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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having a diameter of 6.5cm (2½ in), this ring box comes from FunTime Magic of India. Although easy to understand, it is a little stiff to use and requires sleight of hand. It should not be shown to audience members as the secret is obvious on inspection. Although attractive in design, it is clearly hand-made and is not of the highest standard.
When I first saw the video for Ultracinese I thought wow that looks great, but I think I’ll stick with Eddie Gibson’s Twist Off. However, as the hype continued on the internet I decided to take the plunge.
Sadly, my first instinct was probably best. I’m quite sure for some people this works as advertised, but for me it did not. I was unable to make it work consistently and I really tried. The gimmick is very well made and thought out, but it takes a certain knack, and I’m not convinced that even if you have "the knack" it will work for everyone.
I really wanted this to be as amazing as it looks – but it wasn’t for me.
Woodwork is Great, but Leaves Something Lacking Elsewhere
The woodwork on this Mikame prop is great! However, I was disapppinted with the black ribbon that is used as the rollers. Specifically, I have experienced problems with two of these and both showed signs of fraying along the outer edges of the ribbon. There are comparable versions available that have better ribbon but not as high quality framing. So make your choice depending on your priorities.
Mikame Craft is known for beautiful magic apparatus and Mr. Mikame does not disappoint with this hand-made mirror cabinet. However, due to the hand-made nature of this prop, it is not always functional. I have had the opportunity to "play" with three different cabinets and each one seems to have its own minor problems. On one of them, the inside mirrors did not properly align, so their was the tendency for one side or the other to prematurely spring open. On another cabinet, the hole on the top for the sword appeared to have been drilled too large, so the sword moved around too much…once again causing the mirrors to spring back too soon. The third cabinet had no problem with the mirrors, but the front doors did not properly align and the hinges on one side left about a 1/16" gap in the door because it would not fully close. Again, this is a very beautiful prop for a shelf or desk–and occasional use. But for regular use in performances, this prop is probably not the best option…especially given the very high price.
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