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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Review by Andy Martin for Dagger Livestock Vanish by Michael Baker

Review by Andy Martin for Dagger Livestock Vanish by Michael Baker
Review by Andy Martin for Dagger Livestock Vanish by Michael Baker
5 out of 5

This was originally invented and sold by Clint Riedel as the P.M.C Livestock Vanish. It was based on a suggestion by Walt Landis and the first ones were advertised c. 1939.  Riedel also manufactured them for U.F. Grant and it was renamed the Dagger Livestock Vanish c. 1960. It was also manufactured later still by MAK Magic. It is sometimes attributed to Grant, but Clint Riedel was the inventor with no significant changes made by Grant.

This beauty was created by Michael Baker and it looks fantastic. Even from a short distance the livestock appears to vanish with no trace to its whereabouts. You can even turn the box upside down and just hold it up by the dagger running through the box.  With the correct lighting it is also possible to tip the box showing a view from the top the the box is very clearly empty as seen in the photos.

A very convincing prop without a complex internal mechanism or anything to go wrong or wear out.

It can be used to vanish or produce livestock or a large load of silks and anything else that fits.

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Review by Andy Martin for Voodoo Doll by Prometheus Studios

Review by Andy Martin for Voodoo Doll by Prometheus Studios
Review by Andy Martin for Voodoo Doll by Prometheus Studios
5 out of 5

Here is another item released by Prometheus Studios and sold by Stevens Magic.  He looks a little goofy but that is part of this little guy’s charm.

The mechanism works very well and the method is more reliable than you would expect because Prometheus use a combination of the pins with magnets embedded inside the pins – I’ll say no more but it means that as long as the spectator sticks the pins somewhere in or near a red cross you will receive the signal.  Also another nice feature of this item is that you don’t have to take out the first pin to register the second (or indeed the third) pin.

There are no hints of electronics used and no on/off switches on the doll.  The small receiver fits easily in any pocket to accept the transmissions via vibrations. If you look at the head under his mop of hair you can see a tiny USB hookup for charging however, you would not be giving this out to examine per se merely to place the pins in the desired location.  Unless you were really looking for something you wouldn’t find anything.

I really like this item – reliable, cute and amazing 🙂

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Review by Andy Martin for Spots Before Your Eyes (Dice Shocker) by Lubor Fiedler, Ron MacMillan

Review by Andy Martin for Spots Before Your Eyes (Dice Shocker) by Lubor Fiedler, Ron MacMillan
Review by Andy Martin for Spots Before Your Eyes (Dice Shocker) by Lubor Fiedler, Ron MacMillan
5 out of 5

One of my favorite effects as a teenager!  I remember being blown away by this after I received it from Ron MacMillan’s International Unique Magic Studio. This of course is better known as Lubor Fiedler’s Dice Shocker (or sometimes: Shock Dice, Shock Die), it is a true beauty and very startling to watch.

It was sold by Supreme c. 1969 and Tannen’s c. 1970 and they were purchasing directly from Lubor Fielder in Austria. It is not the same as Lubor Wurfel or Lubor Die which is another name for Gozinta Die or Boxes.  The original versions from Lubor were much nicer. I saw a later version from Tannen’s recently and it was nothing like this quality.

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Review by Andy Martin for Tai Ginseng (Headless Man) by Tony Lackner

Review by Andy Martin for Tai Ginseng (Headless Man) by Tony Lackner
Review by Andy Martin for Tai Ginseng (Headless Man) by Tony Lackner
5 out of 5

This effect is based on a an old children’s toy of the 1930’s: “The man in the barrel”. Others, including: Eddy Taytelbaum, Fred Kaps, Ken Brooke, Herbert Martin Paufler, Tony Lackner, Vienna Magic, and more recently Francois Danis, have also created effects with the same basic principle.

A wonderful classic piece of magic from the great German master Tony Lackner.  The little guy just sits there headless and alone until the chosen card is waved over him then he jumps out and impales the card!  Visually great and surprising to the audience! 

This is what it says in the ad copy but in fact it is a little misleading.  The body of the man is placed inside the barrel and the magician holds the head above and at the appropriate time the head is dropped onto the card causing the body to leap out and trap the card between the body and the head.  If you look at the advert from the Ace Place to the side you can see how the head is held in the hand even though it clearly says in the ad copy: “the magician is pushed down into the barrel where he remains with just his head sticking out of the top.

