Harvey Nerzof’s Magic Reviews by Harvey Nerzof - HTML preview

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Average

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.

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

 

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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:

 

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This is the granddaddy of electronic Invisible Thread Reels. It is bodyactivated, 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.

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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

 

H.

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HN Magic Review 111: Bent Cent - Ray Koenig

 

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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.

No Sleight of Hand Needed

 

No Switching of Coins

 

Comes Complete with Four Gaffs and Detailed Instructions

 

REVIEW:

 

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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.

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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

 

H.

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

 

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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

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Double Match-it
Polaroid Card Trick
Perfect Prediction
Triple Mini Miracle
Instant Money
Single Card to Bill

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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

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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

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you may want to check Michael Ammar’s “Easy to Master Money Miracles” video trilogy first.

 

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 101: Rising Dollar Bill – Mike Borstein

 

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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.

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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

 

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

 

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 95: Mentalism Lecture Notes – Ian Rowland

 

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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

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(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

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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:

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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!

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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”.

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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.

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OVERALL RATING: average

 

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

 

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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?).

00002.jpgCould find its place in seances or related ghost shows.

 

OVERALL RATING: average

 

HN

 

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

 

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 59: Perfect Pen – John Cornelius

 

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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!

o Pen is completely examinable o Nothing added or taken away o Pen may be written with and refilled

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.

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HN

 

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

 

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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:

Super Knives A new color-changing knife routine with double and triple changes, productions, knife stretching and more, ending with immediately handing the knives out for examination
Incredible Card to Wallet The most surprising version of this classic effect in years, Antonio's version has fooled many wellinformed magicians
Multiple Vanish Cleanly vanish four coins together in a flash

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.

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 57: Final Book Test – Elian Agaian

 

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 56: Exploding light bulb – Yigal Mesika

 

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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!!)

 

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HN Magic Review 48: Healed and Sealed – Anders Moden

 

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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 TVrights 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 (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

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 39: Brain Control – S.W. Reilly

 

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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.

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 32: Sense of Touch – Ian Rowland

 

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00002.jpgSense 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 93

'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'.

00002.jpgREVIEW:

 

Nicely produced booklet. It looks like Mr. Rowland’s system is really undetectable (REALLY undetectable, since I can’t even figure it out 94

 

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

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HN Magic Review 31: Zoom! – Ben Harris

 

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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 95

 

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 Invisible Thread Miracles trilogy that this specific type was not appropriate for the effect.

OVERALL RATING: acceptable

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 29: Finger Fantasies video/DVD– Meir Yedid

 

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

 

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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 (BBCTV),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 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

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 24: Five Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief video/DVD – Quentin Reynolds

 

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An entire act that fits in your pocket, Featuring the hilarious Magic Mouse. Quentin Reynolds is a professional magician from Dublin,

 

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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.

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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

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 23: Kentonism – Kenton Knepper

 

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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

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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

 

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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:

 

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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

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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

 

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

 

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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:

 

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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

 

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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

 

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HN Magic Review 8: Pure Effect - Derren Brown

 

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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:

 

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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.

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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

 

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Below Average

Magic and mental effects (mostly outdated) that should probably be ignored, considering the abundance of products available out there. But if you really have time and money to spend, or if you are a fan of a particular author…

HN Magic Review 109: Flashback - Larry Becker

 

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The orginal is back at a new lower price! Larry Becker has devised the most clever, the cleanest Book Test in the history of Book Tests! The effect is totally straightforward. One or more spectators freely select words from a popular paperback book. You are able to instantly divine the selected words! It's incredibly easy to do do. No sleights. No memory work --- the books do it all for you!

The books can be examined from cover to cover! You can have as many words selected as you wish! It can be repeated over and over! Nothing written --- any page used --- no "second looks". You never even know the page number. Comes complete with two paperbacks that can be used together or on its own. Fully routined by Larry Becker.

REVIEW:

A well-produced, very popular but pretty obvious booktest. Cons:
- the paperbacks can’t be examined for too long.
- you obviously need to carry it around if you plan to perform the

effect; yes, DUH! but some people asked me if you could adapt the method to your own books, or if it could be performed in other languages etc. the answer is NO.

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- it really seems too evident to me.

 

The effect has sequels, which I didn’t purchase for obvious reasons - so I can’t compare.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 105: Another Book - Karrell Fox

 

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N/a

 

REVIEW:

 

Nicely produced hardbound book from the late Karrel Fox: golden spine, full color laminated jacket, lots of pictures and cartoons.

The contents revolve around comedy magic, focused on presentation and entertainment instead of methodology. There are about 100 tricks with cards, coins, inexpensive props and some mental magic stuff (including a center tear variation).

The methods are aged and poorly described, but a number of presentational ideas, M.C. bits and audience management suggestions could be of some use to the younger generations.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 104: Cut and Restored Credit Card - Mark Leveridge

 

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The magician displays a small leather wallet inside which is one of his credit cards.

He explains he would like to show something with a similar card but does not want to use his own. So saying the card is returned to the wallet which is slipped back into his pocket.

Having borrowed a suitable card, the magician slips it into a pay envelope, puts the spectator’s initials on the envelope flap and then seals the card inside.

Brandishing a pair of scissors, he proceeds to cut the envelope - and therefore the spectator’s card - completely in half! With total confidence the magician claims the card will restore itself, despite the fact the envelope is clearly in two separate pieces.

Placing the two sections together, he cuts off the end of the envelope, reaches inside and pulls out HALF A CREDIT CARD!

After much comic by-play, the halves are put away and the performer removes the small wallet he showed at the beginning to offer his own card in exchange.

However, to the surprise of all, the performer’s card has vanished and the spectator’s TOTALLY RESTORED CARD is found inside instead! The spectator removes his card himself to confirm it is indeed his.

Very easy to do, no sleights, no palming, no fuss - highly practical.

 

REVIEW:

 

00002.jpgI would be hard pressed to name 10 effects with credit cards – probably because people are always a bit reluctant in handing them out.

To perform this effect, you will need to walk around with special wallets, a pair of scissors and gimmicked envelopes – not something you will do “impromptu” for your friends; it is also awkward to perform in professional table-hopping situations, since the reset can’t be done on the spot. Refills (i.e. envelopes, good for 25 performances) are sold separately.

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I thought about routining this one with a few lousy effects I already knew, such as Brad Manuel’s Credit Card Fraud, or Tony Antoniou’s Credit Card Quickie (in the Ammar’s Easy to Master Money Miracles video series) but abandoned the idea immediately...

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 77: Gellerism Revealed – Ben Harris

 

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Step by step photos and instructions on how to bend keys, cutlery, stop watches, etc. Psychology and method are explained. Also contains an encapsulated history of Uri Geller's activities. This is some of the real work.

REVIEW:

The book (first published in 1982) describes the techniques supposedly used by Uri Geller to perform his paranormal feats: bending spoons and keys, changing the time on a borrowed watch, starting broken watches.

Most of the material is outdated and will appeal to Geller fans only; for updated methods and handlings, Banachek’s Psychokinetic Time and Psychokinetic Silverware come to mind.

00002.jpgOVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 73: Mind and Matter – Stephen Minch

 

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A complete departure from the standard books on mentalism, this book deals with Psycho-kinesis or Telekinesis. The ability to move or alter physical objects by willing it with your mind is something an audience will really get excited about. Bend metals, alter the shape of matter, move inanimate objects, interrupt radio waves, and much more. Simple, yet mind-boggling experiments which are suited to the expert on extrasensory perception.

