Review by Andy Martin for Ultissimo Deluxe by Louis Gaynor, Paul Curry

Review by Andy Martin for Ultissimo Deluxe by Louis Gaynor, Paul Curry
Review by Andy Martin for Ultissimo Deluxe by Louis Gaynor, Paul Curry
5 out of 5

The effect is cleanest mentalism at its best: you ask two spectators to think of a red card and a black card respectively (absolutely no force). You write down two predictions with their backs to the audience and place them in the stands. You now ask the two to reveal their cards and place them in the stands too. When you turn around the stand the cards match perfectly every time. It is clean and instantly resets.

The stand is turned to perfection and there is even a plastic insert to ensure years of trouble free twisting and the joints are all very solid. The cards fit inside the stand securely without any movement so you place the cards at the perfect angle. You’ll not find a better version of this classic effect.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mentalist's Dream Box by Max Krause

Review by Andy Martin for Mentalist's Dream Box by Max Krause
Review by Andy Martin for Mentalist's Dream Box by Max Krause
5 out of 5

When looking for billet boxes, I think this is as close to a dream as you can get it.  Max Krause did an amazing job in the design of this bad boy and I’m pleased to see it back in the collection!

This device has a lot of flexibility and can be used for many routines but here is a description of the Lottery Prediction effect. The performer hands out 60 cards each with a different number on them as well as dry erase markers. Each person is asked to cover up their number by using the marker. All of the numbers are then placed in the box held by another spectator. The box is brought on stage and the spectator is asked to unlock and open it. Six more spectators are then invited on stage and each is asked to remove one color from the box.

The performer than explains the odds of finding all six numbers. He then asks the spectators to reveal the numbers by wiping away the dry erase. There is a prediction that has been in plain view the entire performance, which is opened and shown to match the audience’s selections exactly! Next stop Powerball!!

I’ve owned lots of billet boxes and prediction boxes and this one and the Dr. Q are the only ones I still currently own, which says a lot for how perfect it is! Thanks for reminding me JP!

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Review by Andy Martin for Baker, Tysl, Sewell Vanishing & Reappearing Block by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Baker, Tysl, Sewell Vanishing & Reappearing Block by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Baker, Tysl, Sewell Vanishing & Reappearing Block by Michael Baker
5 out of 5

To those familiar, this is generally considered my flagship item …

… and so begins the website listing of Michael Baker’s stunning contribution to truly breathtaking and clever magic.  In terms of sheer beauty and ingenuity this remarkable effect rivals anything that Milson-Worth, Richard Gerlitz, Mel Babcock and others have produced. 

It works beautifully with two unique cooperating devices:

  1. to Vanish the block using a self-working vanish* devised by Michael Baker and Bob Tysl that instantly causes the block to vanish without any apparent moves or clues.
  2. to make the block Reappear threaded on the rod using Sewell’s Block on rod (c. 1940 by Len J. Sewell).

The whole outfit is perfectly proportioned and best of all it is not too large with the block a healthy 3″ square, the vanish pedestal is ~12″ high and the reappearance cabinet ~11″ wide, so it will fit neatly in your collection with room to spare.

The finish on these pieces is also amazing with bright rich colors that are deep and enduring.  There is no doubt if I was trying to maintain a physical collection instead of my ongoing project I would keep this item safely right here with me.

Few props I have purchased over the last 20 years of collecting magic have caused a lump in my throat and I’m pleased to say that The Baker, Tysl, Sewell Vanishing & Reappearing Block by Michael Baker is most certainly a new one to add to the list.

Absolutely Stunning.

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Review by Madison Hagler for Mini Mental by Alan Warner

Review by Madison Hagler for Mini Mental by Alan Warner
Review by Madison Hagler for Mini Mental by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

This was the first Alan Warner piece I ever purchased, and man oh man did it leave an impression. The method is fantastic and practical (as well as self working.) But even more so, the craftsmanship is superb. I was stunned at the level of detail which goes into making something like this. It is truly inspiring. I only hope that my collection will continue to expand over the coming years. One thing’s for sure: Alan Warner is one of the best creators on the planet. In my opinion, he is the best creator of wooden magic. You can’t top his work.

