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      ON-LINE MAGIC REVIEWS


 
Average Magic Tricks

 

 

Some of you may still find some value in these items: I generally place here magic and mental items that do not deliver as promised, or simply stuff that is not for me.

 

Featuring (most recent on top):

HN Magic Review 113: Ultimate Float Controller (UFC) - Stefan Schutzer

HN Magic Review 111: Bent Cent - Ray Koenig

HN Magic Review 102: Encyclopedia of Paper Money Magic – Mike Bornstein

HN Magic Review 101: Rising Dollar Bill – Mike Borstein

HN Magic Review 96: Bottle Thru Table – Norm Nielsen / Tony Clark

HN Magic Review 95: Mentalism Lecture Notes – Ian Rowland

HN Magic Review 76: Flickers – T. Everett Bookings III

HN Magic Review 67: Expert Impromptu Magic Made Easy DVD / videotape Volume 1– Tom Mullica

HN Magic Review 59: Perfect Pen – John Cornelius

HN Magic Review 58: Perfect Holdout (gimmick+videotape)– Antonio Romero

HN Magic Review 57: Final Book Test – Elian Agaian

HN Magic Review 56: Exploding light bulb – Yigal Mesika

HN Magic Review 48: Healed and Sealed – Anders Moden

HN Magic Review 32: Sense of Touch – Ian Rowland

HN Magic Review 31: Zoom – Ben Harris

HN Magic Review 29: Finger Fantasies DVD / videotape – Meir Yedid

HN Magic Review 24: 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief DVD / videotape – Quentin Reynolds

HN Magic Review 23: Kentonism – Kenton Knepper

HN Magic Review 17: The Paper Rose DVD / videotape – Docc Hilford

HN Magic Review 10: The Raven set  (gimmick + videotape) – Chuck Leach

HN Magic Review 8: Pure Effect - Derren Brown

 

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HN Magic Review 113: Ultimate Float Controller (UFC) - Stefan Schutzer

 

AD:

 

Sweden 's magic brainchild, Stefan Schutzer, was the first inventor to produce a fully electronic, body-operating float controller. Five years was spent on developing this device and it is simply the best! With the smallest body movement, the Ultimate Float Controller can be switched on or off. This is the most innovative and versatile floating device on the market!

The U.F.C. 3D system includes: 2 Ultimate Float Controllers, Instructional Video, Magician's Wax, Thread and Written Instructions with Many Tips, Ideas and Routines.

"I strongly recommend U.F.C.! It looks excellent and is very well made."
-Norm Nielsen
"U.F.C. is one of the best thread gimmicks I've ever seen. The workmanship is first class and the design is ingenious."
-David Williamson

 

 

REVIEW:

 

This is the granddaddy of electronic Invisible Thread Reels. It is body-activated, which means it is extremely difficult to control. Michael Ammar, despite his friendship with the Self Folding Bill inventor, did not showcase this item in his “Easy to Master Invisible Thread Miracles” videos because he couldn’t manage to attain the necessary level of proficiency.

 

Still, you have to appreciate the idea and the workmanship that has gone into it. As usual, our Japanese buddies have copied the idea and partially improved it with the ESR (Electronic Slow-motion Reel), which allows you to remain motionless.

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=102778&forum=55&9&start=0#8

 

HN Magic Review 111: Bent Cent - Ray Koenig

 

AD:

 

At anytime, when asked to perform, the magician reaches into his pocket and removes a handful of coins. Selecting a penny, the magician begins to press on it with his finger. Mysteriously, the coin seems have sunken in its center, having melted or bent. But this is just a start. Displaying the coin at his fingertips the coin definitely bends and is seen to take on an almost bowl-like shape! Immediately, the coin may now be examined.

Comes Complete with Four Gaffs and Detailed Instructions

 

 

REVIEW:

 

The effect is well devised, impromptu (having the prepared coin of course), and gets good reactions: however, I strongly suggest you don’ t purchase as it was already described in details (with permission) in Kenton Knepper’s An Enchanted Evening (see relevant review). Kenton’s manuscript includes a detailed description of the coin preparation, along with other effects; you could then prepare your own coins since it works with any currency.

Of course if you’re too lazy to prepare the coins yourself (hey, that’s me!), then The Bent Cent is the way to go.

