Review by Andy Martin for Coin-Fusion by Optical Oddities

Review by Andy Martin for Coin-Fusion by Optical Oddities
Review by Andy Martin for Coin-Fusion by Optical Oddities
4 out of 5

This is a unique little box from Optical Oddities Mfg. Co. released c. 1987.  I believe Optical Oddities was Dave Pavlov’s company in Las Vegas that was formed c. 1981.

This box is different from anything else I have seen.  The effect on the audience is similar to what can be be achieved by a Lippincott Box but there are no moving or sliding sides.  The two issues I have with this are: it can only accommodate a coin about the size of half dollar nothing thicker or larger and it is difficult to do the move silently.

I personally believe this is more of a trick for magicians and still think Joe Porper’s original Strong Box is the best type of Lippincott Box available.

But an interesting unique method all the same ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for The Elusive Rabbits by Davenport's

Review by Andy Martin for The Elusive Rabbits by Davenport's
Review by Andy Martin for The Elusive Rabbits by Davenport's
4 out of 5

The Elusive Rabbits or Hippity-Hop Rabbits was invented by The Great Norman (Norman Hazeldene) c. 1947. Norman sold the rights to Harry Stanley when Harry was in partnership with Jack Hughes and Arthur Dowler and they released the first version in early 1947. The effect was a big success.

Davenport’s released their first version c. 1958 when they were located at New Oxford Street.  This version is probably the same design as their first version but the instructions say Charing Cross Underground which is where they moved to c. 1962.

This is a good sized version with a simple clear design and bright colors.ย  I found the release for the climax a little stiffer than I would like but after adding some lube it became much easier, though this would not be my first choice for this prop.ย  However, they do work fine and are in great condition for their age and would look perfect in your collection.

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Review by Andy Martin for Clatter Box by Jack Hughes

Review by Andy Martin for Clatter Box by Jack Hughes
Review by Andy Martin for Clatter Box by Jack Hughes
4 out of 5

Jack Hughes invented the Clatter Box c. 1949 and it appears in his World of Magic Vol. 2.  It has been copied without permission by many magic dealers throughout the world over the years ๐Ÿ™

The original Clatter Box was quite small and was made of metal. Jack changed the style of the box several times over the years, but the method of release remained the same.  This version is the wooden style that became more popular over time.

This Clatter Box takes a few tries to get comfortable setting it up, but once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature. It is important that you seat each section properly otherwise the box will fall apart too soon, or will not look solid. But if you do it right it looks very convincing and is a surprise to the audience when it all falls apart.

I thought this would complement the Joseph Silk Pistol perfectly and am looking forward to working on a Speed Demo this weekend.

The best way to perform this is to whisper to the spectator to time the pull of the knob with the firing of the silk pistol so that it looks like the silk literally flew inside the box ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Anything Box by TCC & Conan Liu

Review by Andy Martin for Anything Box by TCC & Conan Liu
Review by Andy Martin for Anything Box by TCC & Conan Liu
4 out of 5

TCC have been making magic since 2008 and they are committed to produce very high quality magic for an exceptional value.  I have seen many Mini Drawer Boxes over the years and this one falls about in the middle of the pack. It is very well made but doesn’t have a breath taking design like The Cleveland Drawer Box or Dave Powell’s amazing Victorian Prediction Box. Also the mechanism is pretty fool proof but it is not hidden so you cannot show the whole bottom of the box without covering a small section with your hand.

The method is very standard with nothing to really new here.  It can be shown empty and then it can be shown full.  If you were just using this for cards it is pretty big which is probably one of the reasons TCC call it the Anything Box.  Unlike some drawer boxes it has spare space in the bottom so you can exchange  small things like coins, billets and tissue paper – but this is certainly not a new feature or unique to this drawer box as TCC claim.  Alan Warner created an amazing routine using this same approach with his Chan Chu and quite a few of the smaller boxes do have some room to exchange items.  Just don’t expect to change a red deck for a blue deck!

Where the Anything Box really scores is the price  for $80 in 2022 you won’t get anything even close to the quality or the utility.  I would certainly prefer a smaller box so that you could easily walk-around with this.  It will fit in your outer jacket pocket but it will fill it up.

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Review by Andy Martin for Artisan Color-Changing Knives by TCC

Review by Andy Martin for Artisan Color-Changing Knives by TCC
Review by Andy Martin for Artisan Color-Changing Knives by TCC
4 out of 5

TCC have been making magic since 2008 and they are committed to produce very high quality magic for an exceptional value. This is a well made set of knives in a nice leather holder and good quality online video (with English subtitles). 

These knives handle well and transform very easily (some of the easiest I have used) and most people will love them ๐Ÿ™‚

However, I see one issue that bothers me a little.  The colors  are not solid – the white has some swirls of grey and the black has some swirls of grey and in certain lighting it might take a minute to recognize the color change.  It might be a small point, but I like my color changes bold and beautiful.  I’m not talking shocking pink here, but if you are going to use black and white make sure there is no ambiguity.

The quality is certainly there, and it is obvious that TCC is all very consistent with their high quality, I just think they have fallen a little short with the color choices ๐Ÿ™

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Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney

Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney
Review by Andy Martin for Transformer Coin System by John Jurney
4 out of 5

This is a comprehensive set of coins that are basically uncredited versions of various Dream Coins and Triple Coins released by Johnny Wong c. 2008.

The big difference with John Jurney’s coins is they can talk a little when compared with the original ones released by Johnny Wong.  That being said there are some interesting routines that John Jurney has put together and the price is good for the selection you get.

In addition, the Chinese Coins in this set look more realistic than Johnny Wong’s do.  Finally this set offered here comes with Old English pennies but later releases used Australian pennies.

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Review by Andy Martin for Perfect Silk To Ball (Red, Ver. 3) by JL Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Perfect Silk To Ball (Red, Ver. 3) by JL Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Perfect Silk To Ball (Red, Ver. 3) by JL Magic
4 out of 5

This works very smoothly.  There is some noise to cover due to the speed of the vanish, so this is not a close-up trick but it does look good.  It works perfectly with a full size 18″ silk (it does not have to be a diamond cut silk) and comes with two 18″ silks.

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Review by Andy Martin for Color Rod Divination by West German Craftsman, Unknown

Review by Andy Martin for Color Rod Divination by West German Craftsman, Unknown
Review by Andy Martin for Color Rod Divination by West German Craftsman, Unknown
4 out of 5

This is a great item made well with a good mechanical method.  All I know is it was made in West Germany, but certainly not recently.  Ed Mishell released a similar effect c. 1970 but this set is nicer and I’m sure predates that version.

When performing this I would take all four rods out of the box as I found my fingers too big to easily take each rod out, so that could cause some delays in performance.  This is always ready to go and there is nothing added or taken away.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Red Ruby (Der Rote Rubin) by Eckhard Boettcher

Review by Andy Martin for The Red Ruby (Der Rote Rubin) by Eckhard Boettcher
Review by Andy Martin for The Red Ruby (Der Rote Rubin) by Eckhard Boettcher
4 out of 5

This is basically a re-release of Alan Warner’s beautiful Pharaoh’s Curse.  The method is the same but the props are not as well made.  This effect normally comes with a “red ruby” but this one comes with a blueish “stone” as can be seen.

The effect is easy to do and does not require any sleights to perform.  Just as Alan Warner devised, what makes the effect extra convincing is that you can apparently see the backs and fronts of each wooden panel before and after the vanish.

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