REVIEW:

Published by Micky Hades in 1975. The book includes effects with everyday objects such as keys, pens, flowers, nails etc, achieved through a variety of (well-known) methods but with a common intent: demonstrating the performer’s paranormal skills during the Geller era.

Most of the effects are outdated (“the spectator selects a page number by taking a poker chip from a clear bag held by a bulldog clip etc”), but some ideas and psychological tidbits are still valid and could be incorporated into your existing routines.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 46: The Elevator – Peter Loughran

 

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How many times have you been asked to levitate after the David Blaine TV specials aired? How many times have you wanted to perform a levitation effect, but have feared the limitations, angles, etc? Fear not, because there are NO allusions with THIS illusion! Introducing The Elevator from Peter Loughran, the last word on levitation suspension!

First there came the Balducci Levitation. And then came tons of gimmicked versions that claimed to make the Balducci easier to perform. The problems with these versions were that you needed a coat, a towel, or other cover to shield how the effect worked. Not with Peter Loughran's Elevator!

Imagine, at any time during your act, whether you perform close-up, on stage, or on the street, you simply rise a full 3 - 4 inches above the ground, all without the angle problems and viewing distance restrictions seen in other self-levitations on the market. Simply put, The Elevator is Peter Loughran's new mechanical marvel levitation device that allows you to levitate while facing your spectators, and it can be viewed from the front and the sides! See the photo above!

There are no special shoes used! In fact, you can even perform the illusion wearing sandals or even barefoot! There are no special clothes or baggy pants required, and you can do this inside or outside on wet or dry land without any special lighting required! And get this, there are NO weight limitations! You can even do mid-air rotation, WOW! What other self-levitation can boast all these advantages?

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You do not take your shoes off, nor do you lift up on one toe, and you can even show the bottom of your feet before and after the levitation. Please know that this is not a .pdf file, a mere manuscript, or instructional video; you get a specially constructed mechanical device that allows you to perform this miracle anytime, anywhere!

If you are looking for an affordable street levitation that works for real people in real situations, then be sure to check out this incredible and 109

clever levitation device. The Elevator comes complete with special mechanical levitation device, instructional video, and fully detailed manuscript.

REVIEW:

A few critical notes:
- you cannot perform it with people standing at your sides;
- You cannot perform it on any surface;
- It is rather noisy;
- It is very bulky (need rapper trousers or heavy coat to hide it);
- Balance is indeed a problem (would like to see the Mr. Loughran himself levitating without external support for more than half a second).

It is perhaps the best close-up levitation commercially available - but this doesn’t mean anything, since the previous items were junk.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 44: Fat free Mentalism – John Riggs

 

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Mentalism for those who don't like to carry a trunkload of props. Strong mentalism requiring little or no props, the modern day approach to the art. Contents include Your Show, Gimme a Number, PWO Total Prediction, FloraRiggs, Information Steal, Cards of Desire, Q&A Prop, I Am!, The 30 Minute Walk-On Act, I've Got Your Number Too, How to be a Smooth Operator, Business Card Business, Centering Your Thoughts, Name and Sign Killer, Centers for Readers, Last of the Spike Tricks, The Art of the Read, Body Reading, and Q&A Another Way.

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REVIEW:

Innocuous mental magic tricks. Chapter 1 includes a few effects with the Ostin Clip (talk about direct mind reading! “The performer brings out a prediction secured in a bulldog clip”….. man…...), chapter 2 describes some combinations of well-known mentalism methods, while part 3 is dedicated to psychic readings – copied straight from William Sheldon’s body typing principles.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 40: Unfaked Book Test – Val Andrews

 

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You hand a book to a spectator. Other spectators call out numbers to select a page, line and word. No force, no stooges, no mis-calling. The spectator looks up that page, line and word. You read her mind by telling her exactly which word she's looking at.

REVIEW:

 

The booktest that Al Koran never used…

 

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00002.jpg page ungimmicked bestseller and give it away at the end. However, the procedure for the page selection feels too “mathemagic” for me - stick with MOABT if you can.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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HN Magic Review 26: Creating Material and Making Performances Memorable – Kenton Knepper & Allen Zingg

 

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This is a book of ART. How to make your performances ART. How to make lasting impressions on your audiences. How to create emotional magic and mentalism. How to find your way of expressing yourself – not about how someone else tells you to do that. This book represents a mutual passion for the creation and performance of magical and mental ART.

As one well known performer put it "If people did only the exercises in this book, it could change magic and mentalism forever!" Kenton Knepper, Allen Zing, Docc Hilford, J. Tank and a privileged few, use this very book as THE reference book for their new shows. This book is that significant. Now you may be one of those privileged few.

If Kenton’s Rants Into Raves posed questions, this book is the one with the answers to those questions. Not just theory - but practical applications you can put to USE. In a recent random survey of successful performers in all forms of the performing arts, certain principles were found to be held in common. Amazingly, these same principles are what Kenton and Allen detail in this book. For those who could care less about having original material, or making their performances outstanding, forget this book. But if you want to be your best, if you keep searching for the right material, and to be better than ever before as an artist, then THIS IS FOR YOU.

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Besides, there’s some great mental effects and innovative sleight of hand technique too. This book even has "pictures." Oh yes, if you think you can’t create your own tricks, you’ll find out that you can! Imagine that!

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This full size 8 ½ X 11 inch book is over 100 pages in length Tricks and moves are fully explained with over 50 illustrations. There are excerpts from Wonder Words, Wonder Readings, Body of Influence and others, along with completely original material not to be found anywhere else. Here are some of the topics covered in the book:

Communication With Breath, Invisible Actions, Disarming Techniques, Intuitive Actions, Integration of Body, Presentational Concept, Making Sense of Nonsense, Taking Risks, Texture, Creating Creativity, Motivation and Urgency, The Emotional Pattern, Instant Grace, The Authentic Self, Zone Effects, Standing Zarrow, The Elmsley DEAL, Heart Connection, Treasury Prediction, Banachek Revisited, Visual Words Effect, Kenton’s
Ghost Coins, How Rational Is Art? and more. Newly illustrated, revised and with additional material, at a price less than the original attendees paid...

REVIEW:

Large and disappointing book from the 2 business partners. Part I is a theoretical discussion on artistic creation (with “creative templates” – talk about an oxymoron!!), gestures, body positions (check Leading with your Head instead) and a few linguistic deceptions already explained in the Wonder Words tapes. Part II includes useless card sleights, while part III consists of a few effects you already know.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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

 

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In about ten minutes, this private video lesson will teach you Docc Hilford's impromptu method for making a paper rose, complete with a 113

leaf, from an ordinary cocktail napkin. This is the same bit of business used by pros around the world to upgrade from Coach to First Class, receive superlative service in hotels and restaurants, and generally charm any lady, anywhere.

Our friend Richard Webster used it to save a cruise ship gig, when he discovered that none of his audience could speak English, and he could speak no Chinese!

This is not a trick, but rather one of the most delightful bits of business around. As Docc Hilford tells it, he was initiated into the art by an ancient in Paris — Texas, that is. He has taken this simple (when you know how) bit of business, and turned it into something of a trademark.

As with any great bit of business, there is more to it than just knowing how to do it - you need the correct presentation. Without the right shtick, you're just juggling a piece of paper! On this video, Docc shows you how he does it, giving you the kind of input you need to devise your own presentation.