 

OVERALL RATING: ok

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=187126&forum=110

 

 

 HN Magic Review 102: Encyclopedia of Paper Money Magic – Mike Bornstein

AD:


Creative and Commercial, Five Books In One! Over 200 pages, perfect bound. Contents include:
 
The Floating Dollar Bill
The Convincing Torn and Restored Dollar Bill
Instant Disappearing and Appearing Dollar Bill
Cut and Restored Bill
Torn and Restored Bill
Cards to Dollar Bills
Clip Joint

The Hydrostatic Dollar Bill
Improved Floating Dollar Bill
The Photo-static Dollar Bill
Stretching a Dollar Bill
Stand Up Bill
Simplex Money Maker
The Elusive President
X-Static Dollar Bill
Double Match-it

Polaroid Card Trick
Perfect Prediction
Triple Mini Miracle
Instant Money
Single Card to Bill
Impromptu Standing on Edge
Elastic Penetro
Enlarged Invisible Hole
Triangle Angle
Improved Clip Joint
Mike Bornstein's Improved $1 and $5 Bill Trick
Instant Money Number Two
1 Plus 1 = 4 Bill Tick

"Frisbee" Dollar Bill Trick
Match and Rematch
Lucky Buck
Lucky Buck Number 2
Comedy Card in Wallet
Diminishing Dollar Bills
New Improved Comedy Bill In Snake
The Spirit of '76
Polaroid Money Outdone
Simplex Bill Penetration
Deluxe Double Matchit
How Sweet It Is
Comedy Floating Dollar Bill
Mike Bornstein's Money Mania
Mike Bornstein's New "Asrah" Floating Bill"
Ultra Coin Penetration
Deluxe Triple Match-it
Ultra Bill Suspension

 

There are lots of great ideas in these volumes! Highly Recommended.

 

REVIEW:

 

This out-of-print book contains 5 manuscripts previously released by the author: Money Magic, More Money Magic, Latest Money Magic, New Commercial Money Magic, and Eye Popper Money Magic. Several effects have also been sold separately, with custom-made gaffs (for example the Rising Dollar Bill and the Ultra Bill Suspension – see relevant reviews).

 

Certainly if you have a strong interest in money magic and want to purchase something from Mr. Bornstein, this is definitely the item to get: it includes all his works on the topic, at a reasonable price. On the other hand, a number of his tricks are outdated or simply childish, so you may want to check Ammar's  “Easy to Master Money Miracles” video trilogy first.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=71241&forum=110

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 101: Rising Dollar Bill – Mike Borstein

AD:

 

Mike Borstein's Rising Dollar Bill is so close to genuine magic -- it's scary! Show two dollar bills. One is placed across the open palm of your right hand. Slowly and eerily, the bill rises off of your hand, higher and higher, until it is several inches above your hand. To prove that there's nothing between your hand and the bill, you pass the second dollar under the floating bill! It looks GREAT! As slowly as the bill rose, it descends back into your hand. There are no strings or threads -- the bill simply appears to float!

 

REVIEW:

 

For 2.50$, you can hardly go wrong/right…

 

The effect is also described in Mike Bornstein’s “Money Magic” and in his complete collection “Encyclopedia of Paper Money Magic” (see relevant review), but this one comes with the proper custom-made gimmick.

 

One of the 2 bills is obviously not examinable, and the angles are quite restrictive (spectators can only view it from above). A simple quickie to be performed with your own bill(s).

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=71239&forum=109

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 96: Bottle through Table – Norm Nielsen / Tony Clark

AD:

 

Just imagine wrapping a piece of paper around any size brown, green or clear bottle and magically penetrate it through a solid table!

The audience actually sees the top of the bottle sticking out of the paper as it is going through the table. You will receive 3 quality gimmicks manufactured by Norm Nielsen Magic with instructions by Johnny Thompson as well as Tony Clark's instructions which allow you to perform it standing up! Anytime, anywhere! A very powerful effect.

 

REVIEW:

 

A note of warning: make sure that the version you purchase includes the video! They are often sold separately (Norm Nielsen manufactured the gimmicks, while Tony Clark produced the video a few years later).

 

The gimmicks are exactly what you think they are, and come in 3 different colors (for water, wine and beer bottles). The video is very short but provides a clean misdirection, along the Slydini’s line of thought.

