Review by Andy Martin for Card Illustrator Tool by Chris Wasshuber, Lybrary.com

Review by Andy Martin for Card Illustrator Tool by Chris Wasshuber, Lybrary.com
Review by Andy Martin for Card Illustrator Tool by Chris Wasshuber, Lybrary.com
5 out of 5

Wow what an amazing tool Chris Wasshuber from Lybrary.com has created for the community.  If you ever need to show fans of cards in a book, instruction sheets, online or anywhere else Chris has created the perfect tool to use.  It has ESP cards too and a variety of back designs.  And I’m sure if you have a legitimate need Chris would most likely add more designs, he’s that sort of guy πŸ™‚

The tool is very easy to use and costs nothing – you just have to have a free account at Lybrary.com.  And while you are there you can purchase 100’s of the amazing ebooks that Chris has created over the last 20+ years – he has over 9,000 now.  Chris also has the best ebook search engine on the planet with his Magic Knowledge Base Search – also free to account holders.

Great job Chris and thank-you for providing this amazing tool to the community πŸ™‚

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Impossible by T and L Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Impossible by T and L Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Impossible by T and L Magic
5 out of 5

This is an amazing find πŸ™‚ I previously thought the first switch board type effect was Illumin-Ace by Paul Bernhardt c. 1989, but this authentic beauty was created in 1968 and it is amazing!!!

This was created by T and L Magic from Detroit Michigan c. 1968. The “T” stands for James Turk but I have been unable to find out who the “R” stands for. If you know please contact me.

What this really has going for it is clarity and authenticity – everything is out in the open and it looks old and beyond reproach. I found an authentic looking case to house it which is not old but it still looks perfect for this marvel.

I hope to get a video up soon, but this works precisely as the routine says, with no secret moves, nothing added or taken away, and apparently nothing to go wrong. I don’t know how it works, it does requite 110 volt, 60 cycle, A.C., so please do not think about this unless you live in the USA.

The instructions say the switches and the bulbs are gimmicked but there is nothing I can see. A truly rare electronic beauty that you will love.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Devil Always Knows (Seven Deadly Sins) by Christopher Dearman, Nick Trost

Review by Andy Martin for The Devil Always Knows (Seven Deadly Sins) by Christopher Dearman, Nick Trost
Review by Andy Martin for The Devil Always Knows (Seven Deadly Sins) by Christopher Dearman, Nick Trost
5 out of 5

I’ve been a big fan of Nick Trost’s Eight Card Brainwave for years and I really like Christopher Dearman’s Seven Deadly Sins routine. 

The cards look great and people’s ears quickly perk up when you start talking about Lust, Envy, Greed, etc., and it is very easy to perform and reset.  The cards and patter draws them in and it resonates very nicely with the audience.  It is perfect for a more bizarre performance such as an evening with Outlaw Effect’s Spiritas or as part of your regular close-up routine when you want to get a little more intense.

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Review by Andy Martin for Gung Ho Box by DS Magik

Review by Andy Martin for Gung Ho Box by DS Magik
Review by Andy Martin for Gung Ho Box by DS Magik
5 out of 5

The Gung Ho box was invented by Ned Frailey and it was first released by Stuart Robson’s Conjurer’s Shop c. 1944. It has been released in many forms, under many names and by many dealers  ever since. It is described in Dr Albo Volume 6 (pg. 77) under Folding Production Box and also Rice’s Silk Encyclopedia Vol. 1 (pg. 194).

This is a really beautiful version from a new manufacturer Darren Heppel and his company DS Magik. Darren has been interested in magic for many years but has only recently started building his own props. Though based on this first item he has released you could never tell.  His finish out and eye for detail will give even the modern day prop master Michael Baker a run for his money πŸ™‚

I look forward to seeing more beautiful magic from this new builder.

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Review by Andy Martin for Phantom Block Penetration by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Phantom Block Penetration by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Phantom Block Penetration by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

Another clean and interesting release from Magic Wagon.  On the cafe there are some comments about the use of the segmented block, but to be honest, if you are concerned about the block looking strange, you probably should be concerned about the whole trick, which is also something I’ve never seen. If the block concerns you perform Blok-Kord with no gimmicks and no strange props πŸ™‚

I love the patter Madison uses to justify the block in his innovative and amusing presentation – “The World’s Easiest Rubik’s Cube.”

If you like clever, self-working props that look good this should be right up your alley πŸ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Prediction Chest by Magic Wagon, GEM Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Prediction Chest by Magic Wagon, GEM Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Supreme Prediction Chest by Magic Wagon, GEM Magic
5 out of 5

This is Magic Wagon’s version of John Pomeroy’s 50/50 Prediction Chest that John first discussed in his 1973 book Mentology.  It was first released by John Pomeroy’s GEM Magic c. 1983.  All rights of the GEM Magic line were purchased by George Robinson of Viking Mfg. c. 1999 and in fact George was planning on releasing a version this year, even before I told him about the Magic Wagon release.  Production has been delayed but hopefully George’s  official version will be available in 2023.  The original GEM Magic box was larger and more ornate than the Magic Wagon re-release and I’ve included a couple of photos of the original as the last two photos in the photo gallery.

