Review by Andy Martin for The Ring, The Watch, and The Wallet #1 by Tommy Wonder, Ken Winters

Review by Andy Martin for The Ring, The Watch, and The Wallet #1 by Tommy Wonder, Ken Winters
Review by Andy Martin for The Ring, The Watch, and The Wallet #1 by Tommy Wonder, Ken Winters
5 out of 5

This effect is one of Tommy Wonder’s most amazing achievements and truly one of his signature pieces – it is Tommy’s version of the Oswald Williams Hold-up premise*.  There have been a number of versions of this effect over the years by various builders, but  this one, by Ken Winters, is considered the best.  Ken has followed every detail in Tommy Wonder’s routine and spared no expense or detail. This version even work’s smoother than Tommy’s own unit that retailed for $5000. 

This unit is the very first set that Ken Winters created in 2007 with a plaque stating #1 and comes complete with all necessary props to perform Tommy’s full routine: the regular watch, the incredibly gaffed watch, the reel, the harness, the notched wallet and even the ring. Also included is a template for correctly gaffing the envelope which is simple and just requires two cuts in the right place.  It also includes the full and detailed instructions from the Books of Wonder.

If you ever wanted to perform this amazing routine, this would be the set to do it with.  Here are some words from Tommy Wonder explaining why the trick is so effective:

I’ve used this trick to open my close-up and parlor acts for years, and I’m pleased to say it seems to fool everyone-even well-posted magicians- as thoroughly as I hoped it would.

The main reason the trick is so deceptive is because, although all three items are seemingly placed into the envelope, each is vanished from it by a different method. Each method cancels thoughts of another of the methods employed, thus strengthening the whole and making the procedure impossible to reconstruct.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Crystal Prison of Serica (Silkola) by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for The Crystal Prison of Serica (Silkola) by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for The Crystal Prison of Serica (Silkola) by Michael Baker
5 out of 5

Michael Baker is one of the very few craftsmen left who not only creates beautiful parlor and stage sized collectible magic, he is also a performer in his own right. Whenever you purchase an item from Michael you know he has thought through the routine such that each move and design decision make it as smooth as possible to entertain and perform.

This is Michael’s take on the Silkola effect invented by Lennart Bondesson of Sweden c. 1966 and sold to Supreme Magic Co. of England when it was first marketed c. 1967.

This is quite simply the most stunning version of Silkola you will ever see – it stands at 18.5″ high and even the bottle is ornate and beautiful.  The routine is a wonderful story and the moves are timed perfectly with the action – this really is a miracle and it comes with everything you need except for the vanish of the silk (use your favorite method).

The market for this type of magic is tiny, but God bless Michael for continuing to create his beauties, we’ll all be worse off when these types of effect are no longer produced.  They beat a slick download, a fancy deck of cards or the latest computerized watch any day!

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Review by Andy Martin for Total Serendipity by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Total Serendipity by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Total Serendipity by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

Talk about the Land of Missed OpportunitiesTotal Serendipity is a really amazing, clean and beautiful switching device.  The feature effect it is shipped with could have been so much better if Magic Wagon had spent just a little more time with the props and routine, instead of stampeding to produce the most beautiful prop without spending an equal amount of time with the finished product 🙁

I reported when Magic Wagon created the Utopia Prediction  how they they have a great effect and method, but did not think it through and created a box that held only half the deck, when in fact if the device had held the whole deck it would have made so much more sense.  Well, I feel this effect is even more so – you have this neat looking box with close-up pad area and the place to hold two packets of cards – but the holes for the cards are so small the only way you can easily remove the cards is to place a rubber band around the packet and lift the packet via the band.  But this means you can’t use the device as a way to draw cards one by one, which if you did would allow you to streamline the routine AND provide a reason why you stored the cards in the base in the first place.  These changes to the props or the routine are not hard but they can often be the difference between a contrived routine and a killer one.

That being said, if you ignore the provided presentation you have the opportunity to create some amazing routines with things like: dice, billets, coins, bills, etc.  Although I don’t love the shipped routine I do think that this unit is so well made that it is worth it.  I hope to find time to create some cool ideas with small articles such as: dice, billets, coins, and bills.  In fact, I’ve just ordered a second one of these because I think it has so much potential.

Even though they miss an opportunity here, the device is so good I will not ding a point this time. But please Magic Wagon, spend a little more time on the routines before you go to production, because with a little bit of extra thought you could really blow them away!