 

In real-life performances, a jacket would be advisable to obtain/get rid of the gimmick.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=33899&forum=5

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 95: Mentalism Lecture Notes – Ian Rowland

AD:

 

The Mentalism lecture notes are professionally printed and bound to a high standard, covering 5 complete routines from my professional repertoire as well as a complete explanation of what I call 'Preludes' cards. I've taken a lot of time and trouble over these notes to make sure they are worth buying and good value. They are well written and illustrated, the detail is comprehensive, and the material is all practical, tried-and-tested stuff you really can use.

 

In detail:

 

Light Metal: this is the best, cleanest, most baffling and funniest 'test conditions' demonstration of metal-bending you will ever present. A member of the audience checks your hands and the spoons right at the start (no extra spoons are added later!), and also checks every aspect of this amazing 'psychic' feat as it unfolds. Yet a freely selected solid steel spoon is seen to slowly, visibly and openly warp, bend and even break while held gently at the fingertips.

It is beautiful, it is baffling and it is also huge fun. This is just about my most-prized routine, and it is a sure-fire applause getter. I know you see that a lot in magic ads, but in this case it's true. I have never known an audience not to break into spontaneous applause at the climax of this routine, and when you see how carefully it is structured you will see why. Not hard to do, but calls for some presentational flair and confidence. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video - see the non-magi Items To Buy page).

 

Thought Flash: a target is randomly thought of, and you cause an image of that target to appear on a previously blank piece of photographic film. This is the easiest and most practical of all 'mental photography' routines: you don't need a camera of any kind, it is totally future proof (do it no matter what they invent next), there are no consumables apart from a small piece of flash paper, and you can carry it around with you anywhere. The target can be anything you want: famous person, famous place, sports star, a selected brand or product... whatever.

No gimmicks in the hand, no chemicals, no timing, no double-exposures. It is a fun, thoroughly baffling routine using simple and familiar principles to devastating effect and it does get audible gasps. It really does! Perform it stage or close-up as you wish. Easy enough to do, no sleights, works every time. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video)

 

The Subliminal Prediction: I'm genuinely proud of this. How can you put a writtten prediction on full and open display, right in front of the audience's eyes, such that not one person in the room will see it until you want them to? That's the intriguing premise behind the Subliminal Prediction, and you will love it! I suspect you will want to present this routine right away, just for the joy of that killer finish when you show that your prediction was right there, unconcealed and on open view the whole time - and yet no-one in the audience saw it!

The routine itself is essentially a straightforward prediction effect. Given 16 choices on open display, a spectator makes a series of simple selections so that 16 become 8 become 4, 2 and finally 1, which he is amazed to find matches your prediction. Strong features of this routine are that there is only one prediction (no multiple outs) and it is set in stone right from the start. The spectator's choices are all genuinely free, and there is definitely no equivocation or magician's choice at any point. You keep what he tells you to keep, you discard what he tells you to discard. Yet it still comes out right! Works every time, not hard to do. Close-up or stage. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video)

 

Elephant From Matchbox: a silly name for a beautiful principle which lends itself to any number of different routines and presentations. You invite the spectator to mentally play any game which has a 50:50 outcome, such as tossing a coin. You write down your prediction using a bold marker pen on a writing pad. He tells you whether he's visualising heads or tails, and you instantly show that you predicted (or read his mind) correctly. Imagine being able to do this five times in a row and you can be 100% correct every time! (You can in fact be as wrong or as right as you want to be.)

This beautifully deceptive principle works with any 50:50 choice. Spectator mentally picks a card - red or black? Mentally plays roulette: odd or even? Mentally picks a famous person: male or female? And so on. He does it all in his head - no forces. You write your prediction first, you are always as right or as wrong as you want to be, and it is sure-fire. No nailwriters or band-writers or last-minute writing-in. No delay or awkward pauses, because there is nothing to fix or write-in. You show your written prediction immediately each time!

 

The No Method Drawing Duplication: exactly what it says! You will keep this wonderful approach to the Drawing Duplication effect in reserve for those times when your standard methods and the usual 'impromptu' methods are either unavailable or can't be used. The spectator makes a simple drawing, you tune in to his thoughts and attempt to draw the same thing. You can do this under test conditions exactly as if you could do it for real, because there is essentially no 'method' or 'trickery' for anyone to find! No billets, switches, peeks or glimpses; no impressions or forces; none of the usual tools of the trade.

