Review by Andy Martin for Albo 16 – The Ultimate Okito Encore by Robert J. Albo

Review by Andy Martin for Albo 16 - The Ultimate Okito Encore by Robert J. Albo
Review by Andy Martin for Albo 16 – The Ultimate Okito Encore by Robert J. Albo
5 out of 5

I’m not sure if there is any other single person who has done more for Magic Collecting and the preservation of Magic History than the wonderful and humble Dr. Robert Albo. During a span of 38 years from 1973 – 2012 he produced 16 oversized volumes filled with photos, videos, descriptions, articles and history (With the 16th volume on Okito being released after his untimely death in 2011).

I never knew Dr. Albo, and didn’t begin to read his books until 2018 but it is obvious to anyone reading these truly beautiful books how much he loved magic. Every article I have ever read by him or about him speaks of his generosity to others and his love and passion for magical apparatus. His preservation of the art of magic by remembering the great magical creators and their effects through detailed and meticulous cataloging and demonstrating of their works is legendary.

If you are ever lacking inspiration just open up any one of his books and you will be transformed into a magical mystery world, filled with amazing characters and craftsmen surrounded by the most wonderful props you will ever see. Dr. Albo had a remarkable impact on magic collecting and the history of our art that is unlikely ever to be repeated and his books will continue to inspire and enthrall collectors and magicians for decades to come.

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Review by Andy Martin for Talking Skull (Early) by Anverdi

Review by Andy Martin for Talking Skull (Early) by Anverdi
Review by Andy Martin for Talking Skull (Early) by Anverdi
5 out of 5

It’s always exciting when I track down a new (to me at least) Anverdi item and this is the first time I have seen an early Talking Skull like this. The more common version I have seen on a few occasions measures 3 1/2″ x 4″ x 3 1/4″ with the skull mounted on a clear plexiglass wall and bony hands either side.  This one is mounted at the end of a long tiny rod surrounded by a thick perspex tube.  It operates in a similar fashion with the mouth opening and closing in response to various questions and makes a clacking sound as it does so.  What I love about this little guy is you can keep the mouth open as long as you like to add a little bit of character to the responses. 

Works perfectly with easily found AA (6) batteries and a Sony CR2477 for the remote control which is about the size of a deck of cards, which isn’t bad for fifty year old technology! As I’ve said many times before I wonder how many of the so called modern day electronic miracles will still be working in ten years time let alone fifty.

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Review by Andy Martin for Close-up Cardiographic by Martin Lewis

Review by Andy Martin for Close-up Cardiographic by Martin Lewis
Review by Andy Martin for Close-up Cardiographic by Martin Lewis
5 out of 5

I must say how impressed I am with this beautiful close-up version of Martin Lewis’ signature effect: Cardiographic.  I think the close-up version is even better and more practical than the others.  It just looks so good and effective. 

I think as magicians we often get jaded by all these tricks we have seen and it is difficult to spot the winners.  But this effect is novel, easy to do, quick to reset, and looks amazing – the switch to a clean sheet looks so smooth even close-up.  I am going to have to rethink selling this as I could see this fitting nicely in my Christmas act which will be here before you know it 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Cubes! by Oscar Rui, Caramba Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Cubes! by Oscar Rui, Caramba Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Cubes! by Oscar Rui, Caramba Magic
5 out of 5

This is a very high-quality and practical version of this effect and works extremely smoothly. It is probably the best parlor/stage sized version I have seen and I think you will have a lot of fun with this one. The addition of the chalk to write the number on the tube is a unique with this version and it is a great idea.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box by Haenchen

Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box by Haenchen
Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box by Haenchen
5 out of 5

This is a sophisticated and impressive production box that is similar to a Square Circle but has a better sequence of displays to convince the audience it is empty. Solidly made and a real treat for collectors since items from Fred Haenchen are harder to come by these days and they are in high demand due to their unique ideas and quality craftsmanship.

This production box was created in multiple sizes and even in an illusion size for the production of a young girl.  This is the original smaller parlor version.  You can read more about this box in Volume 6 of Dr. Albo.

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Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Color Rings by Thomas Pohle

Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Color Rings by Thomas Pohle
Review by Andy Martin for Chinese Color Rings by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

This is a colorful and clever version of Eddy Taytelbaum’s The Ring Box of Buddha c. 1955, which itself was based upon Kenard’s Mystery Box (Ring on Wand) c. 1941.

This very brightly colored and striking looking box has a number of clever features that not only streamline the basic effect but they take it further than any similar effect has gone before.  Thomas really poured some creative thinking into this bad boy 🙂

  1. There are only four rings used, and nothing is added or taken away.
  2. There is absolutely zero force in the selection of the ring.  The spectator can choose a different ring each time and the performance will look exactly the same (except that a different ring will end up on the wand!).
  3. The spectator can choose the color of the ring with the magician’s back turned and they never need to divulge the color until the very end.
  4. There appears to be no funny moves and everything flows from the choices Thomas has made in the construction of the effect.

If you are a Thomas fan or are looking for something new and different you will be delighted with this little beauty.

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Review by Joe V for Red Chinese Puzzle by Alan Warner

Review by Joe V for Red Chinese Puzzle by Alan Warner
Review by Joe V for Red Chinese Puzzle by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

This is beautiful!! A puzzle within a puzzle!! Not only do you astound spectators after showing the puzzle with the red square in the center and then rearranging the pieces so there is now no room for the red square to fit. But then you take it to the next level, and put the lid on, and immediately remove it only to have created a whole new puzzle that is all red, with a place made just for the red square. This is a favorite of mine that I own. Beautifully made. I love Alan’s pieces of magic!!

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Review by Andy Martin for Madarin's Temple by Camelot Creations, Fred Story

Review by Andy Martin for Madarin's Temple by Camelot Creations, Fred Story
Review by Andy Martin for Madarin's Temple by Camelot Creations, Fred Story
5 out of 5

This is a beautiful Children’s effect made by the talented professional magician and master craftsman, Fred Story, from Texas and his Camelot Creations.  Fred and his wife Ann performed for over twenty years throughout the USA with one of the last great touring illusion shows.  Amongst collectors Fred is best know for Camelot Creations  which were active in the early 1980’s.  Fred also built props for companies like Stevens Magic Emporium and ran The Magic Shop in Lubbock, Texas.

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Review by Andy Martin for Nest of Seven Boxes by Arsene Lupin

Review by Andy Martin for Nest of Seven Boxes by Arsene Lupin
Review by Andy Martin for Nest of Seven Boxes by Arsene Lupin
5 out of 5

Arsène Lupin (Slawomir Piestrzeniewicz) is a qualified medical doctor from Poland who  became a full-time professional magician in 1980.  He placed second for Manipulation in FISM 1982 and 1991, and third for Invention in 2003.  He creates some really wonderful and unique magic that is well priced. 

This nest of boxes is not quite as stunning as Mel Babcock’s beauties, but it is much lighter, cheaper, smaller and more practical to use.  The method is the simple and reliable coin in ball of wool approach and the look on their faces when you pull their ring or signed coin from the seventh box is priceless – just check out the video … I can say for sure I’ve never been kissed by a man or a woman after performing a trick so maybe this effect is what I’ve been missing all these years 🙂

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