Review by Andy Martin for Mini Cyclops Box by Martin Breese, Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Mini Cyclops Box by Martin Breese, Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Mini Cyclops Box by Martin Breese, Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

This is the re-released version of Martin Breese’s Cyclops Box in a smaller size built to perfection by the Magic Wagon team.  The one thing that Magic Wagon can be relied upon is if you give them a project to build they will always create a mechanically perfect version of your vision. 

There is no doubt the Mini Cyclops Box is an improvement on Martin’s original box.  You can now control when the mechanism is used which means the box can easily be given to the spectator to handle and hold.  The mechanism is very clean and you will love how this version works.

This is a beautiful box that rarely comes up for sale and it is a great utility item that you’ll find lots of uses for and love to play with it 🙂

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Review by Jon Wilson for The Butterfly Box by Okito-Williams

Review by Jon Wilson for The Butterfly Box by Okito-Williams
Review by Jon Wilson for The Butterfly Box by Okito-Williams
5 out of 5

I have never seen this performed before tonight. Andy – I thought your performance [and not so quick,] was great actually. I was just speaking to a another collector of magic the other night that has this trick and I have heard of it a bit before, but never seen it performed. I actually think your timing is awesome to give the trick a little bit more showmanship than you think. I thought the performance you gave was better than the first video, to tell you the truth. Wow! What a great trick!

From Andy Martin: Thanks so much Jon – glad you liked it. I really tried to do justice to this great piece, adding the music and even putting on my Tux for the first time in ten years 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Switch Board by Martin Andersen, IDEAA Lab

Review by Andy Martin for Switch Board by Martin Andersen, IDEAA Lab
Review by Andy Martin for Switch Board by Martin Andersen, IDEAA Lab
5 out of 5

This is easily the most advanced switch board available in terms of production, quality, extensibility, and function.  There is no doubt that Martin Andersen and the IDEAA Lab have done an amazing job and put their heart and soul into this project.

All the reviews I have seen about this rave about it and it really does deliver and then some.  It is a great product and would look right at home with products released by Apple.

However, as a collector and performer I can’t help wishing for something a little simpler like the original Illumin-Ace by Paul Bernhardt or Wellington’s beautiful Mini Magic Switchboard, or even the more recent Chips by Paul Picha.  The real problem when you create an effect that is clearly a modern electronic item is that most spectators have already seen lots of amazing and magical things with iPhones and Smart devices of all kinds, so the bar is set really high when it comes to creating real magic.  It doesn’t mean it can’t entertain, for sure it can, but to really convince the spectators you are performing magic (or at least doing something more than anyone else could with the same device) just takes a little more effort.

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Review by Andy Martin for Tablet of Knowledge (1 of 24) by Damir Djanis

Review by Andy Martin for Tablet of Knowledge (1 of 24) by Damir Djanis
Review by Andy Martin for Tablet of Knowledge (1 of 24) by Damir Djanis
5 out of 5

This is the second in a line of unique collectibles manufactured by Damir Djanis of Croatia. Damir has definitely upped the ante with this release and is really demonstrating his wood crafting talents.

The props looks wonderful and they can be minutely examined – there is nothing to find.  The method works very well and with just one read of the instructions you’ll quickly get the hang of things.  The instructions and routine, written by George Robinson Jr., include an interesting story-based routine which you might enjoy.

Notice: This does not work the same way as Magic Wagon’s Magic Gemstone and Hieroglyphic Spells  – you can clearly show the tablet fully flush in the bottom of the box and even have the spectator close the lid if you desire.

History Notice: The creative genius who began the modern Mummy craze in Micro Magic, Karl Edler,  created an effect called “The Tablet of Knowledge” (Die Täfelchen der Erkenntnis) c. 1941 but Karl’s effect was a mentalism effect with 10 numbered tiles and bears no resemblance to Damir’s penetration effect described on this page, just in case you history buffs were wondering.

As with Damir’s previous release these are made in a limited edition of 24 units so there is no doubt these will become more collectible over time.  My advice to you is go get one now 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box (Table-Top) by Haenchen

Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box (Table-Top) by Haenchen
Review by Andy Martin for The Haenchen Production Box (Table-Top) by Haenchen
5 out of 5

This is a sophisticated and impressive production box that is similar to a Square Circle but has a better sequence of displays to convince the audience it is empty. Solidly made and a real treat for collectors since items from Fred Haenchen are harder to come by these days and they are in high demand due to their unique ideas and quality craftsmanship.

This production box was created in four different sizes.  The smallest version without a stand is shown here.  Then this version is the Table-Top  version with it’s own stand.  Then there was  Haenchen’s Mammoth Production Box that was free standing on its own stand, and the final size was Haenchen’s Illusion Production Box which was big enough to produce a girl. You can read more about this box in Volume 6 of Dr. Albo.