Is it sure-fire? No, but it is sure-fire enough! I started using this approach just as an emergency parachute, but now it's actually my main method which I use almost to the exclusion of all others. You will get a creditable result 90% of the time, and if you want to rack that up to nearer 100% then I describe some simple additional ideas which enable you to do just that. Once you have learned this and have it in your head, you are ready to present it anywhere, any time.

 

Preludes: Preludes are a mentalist's best friend! Preludes are not a trick or a routine, but my favourite way to 'warm up' an informal or  close-up audience using a few picture cards you can easily carry with you at all times. Call them mood-setters, ice-breakers, or just a great way to get yourself noticed and talked-about - you will soon learn never to leave home without them! Easy to make, and yet oh-so-useful to have with you when you want to make an impression as a man of mental talents and mystery

 

REVIEW:

 

Poorly produced booklet, especially when compared to Rowland’s previous releases. Probably the title should have been “Mental Magic Lecture Notes”.

 

The contents however are interesting: the spoon bending comedy routine is described in full details and is certainly a winner in stage/parlor settings. The other effects are based on standard methods with fresh presentational twists – for example the NLP/motivational approach taken on some well-known visual illusions (Prelude cards), or the Banachek’s Universal Drawing add-ons (NMDD).

 

I unfortunately cannot ignore the recent exposure concerns (please refer to your favorite discussion forum for further details) and need to point out that the booklet lends itself pretty well for photocopying purposes.

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=59630&forum=110

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 76:  Flickers – T. Everett Bookings III

AD:

 

JUST IMAGINE
A Dark Room, A Flickering Candle
And Then Suddenly

People SEE A Ghost!

Oh yes, some other spooky stuff happens too!
All you need is a candle and FLICKERS.
This really works and you don't need an assistant to actually make people believe that they've encountered a Ghost. I've actually had some real macho types come unglued with this. They swear "something" was standing/floating there because they SAW it!
Honest, its just you, the candle and your audience



REVIEW:

Abundantly overpriced, as all other Lary Kuehn’s products. You get a couple of pages describing the procedures for gimmicking a candle (but I’ve read something similar in Magick several years ago), and an original tidbit to visualize the “ghost” (a kind of white shadow in the dark… couldn’t explain it worse, uh?).

 

Could find its place in seances or related ghost shows.


OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=11621&forum=14

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 67: Expert Impromptu Magic Made Easy vol. 1– Tom Mullica

 

AD:

 

Here is the first of a three-volume video by Tom Mullica, the king of impromptu magic. 90 minutes of performance and teaching of magic done with almost any object. Contents include Perpetual Balls, Cookie Mystery, Waters of India, Stretching Hank, Ring Rope & Pin, Bouncing Fruit, Spirit Hand, Ashes thru Hand, Fox Napkin Vanish, Calendar Caper, Wrigley Feel, Sweet Prediction, Broken & Restored Match, Book Test, Pencil thru Bill, Ultra Sensory Perception, One Handed Knot, Tying a Knot Without Letting Go of Ends, and Silk Thru Arm.

 

REVIEW:

 

I bought the first volume only. Not that this tape is particularly bad: the performances and explanations are funny, but you need a geeky personality to pull off Tom’s gags…

 

Concerning the effects, most of them are very lightweight (or simply silly – check out the effects Calendar Caper or Wrigley Feel to see what I mean!), and therefore suitable for beginners only.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=44241&forum=111

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 59: Perfect Pen – John Cornelius



AD:

Who would have thought the John Cornelius' original Pen Through Anything could possibly be improved on? Well, leave it to magical genius John Cornelius to take his own invention to the next level!

Effect: A $20 bill is borrowed from a member of the audience. The magician hands them a pen to sign their bill and examine if desired. The magician retrieves the pen and bill, and without any funny moves whatsoever, proceeds to pierce the bill with the pen. The audience can clearly see the pen has penetrated the bill. He proceeds to visibly and audibly rip the pen through the bill, yet when it's handed back to the spectator, the bill is unharmed! The pen and the bill may then be handed out immediately for complete examination!


REVIEW:

 

The pen is self-contained (no need for a switch as in the previous version) and well gimmicked, but will NOT sustain a thorough examination: this is really a problem for me… I continue to prefer the old Wonder Penetration (see relevant review).

