Review by Andy Martin for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes

Review by Andy Martin for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes
Review by Andy Martin for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes
5 out of 5

Russell Swann introduced and probably invented the Snake Basket c. 1939.  Jack Hughes released his amazingly inventive Snake Basket c. 1949.  That was about forty years before Collectors’ Workshop created their wonderful Khyber Kobra.  But what is really amazing about the Jack Hughes Snake Basket is how much action he gets from it with zero electronics or clockwork motors, just well designed springs and levers creates all the magic and entertainment you can handle ๐Ÿ™‚

When this little guy arrived at my door he was looking a bit worse for wear and I’ve been working with him on and off for a few months.  The original snake has a small rope magnet in the head to attract the ball but this had lost its magnetic juice.  Also for the spinning lid and “snake in the grass” gag you are meant to stick a tack through the basket lid into the snake’s head.  When Chance Wolf built his beautiful recreation of this effect he used a magnet for this part because the tack was not a good long term (or short term) solution. So I included a fresh piece of “grass”, added a large and powerful magnet* to his head to cover up the old magnet and large tack hole. I also added a large magnet in the top of the lid and a smaller one in the base of the grass.  So now the snake easily attaches to the lid and the grass stays on the lid thanks to the magnets.  It took a few attempts but I finally ended up with the correct sized magnets that make it work easily.

With the exception of the spinning lid (which I’ve dropped due to the tack and it felt the weakest part of the routine) everything else in the original routine works well.  The snake and pieces maybe a little worn and show some marks and flaking paint but everything is still usable and effective. 

I spoke to Chance Wolf about how easy it was to pick up the card because I was having trouble.  Chance gave me a few tips that worked but also admitted with the original Hughes version the ability to pick up the card got harder as the unit aged. However,  when I was practicing this for the video I pretty much nailed it every time.  Like many things in magic once you have the knack it is pretty straight forward. The good news is that even if you do have to take a few tries this is a comedy item and a little jiggling can even add to the entertainment.

However you perform this beauty Jack Hughes demonstrates you don’t need electronics or clockwork motors to create some amazing visual magic and entertainment ๐Ÿ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid of Djoser by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid of Djoser by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid of Djoser by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

This is the first release of 2022 for Magic Wagon and although this year so far has not seen much innovation when it comes to brand new effects or ideas Magic Wagon’s ability to build perfect little miracles has not diminished. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a truly stunning version of Don Pottsโ€™ wonderful creation: The Mystery of the Pyramids released by U.F. Grant c. 1958.  There have been quite a few versions of this effect and Magic Wagon’s version fits very nicely with them depending on your artistic preference.

Magic Wagon’s version works very smoothly too.  It pretty much just works right out of the box and you will love playing with this one. Madison’s video is a joy to watch.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Shellebration by Steve Dusheck

Review by Andy Martin for Shellebration by Steve Dusheck
Review by Andy Martin for Shellebration by Steve Dusheck
5 out of 5

This is one of my favorite Steve Dusheck effects that has recently been re-released under license by Airship Magic.  This set is from one of original runs c. 1979 and is a perfect example of Dusheck genius ๐Ÿ™‚ 

What I particularly like about this effect is how much magic is squeezed out of each gimmick and how you are left totally clean and the coins can be examined at the end.  When you first try this out you’ll even surprise yourself how good it looks!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Out Of This World by Paul Curry

Review by Andy Martin for Out Of This World by Paul Curry
Review by Andy Martin for Out Of This World by Paul Curry
5 out of 5

I first read about this effect in Paul Clive’s excellent book Card Tricks Without Skill when I was a 12 or 13.  I have used it on and off ever since and although I’ve read over one hundred variations since then I still pretty much perform it the way Curry first described it.  There is a fascinating account of this card trick being performed to Winston Churchill in Curry’s Magician’s Magic which added to my intrigue of this effect when I was a teenager.

In recent years the only thing I have changed is to use a deck of Steven Perry’s Belly Strippers so that you can start with a very clean shuffle of the cards before you begin.

I love this amazing card trick ๐Ÿ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Card Shuffler (Model 50) by Nestor Johnson Mfg.

