Review by Andy Martin for Magiro – A Life For Magic by Eckhard Boettcher, George Walter

Review by Andy Martin for Magiro - A Life For Magic by Eckhard Boettcher, George Walter
Review by Andy Martin for Magiro – A Life For Magic by Eckhard Boettcher, George Walter
5 out of 5

If you spend any time on this site you’ll know how many amazing inventions Magiro (Matthias Weissl) created. So I was really pleased not only to find this book, but also to be part of the creation of it, because throughout the book there are over 40 photos from this website used in conjunction with Eckhard Boettcher extensive details and descriptions.

The book was edited by Georg Walter with great meticulousness and expertise and he was the one who approached me to use the photos on my site – which I was very happy to oblige with.

Although it written in German it is still great to see so many of Magiro’s items featured here and is a must have for anyone interested in the history of magic and seeing the details of so many amazing effects.  Many of the micro-magic tricks we love today came from Magiro, and many of them are  detailed here in their full glory!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Reverse O Boxes by Steve Cook, Tony Curtis, Magic Wagon

Review by Andy Martin for Reverse O Boxes by Steve Cook, Tony Curtis, Magic Wagon
Review by Andy Martin for Reverse O Boxes by Steve Cook, Tony Curtis, Magic Wagon
5 out of 5

These beautiful boxes are based upon an idea by the genius Robert Harbin known as The Harbin Boxes which were primarily used as a stage prop. Steve Cook worked with Tony Curtis and Magic Wagon to create the amazing outfit you see before you. There were only 50 made and they sold out very quickly.

The Reverse 0 Boxes are a utility item that can be used for multiple effects: they can be used to switch any small item, while having an unseen duplicate, which will always be ready to be switched-in when needed. The instructions come with 8 pages of ideas and routines along with extra items for some of them. One of the issues with these boxes is choosing a routine that does the best justice to the the high-end nature of the boxes and the effects possible thanks to Robert Harbin’s wonderful idea.

The use of coins, watches, jewelry, color changing knives open up some interesting opportunities and if you were to make use of gimmicked coins or knives (say) then due to the versatile nature of the boxes some very intriguing possibilities open up. You don’t need to think of any of your own routines of course and there are plenty of ideas included, but I think you will start to think of others quite quickly when you see how beautiful they are and how clever Harbin’s basic idea is.

I really like John Talbot’s video above, it is a very clean handling with an always topical Houdini theme!

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Review by Andy Martin for Japanese Handkerchief Box by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Japanese Handkerchief Box by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Japanese Handkerchief Box by Michael Baker
5 out of 5

This is a time-honored classic piece of magic apparatus first created in the 1870’s and know for many years as “Jap Box“, though that name has fallen out of favor in recent times. It can be used for productions, vanishes, color changes, and any combination of those. There are many sources for effects and routines to be found in magic literature such as Rice’s Encyclopedia of Silk Magic and Jap Box Tricks by Glenn Gravatt.

This beautiful box by Michael Baker continues to cement his position as one of the leading stage prop manufacturers today. It is very solidly made and the paint job is gorgeous. With Milson-Worth almost gone now (I believe Lyn Johnson will be retiring in 2019), Michael is about as close as you are going to get these days, and you won’t be disappointed. This particular box is known as a single flap, non-locking box. It is probably the most basic of the various styles, but also the easiest to work.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Gillyman, The by Alan Warner

Review by Andy Martin for Gillyman, The by Alan Warner
Review by Andy Martin for Gillyman, The by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

Aside from the usual beautiful craftsmanship that Alan brings to all of his works of art, this effect intrigues me because of the clever double prediction that Alan uses. You start by placing a prediction box in front of a spectator and showing four stacks of Egyptian-themed puzzles and ask the spectator to select one. There is a basic force involved but because the piles are in random order, they complete the puzzle after the selection providing a useful time delay, and the fact that next phase is so strong it goes by unnoticed.

Once the spectator has selected their pile (which can be different for repeat performances) they are then asked to complete the puzzle from the pieces. There are only four pieces so this doesn’t take very long. You also go ahead and piece together the other three stacks that were not chosen, just to show they were different, and add some extra interest to the effect. You then ask the spectator to select any piece from their chosen puzzle. There is no force and they can freely choose any piece and change their minds if they want to. When they are done, the Magician just tips out the draw from the prediction box and inside the draw is the same puzzle, with the exact same piece missing too. This is a very clean piece of magic to end this double prediction.

If you missed this item when it first came out get it now time to get it now!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda Mystery (#4 of 12) by Brian Cook

Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda Mystery (#4 of 12) by Brian Cook
Review by Andy Martin for Pagoda Mystery (#4 of 12) by Brian Cook
5 out of 5

T.A. Waters created his amazing routine, Box Office c. 1979, and although I have personally owned at least 13 different versions there has never been one like Brian Cook’s amazing Pagoda Mystery.

The basic effect is the standard Box Office routine: show all four pieces and you make a prediction by placing a token into the bottom of the box. The spectator is allowed to choose any of the pieces they want. They can even change their mind as many times as they want and the prediction will always match. But Brian has added so much more, this popular effect is finally getting the implementation and routine it deserves, so not only is it a true collectible, but it is also a solid performance piece.

