and Dave Solomon.

Dave Bendix gave exclusive rights to Roy Roth to create and market the wallet and the first ads for, the Roth named, Bendix Bombshell appeared in Abracadabra December 27, 1975 – the early versions even included routines by Ed Marlo and Dave Solomon.

As far as I can tell the big change to the Window Wallet that Dave Bendix came up with was the addition of the zipper and the layout of the slots such that it could facilitate the easy retrieval of the chosen card from inside the zippered compartment. These beautiful changes in combination with the other ideas of the original Window Wallet – in particular the amazingly clean switch – make for such a satisfying effect which is probably why so many great performers like the Bendix.

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Review by Andy Martin for 18k Gold Plated Linking Finger Rings (Second Run) by David Regal

Review by Andy Martin for 18k Gold Plated Linking Finger Rings (Second Run) by David Regal
Review by Andy Martin for 18k Gold Plated Linking Finger Rings (Second Run) by David Regal
5 out of 5

A really pretty set of Himber rings from David Regal made in plated 18K gold which not only look beautiful they function 100% smoothly. At this price point they are a great deal for sure!

David had a second run of these made in 2019 and they were identical to the first 18k Gold Plated set without the custom box and printed bag, just plain box and bag.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Ring Thing by Collectors' Workshop

Review by Andy Martin for The Ring Thing by Collectors' Workshop
Review by Andy Martin for The Ring Thing by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

This is the first time I have seen this amazing effect which is Classic Nick Ruggiero ingenuity. You have to wonder how he came up with the idea and the unique brass gimmick to make it all work so well. When Rich Bloch and Nick were cooking they created some truly unique items at Misty Morn Farm ๐Ÿ™‚

I know The Ring Thing was released after the first catalog (c. 1987) and before 1991 (because I have a Ron Allesi newsletter advertising a used one in March 1991). But I could not find any advertising anywhere for it and by the time the second catalog was released (c. 1996) it was nowhere to be seen. It is strange it was not continued because it seems to work very well and is certainly unique. It might be a little daunting when you first see the props. But a quick study of the well illustrated instructions (six pages) with the props in hand will quickly make you an expert and you will see it is actually very straight forward.

The set-up from scratch takes about five minutes for one card but you could easily prepare a bunch and you could get the reset to about a minute.

Apart from the cool brass mechanism this uses I love how you freely hand the deck to the spectator and they can open up the deck to find their actual ring hanging from their chosen card. And then they need a pair of scissors to remove the ring as it is glued on so tightly ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Watch Out by Mazda Magic, Glen Gloye

Review by Andy Martin for Watch Out by Mazda Magic, Glen Gloye
Review by Andy Martin for Watch Out by Mazda Magic, Glen Gloye
5 out of 5

This clever effect was invented by Glen Gloye whilst still a student at Elmhurst College and expertly crafted and marketed by Mazda Magic.  It has shades of Joe Berg’s No-Fake Card Frame but uses a very different method.

I particularly like to show the cabinet fully empty at first as it makes for a more convincing appearance later on. You can vanish  the watch using sleight of hand, a devil’s Hank or other approaches.  I added a small drawer box (which you can see in the video and I do include in this lot) to keep everything 100% mechanical and clean.

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Review by Andy Martin for Run Guard Run by Harry Leat, Maurice Garland, Unknown

Review by Andy Martin for Run Guard Run by Harry Leat, Maurice Garland, Unknown
Review by Andy Martin for Run Guard Run by Harry Leat, Maurice Garland, Unknown
5 out of 5

This is a beautiful and almost certainly one-off version of Englishman Harry Leat’s wonderful Run Rabbit Run. I am not sure of the builder, however, there is a chance it was made or commissioned by Harry Leat himself. I came to this conclusion because Harry talks about his good friend Maurice Garland (another English magician) who was one of the Queen’s Guards and performed sentry duty many times outside of Buckingham Palace (Forty Years in & Around Magic pg. 24, Harry Leat, 1923).

It seems quite possible that the inventor of Run Rabbit Run who had a good friend in the Queens Guard could have had this made.  I don’t know this for sure, but it is as good a starting place as any.  If you have any more information on the creator of this unique prop please contact me.

The mechanism works very well and it easy to operate.  The guard moves on a circular arc which means you can get a lot of motion from the guard for a small amount of motion from your thumb – this is a nice touch.  The hand-painting on this prop is adorable and very detailed.

There is a slight part of the guard that can be seen when he is to either side, but this can hardly be noticed close-up let alone in a live performance – particularly from below where the children would normally be watching from.