This is not a trick or a mental miracle. It is not a cure for cancer. It is one of the most charming bits of business that you can add to your repertoire. You can have Docc's Paper Rose for just $24.95.

REVIEW:

As usual, unbelievably overpriced video from the Floras. The patter is not particularly convincing, but the folding procedure is easily understandable and – let’s face it – the effect always get a great reaction from the ladies.

00002.jpgOVERALL RATING: clearly below average (buy it only if you can’t find the effect anywhere else!)

 

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HN Magic Review 13: Classics – Bruce Bernstein

 

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Bruce Bernstein has collected 7 of his finest mentalism creations over the past 20 years. These are the effects that have been consistently mentioned by other performers and creators as their favorites. Contents include Trans-Premonition, Thought Card Across, Bernstein Center Tear, Couples, Scripted Thoughts, All Shook Up, and Masklyn's Ring.

REVIEW:

A good part of the book is devoted to F###### playing cards. You also get a routine with borrowed coins (as a side note for the ever expanding European Union: nope, will not work with Euros now), an interesting and more visual version of Maskelyn’s Ring, and the infamous Bernstein’s Center Tear method.

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

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Weak

The main difference with the “Junk” category is that these items are not particularly funny. Besides, something could be saved: a single notion, a nice drawing or picture, a quote...

HN Magic Review 97: Center Tear Bill – Craig R. Dickson

 

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The cleanest, most direct, torn and restored bill we've seen! Show a one-dollar bill on both sides. Have the bill initialed by a spectator.
Very openly, fold the bill in half.
Tear the center (George Washington's picture) off of the bill. Either vanish the center or burn it.
With no false moves of any kind, snap the bill open and it is restored!! The bill is clean and examinable!!
Center Tear Bill is great. You can learn it in five minutes; and you will do it all the time!!

REVIEW:

The classic Rick Johnsson’s “Dining on Dollars” trick, combined with the setup of David Harkey / Jay Sankey’s “East Meets West”. The modus operandi is different than the version described in the “Easy to Master Money Miracles” videos, and the trick comes with that “special something” that could be used in other effects.

The bill can be given out at the end – not only shown, as in the Ammar version – but I would recommend the latter for its cleaner display.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 94: Dish-alicious – Daryl

 

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Do You Want to Work Restaurants? Are You A Table Hopper? Then Don't Be Caught Without This Stunning Miracle! EFFECT: You bite a piece out from an ordinary dinner plate, show the piece and then magically restore the plate before returning it to the customer! Finishes clean.

REVIEW:

It seems a clever gimmick, for an original quickie. The trick however cannot be performed close-up, as most of BA-based effects: you will need proper distance, lighting and clothing. The “table hopping” issue stated in the ad is plain BS (unless you perform in a dark cave or for a blind audience) – another one for the drawer.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 91: Ah ha! – David Harkey / Eric Anderson

 

AD:

Watch a book of matches burst into flame without touching it. Unlock a car of any make by pointing at it. Learn a false shuffle and bridge you will actually use. Drop a borrowed coin into your drink, bringing the liquid to a boiling froth, then spoon out the coin, bent like a used bottle cap. Turn a pack of cards into solid stone, splitting like a rock when you drop it. Automatically switch decks under the noses of your audience, using subtlety rather than sleight of hand. Pluck the petals from a daisy, ending on she loves me not. Then blow on the flower, making one petal

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reappear. She loves me! Five years in the making, here is a collection of street - tested magic with calling cards, coffee cups, matches, coins, bills, rubber bands, newspapers, playing cards. pencils and more.

More than twenty effects in all.

 

REVIEW:

21 effects – and about half of them are F###### card tricks. I have yet to see an honest ad stating, “this book mostly contains F###### card tricks”. It would be easy, though: count the number of effects with cards, count the total number of effects, divide the two numbers, and insert a disclaimer: “this book contains 42% of F###### card tricks”.

About the other half: I was VERY disappointed by the lack of original methods and presentational ideas, despite the imaginative plots described in the sales blurb. The book does not fall into the “junk” category only because of the care shown in the production (nice hardbound with dust cover, beautiful layout by the author).

I suggest you stick with “Simply Harkey”.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 88: The riddle of Chung Ling Soo, Chinese conjuror – Will Dexter

 

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N/A. Published by Arco Publishing Co.

 

REVIEW

The life and mysterious death of “Chinese” conjuror William Robinson, from New York City… First published in 1954, the book includes the biography of the artist, a detailed description of his stage shows from a layman perspective (no methods explained), the death-defying “Bullet Catching” stunt, a brief digression on Anneman’s death, brief excerpts of historic magazines (the Magic Wand, HMM, Mahatma etc.) and an annex on Asian conjuring.

Historical value, probably.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 86: Elastrix vol. 1 – Ed Mishell & Abraham Hurwitz

 

AD:

The largest collection of tricks with rubber bands ever produced. Within the covers you will find Penetrations, Restorations, Linkings, Multiplications and Sheer Magic with Common Rubber Bands. These are baffling effects you can perform anywhere, anytime.

REVIEW:

 

Tons of rubber bands magic tricks: a few are still valid, most are outdated, and others have always been outrageously silly. It takes a

 

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great deal of time to learn this type of manipulative stunts with written instructions – this is where videos truly come in handy.

 

I would suggest the Ammar Classic Renditions n.2 video and the Harlan’s Rubber Bands Magic trilogy instead.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 85: Altered States – David Regal

 

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An easy-to-do, offbeat card routine that never fails to impress. A card, selected from a blue-backed deck and signed across its face by a spectator is torn in half. One half is placed in a blue card box and the other in a red card box. The spectator's partial signature is on the face of both halves. The card boxes are shaken and the cards dumped out. The half that came out of the blue box still has a blue back, but the card out of the red box now has a red back. The two halves fit together and so do the two parts of the signature. Everything can be immediately examined and the two half-cards can be given to spectators as souvenirs.

Comes with a dozen custom Bicycle cards which were specially printed by the U.S. Playing Card Co. and four pages of clear instructions with 17 photographs. Can be repeated three times with different cards. Easy.

REVIEW:

 

Altered states… This brings back wonderful memories… This trick was part of a Christmas gift (“I liked the name”, she said). Amongst the 120

 

thousands of books, videos and gimmicks commercially available, I had to receive a F****** card trick from Meir Yedid!!

Anyway, you get basic instructions for the effect described, a few specially printed Bicycle cards (half red, half blue) and the picture of Mr. Yedid smiling back at you.

OVERALL RATING: useless card trick

 

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HN Magic Review 81: Making Contact – Satori

 

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Contact Mindreading, sometimes called ‘Muscle Reading’ can be, when correctly executed, the closest thing to ‘real’ mindreading you can get. This little book has what looks like the ‘real’ work on this fascinating subject. Years ago I played with Contact Mindreading and had some small success with it. A wonderful and powerful demonstration when it works. Satori appears to have given up all the information anyone would need to insure that success is near 100%. Solid book with needed info on this obscure subject.

REVIEW:

 

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A 68-page softbound publication from H&R Magic Books, which could have taken a couple of paragraphs. From this point of view, the book sadly reminds me of Mark Strivings’ “Miracles from the Hip”: an ageold concept excruciatingly expanded and repeated over and over and over until it borders the unbearable.

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Satori did not add ONE single idea to the existing muscle reading books (such as Fitzkee’s Contact Mind Reading Expanded, Schatz’ Practical Contact Mind Reading and Nelson’s Hellstromism - published half a century ago).

