Review by George Guerra for Blue Phantom Perfected by Wellington Enterprises

Review by George Guerra for Blue Phantom Perfected by Wellington Enterprises
Review by George Guerra for Blue Phantom Perfected by Wellington Enterprises
5 out of 5

This is one amazing version of a classic in magic. I always liked this trick but never indulged myself to buy the parlor size due to drawbacks to the method, so settled with the Voit miniature model. All my concerns about the original effect have been addressed by Bill Schmeelk.

The base is gorgeous in natural walnut and deceptive in size. The cover is the same height as the stack of 7 checkers and looks beautiful in that hammered copper powder finish Finally, the checkers can be demonstrated to be separate at all times during the effect…yes, even with the blue in the middle (position can be varied if one likes but the middle is the classic one)

Operation of the effect is, to me, semi-automatic with no fumbling around the base, stack, or pole. All this comes neatly storable in the accompanying case. Only 13 sold to the public. Expensive but a lot of designing and work that is not so apparent by the pictures is in this apparatus.

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Review by George Guerra for Tut 'N' Tiye by Alan Warner

Review by George Guerra for Tut 'N' Tiye by Alan Warner
Review by George Guerra for Tut 'N' Tiye by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

Beautiful Warner Magic

Alan has yet to lose his "magic touch" to handcrafted magic. Here we have another limited edition boxed set from him. This is a mechanically improved version of his Chinese themed Spirit Cabinet from his early years, but with an Egyptian story, a popular one with Alan and collectors of his magic.

The cabinet is wider than the Spirit Cabinet, but operation is so much smoother and consistently reliable, irregardless of temperature or humidity – an issue I found with the Spirit Cabinet. Here you have a choice of either King Tut (first 5 sets) or Queen Tiye (second 5 sets for sale) to appear in the cabinet versus the bottled spirit in the old version.

Again, I am so pleased for another addition to my Warner collection,which remains intact since I started back in late 2001. I realize the economy is messed up, yet, in contrast to other "collectibles", have seen dimished returns on Warner items when they come up for auction lately. This surprises me as these are extremely high quality magic, unequaled by many out there, and in due time the value of Alan’s work will speak for itself as it did some time ago.

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Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz

Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
Review by George Guerra for Family Ties by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

One Amazing Mechanical Marvel!

This is one incredible version of the old cut and restore ribbon trick, but behind the simple looking props are some intricate and ingenious mechanics to satifies the lovers of such apparatus. I know I am among this group. I still marvel about my favorite piece, CW’s Silver Odyssey.

I had to carefully analyze his explanation on the effect to fully grasp the mechanics…what an engineering feat! Kudos to Richard as this is likely his most complex piece released to date. The setup is not complicated, but there is a 15 minute video that Richard put together to explain it in detail, but after a few attempts, it should just take a few minutes to set up the apparatus for each performance.

It is nice to see Richard back on track with his releases as this beauty followed closely his last release, Doesn’t Matter. Family Ties will definitely sell out very fast, if it isn’t already sold out. This is the kind of magic that turned me from a casual hobbyist to a serious collector.

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Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Wolf's Magic

Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Wolf's Magic
Review by George Guerra for For All Eternity by Wolf's Magic
5 out of 5

Another Big Collectible from the Wolf

This is one electromechanical marvel from Wolf’s Magic. The frame looked elegant, but simple, when I first examined it out of the box, but the surprising eye opener is when I removed the magnetic backing to the frame and marveled at the clean, etched grooves and spaces where the mechanics are blended into the frame itself. Looking at the works turned out, for me, to be more interesting than the effect itself. Reminded me of the same experience I had with CW’s Silver Odyssey II, another apparatus where the workings is much more fascinating than the effect, but, don’t get me wrong, it is still strong magic as is the case with For All Eternity.

OK, I definitley found out, and Chance stated the same on his site, that this is NOT a close-up item. Some distance and dim lighting would help at the crucial moment due to the nature of the method used. Fortunately, this is the perfect atmosphere for this effect. It is an eerie and haunting story that surrounds this effect and it clearly needs the right tone for a memorable magical experience.

