Review by Andy Martin for Houdini's Escape (1 of 15) by Thomas Pohle

Review by Andy Martin for Houdini's Escape (1 of 15) by Thomas Pohle
Review by Andy Martin for Houdini's Escape (1 of 15) by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

A wonderful looking illusion from Thomas Pohle.  It is very similar to Angleo Carbone’s Prison Box and Squeeze Thru, though Thomas has never owned either of these items.  His effect is based on a cardboard model he saw on YouTube. Thomas wanted to make it in wood – and improve it with his creation of the locking tab. While Thomas’ cabinet is not the same as the two effects mentioned – out of respect for Angelo Carbone – this initial run of Houdini’s Escape will be the only ones ever made. There were fifteen units sold.

Thomas has done an amazing job on the look and working of this effect – it looks perfect and the mechanism is smooth and easy to use.  It is possible to lock the unit in place (unlike the Angelo Carbone’s versions), and this is a minor miracle in itself, with very fine tolerances.  For me I don’t think it is necessary to lock the unit, but having the option is good to have.

A very fine piece that is sure to please both the Thomas Pohle fans and the Houdini Collectors, and given there are only fifteen units available these will be in higher demand.

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Review by Burton Fuller for Gypsy Curse by Peter Kane, Emerson and West

Review by Burton Fuller for Gypsy Curse by Peter Kane, Emerson and West
Review by Burton Fuller for Gypsy Curse by Peter Kane, Emerson and West
5 out of 5

The Gypsy Curse is one of the best card tricks out there. Kane (also, Blank Amazement) Emerson and West have brought us another awesome illusion. The design of the cards, their size, the parchment and the patter all lend very well to this masterpiece. The handling is great and the sleights are not too difficult. I would have given a star for each card, but I could not.

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Review by Andy Martin for Imperial Vase Mystery by Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Imperial Vase Mystery by Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Imperial Vase Mystery by Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

Magic Wagon had a phenomenal 2020 and created some amazing items.  This is Magic Wagon’s version of U.F. Grant’s Bamboo Chest and Glass.

Updated 3/18/2021: Forget about everything else I wrote below, Simon Corneille has just released his fantastic video and it really takes this effect to a whole new level. EXCELLENT Simon 🙂

Original Comments: 12/31/2020: Until I saw Rob’s video (brotherbor on youtube) I was going to write this one off as a bit of a dud, but Rob really brings it home with the extra vanish – that was a stroke of genius!

I still think that by removing the liquid piece and making the vase smaller Magic Wagon have made this less amazing than the original.  But as Rob clearly shows, with a little big of imagination you can still perform this and make it seem quite amazing and entertaining 🙂

It is beautifully made, and if you perform it the way Rob does with the bonus “vanish” I think it can be a fooler or the way Simon does it it is guaranteed to be a fooler.  But if you don’t, I think this is more of a puzzle and not an outright fooler as the original version clearly was (assuming of course it was performed well!).

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Review by Andy Martin for Rising Cards by Rob Bromley

Review by Andy Martin for Rising Cards by Rob Bromley
Review by Andy Martin for Rising Cards by Rob Bromley
5 out of 5

I’ve been a big fan of the Devano Rising Cards for years and until I saw Rob Bromley’s rising cards I was quite happy with my George Richbark produced Devanos.  However Rob Bromley’s Rising Cards is as good if not better in some ways than even the classic Devano.  The block is tiny – even slightly smaller than the Richbark but it is sealed.  This can be a good or a bad thing, but because the block is so thin it is mostly good.  The only real downside I have with the Rob Bromley rising cards is that they use a sticky instead of the metal pins used by the Devano.  I just prefer the pins, although the sticky appears to work just as well most of the time (just need to check it from time to time).

Anyway you can’t go wrong with this Rising Cards and it is the one I currently use too (I have some spares).

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Review by Andy Martin for The Haunted House Rising Cards by Michael Baker, Harlan Tarbell

Review by Andy Martin for The Haunted House Rising Cards by Michael Baker, Harlan Tarbell
Review by Andy Martin for The Haunted House Rising Cards by Michael Baker, Harlan Tarbell
5 out of 5

This effect was invented by Harlan Tarbell and built by Ireland Magic c. 1941.  It was first described in book form in Vol. 4 of The Tarbell Course c. 1945.  This adorable version follows Harlan’s description closely and is made perfectly by Michael Baker.  The Ireland Magic version was made in metal and Michal Baker’s is made from wood (the last two images show the Ireland version). 

