Review by Andy Martin for Prestige (with Removable Letters) by The Hide Project

Review by Andy Martin for Prestige (with Removable Letters) by The Hide Project
Review by Andy Martin for Prestige (with Removable Letters) by The Hide Project
5 out of 5

There seems to be quite a lot of buzz around this item. The props are nicely made and it looks very effective.  You can show five cards and they can freely pick any one and it will have the words on it you choose.  The gimmick is quite clever. Very versatile.

If you need to force 5 or more items (you can purchase more cards) and are in a parlor or stage environment, this would be a perfect, clean, easy to do and no hassle choice.  I personally would not add the vanish of the number which is shown as a bonus effect.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Make Your Choice bu Julio Montoro, Juan Capilla

Review by Andy Martin for Make Your Choice bu Julio Montoro, Juan Capilla
Review by Andy Martin for Make Your Choice bu Julio Montoro, Juan Capilla
4 out of 5

Although the ad copy for Make Your Choice doesn’t name the effect that it is a close-up version of, it is most likely Prestige, as they look basically the same to the audience, but use very different methods.  Make Your Choice works well and there is nothing to break or go wrong, but it does require a simple move whereas Prestige is automatic.  However, you need to have a little more distance to perform Prestige whereas you can be much closer with Make Your Choice. The gimmick for Prestige is a little more interesting and novel, but Make Your Choice still works fine as described.

In his review video David Dellman provides a useful product comparison of the two items. Thanks David!

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Review by Andy Martin for Know It All Wallet by Bob Swadling, Mark Mason

Review by Andy Martin for Know It All Wallet by Bob Swadling, Mark Mason
Review by Andy Martin for Know It All Wallet by Bob Swadling, Mark Mason
5 out of 5

I love this wallet! This is the really high-end version of Stephen Tucker’s Visa Cabaret. This is foolproof and works by some sophisticated electronics that you would never suspect.

The Know It All Wallet is in fact a remake of Bob Swadling’s Millennium Wallet using a different technology.  The two big differences are:

  1. The effect can be performed without touching or holding the wallet at the end – the wallet can be given to the spectator and you never touch it again.
  2. The Millennium Wallet required the use of specially gimmicked business cards to work.  The Know It All Wallet works with any thin object that fits in the wallet.

The wallet looks and feels almost identical otherwise.  To be honest until I saw this version I was more than happy with the Millennium and didn’t even think I wanted a different approach.  But there is no doubt you can be cleaner with this version.

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Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Surprise Box (Clear) by Mephisto-Huis, Anverdi

Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Surprise Box (Clear) by Mephisto-Huis, Anverdi
Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Surprise Box (Clear) by Mephisto-Huis, Anverdi
5 out of 5

Anverdi’s Surprise Box is one of his finest creations. It came in a number of versions, also built by various dealers other than Anverdi.  This fine version was sold by Mephisto-Huis and I believe it was built by them too.  However,  it might have been made by Anverdi and just sold by Mephisto-Huis, since it is almost identical to the version that appears in the Anverdi book. Also it looks quite different from the one that I do believe was built by Mephisto-Huis here.  The cards that came with it were in fact made in Belgium (the home of Mephisto-Huis), but I replaced them with Bicycles for your performing pleasure 🙂  Also, the Anverdi book was in fact published by Mephisto-Huis so maybe they used some of their creations for the photos.  Without any other input I am going to assume this was actually built by Mephisto-Huis, but if you have any more information let me know.

Either way it came with a clear lid which was a nice touch.  The opaque lid version can be seen here.

In the ads that ran with this they say you can deal out from 2-50 cards.  In my tests things become less reliable after about 25-30 cards.  It can work but it is much more reliable before 25.  It is easy enough to ensure that happens so I don’t consider this an issue.

This version is very reliable and as long as the batteries are fresh and you don’t add too many cards works cleanly every time.

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Review by Andy Martin for Card Through Cork (Cork Penetration) by Eddy Taytelbaum

Review by Andy Martin for Card Through Cork (Cork Penetration) by Eddy Taytelbaum
Review by Andy Martin for Card Through Cork (Cork Penetration) by Eddy Taytelbaum
5 out of 5

Eddy Taytelbaum has no equal and inspired the mini-magic line that Alan Warner took on as the next generation with splendid results. Eddy invented this effect and like many of his creations, including his amazing Mummy, it is the gold standard.  It is hard to always tell by photos alone, but with every single Taytelbaum effect I have owned they always work so smoothly.  This particularly effect is no different.

I have seen others copy this effect, but there is clearly NO comparison to the original. The slide is so elegant as only Eddy can handcraft. It’s all wood with a beautifully applied dark green paint and his signature gold striping on the edges. The paint job is so smooth I can only think of Milson-Worth as the only other builder with such excellent results. It is hinged so it can be opened to expel any suspicions (the slide is ungimmicked). A brass hinge at one end keeps the slide locked closed.

