Magic Products Review

SPOT-CHECK

Written by John Teo

Known variously as “What’s Next?”, “Surprising Spots”, “Domino Card” or “Spot Card”, this effect has become a classic in stage magic.

The performer shows a flat piece of board that is supposed to have 2 sides to magically have 4 sides.

The board resembles a large domino piece. One side shows a one spot, the other shows a four spot, the third side a three spot and the fourth side a six spot. He then “explains” how the trick was being accomplished.

The board does not display the full face of a domino. What appears to be a three spot has only 2 spots. By coverinbg one spot with the fingers, this side can be made to appear as a one spot.

By covering the empty space with the fingers, this same side can be seen to be a three spot.

Similarly with the other side – it has five spots which can be made to appear as four or six spots by covering the appropriate locations with the fingers.

Just when the audience understands what was happening, the performer shows that one side is actually the three spot and the other side is the six spot.

Finally, out of nowhere, an eight spot makes its appearance!

“Spot-Check” is Jeremy Pei’s take on the “What’s Next” card trick. Jeremy refers to the board as a flat dice. One side shows one and the other side shows six. One side shows four and the other side shows three.

This demonstration of the property of dice is an education to the audience. Jeremy then has an audience member come up to teach her how to do the trick. Jeremy gives her a paper board that has the missing spot domino faces.

She follows along with the paper prop in her hands and the audience learns along with her. After she returns to her seat with the prop as a souvenir, Jeremy then uses magic to cause the six and three spots to actually appear, and then an eight spot!

You receive the following items:

 A large gimmkicked Spot Board made of steel measuring 9.50 inches x 6.25 inches.

 2 printed A5 sized paper boards to be given away as souvenirs – they can be photocopied on stiff papers to make more give-away props.  Extra blank paper boards and a sheet of black round stickers to make your own give-away paper boards.

 A link to a video tutorial – Jeremy teaches you step-by-step how he prepares and works his board, and his patter. The video includes a live performance of him performing Spot-Check in a large theatre.

The metal gimmicked Spot Card that you receive is of good quality and will last for many many performances if you take good care of it.

The give-away paper magic board can have your name and contact information printed on it. “Spot-Check” is an entertaining and highly interative stage or parlour effect that is both suitable for adults as well as children.

Highly Recommended!

THE POWER OF LOVE by David Regal

Written by John Teo

As the name suggests, this is an effect that is designed for performing to people twhom you want to show that love triumphs at the end over the problems that we face in life.

It can be performed for a couple in love such as husband and wife, or between a parent and his or her children, or among siblings.

Here is how the effect looks like as performed for a couple in love.

The performer shows a card depicting a picture of a heart. This card symbolises love.

The performer then shows 5 cards that depict the problems we face in life. A card with a picture of a desert indicates loneliness, a card with a huge boulder shows a “road-block” we encounter in our lives, a card with lightning shows a sudden serious occurence that we have to deal with, a card with forest indicates the times when we feel lost, and a card with a drying flower shows the passage of time.

Each of the 2 people is given the 5 problem cards as well as the Love card. Each of them mixes the 5 problem cards face downwards. After mixing, the 5 problem cards are gathered into a stack face downwards. The lady turns over the top card of her stack – interesting remarks can be made regarding the “problem” that is revealed in this card. The gentleman does the same thing – again, interesting remarks can be made regarding his “problem”, be it the same or different from his counterpart’s. The lady then deals the next face down card on top of her first card, covering (overcoming) her “problem”. The gentleman follows suit.

Each of them proceeds to do the same thing with the pair of problem cards. Finally, one problem card is left. This card is dealt face up onto the packet of face-up and face-down cards. Again, remarks can be made regarding this last “problem”. Each of them now takes their Love card and places it on top of packet – love covers this last “problem”.