 

Besides, this principle is so common nowadays that I feel a bit uncomfortable in performing it: the moves suggested by Cornelius in the instructions somewhat hide the principle (against the “too-perfect” theory) but weaken the effect.



OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=28141&forum=5

 

 

HN Magic Review 58: Perfect Hold out (gimmick+video)– Antonio Romero

AD:

After several years as one of Antonio Romero's most closely guarded secrets, The Perfect Holdout system is now available to you! Mr. Romero has pushed this classic stunt into a whole new dimension that makes it a diabolical tool for effects of all kinds, whether you perform on stage or close-up.
The instructional video included with the holdout contains a detailed description of the device, its handling and many possible applications, including:

Comes with the very special device and instructional video.


REVIEW:

The initial setup is truly a huge pain. The poorly produced video does not help too much, and the dubbing of Rafael Banatar is often disturbing.

 

However, the gimmick works: you were promised a “small movements / large movements” pulley system, and this is what you get. No locking mechanism unfortunately, you will have to set it up before performance.


OVERALL RATING: average



HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=18451&forum=113

 

 

HN Magic Review 57: Final Book Test – Elian Agaian


AD:

Riffle through any unprepared magazine or a regular soft bound book that was just given to you by a spectator. Ask him to call Stop whenever he wishes. Let him see and remember the first or last word on the desired page and you are now able to tell him the word he is thinking of, immediately!

* Use a Borrowed Book
* No Suspicious Moves
* Show Your Hands Empty
* Clever and Small Gimmick, the Audience Will Never Notice its Existence
* No Preparations - Do It Anywhere, Anytime, Impromptu


REVIEW:

 

At first I thought this was one of my worst purchases in magic – the effect can easily be achieved with the same riffle method and without any gimmick (see recent examples in Peek Performances): I doubt that any layman would ever notice the difference.

 

However, the “snap shut” sound and the hands-off moment can make a difference when performing for magicians or well-informed spectators.

OVERALL RATING: acceptable



HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=14741&forum=109

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 56: Exploding light bulb – Yigal Mesika



AD:


 The performer holds a completely normal, clear light bulb between his fingers, and suddenly the lightbulb EXPLODES AND SHATTERS into little pieces! The audience can examine the bulb both before and after the effect. Can be performed anywhere, any time. There is no movement in the performer's hands or fingers, can be done with any light bulb! Precision machined gimmick makes this easy to do. This is a strong affect your audience will remember for a long long time!

REVIEW:

Sure they “will remember it for a long long time”, especially if you leave the shattered pieces all over the place.

 

Anyway, the gimmick works 100%, but you need to know how to obtain it and ditch it secretly. It is more suitable for parlor or stage though, because of its dimension, the restrictive angles and other inherent factors.


OVERALL RATING: acceptable (be careful if performing close up!!)

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=13635&forum=109

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 48: Healed and Sealed – Anders Moden

 

AD:

 

The performer shows the audience an empty, crushed can of soda. Magically, the can starts to unfold and all the dents pops out until the sides are perfectly straight again (see the photos above). Then, with just a touch, the opening seals up. The can is now in perfect condition, as if it has been moved backwards in time. It is not only healed and sealed, but the can has also become magically refilled, which is shown as the performer opens the can and pour himself a drink.

 

One normal can is used. The soda is normal, and can be consumed.

The can is handed out. No switch.

 

This effect was invented by Anders Moden in 1997. In 2002, the TV-rights for this effect was bought by David Blaine and it was performed in the TV-show "Vertigo".

 

REVIEW:

Looks good on video – certainly David Blaine’s manager knows it (it offered no TV rights until 2005).

The can cannot be carried around, so you should perform this one at home or in a planned location. The major weakness is that the can is not fully examinable  - and some spectators are sneaky…

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=23918&forum=109

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 39: Brain Control – S.W. Reilly

 

AD:

With this method you will be able to memorize lists of objects, names, numbers, cities, states, etc. etc. You can easily and rapidly deliver any kind of list in any order. Being a mental expert brings you prestige and this kind of memory work is marveled at by audiences around the world. It's all in knowing the secret and you will be surprised how quickly you can learn this method.

 

REVIEW:

 

I truly love those books from the ‘30s, the wonderful smell they emanate after half a century of sleep. Better than anything you may be smoking at the moment.

 

This cheap little booklet contains a brief description of the one-man memory codes used by the author; beginners may still find it very useful, even though the codes should be updated and customized.

