Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands

Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands
Review by Andy Martin for Super Silk Pistol (Super-TuchPistole) by Magic Hands
3 out of 5

Magic Hands have a very good track record with their Silk Pistols.  They released their first one c. 1974,  this amazing beauty c. 1979, and their final one c. 1984.  So when I finally sat down to understand how this worked I was quite excited to see what they had achieved.

Well although the pistol looks amazing and is very collectible as it is,  I don’t think this blunderbuss style is even close to the functionality of their other two pistols.  It is designed to work with another product released by Magic Hands called: Gorden’s Silk in Balloon II where you can supposedly  shoot not one but two silks from the pistol into a balloon.  That sounds great but as a Silk Pistol this actually only vanishes one silk and the second one is done by subterfuge.   Worse the first silk is not actually vanished either a switch is made so that instead of vanishing a full silk just a small corner is vanished. So rather than actually vanishing two silks this pistol actually vanishes a small corner.

To add insult to injury I am unable to set this up so that it even vanishes the corner 🙁

As it stands this pistol vanishes nothing let alone two silks!

The way it is supposed to work is:

  • You show the pistol.  Load the first silk down into the barrel of the gun and supposedly let a small part of the corner of the silk hang out (this is in fact the switched corner). The switch is easy enough to do (you simply push in the first silk and let fall out the fake corner in its place), but the vanish is a far cry from a full silk vanish as with other silk pistols.
  • This corner is attached to a thread inside the barrel and when you fire the gun the first time the thread is meant to be pulled up and vanish the silk corner and of course then the silk appears in the balloon. 
  • Then you load the second silk – there is not even a pretense at hanging out from the barrel this time just load it in the barrel and fire.
  • And the second silk appears in the balloon.

So even if this works perfectly as designed at best it would only vanish a single silk corner.  Could it give the impression of vanishing two silks – yes I think so as long as the appearance into the balloon looks effective it could.  However, there is no doubt to the spectator where the silks are as the audience saw you push them inside the barrel and of course you cannot look inside the barrel.

But if you purchased thinking you’d be vanishing two or even a single silk as you would with other silk pistols (as I did), you are going to be disappointed.

Bottom line this is deceptive magic advertising at its best 🙁

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Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Electronic Silk Candle by El Duco's Magic
3 out of 5

The original version for this visual type of Silk on Candle where the silk appears instantly and without any cover seems to have been invented by the American magician and author Theo Doré (Theodore T. Levy) as described in the Christmas edition of Abracadabra 1947.

El Duco released his manual version of this effect c. 1983 and he has reintroduced that version with the electronic sound activated mechanism he has used successfully in his Silk in Glass and Plexi-Card

The key thing with this electronic version is you have to use the right sized silk and a 9″ silk appears to be the best size which is perfect because that is also the best size for a silk pistol such as this one 🙂

If you set this up correctly you have a truly beautiful and instant effect.  The sound activation can also be activated with a solid clap of the hands too, but it looks most impressive when the silk pistol is shot and the silk appears tied around the candle. Remember the silk is actually tied around the candle and is ungimmicked – it can even be untied and used in another effect.

This is unfortunately unreliable and unless I learn something new it is unlikely to be used in performance.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Contact Die (Tela-Die) – Version 2 by Lubor Fiedler, Pavel

Review by Andy Martin for The Contact Die (Tela-Die) - Version 2 by Lubor Fiedler, Pavel
Review by Andy Martin for The Contact Die (Tela-Die) – Version 2 by Lubor Fiedler, Pavel
3 out of 5

Lubor Fiedler really has invented some amazingly clever items – and this one is no exception.  Along with Pavel they have a really perplexing miracle here that is impossible to figure out without the secret! This was distributed by Howard Schwarzman and his Limited Editions line of imported magic. 

This is the second version I have seen and although the metal die is the same the holder and cover is made cheaper, less robust, and a little less reliable than the original version here.

The original was also released under the name “Tela-Die” c. 1970.

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Review by Andy Martin for Kan't-Kut Scissors by Supreme Magic Company

Review by Andy Martin for Kan't-Kut Scissors by Supreme Magic Company
Review by Andy Martin for Kan't-Kut Scissors by Supreme Magic Company
3 out of 5

So I’m a huge fan of Stan Watson’s wonderful set of scissors released by Supreme Magic in the 1980’s or maybe even 70’s.  Growing up I used to go to the Sussex Magic Circle and I remember when Stan joined the club, he was a real force to be reckoned with.  I picked up my set of scissors from Stan directly and have used them ever since.  They are perfect. So when I saw this other pair of scissors I was excited as I assumed they were also Stan Watson creations.  Sadly I was disappointed.

Stan’s signature is engraved on his scissors, and these are not engraved so I’m pretty sure they are not Stan’s.  My guess is Supreme put them out after Stan was not producing scissors for them.  If you hadn’t seen Stan’s I’m sure you would love these, but if you have they don’t compare.  These are closest in design to Stan’s Cut No Cut Scissors.  But the big difference is these Kan’t Kut Scissors don’t cut!  That is a big difference.