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Review by Andy Martin for Astro-Ball Cabinet (Black) by Milson-Worth

Review by Andy Martin for Astro-Ball Cabinet (Black) by Milson-Worth
Review by Andy Martin for Astro-Ball Cabinet (Black) by Milson-Worth
5 out of 5

When Jim Simon of Worth Magic (before Milson-Worth) created the Astro-Ball Cabinet c. 1965 it caused quite a stir because Jim basically took Phase 1 of Stewart James’ Sefalaljia which was a ground breaking five phase routine when it appeared in issue 69 of The Jinx December 2, 1939. As Stewart James himself said in an interview with Jeff Busby in 1987: “I expect the originality in that version was the use of a cocktail glass.” Ouch!

Even so, the Astro-Ball Cabinet became one of Worth’s and later (this one) Milson-Worth’s most iconic and successful effects. The cabinet looked stunning and the effect was amazing with little effort on the part of the magician.

This is the rarer Black and Gold version – the more common version is the Red and Gold seen here.

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Review by Andy Martin for Temple of Goo Two (Only 3 Made) by Jack Ruda

Review by Andy Martin for Temple of Goo Two (Only 3 Made) by Jack Ruda
Review by Andy Martin for Temple of Goo Two (Only 3 Made) by Jack Ruda
5 out of 5

This is Jack Ruda’s finest hour 🙂

The smaller version was called The Temple of Goo, a hand-crafted gem that quickly became a favorite among collectors. Jack created three versions in the smaller size: the first had just 3 places in the cabinet to place Goo and was know as The Temple of Goo Fong sold by Ron Allesi as a limited edition of 50 units. The second version which was the better of the two was slightly larger with 4 choices.  The third was the same size but used a remote control unit to turn the device on and off. 

The version on this page is the much rarer and much larger Temple of Goo Two. This is a stage size version with 4 choices and a separate base and completely different electronics. 

Only three of these were made and they were custom made with a wait time of at least six weeks. This is the only one I have actually seen.  It is a big and bold item and unlike the smaller versions there are no external switches to turn on and off (or separate remotes) and the device to let you know where Goo has been placed is not part of the main Temple at all, but cleverly concealed in the base that supports the statue of Goo at the beginning.  The pedestal and the Temple can be at least 30 feet apart (that was as far as I tested it) so you have a lot of freedom with the revelation.

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Review by Andy Martin for Morison Pill Vase by Airship Magic

Review by Andy Martin for Morison Pill Vase by Airship Magic
Review by Andy Martin for Morison Pill Vase by Airship Magic
4 out of 5

Since 2016, Mad Jake Jr. and his brother Frederick have been growing their company Airship Magic into a successful magic manufacturing and distribution company. Jake focuses mainly on the metal and coin work and Frederick on the wood work and turning. They also collaborate with smaller, and often unknown, craftsmen to bring a unique line of magic that you rarely find elsewhere in the industry. Their commitment to quality and innovation is high and I’ve been very happy with the products I have purchased from them directly and through Stevens Magic. Just browsing through their website you will find all sorts of cool items that you won’t find elsewhere.

This is a pretty version of this classic wood turning effect made by Frederick at Airship Magic with a snug fitting ball and shell.  It looks great and works well.  It is not as fine as Colin Rose’s work or Owen’s or Floyd Thayer’s  but that is also reflected in the price.

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Review by Andy Martin for Multiplying Bottles by Rings 'N' Things Magic Co.

Review by Andy Martin for Multiplying Bottles by Rings 'N' Things Magic Co.
Review by Andy Martin for Multiplying Bottles by Rings 'N' Things Magic Co.
5 out of 5

This is an amazing set of Liquor Multiplying Bottles from the Original Rings ‘N’ Things and 45 years later they still look amazing and like new.  Expect to see these adorning the shelves of your local Porcupine soon 🙂

Although these nine bottles were purchased at the same time from Rings ‘N’ Things c. 1977, this set actually contains three bottles from the very first run (the bottles were a little darker and the line at the top was higher up) with six from the next run.  You’d never notice in performance of course and it took me a while to even realize there was a difference.  After a bit of research I confirmed it was true that the very first ones were darker as can be seen in the final photo.  Either way still some beautiful bottles.

The tubes are typical Rings ‘N Things quality with no seams to be found, rolled rims and accents, Mike Brazill’s exclusive epoxy-baked miracle finish, realistic labels, basically they’re perfectly made. You won’t find any passe passe bottles better than these.

The Liquor Bottles were more plentiful than the Bubble-Up (7-Up copies) but both sets are rare, meticulously made and are minor miracles. These bottles are pure perfection.

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