Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott

Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott
Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott
5 out of 5

This is a wonderfully clever penetration invented by Louis Histed and David Scott and sold by Davenports of London.

A solid, clear perspex cube is handed out for examination and is placed into a thin, black plastic frame. A ribbon is now threaded through the holes locking the cube inside. Everything appears above board, yet still the block escapes from the ribbon under the most impossible conditions. Why impossible? You can actually SEE the ribbon running through the cube. Yet it escapes on your command simply by pulling the cube straight up visibly through the solid ribbon!

For close—up or drawing room, The Crystal Cube is ideal and easy to do.

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Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works

Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works
Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works
5 out of 5

Kent Bergmann has now released part two of the eagerly awaited sequel in the Dragon Trilogy saga. If you recall it all began with Trapped last year and now we have Trained which is an adorable story (if that is possible when talking about dragons). What I particularly like about the first two parts of the Dragon Trilogy is that Kent has taken two standard ideas, that have already been well served by the magic community, and breathed fresh life into them. It reminds me of what Robert Parrish did with his wonderful book Great Tricks Revisited

Kent has shone the light on the following two classic effects:

and really created something new and exciting in their own rights, but by linking the effects together  in a trilogy (and a third soon to come) he has also created a new dimension for these effects which literally did not exist before in any of the previous forms of these effects.  That is one smart move for sure.

This effect begins with a reminder of where we left the Red Dragon last time:

The Red Dragon has been “Trapped” and now faces the grueling task of being “Trained” by the Wizard and the two training dragons; “Green” and “Blue”. 

Training is not going so well 🙁  The three Dragons Red, Blue, and Green are placed in the covered stand.  First Blue, next Green and then Red.  The cover is removed to reveal Red is out of order.  This is repeated with different outcomes.  Each time the Wizard gets more and more angry and eventually he removes all three Dragons from the training area and places them back in their quarters (drawer).  When the drawer is opened in the morning, the Red dragon is seen to have disappeared only to be found working alone on his training back in the Training area.  The wizard is satisfied and feels that the Red dragon has overcome his disruptive ways and is ready be trained for good.

Or is he?  Find out in the thrilling conclusion in Part Three of the Dragon Trilogy to be released soon. 

Kent is also using the wonderful Madison Hagler to shoot the videos for both the effect and the explanation.  Madison has a very friendly and clear performance style and having the video at hand really helps out.

If you buy no other 3D Magic Works items you should buy these items in the Dragon Trilogy you will not be disappointed and they will not be available forever, so get them now while you still can.   

Highly Recommended for Performers, Story Tellers, and Collectors.

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Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby

Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby
Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby
5 out of 5

Ian Maltby has created the perfect device when you are looking for push button mentalism that looks authentic, works consistently and doesn’t cost a fortune. It comes with a great routine and I love the miscall idea, that makes it seem all the more real. 

The wooden box looks like a display case in a musty old museum and with the right performance you’re sure to cause to some hairs to rise.  Even the gold coin that is used to make the choices plays the part and is heavy and solid in a protective case.  The device is very responsive with a range of well over 30 feet.  It is all neatly packaged in a protective case so you protect your investment and look good while doing it.

These have been created in a limited edition of just 10 units so now might be the time to stampede over to Paul McCaig’s website where you can purchase it – you’ll find other cool treasures there too! Paul McCaig is the creator of the wonderful Mind’s Eye Box here.

Basic Routine: The performer introduces an ESP board and a coin depicting the all seeing eye. The spectator is asked to cast their eyes over the ESP symbols on the board. The performer then explains he will be blindfolded and be several feet away from the spectator with his back turned, the spectator Is asked to place the coin on any symbol of their choice,(this is a totally free choice).

Let’s say for example the spectator selects the square. The performer asks if a symbol has been selected, when the spectator replies yes the performer then explains that they can change their mind if they wish. Lets say the spectator then selects the circle, the performer asks if they have made their final choice, when the spectator replies yes, the performer asks them to remove the coin from the ESP board. The performer removes the blindfold and walks back to the spectator, he picks up a note pad and asks the spectator to think about their chosen symbol, the performer is trying hard to read the mind of the spectator.