The set comes complete with all that is needed for the performance with extra images, extra "something", brass tray, candle holder, candle, and a DVD that thoroughly goes through the routine. Also included are digital images to reprint the sepia photo in the frame and a great music track to bring it all into one elegant presentation.

Though not strictly a "limited edition" item, these are serially numbered. Now, I was "fooled" as I could not find the usual serial number plate for my apparatus as in past Wolf collectibles, but Chance cleared that one with a response to my e-mail (should have seen the DVD first as it is explained it in there). The serial number is on the DATE! #1 starts with January 1, 1890. I got #4 (see last image – January 4, 1890). If further releases come out beyond 31, we will see February 1, 1890 and so on…most clever idea and just another beautiful touch to this item.

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Review by George Guerra for Doesn't Matter by Richard Gerlitz

Review by George Guerra for Doesn't Matter by Richard Gerlitz
Review by George Guerra for Doesn't Matter by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

The ULTIMATE Block Penetration

This new Gerlitz release has excelled my expectations and squelched some reservations I may have had when I first saw it on Richard’s site. There was no question that the Oriental appearance to the apparatus looked admirable and now that I have it, it is truly beautiful to behold…a real attention getter just seeing it on any surface in the home. Richard does have an eye to design that is quite appealing in his previous releases and Doesn’t Matter is no exception. This world first, self operating block penetration does live up the title.

The workmanship is impeccable and the ALL MECHANICAL method ingenious with close attention to every possible detail (for those fans of fancy gadgets, you will love seeing this in operation over and over). The setup is very easy…worked perfectly smooth the first time I quickly set it up and it is incredibly silent in operation. Now the only reservation I did have was concerning the workability of the black art screen. The illusion does indeed work, even during indoor daylight and up to a few feet from the apparatus. If it fooled my wife, even after I told her the method, it will be a real fooler.

Again, Richard has brought out another winner to his fine line of limited edition magic. The series number is down to only 25 and this is will sell fast. Now, to the next wonder from Richard…

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Review by George Guerra for Flight of Gold by Alan Warner

Review by George Guerra for Flight of Gold by Alan Warner
Review by George Guerra for Flight of Gold by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

Very early and appealing Warner item

Looking through a November, 1972 list sent out by Alan that is in my collection, this item is among the several mini-magic items first sold by him. I believe that was the first year he started his business. I don’t see this one as part of his line of children effects, though the instructions did include a children’s routine, nor one of his famous painted items. It would have fitted more with his teak line, but teak was not used in the wooden board. Nevertheless, it is a very nice close-up effect using a standard gaff method in coin magic, but with a great new twist and presentation.

The effect involves a nice transposition of a middle mounted disc from silver to gold. All is beautifully crafted with precision gimmicks made of either aluminum or brass. The effect is rather easy to perform. The instructions are detailed in the handling – you start and end clean. This is another winner from Alan and glad I was able to obtain it in such mint condition, considering its age.

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Review by George Guerra for Chink-A-Chink by Jim Riser

Review by George Guerra for Chink-A-Chink by Jim Riser
Review by George Guerra for Chink-A-Chink by Jim Riser
5 out of 5

One very nice set of chink-a-chink, indeed!

This is a classic effect that has piqued my interest for years. I own the Tony Van Rhee set among others, but this new solid brush brass weight set by Jim Riser is simply amazing. The team of Jim Riser and Whit Haydn has come up with a remarkable set of chink-a-chink that brings both beautiful craftsmanship and ease of performance to this effect. I am not kidding…the moves with this well designed set just seems so smoother and easier than any I have worked in the past.

The shell is very sturdy and subtle. It will fit perfectly on any of the four solid pieces in the set…no more fumbling for the right one. Again, the size, look, and weight makes for easy grasp and the addtion of the weight measure at the top of each piece, including the shell, is fantastic for the storyline. The shell, alone, can be seen in the first image at the forefront and a shelled piece stands to the left of a regular piece in the second image.

