Review by Joe Long for Micro Curious Cubes by Thomas Pohle

Review by Joe Long for Micro Curious Cubes by Thomas Pohle
Review by Joe Long for Micro Curious Cubes by Thomas Pohle
5 out of 5

I always thought Eric Lewis’ Curious Cubes, made popular by Milson Worth, was an overlooked fooler.  When you consider that any face card can be named and the blocks inside the cabinet magically form that card.  A few years ago I found a rare version which was sold in Germany and it was a great improvement over the original.  The ingenious design allowed you to instantly repeat the effect with a different card.  There was also briefly a small version made for closeup that is now extremely rare.  The two I’ve had in the past have sold for $500+.

We based this new release on that rare piece of apparatus, but Thomas has improved the mechanics to make the working a breeze. The routine is a baffler.  The beautiful little cabinet (about the size of a deck of cards!) is opened to display twelve small blocks which have images of pips or blank white sides.  The blocks are dumped out and the cabinet is clearly empty. A deck of cards is displayed and shown to be completely mixed. It’s ribbon spread on the table and the first spectator is asked to simply touch any one which is removed from the spread and shown to them. That is card number one. The performer states that someone might think he manipulated the spectator into choosing that first card, so to make the process even more fair, a second spectator is told to simply name any face card. They do so and that is card number two.

The performer again displays the empty cabinet and the twelve small blocks which he claims have curious properties. The blocks are placed back into the cabinet in a random order—which is evident as they’re seen to be stacked inside with some pips sideways, upside down, etc. The back door of the cabinet is closed. The random stack of blocks is still visible as the front door is closed. Now–the performer tell the audience to witness the amazing properties of the curious cubes. When the door of the cabinet is reopened, the spectators will be amazed to see that the blocks inside have now magically re- assembled to display the value of a playing card. Spectator number one is asked to reveal their selection for the very first time. It matches the image on the blocks!

It’s a baffling revelation … but it gets even better. The cabinet is now turned around and the second door opened to reveal the other side of the blocks which are in a mixed up random order. The door is closed and immediately reopened and the blocks are seen to have once again rearranged magically to form the image of the second spectator’s freely named card!! The blocks are once again pushed from the cabinet which is shown freely. It’s an ingenious routine.

The craftsmanship on the little cabinet (which is only about 4″ x 3″ x 1″), blocks and fakes is perfect. Thomas has improved the mechanics to make operation very simple. It happens automatically. It’s a brilliant design. The look of the cabinet is absolutely stunning. The rich wine color laminate with black/gold trim has the four playing card suits “etched” in white into the front and back doors. It’s a beautiful piece of micro magic that you will perform and fool with. This will be a very limited release because of the precision work involved.

Comes complete with a bonus Mastermind Deck by Chris Kenworthey.

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Review by Joe Long for Mental Chess by Hardini

Review by Joe Long for Mental Chess by Hardini
Review by Joe Long for Mental Chess by Hardini
5 out of 5

A great mental magic effect beautifully crafted by the late Juergen Bluemel (AKA, Hardini) of Germany. His exquisite apparatus is now highly sought after. This is one of his best and hardest to find pieces.

Briefly, a spectator places three metal figurines (a King and two farmers) under three opaque decorative covers on a thin wooden tray, yet the performer will always be able to reveal the order of the hidden figures. For a second phase of the routine, the spectator is told to remove one of the figures and hide it inside a cloth drawstring bag. The performer turns around and immediately names the figure that was removed. The instructions suggest performing the routine blindfolded to add an extra element of mystery.

The method of cueing is a bit different from most. The light “signal” is visible in only a tiny spot on the back corner of the tray. And it’s a single dot of light which changes color to indicate the positions. I also like that there is no on-off switch which is common with many props of this type. There is nothing to find until the figures are placed on the tray. Once removed, everything could be displayed freely.

However, what really sets this apart from similar effects is the sheer beauty of the apparatus. It’s a true testament to Hardini’s wonderful craftsmanship. You’ll not only perform with these props … you’ll display them proudly. The icing on the cake is the included packing case, beautifully crafted from mahogany. There are fitted compartments for each of the pieces, including the tray.

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