With absolutely no questions asked, the performer asks the spectator to name the symbol they chose out loud for the first time. The performer turns over the note pad and sure enough there is a drawing of the circle. The performer seems a little confused and asks the spectator if they thought of a different symbol before the circle, the spectator replies yes.

The performer then turns a page on the note pad and says was this the first symbol you thought of, on his note pad is a drawing of the square. The spectator is shocked that not only did the performer correctly name their chosen symbol but also named the first symbol they thought of while the performer had his back turned and was genuinely blindfolded.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy

Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
5 out of 5

This is the first of many versions of John Kennedy’s amazing Mystery Box which won Trick of the Year 1997 in The Magic Menu – and could have being doing so for many years since if I had a vote! It is still my most popular close-up effect of all time.

Magician brings out a small wooden box and places it on the table. A playing card is freely chosen and signed by a spectator. Card is shuffled back into the deck. Magician asks: “Do you think that I can find your card in less than 10 seconds without even looking at the cards?” He holds the deck behind his back for several seconds, brings it back out, announces “I’ve found it!.” He points to the wooden box. But, no way! No one has been any where near the box! Magician asks the spectator to lift the lid of the box and see what is in there. It is a folded card.

The magician picks up the box with his empty hand and tips out the card onto his open hand. The box is clearly empty and there is one folded card in the magician’s hand – with no moves or covers he asks the spectator to open the card. The spectator unfolds the card. It’s his card with his signature!

The box is made in solid Walnut with a clear lacquer finish and looks like an elegant canister, not really a prop.

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Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Utopia Prediction Box by Magic Wagon
4 out of 5

Another beautiful box from Magic Wagon – they almost never fail to produce beautiful boxes and cool items.   I like the method, the simplicity and the effect it can achieve.  However, I have one issue with this box – why can’t it hold the deck of cards you are going to use for the effect?  It would make so much sense if you took the box out.  Removed the deck and left the prediction for all to see in the box.  But you can’t store the full deck in the box, all the cards won’t fit.  If you could carry the cards in the box, it would at least give you a stronger reason for having the box in the first place.  Maybe I’m getting too old to see the magic in this this stuff …

Utopia Prediction Box reminds me of the Viking effect English Card Box with which you can perform a very similar effect (though the method is different) with a nice looking box, that holds the deck too, for about $150 less.

Effect: The performer shows a folded sheet of paper which he states will be the prediction outcome and places it inside an elegant wooden box where it remains clearly visible through a glass window. The spectator is then handed a deck of cards to examine, thoroughly shuffle and then give a final cut. The box is then opened and the spectator himself removes the prediction inside. Let’s say it is shown to be, for example, “The Seven of Hearts will be the 4th card of the deck”. The spectator is now asked to tum over the 4th card of the deck that he himself just seconds ago legitimately shuffled and cut to. Unbelievably, it is the Seven of Hearts! 

Remember:

  • The window box remains in full view at all times!
  • The pack of cards used is completely normal!
  • The effect can be repeated with a different outcome each and every time!

The box measures approximately 8.25cm wide, 3.50cm high and 10.80cm deep and has been completely handcrafted from yellow wood with a dark brown matte coating finish.

(Does not come with deck of cards, use your own.)

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Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks

Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
5 out of 5

This is limited to 100 units worldwide and everything is very well produced of quality materials, from the beautiful bell with the perfect chime, to the mini base balls, bouncing balls, storage case and routine.  Holland Tricks is the name of Leo Smetsers company and if you are familiar with Leo’s work you’ll know it is always of high quality and this item is no exception.

In 1989, Eddy Smit introduced his Magic Table Bell for the first time during the Dutch Championships. Leo immediately felt that he had developed something special and many people agreed with him. After his stunning performance at the Dutch Championships, Eddy was invited to show his act in various close-up gala shows and magic societies. He also competed in many magic competitions, winning several prizes.

