Review by Andy Martin for Professional Grade 4-Way Pop-Eyed Eye-Popper Deck by Steven Perry, Stevens Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Professional Grade 4-Way Pop-Eyed Eye-Popper Deck by Steven Perry, Stevens Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Professional Grade 4-Way Pop-Eyed Eye-Popper Deck by Steven Perry, Stevens Magic
4 out of 5

This is a variation of R.W. Hull’s Pop-Eyed Eye-Popper Deck which allows you to force up to four cards instead of just one. I’m not sure how useful this is because you lose the easy of forcing which you are used to with the traditional version.

These are made by Steven Perry who is a professional card mechanic and does an amazing job for just a few dollars more.  These are not bulk manufactured, each deck is made by hand with meticulous attention to quality control and precision.

If you need any sort of standard or custom gimmick deck I suggest you contact Stevens Magic and I’m confident you will switch too, I know personally I’ll never go back to the mass dealer ones 🙂

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Improved Proxy Substitution Chest (Batman and Superman Smackdown) by U.F. Grant

Review by Andy Martin for Improved Proxy Substitution Chest (Batman and Superman Smackdown) by U.F. Grant
Review by Andy Martin for Improved Proxy Substitution Chest (Batman and Superman Smackdown) by U.F. Grant
4 out of 5

This is U.F. Grant’s wonderful and overlooked Improved Proxy Substitution Chest. The original version released c. 1946 used just a single chest, but an improved version was introduced c. 1966 using two chests.  This is the latter kind.  It doesn’t look very much when you get it but it is a very convincing transposition that is embarrassingly easy to do.  The basic plot is that two items borrowed from the audience, an item from a lady and an item from a man, change places in a very clean manner.

I thought it would it would be perfect for a Batman and Superman ultimate Smackdown contest …

The chests have plenty of cosmetic marks and scratches  but they work perfectly.  If I was to perform this regularly I would probably repaint them in blacks and browns to represent buildings or maybe green and red for Kryptonite, but as they are they work perfectly too.  Of course you don’t have to use Batman and Superman – any two small items under about 6″ would work.

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Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber

Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
Review by Mark Lewis for Card Tricks Without Skill by Paul Clive, Faber & Faber
4 out of 5

I knew Paul Clive. I have always been amused that he never did any card tricks himself yet managed to write this classic book! A friend of his told me, “I have known Paul for over 30 years and have never seen him do a card trick even once!”

It is indeed a wonderful book. It seems that Paul ran around with a notebook asking magicians he knew to contribute a card trick and eventually he had a great book. Naturally he sold the book in his own magic shop but was very reluctant to let customers know he wrote it. His wife would give the game away though so he would be reluctantly forced to sign his autograph within it!

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Review by Andy Martin for Forcing Shopping Bag by Mr. Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Forcing Shopping Bag by Mr. Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Forcing Shopping Bag by Mr. Magic
4 out of 5

Mr. Magic is a low-price creator of magic from India.  I’m not sure who is actually behind the operation but they sell a lot of magic through their main distributor: Murphy’s Magic.  You won’t find much from Mr. Magic on my site, but recently for a great routine for the ABC blocks by Duane Lafin I needed a cheap and simple forcing bag and for $6 this was perfect.  Looks good and is very deceptive.  The construction would probably not hold up under duress but for this effect I could not find a better looking bag.

You have to supply your own cards or forcing items, I’m using A, B, C letters for the ABC effect.

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Review by Andy Martin for Translucent Jokers (Ltd. Edition of 24 sets) by Airship Magic, Dominique Duvivier, Jeff Busby

Review by Andy Martin for Translucent Jokers (Ltd. Edition of 24 sets) by Airship Magic, Dominique Duvivier, Jeff Busby
Review by Andy Martin for Translucent Jokers (Ltd. Edition of 24 sets) by Airship Magic, Dominique Duvivier, Jeff Busby
4 out of 5

Dominique Duvivier created this effect c. 1997 and it was also known as Les Jokers Translucides. It was released by Jeff Busby shortly after as Translucent Jokers and Jeff wrote very detailed instructions for it.  It is not a difficult routine to master but it will take some time and practice to do it well. 