 

For a more extensive (and expensive) approach, you may prefer the Mental Magick of Basil Horowitz or the Harry Lorayne’s products on the matter.

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=32761&forum=110

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 32: Sense of Touch – Ian Rowland

 

AD:

 

Sense of Touch is not one trick or routine. It is a versatile principle for magicians, mentalists and psychic entertainers.

 

Sense of Touch allows you to present a range of effects which are pseudo-psychic in nature and extremely deceptive. When you order Sense of Touch, you get a professionally-printed 48 page booklet.

 

Part One: the 'SWIFT Challenge' effect. This is one of my favourite applications for the SOT principle. The performer offers to demonstrate 'seeing' with his fingertips, and gives a pack of cards to a spectator. While the performer looks away, the spectator chooses a handful of red and black cards and mixes them. The performer takes back this face down packet of cards. By lightly feeling the face of each card with his fingertips, he is able to tell whether it is red or black. The performer sense that the spectators are not very

impressed. They may suspect the cards are marked n the back, or that other trickery is involved. The performer offers to repeat the demonstration under any conditions the spectators want to impose. He does so, and is still 100% successful.

 

The performer is also able to differentiate high cards from low, or odd cards from even, or even court cards from spot cards, apparently just by using his fingertips to 'see' or 'sense' these differences.

 

The spectators can impose any controls or conditions they want (consistent with the premise), yet the performer is always successful. The effect can be repeated as often as required. Everything - including the performer's hands and the cards - can be examined at any time. The performer can even give the cards away at the end!

 

 

Part Two: effects without playing cards. You can apply the Sense of Touch principle to blank cards, tarot cards, ESP cards, picture cards, post cards, business cards, note cards, printed cards or more or less anything else that is essentially 'card-like'. Part Two of the booklet explores many different themes, options and possibilities.

 

Example: if you like working with ESP cards, have someone choose a particular symbol (e.g. the Cross) and then prove you can tell the Cross cards from the others purely be 'seeing with the fingertips'.

 

Or take a stack of your business cards. Someone writes their initials the blank side of one card, and mixes this with several others. You can 'divine' the written-on card purely by 'reading with your fingertips'.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

Nicely produced booklet. It looks like Mr. Rowland’s system is really undetectable (REALLY undetectable, since I can’t even figure it out myself – certainly this is due to lack of practice), so the “Out of this World” effect can " bee" a success in the right hands.

 

The second part of the book deals with other classic mental effects that could use the system (with different presentational angles) – but you definitely have easier ways to perform them.


Finally, keep in mind that Mr. Rowland exposes mentalism techniques on TV, so everything he puts out is worth photocopying and distributing freely. 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=5597&forum=15

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 31: Zoom! – Ben Harris

 

AD:

 

This effect is one of Ben Harris' most closely guarded secrets. He's been sitting on this for over ten years, using it privately for the most important occasions only. It is Ben's very favorite trick of all time because it meets all of his personal requirements for the ideal effect.

 

 A playing card is selected from the deck and examined. The spectators are asked specifically to look for "threads, motors and trap-doors" - anything devious. After the card is examined, the performer turns attention to himself. He turns up his sleeves and

asks that his hands be inspected for anything suspicious. The table surface is also carefully inspected. Once the examination ritual is out of the way, the performer announces an attempted experiment in mind over matter.

 

The playing card is tabled and the spectators asked to gather in closely. The performer now waves his palm-down hand in magical passes over the tabled card. He furrows his brow as if attempting to create a magical spell.

 

After a few moments of intense concentration, the card comes to life and moves this way and that - away-from the performer's hand - across the tabletop. It shimmies along,  seemingly with a life of its own, all the way into one of the spectator's waiting hands. Once again, all may be examined and then the effect repeated. This is one of those rare effects where an immediate repeat actually deepens the mystery without increasing the, possibility of the audience detecting the method.

 

REVIEW:

 

A quickie that can be performed seemingly impromptu with your own business card. It took me a while to prepare, but that’s because I’m not properly nimble-fingered.

 

It has the well-known limitations of effects of ITs kind - not sure you really need the type provided by Mr. Harris. It reminds me of Michael Ammar, who insisted in selling his gimmick with his signature bill routine, before admitting in vol. 3 of his Easy to Master IT Miracles trilogy that this specific type was not appropriate for the effect!