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Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid & Sarcophagus Mysterium by Buma

Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid & Sarcophagus Mysterium by Buma
Review by Andy Martin for Pyramid & Sarcophagus Mysterium by Buma
5 out of 5

Not only is this Mummy effect beautifully crafted by Buma, it really is very clever how it works.  Buma has closely thought out all the steps so it looks perfect.  If you watch Buma’s video performance closely it really is a fooler.  Not only is the aged mummy transformed into the beautiful Golden Mummy how the heck did it get into the sarcophagus that is in the middle of the floor under the Pyramid – if you watch the video really, really closely you still probably won’t see enough to show you how it actually works. 

When I was playing with this for the photos I could not believe how the switch (yes there is a switch 🙂 ) worked so smoothly and almost automatically – and every time the Golden mummy ended up  in the center of the floor in the tiny Sarcophagus.  That in itself is a clever feat for sure!  If you love clever close-up magic or Mummies and are prepared to read the instructions you’ll have a little miracle on your hands!  It is not difficult to do, but you’ll need to practice the timing to get it as smooth as Buma.  I urge you to watch Buma’s video a few times because he really does a great job, and I think this is more effective when you appreciate how clean everything looks.

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Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells

Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells
Review by Andy Martin for Scotty York's Color Changing Knives + Booklet by Scotty York, Bill Wells
5 out of 5

I’m a big fan of Joe Mogar’s knives, but it’s hard not to fall in love with these beauties from Scotty York and Bill Wells.

These wonderful knives also come with a 34 page booklet detailing: The Scotty York’s Original Handling and Presentation of the Color Changing Pocket Knives including a special new handling utilizing the double edge knife case (case not included). And Fred Kaps’ Final Color Changing Knife Routine, a never before published routine from Scotty York’s private notebooks.

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Review by Andy Martin for P&L Spider Web Card Appearance (Card Spider) by Petrie-Lewis

Review by Andy Martin for P&L Spider Web Card Appearance (Card Spider) by Petrie-Lewis
Review by Andy Martin for P&L Spider Web Card Appearance (Card Spider) by Petrie-Lewis
5 out of 5

This parlor and stage effect was invented by British magician James Orrin c. 1932.

This version was created by the reformed Petrie-Lewis c. 1985 when they were in Florida c. 1983-1990 (the original Petrie-Lewis were in business from 1917-1968 when they were sold to Abbott’s) and was heavily influenced by the Owen Magic Supreme version of this effect right down to the color scheme and layout of the Spider Web.  This comes with original instructions, hallmarked with the famous P&L logo and only a few of these were made. The spider is slightly larger and looks better than the Owen’s version.  This unit works perfectly and the effect looks amazing!

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Review by Andy Martin for Ju-Ju Stick by Frank Monaghan

Review by Andy Martin for Ju-Ju Stick by Frank Monaghan
Review by Andy Martin for Ju-Ju Stick by Frank Monaghan
5 out of 5

This used to be my favorite paddle trick and close-up effect in my teenage years and early twenties.  It is a great routine, with good magic and lots of fun moments in the routine.  One of the things I particularly like about the routine is the spectator gets to hold the paddle a lot and which along with the routine takes heat off of the paddle and it seems even more magical.

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Review by Andy Martin for Magic Pitcher (Milk Jug) by Owen Magic Supreme

Review by Andy Martin for Magic Pitcher (Milk Jug) by Owen Magic Supreme
Review by Andy Martin for Magic Pitcher (Milk Jug) by Owen Magic Supreme
5 out of 5

Easily the best Milk Jug I have owned. Very solid and looks amazing and beautiful.

Effect: From a large 2 quart pitcher a quantity of liquid is poured into a simple paper cone or other apparatus and immedi- ately vanished. The Owen pitcher is of heavy gauge lucite throughout and is crystal clear. Appears as a perfectly plain high class crystal pitcher.

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Review by Frank Lehmann for P&L Ultra Perfect Card Box by Petrie-Lewis

Review by Frank Lehmann for P&L Ultra Perfect Card Box by Petrie-Lewis
Review by Frank Lehmann for P&L Ultra Perfect Card Box by Petrie-Lewis
5 out of 5

Dear Andy,

I have both thicknesses of this card box. In my case they are made of German silver (nickel silver) which is made up of copper, nickel and zinc. It looks very much like silver but actually doesn’t have any silver in it.

They are the nicest card boxes I’ve ever used, silver or not. I hope this helps.

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