The packet is cut, and the new top 2 cards are turned over as one unit, so that whatever card that is face up becomes face down and whatever card that is face down becomes face up. This can be done as many times as needed. Obviously each packet is randomly mixed up with face-up and face-down cards.

Each person then deals their packet alternatively into 2 separate piles. One pile is taken up, turned over, and replaced onto the other pile. When spread, one card only is found to be turned the other way, for both the lady and the gentleman. This card is the Love card, and the other 5 cards are the problem cards. This shows that the couple can overcome all problems in their lives when Love exists between them!

This is a lovely ending for the 2 people participating in the performance.

You receive a custom designed deck of cards containing 54 cards (9 sets of 6 cards, each set comprising the 5 problem cards and 1 Love card). You can therefore perform this effect for up to 9 people at any one time. In this case, despite all the mixing of face-up and face-down cards, each of the 9 people will end up with their Love card being faced the other way from their 5 problem cards.

The cards are made of plastic with playing card back design. The backs are textured but their faces are smooth. They look and feel good. The cards will last for a very long time especially when they are handled by the spectator in each performance.

In addition, you are supplied with an extra card box in case the present one wears out. The specially designed picture cards will attract the attention of the audience. The special theme of life and love with the positive ending can be an emotional experience for the spectators participating as well as for the audience. (8/10 star rating)

DICE, DICE BABY WITH JOHN CAREY

Written by John Teo

John Carey, who is well known as a specilist with playing cards, now presents 10 effects with coloured dice, in this project called “Dice, Dice Baby with John Carey”.

You receive 10 translucent dice: 6 are differently coloured, I extra red dice, and 3 clear (no colour) dice, together with a nice black velvet carrying bag. You are also given a link to download a video instruction.

As with John Carey’s card tricks, all these 10 dice effects are all presented in a straight forward manner; they are visual and have great impact on the audience.

Here is a brief description of the 10 effects:

1. Dice Wave – an experiment where a spectator imagines 3 different colours out of 4 differently coloured dice to fade away. This becomes a reality when the prediction bag is shown to contain 3 clear dice and one dice of the remaining colour. A dice variation of Max Maven’s “B’Wave”.

2. Hot Roddy – a dice version of “Hot Rod” where one of 6 dice placed in a row is correctly predicted.

3. Translocation Dice – a “dice across” effect from hand to hand using 1 red dice and 3 clear dice, and with an unexpected ending.

4. Perfect Six – an interesting mental effect with 6 differently coloured dice where the spectator makes all the choices and yet the performer can predict who gets which dice at the end.

5. Evoque Dice – the spectator makes all the choices regarding 6 different coloured dice and the performer has predicted the outcome in advance.

6. Homing Dice – like the “Homing Card”, a red dice placed away keeps returning to the hand.

7. Covert Prediction – a “card at any number” effect using a deck of cards and the total shown on 3 dice.

8. Clearly Wild – a take on David Roth’s “Wild Coins” where 3 clear dice change to red colour one at a time.

9. Hummeresqe – through a thorough process of selection, one of 6 dice is chosen, and this matches the performer’s prediction. It utilises the “Hummer Mental Monte” as well as Max Maven’s “Kurotsuke” principles.

10.Gadabout Dice – a “Two In The Hand, One In The Pocket” effect done with 3 different coloured dice.

Altogether, there are 6 mental effects. John discusses at great length on the proper choices of words to use in “Equivoque” and other forces.

Of the 4 non-mental effects, John teaches very well how to execute the various moves with dice. They are not difficult to do.

John refers often to the “Ramsey’s Subtlety”.

You get 10 effects using beautiful translucent coloured dice that are not difficult to perform. If you cannot get at least 2 or 3 that you can include in your performing repertoire, magic should not be your hobby. When you do, this product will be worth many times the small investment made in it.

(9/10 star rating)

FLOAT by SansMinds Creative Lab

Written by John Teo

A levitation effect never fails to cause a sense of great wonderment to an audience.

Float is a levitation effect that you can carry in your pocket.