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Review by Andy Martin for Loop de Loop by 3D Magic Works

Review by Andy Martin for Loop de Loop by 3D Magic Works
Review by Andy Martin for Loop de Loop by 3D Magic Works
5 out of 5

Over the years I have seen many versions of Ribbon Fantastique and it continues to amaze me how simple it is to accomplish something so clean and surprising. The phrase “it’s a fooler” does not even get close to how wonderful this effect is.Invented by the genius Ed Massey, it remains to this day one of his most effective creations.

This is a wonderful version from Kent over at 3D Magic Works. It comes in two colors: Blue Marble Box and Gray Marble Box and both are shown together in the photos. This is a perfect size for walk around and comes with a unique routine expertly demonstrated by the wonderful Madison Hagler. Madison really performs this effect so well I was even wondering if the method was different 🙂 A really great version of this classic.

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Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott

Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott
Review by Andy Martin for Crystal Cube Release by Louis Histed, David Scott
5 out of 5

This is a wonderfully clever penetration invented by Louis Histed and David Scott and sold by Davenports of London.

A solid, clear perspex cube is handed out for examination and is placed into a thin, black plastic frame. A ribbon is now threaded through the holes locking the cube inside. Everything appears above board, yet still the block escapes from the ribbon under the most impossible conditions. Why impossible? You can actually SEE the ribbon running through the cube. Yet it escapes on your command simply by pulling the cube straight up visibly through the solid ribbon!

For close—up or drawing room, The Crystal Cube is ideal and easy to do.

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Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works

Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works
Review by Andy Martin for Trained by 3D Magic Works
5 out of 5

Kent Bergmann has now released part two of the eagerly awaited sequel in the Dragon Trilogy saga. If you recall it all began with Trapped last year and now we have Trained which is an adorable story (if that is possible when talking about dragons). What I particularly like about the first two parts of the Dragon Trilogy is that Kent has taken two standard ideas, that have already been well served by the magic community, and breathed fresh life into them. It reminds me of what Robert Parrish did with his wonderful book Great Tricks Revisited

Kent has shone the light on the following two classic effects:

and really created something new and exciting in their own rights, but by linking the effects together  in a trilogy (and a third soon to come) he has also created a new dimension for these effects which literally did not exist before in any of the previous forms of these effects.  That is one smart move for sure.

This effect begins with a reminder of where we left the Red Dragon last time:

The Red Dragon has been “Trapped” and now faces the grueling task of being “Trained” by the Wizard and the two training dragons; “Green” and “Blue”. 

Training is not going so well 🙁  The three Dragons Red, Blue, and Green are placed in the covered stand.  First Blue, next Green and then Red.  The cover is removed to reveal Red is out of order.  This is repeated with different outcomes.  Each time the Wizard gets more and more angry and eventually he removes all three Dragons from the training area and places them back in their quarters (drawer).  When the drawer is opened in the morning, the Red dragon is seen to have disappeared only to be found working alone on his training back in the Training area.  The wizard is satisfied and feels that the Red dragon has overcome his disruptive ways and is ready be trained for good.

Or is he?  Find out in the thrilling conclusion in Part Three of the Dragon Trilogy to be released soon. 

Kent is also using the wonderful Madison Hagler to shoot the videos for both the effect and the explanation.  Madison has a very friendly and clear performance style and having the video at hand really helps out.

If you buy no other 3D Magic Works items you should buy these items in the Dragon Trilogy you will not be disappointed and they will not be available forever, so get them now while you still can.   

Highly Recommended for Performers, Story Tellers, and Collectors.

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Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby

Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby
Review by Andy Martin for ESP Elite (#4 of 10) by Ian Maltby
5 out of 5

Ian Maltby has created the perfect device when you are looking for push button mentalism that looks authentic, works consistently and doesn’t cost a fortune. It comes with a great routine and I love the miscall idea, that makes it seem all the more real. 

