Review by Andy Martin for Hippity Hop Rabbits by Collectors' Workshop

Review by Andy Martin for Hippity Hop Rabbits by Collectors' Workshop
Review by Andy Martin for Hippity Hop Rabbits by Collectors' Workshop
5 out of 5

These little beauties from Collectors’ Workshop are still the cutest Hip Hop variation I have seen.  Designed by Les Smith of Owen’s Magic about thirty years ago, there still has been nothing quite as cute as these little guys.  The covers and bases are solid walnut and the gimmicks are well built and function perfectly.  Very hard to come by these days and you’ll love them to display in your collection or to show the grand-kids 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Runes of Nefertiti by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Runes of Nefertiti by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Runes of Nefertiti by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

This is a  beautiful effect inspired by Ed Mellon’s Quantimental with a method that has been significantly improved:

  • Reducing the noise
  • Increasing the visibility
  • Allow free showing of the stand on both sides

With the performer’s back is turned, four spectators each remove one plaque from the stand and hide it on their person.  After showing how solid and opaque the stand is the performer immediately can name which symbol was selected by which spectator.  And no electronics are used and nothing is added or taken away.

This is another perfect item from Magic Wagon and one that you’ll love to own!

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Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by Joe Porper

Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by Joe Porper
Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by Joe Porper
5 out of 5

So I missed this when it first came out in 2005, but typical of Joe’s work it is very precise and works perfectly. The price is quite high, but you do get what you pay for – there is some serious engineering employed in each box. It comes with 4×9″ silks and a large number of tiny sponge balls, and with care it works with 12″ silks and even 18″ diagonal cut silks. So the loads can certainly look impressive. What is particularly cool is how empty and innocent it looks, and because there is a special locking mechanism for each load chamber (of which there are four), it could even be handled by the spectator with little fear of them seeing anything.

If you are a lover of quality apparatus this is certainly for you.  I don’t know how many of them were built but I rarely see them come up so there can’t be many.  And it works so well!

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Review by Andy Martin for C.B.I. (Can't Believe It) by Bob Kline

Review by Andy Martin for C.B.I. (Can't Believe It) by Bob Kline
Review by Andy Martin for C.B.I. (Can't Believe It) by Bob Kline
5 out of 5

This is the original Bob Kline version of C.B.I (Can’t Believe It) which was later produced by Howard Hale (under license) and of course this is based upon the original Houlette Style Deck Vanish by Robert Jackson (which Bob Kline also created with Mr. Jackson’s permission). This is a popular item for the wood guys because last year Mel Babcock created his own version.

I think for just the sheer boldness of design this version wins 🙂  Really beautiful and the first one I have seen up close.  Very easy to do and very effective and realistic looking gimmick – where does the deck go?!

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Review by Andy Martin for Mystic Vault, The by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Mystic Vault, The by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Mystic Vault, The by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

I’m a few months behind my Magic Wagon items so am trying to catch up! This beautiful effect is based on my favorite Anverdi item: The Key Box. But the genius of those cats at Magic Wagon is this bad boy has zero electronics and it really looks as clean as a whistle.

The wise man would save $1200 and the battery hassle and stick with this version. Of course most magic guys are not that wise when it comes to their favorite props.

But if you were looking for something almost as cool as Anverdi’s Key Box, your search is over and try to find one of these.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Review by Andy Martin for Hip'n Hop'n Spots by 3D Magic Works

Review by Andy Martin for Hip'n Hop'n Spots by 3D Magic Works
Review by Andy Martin for Hip'n Hop'n Spots by 3D Magic Works
5 out of 5

The hits keep on coming from 3D Magic Works!  The Hip Hop Rabbits in and all of its variations has proven to be very popular with Magicians and Spectators alike so it only made sense for Kent Bergmann to direct his printers to utilize this evergreen theme.  And what a beautiful job he has done.  Check out the video to see the magic.

This is one of my favorite items Kent has produced so far, and as usual Kent always likes to print off an extra item so this comes with a neat little paddle with matching colors which you can also incorporate into the routine.

Keep them coming Kent!

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Review by Andy Martin for Signed Card to Balloon in Walnut Case by Hathaway

Review by Andy Martin for Signed Card to Balloon in Walnut Case by Hathaway
Review by Andy Martin for Signed Card to Balloon in Walnut Case by Hathaway
5 out of 5

Very nicely made and effective! This is easily one of the best card in balloon effects with any card chosen and appearing signed inside the balloon as it is popped. If you can control a card to the bottom you can perform this miracle with any signed card after just a small amount of handling practice. The components are very well made and lock tightly onto the card, and the spring load pops the balloon every time and delivers the card correctly right in place of the popping balloon.

Comes in a nicely made walnut presentation case which holds the deck, extra balloons, stand and gimmick.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mystery of The Pyramids Outdone by Wellington Enterprises

Review by Andy Martin for Mystery of The Pyramids Outdone by Wellington Enterprises
Review by Andy Martin for Mystery of The Pyramids Outdone by Wellington Enterprises
5 out of 5

A beautifully made and very clever version of the old UF Grant effect from Bill Schmeelk at Wellington Enterprises. As with all of Bill’s items in the Signature Series it improves upon the original in both construction and method. There were only fifty of these created and they are getting real hard to find these days.

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Review by Andy Martin for PrestoCrate XL March 2018 by Winsome Wizards Emporium

Review by Andy Martin for PrestoCrate XL March 2018 by Winsome Wizards Emporium
Review by Andy Martin for PrestoCrate XL March 2018 by Winsome Wizards Emporium
5 out of 5

There is a new magic company in Austin, TX called Winsome Wizards Emporium,  that has just launched and I think they are worth taking a serious look at.  In addition to offering a full line of magic, they are creating a monthly set of products called PrestoCrates where they deliver a cool box of unique and different magic to your doorstep once a month.  The subscriptions come in three designations:

  • Original (for beginner to intermediate magicians)
  • Cardition (for Card Lovers)
  • XL (for eXpert Level)

For March I tried out the PrestoCrate XL and even though I have added literally 1000’s of tricks to this site and seen many 100’s more, I was not familiar with any of the 5 items that came to my door and so was quite excited to pour through the items.  The March box includes:

  • Magma by Kyle Marlett ($60 retail) – great gimmick to add some serious punch to any transformation in your hands.
  • Solitary by Cameron Francis ($20 retail) – a very practical signed coin to impossible location that doesn’t use any gimmicks and uses a common-place coin holder for some really amazing routines.
  • Sh4de by Daniel Garcia ($20 retail) – a really lovely handling for a non-gimmicked chink-a-chink routine which is the only item that really takes some serious practice to do well.  It doesn’t even seem that difficult, but the timing will certainly take some work.  But if you have the time wouldn’t it be cool to do this wonderful routine with just 4 normal coins anytime and anywhere?
  • Espionage: Secret Intelligence by The Enchantment ($17 retail) – this is another item (like Solitary above) making clever use of a very simple idea that if you put the time in to learn the routines you could really have some strong magic at the tips of your fingers.
  • Heart Strings by Peter Samelson ($60 retail) – Gypsy thread has been one of my favorites for years and this version by Peter Samelson is nothing short of beautiful.

With the exception of Magma, none of these tricks are push-button magic – they will require some practice.  But they are all strong routines and worth the practice for sure.  I’m quite surprised how good each item is and it goes to show you that a DVD and some basic props really are the way to go if you actually want to impress an audience.  We might like our shiny boxes and our cool gimmicks, but the magic that we actually perform to real people are effects just like these ones.

I wish Eric and his team at Winsome Wizards the best of luck in this new venture and look forward to April’s crate with anticipation!

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