The performer takes out and displays his gentleman’s wallet. He opens the wallet to disclose a credit card inside. With a magical gesture, the credit card mysteriously floats upwards from the wallet. While the audience is still recovering from its stunned state, the performer closes his wallet and takes out the credit card and hands it for examination.

That is the effect of Float.

You receive a well-produced instructional DVD and a gimmick. The gimmick fits inside most gentleman’s bi-fold wallet, but it must be black because the gimmick is in black colour. It is a simple but cleverly conceived gimmick. It works on the black-art principle in conjunction with the wallet.

Unlike other products from SansMinds, you do not need to construct any other item. Fixing the gimmick in your wallet requires only a moment’s work, and all you need is double-sided tape.

Once your wallet is set up, you can carry it and perform the effect at any time and any place.

You can float any object inside the wallet, such as a credit card, a playing card or a couple of folded bills. The levitation does create a sense of wonderment for the audience. There is a small performing angle concern to take care of, but nothing serious. You perform the levitation way below the eye level of the audience.

Unfortunately, the wallet cannot be examined. This is a weak point. After the audience examines the floated object, the next thing they want to check out is the wallet. When asked, you will have to find a reason for not handing out the wallet for examination.

Performing Float is as easy as opening the wallet and making a little unnoticed movement with the wallet. Resetting is also equally easy. Simply place the object properly back inside the wallet and close it. You are ready for the next performance.

(6/10 star rating)

LEMONWAND

Written by John Teo

Jeremy Pei’s “LemonWand” is a small wand with a slice of yellow lemon on one of its tips.

The wand is small, and black with golden tips.  It measures only about 4.5 inches long and 3/8 of an inch in diameter.  The lemon slice on top of one of its tips is about 1.25 inches in diameter and is bright yellow in colour.

So, what can you do with this wand?

You can use it as a magician’s wand to “make” things happen magically, of course.  The wand is small, so it can be kept in your pocket until you wish to bring it.  When it comes out of your pocket, it immediately attracts attention because it is unusual to see a wand with a lemon slice attached to one end of it.

You need to provide a rationale for this strange looking wand.  Here is one example.  “Whenever I need money, I use an aid that every magician possesses – do you know that is that?”  Bring out the wand from your pocket with the non lemon tip showing, as you continue … “Yes! A magic wand, but did I say ‘aid’?  My favourite is lemonade!”  Your audience will smile as they see the LemonWand fully emerges from your pocket.

Here is another example.  “What is the most popular aid that magicians use whenever they want to make something magically happen?”  Most people will know that it is a magic wand – if not, prompt them to come to this answer.  “What people don’t know is that you need to say a magic word when using the magic wand.  Do you know the magic word?”  No matter what answers they give, say that it is “Lemon!  Lemon!”  (Somehow, repeating a word makes it sound more magical!)  Bring out the LemonWand from your pocket.  “My magic wand – specially made so that you won’t forget the magic word!”  From here onwards, whever you use the wand, get the audience to shout the magic words “Lemon!  Lemon!”  You will have a lot of fun with this LemonWand. 

With the LemonWand, show that it is the same on both sides.  Make a magical gesture and say the magic words and a coin appears stuck to one side of the lemon slice.  Pour the coin onto your hand and put the coin into your trouser pocket.  Show the now empty LemonWand and produce another coin.  Again take this coin off the wand and put the coin into your trouser.  Do this many times.  Finally, place your hand into the pocket and take out a $5 or $10 note – you have produced enough coins from the wand to make a total sum of $5 or $10.  As an alternative finish, bring out an actual lemon instead!  “The coins are an illusion – my LemonWand produces a lemon, of course!”

You receive the cute looking LemonWand and a link to a video tutorial where Jeremy Pei himself teaches you the simple move to use with the LemonWand.  Jeremy then gives you his commercial routine that he performs using this LemonWand.