It is a wonderful effect that is not seen very often.  Once neat thing about the design is you can store the cards and other items for you show inside the house for transportation if you so desire, making this effect practical and magical 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Cork and Card Penetration by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Cork and Card Penetration by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Cork and Card Penetration by Michael Baker
5 out of 5

The Cork Penetration was invented by Eddy Taytelbaum and there have been many versions over the years including these ones  (though I’m missing the wonderful version released by the talented Frenchman François Danis).  As is often the case Eddy’s version is still the gold standard but this is a very nice set from the talented Michael Baker

Most versions have a hole in the card but it is not always the case and Michael’s uses a complete card.  I also added a card with a hole just in case you wanted to perform it the more standard way.

This looks great in your collection and works perfectly too.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Mystery of Tutankhamun (1 of 6) by Thomas Pohle

Review by Andy Martin for The Mystery of Tutankhamun (1 of 6) by Thomas Pohle
Review by Andy Martin for The Mystery of Tutankhamun (1 of 6) by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

The fourth item in Thomas’ Egyptian Series is a very perplexing penetration with exotic looking props.  When I watched the video and received the item I could not figure out how this bad boy worked until I watched Thomas’ explanation video. The penetration is very clean and has a quick reset too – this will fool most people not in the know.  Even if you think you know how it works you are unlikely to be fully able to explain how it is actually accomplished.

This is one of the cleanest and surprising penetrations I have seen in a while.  A very nice job Thomas 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Classic Slate of Mind by Richard Osterlind, U.F. Grant

Review by Andy Martin for Classic Slate of Mind by Richard Osterlind, U.F. Grant
Review by Andy Martin for Classic Slate of Mind by Richard Osterlind, U.F. Grant
5 out of 5

Slate of mind was created by U.F.Grant c. 1949, and it was later improved by Aldini. Grant was influenced by Dr. Jaks’ Supersonic Card Prediction.

This is Richard Osterlind’s high end version, it is not as pretty as Carl Williams’ paddle version but it is still one of the best looking and smoothest versions produced.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Conway Cigarette Case by Ken Brooke, Pat Conway, Bert Allerton

Review by Andy Martin for The Conway Cigarette Case by Ken Brooke, Pat Conway, Bert Allerton
Review by Andy Martin for The Conway Cigarette Case by Ken Brooke, Pat Conway, Bert Allerton
5 out of 5

The Conway Cigarette Case is based upon the effect The Card and Cigarette Case by American Close-up Magician Bert Allerton in his book The Close-up Magician  c. 1958. However, Bert Allerton’s idea used an ungimmicked Cigarette Case. Pat Conway created the perfect gaff to make the case still look normal, but also much easier and more convincing to perform. 

Ken Brooke purchased the rights to Pat’s approach and produced this beautiful and innocent looking Cigarette Case.  The early versions sold by Ken required an elastic band to be used but Fred Lowe suggested a modification which removed the need.  This is the final version after all the improvements and suggestions and it is perfect and easily one of the best items produced by Ken Brooke 🙂

I’ve always wanted to get one of these but had no clue how cool it was until I received it.  It does not work like any other card box you have seen and there are no flaps … yet you can do pretty much anything any other card box can do, but in a much more natural and clean way 🙂

I’ve included the full Card in Chewing Gum instructions from Roy Johnson’s amazing book The Roy Johnson Experience and along with some extra tweaks that are included with the instructions for the Conway you will have the perfect routine you’ll use in every show.

The only problem I had is that I don’t smoke and the last thing I wanted to do was buy some real cigarettes to perform this.  Luckily Amazon came to the rescue and I was able to get a pack of herbal cigarettes that are tobacco and nicotine free and look and work perfectly.

Included:

  • The amazing Conway Cigarette Case in like new condition.
  • Six pages of tips and instructions.
  • The full six page routine for Card in Chewing Gum from Roy’s book.
  • A pack of herbal cigarettes which look perfect (of course you can use real cigarettes too!).

This is really an amazing and innocent looking switching device for cards, billets, cash, business cards and anything else that will fit inside the case that you will find many uses for.

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