After the long, worn out historical overview, Satori reminds us of the well-known wrist hold (first exposed at the end of the nineteenth century) and painfully describes an interminable number of DUH! examples:
Finding an object on a table
Finding an object in a room
Finding a person in a room
Finding an object in a house
Finding a seat in a theater
Etc.

Vol. 2 will probably include the following routines: Finding a softbound book in a library
Finding an hardbound book in a library
Finding an under-aged brunette in a Nevada brothel Etc.

The publisher has to justify the price of the book by increasing the number of pages, but here the whole book is a filler. I pretend something more than a nice layout and the repackaging/regurgitating of age-old information.

It would be tempting to label the book as “useless”: however, its pseudo-scientific feel, the care shown in the publication and the fact that absolutely nothing is exposed in terms of magical methods, gimmicks or psychological subtleties (apart from the single Hellstromism technique obviously) allows you to leave it on your coffee table and start a targeted conversation.

OVERALL RATING: Back of the room item

 

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HN Magic Review 72: The Web – Jim Pace

 

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Jim Pace's "The Web" will out-impact any other effect in your repertoire. For those that want to go for the jugular and take no prisoners, the Web gets a more visceral reaction than any card effect ever created! In fact, there are some people you simply should not do this effect for because it starts out so innocently, yet ends with such a startling reaction! The effect, this makes 'em jump up and scream! Four blank cards are counted onto the spectator's palm up hand. Then pictures of spider webs appear and disappear from the faces of the cards. To conclude, the spectator is asked to wave his hands over the cards. As he does, he discovers a large, realistic spider on the back of his hand. The spider is undetectable, and you are way ahead! At the right time, in the right place, this receives an unprecedented response!

REVIEW:

Largely overrated. Comes with specially printed cards, the plastic spider (with a special “extension” to make it more realistic) and the “gimmick”. It is a cheap way to get a quick reaction, to expose the Card on Ceiling and to suggest that you are carrying around props and hidden gimmicks.

OVERALL RATING: prank

 

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HN Magic Review 70: The Xpert Device – Neil Tobin

 

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"Neil Tobin's device is an astounding accomplishment and will be embraced by magicians and mentalists - I love it!" -Ben Harris

An Indispensable New Utility Device for Mentalists and Magicians. Discover a new utility device, one that's already being used by performing mentalists and magicians who appreciate its understated power and seemingly limitless possibilities. The Xpert makes possible a wide variety of miraculously direct and virtually sleight-free effects, including:

Out of Body Xpert

A borrowed coin is chosen from a handful of change, marked with a participant's initial, has its date noted, and is tightly held in anybody's hands- yet the performer invisibly extracts the coin; it is soon found in the pocket of another participant some distance away!

Xpert Epic

The performer clearly and boldly numbers the blank sides of three postcards one through three. Picking up each numbered postcard in proper sequence, the performer shows the number on top and then writes his thoughts beneath. At the conclusion, all three postcards are shown to have correct predictions and may be given away afterward. No forces necessary.

Xpert X-ed Card

 

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A card is freely selected (no force) and kept facedown while its back is visibly marked with a bold X. The cards are mixed, and the performer not so amazingly locates the X-ed card. But then comes the surprisealthough the performer is no sleight-of-hand wizard, he is a mentalist: the X-ed card is turned face up to reveal the words "My Prediction" printed on its face. All the cards may be examined or given away. Instant reset, ends clean, no switches.

Xpert Vampire Hunter

 

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A participant selects and signs a card to represent her in the role of "vampire hunter." To represent a vampire, another card is signed with an ankh, the ancient symbol of the immortal; it is then lost within a packet of cards. The participant inserts here card face up into the packet anywhere she chooses: if she's a successful vampire hunter, the vampire will be found just beneath her card. But when the cards are spread, the vampire card is gone! Yet she's successful after all-her signed card is turned over, and inscribed on its back is the vampire symbol! This card is given to the participant as a truly bizarre souvenir. No specially printed cards, no palming, no swamis.

You receive the staple-bound, 16-page, illustrated manuscript and gimmick.

 

REVIEW:

Mr. Tobin took a fragile concept from Kenton Knepper’s X book (see relevant review), and slightly improved it by gimmicking the prop. The English writings on it will not facilitate the work of foreign magicians.

“Miss the first buttonhole, and you won’t finish buttoning up.” (Goethe)

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 62: Linked 4 life – Andy Leviss

 

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Andy Leviss takes this "classic" plot to a whole new level. You take two (and only two!) clearly separate rubberbands, touch them together, and they visibly link in slow-motion. Then, without any switches, sudden movements, or anything else, you immediately hand them to an audience member to keep in their permanently linked state. Unlike other similar

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methods, "Linked 4 Life" is clean as a whistle- not to mention deviously simple!

 

Comes with detailed manuscript clearly illustrated by magician/artist Shaun Robison and autographed by Andy Leviss, himself!

 

REVIEW:

A few stapled pages with self-delusional security features. While Bernard Sim’s “Really Linked” looked great on video but was quite inappropriate in real-life performances, Linked 4 life is practical but visually poor: the initial display (“two clearLY separate rubberbands”) looks phony and undermines the effect.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 52: Pen-omenon – J. Mirage

 

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You place an ordinary pen on the edge of a table or flat surface. You show your hands to be completely empty free of any magnets or strings. Then you can cause the pen to swivel left or right without touching it! The pen can even be made to spin in a circle. You can move the pen fast or slow. The pen is apparently under your complete control, and everything may be closely examined at any time!

00002.jpgNo Threads, Magnets, Weights, Blowing
Nothing is attached to the pen

 

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REVIEW:

An age-old principle, already explained in classic texts such as the Tarbell Course. You get a regular Paper-Mate, and a piece of paper briefly describing a method a 10-year old will immediately recognize. Some may want to briefly explain the trick to the audience, before using a loop or a PK pen…

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 49: Who wants one, say I – Tom Osborne

 

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A complete 14 page manual on the art of card spinning and scaling and boomerang cards. Techniques, grips, spins, special stunts, etc. plus a complete routine all laid out for you to perform. Here is the work on this art that is so often requested yet this book is rarely seen or even heard of. It's all in this spiral bound book.

REVIEW:

 

This old booklet teaches you in details how to throw a playing card in boomerang style and in straight line. Yes, that’s it.

 

Still, you have that smell from the ‘40s…

 

00002.jpgOVERALL RATING: obsolete

 

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HN Magic Review 41: Miracles from the hip – Mark Strivings

 

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Advertised in Mark Strivings’ catalogue – could not find it on the web. It is a treatise on Pocket Writing.

 

REVIEW:

Mr. Strivings’ challenge probably consisted in writing 50 pages on PW. He indeed achieved his goal, thoroughly creating inexistent problems and solving them with zealous accuracy. In the "extensive practice exercises" for example, Strivings' contributions consist in letting us know that we can practice PW anywhere, anytime, in the subway, in your office, while talking to someone etc... He then offers us 2 pages of words we could practice with (one word per line!!). I will soon release my own booklet, describing NEW practicing locations (including recently renovated grocery stores) and 50 different words to PW (available through Meir Yedid).

I feel the explanations given in his Mobile Mentalism (“What a Great Out”) were more than exhaustive.

 

OVERALL RATING: useless

 

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HN Magic Review 34: Really Linked – Bernard Sim

 

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Imagine the response you'll get when two separate rubber bands really link together! It's now possible with Bernard Sim's "Really linked."