In 2020 Airship Magic released this version in a Limited Edition of 24 sets.  It remains faithful to the original with a nice quality Himber wallet included.  The only issue I had with the wallet was that things were a little snug, but I’m guessing that would improve quite quickly over time if you perform (or practice) the effect.

A very different and visual routine that slips into your pocket and is ready to go to amaze and amuse them all.  Airship include the Jeff Busby instructions – a full 13 page spread.

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Review by Andy Martin for Famous Quotations by Steve Dusheck

Review by Andy Martin for Famous Quotations by Steve Dusheck
Review by Andy Martin for Famous Quotations by Steve Dusheck
4 out of 5

This is Steve Dusheck’s entry in the Book Test market and it was inspired by effects created by Phil Goldstein and Larry Becker. Very well produced A little bold, but some of the best magic is.

The book cannot be examined, but if you follow Steve’s simple suggestions and routine you have in your hands a clean and convincing book test that will fool even the most knowledgeable spectators and some magicians too 🙂

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Princess Qianlong (Prinzessin Qianlong) by Tony Lackner, Eckhard Boettcher

Review by Andy Martin for Princess Qianlong (Prinzessin Qianlong) by Tony Lackner, Eckhard Boettcher
Review by Andy Martin for Princess Qianlong (Prinzessin Qianlong) by Tony Lackner, Eckhard Boettcher
4 out of 5

Here is a rare beauty from the German master magic duo of Tony Lackner and Eckhard Boettcher c. 2000.

The props are well made and look interesting and colorful and the method is easy to do.  It comes with a great patter  story filled with drama and intrigue which I have done my best to edit and enhance below (beginning with a basic google translation).  Basically the princess is hidden under one of the three pillars and if her brother, the prince, cannot find her on the first attempt, the lovely and beautiful princess will be forced to marry a hundred year old Persian scholar who is possibly the ugliest person in the world. 

The pressure is on to save the princess …  which of course you do by successfully producing an envelope with the name of the pillar that the princess is under 🙂

This effect has recently been remade and significantly upgraded using an electronic gimmick as The Mystery of Horus by N8 Quality Magic. This is the original that uses an old school method that needs no batteries, and requires no reset or maintenance.  Not a sexy method but reliable and just as amazing to the spectator 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Hoffman Coin Wand by Colin Rose

Review by Andy Martin for Hoffman Coin Wand by Colin Rose
Review by Andy Martin for Hoffman Coin Wand by Colin Rose
4 out of 5

The Coin Wand was first exposed in Hoffman’s Modern Magic as The Half-Crown (or Florin) Wand (pg. 203), it was first used in performance c. 1872. Stanyon’s advertised their version c. 1902, Roterberg advertised there version c. 1904, and Thayer were advertising theirs at least as early 1921 but probably earlier. Thayer also had a Slender Coin Wand, but this did not use the same mechanical approach.

Colin’s Coin Wand is about as smooth as the Owen’s Coin Wand though the finish is not quite as nice and there is no flared end with the Owen’s.  Like the Owen’s this does makes a slight scraping sound which can be heard very close-up, but this is not a close-up item anyway so it is moot.  Very fine motion.

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Review by Andy Martin for Galaxian by Stephen Tucker

Review by Andy Martin for Galaxian by Stephen Tucker
Review by Andy Martin for Galaxian by Stephen Tucker
4 out of 5

Even though I normally don’t like gimmicked versions of Paul Curry’s “Out of This World” this deck is technically not gimmicked (it is simply a deck with a half red backs and half black backs) I do like Stephen Tucker’s thinking.  This is probably more to fool magicians than something you would replace Out of This World to lay people because the premise is king of strange – why are you dealing the cards face-up?

But it still has some merit and unlike many other versions I decided to keep this one for now as it feels like there is some potential here 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Vampire Block Escape (Mini Size) by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Vampire Block Escape (Mini Size) by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Vampire Block Escape (Mini Size) by Michael Baker
4 out of 5

Michael Baker is always working on something new or refining his existing line.   He now has produced this wonderful item in three sizes: Regular, Giant, and now this one, Mini.  A version was also created exclusively for Stevens Magic here.  

Vampire Block Escape is related to the popular Vampire Block but it does not use a chain or cord.  It uses a slightly different mechanism but looks great, works smoothly and is convincing to the spectator.

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