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Review by Andy Martin for Fair Play by Steve Haynes

Review by Andy Martin for Fair Play by Steve Haynes
Review by Andy Martin for Fair Play by Steve Haynes
3 out of 5

Great Gimmick but ruins a perfect trick. Free Will by Deddy Corbuzier is the perfect strolling miracle! All props are 100% normal with zero reset and no moves whatsoever. What Fair Play has tried to do is “improve” Free Will. But to my mind it is a huge step backwards. The gimmick itself is well made and works well once you get the knack, but for this effect not only is it unnecessary it makes a simple premise – the fact that no matter what the spectator does the outcome is always the same (i.e. they don’t actually have any Free Will), but it also adds some necessary reset into the mix and now relies on the props to be in your hand when you do the reveal. Worse, if anyone ever sees the same trick twice they’ll want to really examine the gimmick because it changes based on the outcome – when it is meant to be a fixed piece of paper.

After speaking to Paul Richards at some length about Free Will I know a lot of Magicians don’t get it at first (if ever), but it is not a prediction, it is about the Spectator’s ability to exercise Free Will, which is why it is important the outcome is in fact always the same. I know it took me a long time to fully grasp this. In fact I used to carry two different outcomes around! When I had that mindset I would have given this item five stars, but now that I see the light I will stick with Free Will every time. It is one of my favorite strolling items and doesn’t suffer from any of the problems that Fair Play is attempting to solve.

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Review by Andy Martin for Don't Lie Spirit Bell by Pangu Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Don't Lie Spirit Bell by Pangu Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Don't Lie Spirit Bell by Pangu Magic
3 out of 5

Nicely made and Packaged, but a Fooler?

So these have been going around and although the unit works fine and looks well made I don’t think anyone is going to be fooled by this – well maybe a four year old.

The base is too big and the ringer on the bell is huge and you can clearly see what looks like a magnet as part of the ringer. For the life of me I cannot understand why they didn’t use a much smaller magnet.

This is no Anverdi who did a much better job 30+ years ago and this is certainly no Nick Wenger either who did a supreme job in the last few years.

If you collect Spirit Bells then for sure get one, but if you wanted to fool someone in our era of iPhones, you won’t.

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Review by Tim Flynn for Johnny Thompson's Nemo 1500 (Original) by Paul Stone, Ken Brooke

Review by Tim Flynn for Johnny Thompson's Nemo 1500 (Original) by Paul Stone, Ken Brooke
Review by Tim Flynn for Johnny Thompson's Nemo 1500 (Original) by Paul Stone, Ken Brooke
3 out of 5

Not as advertised

I purchased this product at the Innovention in 2012.
I had the pleasure of watching Johnny Thompson perform this effect live and in person. It is and was amazing. The handling by Johnny was superb and a real fooler. So… I purchased the effect for $150.00.
The instructions say there is a dvd coming soon. That was written in 2005. It is 2013 as I write and no dvd is forth coming, however, my issue is that the instructions and most of the selling hype is that this is a signature effect used by Johnny Thompson for about 30 years. Well, the set you get is not the same as the one Mr. Thompson uses. I believe that Johnny uses something called a five star wallet. In Mr. Thompson’s performance, he allows the spectator to cut the deck and begin dealing the cards immediately. The instructions I have for this do not allow for that type of handling. I can only assume that I have four wallets and a different deck of playing cards than Mr. Thompson employs. While I will still use this effect as it is sold, I do not believe it to be the same trick that Mr. Johnny Thompson uses.

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Review by Anonymous for One for the Road (Lota Hip Flask) by Sam Dalal

Review by Anonymous for One for the Road (Lota Hip Flask) by Sam Dalal
Review by Anonymous for One for the Road (Lota Hip Flask) by Sam Dalal
3 out of 5

Cap is worthless

The workmanship is somewhat crude but that’s fine for my reenactment needs. The gimmick does work.

The cap is worthless. It doesn’t screw on and doesn’t fit snugly. Don’t consider wearing it in your pocket. If you need to do that, throw away the top and buy a cork that fits.

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Review by Amazing Corbin for Practical Thinking by Paul Richards

Review by Amazing Corbin for Practical Thinking by Paul Richards
Review by Amazing Corbin for Practical Thinking by Paul Richards
3 out of 5

Okay, but cards awkward to handle

I’ve owned this for about 5 years now and have performed it a dozen times. The method is great, and it’s an okay bit of mentalism. It can involve up to 4 or 5 spectators.

I found it a bit time consuming, which is neither a pro or con. It was a good "middle trick" to waste time in the middle of the show. you have to go out to the audience member and get them to pick a card, then go over to another, then another, then another. then return to the stage area and write your predictions down.

The cards are just paper cardstock put into clear plastic card protectors. This makes the stack of cards awkward to handle and shuffle. you could take them out of the card protectors, but then your just mixing large pieces of paper, which is more difficult to mix. The "whiteboard" is just a laminated piece of cardstock paper as well, but it works. I clipped mine onto a firm board so I could write the predictions down standing up.

Besides clipping the whiteboard to a firmer board another improvement would be having the images on bicycle cards. I supposed it would be easy enough to buy a blank deck and copy the images to the cards yourself.

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