Two rubber bands are held, one at the fingertips of each hand. The bands magically link together and are handed out for immediate examination. Both hands are shown to be absolutely clean.

REVIEW:

The beginning of the effect is David Berger’s Hypnotic Link (also published in Dan Harlan’s Magic with Rubber Bands trilogy): the bands then “link” and are briefly shown to the audience. The demo video looks very good, but the setup is awkward and cannot be done on the spot; the cleanup move is impractical unless you have full space control.

My advice: buy the Harlan videos, you even get to see the wonderful L&L Tania Vasina in her teens.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 33: The Joining – Jeff Pierce

 

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Jeff Pierce has put together a 6 page PDF document containing his ideas on linking a finger ring to a rubberband.

 

This document basically contains three sections:

 

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"The Joining" - How to cause a ring to almost visibly jump onto a rubberband.

 

"The Un-Joining" - This allows you to have a spectator pull the linked ring off of the rubberband themselves.

 

"Rubber Band Split" - This is a bonus item in which a single rubberband is split into two.

 

REVIEW:

The effect is basically Chris Kenner’s Missing Link (described in his “Out of Control” book, and also published in Dan Harlan’s Magic with Rubber Bands video trilogy), using a ring instead of another band. The unlinking procedure IMHO can give away the method.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 28: ImMAKulate Ring Flight – MAK Magic

 

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The magician borrows a spectator's ring and places it into his hand, which is then closed. INSTANTLY the hand is opened and the RING HAS VANISHED? The performer removes a key case from his pocket. From the key case, he drops the keys and hanging among the keys is the borrowed ring. RING FLIGHT is precision-made. Very smooth and silent operation.

00002.jpgREVIEW:

 

Forget the concepts of “Attention to details”, “Consistency”, “Congruency”: you get a bulky item, with the “hot” ring different from 130

 

the others (!!!!!), a gimmick eternally melted into the leather and problematic angles to work with.

 

How to ruin a great classic with a junky prop. Fortunately, Beauty is greater than the recognition of symmetry…

 

OVERALL RATING: remains immaculate in my drawer

 

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HN Magic Review 27: Live In Lecture, MIME 1a – Kenton Knepper

 

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The rumors are true. There does indeed exist a special set of unusual "lecture notes" by Kenton Knepper. These "notes" do in truth contain some of Kenton's most cherished methods and insights. Yes, there really is a section on "Milton Erickson and The Mysteries" within these notes, complete with practical applications.

It is true Kenton wrote the notes "in a special manner" which others will have to discover for themselves. There are a great many layers to this little treatise on magic. Here are a few of the more obvious attractions:

Unpublished performance material, including a masterpiece in emotion from Kenton's stage show. You can do this stand-up too.
Two "readings" style principles you CAN and WILL do instantly. A killer "Cutting The Aces" nearly anyone can do with great ease.

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The Milton/Kenton "Spontaneous Magic In Two Easy Steps" – A principle that blows audiences entirely away. This is TRUE magic. The real work on how Kenton apparently creates instantaneous "trance"like states both close-up and on stage. These are Kenton's most succinct and to the point instructions ever on how he uses these Ericksonian principles in real world work, and how you can as well - no "stooges".

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Kenton's secret one liners about creating "trance states" and spectator cooperation. Also discover how Kenton moves people to change during his performances. It is wonderfully effortless thanks to Dr. Erickson.

Included too is the simple formula Kenton uses in his work to ensure deep impact and success - fully revealed and thoroughly explained. And that is all we are allowed to "hint" at here, says Mr. Knepper firmly.

Here is what we can say: Others may attempt to describe themselves what Kenton has put into a few, easy to understand words. Kenton has already revealed in this work what many claim to be revealing for the first time in their books. J. Tank says it is without doubt Kenton's finest collection of written work - ever. As the introduction states, "This is a book about YOU. It may appear to be a book about me, but that's an illusion..." You have never read ANYTHING quite like this before in magic.

If you are a fan of Wonder Words, this is a must. If you have a passion for Kenton's REAL work and "REAL" magic, then you will have to have this without the slightest doubt. It is truly earth-shaking and inspiring material. If you've been waiting for Kenton to drop his guard, here it is. It's a risky thing for Kenton to do all that he has done with this booklet, but
even this Kenton uses as an insightful lesson in print.
Kenton doesn't "do" lecture notes. These are not "notes" but full blown descriptions of Kenton's work and stunning methods.

Here is just one comment from one gentleman who saw some of this work in action at a Kenton lecture in Phoenix. So many who sat in total awe at the Phoenix lecture could not believe that EVERYTHING they had witnessed was going to be described in detail in the "notes". One man stood up and remarked, "When are you going to stop making the REAL
work and REAL magic so easy? Soon we will have no need for funny looking boxes, and the dealers will be blaming YOU. You know that,

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don't you? I am grateful mind you, but the dealers are going to be coming after you for this one"!

Of course that is one person's opinion. Some others happen to agree. No, nothing in here is on Kenton's videotape. This is DIFFERENT work. This is MAGICAL work. Oh yes, there is one more thing...

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Tank only somewhat jokingly suggested a price of $600.00 for these. He did insist on Kenton respecting the work and not allowing it out cheaply to "just anyone". But Kenton wished to keep the price within certain guidelines. You may now obtain a copy of this very special and intense booklet, comb-bound, 35 pages at 8 ½" x 11" size, with cover art by renowned artist Johanna Pieterman, with Kenton's signature on the inside cover as well to further ensure collectible status, with all the REAL work and thoughts within this astounding booklet.

REVIEW:

Fragile booklet. A lot of hyped BS, a few interesting applications of Milton Erickson’s techniques, a bedtime story from Bandler&Grinder’s “Structure of Magic” (actually borrowed from John Fowles’ “The Magus”) and a couple of useless card tricks.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 22: The X-Book – Kenton Knepper

 

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What is "X"? Well if we told you that, you wouldn't believe the miracles in this booklet. That would be like telling you what a thumbtip or nailwriter is, and then expect you to understand how important these tools really are. We wish we could easily describe "X" and it's real practical worth, but we cannot. We've tried:

Using the "X" factor Kenton details amazing effects in this book - over a dozen - including pieces straight from Kenton's act. Just one of the tricks in this work is being sold for about as much as the entire book.

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Kenton's special use of linguistics, multiple-reality ploys and "somethings" make for the sensations the audience sees. The "somethings" are not the big secret. What Kenton does with them IS.

Imagine giving a spectator a pair of "X-Ray Glasses" that apparently allows her to see into a pocket or cardbox. The glasses can be examined. There is nothing to ditch, palm or sneak out. Another spectator seemingly uses her intuition to pick the one unmarked coin from others donated and initialed by audience members. The coins are then handed back to the owners - no coin switch required. Or a spectator chooses which bottle of three is the safe bottle - two are "poisoned". She easily chooses the correct "clean and safe" bottle, as the other two poisoned ones have large X marks on them. An X bottles may even be handed out to another spectator –to examine and drink if they dare! No, no NW.

One of Kenton's favorites is his DVD prediction in which a spectator "sees" the prediction the performer recorded on the disk in advance - without a DVD player! The DVD is given away as a souvenir.

Included is Docc Hilford's amazing Traveler effect: A spectator travels through time, and upon her return chooses three postcards in order. Each postcard predicts the exact order in which the spectator would select them!