 

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=16976&forum=109

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 29: Finger Fantasies video/DVD– Meir Yedid

 

AD:

 

The act that won two Society Of American Magicians Close-Up Magic Competitions and their coveted Originality Award.

 

This is the first video devoted to finger magic. It contains Meir Yedid’s award-winning Finger Fantasies act.  The most incredible, impromptu routine ever seen. Your pinkie, ring

finger, middle finger and your index finger all vanish and reappear at will!

Make your pinkie telescope into your palm, your thumb travels up and down your arm, take a knife and cut off one of your fingers, and more.

 

As seen on Comedy Tonight (FOX-TV), The Paul Daniels Show (BBC-TV), Naruhodo The World (Fuji-TV), Luna De Verano (CS-TV), Saturday Night Live (NBC-TV), and even used on Broadway and in the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus.

 

You will learn how to make your fingers vanish and everything you need to know about performing this unique act.

 

REVIEW:

 

Coming from Meir Yedid, this video is not so bad. Mr. Yedid’s fingers are longer than my…... my arms, so don’t expect to do everything taught on the video. And since the angles are obviously an issue on close-up settings, I settled for the vanishing pinkie, the telescopic pinkie and the classic traveling thumb only. It gets a laugh for kids.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 24: Five Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief video/DVD – Quentin Reynolds

 

AD:

 

An entire act that fits in your pocket, Featuring the hilarious Magic Mouse. Quentin Reynolds is a professional magician from Dublin, Ireland who has spent the last 25 years perfecting his craft. His specialty is children's shows and the routine taught here

is the highlight of his show - a polished five minute act which is accomplished with nothing more than an ordinary pocket-handkerchief.

 

You are treated to a live performance in front of a classroom of children where Reynolds brings the kids to a frenzy using this handkerchief routine and the many gags and touches which make it a masterpiece. Following the performance you are taught

everything you need to know to perform the act.

 

The routine is a brisk and upbeat sequence of effects which begins with a stretching handkerchief, a series of knots and culminates with the animation of the Magic Mouse. It is adaptable for most performing situations such as stage, parlor, close-up, walk-around, kids, adults, yet it a11 fits in your pocket and is very easy to do.

 

Includes:

 

- Stretching Hank: A handkerchief is stretched to twice its original size.

- The Jumping Hank: A handkerchief repeatedly jumps out of your hands and into the audience.

- Karrell Fox's Knifty-Knot: No matter how hard you try to be a knot in the handkerchief it keeps disintegrating.

- Karrell Fox's No Not: You finally make a knot but it magically unties when a spectator blows on it.

- Stand-Up Hank: The handkerchief is made to stand on end and tail on command.

- The Magic Mouse: The handkerchief is folded into a hat, an iron an earring, a mustache, and finally into a mouse. The mouse is wound up and begins to wiggle its tail. The mouse seems to come to life as it runs up and down your arm, around your neck, and then leaps into the audience - making them scream with fright. The tail of the mouse is pulled and it turns back into a handkerchief, The handkerchief is folded and put back in your pocket, The act is now completely reset for your next show.

 

In addition to the above you are also taught Frank Garcia’s Iron Gag, Stewart Judah's Watch-winder Gag, tips from George Sands, Harry Blackstone, Sr., Dan Garret, Martin Gardner, and tons of jokes, gags, by-play, tidbits and advice, which can only be learned from years of continuous performance. Includes a discussion on making the routine even stronger, and much more.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

When I saw the picture of Meir Yedid on the tape cover, I started cursing…. Fortunately he’s only the US distributor, and does not have anything to do with the effects.

 

Beware - the tricks are for 5-year-old children. For kids show, I guess the effects look good with an appropriate deal of showmanship – the “Animated Mouse” is the highlight of the tape and really involves the audience. Sure you can do it for adults… you can also perform “Run Rabbit Run” for corporate audiences.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 23: Kentonism – Kenton Knepper

 

AD:

 

 

This is Kenton's renowned masterwork and his unique styling in the art of suggestion, influence, and apparent "telepathic hypnosis".

 

Since eight years of age, hypnosis and what seemed to be actual magical,  mental powers fascinated Kenton. Over the decades, Kenton Kepper has created and developed certain secret methods - known to but a very few of Kenton's closest friends. These are the exact methods used by Kenton to create absolute awe and fascination in the minds of Kenton's clients.