Once you understand the handling for this LemonWand, all sorts of ideas for using this wand will come to you.  You may want to experiment with erasable black marker and use it to draw the digit “8” on one side of the lemon, making it “lemonade”!  Suddenly, the other side also has the 8 on the lemon  Draw one more 8, then both sides have the two 8s.  Erase one 8 away, it returns to both sides.  Finally all four 8s vanish from the lemon.  The four 8s than re-appear on the back of your left palm or on the palm of your right hand.

The LemonWand is a novelty magic wand.  It is suitable not only for close-up, but also for parlour, performances.  It can be used for performing close-up to children. 

The audience will react to it in a positive way when it is first brought out.  You can use the wand each time when you want to “cause” something magical to happen in your performance.  It is invaluable especially to magicians incorporating comedy in their acts.

Recommended!

THE LUCKY COIN by Luca Volpe & Paul McCaig

Written by John Teo

“The Lucky Coin” is based on a classic trick/gag about locating the chosen card with a coin.  Luca Volpe and Paul McCaig have improved upon it in the following ways:

  • The coin used is not an ordinary coin, but a specially minted “lucky” coin with a celtic design, so that it creates a mystery to the audience the moment the coin is introduced;
  • The image of the chosen card is embossed on the coin, instead of the old method of sticking a picture of a miniature card underneath the coin. Moreover, the embossed image is that of a full card, not merely the abbreviation of “three of heart” comprising a 3 and the symbol of the heart.  This somehow makes the revelation on the coin more powerful;
  • Another coin is included with the word “BELIEVE” embossed on the back of it, to be used in another effect.
  • A third coin is also provided. This one has nothing inscribed underneath it.  This can be used to switch for either the card or the word coin so that the revelation will seem even more magical.

A full routine looks like this.  A specially minted coin is introduced to a spectator as a “lucky” coin.  It has a special celtic design on one side and nothing on the other.  It is fully examined by a spectator. 

A card is selected by a spectator and shuffled back into the deck.  The deck is spread face downwards on the table and the spectator places the “lucky” coin anywhere on the spread.  The 3 or 4 cards covered by the coin are isolated from the spread.  The spectator further decides which of these cards to rest the coin on.  The performer says that underneath the coin will be the spectator’s selected card.  The other cards are turned over to show that none of them is the selected card.  But when the card underneath the coin is turned over, it too, is not the chosen card.  The performer turns over the coin to show that, what he meant was, the identity of the card is now found inscribed on the coin!  The spectator had examined it previously and there was nothing engraved underneath the coin.

The coin is then placed onto a spectator’s palm, and she closes her fingers over it, hiding the coin inside her fist.  She is asked to think about something that she desires to achieve in her lifetime, and to close her eyes.  As she concentrates on the coin held in her closed fist, she can feel that the coin is becoming warmer.  When she opens her eyes and takes the coin from her fist, the word “BELIEVE” is now embossed underneath the coin – the original image of her selected card is no longer there.  The coin tells her that her desire can be achieved if she believes!  What a motivational message for her.

You receive the 3 coins that come an antique finish look.  They are specially minted in lead-free pewter.  This means the coins will not tarnish, rust or corrode over time. 

You also receive a small velvet pounch to carry the coin(s) in.  You have to supply your own deck of cards.  You are provided with an online link to a well-produced instructional video.  

In the video, Luca discusses the various possibilities:

  • Perform the full 3-phase routine, or only one or two of the routines for a shorter act;
  • An easier way of using the coin is not to show that the back of the coin is empty and has no impression at the beginning;
  • Using a top change, the card beneath the coin can be magically transformed into the correct chosen card – this gives a double whammy to the card effect.

The coins look professional and mysterious, the effect has comedy as well as an emptional hook (with the revelation of “BELIEVE”), your performance can be made short or longer, and “Lucky Coin” is fairly easy to do.  This product is a good investment.  (9/10 star rating)