"X" also includes wild premises of card predictions, and plenty of other surprising notions that will INSPIRE you. Loads of workable items crammed into around twenty five full size pages. This is stuff you can and will DO. From the mystical to the humorous, the subtle to the most bold, you will find many items of amazement in Kenton's "X". As brilliant as you would expect, at a price you wouldn't. Let "X" hit the spot for you too.

Your audience and fellow performers will be at a loss to explain... "X"!

 

REVIEW:

 

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“What is X”? It is a disappointing little booklet using markers and DR, based on Terry Rogers’ Wipe Out (not credited). If you already read all of Kenton’s previous stuff, very few new ideas can be found here, apart from the basic marker method and the relevant DR (stage) applications…

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The Hilford’s effect is well thought of, but it uses your own prepared laminated postcards (OWN, PREPARED, LAMINATED, postCARDS).

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 19: Rants into Rave – Kenton Knepper

 

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In a series of essays penned by Kenton for his own personal use, Kenton reveals his innermost thoughts on celebrity status, moving an audience, reciprocity, associations and expectations, and much, much more. Rants has become the perfect companion book to Wonder Words Volume Two, and Wonder Words Volume Three. For anyone who has the Wonder Words series, this manuscript is a must.

For those who don't have Wonder Words yet, this manuscript is complete in itself. The insights presented will make your mind whir with excitement and awesome possibilities...

BE WARNED: While only 28 full size pages in length, most people cannot read but four or
five pages in a sitting! This material is that powerful. Put these concepts into action, and you will understand why Kenton calls this incredible work "Rants INTO RAVES"! Your audience will be raving about you too!

00002.jpgREVIEW:

As usual, over hyped and overpriced booklet from Kenton Knepper. Nice nominalizations on the cover, and a few insights (such as the rule of reciprocity) that were not explicitly revealed in the Wonder Words

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tapes. I feel that those essays should have been inserted in a larger publication, instead of being sold separately at this outrageous price.

 

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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HN Magic Review 18: Sorcerer Series 1,2 and 3 – Kenton Knepper

 

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Kenton Knepper has done it again! Definitely not the "same old thing," the Sorcerer Series contains breakthrough work in magic and mentalism for everything from close-up to stage performances. New concepts, new routines, new presentations, new props and new methods which have, until now, been kept quite secret.

Volume One

Kenton's Gem Production - Gems fade into view at your fingertips as if literally appearing from nowhere. Direct from Kenton's stand-up act, this production is easy, beautiful and cleverly uses psychology.

The FANTastical Ribbon - A cloth fan is displayed with a bright silk streamer woven through its ribs and clothe. Suddenly, the ribbon instantly penetrates the fan! The ribbon is draped over the fan but somehow has the ribbon running through it again! The ribbon can be

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slowly pulled through the fan-everyone sees it openly from both sides - the fan is unharmed. Then this routine gets really wild! You'll have to read the rest. We can say that at the end the fan seems to animate itself as it frees itself from the ribbon - gorgeous.

New Liquid Principles - Reach into your pocket and remove a drink. No covers. You may even vanish the drink but not the glass! This is 136

different. New "Multum in Parvo" in which the liquid really does increase and fills an aquarium in the end. Diabolical secrets you can and will use. Many of these items are right out of well-known and respected acts.

Plus Sealed Miser's Dream Jars and Goblets - Smashing a Super Ball, making gold appear, grow, become bejeweled and then vanish, the fade in quarter production, real "woofle dust" for grown-ups and "stardust", manipulation quartz crystals and how to make them, the secret to Kenton's manipulation of the ringing balls (you won't believe this!), a jumping bill monte, a ring that reappears on the finger in mid-air, a... well, you get the idea!
And more!

Volume Two

Kontrol Kard - Imagine a playing card that can become a double- face, double-back, long, wide, thick, spittle, chameleon and multiple card control card due to an amazing secret substance! No roughing fluid or rubber cement, these special cards have made Kenton look like one of the top card control performers and now you can, too!

Kling String - Stop Kenton on the street and he'll have this with him! Imagine a showing a piece of thread that is three inches long which then becomes three feet long - with no sleeves and no steals.

No Salt - Walk into a restaurant and pick up a salt or cheese shaker. With no other props or preparation, you make the salt or cheese disappear! Nothing extra, no lapping, no mess, no hassle and amazingly easy.

Kenton's Postcards - Spectators think of a number and a postcard-they tell no one. The performer then proceeds to tell what is in each spectator's mind. Not only that, he has predicted it, too!

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Newell and Kenton's Mental Any Card at Any Number - This one has had people in Hollywood buzzing for years. For the first time ever, the secret and full routine is revealed. A deck of cards is shuffled by the performer and handed to a spectator for safe keeping. A second deck is given to another spectator who shuffles themselves. She is told to freely think of any card and any number from the face up cards. She sees the cards are all different and admits that her choices are entirely free and

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unprepared. Now the miracle. The first spectator deals in his deck to the number called out by the second spectator. The card at that number is turned over. It is the second spectator's card! No one on stage knows how this happened. No "stooges". The deck can be taken home as a gift after dealing to the climax. It is not a trick deck. This effect alone is worth far more than the price of this manuscript.

Volume Three

Steve Cohen's Three Point Pulse Stopping - From Steve's famed act, revealed for the first time. The performer stops his pulse, then it comes back again, in sequence, and at the points of the body chosen by the spectator. This is challenge pulse control. Incredible, awe-inspiring effect with a devious solution you will love to do!

Kenton's "When Time Stands Still" - What some touring mentalists have called "an instant classic" can now be yours. Part of this secret was revealed to a very select group of performers and it created quite a stir. Now you get all the details never given before. Complete with Kenton's favorite presentation, pulses and clocks stop - without harm to either!

Dowser's Dream - Spectators pour various amounts of water into cups and cover them. The performer may be out of the room or in another part of the theatre. Still, using his dowsing rods, the performer is able to say which cups have water in them - what amount and level of water each cup has - all accurately and without stooges, cameras, etc. Do it impromptu if you like!

Half-Baked Mentalism - A roll or examined and uncut loaf of bread is brought to the performer. He holds his hands near the center of the bread. Although the bread is seen undamaged, it is cut open. There in the middle, where the performer held his hands, is a burn mark inside the very center of the bread!

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Plus - The full work on the Reversed Polarity Metaphor Spiel, Charcoal Scrying, The Center Piece center tear vase, Phony One Ahead, Pulling Tales and more.

REVIEW:

 

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Very, very disappointing stuff. Probably my expectations were too high, but the last thing I want from Kenton is learning some Lota Bowl (or other stage illusions) advices or the best way to slice a rubber ball and produce a fake quartz crystal. I would suggest mentalists to purchase only the last volume, which has a few insights on the pulse/watch stopping effects, and an interesting microwave application.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 7: Credit Card Fraud – Brad Manuel

 

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The magician borrows a credit card and as he explains the dangers of handing out a credit card so freely, begins to apparently memorize the number. Quickly turning the card over he explains that all
the information related to the spectator's account is contained in the magnetic strip across the back, and it would be very dangerous if anyone got their hands on it. The magician then proceeds to peel the strip off the card! He quickly tells the spectator not to worry, as he would never really do such a thing and presses the strip back onto the card, sealing it down into place! The card is then handed back to the spectator completely unharmed!

Easy To Do
Universal Gimmick Works On All Credit Cards
Custom Made Gimmick

REVIEW:

 

The name says it all.