The wooden box looks like a display case in a musty old museum and with the right performance you’re sure to cause to some hairs to rise.  Even the gold coin that is used to make the choices plays the part and is heavy and solid in a protective case.  The device is very responsive with a range of well over 30 feet.  It is all neatly packaged in a protective case so you protect your investment and look good while doing it.

These have been created in a limited edition of just 10 units so now might be the time to stampede over to Paul McCaig’s website where you can purchase it – you’ll find other cool treasures there too! Paul McCaig is the creator of the wonderful Mind’s Eye Box here.

Basic Routine: The performer introduces an ESP board and a coin depicting the all seeing eye. The spectator is asked to cast their eyes over the ESP symbols on the board. The performer then explains he will be blindfolded and be several feet away from the spectator with his back turned, the spectator Is asked to place the coin on any symbol of their choice,(this is a totally free choice).

Let’s say for example the spectator selects the square. The performer asks if a symbol has been selected, when the spectator replies yes the performer then explains that they can change their mind if they wish. Lets say the spectator then selects the circle, the performer asks if they have made their final choice, when the spectator replies yes, the performer asks them to remove the coin from the ESP board. The performer removes the blindfold and walks back to the spectator, he picks up a note pad and asks the spectator to think about their chosen symbol, the performer is trying hard to read the mind of the spectator.

With absolutely no questions asked, the performer asks the spectator to name the symbol they chose out loud for the first time. The performer turns over the note pad and sure enough there is a drawing of the circle. The performer seems a little confused and asks the spectator if they thought of a different symbol before the circle, the spectator replies yes.

The performer then turns a page on the note pad and says was this the first symbol you thought of, on his note pad is a drawing of the square. The spectator is shocked that not only did the performer correctly name their chosen symbol but also named the first symbol they thought of while the performer had his back turned and was genuinely blindfolded.

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Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy

Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
Review by Andy Martin for Mystery Box by John Kennedy
5 out of 5

This is the first of many versions of John Kennedy’s amazing Mystery Box which won Trick of the Year 1997 in The Magic Menu – and could have being doing so for many years since if I had a vote! It is still my most popular close-up effect of all time.

Magician brings out a small wooden box and places it on the table. A playing card is freely chosen and signed by a spectator. Card is shuffled back into the deck. Magician asks: “Do you think that I can find your card in less than 10 seconds without even looking at the cards?” He holds the deck behind his back for several seconds, brings it back out, announces “I’ve found it!.” He points to the wooden box. But, no way! No one has been any where near the box! Magician asks the spectator to lift the lid of the box and see what is in there. It is a folded card.

The magician picks up the box with his empty hand and tips out the card onto his open hand. The box is clearly empty and there is one folded card in the magician’s hand – with no moves or covers he asks the spectator to open the card. The spectator unfolds the card. It’s his card with his signature!

The box is made in solid Walnut with a clear lacquer finish and looks like an elegant canister, not really a prop.

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Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks

Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
Review by Andy Martin for The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell (#10 of 100) by Holland Tricks
5 out of 5

This is limited to 100 units worldwide and everything is very well produced of quality materials, from the beautiful bell with the perfect chime, to the mini base balls, bouncing balls, storage case and routine.  Holland Tricks is the name of Leo Smetsers company and if you are familiar with Leo’s work you’ll know it is always of high quality and this item is no exception.

In 1989, Eddy Smit introduced his Magic Table Bell for the first time during the Dutch Championships. Leo immediately felt that he had developed something special and many people agreed with him. After his stunning performance at the Dutch Championships, Eddy was invited to show his act in various close-up gala shows and magic societies. He also competed in many magic competitions, winning several prizes.

The Eddy Smit Magic Table Bell package includes:

  • High quality polished bell
  • 4 Chop Cup baseballs (small)
  • 4 other balls
  • A handmade wooden box which is numbered: e.g. 10/100.

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