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Review by Andy Martin for Card Go (Improved) by Jack Hughes

Review by Andy Martin for Card Go (Improved) by Jack Hughes
Review by Andy Martin for Card Go (Improved) by Jack Hughes
5 out of 5

The legendary British Inventor, Craftsman, and Dealer, Jack Hughes, invented Card Go c. 1938 when he was building magic for Davenports. 

This is a very rare find and the first time I have seen this improved version from Jack Hughes. This is even better and smoother than the original Jack Hughes version.

  • It works with both Bridge and Poker sized cards
  • Allows for more than one card to be vanished with zero reset.  You can vanish one after the other up to ten cards (not that you would want that many, but multiple vanishes does look good).
  • The release uses two prongs made from clock springs, one on either side, which are very reliable and make for a clean vanish almost every time.
  • Easy load – just drop the card in the frame (as though it was just a frame!).
  • No premature Vanishes.
  • The Vanish does not require visual queues, you can stare at the audience the whole time.
  • Never misses – some versions of Card Go can miss and seeing a card flutter to the floor maybe funny but it is not very magical.
  • Almost silent operation.

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Review by Andy Martin for Soft Glass by Abbott's, Peter Warlock

Review by Andy Martin for Soft Glass by Abbott's, Peter Warlock
Review by Andy Martin for Soft Glass by Abbott's, Peter Warlock
5 out of 5

One of my favorite glass penetrations is the Glass (Quadruple) Penetration that was invented by Peter Warlock in 1937. It is sometimes known as the English Glass Penetration and there have been a number of versions created, even as recently as 2020 when Magic Wagon created their Atomic Glass Penetration.

This is a very nice version of the Warlock effect created by Abbott’s – sadly although it is the exact same method as Peter Warlock’s version there is no mention of the inventor online or in the instructions.  I always find it sad when  a large company like Abbott’s chooses not to acknowledge the inventor of a well known effect such as this.  Even the name, Soft Glass, which sounds kind of cool, is not Abbott’s idea – it came when Jim Sherman of N.M.C. released their own version of Peter Warlock’s Glass Penetration (with permission from Davenport’s who held the rights at the time).  However, in N.M.C.’s catalog they did at least acknowledge the inventor as Peter Warlock (though early adverts did not).

Abbott’s original released this c. 1946 and this is a surprisingly good version by Abbott’s re-released in 2021.  It works very well and looks amazing.  The current routine that Abbott’s uses is a little different from many other Warlock versions – instead of having four needles to push through each hole they thread the needle through each one. I actually like this presentation and it flows quite well.

I think it helps to also begin by tapping the glass to show it solid with a full size magic wand as an extra convincer.

Includes:

    • The Soft Glass frame (complete with real glass).
    • A wooden needle with long ribbon.
    • A stylish wand (bonus: $49 retail).
    • Four metal needles with ribbons (bonus: should you want to do the Warlock presentation)

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Ghost Glass (Ghost Card) by Jack Hughes

Review by Andy Martin for Ghost Glass (Ghost Card) by Jack Hughes
Review by Andy Martin for Ghost Glass (Ghost Card) by Jack Hughes
4 out of 5

This is another rare Jack Hughes classic and is a great way to finish Card Go.

It is a great idea, but I found this a little tricky to do smoothly but we’ll see how it looks in the video after I’ve had some more practice.  It could easily be the age of the unit (almost 80 years!).

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Review by Andy Martin for Oriental Sleeve Production by Michael Baker, Okito, Berg

Review by Andy Martin for Oriental Sleeve Production by Michael Baker, Okito, Berg
Review by Andy Martin for Oriental Sleeve Production by Michael Baker, Okito, Berg
5 out of 5

Although Okito almost certainly didn’t invent this type of production tube he did feature it in his act and Michael based his beautiful version on Okito’s versions featured in Dr. Albo’s books: The Oriental Magic of The Bambergs and The Ultimate Okito.

It makes for a wonderful production device because it can be used anytime during the act, is self-contained, easy to do and has a large load capacity.

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Review by Andy Martin for Die Box (Single Door Gimmick) by Haenchen

Review by Andy Martin for Die Box (Single Door Gimmick) by Haenchen
Review by Andy Martin for Die Box (Single Door Gimmick) by Haenchen
5 out of 5

This is an Haenchen Die Box made in Honduras Mahogany. It has a single door gimmick and a fairly unique feature that of: controllable sliding sound. This means you can control when the sound is made or not as you tip the box from side to side. I have not seen this feature on any other Die Box I’ve owned and really like it 🙂

The locking single door gimmick allows you to show a die on the box or not.  Haenchen produced boxes with no gimick, a single door gimmick (like this one), and a double door gimmick.

This is a nicely made box that will last for many years.  These are not as exotic as some of the Mel Babcock beauties, but still a fine prop.

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