Thanks to discussions about this box with George Robinson I can also describe that John Pomeroy had the idea for this effect from an old item featured in Professor Hoffmann’s Modern Magic called The Card and Bird Box.

Magic Wagon say they were inspired by Pomeroy’s original idea, but it is not clear that they have added anything new, so “inspired” is generous. However, their box works very well and what is new and not mentioned in the original GEM instructions is Madison’s idea to use the box as a billet switch box.  This is a really great idea and as Madison says – “the Best routine” for this clever box.

This is my favorite effect from Magic Wagon so far this year and this was very much aided by Madison’s wonderful presentation – Go Team Madison πŸ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Mini Squeeze Away Block by Willi Wessel, Ed Massey

Review by Andy Martin for Mini Squeeze Away Block by Willi Wessel, Ed Massey
Review by Andy Martin for Mini Squeeze Away Block by Willi Wessel, Ed Massey
5 out of 5

Ed Massey invented this clever and original effect. The initial version of Squeeze Away Block first appeared in Blackstone’s Annual of Magic c. 1929 in a contribution written and illustrated by Massey. Commercial versions started appearing c. 1946.

This is rare item from Willi Wessel.  Unlike Tony Lackner and Thomas Pohle who have marketed their magic worldwide, Willi was never a full time magic creator and sold most of his magic to collectors in Germany, so finding his items is much harder.  This is a real beauty from the 1980’s.

Willi purchased a stage version from Milson-Worth, but he found it was not as effective due to the performing distance. He altered the routine to fit a close-up version and fooled many magicians at conventions.  Included in the instructions are details of how to make the yellow block reappear back inside an inverted glass which looks interesting.

You’ll love this beautiful version which looks amazing and works perfectly πŸ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Spiritas (Mini S.M.) by Outlaw Effects

Review by Andy Martin for Spiritas (Mini S.M.) by Outlaw Effects
Review by Andy Martin for Spiritas (Mini S.M.) by Outlaw Effects
5 out of 5

Talk about authentic – this beautiful creation from Outlaw Effects is perfect for that mysterious night in The Porcupine when The Macallan is flowing freely.  The Spiritas unit itself is 100% self contained  but this one also comes with the optional antique oak travel case with an extra drawer.   You can easily load this bad boy up with your whole act and be ready for some true wonders.

The Spiritas very cleverly hides two separate and powerful electro coils that combined can do all sorts of PK Effects.  Out of the box it comes with a wonderfully effective Spirit Bell which looks as clean as a whistle.  The bell can do single chimes or multiple chimes when you really want to get their attention (think Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad). The bell hangs from a rig that can be set-up right in front of their noses. The small Spiritas  can have items in the drawer or not but when they look inside they’ll find nothing fishy.  There are no switches on the box and although they cannot take the box apart from any angle it looks perfectly clean.

There is also a Pendulum that can make use of the same rig used for the bell and this allows for answers to yes/no questions.  It looks quite eerie to watch the pendulum swing back and forth in two different directions, which is only possible because of the two coils instead of one.

The electro coils on this are amazingly powerful and you can make PK items jump, fly off the top or knock down stacked piles of blocks.  It is fun to play with and see what you can achieve and how far certain things can fly πŸ™‚

The other good thing about this unit is it uses standard AAA batteries and has two remotes: one for the hand and one to be operated by your foot.  So this should keep running for many years to come.

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Review by Andy Martin for Vanishing Salt Trick (Improved) by Al Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Vanishing Salt Trick (Improved) by Al Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Vanishing Salt Trick (Improved) by Al Baker
5 out of 5

This was invented by Al Baker c. 1940 and sold by him and later Tannen’s and others.  An improved version was introduced by Al c. 1947 with a revised gimmick.  This was easier to use but unfortunately has a tendency to yellow and split after 80 years as I found when working on this πŸ™

I was able to create the original gimmick and that is what I’m using for these photos and I’m on the look out for the improved gimmick, but I don’t know how I will fare.

Regardless of the aging or gimmick this is a clever idea that is easy to do and looks very effective to the audience, and of course no TT’s are used πŸ™‚

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Review by Andy Martin for Eli's Die Box by Thayer Quality Magic, Ralph E. Hackman

Review by Andy Martin for Eli's Die Box by Thayer Quality Magic, Ralph E. Hackman
Review by Andy Martin for Eli's Die Box by Thayer Quality Magic, Ralph E. Hackman
5 out of 5

This clever little beauty invented by Ralph Elias “Eli” Hackman c. 1920 and beautiful crafted in mahogany by Floyd Thayer c. 1921 and appeared in various forms from other dealers over the years. It should not be confused with a sure-shot die box which looks similar but uses a very different method.

The supplied effect is easy to do and in fact at first I didn’t believe it would work, but it works perfectly if you follow the instructions exactly as provided.  You do need to be able to add and subtract from 21, but otherwise nothing is added or taken away.

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