The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell package includes:

  • High quality polished bell
  • 4 Chop Cup baseballs (small)
  • 4 other balls
  • A handmade wooden box which is numbered: e.g. 10/100.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel

Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel
Review by Andy Martin for Dickie Duck by Dick Chavel
5 out of 5

There have been many versions of the Card Duck over the years. It was invented by Laurie Ireland c. 1932 and marketed by him as Otto, The Automaton Duck.

This was the first card Duck that I owned and Dickie was a featured part of my act when I was a teenager and well into my thirties, until he met with a fatal accident when he fell off the top of a storage unit 🙁 I purchased Dickie from Ron MacMillan’s International Unique Magic Studio. For years I thought Dickie was a Warren Hamilton: Jo-Anne Duck with a different name and routine, until I purchased a genuine one and could see the differences. To be honest the main significant difference was that the paint job was much better on the Hamilton version, but the actual motion and pecking action I thought was smoother with the Chavel version.

Performing Dickie for over 40 years helped me realize that it really doesn’t matter what the prop looks like as all the magic emanates from the performer. It helps if the duck can actually pick the cards smoothly on queue, but most of the other tweaks and improvements pail when compared with a solid routine and a charismatic performance. This is true for most magic effects and why the best performers have relatively few actual effects in their repertoire because the audience wants to see the person perform almost regardless of what effect they actually perform.

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Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by Brian Cook

Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by Brian Cook
Review by Andy Martin for Copper Okito Box Set (#3 of 6) by Brian Cook
5 out of 5

It’s always a joy to pick-up release from the MagicCrafter himself: Brian Cook, and even better when it is a rare sold-out release like this beauty.  What a wonderful idea to embed a real Silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar into the the lid of this unique Okito box, and there are only 6 of these in the world.

These sold out instantly when they were released. The box is made out of copper with a real walking liberty sectioned and inlaid into the lid. This also comes with a copper plug for a kicker ending and a hefty friction fit stainless steel and copper wand with a magnetic catch on the inside. This is all set into a Walnut box that has the box info and numbers laser engraved into the bottom.

Brian says about this item:

The basics on my Copper Okito box set came from my love of the trick. I make a custom weighted wood box set out of exotic woods and the idea came for this set while I was making a set. I always loved the copper look on things and thought doing a copper set and inlaying a coin into the lid would make for a very unique looking box. The rest is history.

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Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark

Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark
Review by Andy Martin for Prediction Chest by George Richbark
5 out of 5

This was the first prediction chest I ever saw using a key injection method and like many magicians before me I was very intrigued and loved the method and the James Bond gadget factor. I brought it from Joe Stevens at Magi Fest 2001. It features a single chest without the secondary strong box that George Richbark created a year later with his Millenium Prediction Chest.

Creating a reliable two box key injection system is much harder than a single chest one so although this was $800 twenty years ago that was a lot less than the $2000+ figures being asked for similar sized two box systems, including George’s Millenium set.  As a single box this version was very reliable and worked perfectly. The box looked very beautiful too with inlays and two toned hard woods. The downside with all key injection based chests is the tiny size of the prediction compared with the size of the box – this is particularly true with single box systems.  But they are still cool 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams

Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams
Review by Andy Martin for Delben Okito-Williams Money Maker by Okito-Williams
5 out of 5

Another rare beauty from Carl Williams in his Okito-Williams style. Here Carl takes on the legendary Delben Blotter with great success and produces the prettiest magic blotter you will find!

The Delben Blotter is in no way a new effect however the Okito style it has been given is unique. This innovation to this effect was prompted by a suggestion offered by Mr. Dean Arnold an American magician and collector presently residing in London, England.

The apparatus consists of a prop resembling one of the old ink blotters used extensively in and around the late twenties. This item was very popular prior to the invention of the ballpoint pen. In those days all fountain pens, as they were called, contained a rubber ink bladder that held a supply of ink. When the pen was used it deposited wet ink onto the writing paper that could be quickly dried when the curved surface of a blotter was rolled over the written surface.

If the performer places a sheet of blank paper into the tray that has been cut to the dimensions of a currency and then rolls the blotter over it. During this process the spectator is give the illusion that the blank paper has been printed by the blotter into a genuine piece of legitimate currency. Of course the result is real currency genuine in every respect.

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