Review by Andy Martin for Card Shuffler (Model 50) by Nestor Johnson Mfg.
Review by Andy Martin for Card Shuffler (Model 50) by Nestor Johnson Mfg.
5 out of 5

This amazing Card Shuffler was invented by Rudolph Notz c. 1950 and a USA patent was applied for it in 1950 and approved in 1955. These were manufactured and sold throughout the 1950’s by Nestor Johnson Mfg. Co of Chicago. They were very popular for a time and their demand was also fueled by the Canasta craze in the 1950’s.

These days you can only purchase vintage version of this device (they have not been made for decades) – but with a little bit of care and maintenance they will work much better and last a lot longer than the cheap plastic and electric ones you can purchase at Amazon.

I wanted to use one of these for a magical effect and thought the best use would be to perform one of the best card effects of all time: Out of This World.  And if you use a deck of Steven Perry’s Belly Strippers you are all set for an old world miracle ๐Ÿ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Jon Wilson for Blue Phantom (Blue Holographic) by Andy Hurst

Review by Jon Wilson for Blue Phantom (Blue Holographic) by Andy Hurst
Review by Jon Wilson for Blue Phantom (Blue Holographic) by Andy Hurst
5 out of 5

I literally learned of this version because of Andy Martin and his website www.martinsmagic.com.

This version is so clean and easy to do. Andy Hurst did a great job in creating such a wonderful piece for the magic community. It is literally, the best version I have seen. Thank you!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for JJ's Coin Coalition by John Jurney

Review by Andy Martin for JJ's Coin Coalition by John Jurney
Review by Andy Martin for JJ's Coin Coalition by John Jurney
3 out of 5

These coins are basically a revamped version of Johnny Wong’s ground breaking coins that he began c. 2008 with the Dream Coin Set. This particular set is most like Johnny Wong’s Double Face Super Triple Face coins. Apart from the lack of credit for taking Johnny Wong’s idea, the problem I have with this particular set of coins from John Jurney is that they look like a brass washer with a magnet embedded in the middle – which is what they are – they don’t look like Chinese Coins at all.

Not all of John Jurney’s coins are this unrealistic but these ones are the least convincing as far as changing Dollars to Chinese coins is concerned.

Interestingly enough before Johnny Wong released the Super Triple Double Face he released the Perfect Power 3 (Eisenhower Dollar) and these are almost identical to those.  So if I had these coins I would ignore the fact that they are supposed to look like Chinese coins (which they don’t) and just use them as a Perfect Power 3 coin set.  With that in mind they look and work fine but so do Johnny Wong’s original ones too.  Some people say that Jurney’s coins separate smoother but that is easily remedied with Wong’s coins if you use teflon stickers and/or polish them. Also Jurney’s coins tend to be noisier than Wong’s ones (which are silent).

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney

Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney
Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney
4 out of 5

This is a comprehensive set of coins that are basically uncredited versions of various Dream Coins and Triple Coins released by Johnny Wong c. 2008.

The big difference with John Jurney’s coins is they can talk a little when compared with the original ones released by Johnny Wong.  That being said there are some interesting routines that John Jurney has put together and the price is good for the selection you get.

In addition, the Chinese Coins in this set look more realistic than Johnny Wong’s do.  Finally this set offered here comes with Old English pennies but later releases used Australian pennies.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Replica Morgan Triple Split Poker Chip Sticker by John Jurney

Review by Andy Martin for Replica Morgan Triple Split Poker Chip Sticker by John Jurney
Review by Andy Martin for Replica Morgan Triple Split Poker Chip Sticker by John Jurney
3 out of 5

Another set of Johnny Wong want to be coins from John Jurney.  They are using the Replica Morgans and from a short distance they do look like poker chips, but not up close – they look like stickers up close, which is what they are.  I think these could have looked a lot better if John Jurney had trimmed down real poker chips and attached them.

That being said this was the first release of these – the later versions he created of these look nothing like poker chips at all (with a big silver 1 in the middle), so if you wanted the poker chips these would be the ones to get.

Click here for more information.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close