The DVD is well shot and the routine clearly explained. The storyline about the Chinese weights and the Old West con men is a great patter for the set. The DVD concludes with a even more fascinating routine by Ed Parrish. Overall, a lovely set and well recommended.

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Review by George Guerra for Mini Flame Clock by Jim Riser

Review by George Guerra for Mini Flame Clock by Jim Riser
Review by George Guerra for Mini Flame Clock by Jim Riser
5 out of 5

Am I Glad I Got This!

I have been a avid admirer of Jim Riser’s work since about 2001. That same year I acquired his Mini Cube-On Release (only two were ever made, I heard). Having bought many of his beautiful magic over the years, this Mini Flame Clock had become a sort of "holy grail" to me.

It is truly a unique, one of kind, Riser apparatus, beautifully handcrafted with innovations to the design (open, deceptive top view; solid brass corner trims atop each corners with brass hardware on the doors; and a true mini-magic look standing at about 6 1/2 inches tall). The blades are heavy, solid, brushed brass. The mechanics is solid in construction and smooth in operation. The paint job on the cabinet is superb…not an easy accomplishment. Clearly a masterpiece from the Riser workshop.

Overall, a great acquisition to behold. Best of all, this baby has been so pampered by previous owners as the overall condition of the apparatus despite its many years is fantastic…you would think it was just finished and shipped by Jim Riser himself!

I would normally add my "highly recommended" note here, but as I stated earlier, there is no other copy out there and there will never be one. Glad I got the unexpected e-mail from the previous owner offering me this for sale.

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Review by George Guerra for Chan Chu by Alan Warner

Review by George Guerra for Chan Chu by Alan Warner
Review by George Guerra for Chan Chu by Alan Warner
5 out of 5

Another winner from Alan

Anything new from Alan is always so welcome. Missed the days when I was building up my Warner collection and feeling like a kid in a toy’s store when his parcels arrived. This is Alan’s latest in his teak mini-magic line and it is definitely a treat.

The drawer type, rectangular box is gorgeously decorated on all viewable sides as can been seen, comes with solid brass feet and knob and works like a charm. I believe the method in revealing the coins at the end has not been incorporated in any previous Warner piece. It’s ingenious in operation with perfect workmanship to match.

There is a definite ease in performing this routine, so that lets you relax and tell the story of Chan Chu, the three legged money frog. Clearly, a beautiful Warner piece to add to my collection. Wondering what Alan will release next?

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Review by George Guerra for La Glace Liquide by Richard Gerlitz

Review by George Guerra for La Glace Liquide by Richard Gerlitz
Review by George Guerra for La Glace Liquide by Richard Gerlitz
5 out of 5

Simply AMAZING!

It’s been almost 3 years since Richard last released a "major" item (last one was the impressive Orb of Truth). What a gorgeous frame was unwrapped from the large shipping box today (even my wife commented that it was much more impressive than any picture on Richard’s site…and I agree).

Putting it together was quick..just add the mirror mechanism onto the back of the frame, slide two brass retainers, and tighten the two screws. The mechanism is an engineering feast to look upon and observe in action. The mirror moves invisibly even with your eyes up close…just be sure there is no dust on the surface (a little spray from Dust-Off will do the trick…best choice overall, as the non-moving mirror parts are thin and fragile)

The art nouveau relief is quite more raised than one would imagine from the images and it’s utterly gorgeous…even with no magical qualities, the frame would stand alone as a work of art in anyone’s home. I can tell you it will definitely be an attention getter, so be prepared to perform.

So what does the spectator see? A performer with a silk in hand, gently cleaning the middle of the mirror in a gentle, circular motion. Suddenly, the silk starts to shrink, imploding in an eerie, slow, steady pace, down to a mere speck under the fingertips before vanishing completely. The hand is withdrawn and all is as it was, a clean mirror surface. The outfit comes with three colored silks, 8 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch square.

Overall, I am so happy with this latest Gerlitz piece. 3 years was a long wait, though Richard gave us a few mentalism morsels last year to help. This definitely stands out as one of my favorites from Richard.

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