Unique features of Pagoda Mystery include:

  • Spectator or Magician can place prediction into the box themselves and unlike, for example, Magic Wagon’s Mental Safari, the prediction is seen in the box right up until the moment when the spectator removes it at the end.
  • Spectator can select one outcome and then change their mind – this has never been possible with any other version of Box Office I have seen.
  • Set-up is a breeze and does not require any contortions or upside down placement guesses
  • Once set-up you can show all sides of the tray and box.
  • Detailed custom construction streamlining each phase of the routine.
  • It comes with an entertaining routine that will engage the audience, and due to the thoughtful props other meaningful routines are also possible.

The main presentation box is made from solid Walnut with Maple inlays and the selection pieces are all made by hand from solid maple and walnut, with acrylic and brass like inlays. The Pagoda Mystery is 6″ x 6″ x 10″ and the selection pieces are approximately 1.75″ x 2.75″.

Brian has spent 15 years perfecting this beautiful piece and it shows.  There are only 12 available so if you have been looking for the perfect collectible miracle with an entertaining routine, clever method and beautiful props, don’t delay, click over to Brian’s site and get one before they are all gone!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Illusion by Unknown

Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Illusion by Unknown
Review by Andy Martin for Zig Zag Illusion by Unknown
5 out of 5

Robert Harbin was probably most responsible at a young age for me getting into magic. Every time I saw this illusion performed growing up I was just amazed by it. Harbin created this beautiful illusion c. 1965 and it is probably the most copied stage illusion of all time. I was lucky enough to perform this to my family and friends in 2000. What I most remember is when I would practice with my wife, my two young children were sitting on the rug in front looking up at Mommy in awe. My son said “Daddy, where has Mommy’s tummy gone?”.

What makes this illusion so enduring is not just the fact that it is a beautifully deceptive and impossible illusion, but that it can be performed surrounded and even close-up. You can read more details of the history of this remarkable illusion here.

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Review by Andy Martin for Zig-Zag Bill by Robert Jackson

Review by Andy Martin for Zig-Zag Bill by Robert Jackson
Review by Andy Martin for Zig-Zag Bill by Robert Jackson
5 out of 5

Another in a series of superbly-crafted close-up illusions from the hands of Robert Jackson, the Zig-Zag bill is handmade from select hard and softwoods, then varnished and rubbed to perfection.

  • Show an ordinary bill and then insert it into a wood frame covered by three doors.
  • One at a time remove the doors to reveal the bill inside.
  • Now, push on the center section of the frame and the middle portion of the bill completely detaches itself from the ends!
  • Re-position the center section, replace the doors and remove the restored bill from the frame.

This is a really wonderfully clean version of this effect and you will love how it works and how it fools the audience!

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Flexible Mirror by Owen Magic Supreme

Review by Andy Martin for Flexible Mirror by Owen Magic Supreme
Review by Andy Martin for Flexible Mirror by Owen Magic Supreme
5 out of 5

The original version of this effect known as Bending Glass (or Flexible Glass) was invented by British Magician Oswald Rae c. 1945, and was released by Max Andrews. A later improvement replaced the glass with a mirror which is what Owen’s are showing here.

A framed mirror is placed within a cloth bag and a large knitting needle is pushed through the bag and mirror.  As a finale, the mirror is folded in half! The mirror is then removed from the bag and shown to be completely restored. The mirror can be handed to an audience member to examine!

The Owen’s version is one of the best because the gimmicked frame can be show freely on both sides which is not true in some versions and it is made of a solid and beautiful hardwood that will last a lifetime.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Peter Warlock Glass Penetration by Peter Warlock

Review by Andy Martin for Peter Warlock Glass Penetration by Peter Warlock
Review by Andy Martin for Peter Warlock Glass Penetration by Peter Warlock
5 out of 5

One of my favorite glass penetrations is the Glass (Quadruple) Penetration that was invented by Peter Warlock in 1937. It is sometimes known as the English Glass Penetration and there have been a number of versions created, even as recently as 2008 when Magic Wagon created their Mod Quad Penetration.

The basic effect is as follows: an attractive square frame has four windows, and two doors. An unprepared sheet of glass fills the frame covering the 4 windows. Doors are closed and a solid rod or pencil is then poked clear through the holes in the center of each door. Ribbons also run through all holes. When doors are finally reopened, tho glass is seen to be unharmed and there is no sign of damage or holes. Only one piece of glass is used. It is a wonderful illusion and a real fooler for sure.

This beautiful version actually belonged to the famed inventor and prolific author himself: Peter Warlock, and it is easily the best version of this effect I have seen.

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Chest of Destiny by Tabman

Review by Andy Martin for Chest of Destiny by Tabman
Review by Andy Martin for Chest of Destiny by Tabman
5 out of 5

T.A. Waters created his amazing routine Box Office c. 1979 and he liked it so much that it is the first routine described in his 800+ page book Mind, Myth & Magick. Since it’s publication here are plenty of versions of the trick around, and I’ve even made up a couple myself. This is one of the few that actually had permission from T.A. Waters to create it for resale. It is Tabman’s Chest of Destiny c. 1994 and it is one of best versions I have seen of this effect.

The box looks like a real antique aged box. It is the perfect height and size for the effect and everything works precisely as it should. The spectator gets to choose any one of the five casted relics and when the tray is lifted there is just one prediction, and it matches the choice of the spectator.

Click here for more information.

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