Their is quite a lot that could be done with the patter for this item due to the intrigue that children have with the The Queen, Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Guard.  And painting Garland the Guard as a bad guard who should never leave his post seems like a natural theme.

I find it hard to believe that I’m still finding cool and novel Run Rabbit Run variants but that is what happens when you create the greatest children’s effect in history ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 1 (The Carl Owen Book) by Richard Buffum, Owen Magic Supreme

Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 1 (The Carl Owen Book) by Richard Buffum, Owen Magic Supreme
Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 1 (The Carl Owen Book) by Richard Buffum, Owen Magic Supreme
5 out of 5

Here is Vol. 1 of Keep the Wheels Turning collection. Now you can read the story of Carl Owen, the man whose magical artistry and mechanical inventions were the foundation of quality magic.

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Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 2 (The Floyd Thayer Book) by Les Smith, Gertrude Smith, Owen Magic Supreme

Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 2 (The Floyd Thayer Book) by Les Smith, Gertrude Smith, Owen Magic Supreme
Review by Andy Martin for Keep The Wheels Turning Vol. 2 (The Floyd Thayer Book) by Les Smith, Gertrude Smith, Owen Magic Supreme
5 out of 5

Here is the long anticipated Vol. 2 of Keep the Wheels Turning collection. Now you can read the story of Floyd Thayer too in this fabulous companion volume.

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Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands

Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands
Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands
3 out of 5

Magic Hands have a very good track record with their Silk Pistols.  They released their first one c. 1974,  this amazing beauty c. 1979, and their final one c. 1984.  So when I finally sat down to understand how this worked I was quite excited to see what they had achieved.

Well although the pistol looks amazing and is very collectible as it is,  I don’t think this blunderbuss style is even close to the functionality of their other two pistols.  It is designed to work with another product released by Magic Hands called: Gorden’s Silk in Balloon II where you can supposedly  shoot not one but two silks from the pistol into a balloon.  That sounds great but as a Silk Pistol this actually only vanishes one silk and the second one is done by subterfuge.   Worse the first silk is not actually vanished either a switch is made so that instead of vanishing a full silk just a small corner is vanished. So rather than actually vanishing two silks this pistol actually vanishes a small corner.

To add insult to injury I am unable to set this up so that it even vanishes the corner ๐Ÿ™

As it stands this pistol vanishes nothing let alone two silks!

The way it is supposed to work is:

  • You show the pistol.  Load the first silk down into the barrel of the gun and supposedly let a small part of the corner of the silk hang out (this is in fact the switched corner). The switch is easy enough to do (you simply push in the first silk and let fall out the fake corner in its place), but the vanish is a far cry from a full silk vanish as with other silk pistols.
  • This corner is attached to a thread inside the barrel and when you fire the gun the first time the thread is meant to be pulled up and vanish the silk corner and of course then the silk appears in the balloon. 
  • Then you load the second silk – there is not even a pretense at hanging out from the barrel this time just load it in the barrel and fire.
  • And the second silk appears in the balloon.

So even if this works perfectly as designed at best it would only vanish a single silk corner.  Could it give the impression of vanishing two silks – yes I think so as long as the appearance into the balloon looks effective it could.  However, there is no doubt to the spectator where the silks are as the audience saw you push them inside the barrel and of course you cannot look inside the barrel.

But if you purchased thinking you’d be vanishing two or even a single silk as you would with other silk pistols (as I did), you are going to be disappointed.

Bottom line this is deceptive magic advertising at its best ๐Ÿ™

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Review by Andy Martin for It's Just Impossible (Deluxe) by N8 Quality Magic

Review by Andy Martin for It's Just Impossible (Deluxe) by N8 Quality Magic
Review by Andy Martin for It's Just Impossible (Deluxe) by N8 Quality Magic
4 out of 5

There is no doubt the title of this clever effect from N8 Quality Magic is very apt.  If you look at the test conditions that surround it, it does seem truly impossible for the chain to penetrate the bolt.  And amazingly everything can be minutely examined with no switches or magnets.

However, the downside is that this will take a little practice to get smooth – it is not difficult but it does take a knack.  If you put in a little time you will have an effect that is always ready to roll and will fool them for sure.

There are a few angle issues and this can only be performed with spectators in front of you.  Don’t get me wrong it is a clever method and I’m not sure you could ever figure it out if you didn’t watch the explanation video, but it will take some practice to get it smooth.

This is the Deluxe version made from Mahogany with a brass spike rather than the cheaper standard version with painted tube and wooden spike seen in the video.  They were made in limited quantities.

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