Review by Andy Martin for The Elfin Chest by Mary Tomich, Thaumysta Magic Co.

Review by Andy Martin for The Elfin Chest by Mary Tomich, Thaumysta Magic Co.
Review by Andy Martin for The Elfin Chest by Mary Tomich, Thaumysta Magic Co.
4 out of 5

Mary Tomich formed the Thaumysta Magic Co. in 1992 and catered for bizarrists and kindred spirits.  The Elfin Chest is almost a big hit – the props looks very interesting and the effect and method are all workable.  But the props are so small they are difficult to use.  The sun revelation etched into the crystal ball is ok, but not as clear as I would like.  If I was to perform this I think I would get some larger cards and maybe get a better image of the sun on the ball. 

A worthy and interesting attempt with an intriguing patter, but just misses the mark.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Magic Pendulum by Georges Proust, Academie De Magie

Review by Andy Martin for The Magic Pendulum by Georges Proust, Academie De Magie
Review by Andy Martin for The Magic Pendulum by Georges Proust, Academie De Magie
4 out of 5

The original version of this effect was invented by the genius Robert Harbin c. 1946 as Dippy Magnet. The Dutch Micro Magic master, Eddy Taytelbaum, created a stunning version which earned him third place at the 1961 FISM Close-Up/Card Competition.  Another beautiful version was built by Carl Williams in the Okito-Williams style.

This version by Georges Proust though not as pretty as Carl’s is still very well made and is a lot cheaper and more practical to actually perform.  There are five routines included and some interesting ideas that I’m sure you will find one to use and perform.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mental Sticks (Mentale Zauberstäbchen) by Magiro

Review by Andy Martin for Mental Sticks (Mentale Zauberstäbchen) by Magiro
Review by Andy Martin for Mental Sticks (Mentale Zauberstäbchen) by Magiro
4 out of 5

Here is another item offered through Howard Schwarzman’s Limited Editions Magic line created by Magiro.  It was originally released by Eckhard Boettcher as Mentale Zauberstäbchen.  It uses the same method that was used by Viking’s Trans-Mental c. 1988.  However, I spoke to George Robinson and he has never seen Magiro’s version, instead he came up with the idea from an old Brema effect called Coin Divination.  Viking’s version is certainly a more superior product, but they both work well.

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Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Card by Vincenzo Di Fatta

Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Card by Vincenzo Di Fatta
Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Card by Vincenzo Di Fatta
4 out of 5

This is Vincenzo Di Fatta version of Mike Shelley’s and Morty Rudnick’s Zig Zag Card Outdone. Even though it came out 21 years later it is not more deceptive.  The plastic manufacture makes it more durable and solid, but it is about twice as thick as the original and it is easier to flash things if you don’t keep the unit straight on.  It is still a great illusion, but I just think the original is better.

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Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company

Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company
Review by Andy Martin for Perfection Card Box by National Magic Company
4 out of 5

This is a very worthy attempt by Jim Sherman’s National Magic Company to create a card box as good as P&L’s stunning Ultra Perfect Card Box. 

My copy is past it’s prime (and it looks like the interior has been repainted), but you can see how close Jim got.  The soldering is not as clean and the overall finish  is a not as shiny (though that could be age).  If you look at the final photos you can see how similar it looks to the Standard Model P&L pictured.  But a very worthy attempt and a nice looking card box for sure.

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Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline

Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline
Review by Andy Martin for Spin A Card by Bob Kline
4 out of 5

This is visually appealing item from Bob Kline and there were only 12 made.  The unit stands 14″ high and is very well made of thick Plexiglas. The wheel spins very smoothly and it is easy to perform.  If desired the whole dial can be examined and freely spun before and after.

The effect is very similar to the classic Spirit Clock Dial using cards instead of a clock dial.  The method in fact is the same as Tony Lackner’s Astral Dial though I’m pretty sure it was first used decades before that.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mental Clock by Arsene Lupin

Review by Andy Martin for Mental Clock by Arsene Lupin
Review by Andy Martin for Mental Clock by Arsene Lupin
4 out of 5

Arsène Lupin (Slawomir Piestrzeniewicz) is a qualified medical doctor from Poland who  became a full-time professional magician in 1980.  He placed second for Manipulation in FISM 1982 and 1991, and third for Invention in 2003.  He creates some really wonderful and unique magic that is well priced. 

This is well made effect by the Arsène that is similar in method to Final Card however instead of just one card being found, 4 numbers are revealed in the end.  The effect described, with all of the audience looking at their watches, sounds more amazing than the method really is.  For sure it is possible to perform the effect as stated below, but it does require fairly precise timing and most people will probably not want to be bothered with it.  Instead they will go with a more fixed target of a prediction or a birth date, etc.

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Review by Andy Martin for Betcha by Kent Bergmann

Review by Andy Martin for Betcha by Kent Bergmann
Review by Andy Martin for Betcha by Kent Bergmann
4 out of 5

One more from the talented Kent Bergmann! Before Kent became the king of 3D printing he created quite a stir with his Z-Wood (Zebrawood) line of magic. This is a rare beauty from those times. Anything from his Z-Wood Magic line is highly sought after by collectors.

Betcha looks really pretty, but the effects that come with it are a little disappointing compared with the quality of the props.  In essence there is a magician’s choice, a mathematical game, a corny joke, and a surprising magical transposition to end. Luckily all is not lost … if I was to perform Betcha I would incorporate one or two other effects:

  • Free Will using the props that come with Betcha (die, chess piece, domino, and prediction)
  • And for a real optional kicker the new Anverdi Mental Dice.

This is the order I would run them in:

  1. Play the game of NIM
  2. Free Will (play this last if you don’t do the Anverdi Mental Dice)
  3. Domino transposition
  4. Anverdi Mental Dice (Extra Optional Bonus)

If you don’t have either Free Will or the new Anverdi Mental Dice I would strongly advise that you get them …

Of course you can stick with the original routine and you might decide to tweak it a little.  It is not bad, but just felt a little light for the beautiful props. If it was a cheaper item it would probably be fine.  But who are we kidding, if you are a collector you’ll probably never perform this anyway, so it will look great on the shelf regardless 🙂

I would give this 5 stars if Free Will had been incorporated into the original effect.

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Review by Andy Martin for Majestic Meteor Ball by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Majestic Meteor Ball by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Majestic Meteor Ball by Magic Wagon
4 out of 5

And here is the final effect from Magic Wagon for 2019 and I’m actually caught up for the first time in years! This is another unique and well made effect which looks good and will certainly appeal to collectors. There appears to be no sign as to where the little golden meteor ball disappears too – it simply vanishes between the two blocks into thin air!

In some ways it is similar to the Atomic ball effect with a little more dressing. Some collector’s really love all the dressing up of the props, but if you are going to perform to lay people I prefer things stripped down – well made, but without all the frills. That is why I much prefer the original Magiro Hydro Die to the much more impressive Magic Wagon Majestic Hydro Die. In many ways this is why I like Eddy Taytelbaum’s magic so much – he makes really excellent props but with the possible exception of his Mummies they are understated without too many extra embellishments. But it takes all sorts and these beautiful props do make for a very wonderful display 🙂

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