 

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Nice packaging, well produced gimmick, not for me. I don’t know how long the gimmick will last, be careful not to strip it too far away…

I own very few effects specifically dealing with credit cards (I remember “Cut and Restored Credit Card” from Mark Leveridge, and a gag in Ammar’s Money Miracles videos): if you are looking for a quick close-up trick of this kind it might be tolerable for you.

OVERALL RATING: weak

 

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00002.jpg140

 

JUNK

 

An enjoyable collection of crap. I do not regret buying any of this stuff; smiles are always around the corner.

 

HN Magic Review 118: Shocking – Vincenzo Ravina

 

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21 easy-to-do tricks designed to shock your spectators into screams. You'll learn how to:

Apparently break your own neck!
Stick a needle straight through your hand!
Swallow entire saltshakers of salt!
And much more

Shocking by Vincenzo Ravina - Tricks to Make People Scream!!

 

REVIEW:

 

A “shocking” booklet, no discussion about it. And it made me scream indeed, but not for reasons foreseen by the author.

Writing a review of this one is like stealing candies from a kid in a coma. Poorly written, ridiculously produced (a few stapled photocopies), worn out effects, unacceptable lack of credits (and crediting Jim Pace for The Web or Mac King for the Fork in the eye WAS easy!!)

00002.jpgThis is MUCH worse than the average Andrew Mayne’s geek book.

 

OVERALL RATING: rubbish

 

H.

 

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HN Magic Review 116: A Ghost on the Table – T. Everett Bookings, III

 

AD:

Just in time for Halloween, I've decided to release my close-up GHOST hunt routine. This is specifically designed for the restaurant worker who wants to have something "spooky" to entertain people with. Now here is the truth so no one gets upset. This is a three page manuscript so it may look thin for the price, but it's not! It features 3 of my favorite effects that move fast and it only takes you about 20 minutes to prepare enough "props" to perform it twenty or thirty times in an evening. You can pace the performance to run from 5 to 10 minutes depending on your style. This is not "heavy" but fun spooky! Plus it includes one of the most upfront requests for a big tip ever known.

If you want something different to increase your income then order "A GHOST ON THE TABLE!"

 

REVIEW:

A couple of A4 pages with an age-old idea (the ghost key), and a childish presentation (from Magick). This one wouldn’t fool a drunk grandpa in the terminal stage of a combined Alzheimer/Parkinson disease.

OVERALL RATING: outrageous

 

H.

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HN Magic Review 115: Zinger – Meir Yedid

 

AD:

 

A quick, simple and direct prediction using a handful of coins.

Three coins are placed on the table or in a spectator's hand and a prediction coin is placed in your fist. A spectator freely selects any of the three coins. When you open your fist the prediction coin matches perfectly!

No extra coins, no switches, no forces. Very easy to learn and almost works itself.

 

Comes complete with the necessary gaff and photo-illustrated instructions. Use your own coins.

 

REVIEW:

Take a simple (and somewhat lousy) Max Maven effect (I think he was still called Phil Goldstein back then), add a gimmick, reduce its impact, and there you go, you have your Zinger 10 years later.

Good old Meir Yedid…

 

OVERALL RATING: litter

 

H.

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HN Magic Review 110: The Self Levitation video/DVD – Ed Balducci / Michael Maxwell

 

AD: 143

The Balducci Levitation has become one of the most popular levitations in magic. All the real work on how to make it look magical and impossible is taught on this DVD. The original video release of this product made it one of the best selling videos on the market. Includes ideas by Ed Balducci, Mike Maxwell, Paul Harris, David Roth, Harvey Cohen and Slydini.

REVIEW:

This video is still one of the most publicized levitation trick on the market, and is sold in every magic shops of the planet. It was one of the first close-up self-levitation available, and was given a second life after David Blaine’s impressive video-editing stunts: I still have a lot of fun thinking about how many kids spent their parent’s hard-earned cash to purchase this tape, hoping they will be able to fly like their TV favorite magician, impress their schoolmates and perhaps obtain their first sexual intercourse with that cute little blondie – ignoring that they will be laughed at for the rest of their life after performing it.

The fact that this effect is utterly ridiculous didn’t seem to bother the magic dealers, always eager to make a quick buck out of gullible customers.

OVERALL RATING: Trash for the masses. You can’t even recycle the tape to record something on TV, because it’s too short.

 

H.

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HN Magic Review 93: Super Neck Cracker (Bone Crusher) – Tom Burgoon

 

AD: 144

 

Gimmick & Book Combo Deal.

This wonderful novelty item used by Tom Burgon in his show for many years will allow you to audibly break your neck, your arm, or any bone within your reach. Complete with Tom's personal handling for this shocking and very comedic gag item.
"This is one of the funniest gags known to man!" - Doc Eason Completely Safe!

REVIEW:

The gimmick is as far as you can imagine from being flesh colored - and we all enjoy the bright, flashy colors of secretly palmed gimmicks. The “book” is a single A4 page (!!!) with a few silly ideas and cartoons from Tom’s brother. The setup/reset is noisy (the same sound of the effect, actually) and can’t be done on the spot.

Stick with your plastic cup…

 

OVERALL RATING: Junk

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 90: Liquidizer – Klamm the Magic Man

 

AD:

From Klamm the Magic Man comes the truly amazing Liquid-izer. For the pro who wants the most startling effect; for the beginner who wants to be an "instant expert" at sleight of hand. Liquid-izer lets you do all these effects:

An Udder Mystery -- Make a fist of one hand, with your thumb sticking up. As you turn the hand over and stroke your thumb, a tiny stream of 145

real milk gushes forth! They actually see the milk squirting from your thumb! Dehydrated Water -- Hold up an empty glass, which you explain is full of dehydrated water! To demonstrate that it has all the properties of real water, including the ability to put out a real fire, reach for a match. Accidentally the glass is knocked over! Quickly mop up the imaginary liquid with a handkerchief. When you wring the handkerchief out into the glass, real water is produced! Insta-Shot -- Anytime you want, pick up a napkin and roll it into a tube. From the tube, pour out a full shot of your favorite beverage! Then toss out the napkin for examination! No pulls, tubes, or bulky apparatus. You can even use the Klam’s Liquid-izer as a long-pour salt gimmick.

REVIEW:

You get a flesh-painted bottle wrapped in toilet paper and a sheet of (involuntarily) hilarious instructions. I laughed hard with this one – well worth its price.

The best part of the trick is the toilet paper, which you could recycle in any way you fancy.

 

OVERALL RATING: totally ridiculous

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 83: Coin Holder – Tannen Magic

 

AD:

 

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Sure and safe! This coin holder holds six coins securely regardless of how you move & bounce around. Yet the coins are at your fingertips at a touch. The pin allows you to locate it where it is most convenient for your routine.

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REVIEW:

 

No coating is provided, thus allowing the performer to constantly hear the coins talking (probably to make sure they’re still in the holder…)

 

The holder is made in shiny golden metal for increased visibility.

 

OVERALL RATING: horrifying

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 74: Clipped – John T. Sheets

 

AD:

A paper clip and a business card are introduced. The paper clip is balanced on the edge of the business card and then magically melts right through the card! This impossibility can then be handed to a spectator for examination and left in this altered state!

Awesome Climax

 

Business Card Can Be Given Out In This Altered State

 

REVIEW:

 

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The gimmick looks different from the regular duplicates (that’s always a nice touch). The effect is dangerously elementary: with very little practice, you should be able to fool a sleepy child and proudly hand him your business card.