This Table-Top version is easier to use than the smaller version as the flaps are controlled by one external ring.  The load is slightly bigger too.  This is a very convincing production item and works great with David Ginn’s Color Explosion Blendo so I include one in the box as a starter production item 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Teach A Card Trick by Wayne Dobson, Colin Rose

Review by Andy Martin for Teach A Card Trick by Wayne Dobson, Colin Rose
Review by Andy Martin for Teach A Card Trick by Wayne Dobson, Colin Rose
5 out of 5

This is a great example of how a well crafted routine can remove almost any sort of  sleights or tricky moves.  Wayne Dobson has created a very clean  and entertaining routine here. The basic effect was inspired by American Magician Karrell Fox’s routine “Magical Assets” in his book Clever Like A Fox. 

The card box looks similar to some other card boxes, but there are some key differences:

  1. The flap falls from the bottom, not the top.  This means it can be opened cleanly with the deck of cards in the box and the box can be handled very freely.
  2. It holds a full Poker deck  inside its case – many card boxes don’t – which seems strange for something called a card box.
  3. The lid opens completely flat – this doesn’t seem like a big deal but the number of times I’ve had card boxes that wobble from side to side because the lid does not fully open is amazing.

The set-up is very simple and Wayne’s routines relies on subtleties rather than moves making it possible to focus almost completely on the routine itself.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mini Mental (Painted) by Alan Warner

Review by Andy Martin for Mini Mental (Painted) by Alan Warner
Review by Andy Martin for Mini Mental (Painted) by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

I’ve been collecting Alan Warner magic since 1980 but this is the very first time I have seen one of the original painted versions of Mini-Mental which was first released fifty years ago in 1972!

Alan created this marvel first in the mini size you see on this page and a few months later in the Maxi size. In 1990 the mini version was re-released in Teak and it has been one of Alan’s biggest hits ever since. It has also inspired other craftsman to create their own versions, such as Magic Wagon and Thomas Pohle.

Mini-Mental is a beautiful looking effect with a very clever method that will please you and amaze your audience. 

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Review by Andy Martin for The Slate of Fate by Owen Magic Supreme, Ed Massey

Review by Andy Martin for The Slate of Fate by Owen Magic Supreme, Ed Massey
Review by Andy Martin for The Slate of Fate by Owen Magic Supreme, Ed Massey
5 out of 5

This wonderful utility item expertly crafted by Owen Magic Supreme is based on Ed Massey’s Duplex Slate.  It was written up by Les Smith in “Linking Ring Vol 47 Issue 1”, Jan 1967, p. 81.  The Slate of Fate comes with a three way prediction routine that really gets the most out of this beautiful item.

Points to remember:

  • Slates is cleanly shown on both sides
  • Nothing is added or taken away from the slate
  • Slate maybe handled freely by the audience
  • No chemicals used
  • No sleight of hand

This is the first one of these I have seen and it has quickly become my favorite slate for close-up situations.

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Review by Andy Martin for Star Selection by Norman Stout, The Scottish Magic Studio

Review by Andy Martin for Star Selection by Norman Stout, The Scottish Magic Studio
Review by Andy Martin for Star Selection by Norman Stout, The Scottish Magic Studio
5 out of 5

Variations of the Final Card effect have been around at least as early as 1945.   Abbott’s released The Last Card devised by Roydon c. 1945 and Jack Hughes produced his improvement c. 1946..  Prolific English inventor and creator Eric C. Lewis started working on his version about the same time this version came out and he really liked Norman’s version.  This is what Eric said in an I.B.M Budget Review in 1947:

An up-to-date, version of the ” Last Card,” it is topical and full of action and has real entertainment value

Eric’s own version is described starting on page 227 in Eric’s wonderful book A Continuation of Miracles. And the  most common modern release using Eric’s method was from Milson-Worth.

This version was created by Norman Stout c. 1947 and was originally sold directly by him. Norman then joined forces with Jack Silver and Bob Liddle to form The Scottish Magic Studio c. 1950 (this was before Jack Silver created his company Silray with his daughter, Ray). Star Selection is beautifully made in solid Plexiglass and a wonderful version of this effect that is easy to do and works very smoothly.  I think it is actually easier to perform than the other versions I have tried.

I also like the routine – you appear to get an extra effect out of it by having a selection from the nine before you start choosing them from the star – this is a nice touch!  And it comes with different cards so you can use it at a repeat performance.

And it breaks down for packing, which is always a nice feature for these larger props.

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