 

Kenton has guarded these concepts most jealously. Finally, the full story can be told. What was once legend and myth is now within the grasp of anyone who cares to study and apply these ingenious concepts. So, what is "Kentonism"? What can you do?

 

With Kentonism you may appear to:

 

Have a spectator slip into an altered state - just by looking at your business card!

Cause a spectator to choose thoughts and objects based on subliminal suggestion.

Perform a full "hypnosis " type act, without having to learn or do hypnosis

Write thoughts down on a pad of paper, then stand back, and watch as audience members are compelled to do these things!

Apply telepathic and subliminal influence close-up or on stage.

Learn legitimate suggestion techniques, and innovative methods created by Kenton.

Includes special "subliminal" art designs to copy for your own business cards.

 

We know what you usually get. This is not a work that uses "all stooges".

Of course not - this is KENTON. Kenton has incorporated linguistic deception, dual-reality, and actual suggestion into these unusual principles and applications. KENTONISM is a rare look into Mr. Knepper's most secret work. This material is NOT for the magic hobbyist. This material is NOT a way to get people to date you. This is the real secret work for thinkers and performers. This book is over 60 full size pages in length.

 

Kenton wanted to be sure that this amazing work was well within the price range of most serious people. While he could have charged a great deal more for these methods, we are offering it for a real steal. The last time we said something like that was when "Wonder Readings" was available,  and at only $100.00 - You know what it goes for these days... Get this before Kenton snaps out of his trance!

 

REVIEW:

 

Not one single effect I will use in this book. Maybe because I feel that DR is hardly workable for intimate shows, unless BOTH effects are equally surprising for the audiences [Cf. Real Mind Reading video]. The book also contains graphical designs for your business cards backs (simple psy-forces), new applications of a classic Punx idea (also described in Corinda’s Thirteen Steps to Mentalism), and an interesting close-up variation called “Pure Kentonism” which is only hinted at.

 

Nonetheless, the book is surely worth reading for Kenton’s line of thought and for the many psychological subtleties, transferable to other effects.

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 10: The Raven set (gimmick + video) – Chuck Leach

 

AD:

 

The Raven has been called one of the best tricks of the last decade! Perform visual vanishes like you've never seen. Make coins appear, disappear, shrink or change to a different coin or an entirely different object! There are no funny moves or sleights. Simply show your hands front and back, then wave one over the other and a coin appears or vanishes! It is that easy and natural (and amazing)! Many additional effects with bills, matchbooks, playing cards and a variety of coin effects, as well as the valuable 'Empty Hand Move,' are taught on the video. Perform in a coat, even a short-sleeved shirt.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

The ad is misleading, since the “short sleeves” technique is quite different from the jacket method – the range of motions is obviously limited, and you can’t do the “empty hands move” (i.e. showing you hands front and back before beginning).

 

With a dark jacket and shirt, the effect looks great even though the angles feel a bit uncomfortable. I only use it as a secret gimmick to reinforce other effects, such as Mike Powers’ Visual Impossible Penetration.

 

As a side note, I can’t remember where I saw such a physically “arguable” lady in a magic video - but the real beauty lies within, as Mr. Leach reminds us all.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 8: Pure Effect - Derren Brown

 

AD:

 

Derren Brown, the most radical and original

new thinker in the world of mentalism, will take

you from excellent close-up magic to the most

powerful mind-reading you have ever seen.

With flamboyant wit, Derren explains the

secrets and techniques that he uses to amaze

the experts, drawing from hypnotic skills and

breathtaking psychological artistry. This is

brand new mindreading without compromise;

no use of billets, envelopes or NW will be

found within these pages. This is a book for the

serious thinker who would normally disregard

99% of a magic book's contents.

 

Hardbound With Dust Jacket, 168 Pages

 

REVIEW:

 

Much ado about an average book, and too much card work and futile linguistic flourishes for what is supposed to be “Direct Mind Reading”. Part I includes Mr. Brown’s interesting thoughts on mentalism, invisible compromises, anchoring etc. Part II is only devoted to card techniques (totally useless if you don’t do cards), Part III are mainly effects with – guess what – cards.

 

The book is certainly well produced and well written (in an humorous tongue-in-cheek manner); it could be ok for those who like F****** card tricks.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

 

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