OVERALL RATING: the name should be “ripped”

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 65: Linking rubber bands – George Murray / Norm Nielsen

 

AD:

Couldn’t find the ad anymore (I can guess why). It is a linking rubber bands effect (distributed by Norm Nielsen), in which the linked bands may be examined with a microscope by the spectator after the "linking".

REVIEW:

You get the linked set and a clear forcing bag. The gimmicked bands are too thick and large to be used in other effects, and obviously do not match the regular bands inside the bag.

Save your money and buy some super glue.

 

OVERALL RATING: junk

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 53: EM Pocket Charger – Mark Allen

 

AD:

Pocket Charger is the missing link, it is dynamic and discreet. It will make all your performances soar, especially your Penomenon performances. The EM Pocket Charger’s revolutionary design does that special something to the pen that allows you to move the pen as if it’s inhabited by spirits from another the great beyond!

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You can perform many effects with the EMPC such as:

A spectator secretly chooses any hour of the day and then you draw a clock face on a piece of paper or table napkin. You then produces six coins and places them into a stack in the center of the clock. A straw is placed on top of the coins, acting as the hand of the clock and you cause the straw to mysteriously spin, stopping when it points right at the spectator's chosen hour!

Other telekinetic uses may be explored and discovered with the Pocket Charger that has taken the magic scene by storm!

 

REVIEW:

 

Fantastically hyped: an inconsistent companion for the overpriced Penomenon.

 

I may have found an alternative use for this one, but it could offend a few.

 

OVERALL RATING: electrifying crap

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 45: Pocket Levitator – Andrew Mayne

 

AD:

 

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With Andrew Maine's Pocket Levitator you can levitate yourself any time and any where! The gimmick fits into YOUR POCKET, yet you rise in the air. It's ready all the time! Comes to you with an instruction booklet as well, including five different ways to use The Pocket Levitator. "Quick, impromptu, cute, effective and a great buy.

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REVIEW:

 

Awkward set-up, awkward clean up. The effect looks like your body is shortening (could be a good thing if you re-label the effect properly…).

 

You might also be able to recycle the gimmick for other purposes and save a few pennies.

 

OVERALL RATING: true junk

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 42: Universal Holder - Alexander de Cova

 

AD:

 

Multiple award winner Alexander de Cova came up with the ultimate... the Universal Holder!

Ingeniously designed to act as a third hand to secretly deliver you any small object in your hand. Use the Universal Holder for baffling productions or loadings. Secretly obtain silks, jumbo and standard size coins, cigarettes, thimbles, prepared paper (like switching in an origami fold), cards, jumbo cards, streamers, Fantasio-style canes and candles, sponge balls, flash accessories, rope, magnets, spring flowers, rubber products, mouth coils, or any of your favorite gimmicks — all delivered instantly right into your hands!

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Because of its special design, the Universal Holder grips all different sizes and shapes of objects secure until needed. Use it whenever you have to secretly obtain, add or steal something. This is the holder that you’ve been looking for. This is the holder used by professionals over the years!

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• Universal Holder is made of durable plastic to last a lifetime!
• Can be used for close-up, stand-up or the stage!
• Can be attached to the body or prop!
• Comes complete with 2 Universal Holders!

REVIEW:

Mine came with only one holder, and is made of metal (not durable plastic). I purchased it in the early nineties, maybe it is a different version. Anyway, it is basically a F###### CARD DECK holder (possibly cased deck). And I don’t do cards…

OVERALL RATING: ambiguous junk

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 16: How to Perform Impromptu Levitations video/DVD– Docc Hilford

 

AD:

 

Couldn’t find it anymore (not even on the Floras website) – probably too embarrassing to sell!

 

REVIEW:

 

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Extremely disappointing (and overpriced) video from Docc Hilford. It includes 7 different levitations (an “improved” Balducci levitation, a séance setting, a “complete darkness” method, a stage version, one using a chair, one using an assistant, and one also described in Mike Bent’s Zero Gravity) that may even look impromptu to an audience but are simply garbage.

And not one subtlety, not one gag, not one line of patter to be used in other effects…

 

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OVERALL RATING: Useless – maybe a video to lend to young beginners interested in magic?

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 15: 0 Gravity – Mike Bent

 

AD:

Mike Bent's Zero Gravity is possibly one of the best self levitation besides the Balducci Levitation. EFFECT- You walk into a room with no covers no props or gimmicks. Then you levitate 4-5 inches off the ground. Both feet. This is a killer effect.

REVIEW:

Old unpractical method (see Soirees Fantastiques, Docc Hilford’s How to perform Impromptu Levitations video etc). Mr. Bent has added a small metal twist to the concept, which only complicates the original concept.

I am not satisfied with any of the close-up levitation methods on the market – you should probably wait for the next one …

 

OVERALL RATING: 0

 

HN

 

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HN Magic Review 11: Excalibur gimmick – Daniel Miraskill

AD: This one was “accidentally” deleted. Can’t seem to find the sales blurb in English anymore – here is the French version for what it’s worth:

Excalibur : c'est un gimmick prodigieux qui vous permettra, à tout moment, d´avoir accès à n'importe quelle carte du jeu à l'insu du spectateur.
Par exemple, il permet d'effectuer la fameuse routine du jeu invisible avec un jeu normal examinable...
Ce gimmick nécessite une préparation et une habitude cartomagique minimum.

REVIEW:

A piece of metal coming in a black “Top Secret” plastic suitcase. Perhaps enjoyable after 10 or 20 years of practice. If you’re looking for a functional, light and thin indexing system, go elsewhere (and please let me know). If you’re looking to perform the effect described, go back to your invisible deck or – even better – read Kenton Knepper’s Kolossal Killer and its follow-up. If you really want to flush money down the toilet, contact me for my bank details.

OVERALL RATING: “a la poubelle » (I knew that those French lessons would serve me well!)

 

HN

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HN Magic Review 4: Compact Key – Marvoyan

 

AD:

The performer claims to have a new security device, A Compact Key. He then removes the head of the key from its stem separating it into two pieces. The pieces are then instantly restored into the original key. The key can then be handed out for inspection.

The Compact Key is a twenty-second routine designed for any impromptu situation. The key can be examined before and after the routine. Comes complete with all necessary props and photo-illustrated instructions.

REVIEW:

Dear Magical Friends, this is THE WINNER!! I never counted the number of items/books/videos I own, but I spent over 20 years purchasing magical items and this broken key really stands out like a flash paper rose burning in the night. I now carefully avoid anything with the name of Meir Yedid written on it.

OVERALL RATING: buy it and keep it in full view all the time – and repeat to yourself “I am a sucker”

 

HN

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00002.jpgHN Magic Review 3: The 8th Manoeuvre – Luke Jermay

 

AD:

 

A spectator somehow manages to correctly guess a selected card, three times in a row.

 

REVIEW: 154

Overpriced booklet, poorly produced and badly written. You get a patter blatantly copied from Wonder Words vol. 1, and a method already mentioned on dozens of manuscripts, such as Karrell Fox’s Another Book, Derren Brown’s Pure Effect (Zamiel Card), Busch’s Peek Performances etc.

I remember seeing an ad of a US dealer (A Squared Productions), where the booklet was discontinued due to customers’ complaints…

 

OVERALL RATING: absolutely inappropriate

 

HN

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You may flush now.
HN

 

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